Shopping blues!!

Whew!! the weekend is over. Hope you all had a great one. This was the penultimate weekend of this year, and it couldn't have been any better for me. Biwi did a lot of shopping, and I, well, let her do a lot of shopping.

I told ya, the weekend couldn't have been better.

There is no sight more beautiful than seeing your wife's dazzling smile after she gets that cute bag or the smart top. You can be damn sure you are in for a great dinner. Mmmmmm... yummy!!

By the way, have you ever noticed the guys waiting for their wives in front of the ladies trial rooms. Its a sight to behold. Pandemonium and yet an elegant display of patience.

I mean how much more patience do you need from a guy who stands half an hour for his wife to try 15 different tops to decide that MAYBE she has overgrown her XL size and needs the services of the "Big Women" collection.

There are different sub-species in the waiting population. This division is mostly decided by the hairlines and waistlines of the populace. Or maybe the age of the relationship. Lets take each of them one by one:

The Gadget Gurus: These guys are submerged into their mobiles. They may well be playing Snakes, but they give an impression of reading the most important mails of their lives. When their better halves come out to showcase their "hunt", these guys will simply give a glance (one eye never leaves the mobile screen) and give a quick disenchanted nod. As if it was seriously jeopardising their conquests.

The Babysitters: There is always a circus going around, people cajoling their bitchy-2-feet-tall-new-generations not to break anything.

"Johny!! Come here". "Johny!! Don't touch that". "Johny!! Heel" .

The Ayahs: Guys are very accommodating. They find the smallest corners on the sofa and start feeding their newly borns. While their "liberated" wives roam around in the supermarket, these supermoms take care of the kids. Talk about motherly affections!!

The Oglers: These are the worst of the lot. They look at every gal coming out of the trial rooms except their wives. While their wives may be showing them the new XXL size salwar suit that she liked, they will be looking discretely as the girl behind in the halter neck.

"Ae ji! Hows it?". "Mmmmmm... Seductive."

The Fashionistas: They will choose every thing for their wives. They have opinions about every thing, the polkas, the boat necks, the tanks, the capris..... They will roam around the shop and get all the new fashion for their wives.

The Spectators: People like me. They will look around and thank their stars for not being like the others. Lucky me! But then they know, "Mera Number bhi ayega".

The CAT Fiasco

"We would like to assure all concerned that the outcome of the process on completion would be fair to all candidates." So ends one of the most infamous press releases of recent times.

Well, to be frank, I appeared for CAT on 1st December and found everything nice and easy. Lucky me. Coming out of the exam hall, with around 45 attempts, I was almost happy. Only till I heard people attempting 60 with 10-15 questions straight out of last years' or last slots' papers. Damn! I was heart broken.

For the last few days, all these discussions about repeating questions, blatant cheating, already marked answers and what-nots have been plaguing my mind. Has the CAT gone to the dogs?

Not that I am desperately looking for an admission in the IIMs or that I am in need for a change from my job, but screwing up the CAT for no fault of yours definitely hurts.

Starting CBT was a brave attempt by the IIMs and I am sure that's the only way forward. But then bungling up the best exam of the country is not acceptable too. IIMs and Prometric must accept that they have fucked up BIG time. They may not take a retest, but they must accept that they have faltered the first time. Coming out in open honestly about their mistakes will help students regain trust in them.

They should also come out with a well defined strategy of how they plan to normalise the scores, keeping in context all the allegations of cheating and repeating questions. Atleast come out with the marking schema, goddamnit!!

We all know this is life, and in life shit happens. But then why so much secrecy by the IIMs about it!

International Men's Day

"Yippee Ki-Yi-Yay motherfucker"... Screams one of the most memorable characters of all times. John McClane epitomizes manhood like no one ever did. He is a straight talking, rough on the edges, don't-you-ever-fuck-with-me kinda guy. He takes all that comes with just one expression on his face "I will live through it all. But will ya?".

We men (at least most of us) are just like that. Maybe, scratch that, definitely, we don't destroy helicopters with a car. But we do take all that comes head on. We make a living out of making crazy look easy. Hell, we drive to office every day in Bangalore's traffic, don't we?

