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.