Jun 30, 2009

Now, THAT's positive thinking!!!

Q. What do you do when you return home late from work, only to realize your roomie/maid has left the tap partially open, causing the water to flow into the overhead tank which made it overflow, resulting in your house resembling the famous flooring of the Indraprashta palace in Mahabharata, only this time the water's real and there's no Draupadi to laugh at you, and you are too damn lazy to mop it up since the last time this happenned, it took you 45 whole minutes of struggling with an old cloth filled with holes, and you are damn hungry too, so you decide to have dinner before cleaning up, then realize you ate too much and can't even bend, and you need something, anything, to draw your mind away from all the Murphyism that's happenning in your life?

A. You make little paper boats from old train tickets and watch them bob up and down!!!

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PS: Don't have a camera, so no pics can be posted!

Jun 28, 2009

Rains are a pain!

Bombay has a special relationship with rains. Tired of sweating profusely all summer, people wait eagerly for the first showers to cool down and cleanse the city. People offer prayers if the monsoons are delayed by a week, and some unfortunate frogs/ donkeys are married off.



Pic Credit: Bombay Times.

The city papers run a series every year, a beautiful pic of a star prancing happily along Marine Drive/ Bandra bandstand (this time, they had Amrita Rao, swoon!), accompanied by an article where two-paise worth celebs give their oft-repeated “rains mean romantic walks”, “I love the smell of the earth”, or “a chance to enjoy some hot chai and pakora” quotes. There is also a mandatory pic of some slum kids joyously diving into a pool of water, essentially an overflowing sewer but who cares? Tis the season to be silly.

But I hate rains. Hate them. Hate them. Hate them.

Rains bring back a flood of bad memories. Or memories of bad floods. Whatever.

Rains meant slush and grime on the roads. Mud sticking all over my precious Hercules MTB on the ride to school. And of course mud all over my shoes which had to be polished again and again. And mud getting splattered all over me thanks to potholes on the road and an overspeeding car. (And no, I did not throw a stone at the car. Nor did I grow up to be a milkman singing about cows, fight with my best friend and become a millionaire to extract revenge. The prospect of dancing with Khushboo wasn’t too appealing, you see.)

Rains meant flooding on the streets. Walking through knee-deep water, with pieces of garbage/excreta floating nearby, to get to college. Trains getting cancelled, leading to fights with the rickshaw guy while getting drenched as he nonchalantly refuses to go by the meter and asks for three times the fare.

Rains meant strong cold winds. Umbrella getting overturned, making me feel stupid. Rain coming down at an angle, making me wet in spite of the umbrella. Wet trousers flapping, wet shirts clinging to my back, and wet socks creating a nasty stink. Yuck in all caps cannot even begin to describe it.

Rains meant running noses. And a bad cold. And wheezing through the night, sitting up propped by pillows, unable to lie down, unable to sleep. Having to eat that yucky Chyawanprash. And breathe in that yuckier inhaler thing.

Rains meant no cricket after school. And we never discovered the joy of football in the rains. And damp carrom boards where the coins never moved smoothly unlike in the summer vacations.

Rains meant watching what you eat. And still coming down with a bout of those motions, and having to survive on bread and idly and boiled vegetables. And having to drink boiled water. One would rather die of thirst.

Rains meant shivering baths. For a long time, sudu thanni was a pseudo thing, and real men took cold water baths. Even if they had running noses and wheezing problems later.

I am yet to have a single good experience in the rains. Ok, the long walks on Marine Drive and the chocolate cake at Barista, Bandstand might qualify. But even those were spent envying other cosy couples, while moaning about my loser status to other loser friends.

Maybe a couple of treks to some nearby hills. Matheran. Lohgad. But one place reeked of horseshit and I lost a floater in the other. Had to go around walking barefoot. So, bad there too.

So, all you romantic types can enjoy your walks and chai-pakoras, and smell the earth, whatever that means. I prefer to curl up in my bed and sleep it off. Unless Amrita Rao is walking in the rain. Or Asin. In which case, count me in.

Jun 15, 2009

It can't be two years already!

I can’t believe it’s been two years already! As clich├ęd as it sounds, it seems like only yesterday that we met for the first time. I had already wooed two other beauties, both of whom had dumped me at the first date. I was running around desperate, when she said yes. And of course, I said yes without blinking. Or thinking.

