Friday, December 10, 2010

head over heels again

I was sitting at my table working on my laptop when i sensed some motion beside me.  My little daughter, who was sleeping on the bed, was stirring.  She lifted her head to try and look at me, but her eyes were blurry with sleep and her head was nodding and swaying in all directions.  Her cheeks were all puffed up, lips pouting, eyebrows arched up, confused and questioning.  She was looking so very cute, so beyond any description cute, that i just had to get up, lie down beside her, kiss her on her head and pray for her wellbeing.

Once again i felt this fierce tug of love for her in my heart.  Its a different kind of love.  It doesn't compete with the love i feel for my wife.  Or my family or friends or anything for that matter.  It is strong and pure and all-encompassing.  It makes me feel so happy to be around.  To experience it.  And i feel grateful to God for letting me have it.  The experience of being a parent has been so beautiful so far...seems like everything else fades away in comparison.  I know there will be ups and downs as she grows up, but thats cool.  I want to be there for her at every step.  And i want to be fitter and live longer because i want to be there for her for as long as possible.

I hope God grants her a long, full life, and if not, i want Him to give her my experience ordinary stuff and beautiful experience school and college and work and music and dance and colours and nature and falling in love and children and hot coffee and alcohol and ice cream and books and rains and food and friendship...

She has fallen asleep again, and i've fallen for her...again.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The perfect girlfriend

Read another funny article in Times of India: Perfect girlfriend has a big sex drive!

Not very insightful, i thought at first.  Dont we all know that already?  In fact guys are like dogs in that matter.  Women need the right ambiance, mood and reason to have sex.  Men just need a partner, and then they are ready to go.  Anytime.  Any place.

But reading further i was really amused by the kind of things listed by the 3000 bachelors who were polled for the study. There are a lot of interesting contraditions like
- thin, but able to eat a big meal
- career minded, but should want to stay at home and raise kids
etc.  But the funniest thing is this whole study itself is a contradiction to how men are.

Women get really pissed upon reading stuff like this, but they should understand that men just fantasize about this kinda shit.  Usually they are more than willing to settle for anything female that puts out, but doesn't bark, neigh or moo.

(Women are really really choosy about their mates, but many of them often end up with such amazing samples amongst us males, that they end up wishing for something that could bark, neigh or moo.  C'est la vie...)

Coming back to the article, I dont agree with some of the polled results:
- ability to eat a big meal (guys, how does that matter?)
- be ready to go out in ten mins (let her take her time, she's decking up for you, and you get some quality tv time while waiting)
- long hair (have you ever read any story in playboy/penthouse focussing solely on the long hair???)
- pert bottom (shouldn't that be expanded to "well endowed, good figure")

Yeah, there is some good shit there too, but thats all okay for flings.  I usually advise more caution while marrying.  Thats long term committment.  I would look for additional stuff like:
- an awesome inheritance
- 3 slutty sisters (you'd ask why only 3, but i just dont wanna be greedy)
- super deep sleep (she shouldn't wake up even if i was jumping around in bed beside her, with/without someone)
- an absolutely innocent and trusting mind
- speciality in massage therapy
- interest in bedtime experimentation (sometimes even inviting one of the slutty sisters)
- cocktail mixing and chakna making skills

There, you have the recipe for a good, long lasting marriage.

Friday, November 12, 2010

9 more signs your partner wants a break up

I came across this article 5 signs your partner wants a break up and thought hey, this list could be endless!  So i sat and came up with these 9 signs for women that their boyfriend wants to breakup.  Please note that i've never had any boyfriends, nor have they ever broken off with me.

So ladies, you might get the hint that your boyfriend wants a break up when:

1. You wear a skimpy sexy outfit for him and he wants to play count the stretch marks

2. He spends an hour in the loo with his laptop and a hand cream, comes out with a satisfied smile on his face, and promptly goes off to sleep

3. He talks in graphic detail about the most satisfactory dump he just the middle of you seducing him

4. He takes you to bangkok for a business trip, plonks you in a hotel, disappears everyday and returns exhausted, smelling of different massage oils and soaps

5. You cuddle up and ask him what future he sees for them, and he immediately launches into a detailed analysis of The Terminator and The Matrix series

6. When you hint that you are ovulating, he promptly rents movies like The Omen, Problem Child, The Bad Seed, Kids, Carrie and The Other

Its definitely over when:

7. While on a vacation, he calls for room service and lovingly pats the male waiters rear while giving him a tip, muttering something like "hmmm...juicy!"

But you know you are in serious trouble when:

8. He tries to convince you into going deep sea diving with him, despite knowing that you cant swim, saying forty feet of water never hurt anyone


9. When he plans an ocean cruise with you and the next day you find a little black doll with your name written on it submerged in a jar of water hidden deep inside his closet

I'm sure you guys can contribute many more!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shagged by a rare parrot

My friend Ashish sent me this video and i just had to put it up here.  Thanks boozy!

This is a true incident which happened on the BBC Television series "Last Chance to See".  Excerpts from the Wikipedia article on this:


Sirocco is a Kākāpō, a large nocturnal parrot, and one of the few remaining Kākāpō in the world. He achieved individual fame following an incident on the BBC television series Last Chance to See in which he attempted to mate with zoologist Mark Carwardine. Subsequent featuring of the incident on television channels around the world and onYouTube resulted in Sirocco becoming internationally known. 