Still, men are the most used and abused species on this planet. Don't believe me? Check out my arguments:

  1. We work all through our lives and yet are called lazy. And yes, playing video games or pool is serious work.
  2. We for the cable, the TV and the couch but still are not allowed to watch any matches.
  3. We are required to take our women for shopping, approve their choices and then take the blame for them not fitting in the dress.
  4. We are deemed to have our brains between our legs.
  5. We are required to lower our eyes whenever a gorgeous specimen passes by. Even if its in a bikini. Damn!
  6. We are ....
"Enough with the complaining", shouts my man. Okay, okay, I stop here.

Anyways, to give us men a chance to redeem our image in this world, we have decided to give ourselves a special day every year. Its the "International Men's Day". Celebrated on 19th November, it tries to observe the following broad objectives :
  • Celebrate manhood and the wonderful positive and valuable contributions our men, young men, and boys make to our communities and to our societies
  • Promote and Support gender equality, encouraging men to address responsibly and positively the challenges facing them in society
  • Demonstrate strength of character and courage in meeting the challenges that men face in society and in contributing to building stronger and better communities, where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential.
  • Highlighting positive male role models, not just movie stars and sports men but everyday, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.
So, guys. Go ahead. Give yourselves a round of applause. Its time to celebrate being you. Grab your beer mugs and sing out loud.

And gals, give your man a break. Let him enjoy his life. Just for a day maybe. Take him to a good movie (which means no rona-dhona movie). Make him feel special, the way he makes you feel every day.

I, on my part, am going to watch all the four Die Hard movies tonight. Go on.. Make my day Bruce.

(Objectives and images courtesy IMD website)

I am sorry

I loved her. I fought with her like crazy.

I made her laugh till she had tears in her eyes. And I made her cry when she knew I lied about quitting smoking.

I cared for her like my baby. I fought for what I thought my own "private space".

I made love to her till we dropped dead, exhausted. I cheated on her when she was out of town.

I forgot some of my promises. I kept the ones that mattered.

And today I buried her. I never got a chance to say how much I loved her. That I was sorry I wasn't there for her when she really needed me. That I will cry for her all my life.

Damn!! Life is not fair... its not fair at all.

p.s. This one was written after I saw one of those rom-coms. You know, where the protagonist's love dies and he gets disillusioned by all that happened. I really felt for this guy. Imagine what a great void would be there in your life, if that happened to you.

BTW the protagonist of this post is definitly not me. No man... I would go heaven and hell before letting my love die on me.

I wonder

Promising, committing, caring, cajoling
I wonder, where is the part where I am loving?
Waiting, contemplating, pondering, running
I wonder, where is the part where I am living?

A Long Long Journey

Back after a long long journey to my homeland BIHAR. Well, now my hometown is a part of the decade old state Jharkhand, but I still like to say, "I am from Bihar". Adds a sudden twist to the conversation and strikes fear in the heart of the other person.

For the past 18 days, I have been travelling by train, bus, car, auto rickshaw, cycle rickshaw, motorbike, bicycle and on foot. Altogether I travelled approximately 5500 kilometers in this trip. I met almost all my relatives. It was fun. It was exhausting.

The adventure started a tad too early when we found out that me and biwi will be sharing the same seats. There is this system with the Indian Railways wherein they give one berth to two people. They pocket both their ticket charges and pretend as if they have obliged us by letting us travel on their holy trains. Quite a scam.

Anyways, we made the best use of our resources. Me sleeping the whole journey and biwi guarding our luggage. Not exactly a chivalrous attitude from me but then I had not slept for two nights before that. I would like to thank biwi a ton for the pain she took those two days.

Reached home. Relaxed for some time. Biwi went in the kitchen to help mom and I went out to meet my childhood friends. Being with your chaddi friends is quite a different feeling altogether. You never feel embarrassed to talk about anything under the sun. We had loads and loads of bakar for full 5 days. Talked about our school days and what happened after that. Am missing those 5 days already.

Had a wonderful Diwali with my family. After some 10 years, I was back at home with both my younger brothers for Diwali. Sharing time with your family is one thing you never desire in you childhood, abhor in your adolescence and miss a lot when you are out of your home. It felt awesome to be together after so long.

We went to biwi's home (Jamshedpur) after Diwali. Going to sasural is a treat for any Indian male. You get the treatment deserved by a king. And that too without having to do anything. Sometimes I feel awkward with the respect and pompousness with which I am treated there. I am never treated so royally anywhere else. But then I go with the flow and, invariably, always enjoy my stay there.

