Sunday, December 06, 2009

Show them to me....

Please take the time to pause the video, buffer up and watch it at one go.  The lyrics are amazing.  I completely subscribe to this method of fighting all the hatred in this world.  Rodney Carrington is a freakin genius!!! 



Sunday, November 29, 2009

White house gate-crash

It gave me a lot of pleasure to read about the couple who gate-crashed the state dinner for our dear PM at the White House last week.  I cant help admiring the balls these two had to actually breeze through the layers of 'security' and mingle with biggies like the US Vice-P and the White House Chief of Staff.  The US security chiefs are repeatedly stating that Obama was not in danger at any time, but any of these two could have stuck a fork down his throat if they wanted to.

I am so tired of the millions of hollywood movies that portray all types of US security forces (CIA, FBI, Secret Service, Marines and whatnot) as the super-efficient and uber-cool tough men in designer suits and shades, running around, saving the world.  The superiority complex is of gigantic proportions.

But now the Salahi's have dented that image in such a nice way!  I was laughing all the time i read the news on different sites.  The Secret Service, responsible for protecting the US Prez, must be going bonkers, having urgent delta level secret meetings somehow trying to tide over this embarrassment.  hahaha

Can imagine some smart-ass senior giving a smart-ass speech: "Officers, we have had a security breach level 21.  Code RG054 (thats Roger-Gamma-Zero-Five-Four) has been violated.  Deploy 80 sections of our top commando's to further secure the White House perimeter.  Get all top agents to drop all cases and focus on the Salahi's.  We must establish their links with the Al Qaeda or the Hizbul.  America cannot be compromised.  This is the day we have been trained for.  We cannot let the world think that America can be breached or can be made fun of.  Gentlemen, we will prevail."   Loohoosers!!!!!

:-)    :-)    :-)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Oh brother...!

My good friend Ashish (Boozy) has been lamenting about his status amongst girls as a "brother"....he has in fact let the tears flow quite freely on his blog.  Now this is a situation that many many guys would find quite familiar, probably bringing to the surface some long smothered memory of a dream crushed by an untimely rakhi... 

Females.  This is nothing but another weapon in their hands to control us.  They have boobs!  I mean, isn't that enough?  What do we counter that with?  A beer belly?  Talk about fighting fair...grrrr.....

Having said that (and i dont lose any chance to say female bashing stuff - what else can a middle aged short fat chap do for kicks eh?) i do feel Ashish is missing the woods for the trees.  He is grabbing the wrong end of the tissue roll.  I mean, how can he fail to see that this 'situation' is in fact pregnant with wonderous possibilities.  Allow me to elaborate...

My first girl friend used to think i was pure brother material...and then we dated for a couple of years.  My second girlfriend used to think i was pure brother material...and then i dated her for 3.5 years...and after that i've been married to her for 5 years.  I could rest my case here, but would like to drive home the point by way of a theory that can best be explained in 2 parts:

1. Girls are really fond of their fathers and brothers; and they can be quite bitchy about their mothers and sisters.  Hence it is a good beginning to be called brother material.  It gets even better when you can move up to father material, because then you can
(a) actually say stuff like, "who's your daddy??" when doing interesting stuff, and then
(b) become a daddy


2.  When a girl calls you 'brother material', it is her way of telling you that she likes you, she is comfortable with you and thinks you are special.  And yet there is no way she's gonna admit to herself that she has actually managed to miss out on all the studs and fall for...well...you.  Here's how her mind works: "HIM???  What the hell, no way!  Then why do i feel so nice when i'm with him?  Oh yes!  He's my brother!!!".


This is the time for you to strike and make hay brother, for the iron is hot and the sun is shining! 


So if you are in a situation where a girl is having long, meaningful conversations with you, there is an exchange of witty, sarcastic banter and healthy insults, an interest in each others life, and a warm feeling in the heart and other regions upon seeing each other, it is probable that this situation will quickly end in 2 ways: 1st - "Strip!  Now!!, or 2nd - "you are like a brother to me".  Remember, that you can change your destiny from the 2nd to the 1st.


Anybody who felt hurt because of any of the above (the same ones who take mc / bc seriously), chew on this:
All of us in this country have grown up saying "all Indians are my brothers and sisters" every morning, and yet we have the 2nd largest population in the world.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Michael Jackson - This is it...

I was a huge Michael Jackson fan in school.  I was crazy about everything he did: his songs, his dancing, his videos, everything.  I remember coming back from school every afternoon and playing Beat It 4 or 5 times and dancing around the room like an idiot.  My mom used to almost roll on the floor laughing!  I knew so many of his songs by heart.  I couldn't understand many of the words then, and since that was the pre-google era, i used to make up non-sensical words trying to make them sound similar to what he was singing.

Over the years as my music taste evolved (i moved on to stuff like Eagles, GnR, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, REM, Cold Play, etc) and as his career graph plunged, i lost touch with his music.  But every now and then whenever i chanced upon his songs i would listen with glee.

I saw This Is It in pune.  As i feared, less than 5% of the cinema hall was occupied, and that too mostly by middle-aged firangs.  I ensured that i sat in the middled of a large unoccupied space, not wanting any stupid noisy non-fans spoiling my experience by rustling plastic bags or jabbering away on their mobile phones.

I was blown away.  This documentary is basically created from bits and pieces out of hundreds of hours of footage during the rehearsals of his come back tour This Is It.  50 shows, to be performed in London, had been sold out.  Had those shows happened, they would have been absolutely MJ style; larger than life.  Unfortunately he passed away weeks before the first scheduled concert.  He and his crew had been working on the concept and execution for more than 4 years...

MJ became a star at the age of 6 as the lead singer of the Jackson 5.  His solo albums Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad, Dangerous and History were all best sellers.  Thriller remains the best selling album of all time, spending 37 weeks at the top of the US Billboard chart, and selling 110 Million copies (the 2nd best sold 49 Million copies), easily beating other greats like Pink Floyd, AD/DC, Meat Loaf, Eagles, Bee Gees, Guns n roses, Dire Straits, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles.  He won 13 Grammy awards (7th highest ever) and 22 American Music Awards, gave the world 17 No.1 singles, and achieved estimated sales in excess of 500 Million copies (different sources peg these anywhere between 200-750 million).

He changed the whole concept of music videos, delighting fans with terrific videos like Thriller, Beat it, Billie Jean, Smooth Criminal, Bad, Black or White, Remember the Time, Earth Song, and many more...

From the mid-80's onwards his skin colour and facial structure started changing, leading to rumours of numerous skin surgeries, reconstruction, and bleaching.  It was said that he was suffering from a severe psychological disorder called 'body dysmorphic disorder' causing obsessive dissatisfaction regarding his appearance.  There were reports that his nose had once fallen off.  Some attributed these problems to an abused childhood (he publicly admitted on Oprah's show that his father Joseph used to regularly beat him up as a child).  Then came the child sexual abuse allegations.  People were quick to label him a freak, and he gradually regressed into solitude, for many years making news only for the various controversies surrounding him. 

This Is It was the return he planned.  Despite the years of absence and deteriorating health, he remained an awesomely talented musician and singer.  And this documentary also shows the perfectionist that he was.  His selection of dancers, stage props, moves, lights, visual effects, sound effects, etc, were all fine tuned to the smallest detail.  And unlike many popular musicians, he had an amazing control on his music, hearing and correcting even a single stray note played by any musician around him. 

Though it is immediately noticeable that he wasn't dancing as much (supposedly weakened by years of addiction to painkillers and valium), his trademark moves were as smooth.  His lead guitarist, the blonde Orianthi Panagaris, was simply amazing.  I was screaming along all the songs i could remember, not giving a shit about whether other people could hear me or not.  How i wish atleast one of these shows had happened...