In 2009, zoologist Mark Carwardine and television presenter Stephen Fry visited Codfish Island as part of a series for theLast Chance to See, focussing on endangered species around the world. While they were filming Sirocco, the bird hopped onto Carwardine's head and attempted to mate with him. The scene itself, and Fry's commentary "This is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. You're being shagged by a rare parrot", proved an instant television hit, being featured on news items around the world.

A video of the incident was uploaded to YouTube, where it received more than 700,000 views in one week. A year on, more than 2 million people had viewed the clip. Sirocco's Facebook page and Twitter account, set up after the screening, instantly attracted thousands of followers.


The video is fantastic, a must see!

The thing that struck me as funniest in the video is the way the parrot was flapping his wings vigorously while doing it, smacking his mate really hard on both sides of the face in rhythm with his other actions.  Probably in the parrot world this might be romantic: yo ma hen *smack* who's your *smack* parrot-daddy now? *smack* c'mon say *smack* ma name *smack* baby say *smack* ma name *smack*!

I wonder how our women would take to this kind of treatment during sex.  They'll probably bobbittify us.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Hairy Plotter

A few days back i suddenly noticed something strange on my left arm.  One single hair had somehow grown longer than the others and was now approx 4 times the average length of its peer group.  I was instantly mesmerized.  Wow.

I started wondering about what could have made this dude get more nourishment than the other fellas surrounding it.  Was it simply a freak of nature?  Or had it effectively scared the others into passing on stuff?  Like how in prison the non-maggot-infested pieces of meat find their way to the don-in-residence?

It looked beautiful...dark silky smooth and halle berry.  But wait, it stood proudly erect, demanding a more masculine  Anyways, as i caressed him lovingly it struck me that surely there was money in this somewhere!  Wasn't this like a sign from heaven signalling that my hardships had come to an end?  I mean, with the right care, Iqbal (u can see i'm getting really attached here) could just go on growing to humongous proportions.  Surely the media would catch on at some time!  Isn't everything "viral" these days?

I could be on talk shows and advertisements!
I could charge to just flick it out (still talking about the hair) for a few seconds to an eager audience!
The Sardar community would felicitate me in a function where Hard Kaur would perform!
I could become the new brand ambassador for Parachute hair oil!
Maybe (hair) follicle would become the new f-word!
If i just let it hang out of my sleeve, it would be an instant chick magnet!

Maybe millions for the rights to a movie starring Hugh Jackman!  Yeah sure, the dimensions of his arm and mine are a little different, but hey, if Sameera Reddy can appear busty on screen....

But then a few worries hit me.  Would storage be a problem?  Would it flow on in a glorious straight line, or would it curl up on itself and resemble one giant pube?  Would it start turning grey like most of the hair on my head?

So i shampoo'd, conditioned, oiled and combed him thrice a day, and started practising my autograph.  But when i woke up today, he was gone.  I haven't even been able to find him anywhere on the bed.  Everything is looking so bleak now.  Its like a huge cavity has suddenly opened up inside me.  I stand in front of the mirror shirtless, looking at my now pathetic arm, wondering how i'll pick up the pieces.  But hey whats this?  Is the areola around my left nipple turning heart shaped???  Yes it is!  Fuckkin A!!!  Hollywood, here i come!

How snoring can be sexy

My brother is visiting for a few days for diwali, and it happens that i have been sleeping in the same room as him for the last couple of nights.  Now when he snores, its like a concrete drill going off beside your head.  I'm not kidding.  In fact all those construction people who find night time too peaceful for sleep after a hard day at the site, would sleep snugly in his embrace.

That by itself would be okay.  I'm sure i would be less affected by a monotonous sound after a while.  But bro's main feature is the sudden explosive snort he lets out every few minutes or so.  Maybe a little bit of air keeps getting trapped in his nostrils during every snore, creating a high pressure zone which then explodes at some tipping point.  I jumped up and wildly looked around the first few times this happened.  There were ripples in the water in my bedside glass, like in jurassic park...

But this is not what this post is all about.  The funny thing is what this did to my mind later in the night.

A large part of the first night i dreamt of being chased all around pune by a drunk rhinocerous.  Seriously.  He kept making this harsh drilling sound with his teeth and snorted hard whenever he almost managed to get me by the pants.  So basically my mind interpreted the surrounding night sounds and recreated the reasonably closest scenario it could remember from nature (or rather from all the hours of watching national geographic).  Now rhinos can be pardoned for making such sounds.  Having to run around pune's narrow lanes with that big ass....and if i had that thing growing on my nose, i'd snort a few times too!

But the next night was completely different.  I dreamt that i bumped into this skanky young woman at a pub, who for some reason wanted me bad.  We had some baked bean tacos and some beer and then headed home.  She opened her purse and showed me this giant naughty battery operated toy she carried around (which featured in that yash chopra flick 'dildo pagal hai') and i immediately understood this was gonna be a super night!

What happened after that is not relevant in this post.

So if i get it right, this time my brain had had time to adapt, pitied me, understood my need for some happy-time, and essentially converted this unfavorable sound stimuli loud vibrator pitching in for a threesome!  Now isn't that just awesome!  Screw dogs, i think the brain is mans best friend!!!

Some of you might think that the explosive snorts were probably explained by the result of all those baked beans....but i would appreciate if you old farts don't point that out to me.