From there we drove down to my Dadighar, Ranchi. Met all my relatives there. Was a very happy reunion. Saw dadi after a long gap of 2 years (after my marriage). She had not been keeping well and looked very frail. Hope I can see her again.

Driving back from Ranchi to Jamshedpur through the Maoists infected jungle in the night was an experience in itself. I had strict and clear instructions from Papaji. Drive continuously without any stops and don't even slow down for the potholes and the rough patches. Was an exciting journey.

Next day we left back for Deoghar, my place, as we had to go to my naani's village for Chath. Chath is the all important festival in Bihar and I was there for it after a gap of almost 8-9 years. This trip for Chath requires another post and I will write down my experiences asap.

Coming back from my naani's place, biwi decided to go back to Jamshedpur for a week or so before returning to Bangalore. She had some work there.

So there I was two days alone in the train. But it was a blessing in disguise. I finished reading two books I had wanted to read for a long time now - 'Straight from the gut' and 'Loosing my Virginity'. I will be posting my reviews in a day or so.

It has been three days since I have reached back in Bangalore but I am still to come out of the hangover of my long journey. Hope to come out of it over the weekend and get my life back on track.

What is Friendship?

Today I read an amusing mail. It described what is friendship all about in a very cool way.

Check it out:
Friendship is not about "I am sorry";
its about "abe saale galti teri thi"

Friendship is not about "I am there for u";
its about "kahan marr gaya saale"

Friendship is not about "I understand";
its about "sab teri wajah se hua manhoos"

Friendship is not about "I care for you";
its about "kamino tumhe chod ke kahan jaunga"

Friendship is not about "I am happy for ur success";
its about "chal ab party de"

Friendship is not about "I love that girl";
its about "saalo izzat se dekho tumhari bhabhi hai"
I have also experienced these and some more (sometimes the hard way, with a whack on the bum). So I decided to spread my gyan among all agyanis of the world.

Here is what I have learnt from my friends:
Friendship is not about "Don't worry, failure is a part of life";
its about "baanki sab to theek hai... Mona mein ek jabardast movie lagi hai, kal ka morning show chalein?"

Friendship is not about "Don't do that";
its about "kar le yaar... apne baap ka kya jata hai"

Friendship is not about "Don't go there";
its about "chal chalte hain.. mauj aayegi"

Friendship is not about "Don't be a nag";
its about "saale agle baar bola to @#!$@ tod loonga"

Friendship is not about "Don't feel hurt. I never meant it that way.";
its about "saale... aansoo kya baha raha hai. senti marna band kar"

Friendship is not about "Sorry for being late";
its about "Kaminon... pata tha mujhe. Mere aane se pehle hi shuru kar doge sab."

Friendship is not about "Hope I am not disturbing you so late in the night";
its about "abbe... tere liye khushkhabri hai. Supreme Court ne gay rights ko Hari jhandi dikha di hai."

Friendship is not about "Sorry for not calling you for so many years";
its about "aur bhai... suna bataye bina shadi kar li aur ab to bachche ki bhi taiyaari mein ho? Saale, kamine, @#$%^&&**%#@$#@@$$"
Please share your gyan too.

I am the new face of the blogging community!!

Damn Cool!! I knew my day would come. People would know me and acknowledge my writing skills. Oh! I love my life!!

Today when I saw this girl reading 'The Blogger' magazine with my snap on the front page, I couldn't believe my eyes. Please pardon the low clarity of the photo... it was taken on my mobile.

Thanks a lot to all those who read my blog!!

Gandhi minus the Mahatma

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi - one of the most enigmatic personalities in the history. A man with different shades when viewed at different angles. Well, he was human after all.

Different people had different perceptions about Gandhi. I, on my part, have had different views about him at different stages of my life.

When I was younger, I had loads of issues with Gandhi. Why did he not save Bhagat Singh? Why did he let the partition happen? Why did he not support Netaji? These questions had skewed my perceptions about Gandhi. Believe it or not, I was a part of that population of India who hated Gandhi.

Now I think of him as a man who was a great human being. He may or may not have been a great leader for our nation. I am still trying to figure out if his policies gave India any better results.

He was a man of many names : Bapu, Gandhiji, Nanga Fakir, Mahatma. But the name that really stuck to him was Mahatma, a great soul (he was first called a mahatma by Rabindranath Tagore). Was he really a Mahatma, a saint? I don't think so. Nor did he, I suppose.

