Mar 13, 2010

The Double!!!

About 3 weeks back, a guy, short by nature, but tall by stature, achieved a significant milestone. He had achieved a lot in his career, and this was one more feather in his already rather fluffy cap.

Pic Credit: Economic Times.

Now, another guy, short by nature, and er, by stature too, gets on top of a significant milestone.

 Pic Credit: Shilpi

As you can see, this guy is also very happy to have conquered this milestone.

And he celebrates in his own way, since he has no bat in hand, and he couldn't wave around a laptop.

Pic Credit: It's complicated. I had the pic on my laptop, but does the rights of the pic belong the person who brought the camera in the trip, the person who clicked the pic or the guy who is featured in the pic?

As usual, when such a milestone is achieved, lots of eminent people comment on the achievement...

"It is not very easy to consistently come up with such bad writing. It is very easy to improve, based on past experience, feedback and constant practice. But to maintain the same low quality, or better, get worse than when you started out, believe me, that takes some serious talent."
- said a prominent author, whose stated intent is to be India's 'best loved' one. Though some jealous people hate him, and pass sarcastic comments on twitter, only to get blocked. Heh, serves you right, you uncool people!

"He writes about shit! I makes movies where people jump into them! Believe me, you can handle anything, but handling shit, that is something. And doing it more than once, God, that is awesome."
- said a prominent film-maker, who made a film on slum kids, and catapulted a very-average looking lady into Hollywood super-league. I always wonder whether this guy invented that law about pressure and volume of gas. His movies are full of it.

"You know the thing that I like about his writing is that he is not clichéd. It is crisp as a Tendulkar cover drive, that races to the boundary like a tracer bullet. Plus, he doesn't state the obvious. That's what I tell all upcoming commentators, avoid clichés and don't state the obvious. I think it applies to writers too"
 - a commentator who I thought looked and sounded smart when he started but now you know...

"The best thing about him is he is so versatile. He can write about shit, he can write bad rhyme, he can write senti stories that actually make you laugh, he can write serious things that people get too bored of, he makes up those unbelievably bad puns and PJs. Let me tell you, from my experience as an actor, it is not so easy to be versatile. To play different characters like an Indian emperor, a college student, a hockey coach, and not look and sound the same, it takes real talent to be versatile."
- A famous actor who somehow manages to praise himself while he praises others, and who I share my initials with. And oh, he has no ego. I do.

"And he has been at it for so long. People who started after him have already hung up their boots and play sparingly at select T20 tournaments. But he is dedicated to his craft. I can tell from experience, that being a flash-in-the-pan is no big deal, but excelling at your craft long after people have written you off, that is something special"
- said a long standing actor from Bollywood, head leaning to one side, whose name I'll only translate as Lord Happy.

"It's not what you can write that matters, it's what you can right that matters, ah. Don't talk, kanna, act."
 - a famous superstar from Tamil Nadu, whom I still hero-worship like mad.

"Bastard, when will you ever write something that you can read five years from now?"
 - a friend, who does manage to write something touching which I hope to still make fun of five years from now.

" :) "
 - another friend, who as you may realize, doesn't speak much. Except to his wife.

So, I thank all my parents, my family, all my English teachers, all my friends, the pets I never had, for encouraging me to achieve this milestone. I assure you I'll not rest on my laurels (because I'm too hardy? getit?) and will keep marching towards newer milestones.


PS1: In case you are wondering what the fuss is all about, it's because it is my 200th post! Yayy and all that :D

PS2: Ordinary people scale peaks and go past milestones. Being ever the contrarian, I scale milestones and go past peaks. Climbing them peaks is too much effort. Especially when you have to walk.

Mar 11, 2010

You guys think you can get away with anything...

Warning: Long story. With some pics, but still too long.


Imagine you are ill for a week. Very ill.

And you take a week more to recover from the after-effects like body ache, sudden headache etc. You are the end of the week, and looking forward to a 3-day weekend thanks to Holi. (Ok, in case I forgot to tell you, the story is set in the last 2 weeks).