Gotta go now, he is just about to sleep.  I have to be in dreamland by the time the water in my glass starts rippling.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tamil Thunder

3 favorite tamil songs here. I love the absolutely upbeat music and their dancing is so bloody enthu and fun to watch! Great for dancing in parties when you are a few pegs down. You can basically do anything with your body, and as long as you are moving with the beat, you are probably doing it perfectly right!

I know "aa aante" is a telegu song, but they have a tamil version as well, and I for sure cant make out the difference. And it was easier naming the post 'tamil thunder' rather than think of something to go with 'south indian'... :-)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Spiderman Chronicles

Three fantastic desi spiderman videos for your pleasure!  Buffer up and watch the first two videos completely.  The fight sequence in the 2nd one is hilarious.  You can just see the first 30 seconds of the 3rd video to get the drift.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Who needs a salary anyways!

A dear friend of mine is serving his notice period, and has his last working day tomorrow.  His current employer is a hi-fi financial services MNC, a very desirable name amongst b-school grads, and the natural questions to ask him would be where he is moving to and what is the jump in annual package.  But probably the only answers he would have to these questions would be a grin and a wink, bec he ain't a-movin', he's a-quittin'!

All around me i see people quitting lucrative hi-speed careers to do something different.  More than a dozen people i myself know well have done it, and all the time i keep hearing / reading about many more.  I did it some 3 months back meself!  :-)

Some are pursuing their hobbies / arts, some just needed a long break (long enough that their annual mandatory 'mandy' leave wouldn't suffice), but most are trying their hand at "dhando".  There seems to be an entrepreneurial wave going around which is not a blip or a temporary craze, but something that looks much more serious and long-lasting. 

I attended an investor conference a few days back and was happy (and a little bit amused, i must admit) to see that 99% of the people filling the hall were CEO's and CTO's of some start-up which was in "stealth-mode" and looking for funding.  I also met some VC friends who said they were looking at 600-700 ideas a year!

Unlke in "the valley" there has never been any kind of a support environment here for technology / internet start-ups.  No infra with regards to start-up funding, advisory, hand-holding, legal framework (in terms of IP), etc.  But i guess that's a chicken & egg situation.  Without much start-up momentum, there is no incentive for that kind of an environment to exist and subsist.  Hopefully that's all set to change now.

There are suddenly numerous "angels" floating around.  Most VC's are also declaring that they "seed-fund" great ideas.  But i was also told by my friends that these same guys are currently nowhere close to putting their money where their mouths are.  Most of the Moolah is still flowing to traditional ideas and established companies looking for that next level of growth. 

What we really need are a few great exit stories....acquisitions or IPO's....and then the real money will start flowing in.  Maybe we also need a few Y Combinator styled incubators to up the momentum. 

In the meanwhile i hope many more people are able to free themselves from the daily corporate drudgery to follow their dreams.  It is best to really live this single life we've been handed out. 

It is risky, but so is:
- learning to cycle
- falling in love
- eating road side pani puri


Monday, August 30, 2010

Scrambled: Vai and Chan - Part 2

proper south indian amma

they dont need their husbands

bhandardara trip: gettin cozy

bhandardara trip: all four of us

bhandardara trip: the morning after
this was after a heavy night of booze, teen patti,
singing & dancing by the bonfire

Chan / Chana / Kameeni / Archana is Y's better half.  Yes i did say "better half" chan!  Believe it!   I'm a nice person.  :-)))

Ever since Vai committed his biggest folly of pataaoing her in his first (gasp!) year of college, she's been the untiring shackle around his neck.  And thus she has managed to successfully domesticate (atleast partially) a hitherto un-tamable wildass.  And she had that one thing every man desperately looks for in a mate...a 2400 watt voicebox.  Vai lost 40% of his hearing capacity just in the first 3 months of their being together.

cuddling up in public places...
...but even in private it rarely goes beyond this, right chana???

When Y used to get her to my place to meet all of us, we had made up our minds that she was a complete stuck-up bi*ch!  Even after a couple of years of knowing her over 20-25 meetings, she just wouldn't speak to us.  She used to sit amongst us, staring straight ahead, with absolutely no emotion on her face, discouraging all attempts of conversation with her.  And Vai used to tell us that she was an absolute chatterbox when with him!

But slowly she started mixing a bit.  I think her hostel stint really helped her to open out.  And hidden inside that erstwhile unwelcoming exterior was this fabulous person.  Once we hit it off there was no lookin back.  And like any good friends, over the years we've rubbed off our corners against each other, and also become more and more like each other (i.e., she's become cool like us! hehe).

dubai sand-bashing
here Vai was really enjoying us feeling him up

ganapatipule trip

She swears like a guy and drinks like a fish.  The four of us have a glorious alcoholic history together.  My wife and she are almost les** partners (they say "love you" to each other much more than to their husbands).  I can talk about absolutely anything with her.  I can get angry with her and call her names...and come back the next day with a grin and a "hey bitch" to get a "you dog!" and a punch in return.  She's great.

looouuuuu you.....

She's been with Y for umpteen years now.  My bro always says she's perfect to keep Y grounded.  If he'd got a demure shy kinda wife, he would've become a playboy or a smuggler or hell something like that!  (actually Vai, that sounds really fun, you should have got out!!!!)  But its too late for that.  They have spent around 15 years together....50% of their lives.  Thats something.  I think the only regret she has is that he is much fairer than her!  hahahahaha

chana's attempts at getting fairer

whatta smile chan!