As is usual, the first few months were the most exciting. We discovered new things about each other, and I dare say, she helped me find myself. Every day I spent with her, I learnt something new. And exciting.

But it wasn't all smooth sailing. In those early days, I was also confused as hell. I did not know what to do, what to say, and to be honest, I have often wondered whether I deserve to be with her. And I am still not fully convinced that I am worth the riches she lavishes me with.

Of course, there have been days when we did not see eye-to-eye. When I have asked myself why the hell I am still stuck with her. When I have longingly looked at other friends who seemed happier, and wondered whether I should move on. To a better partner, one who might make me feel a bit more special.

But just when the clouds of doubt gather in my mind, she provides a new spark which revives the fire in our relationship. Yep, that’s the magical thing about her. Or at least was.

Of later, there has been a lull in our relationship. The spark, or whatever it was, is just a distant memory. Our relationship is not going anywhere. I can’t remember the last time we really had fun. To put it crudely, I am not getting any.

But I have decided to stay put. Partly out of loyalty. Partly because no one else seems interested. But mostly because, somehwere deep in my heart, I still love her.

After all, she’s my first job.

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PS: People, especially feminazis, who think it is crude to compare a job to a woman, please excuse. In my defence, I’m kinda married to my job. And she is no less demanding than any real woman I have met. And equally hard to please.

PS2: Yeah, yeah, you guessed it in the very first para that this is not about a real woman. For one dumb enough to read this far, you do have some smarts.

Jun 11, 2009

Pudhumozhi...

Note: Tam-specific post. Apologies to the rest.


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When life gives you a lemon...

Tie a chilli with it, and use it to ward off evil...
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If at first, you don't succeed...

Join any engineering college, you can always attempt the IIT-JEE next year...
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Let not thy left hand know...

that it is considered too impure to touch the food on your plate...
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Early to bed, and early to rise...

Just don't make me play Suprabhatam thrice...
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All is fair in love...

and that's why we mention it in the matrimonial classifieds...
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Cleanliness is next to...

Madi, Acharam, Patthu, Ecchil...
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Don't cut off your nose...

Lakshmanan already did that to spite Surpanakha's face...
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Don't wash your dirty linen...

after all, what do we pay the Vannaan for?
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Fools rush in...

We prefer to wait in the queue at the bus stop...
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It is no use crying...

and no, you are NOT allowed to spill that milk!!!
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Jun 10, 2009

What is the world coming to...

Man: What is the world coming to?

Old Woman: Indeed.

Man: What is a man to do if he can't earn some money using his brains? Go dig roads for a measly minimum wage?

Old Woman: At least you will have the strength to do that. What about a poor, illiterate woman like me? Slave away at people's homes for less than minimum wage?

Man: Yes, if the Government cannot take care of me, the least it can do is not poke its nose into my business.

Old Woman: Jai Madi to that!!!

Man: Remember the good old days? Our hero, the pride of our state, made some pocket change by hinting to people that they can double their money in no time.

Old Woman: And we get jailed for doing the same thing? What wrong did we do? We happenned to tell people that we can treble their money with Jai Maa ji's blessings.

Man: And they call that a crime? I'll tell you what is criminal. That the people who believed us had money to spare in the first place. Money is too precious a thing to be left with greedy fools.

Old Woman: And I feel really sorry for the first few. They took a gamble early, rather than following the herd, and were justly rewarded for that. That's why I gladly gave them three times the money as promised.

Man: And just when they were thanking their good fortune, and making plans to buy houses and marry off their daughters, the police comes in and and forces them to pay the money back!!!

Old Woman: Indeed, how cruel!!!

Man: They made their money fair and square. They took a risk, it paid off. What next? Force every guy who doubles his money on Nifty call options to give it back? As I said, what is the world coming to...
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Disclaimer: The author does not consider that savvy investment bankers in their pin-striped suits selling multi-million dollar public offerings are no better than conmen with their triple-your-money schemes.
Disclaimer 2: However, considering the author wanted to be an investment banker at one point of time (which Fin MBA doesn't?), and was highly unsuccessful at making it, he can't resist taking such digs when the opportunity presents itself.

Jun 7, 2009

The mandatory annual senti post

There are some days when I stand back and ask myself some hard questions...

Like:

“Just what the hell are you doing on this planet?”

“What is the whole damn purpose of your existence?”

“Name ONE useful thing you have done in your life! Just one!”