He was a common man (the mango man, aam admi), with an uncommon resolution. He made his mistakes. He was proud. He was honest. He was adamant. He was understanding. He was naked. In short he was all that we are, a normal human being.

But then what made him the superhuman we are supposed to think him to be? The press? The Congress? The skewed historians?

Dunno for sure. India needed a hero to look upto after Independence. Every fledgling country does. So we had our very own George Washington. History was written according to the directives of the rulers of the land (the Congress) and the historians, true minstrels that they are, godified Gandhi. Maybe Gandhi would have liked this. I would like to think otherwise, but then who knows. He didn't stop the angrejs from executing the non-believers in non-violence (the Bhagat Singh fiasco), did he?

Hmmmm.. so Gandhi was not a real mahatma. Why the hell then did so many people followed in his wake?

My answer to this question would be his honesty. I came to this understanding when I read his "My Experiments with Truth". He tells us the truths that demean him, his character and are bound to hurt his family and friends. He tells about all his mistakes from stealing to indulging with his wife when his father was dying. All these when he knew he was being followed by millions of people.

It was written in 1920s when Gandhi had become a public figure. People had started believing in him and his principles. To write an autobiography of such sort could have been a big political blunder (a la "Jinnah" by Jaswant Singh). But still he went ahead with it. Ah! History would have been rewritten if the Nehrus and Patels would have been Adwanis and Singhs.

What my point here is. it takes immense courage to do so. Specially when you know people are looking up to you as their mentor. I salute the man for the truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth principle that he followed.

According to Gandhi (in the Introduction to his book):

"It is not my purpose to attempt a real autobiography. I simply want to tell the story of my numerous experiments with truth, and as my life consists of nothing but those experiments, it is true that the story will take the shape of an autobiography..."

I believe these are the words of a man who considers himself to be honest to his conscience. These are the words only Gandhi could have wrote.

I know Gandhi had his share of controversies. Sure he had his shortcomings. But still, he was better than the breed of gullible politicians we have today. Maybe we need a Gandhi again to clear this mess we have managed to pull ourselves in.

The Lost Symbol - A big apology

The Secret is how to die... proclaims the first line of the book. But then, may be, Robert Langdon has forgotten how to die. He rises from the ashes again this September 15th and raises more questions than he answers.

I once wrote about a book :

The book is a very big promise broken down by the commercializing tendencies of the increasingly capitalistic world.

I feel this is apt for Dan Brown's new novel. Dan, probably in search of making a quick buck after the humongous success of The Da Vinci Code OR under pressure from his publishers, is back with 'The Lost Symbol'.

'The Lost Symbol' promises a chase against time through the chambers, tunnels and temples of Washington DC.

But all it delivers is a huge and arbitrary discourse on the lost wisdom of the Ancients. It reads more like an encyclopedia on the symbols of the Old than a thriller which is unputdownable.

My main concerns with this new installment from him are:

1) This time Robert Langdon is just a caricature of what he was in the older novel. No doubts he solves ancient puzzles but the solutions are very mundane and not exciting as they were once.
2) The premise over which the novel is built is not so convincing. Does a search which ends in finding nothing (both allegorically and physically) really deserves a 448 page book?
3) The discourse on the Holy Scriptures and its allegorical symbolism to modern world is not what I wanted from a Dan Brown book. If I wanted that I would have seen God TV.
4) The book has a feel of being hastily compiled with loads of information about older Orders but with no real storyline.

At the end of three days, reading this monster of a book, all I felt was :

this book is a big apology for all the holes that Dan Brown drilled in Christianity with his The Da Vinci Code.

And that apology costs some 480 bucks.. Damn costly apology, eh!

OMG!! Did (S)He create it all?

1. This is not a work of fiction or a humorous post, so people who have come to laugh their asses out, shoo...

2. I intend to hurt many religious sentiments. So if you are a religious fanatic, shoo...

3. This is an objective take on God and Religion. It may or may not be my take on these matters. So anyone who wants to ask me my view on religion, shoo...

Cool!! So I am absolved of any sins due to blasphemy that I may incur. Now, lets get down to business.