MJ remained a crowd puller till the end.  There is endless footage of fans screaming, weeping, fainting during his performances.  There is no doubt that there would have been similar frenzy had these last tours happened.  I just hope that now that he is gone, people slowly forget the controversies, and remember him for his music.  The one and only King of Pop.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Farting away to glory!

I happened to chance upon a really great blog by a guy called chronicwriter.  He has put up some really funny stuff.  He has written one post about farting and i just had to share it with you guys.  I loved the pic of George Bush and Colin Powell and also the names he has coined for various types of farts.  Check it out:
http://www.chronicwriter.com/2009/10/363-letting-it-go.html

It is indeed funny how we find the act of farting so embarrassing despite knowing that each and every person around us have also been farting all their lives.  Even the bloody topic is so taboo.  All this when it is one of the most natural acts in the world.  And not that we can help it.  When it has to come, it just has to come!  Wouldn't it be great if we could all stop getting so conscious and treat it like something as normal as, say, a hand gesture....  Imagine office meetings punctuated by people bending to one side in their chairs and letting it rip.  hahaha

In this stressful world, maybe it would even be therapeutic if we could learn to relax our buttocks and actually enjoy the act.  This could be a great way to let off some steam!

One of my friends in school had a nasty habit of holding out his hand and asking any nearby person to tug on his outstretched finger, and then letting go.  The person holding his finger would end up feeling so violated and would have to wash his hand a few times atleast!   :-)

Check out this clip, supposedly from a thermal imaging camera at some airport (dunno if it is authentic, but it sure fun to watch):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUHvpszbilc

And completely besides the topic, check out this one too, quite nice:
http://www.chronicwriter.com/2009/10/365-blogging-for-beginners.html

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Aching to break free






Boozy called to say that he had to work all through the national holiday on monday, when everybody else was at home with family and friends hogging on Diwali sweets.  Often in the past he has worked through Friday nights and weekends, struggling to keep up with deadlines.  That conversation got me thinking about the freakin insanity of the whole thing.  Doesn't the "work to live, not live to work" concept hold good anymore?  I have seen friends in equity sales, investment banking, or for that matter, in many arbit profiles, burning out by the minute.

In our whole distorted ordering of priorities, we end up giving such a ridiculous weightage to achieving (or holding on to) a fast track career, that we actually stop living.  We used to have so much fun in college, with little or no money in our pockets.  But then we walked on a programmed path towards becoming an engineer/doctor/CA/MBA/Businessperson and entered the rat race.  No, this is worse.  This is a shit race.  We are all turds in a fkin shit race, gettin flushed away so fast, without getting a chance to leave any kind of mark. 

Even just in my limited social sphere, i know so many young people who are unhappy with what they are doing.  I'm not talking about people generally cribbing or being greedy for more.  I'm talking about the unhappiness resulting from wanting to do something different.  Something more meaningful or fun, or something reflecting our innate nature and individuality.  And i'm talking about the kind of people who can never be at peace with the fact that they are working on a pre-designed job description in a pre-designed grade structure, and knowing that they can be effortlessly substituted by another dummy in a tie and a good shirt, who'll probably do the job as well, if not better.

I'm not in any way trying to suggest that a corporate job is bad.  If you have a job profile that you like and are getting paid to your satisfaction, it can be really great.  Promotions, bonuses, responsibilities, status....lots of good things to look forward to.

But if you are continuously unsatisfied and are pining to do something else, which will probably give you much more happiness and peace even if it is at a lower income, i hope you are lucky enough to have the courage to make that change.  I'm still working on tightening my balls enough to finally break free.  I want to give a shot at some long standing plans.  If they dont work out, i know i'll be able to pick up a job again, satisfied that atleast i tried.

And that situation need not be all bad.  For example, the place where i work is amazing.  Bosses are great (though you cant have the same bosses forever....who knows if there is gonna be a terrible one in the future), culture is nice, have some good friends amongst the colleagues, etc.  This is the kind of place where I can work for 20-30 years without being desperate to move.  But inspite of all that, for a long time now there has been a constant unhappiness lingering under the surface.  I know i have to try doing something on my own.  And i know i have to explore my creative side.  I just have to do it.  Its now or never.  There's a lot of clarity about that, but its still so damn difficult to take that final call....

Why are silly things like losing a year or having a gap in our CV so scary to us?  One of the things we are probably most afraid of is falling behind our batchmates and peers and being thought of as a laggard.  Fk it all.

This one is from the eyes of my friend boozy, and is for every person stuck and slogging it off in a deadbeat job...

================================

Aching to break free...

I get out of my home and
There's an eerie calm on the street
I head towards the station
Dragging my tired and aching feet

It feels so strange to climb
The railway bridge all alone
Noone pushes or gropes me
Or even tries to flick my phone

Even the train pullin in slowly
Has a lazy air around it
No need to hunt for a toehold
Its so unreal...there's place to sit

My heart is sinkin fast
As the office block gets closer
The security guy signing me in
Seems to whisper "what a loser!"

Project reports & Status reports
& data analysis spreadsheets
Deliverables & deadlines
Hammer down like drum beats

The dull glow from the monitor
Lights up my swollen eye sacs
The keyboard rests on the monster
That I've grown instead of 6-packs

I am utterly exhausted
And my poor back needs some healing
But all thats nothing compared to
This deap-seated unhappy feeling

My tired body and weary mind
Are screaming out a warning
Yet, what am i doing in office again
on a beautiful Sunday morning?

The only great thing today is
I dont have to stand in line
The coffe machine, the photocopier,
food counters & urinals are all mine

But I wonder where i'm heading to
Is this what i'd set out for?
The momentum has somehow built up so
Things dont make sense any more

Get an email from an old friend
Has some pics of the good ol' days
A guitar, drums, beer bottles,
Great buddies who've parted ways

I wanted to play guitar and to write..
I wanted to do something cool
Something to pour my soul in
But i'm sitting here like a fool

The empty feeling inside me
Is screaming out a warning
Yet, what am i doing in office again
on a beautiful Sunday morning?

- Vivek Rao

================================

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2 weekends 2 trips - part 2

1-4 Oct: Sangli - Kolhapur - Saundatti

My mom has been speaking for quite a while about going to Saundatti to the Renuka Mata (who is our "Kulaswamini") temple.  Since 2nd was a public holiday a plan quickly got formed.  Since i rarely get out for religious trips, mom also made plans for a puja at Narsobachi Wadi near Sangli.

Bhau came down to pune on sunday, 27th, just a few hours after dd and i returned from our mahabaleshwar trip.  Mom had demanded his presence for Dassera on monday.  On tuesday bhau, mom and dad drove to kolhapur, while rashmi, chiu and i moved to my in-law's place at karve nagar.

Thursday evening we left for sangli in a hired tavera and reached narsobachi wadi by 10pm, approx a couple of hours after the others had reached from kolhapur.  We stayed at Ved Bhavan, a nice two-storied structure constructed by Sharad Upadhyay (Rashi Chakra) for conducting puja's, yagnya's, philosophical discourses, etc.  The pic below shows the hall in which the puja was done; there is also a yagnya-kund there.  Pittya had also come down in the car, and after a spicy dinner prepared by the caretaker couple, we chatted for a while before hitting the sack.


The puja started early morning the next day and was over just before noon.  Then we took darshan at the beautiful Dutta temple on the Krishna riverbank.  After that it was a half hour drive to baby (!) atya's place at sangli.  In the evening we went to the famous Ganapati temple in the heart of sangli; it is really worth seeing.  It is quite spacious and clean, with a beautiful idol that can be seen even from a few km outside.