“You told yourself you’d be a millionaire by 25. How many zeroes to go?”

“Will you ever say ‘I love you’ to a girl?”

And finally, as a dear friend put it eloquently, after a nice booze session, “WHO WILL DIE WHEN YOU CRY?”

It’s not often that this happens, but when it does, the answers are not comforting at all. These questions, they sting. They remind me of the utter useless of burdening this fragile little rock circling the sun with my seventy plus kilograms.

It’s on days like these that I prefer to lie in my bed and sleep off. Because in my dreams, I am the king of all I survey, and there are no little voices asking uncomfortable stupid questions.

And therefore I slept today. The entire day. Woke up only to answer phone calls from people who tried to assure me that I was not as useless as I imagined.

And oh, also stayed awake to watch Roger make history. Although I am an out and out Rafa fan, this still feels special. 14 Grand Slams!!! That’s the second historic thing to happen on June 7.

The first, of course, if you haven’t guessed by now, is that it is the birthday of the most useless person on earth. An event that was heralded with mandatory cutting of cake, mandatory kicking of butt, and mandatory giving of treat.

Now, normally, I consider myself a very pragmatic person. And little voices in my head have often questioned the futility of celebrating an event in which I had no influence on, where I played no part in bringing it about, where I can claim no credit of making it happen, you get the drift...

But somehow, birthdays always make me go full senti. I become all nostalgic, reflect on how lucky I am etc., Strangely, this time around, all I have been thinking about is how I haven’t done anything useful in all the 26 years of my existence.

I guess this is what happens when you grow older. You go from wishing for Ferraris to questioning your self worth. Thankfully, a little voice in my head tells me “But kids don’t have to be useful.”

And , I sooooo don’t feel grown up. Because I am not. And probably, never will be.

Cheers to that!!!

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PS: Note to self: Never blog after multiple rounds of Old Monk. Your writing, even when you are sober, is indecipherable.

PS2: People, if you can't make sense of this post, blame it on the fact that I am slightly drunk. And fully senti.

Jun 4, 2009

Memoirs of a teacher

For four long years, I taught a class, consisting of extremely unruly students at times. I learnt early in my career that the effective way to ensure discipline in the class is to keep a check on some of the key mischief mongers. Very rarely have I come across a class where ALL the students create problems. However, if you let the naughtiest ones have their way, the rest of the class realizes that you can be taken advantage of and decides to join in the fun slowly.

I remember the class of 2005 particularly well.

If you wanted to find someone, you asked F (names shortened to initials, to protect privacy) . He knew everyone, and with his friend G, would readily go to wherever you ask him to.


J could justify all his mischievous actions with some or the other excuse. L and R were usually at two different corners of the class, while E liked to sit in the middle row. M and T would usually shift around.

K was the friendliest, linking everyone with everyone else. His best friend was O, a very open person. As opposed to W, who had a closed mind.

N had so many image makeovers that she would appear new to me every single time. P usually wore bright floral prints, while H would keep replacing her wardrobe with every new (fashion) season.

Y would keep doing the same things over and over again, while Z would cancel out what Y did. D and Q were two extremely quiet kids, and I could never figure out what they did.

B was the only one who was completely unafraid of me. Bold kid, I must say. He used to hang around with I who had this curious slanting posture. And U, oh U, whose test papers had so many mistakes that I had to keep underlining every other line.

Speaking of tests, you had to control C, but he would still end up copying on his test. You could hardly control X as he ended up cutting classes most of the time. And V, that naughty kid put glue on my chair!!! Boy, did I give him a pasting after that.

But, the naughtiest ones were A and S. I learnt that if you could control A, you took care of everything, and if you control S, you saved your job.


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PS1: The after effect of working on MS Word day in and day out, with an outdated mouse. A pathetic excuse for an equally pathetic post.


PS2: But I did teach a class for four years, and I learnt more from them than they did from me.

[Update: From initial comments here, and feedback from friends, it seems that people are mistaking this for a serious post, about real students et al. Sigh. Suffice it to say that

1) This is NOT about real students, though I was a teacher once upon a time. We'll reserve that memoirs for Teacher's Day or something. Sorry for the serious title and the serious intro. Screwed up there.

2) However, it is not a completely arbit post. There is a reason why those letters are used. And it is not a very clever puzzle or something, should be relatively easy to figure out.

3) The PS1 is crucial. ]