THE BIG BANG: The beginning of it all

This is the most widely accepted theory about the start of the universe. The Universe started one fine day, some 13.7 billion years ago. That is considered to be the start of of time. Before that, all that we see was a gravitational singularity, which had infinite density and temperature.

Space time curvature at this point of time was infinite. That means anything that happened before the big bang is inconsequential and has got no meaning in today's world. This is a smackdown on the theories about the seven days of genesis or the day and night of Brahma ( though the duration of day and night calculated by the Hindus, 8.4 billion years, comes quite close to the accepted age of the universe).

Now some may argue that the Big Bang, in fact, accentuates the presence of a being who created the bang in the first place. After all the universe came out from a state of "nothingness" or creation ex nihilo. Well, I am game for all such explanations. Are you?

EVOLUTION : The earth gets lively

When the Milky Way (the galaxy our sun is in) was thrown away from the centre of the Big Bang, a tiny planet orbiting a medium sized star in the inner rim of the Orion Arm, between the larger Perseus and Sagittarius arms of the galaxy started to cool down. This third planet of this star was somehow at the perfect place, with the perfect materials required for the start of life form (or what we consider to be life).

To quote the wikipedia:

Highly energetic chemistry is believed to have produced a self-replicating molecule around 4 billion years ago, and half a billion years later the last common ancestor of all lifecame into being. The The development of photosynthesis allowed the Sun's energy to be harvested directly by life forms; the resultant oxygen accumulated in the atmosphere and formed in a layer of ozone (a form of molecular oxygen [O3]) in the upper atmosphere.

The incorporation of smaller cells within larger ones resulted in the development of complex cells called
eukaryotes. True multicellular organisms formed as cells within colonies became increasingly specialized. Aided by the absorption of harmful ultraviolet radiation by the ozone layer, life colonized the surface of Earth.

If we notice through all these, we never see a hand of God creating a being or even prodding it to the next level of evolution. The life forms started growing due to a freak chemical synthesis. If we take into consideration the probabilities, its very natural that we are here. In billions of billions of stars, if one planet has got an intelligent life form, then its just chance.

THEOLOGY : When man decided to take all into his hands

When the early (wo)man walked on the earth, and looked up at the sky he was bewildered. When he faced the natural calamities, lightning, thunder, earthquakes, storms, he was terrified. When he saw the birth of a new child, the growth of a tree, various shaped creatures, he was mystified. There was only one question in his mind : who did all these?

He decided to put an end to all his inquisitiveness and pull out a new rabbit from the empty hat : GOD.

All that was unfathomable, due to the primitive understanding of the world around us, was attributed to the act of God. God also started coming in different shapes and sizes. There was a God for Lightning, a God for the furious seas, a God for the mighty mountains, a God for the big trees, a God for the deadly animals, a God for life and a God even for death. And all these Gods wanted sacrifice from the humans. This was the height of pagan worship.

Then came men who wanted to put a method to these madness. Budhdha, Christ, Prophet Mohammad, to name a few were guys who wanted to show the humanity that the real God is within them. They believed that we need to give up our barbarism and work for the common good of mankind.

But then some greedy men overtook their beliefs, added some myths here and there and 'Godified' them. After all religion is a big business. Heck, the Church is the biggest landlord of us all.

Religious history is full of people who started as normal human beings and worked for the love of the mankind but then were mystified and cut out to be saints. The nearest example I can think of is Sai baba. Go figure out your own examples.

Note : All the blogs I have ever read has got a post or two about God. Now that I consider myself to be the greatest blogger of all **smirk** how can I be left behind.

Why is Bangalore so costly?

Damn it man!! I am pissed off with this city. Everything here comes with a premium price tag attached to it.

At first I thought only the PVRs and the Inoxes are expensive here. What with their absolutely overpriced popcorns and pepsies they must be earning some cool moolah, eh?

But then not only cinema and rentals, there are a hell lot of other things which are more than costly in Bangalore. I have been to almost all the Metros and I find that Bangalore, coupled with its shitty infrastructure, is the most expensive city in India.

The worst thing is the attitude of the people who provide the basic amenities. Most of them try to cheat you to the last penny you have.

Auto-fare here is second only to Mumbai. And still when you ask an auto wallah to go somewhere which he doesn't fancy, all you will get is an idiotic frown and a laid back answer "Illa saar". In case he agrees it is more than 20% chance that his meter has been rigged. Not only this, when they drop you at your destination you will be asked " Saar itna kamata, 10 rupa extra deo". What the hell!!