She's the friend i'm most in touch with.  Ever since i've been working, i've been exchanging daily emails with her during office hours.  Sometimes these have run into trails of 30-40 mails.  We've been doing this almost daily, right chan?  Many years now.

And so often when i'm having a really bad day at work, tired and frustrated, she's been make it worse!  She works in advertising, and leaves no opportunity to throw in my face titbits like going on official beer lunches, going to work in shorts and t-shirts, having belly dancers perform in office (yes, its true; all my banker friends, you can jump off your office buildings now), etc etc.  But she's a sport and sends across close-up photos of those belly dancers, and its all good again.

ppl who want the complete set of these photos
can write to me or chan...  :-)

chan, sorry for inserting these pics here
but after so many of your photos
i wanted to end with something nice!  :-)

I miss having her around as well.  Well, our ear-drums are really happy due to her absence, but they'll get used to her again if she's back.  So many people live by airports and railway lines, and somehow get numb to all those shrill whistles and noises.

Chan you bitch, you know rashmi and i love you like crazy.  Now stop smiling and remember to get me a Bowmore and a Laphroaig when you come down here.

Scrambled: Vai and Chan - Part 1

quasi and chana look so drunk!
this is outside Royal Challenge in goregaon...

Y - before he gets started

Y - after a few hours, can shove his head up ur crotch

we were drinking the night before his wedding!
chan kept on calling and bugging him...
symbolic of the years to come...hehehe

wedding day

he's least interested whether she's able to eat it or not

Y / Vai / Vaibhav, is my oldest friend.  We have been together since 2nd standard....thats around....24 years!!  So 80% of our lives we've been friends.  There seems to be no justice upstairs!  So in Wonder Years, Kevin got Winnie, while i got Vai...shit shit shit.

My oldest memories of Y are those of an extremely naughty, wild, hyper-energetic, cool kid.  He was always so pumped up (parents of such kids in the US get them checked for crack or party drugs).  

Jumpin around, playing pranks, getting into trouble, using colorful language that i took years to catch up to, continuously flirting with our (pathetic) female classroom population, playing every sport possible, staying out from morn till night every single day, trading kicks, punches and nail scratches with his elder sister, and generally contributing hugely to his parents stress levels....that was Y.

he looks as mischievous as my two year old... 

A perennial last-bencher, he used every trick in the book to copy during exams.  Not that he needed to; he's absolutely bright, but expecting him to study would be like expecting Indy Jones to walk through cleanly swept, well lit, non-insect/snake/boobytrap infested hallways for his pursuits!  It just wouldn't be right.  Yet the fkr scored more than me in his boards.  Bas@#$%!

But because he was a terror for his parents and teachers, he was one of the coolest kids in school.  Everybody liked him and wanted to be with/like him.  And he used that very well with the ladies.  During free periods they would be all over him, offering their home-work, tiffin, and God knows what else.    :-)    I was nearer to the other end of the spectrum; defi not a studious good-boy, but i dont remember having done anything wild in those years.  And i was even further weighed down by Ninad, who used to punch me every time i said Fuck or Chutiya.  Fuck!  And here Y was frolicking around throwing MC-BC's in every sentence.

We were very thick, Ninad, Vai and I.  Best buds.  Then we went to different colleges and got separated.  We did make time for each other intermittently, but not much.  Then he moved to Aurangabad and then to Bangalore for a few years.  Even i got busy with my life.  It was amazing whenever he used to come back to Bombay.  I used to be so happy.  He is one of the best daaru partners i've ever had.  We can sit for hours and hours having a great time.  Some of the best conversations possible...

er...not much of a conversation here...

Once he got back for his MBA we again spent a few years very much together....vai, chan, rashmi and i.  He's a banker now, well dressed, soft spoken, mouthing investment strategies...difficult to reconcile this with the school image.  Add the fact that beneath all that carefully cultivated devil-may-care and i-give-a-fuck attitude is a softie who: ONLY uses dove soap as it keeps him pretty, regularly uses apricot scrub for his face, drinks pink pink strawberry milk, and is a compulsive cuddler.  Pretty disturbing right?  Vai tune ye kya haal bana rakha hai?  :)

i'm sooooo happy to have her....sniff sniff !

And just when everything was dandy, he moved off to*$%^d....sure wish he'd be back meet up on any random day for a much required guy-to-guy chat over some much required booze.

the day they left for dubai   :-(

goofing around during the dubai trip

he cant stay away from her even for a few moments
something very suspicious about his pants!

Vai and i have had our share of fights.  But i've never worried about any of them.  I've always known they wont affect us.  School friendships are the most innocent...uncorrupted by politics or positioning.  Seldom works out like that in college, and defi not at work.  

Vai you fucker, get your arse down here ASAP.  To use one of the cheesiest lines ever: khoob milega rang, jab mil baithenge teen yaar: aap, mai, aur bagpiper club, make that kingfisher please!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pu La

Dunno why, but reading "Stick to Drawing Comics...." brings to mind another favorite writer (whom, to be honest, i consider in a league above scott), P.L.Deshpande, a marathi humourist known to millions of loving fans simply as Pu La.  His stories are filled with the trials and tribulations of lower middle class working communities, yet will beat the shit out of these myriad "comedy shows" dominating our tv channels. 