Since the car couldn't seat all of us, dad and pittya took a bus to kolhapur while we drove down.  Rashmi and i were visiting after 5 years and in fact we were seeing yogya's wife and kids for the first time.  We hogged on some fantastic khichdi made by Rita maushi and then relaxed.  The whole attention was on the two Aditi's, both looking absolutely adorable.  A.Rao is 1yr 1m old, while A.Chavan is 1yr 9m old.



We left early next morning for saundatti, the car totally weighed down by 5 'healthy' individuals and a completely packed boot.  It had started raining heavily in many parts of maharashtra and initially it was very tough going because our windshield wipers were quite screwed up.  Luckily we managed to get the drivers side wiper changed at a small village on the way.

We had been told that the saundatti temple is closed from 1-4pm everyday, and so we took a small detour to see the Gokak waterfall.  What a sight!  Fed by the heavy downpour upstream, the waterfall looked like an angry monster.  You can check out a couple of great videos on my brothers blog on this link:
http://blog.quasi.in/2009/10/waterfall-at-gokak.html






There is a rope bridge on the river just before the waterfall.  It seems to be quite strong, reinforced by steel cables, and one concrete pillar roughly halfway across, but you have to walk on wooden planks which have gaps between them and the whole bloody bridge sways as you walk across.  It was very scary and real good fun.  The roar of the waterfall and the sight of the dark muddy river thundering past below makes it a nicely terrifying experience.  My dad had given us strict instructions not to go on the bridge, and so bhau, rashmi and I promptly went.  We went halfway and stopped at the pillar to enjoy the sight.  Then rashmi and I actually begged bhau to go back to the riverbank and to a nice small temple (see pic below) overlooking the waterfall and click a photo of us standing on the bridge.  Poor guy obliged.  :-)
You can barely make us out on the bridge though  :-(




We ended up spending too much time at gokak and reached saundatti by 4:30pm.  On the way one of my uncles called from kolhapur to inform us that there was a really bad flood situation in karnataka and south maharashtra, due to which many roads near and around belgaun had been closed off.  Saundatti is approx 65kms from belgaun and we bacame a bit apprehensive, but pushed on.  There was water everywhere in the fields on both sides of the road, and the small streams we crossed were full.

On reaching we were shocked to find that the temple was not closed in the afternoon and had just been closed at 4pm!  We somehow talked our way into getting inside for a quick darshan.  There were only priests inside, bathing the goddess and starting the puja.  We got real nice almost exclusive darshan for a few mins and then we had to get out.  There was a brief bad scene when some super aggressive beggar women started harrassing my mom for money, but we escaped.  The pic below shows the mandir kalash.


We were all really tired by now and the drive back seemed to stretch on and on.  The heavy rain wasn't helping at all.  I had been driving all the way since 7am and by the time we reached the highway near belgaun i suddenly started feeling damn exhausted and handed over the wheel to bhau.  We reached kolhapur by 11pm, extremely fatigued, and just crashed.

The next morning we woke up late, had a superb breakfast of some speacial wada's pittya got for us.  Then we were off to the famous Ambabai temple for darshan.  After that were visits to Avi mama's and Nilu mama's places, and then we left for pune.  Reached home late at night, with the wonderful prospect of monday morning hovering just a few hours away....

The whole family of 6 had gone out together after ages.  Overall a great trip.

Monday, October 12, 2009

2 weekends 2 trips - part 1

26-27 sept: Mahabaleshwar

Dd and I spoke over phone on friday and suddenly decided to do a quick mahabaleshwar trip on sat-sun.  I just wanted to get out for a while.  He was on a months break between jobs and was actually quite bored with sitting at home.  Understandable, since his work life is usually quite exciting: stressful days with heartbeats linked to the markets, followed by evenings at some uber-expensive bar, "servicing" some client or the other.

It was a short trip; he picked me up at pune at noon on saturday, and we were back in pune by 7pm on sunday.  The best thing was that we had no agenda whatsoever, and just did whatever we felt like.  I think we were just driving all the time, but since the roads were great throughout the trip, that was very enjoyable.

At night we boozed (dont we always) and had a nice looong chat.  We were anyways jabbering away during the whole trip as a good drive, like booze, makes for good conversation.  With dd it is always familiar territory and we probably said a lot of stuff that would have already been spoken before on some prior occassion.  We are both major cribbers, and most of our topics have that common thread running through!

I hate to admit this, but we ended up doing a lot of romantic stuff together:
- we took a horse carriage ride on the tableland
- we picked a motel room with a bathtub
- we ate chocolate fudge from one plate
- we shopped in the mahabaleshwar market (not hand in hand)
- and to top it all, we went boating

That horse carriage ride was such a big fraud.  We were promised to be taken on a 45 minute ride and shown 10 "points".  The smart-ass carriage boy we got bombarded us with arbit bollywood trivia related to pachgani and mahabaleshwar.  "....amir khan came out of the water here....raj kapoor had a sexy scene there....karishma and amir kissed under that tree...." etc etc.  And from time to time he kept turning back with a wicked grin and asking us "You married?  All married couples come here and enjoy!".  The bas*&%!
He must have said 'enjoy' atleast a 100 times.

He finished off the ten points in the first 5 mins and completed the round trip in 25.  When we asked about this he asked us to spend 20 mins walking around clicking pics like other tourists.  Actually speaking we weren't all that sad....we had anyways been just hanging on for dear life as the carriage had been bucking around like a wild bull in heat.  I dont recommend that ride to any fellow spondylitis sufferer. 

We had one amazing find in the trip though.  The next day, on the way back, we stopped at Parsi Point near pachgani to take in the beautiful view and hog on some super delicious wada pav.  The view from that point is that of a flat piece of land surrounded by mountains on 3 sides and a lake on the 4th.  Looking down, we noticed a surprisingly large temple approx in the middle.  Feeling curious we decided to explore.

We took a small by road from Vai and made our way towards Chikligaon, a small hamlet where the temple is situated.  On the way we passed "Dhom Dam", where entry is absolutely forbidden since the terrorist attack on the Taj.  Beyond the dam is a Boat Club.  The name is misleading as there is actually just a tiny jetty-like structure and a couple of small motor boats.  The caretaker of the neighbouring godown takes tourists on joy rides on these boats.  I'm shit scared of water, but dd forced me into a life jacket, and then into a small motor boat for a long ride on the lake.




The view from that boat club is mind blowing!  Pachgani and mahabaleshwar are really beautiful and all that, but this view was phenomenal.  Amazingly picturesque and serene.  Dd and I will probably always go there on every trip to mahabaleshwar.

A few km onwards, we reached the temple, which is really very large as compared to the small hamlets that surround it.  Chatted with a talkative priest there, had darshan, clicked a few snaps and we turned back.






We reached pune by around 7pm and hogged on lots of chaat outside my building.  That was the first chaat i had after shifting to pune and it felt great.  What a way to end a great trip.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Glorious monday morning!

I see so many grumpy faces in office today morning....and just because its today morning!  Are you feeling the monday blues too?  Why???

Its a  beautiful monday morning and there is loads and loads of work to be done!  Dont you feel the excitement of a full days work schedule surging through your veins?  Doesn't it add meaning to life?  Doesn't it make every rupee lying in your bank account seem sweeter, cause you have really earned it?

Breathe in deeply and let the challenges of a glorious monday morning give you a high that no single malt can.  Walk up to your boss and demand tighter deadlines, tougher tasks and complex deliverables, cause you can do it today.  Repeat to yourself that you can do it today!  Slap yourself tight in the face and let the sting remind you to be grateful that you have a cushy office job and a good home to go back to.