Now, don't think that this is the story of only the thick skinned auto wallahs. Go to a flashy supermarket and buy a month's stock worth 3K. Chances are that you have just been cheaten by 100 bucks ( atleast ). This is no hearsay, I have myself caught the Health n Glow people in the swanky Forum Forum Mall where they charged me extra Rs. 30 on a bill of just Rs. 550. When confronted they shamelessly told that it was a mistake and refunded me the money. I asked for a complaint number and was told " Saar, you earn so much y do u wanna complain for such a small amount".

Go for a flat for rent , the room the size of the bathroom at ur native place will cost you monthly 3-4K (in k'mangla 6K). Ask the PD why and he will say " Saar, 30 hazar kamata hai, mahina mein itna to rent dena hi mangta hai naa". Damn it man!!

Go to buy a flat and the shittiest place in the whole world will cost you at least Rs. 2200 per square feet. And the real estate agent will shamelessly tell you " Saar, you work for such a big company like #%$#!. I know you have twice the bank balance".

I mean what is this bro... All the negotiations start with a quote on your salary.

This is a very sad state of affairs. If the lethargic government (which is happy siphoning off money in the name of the so-called futuristic and developement oriented projects) doesn't do anything fast to curb this fraudalent mindset then the day is not far away when the IT industry will start looking for better destinations(as we already see Kochi, Chennai and Hyderabad are fast becoming favoured more than Bangalore).

I luved the city that B'lore use to be and had always dreamed of settling in B'lore but dunno how long I can bear this painful strangulation of the Garden City.

Google Adsense is really intelligent!!

Check this out... Its a damn cool coincidence!

Today when I checked into my blog after a long day, I saw my google ad banner showing an amazing collection of ads. There is an ad for a Divorce lawyer, followed by a Matchmaker, followed by a Internet Dating site and then a Singles ad site.

Ingenious, isn't it? You ask why. Don't you get it?

First a divorce lawyer gets you a divorce, and that too at a cheap price of S$1700 (all service taxes extra of course). Damn cheap, I tell you. I think these Indian lawyers are fleecing the prospective divorcees.

You live your life to the full for a few days. Enjoy the booze and the pubs. Watch cricket and football matches all nights with no one shouting at you. Refresh your memory by watching your porn collection again. In short have a hell of a time.

But then everyone says how sad you look. How there is no one to take care of you. How you have to remarry to bring your life back on track. You get pissed off by all the peer pressure and agree for the new marriage.

You reluctantly go to the matchmakers. You try your luck with a few sessions of going and meeting the brides to be. But then suddenly you find, no gal is ready to marry you.

If you have a face and a sense of humor like me then of course you won't have any luck. Perhaps that's why your wife left you in the first place (lucky she). Also, the already thrifty inflow to your bank balance has got a new destination... Alimony and Maintenance. No self respecting gal will marry a bozo like you.

No worries. You have a lot other options.

Join the Dating site. On the net anyone can be a James Bond. Take a pic of any of the guys with the famous 6-pack abs, photoshop your face onto it and upload it as your avatar. Voila! suddenly a new macho-you is ready to take on all the babes in the world.

Somehow you manage to coerce a girl, with the body of Salma Hayek, into talking to you. By now, you have grown smart and decide to wait before you go for the final kill. You talk to her, flatter her, cajole her before you finally decide to meet face to face. In short, you minimise your chances of rejection.

While you drive down to the nice, fancy restaurant to meet her, all the way you practice how you would tell her that for the last two months you have had loads of work and thus no time for gym. This is the only reason why the macho-you avatar has changed into the real-you.

Anyways, you reach the restaurant and you find some one waiting on the table you had reserved. Damn! Its then when you realise : You are not the smartest person on the earth. The body of Salma Hayek was really Salma Hayek's.

Suddenly you listen to your own excuse from her. Double damn! the girl not only stole your idea, she also stole your excuse. You decide to go to the washroom and sneak out from the backdoor.

Now the only way out left for you is to give a personal ad for singles on the last website and wait for a reply to come.

So now tell me, isn't this array of ads a very convenient one?

Mr Minister... Are we Indians cattles?

"Tell us Minister, next time you travel to Kerala, will it be cattle class?"

"absolutely, in cattle class out of solidarity with all our holy cows!