Actually my marathi reading speed is quite bad, so i listen to Pu La instead.  For a long time now, we've had these few audio cassettes of his stage readings.  Even though i now have his complete mp3 collection on my pc, its those cassettes which bring back fond childhood memories.  There's been a tradition in my home, whenever anyone falls ill we play the Pu La cassettes...and we feel better, immediately transported to a better place.

My fav ones are:
  • Asa Mi Asami
  • Antu Barwa
  • Hari Tatya
  • Mhais
  • Sakharam Gatne
  • Rao Saheb
  • Paliv Prani
  • Mi Ani Majha Shatrupaksha
  • Batatyachi Chaal

He passed away in June 2000 after a full life of 81 years, but maybe the world would be a much better place if it was possible for such people to live on...

He was also an accomplished actor, music composer, singer and orator, but we all remember him most for his simple unpretentious comedy.  And i guess we all love him so much because he teaches us to laugh at all the ups and downs of a middle class life that we immediately recognize as our own.

A beautiful thing, this humour...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Great Scott!

A few weeks back i made a great discovery.  While browsing through books at a second-hand book stall, i chanced upon a book by Scott Adams, titled 'Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain!: Cartoonist Ignores Helpful Advice'.  Now I've been a fan of the Dilbert comics, and hence of this great cartoonist for quite a while now, yet i'd never heard of this book ever.  I regularly visit book stores, often read up on my fav writers, etc, but had not come across a non-dilbert work by Adams yet, and was instantly intrigued.

It is an amazing collection of 1-2 page long essays and blog entries; essentially his views on anything and everything, from cloning, to the sexes, dancing less like a dork and terrorism.  Bite-sized pieces of humour, with an insight or two lurking below the surface here and there.  I am a worshiper of the fine art of sarcasm (as my wife, bro and close friends will enthusiastically confirm), and this dude is a high priest.  Add to that a wild and volatile imagination, and you've got a lot of fun coming your way.  Mind you, very few of the passages are 'haha' funny...most of the stuff is thoughtful, yet it'll bring a smile on your face.

I guess i was most blown away by the fact that the bugger sees humour in everything!  He makes even the most mundane of daily observations seem wickedly funny.  I mean, as i read i kept thinking, don't we all see these very things all around us?  Yet most of us manage to focus solely on newspapers full of depressing headlines and all the shit seemingly surrounding our buggered lives. 

What a find.  Serendipity!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Night & Day

Dont worry, i have no intentions of writing about that hideous cruise / diaz movie with a similar name.  I intend to generally ramble on instead.

I have always been a night person.  From the time i can remember.  Right from school days, through college and till very recently, even while working, i've always found it incredibly difficult to wake up early in the morning.  I remember kneeling down so often in the main school hallway for the first two periods, for coming late.  All my mallu-catholic teachers would shake their heads upon seeing me thus, muttering "lukk at your brudder and lukk at you!" (my bro was the quintessential good-boy in school, with neatly oiled+combed hair and studious looking large spectacles to boot).

Commerce college was a breeze.  Podar was at that time probably the most laid-back college in the city; attendance was almost never an issue.  Lectures used to start at 7:30am and generally end by 11am.  I used to reach college by around noon, to chillax in the canteen or on the katta, and head home by evening.  I remember i attended exactly 7 lectures in the whole of my final year...

During my MBA I suddenly got quite serious about life and felt resposible about my career.  I realised the importance of starting the day early, being on time, professional work ethic, etc.  But somehow, despite sincere best intentions, i still couldn't help being late quite often.  Thats when i finally realised...i'll never be able to change myself into a morning person ever.

And its not as if i sleep too much.  I sleep the same or probably lesser hours than the average guy.  As day turns into night, i become fresh and active.  Most of my exam preps have been through nights (used to be great to proudly proclaim to friends "kal maine night maara re").  All my creativity starts kicking in, in the wee hours.  I find that i can work better, think more clearly and generally enjoy myself more late at night.  Even now when i'm typing this, it is exactly 2:19am. 

And its not even as if i enjoy the typical night-life that most youngsters refer to!  I dont go to discs and i am really not a party animal.  I'd rather have a few drinks with close friends in a dingy bar.  But without a shred of doubt, things like conversations, jamming sessions, etc, really come alive post midnight, generously helped along by a few drinks. 

Even all by myself, somehow when everyone goes off to sleep i feel a different kind of peace.  I look across the room to see my wife and baby snoring away without a care in the world; its a beautiful sight...all is well with the world.  Then I feel a sudden thirst for the bitter and go rummaging for a can of my fav beer.  Some chakna needed....ok....there is some sev lying around.  The first few gulps dissolve any remaining anxieties and worries.  Now everything is clear.  I can focus, think, plan.  Even a movie would be more enjoyable now, 'cause this is MY time.  Maybe my parents constant exhortations to correct my cycle make these seem like stolen moments, turning them sweeter; i dont know.  And i dont care. 

I'll crash in a couple of hours or so.  Till then its all good.