Just think... for the next 5 days you dont need to waste time, just lying around watching tv....you can instead:
- look forward to waking up nice and early after just 5 hours of sleep
- look forward to the restful hours of commute where you get a chance to rub shoulders (and several unmentionable parts) with your fellow countrymen
- look forward to toiling till late in the evening, excercising your grey cells, pushing back your thinning grey hair
- look forward to 5 days of energetic activities like
.......intellectual masturbation to cook up crappy ideas
.......desperate class participation to liven up dreary meetings
.......healthy bouts of back stabbing with colleagues
.......self-respect-crushing directives to juniors
.......and to top it all, some delicious ass licking of customers, seniors and influential secretaries!

So i say, cheer up, cause its a glorious monday morning!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Life...

Does it really matter if somebody likes
These random words, a few scribbled lines,
This life itself is poetry
Those were at most concocted rhymes...
:-)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

All down...

Sniff sniff. Spent the last 2 days in bed with a bad case of cold and throat infection, accompanied by burning in the eyes, headache, etc etc. Thankfully no fever though. Wife was down with similar symptoms from saturday to monday, but improved today. Mom also had cold, cough and tummy ache, so even she's feeling pretty low. Dad was alright till today and was managing Choti all alone, but even he has developed cold today. Choti gave us a scare today by vomiting thrice, but is much much better now.... :-)

I've recovered 50% by now; throat seems better but nose is flowing at the rate booze usually flows at our parties...no takers though! hehehe Feeling really tired bec of the persistent cold, but am not complaining too much; have been through worse shit.

Eyes are tired, desparately need sleep but my full and flowing nose is making sleep impossible. Have to get up every few minutes. So thought i'll post my woes here, and then continue reading Othello.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Coupla old pomes

One day our office guys were just doing our usual tp of mail-mail which started because of some over senti goodbye mail sent by a departing colleague. Then all of a sudden Toinng sent us a heavy poem on tears which he had come across. Found it hard to digest, hence scribbled this one:

========================================

Tears

Tears that escape a broken heart
Tears that flow when friends depart

Tears that are due to bruises or cuts
Tears come when you are kicked in the nuts

Tears when you are delirious with joy
Tears when your girl goes out with another guy

Tears when you are holding your newborn
Tears when by mistake you delete all your porn

Tears are crazy unpredictable things
They come out either way your fortune swings

Tears make you an emotional mess
So its better to shut that tap soon, unless

Pretty girls sympathise with "oh my poor baby"
And that leads on to more interesting things, maybe!

- Vivek Rao

========================================

My wife has a pair of twins for cousins...two really sweet girls, Asmu and Appu. Hardly a few years back i knew them as tiny tots, and they are already more than a head taller than me (now we all know thats not very difficult to do!). Now A&A keep running into school projects that are over their heads (thanks to our great education system), and wifey tries to help get them out of the mess by: helping build something for their craft project / doing net research for some stupid write-ups / hunting for arbit photos or images on the net, etc etc.

A few months back we got a frantic, last-minute call from the twins about a project where they were supposed to write a poem for class the next morning, and they had made no progress at all. While wife was directing them to search on the net for obscure poems which they could copy, i got a thought and wrote this thing:

========================================

half of me.....

do you want to know a funny little thing about me?
i'll tell if you promise to listen with care
its about the best gift i've got in my life
nothing else even begins to compare

i'm a little different from what you can see
you see... i am actually just half
its just half of me standing and talking right now
i can see you are just itching to laugh!

my other half is pretty and smart and witty
my other half is a big part of me
my other half is actually my beautiful soul mate
my best friend for eternity

we share all our things, our thoughts and our dreams
we've even shared our first heartbeat
i'm talking about my darling twin sister
she is the half which makes me complete....

- Vivek Rao

========================================

I dunno how that went down in class, but the kids liked it; atleast they said they did!

Back for a weekend

Left from office a little early on friday. Reached mumbai by late evening, greeted by the familiar stench and thicker air. Loved it. The office gang were just about reaching Rajyog, near the highway. Felt good to see them all; Surve, Toinng, Bidrya, Dickya, Chaudhari....good buddies from the good old days at IL&FS. Had a great time boozing and hogging with them; lots of office goss to share and some old ghise-pite jokes to repeat.

Bidrya was teased on his secret liaisons, survya on being "retail retail" now, toinng on his impending charge as our superior, dikya on his incessant questioning, chaudhari on his special class of roadhouse humour, and me on my knack of closing down most things i get associated with....some things should never change!

Went to dj's house late in the night and met up with dj, rashmi, dd and annie. Poor guys were forced to stop some stupid horror movie they were watching. Dd suddenly got completely obsessed with watching a tennis match and struggled to get the set-top box working, but engineering ch*t that he is, he couldn't....hehehe

But then i got a throbbing headache and just wasn't able to continue having fun. I think the Rajyog guys had slipped us some cheaper liquor. Pushed off at around 1245 am, dropped annie of at takshila and reached home by 0130 am.

Was lookin forward to once again step inside the flat where we had spent a memorable 2.5 years, but simply couldn't recognize the place! My bro had completely converted it into a bachelor pad; much like his previous two homes at bandra and matunga. Was greeted with the sight of a shining electric guitar and amp left by raju and scratched some strings for a while.

Saturday was lazy. Watched Omkara (for the 3rd time) with bro...good fun...any movie with the opening dialogue "bewakoof aur chootiye me ek hi farak hota hai..." has to be great.

It is midnight now. There are 12 other guys in the hall. Lots of booze flowing. Razoo on the guitar. The night is on...


Sunday, September 06, 2009

Morning Beep

Some time back, a friend of mine had got into a habit of forwarding heavy philosophical messages by shri shri ravi shankar. Now, i feel the last thing we need in our already stressed out life, is more serious stuff to read. Instead people should forward jokes, even sad pj's; anything that could bring a smile to the readers face. Anything to give a them tiny break in all the shit thats going on through their day.

So on a whim i started sending morning sms's to some of my closest friends. I titled each message "Morning Beep" and signed off as "shri shri vivek rao". It wasn't really planned or anything; just thought i'd send any crap that came to my mind as long as it was not serious. So i msgd stupid advice, exaggerated comparisons, sexist comments, etc etc, and soon was really enjoying the activity; every morning it occupied my mind while on my way to work, and gave release to some pent up creativity - with mixed results. Basically, i generally got to goof around a lot, writing arbit stuff!

Some of my friends started responding. People would come up and say stuff like "yesterdays was really nice yaar, but todays was crap!". On days when i didn't send a beep, i'd get messages and calls askin what the fuck was wrong with my lazy arse. I started feeling as if i was suddenly in touch with a lot of these buddies, all of whom are otherwise tied up with their own stuff. Really started looking forward to this morning exchange of messages.

And then one day one of my pals wrote back something nasty about these messages, and the resulting argument took away all the enthu. I guess i completely overreacted, as always. A few days later i got completely busy in shifting to pune. Later tried a couple of times to start messaging again, but somehow just couldn't get back to it. Feel really sad about that. It might have been a silly activity but i had fun while it lasted.