Your boss informs you there is a trip to Himachal. Official. All expenses paid. By the client. Not a pleasure-trip, but an official visit to a hydro power plant under construction. But there would be nice scenery all around. And you can take some time off and visit some nice places. And oh, not only all-expenses paid, all logistics taken care of. Like air travel, accommodation, food, local travel in nice Scorpio. You just have to go there, pretend to know stuff, secretly ask our engineering consultant some gyaan, and then, over a nice dinner,  ask some questions which sounds plausibly intelligent. Like, "why is your project behind schedule?". Questions for which the client has no answers. So, they say, "Why don't you have some more kheer?"

What do you do when he asks, "How's your health? Can you make it?"

You don't even blink. Or think. You just utter, "Of course. I have more or less recovered. And 3-day weekend coming up. I'll take full rest and be fit."

Then, in the excitement of your trip, you go shopping around for sweater, thermals, heck, even a bank-robber type monkey cap. All set. Medicines packed. Vicks Inhaler bought and forgotten at home.

Ok, we shift to first person. Because I took the trip. Not 'you'.

Day 1: Flight from Mum to Del at 6.05 am. And my Meru cab driver wakes me up at 3.45 am asking for directions to my place. In the excitement, I wake up anyways. Flight from Del to Shimla at around 10.30. Lands on a small airstrip which probably ends in a sheer drop since it is on top of a cliff. Baggage claim is no conveyor belt, but a bench where they haul your luggage and you go and pick it up. Reach the hotel by 7.30 after passing through roads where snow lay on the side! And I piss and duly 'write' my initials to announce my arrival to the hill gods. (ok, no more gross details! It'll be a clean story).

Day 2: All confidential. Let's just say I was given a lecture on "potential energy" and "kinetic energy" (the bike?) by our enthu engineer. No use. Total bouncer. But the other parts he explained, show and tell style, yeah I got them. Am not that dumb! But it rained at site, I froze and shivered in spite of my thermals, and it got all misty, and I got all misty-eyed. Since I am not a photography expert, no camera, only the one in the kala jamun that my office had thrust on me.
But the pics turned out ok. At least for me.

I loved it so much I just kept clicking...

And oh, we had started at 8.30 am and we came back by 7.30 pm. Back breaking on those unpaved stone roads, I tell you!

Day 3: Again, first half starts at 8.00 am, visit to site, see work progress, ask questions. And this day was sunny. Not a drop of rain.

And there was Satluj flowing all through the way...

Calmly, without a care in the world...

And I tried to capture a sunset. And failed.

Post sunset, we were still driving. To Kalka. (Not Kalki. Kalka!). Which we reach by 10 pm. From where we take a train to Delhi at midnight. Boring itinerary details, but I want to emphasize the amount of time spent on the road. Including the omlate and chai and pee breaks.

Ok, enough pics, back to my sob story.

Day 4 and 5: Spent at friends' place in Delhi (one of those 3 a.m. ones... or at least I hope so!). Slept and slept one whole day, only to gossip a lot in the evening, roamed a bit the next day, did a mad rush between the domestic and the international because of a confusion in the ticket (it was an incoming AI flight from Tokyo; it is a long story; maybe some other time...). All done, reached home, saw it was flooded because the overhead tank in the house had overflowed, but just swept away the water instead of mopping it properly, put fan on full blast and slept off. No stamina for paper boats.

Day 6: Back to office. Reported how a nice learning experience it was. Got back to work and drudgery. In the evening, three full days after the site visit, I get a feverish feeling. By night, I am also coughing. Badly.

And now, we come to the part of the story where we explain the title...

I go to the doc. Tell her about the fever and the cold. And, and, slowly, about the Himachal trip. Only to get a 15 minute lecture: "You people take your health for granted. And when you fall sick, you just land up here. If you had consulted me, I'd have strongly advised you not to go on the trip. Why would anyone take such a physically stressful trip just one week after an illness? You guys think you can get away with anything..."


PS: The fever continues. So does the cold. But if anyone is planning an all expenses paid trip to some exotic location in office and I get invited because I worked on the deal, what do you think I'll do? ;)