Friday, July 30, 2010

My theory on Noise for Thought

Have you ever said to yourself that you need some "quiet" time to think things out?  Have you desired some solitude to get your thoughts straight, to get in tune with yourself?  Away from the noise and distractions of the city, into the peace and calm of some country cottage or under the solitary tree on a lonely hill? :)

I used to think of these things quite often.  I felt that if i went someplace where there was a peaceful silence, i would be able to write, to ideate.  Well, i went to places like that a few times, and it just didn't work!  It never worked.  It was like I'd suddenly let a hundred monkeys into my brain.  It was alright till i was thinking everyday nonsensical thoughts, but the moment i tried to focus on something particular, a hundred different thoughts came pouring in, pushing through, clambering over each other.

Our stressful jobs and fast paced lives ensure that our minds are constantly analyzing, comparing, processing, remembering, and generally juggling stuff around.  In fact studies show that a rapidly increasing number of people are having sleep disorders because their minds just refuse to shut down even for a while.  Perhaps our minds are so damn used to this immense amount of activity and all this multi-tasking, that they cant handle thoughts in isolation any more.

Now that's a problem if you want to ideate or think creatively for any reason.

There are basically two kinds of noise around us.  One which immediately affects you, like someone or the other coming and talking to you, your phone ringing, somebody at the door, an sms or an email.  And then there's the background noise, like the murmur of traffic outside, the jabber of people talking around you, sounds of things being moved, etc etc.

The first kind is the real distraction, breaking your train of thought, directly affecting concentration and productivity.  On the other hand, we have adapted and learnt to work well despite the second.  We have got no choice!

My theory is, it goes deeper than that.  We now need some background noise.  Something for our brain to continuously chew on and process so that we can use the remaining bandwidth to focus and really get something good done.  Something to keep the extra naughty mind power busy, so that we don't drift away towards more engaging that hot chick in office or the hot aunty next door or the hot.....well, you got the drift.

So i decided to find that ideal level of background noise.  Music works for some, but for me, it either isn't enough, or then the songs get too interesting by themselves.  Strangely, travel worked wonders!  Buses were good, but long distance trains were the best!  The constant rocking motion, the rhythmic clickety-clack of the wheels, and the fast streaming visuals outside really worked.

Now i really don't know how its gonna affect my family life if i need to jump into a train every time, but the point is, maybe the next time you need to think/create/plan, it might be a good idea to find the right noise to accompany you...


I wonder if thats the reason why so many great ideas come when you are taking a dump.  Possibly a large part of our mind gets totally involved into the all-important activity of coaxing all that stuff out...that it makes eureka moments possible!  Also, archimedes-style, there is again the presence of water...and immersion...hahaha!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Book Review: Theodore Boone by John Grisham

Rating: 1.5 / 5

This is Grisham's 24th novel.  And a bad one.  I have read 5 of his novels before this one, and have liked all of them.  A Time to Kill, The Firm and The Client were really amazing.  Extremely gripping plots, unexpected twists and turns, and superb writing.  Even The Pelican Brief and The Broker were quite good.  Going on past experience I picked up Boone with a lot of anticipation; and was completely disappointed.

The writing was average, at best.  There was no plot at all.  Even after reading 100 pages i was left waiting for some semblance of a plot to develop.  An overly simple and straightforward story line, with no twists (other than the one where the surprise witness turns up; but that's the whole premise of the book anyways, even mentioned on the back cover), half-baked characters and a feeble ending.  And I thought Grisham was into legal suspense thrillers....


The story is about a 13 year old boy, Theo, who dreams of becoming  a famous trial lawyer or a judge.  Both his parents are lawyers, and he spends most of his spare time wandering about the courthouse, getting to know all the lawyers, secretaries, bailiffs, etc.  He also hacks into various law databases and systems to help out his school buddies in legal matters.  He is excitedly following a murder trial when he gets to know of a witness who's testimony would completely change the trial outcome.  Sworn to secrecy, but still desperate to see the murderer punished, he finds himself in a tough spot.


Theo's character is quite okay.  So is his uncle Ike.  But the other important characters, viz. his parents, his childhood friend, school friends, the school teacher cum mentor, the judge, the accused, the witness, etc are all ill developed.  Or rather, the author has hardly spent any time on giving them any depth or substance.  This, along with the lack of a substantial plot, are the two primary reasons for making this book highly superficial.


The other thing which really irked me is this foray into the Young Adult Fiction genre.  Many other authors are doing this because this is where the money is today.  Its like a critical mass of youngsters have suddenly started reading again, and you find so many of these new books claiming 'bestseller' status.  Some recent names are the all-too-obvious Harry Potter series, the Artemis Fowl series, the Twilight series, the Bartimaeus Trilogy, etc etc.  Does Grisham need to do this? 

Even giving him due consideration for wanting to reach out to a much younger audience and doing something different, it is not pardonable that he hasn't tried to understand this segment better.  Todays tweens and teenagers are quite complex creatures, who can handle complicated story-lines (see the later potter novels for example), who are already into relationships (it is absurd to describe a 13 year old who is not into girls - this is far fetched even in India!), who are reasonably mature individuals for that age...and want to be treated as such.  Blyton era innocence cant fly now.

To top it off, the ending seems to be designed for a sequel.  Or maybe we are to see many more Theodore Boone books.  I really hope not.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Drinkin in the Rain...

"Its drizzling, there's an amazing breeze, and i can see lots of boats out on the lake behind my house.  I'm standing in the balcony with mild spray on my face and a large of neat Chivas in my hand.  Couldn't get better!"