Give below are most of these beeps. You have to remember that these r not supposed to be read all bunched up together, but one in every couple of days or so, while squashed in a crowded train or bouncing around in a rick; perspective changes everything! :-)

"Morning beep: Everybody is short, on some dimension or the other, and the totals all add up to the same. Hence it is better to be tall on the inside than on the outside.
- shri shri vivek rao"
(my height - or lack of it - has always been a favorite topic for friends, and this was a comeback)

"Morning beep: The rains playing truant shows that even Gods can be mischevious. Have we become too serious in life? If u want to live long and healthy, awaken ur naughty self; pull down ur neighbours panties today.
- shri shri vivek rao"

"Morning beep: Troubled by teenage trends, parents are asking: is sex the answer to everything? They dont understand that sex is the question; Yes! is the answer. Be positive, always say yes.
- shri shri vivek rao"

"Morning beep: A bird in hand...can be quite detrimental while wanking. Do one thing at a time. Focus on the task at hand. Distractions of any kind may lead to inefficiency...or in this case, a badly pecked peepee.
- ssvr"

"Morning beep: Homosexuality is a complete win-win. If guys run after other guys, that leaves more girls for the rest of us. And if girls start falling in love with other girls, that creates Lesbians!!! (nothing is hotter than that, right?). Support same-sex jingbangs.
- ssvr"

"Morning beep: Care for animals. Stroke your monkey tonight.
- ssvr"

"Morning beep: A friend of mine recently got circumcised. Now instead of a bunch of wrinkles, he sees a happy face grinning up at him a few times a day. Maybe thats what we all need in this stressful world; more happy faces around.
- ssvr"
(this is a true story)

My friend Bansi couldn't contain himself and responded:
"Morning pee - A sex maniac sees the best of everything in life. Be it lack of rains, homosexuality, teenage sex issues, problems in multi tasking, circumcision, lack of animal love & ofcourse having an inch where the world has a foot. Be a sex maniac, solve all your problems today.
- Baba Bansi Deo."

"Morning beep: A weird thing happened to me. Yesterday i woke up in mumbai, but today i woke up in pune. There's a very important lesson to be learned here, for life. If you travel, there's a good chance that you will wake up elsewhere.
- ssvr"

"Morning beep: Shakespeare sd, the worlds a stage & we r all actors. My dear frnd dd wud want to say, the world is 1 big market and we r all speculators. S'peare also sd, to do or not to do, that is the question. Dd eats and craps acc to his to-do list. Point being, even a middle-aged, gujju, stoke-market addict can have the makings of a bard in him. So dont judge people.
- ssvr"
(you have to really know dd to get this one...)

"Morning beep: Relations are so damn confusing in India. I mean, this is a country which preaches incest!! Millions of kids grow up saying 'all indians r my brothers & sisters' every day in school. Now which ones do we screw? And we r a bloody horny race. Now u know why raksha bandhan is so imp here. It is a 'pls dont do me, bro' appeal.
- ssvr"

"Morning beep: Its pouring hard & i'm in a rick, getting badly splashed on by passing bikes & cars. A year back i wud hav been so frustrated & angry as i'm on my way to a meeting. But strangely, now i'm able to laugh at this shit and have a good time! If u can change ur response u can change the situation itself.
- ssvr"

"Morning beep: Nuclear families shd take care while planning a 2nd kid. Having the 1st one in the bdroom is nt very good for sex! I guess either u have a quickie on the floor or rush home for an hour in the aftnoon when the kid is in daycare. Else u end up raising a severely disturbed child, who has witnessed too much...too soon.
- ssvr"

Bansi responded:
"Evening pee - Nuclear family, joint family with/without kids are only reasons to justify having or not having sex. It is scientifically proven that while women need ocassions to have sex, men just need a place. Let there be no further delay, explore your kitchen and bathroom today.
- Baba bansi deo"

"Morning beep: Women r power hungry animals. But God has made up for that by giving them very low intellect & grasping power. Hence, smart men shd giv their mate an illusion of power, (eg: by letting them buy the stupid pink curtains) while quietly running the show in the background. Yet, frm time to time butt-slap them hard to remind them who's their daddy.
- ssvr"
(got lots of responses for this one: enthu ones from guys, hate ones from gals!)

"Morning beep: Baba bansi deo is right, women cant be united. In fact women r most viciously cruel & vengeful with each other, while men can forget fights simply by drinking beer & burping together. Lesbians r just abberations created to give men something better to fantasize about (logic: 4 boobs r better than 2).
- ssvr"

"Morning beep: The key to true success lies in a loving, happy family. Targets, promotions, job profiles, pay hikes, are all secondary. Please dont let anyone convince u otherwise.
- ssvr"
(i broke my own rule about not allowing serious stuff)

"Morning beep: Rickshaw wala's in any city:
1. like to live on the edge
2. want to play racing racing with other rickshaw's
3. have a physical inability of spotting potholes and speed bumps in time
4. seem to have tie ups with spondylitis clinics on a pay-per-damaged-vertebra basis
Smoke & drink but dont rick-it if u want to live longer.
- ssvr"
(its true; i have cervical spondylitis and rickshaw rides negate every medicine i take)

"Morning beep: The true measure of a mans worth is his beer-belly. The more rounded, bouncy and jiggly his belly, the more loving, warm, honest, caring, good natured, good humoured and wise he is bound to be. Man-breasts are a bonus, a sure sign of a virile and exciting partner. Women shd avoid guys with flat abs as they r vile, dishonest bastrds...and probably impotent.
- ssvr"
(i'm proud of my curves!)

"Morning beep:
It is a beautiful day, Well i have nothing to say
And it is my belief, I hear a sigh of relief
For no stupid word play, Will invade ur senses today
But dont look too happy, Or i'll send smthing crappy!
So lets just keep it this way, For every beautiful day.
- @$vr"
(had written this immediately after that argument with my friend; had decided then that there'll be no more)

"Morning beep: Life is full of change & thats a fact. Change can be quite tough to handle (with all the moving cheese etc). Resist, & u might push away the very change u needed in life. So just embrace it with open heart, but keep spending some on cigarettes & mint, or it'll fatten ur wallet & become a pain in (half) ur arse.
- ssvr"
(this one was a complete failure as most people thought i was writing about actual change management)

"Morning honk: All women marrying BEST drivers...end up with bigger left boobs.
- ssvr"
(hehehe...felt like taking a survey in the BEST colony after sending this one)

"Morning beep: I've always heard of stuff like 'brain is mightier than brawn' or 'the pen is mightier than the sword'. Who would have thought that pigs would be the mightiest of all... Come to think of it, men might have reached the moon, but swine flew.
- ssvr"
(this was just after i shifted to pune and the whole swine flu scare started; the use of 'flew' for 'flu' was borrowed from a fwd)

"Morning beep: If ur rickshaw wala today: agreed to go where u wanted, took u there with only a few minor shaves with death, and (gasp!) asked only for the metered amount, give him a kiss from me. Such nice fellows dont exist in pune.
- ssvr"

"Morning beep: If u think life really sucks, imagine u are getting the blow of a lifetime and say YIPPEE!
- ssvr"

"Morning beep: Beer and boobies...the only proof we'll every need that God exists.
- ssvr"

"Morning beep: Why is it so tiring to make new friends when u r all grown up? Was so easy when we were kids. School friendships r probably the strongest bec they r the most innocent. At work its all abt give & take, positioning & politics. And if u r lucky enough to find genuine frnds at work, u'll fkin probably get transferred somewhere else. Life....
- ssvr"
(was really missing my mumbai office gang)

And that was the end of the morning beeps.

This has already been a frikkin long post; i wish i could also put up all the amazing, and often witty, responses i got.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pune ahoy!

A couple of months back and completely out of the blue, came instructions from my bosses that I was being transferred to pune to acquire SME clients in pune, nasik and aurangabad. Logically it seemed like an okay thing to do (not that I had much choice in the matter) and hence we packed up all our stuff and shipped our arses to the city of two-wheelers.