Doesn't it sound like a conversation from the British Raj era?

Oh! How I prayed it would be. But no. It is from the present day.

Thanks a ton Shilpa! You made my day.

This time, the award comes with a baggage of rules:
  1. Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to five most deserving blog friends.Check.
  2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author and the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award. Check.
  3. Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog and link to the original post at The Scholastic Scribe which explains The Award. Check.
  4. Each blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit the original post at The Scholastic Scribe and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who wins This Prestigious Honor. Check.
  5. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules to his/her blog. Check.

  • Shrinath Vashishtha : For his tireless blogging about the A&N Islands. His efforts has kept the little known culture and identity of the archipelago on the blog map of India.
  • Mohammed Musthafa : A kid with the wisdom of a hundred year old. Sometimes I envy his writing and creative skills.
  • Shilpa Sharma : For her latest post. For the first time in the history of (wo)mankind a girl has taken up the fight for the boys :D.... Seriously speaking, she has talent and needs to write more.

Satyamev Jayate!! Or is it??

Damn!! How could I have missed this show for so long? I am such a jackass!

This is a total entertainer. A life line for all us weak-hearted, courageless, spineless,hopeless liars. Yesterday, I came to the great realisation of my life, the ultimate truth, the nirvana of my existence:

Honesty is NEVER a great policy.

On the other hand, not being honest is a great insurance policy. All you have to do is to keep all your dirty secrets in wraps. By dirty secrets I mean the likes of :

  • you got divorced without telling anyone.
  • you had an affair with your colleague while your wife was battling with cancer at the hospital.
  • you eat non-veg like a lion AND you belong to a Jain family
  • you have a kid in some remote part of the country and his mother is not you wife.
  • you have murdered someone in a fit of rage and no one pinned it to you.

I hope you get my point.

Once you have your quota full (at least 21) of such damning, life changing experiences, go to the famed Star Parivaar Studios. There you will meet a bunch of dead brains who will ask you to strap on a lie detector. They will ask you questions from those parts of your life which only one person in the world knows about. You.

Now, call your wifey, your parents and your friends on the sets and humiliate them to the hilt. Answer all the questions truthfully, pretending as if you never wanted to. And then walk off with a cool pot full of moolah.

Hmmmm... quite a scam, isn't it? I would love to go to this place. But then I would have to have an affair, murder someone and beget a kid. Heavy!! Lemme see, lemme see... this would take at least 9 months. And the season ends this Friday. Damn, man! I just missed the bus to the moon and never realised it.

Anyways, there is always a second time and the second season.

Ah!! Before I sign off and forget about it again, I have got another award :

This was bestowed upon me by Shilpa. Thanks a ton Shilpa!

Normally, everyone would expect me to give my acceptance speech, but she has given a very flattering reason for this award and I would like to quote it:

Paritosh: Last but not the least, 3rd one is Paritosh. His blog is Fiction and life, as he calls it. Humor, stories, poems,reviews, travelogue, seriousness, Bluntness,wit and little bit of innocence; all under one roof or you can say one blog. And I would like you all to read his poem Was She To Be Blamed? , you will come to know what I am talking about.

Wow!! And I thought that I write crap. Talk about false sense of modesty!

Netas become austere

Early in the morning, well not so early in the morning, I saw this cartoon in The Times of India. This got the cogwheels of my though process churning at full speed.

Sitting on my throne, read the pot, enhanced my thinking capabilities (this is the reason why I always read newspaper in the loo). Are these netas really serious about this austerity crap? Or rather, will this I-travel-economy-class rhetoric help our economy in any way?

I am sceptical about this. And I have my reasons.

Lets sample this news piece from ibnlive :

The Congress-led UPA Government is on an austerity drive. UPA chief Sonia Gandhi flew down to Mumbai on an Air India flight and traveled in Economy class. But add to the expenses, the costs of fares for five rows reserved for the security personnel and the three SUVs flown down to Mumbai by another aircraft at the cost of rupees three lakh.

Sonia Gandhi’s status of ‘the most guarded VIP in Delhi’ necessitated that she travels with security personnel. The total expenses of the economy class travel with 15 seats in all were Rs 55,000 compared to the travel in business class with six security personnel at the cost of Rs 62,000. The savings were a mere Rs 7,000.

This is some real saving, huh!!