I just put up this FB update.  One peg and i was content typing on my phone.  Two, and i just had to switch on my laptop.  haha  :-)

What a combo....rains and booze....must have been one of the Eureka moments for God, like the time he invented boobs.  Well that one was on the top of the list anyways, dunno why he had to go on and make moobs!   @*&%#$...

I guess i've always had a soft spot for the rains, like I've said before.  But all that's multiplied when you gimme a drink when its pouring.  Aaaaaaah!  Sorry for the inappropriate sound, but the feeling is indeed, semi-orgasmic.

I guess its because of my earliest drinking memories.  I started drinking very late, was in my TY then (i know...its embarrassing), in july 1999 to be precise (thats more than a decade ago....FK i'm old!).  A couple of good buddies and i used to sit in The Den in Santacruz west.  It was a dingy old place, practically empty till around 7pm, when all the depressed uncles used to start walking in, to sit alone and down a quarter or two before heading back to life.

We used to reach by lunch time.  :-)  The place had an antique juke-box in a corner, which played old Rafi and Kishore blues, 2 songs to a rupee.  Those were days when money was really really scarce and it was great to have a juke-box that was 10x cheaper than the other places.  The super-eccentric parsi owner used to pass his time kicking his pet Pomeranian under the table and screaming mother-sister expletives at the lone waiter. 

But still, it was the most amazing place.  I've gone there with lots of great pals (soham, vaibhav, my bro, shabrya, ashish, shadab).  We used to sit for 6-8 hours at a stretch lining up bottles, cocooned safely inside while the mumbai rains thundered down outside.  Those conversations, carefree innocent passionate, just cannot be brought back now.  An age gone by.  Sad.

Since then, June-Sept has always been Whiskey time!  Whether on a trek, or at Lonavala in a car filled with half naked rowdies, drenched to the core or watching the showers in some cosy shelter trying not to shiver because of the chill.....that golden liquid has warmed up our insides like only a good drink can.  Sure, the brands have changed over time.  I now heartily recommend Laphroaig Single Malt to anyone who cares to listen.

The only prob is, its all been too tame, the last few years.  Now that i've managed to get out of the soul sucking corporate rigmarole, its time to do something different.  Sure, i cannot pull off a Gene Kelly (Singin in the Rain - the1952 musical), but I solemnly pledge that the next time it rains heavily, i'm gonna walk around my colony soaking it up and carefree as hell, sipping on a couple of stiff drinks mixed in an empty bisleri bottle, just like the good old college days.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Movie Review: Raajneeti

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Many of my friends who had seen this movie hated it and told me not to waste my time on it.  But i also got some fierce recco's from two or three others, which made me go try it out.  I really liked it.


The direction was quite good overall.  Narrative flowed quite well, despite the complex plot and long list of main characters.  The director built a good atmosphere to depict the political fued, kept it intense throughout, but succumbed to bollywood-giri with some unnecessary melodrama in the second half.  I find that pardonable to some extent because we Indians are all quite a melodramatic lot anyways...

Reminded me of a couple of other good movies by Prakash Jha, viz. Gangaajal (2003) and Apaharan (2005).  


By no stretch of imagination can the plot be called an original one.  The writers have generously borrowed from  The Mahabharata and The Godfather, with a sprinkling of the Gandhi clan story.

The Mahabharata linkage is obviously intentional; rather that is the underlying theme.  A little different, yet in ways similar to the linkage shown in RDB.  But i fail to understand why we cant move beyond the Godfather. Countless bollywood movies have been inspired by the Puzo masterpiece (Nayakan, Dayavan, Sarkar, etc etc).  I worship the original, hence direct lift-offs really bug me.

Some common stuff:  the incapacitated Head (Vito Corleone / Bhanu Pratap), the hot headed elder son who is killed (Sonny Corleone / Prithviraj Pratap), the sophisticated younger son who is studying abroad, completely uninvolved with the political situation and yet somehow is the one who takes charge effortlessly (Michael Corleone / Samar Pratap), the foreign girlfriend (Kay / Sarah), the car bomb killing (Apollonia / Sarah & Prithvi)......

I'm sure the Mahabharata piece must have been irritating to many.  I guess i'm not slamming it because i feel it wasn't overdone.  I dont understand why it was necessary though; could the movie have been as good without those connections?

Despite all this, the plot was quite well adapted.  Some twists were really nice.  I especially loved the rally scene where Ranbir Kapoor totally screws Bajpai, and Nana's dialogue "ise kehte hai din dahaade sen maari"!  :-)  

The best part was there were no songs.  Even the romance was cut short to two abrupt and short love making scenes.  It was all politics.  Good fun!  Would have been better with around 20 minutes lesser though, especially towards the end.  They could have ended the movie with Kat taking the oath, but for some reason, dragged on..


Some great acting by Ranbir Kapoor.  He did to Rajneeti what Ajay Devgan did to Company in 2002.  He brought in levels of dark intensity which added the depth needed to change Rajneeti from just another political movie to something much more viewable and gripping.  Even one powerful performance can drastically change the fate of a movie (remember Bhiku Mhatre in Satya).

Nana was amazing.  Gone were the shouting and loud gestures that we saw in movies like Krantiveer.  Here he was a man in control, composed & shrewd.  Arjun Rampal was also quite satisfactory.  He's got a great presence and he also managed to throw in some decent acting in softer scenes.