We've been here for almost four weeks now, and I'm missing mumbai sorely. Everything seems different here, alien in some way. Thats quite surprising since its not as if its in a different part of the country where there would be a cultural shift. Pune is a fking 4 hour drive from mumbai, and i'm anyways no stranger to this place at all. All through my childhood I've spent a decent chunk of my holidays here visiting an odd assortment of uncles and aunts and cousins. And then over the last few years, there've been these numerous visits to my in-laws, especially during the time that my wife was expecting. I guess we react quite differently to places when we are just visiting. Was suddenly reminded of an old song, one of my favourites from Sting:

I dont take coffee I take tea my dear
I like my toast done on one side
And you can hear it in my accent when I talk
I'm an englishman in new york

See me walking down fifth avenue
A walking cane here at my side
I take it everywhere I walk
I'm an englishman in new york

I'm an alien I'm a legal alien
I'm an englishman in new york


Over the last few days as it has slowly started to sink in that I've actually left mumbai, the city of my life, and come here for a few years (hopefully not more), i've begun to compare everything. Mostly i'm amused at the idiosyncrasies here, and try not to get irritated. Let me just list some funny stuff:

- the locals here are bloody rude most of the time

- a huge proportion of restaurants and shops open after 10:30 am

- many shops still shut down for a few hours in the afternoon

- shopping malls start their air conditioning only during evenings on weekdays and a few extra hours on weekends; the staff greet you with glistening faces and clothes sticking to their bodies, but you dont notice as you start feeling suffocated within 15 mins...

- there are no taxies anywhere

- the rickshawala's will always always always ask for extra money

- in many parts of the city there is no concept of home delivery

- the famous "puneri patya" - oversmart, arrogant and hilarious - are everywhere

- bikers remain in the leftmost lane till the last minute for a right u-turn and vice versa

- people comfortably drive on the wrong side of a crowded road if its convenient for them

- every few meters at every possible intersection and break in the divider vehicles from all directions converge to reduce average speeds to sub-20 kmph and create one of the most inefficient traffic scenes in this side of the world

- maids, shop keepers, rickshawala's, drivers, etc, glare (and sometimes shout) at you when asked to do a little bit extra; they will coolly let go of opportunities to earn something extra if it: interferes with their chillax time / they are not in the mood / the way you ask them touches their over-sensitive ego / you appear shocked at their exorbitant quote / etc etc.....

- it is very common to see a girl in the drivers seat of a 2 wheeler with the guy sitting pillion

- it is also very common (and very very disturbing) to see large-sized, rough-looking bearded men riding a scooty or an activa

- the girls all ride with 95% of their faces covered with scarves or dupattas so that a hyper-mumbaikar like me constantly expects one of them to whip out an AK47 from an innocent looking purse

- thrice i have seen a biker stop IN THE MIDDLE LANE of a busy road to answer his mobile and then slowly, taking his own sweet time move to the side while yakking away, head tilted 90 degrees to hold the phone

Shit, what a list! Proved again that I crib a lot. :-) But all said and done, the weather is really good here. A pleasant break from the hot and humid mumbai; and since i dont exercise at all, my sweat-pores are really on a break. The girls are quite pretty too, especially the konkanastha brahmin babes (shivaji park types). Also seems like their dressing sense has improved by miles from what i remember; spotted a few bare shoulders and belly buttons; not much of arse-cleavage though, i guess low waist jeans are yet only to be seen at Mithibai, HR, Xaviers and the like.

And its a more relaxed city, perhaps just what i need. Take time out to see the birds and sniff the flowers and shit like that, you know... Other guys who've shifted from mumbai to pune say that the initial comparisons are akin to withdrawal symptoms, and that once i've been here for a year, it will be almost impossible to go back.

Fuck.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rain....

....And so the rains arrive. Here's to 3 months of sludge and grime, wet undies and squelchy socks, hot coffee with pakoras or neat pegs of lovely dark rum. 3 months of irritating, but hopelessly romantic weather....

I had msgd the above text to my friends last June after the first showers of that year. Today, a desperate mumbai got teasingly wet after a maddening summer, and i felt like saying those words all over again.

This season has always been special to me and my bro. There is something about this time that somehow manages to heighten every mood and bring back seemingly forgotten memories. At times, watching the rain from my window, i have moved from exuberance to melancholy in a matter of hours! Men are generally not used to such mood swings....at any time of the month. :-D

After i broke off with my first girlfriend, the loneliness used to hit me hardest during the rains. And then when i fell in love again, these times would be the dreamiest. I have no doubt that the rains bring out the romantic in everyone. It is amazing to see the increased number of couples lined up at marine drive, worli seaface, bandstand, bandra reclamation, etc, taking advantage of these rare oases of privacy and laying the foundations for our continuing population explosion.

The rainy season is at its worst when you have to travel to work in complete formal attire while it is pouring cats and dogs. Its a miserable bunch of people in every office on such days. But the same showers seem wonderful on weekends and on days declared holidays due to flooded train lines! There is lots of amazing stuff to do:
- Playing soccer in ankle deep muck (great fun!)
- Cuddling up with someone special (my dear friend Vaibhav, a compulsive cuddler, is at his prime in these times, says his wife)
- Getting cozy in a warm blanket with a steaming cup of coffee and a juicy novel (i used to do this with my bro when we were kids; purely platonic, i must add)
- Long drinking sessions with close buddies (best times)
- Rainy treks in the Sahyadris
etc etc

I've trekked a lot in the rains, in my slimmer days, to places like Peth, Lohagad, Mahuli, Rajmachi, Peb, Bhimashankar, to name just a few. I remember my first trek like it was yesterday. A few of us had joined the St.Xaviers trekking club on a June weekend for a trek to Mahuli, one of the most gruelling one-day treks possible. I had just finished school and was due to start college in a few days. I had zero experience with girls, and the only skin i'd seen was on cheap x-rated video cassettes where we had to struggle to make out the guys from the gals. And then came Mahuli.

There must have been around 120 people on the trek, half of them females. Most of those were decidedly generous, wearing just shorts and white shirts for a bloody monsoon trek. It is impossible to find words for my emotions at the time when the first rains hit that crowd at 5:30 in the morning. My eyes, deprived from the basic necessities for years, couldn't believe the sight of a sea of glistening bra's and thighs. The rest of the trek went by in a delicious daze, probably quite akin to a cocaine hit. God bless all of those ladies.

Anyways, enough said! I wish all who have bothered to read this far, a great rainy season ahead. I pray you dont have to wade through floating turds or get splashed by a passing rickshaw, on your way to office.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Desire, by the starlight...


A short story

=============================================

She lay stretched out on the sand, gazing up at the starry sky. The moon was nowhere to be seen that night and the enveloping darkness seemed like such a blessing. She enjoyed being half submerged in the water, feeling the grainy coarseness of the sand beneath as well as the soft caresses of tiny waves all around.

Somewhere behind her and beyond the small hillock lay fast asleep the village of Ambawadi, and somewhere within the town was Sada, probably knocked out halfway through his second bottle of country liquor in some dingy corner. Men...she sighed. She knew Sada cared for her. He lovingly called her Ipsita, meaning Desire. But she had traveled far and wide with him for the last eight days at a stretch, and all she wanted now was some peaceful solitude to rest her weary self.

A soft warm breeze was kissing the parts of her body that were out of the water. She sighed again, suddenly felt needy in a way she hadn't felt before. And then she heard the sound. Someone was approaching, moving slowly through the water. She lay absolutely still as he came really near. In the feeble starlight all she could make out was his dark, big outline.

Minutes passed as he settled in the shallow waters beside her. He seemed to be waiting, hesitating. Twice he moved towards her tentatively, as if expecting her to draw away, but then he rolled back again, unsure. And then he eased towards her till their bodies touched, side-by-side. She tilted towards him in encouragement. Their bodies grew closer together and she felt his limbs wrap her body in a sensuous embrace.

They lay like that for a long time, holding on, bodies rubbing against each other. It felt wonderful, unlike anything she had experienced before. She wondered why she felt so comforted in the arms of a total stranger. Did it feel right because it was so wrong? Her thoughts drifted to Sada, who used her often but had never given her this kind of pleasure. She sighed again and nestled as close to him as possible, feeling his roughness against her smooth surfaces.