Two people who fell short according to me were Manoj Bajpai and Ajay Devgan.  Bajpai over-acted most of the time, though there were a couple of decent scenes.  Ajay Devgan was most disappointing.  All he did was frown, frown and frown.  I think he has acted better even in Gol Maal!

Katrina....what should i say....i absolutely love her and am perfectly willing to overlook all acting deficiencies.  She looks gorgeous in every movie.  And to be really honest, i actually felt she acted well in this one.  It was funny that between Ranbir and Rampal she eventually gets just one night of sex before she has to wear a white saree and play Sonia Gandhi... hehehe

Shruti Seth was the surprise element.  She was deliciously slutty in her hot pallu-drop scene with Rampal.  The bad boy in each of us wants a girl like that!  Come on, admit it!   :-)   All the girls thinking their guy is not like that are grossly mistaken.  :-)))


Overall, a decent movie.  Not really an amazing work of art.  Cant be compared to movies like Satya, Company, Omkara or Gulal.  But definitely a ray of hope in the shit that our industry has been churning out by the dozens.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My poor car...

My Honda City met with an accident in mumbai last week.  My cousin was driving; mom & dad were with him.  By Gods grace nobody got hurt.  While on the way to pune, at the chheda nagar signal a truck collided from the right. 

Luckily both vehicles were at very slow speeds, otherwise the result could have been very different.  Also, nobody was sitting on the rear right seat.  Mom was on the left.  All of us were left really shaken up by the incident though...

We keep reading about accidents in the newspapers but it always feels so distant.  Just another piece of the shit we are fed every day through all news media.  Its only when it happens to near and dear ones that makes one realize how vulnerable all of us really are.

I guess there's just too many people and too many vehicles out there.  This is bound to happen sometime!  Feel really sad for my car though.  She's a beauty (much better than the later versions of the City) and has been with my family and friends on countless trips.  Will make sure that she looks sexy again...

Safe driving, everyone!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Too long....

Shit its been soooooo long since i've put up anything on my blog.  Am aching to get started again.  I have put in my papers at Citi and my last working day is June 3rd. 

Gonna start posting very regularly after that....really really looking forward to it!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Being boring......rehashed

Enbiem had once put up a lovely poem called Being Boring by Wendy Cope on her blog.  I instantly loved it and the humor she has used, and i forwarded it to all my buddies.  Here's the poem:

Being Boring 
If you ask me 'What's new?', I have nothing to say
Except that the garden is growing.
I had a slight cold but it's better today.
I'm content with the way things are going.
Yes, he is the same as he usually is,
Still eating and sleeping and snoring.
I get on with my work. He gets on with his.
I know this is all very boring.

There was drama enough in my turbulent past:
Tears and passion-I've used up a tankful.
No news is good news, and long may it last,
If nothing much happens, I'm thankful.
A happier cabbage you never did see,
My vegetable spirits are soaring.
If you're after excitement, steer well clear of me.
I want to go on being boring.

I don't go to parties. Well, what are they for,
If you don't need to find a new lover?
You drink and you listen and drink a bit more
And you take the next day to recover.
Someone to stay home with was all my desire And,
now that I've found a safe mooring,
I've just one ambition in life: I aspire
To go on and on being boring.

-- Wendy Cope

Now my dear friend Mr.Pawan Arora found the perfect excuse to provoke me and replied to my email with: "Good one but I think you can add on to this."  The fkr knows me too well and that i'd grab the slightest opportunity to do anything other than work.  So i stirred up my noodles a bit and sent him my version of the poem.

Now to really get this poem, i'll have to introduce u to its two main characters: 

Pawan (toinng) Arora is a man in his 4th or 5th decade.  His seniority (in age and designation) oozes out of the tone and body language he uses with us junior folk.  Otherwise he's just a great guy....who has an ability to knock ones wind out with a well timed razor sharp one-liner.  But during the last year this dude has lost a lot of his old cheerful nature and has become more and more serious every day.   

Manjrekar is a friend who works in a competing organization, a kid just out of college, typically cocky (!) and smart mouthed.  He peaked the popularity charts at work because 'somebody' made up the story that he was regularly 'servicing' his boss when out on meetings in his car.  You know how impossible it is to let something like this go!  There was a whole slew of manjrekar jokes involving car seats, inconvenient steering wheels, flossing, chocobars, etc etc etc.  You got the picture right?

Well here goes....

Our Toinng Arora is a nice old man
His abilities noone can question
But lately he seems to be bogged down by
Work pressure and traffic congestion

He rarely replies to mails sent by
Old buddies who love him so much
The intimacy seems to have worn off a li'l
Now that we are not physically in touch

Wake up dear friend, goof around a bit
Get out and get wet when its pouring
You're surrounded by so many silly idiots
There's no reason to go on being boring

Look at Manjrekar, a fine young fella
With mischief written on his visage
He's on for a joke or a quip or a poke
Or even for a naughty little massage

He's eager for action and also adventure
He keeps lookin for things more exciting
But God knows why he picked an activity where
He can add to the thrill just by biting
It will help his career (at the cost of his rear)
And surely this cant be called whoring
As long he has a boss and that boss has a car
His life will never be boring

- Vivek Rao