A few hours went by in total bliss. Then slowly the darkness began to lift, and so did the tide. It would be daybreak soon. As the water began to inch upwards, he started moving. Their bodies rubbed together faster, harder. She heard his groans as he beat against her repeatedly. Froth formed amongst the waves as they broke over their struggling bodies. And then, with a final climaxing wrench, he disentangled his limbs from her and was gone.

The first rays of the sun lit her world. She wanted to laugh out aloud, but couldn't. She could still feel the remnants of his touch and somehow knew that he had taken away a bit of her identity with him. As the tide flowed in fast, she felt all her weariness slip away, and her body and spirit floated and danced with the waves.

Sada rubbed his heavy head as he clambered over the hillock looking for Ipsita. It was time for them to be on their way, and he cursed the hangover under his breath as he labored under the heavy bundle of net and bait. But as always, his face brightened when he saw her. He followed the rope out into the knee high water and was about to tip his load in when he saw the damage and gasped. Her insides were littered with soggy leaves, twigs, pieces of bark and sand. Her paint had been severely scratched and chipped all along her side. She looked ragged, but yet funny, as she bobbed along merrily with the first ' I ' missing out of the Ipsita painted along her bow.

With tired eyes he looked around trying to spot a possible cause or culprit. He looked at the narrow strip of sand, the rocks and hillock beyond, a few other boats tied up at a distance, the line of palm trees towards the north and the dense clump of mangroves in the south. And then he looked out onto the water and spotted the gnarled old mango tree floating away in the distance. Its dying branches were outstretched exuberantly towards the sky, as if on some final mysterious high...


- Vivek Rao


=============================================

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Scrambled: Quasi



These are the various moods of Abhijit Rao aka Quasi aka Q aka Gadget Boy aka DaRao aka SPM Singh (only his school friends will get the last one)....

Q is a software dude of the highest order, a brilliant photographer, an absolute geek and probably the laziest, slobbiest, arse i've ever seen (not that i've actually seen his arse, mind you).

At the age of 12 he wrote his first porn story, built a flashing LED display on his bulky spectacles (through which he peered from below neatly oiled and combed good-boy hair), and fell in love (along with most of his friends) with the prettiest girl on campus.

He has a tendency to spend long hours in the loo (perplexing, since his regular twice-a-day "fun feature" usually lasts all of 30 seconds - self admittedly), longer hours in front of the computer and any remaining time stretched out flat on his back, snoring his nose-hair off.

Atleast that was the case till the end of his college years. For the last 4 or 5 years you could find him at all odd hours at the Ruia naka, mingling with guys and chicks half his age (and managing to cross a few bases with some of them! - both sexes). He also developed a major travel bug, and has burned rubber extensively, earlier in my Maruti 800 and his Maruti Esteem, and more recently in my Honda City and his Mahindra 4x4 open Jeep. His writings and photos, including those from his travels, can be seen on his blog and his flickr account. Quite a lot of it is really good stuff.

His geekiness has matured considerably from blowing nose bubbles during school, to accumulating a collection of gadgets that most commerce ch*ts like myself can barely even operate. His stash includes.....

-- many cameras, camera bags, lenses, filters, tripods, related arbit attachments and gizmos

-- more than a dozen torches of various sizes, shapes, twists, makes and strengths (all expensive, mind you),

-- more than a couple of dozen knives of various sizes and attachments

-- a walking stick complete with sliding rods, buttons, special pressure surfaces and grips (somehow serves the same purpose as my grandpa's simple wooden stick)

-- titanium spoon and fork

-- donald duck pen that actually quacks

-- fisher space pen (the kind thats actually used in space; note: Paul C Fisher developed the pressurized refill for NASA in 1965. The combination of tungsten carbide ball point & thixotropic ink in a hermetically sealed cartridge pressurized at nearly 35 pounds per sq. inch allows it to write in freezing cold, boiling heat, underwater and at any angle - even upside down!; reminds me of the age old "american jet propelled pen v/s russian pencil" joke)

-- mustard coloured floaters (brilliant thing about these is they totally fool you; you'd guess they cost around 400 bucks while they actually cost 4000!)

-- water bottle with built-in infra-red gadged to kill germs

....and many many more, believe me!

He has 2 major regrets in life: one is that for the last 4 years he has had a male wife (who is most probably going "sheee, flop!!" while reading this (sorry percy!)). The other is his phone voice; his carefully cultivated ranti looks are ofttimes jeopardised when he answers the phone and friends ask, "aunty, is abhijit there?" :-D

Most would agree that he can be quite a pain sometimes (quasi in an argumentative mood and a charging rhino are equally dangerous), but somewhere below the layers of body hair and grime, he's a really great guy! He has helped me get out of some pretty bad spots and has generally been there whenever i've really needed him. Quasi - my elder brother and one of my best-est friends. :-)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Beat the heat.....doggy style!!


This dude seems to be able to cool off by airing his..er..stuff. Now, dont all of us wanna be able to do that?? :-D


And this dude has found a cool puddle of muck (yuck!) in the shade of a TATA 1613 to wallow in...

Its getting so freaking hot outside!! And people still think global warming is some distant phenomenon that doesn't affect us directly. I remember, during school days, winters used to be pretty cool even in mumbai. Now we hardly realise when winter comes and goes by, but summer...well thats another story.

I wont be surprised if hens start laying boiled eggs soon. he he he! that sounds funny. So when we sit down to drink, we just need to park a hen in the middle, dab some salt and pepper to her underside, and viola! good chakna will be just a cluck or two away! :-D

Crazy lines

During a boring lecture (predictably!) during my second year at JBIMS, I was feeling particularly edgy, was doodling on the last page of my notebook, and so I tried an experiment. I just penned a rhyme, letting the words flow without any pause for reflection, just letting my absolutely random thoughts spill over. This took less than 2 mins to write. Totally weird stuff!

========================================

Heat and Cold

Whatever we know till today
Is something no one will ever say

But truth is a strange game, do you
Prefer the truth till your face is blue?

Can conscience play a gentler role?
Or can you ignore it, you troubled soul?

Because tomorrow your perspective
Can be twisted and turned into something new

Then above the mountains things will change
This world is not beautiful, but strange

So gallop on, your minds horses may
They will never ever escape the day

Forever they lie bound and trapped beneath
My shallow dreams and my grinding teeth

Whatever we know till today
Is part of a bargain street-side play

- Vivek Rao

========================================

he he he he he

Viral..!

Have been down with a viral infection since yesterday. Bad body ache and fever....what a waste of a weekend. This thing seems to have spread quite widely this time. Lots of people in office are either suffering from it or are talking about their family members being down with flu symptoms.

Took the opportunity of being confined to bed to complete Season 1 of Prison Break, courtesy Surve (who was kind enough to download it; and who is down with a 103 fever btw...). Prison Break is highly recommended to anybody who hasn't seen it yet. It is bloody fantastic! Its like a good thriller movie, only that it is about 16 hours long (across 22 episodes). Good shit, as Bidrya would say.

2 chicks in Season 1; both immensely likeable! :-)

Time....

One of my all time favorite songs. These lyrics really really hit me. Floyd rules. No doubt about it.

Time
(Mason, Waters, Wright, Gilmour) 7:06

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I'd something more to say.....

Saturday, April 25, 2009

On health and stress....

I went through a lot of bad shit, health wise, from Sept to Nov 2007. Was hospitalized 4 times in these 3 months, with extremely weird symptoms which scared the shit out of me and my family. Doctors couldn't figure out what it was, and hence they poked and probed most parts of my body and put me through a host of exotic tests, and they still couldn't figure it out. As specialists discussed and debated every new possibility that was thrown up, stuff like vit b12 deficiency, heart trouble, pulmonary embolism, neurological disorder etc, I couldn't help thinking what kind of future lay ahead for me, or whether there was gonna be a lengthy future at all..!

By Gods grace I pulled out of all that unharmed. When I was down I kept thinking about how I had abused my body with junk food and a pathetic lifestyle, and how I will turn a new leaf, so to say, when I recover. Turns out, its been almost one and a half years since, and I am still doing a lot of the same wrong shit which got me in the mess to begin with. I sure dont want another jhatka to help me come to my senses. In the coming months I'm gonna focus much more on moving towards a healthier lifestyle.

I also spent a lot of time thinking about all the superficial meaningless stuff that I spent so much time bothering about. 'High stress levels' was the one common point all docs seem to agree upon. It seemed so funny. I have a good life, really nothing to complain about. Fantastic family, great friends, decent earning, all comforts, etc etc. And yet I was stressed out. So if I already have all the things that really matter, what was I running after?

My bro told me I had lost all my joyfulness and playfulness that I had when I was younger. Somewhere down the line I had become too serious, too uptight, wound up, maybe even angry. I had convinced myself that I had a lot of responsibilities to shoulder and things to prove. And this was not unique. We see this so often amongst our friends and colleagues. Perhaps we're taking life too seriously. Far too seriously. Quasi and Rashmi helped me a lot in getting out of this mindset. I still have a long way to go, but I'm so visibly more relaxed and happy now. A lot has changed and I'm thankful to Q and R. I'm really having fun now!! :-)

Anyways, I wrote this in Oct 2007 during my lowest point mentally and physically, which is why it is kinda extra-cynical. :-) Just wanted to share the thought with you, though... All said and done, cant help feeling that sales is quite enjoyable, to a point, and a nice deal cracked does give a fantastic kick! :-)

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Confessions of a sales-guy....

Well this is gonna be quite an exercise
On whether i can still rhyme; or otherwise!

My rythms all rusted and wit unused
Creativity has just been a word abused

For i spend it all on client meetings
On instant smiles and beamed-out greetings

"Sir you really have a beautiful office!"
or "Our competition can never ever top this!"

I talk about a beautiful long-term relation
While trying not to work out the SIP calculation :-)

"Ha Ha! Sir that was a really good one!"
& "more benefits? why not! consider it done..."

Constant agreements and contrived pleasantries
Smile on the face; both eyes on the proc fees

We're selling to the clients & then selling to credit
We're selling to the boss, "look how i did it!"

Sitting at home, watching television
While the brains churning out a pipeline revision

Instead of pretty ladies with bodies perfected
My dreams are now full of all clients prospected

Amid songs of collateral values and ageing of debtors
I'm down on my knees proposing with sanction letters!

In this chasing of numbers, this whole wild rush
Am i forgetting myself a wee bit too much?

Chill out, old buddy! You've a long way to go!
Whats the point of a great act if you dont last the show???

So i'm gonna sit more often with my pen and my paper
And try to put together, a song or a caper

I've no idea whether i'll be able to write
But with some beer and some music, i just possibly might! :-)

- Vivek Rao

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Oh, glorious weekend....

Its a beautiful saturday afternoon. I've planted my lasy arse in our most comfortable armchair, and its been there for a couple of hours now. This is what i love about saturdays. They seem to stretch on.... Knowing that even tomorrow is a holiday is such an lovely feeling!! You know there are hours and hours to go before you have to don the stupid formals and tie again, and you can actually begin to unwind.

I always seem to get monday blues from sunday afternoon onwards. Sundays are bloody deceitful. They promise a full 24 hours, but seem to vanish in something like 12! And then desperately attempting to enjoy the last few hours of an ever dwindling weekend are hardly conducive to chillaxing.... :-)

I try not to let saturdays be productive in any way. It is near sacrilege to list up chores and tasks to finish when you can actually stretch out in a cool spot for hours and try to out-stare a friendly gecko on the ceiling. Then there are movies to watch (400 GB's of good movies waiting on my hard drive), and reading to catch up on.

Just started reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, but my eyes keep returning to The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami on my bookshelf, that Ubaid has heartily recommended. Have been thinking of reading that one for some time now.

Anyone looking for some soft, soul reading must try Stretching Lessons by Sue Bender. Its an amazing book that really speaks to you. Its a book to read slowly, and contemplate upon. Come to think of it, the last 3 books i've read were slow ones; its time i pick up something fast and exciting. Maybe Haruki will have to wait a while. I've read just the first book of the Bourne series (i know, i know, thats shameful), and perhaps The Bourne Supremacy will be perfect, once i'm done with The Secret.

Well, i've typed for 15 minutes now, and thats the max exertion i'm planning for today. It is time for my weekend afternoon can of Kingfisher, and then some sleep. Adios amigos!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sleepfully yours,

Its a frighteningly boring day at office today. Frightening because we just had a sales review meeting in the morning today, and the numbers were looking really bleak. So with an overcast mood on a bright sunny day, I returned to my desk with a resolve to get things moving. But seems like today is one of those days when you just cant help feeling lethargic no matter what you do. Haven't slept much last night, and am feeling damn sleepy. Tryin to stay awake by chatting with chana and typing this post.

I usually have great trouble fighting sleep during trainings and product presentations. Dunno what it is about these things, but i get instantly sleepy. And sometimes the speakers just drone on and on giving gyaan. I sleepily worry about getting caught, then imagine how the speaker must be gettin pissed seeing my glazed eyes and my intermittent and untimely nods and shakes, and then i get this unbearable urge to giggle. Though i snortle and choke over my suppressed laugh into momentary wakefulness, i'm in deeper shit by now as many eyes stare at me. Thankfully its not long before i'm half snoring again.

I'd written this during a ghastly presentation on some system integration, as a desperate attempt to stay awake:

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Zzzzzzz....

integration....phintegration....
i dunno what he's tellin me
at absolutely random moments
i nod my head all knowingly

eyes are heavy, sinkin fast
i force them open time to time
the murmers are now homogeneous
cant make out a single line

oops! did i just jerk awake?
how long was i jus nodding off?
the talking guy is starin hard
i nod rapidly, squirm and cough

its a losing battle; not bravely fought
sleep is a bitch with stealthy charms
may i stretch out 'tween the chairs for a while?
i'm desperate to throw down arms...

- Vivek Rao

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First post....

After just a few years of procrastination, i finally get down to my first blog post....!! As often as my lazy arse will allow me to, I hope to accumulate here some random scribblings, abstract thoughts, and by freak chance maybe even a few piddle-drops of wisdom!! :-D

I've wanted to do this for long, and i'm happy to begin. Ganapati Bappa Morya!!

Luke warm beer...... It signifies a kind a pessimistic / sarcastic humour-tinged take on life. A tone similar to SSDD (same shit different day!). It also signifies the sobering effect of practical realities on perfect happiness.

Allow me to elaborate. When i was in college, my definition of heaven was pretty simple.....a steady supply of amazing, chilled beer, accompanied by hot pakora's or bhurji to hog on. But then i fkd up my throat and was confronted with an apalling choice; i had to quit beer or.....gasp!.....drink it at room temperature. So its been more than 7 years now that i'm drinking luke warm beer. Over the years it has actually stopped tasting like bottled urine and I get the same old wonderful feeling seeping through my body and soul when the first delicious mouthfuls get in.

But even though i've sort of made my peace with this luke warm beer, there are times when a waiter will look at me like i'm nuts, and shaking his head, fetch a sun-heated bottle from the window display. And then my eyes close, and like a streaker at a tennis game, that long smothered memory of an icy tingle on my tongue slips through the guards, and i say, what the fuck......