Anyways, I looked up the Internet and found out the meaning of austerity:

the trait of great self-denial (especially refraining from worldly pleasures)

Hmmmm... so the netas are going to give up their worldly pleasures. Wonder what will the Mallayas and Ambanis think of that.

In a country where we spend some 500 Crores a year just to let 545 bozos have fun in a big round building, I don't think we can talk of austerity. If these netas want to utilize our money better, they need to show results. We, the people, would be ecstatic if the netas save money for millions of people by governing well, allocating money properly and avoiding wastage.

To show these token reduction of costs by travelling economy is bullshit. BTW, did you hear? Rahul Gandhi has taken a train to travel to Ludhiyana. Wonder what bogey did he sit in. For the sake of all the poor passengers, I hope he didn't get on the second class compartment.

P.S. I just found out that the Shatabdi Rahul took was pelted with stones. Though Rahul was unhurt but this caused a major security concern for the normal people on the train. People who paid from their pockets and not from the deep pockets of the government machinery.

Early morning blues....

Dear Friend,

r u Facing Problem wit Cockroach, Rodent, Ants, Lizards, Bedbugs, Termite, Honey bee or any other pests call us @9663****83.

What do you do when you receive this message 4 times in a row? That too at 7 o'clock in the morning.

I got pissed off and typed in a reply message :

I am not your friend and the only pest problem right now is you guys sending me this bullshit message.

But then my Indian-ness held me back from sending the reply. I tell you, we Indians are so meek. We can take any crap, I repeat any crap, they throw at us without complaining. No wonder the angrezs ruled over us for 200 goddamn years.

Whats with this carpet bombing of marketing smses? Do these morons think I missed the message the first time? If its a technical glitch, then why the hell is it only targeting me?

I am fed up, sick and tired of these messages. Can I do something about it? I have heard about DND services. I have always thought of starting one on my number but then I always forget about it.

Or maybe, I love getting smses about a flat at dirt cheap rates of 49.97 Lacks and free Benetton Sunglasses. BTW, the flat is of just 1200 square feet and situated on the NH4, about 10 kms from the city. Oh! Wouldn't I love spending some sixty - seventy lacks on a house in which I cannot live; as I can't afford to commute for two and a half hours every day. And the Benetton guys need 499/- only for shipping charges. As if they are going to ship it to me from US of A.

I love such messages because they give me something to dream about. And they come only once or twice a day. That too in the afternoons.

But after today's episode, I am totally pissed off. I am gonna get my carrier to put a full stop to these con tricks of the marketing guys.

Concoction for a successful married life

  1. These views are from a guy. It has got no point-of-view of a girl. So please don't expect it to have one.
  2. If you don't like straight in your face remarks then no need to read further.
  3. This is a very scary post, written in a momentary lapse of better judgement.
  4. Still there? You are a brave one. Welcome to the club.

Yesterday one of my friends asked me a stupid, weird question, "What is the secret of a successful marriage?".

I thought, "Is he really talking to me?".

Am I the right person to answer this question? Me? Who has been married just for 2 years?

This is my albatross. People (specially my friends) mistake me to be a loveguru. Someone asks me for an advice on how to deal with his girlfriend. Some one asks me to cajole his girlfriend to marry him. And now this question.

Just because I am married, and they are not, doesn't make me a smartass. I am just as dumb in these matters as they are. I want to scream out to anyone who cares to listen, "I am also a normal confused adult in his mid-twenties. I am also coming to terms with the realities of life. "

Anyways, this question led me down an analysis path, and its impossible to rein in my thoughts unless I give shape to them. I want to give words to my observations. Hence this post.

Now, there are two phases of marriage, pre and post. The duration of happiness in your marriage depends on your decisions and actions in both these phases.

Pre Marriage

Before you decide to marry a girl, you have to be sure that she is the one. Three parameters which help you judge this are:

1. Would you like to wake up and see this face every morning, 10 years from now?

I know this question has been in every cookbook for knowing if "She is the one". But then this is the most important question.

I love the series Coupling from BBC. In one episode, Steve says "There are no stockings". This is the ultimate truth of a relationship. Times change, girls change. Period.

The slim, shiny angel of yours WILL not live for ever. They will turn fat. They will have wrinkles. They will loose hair. So if you are marrying for beauty then take a u-turn and run as fast as you can.

2. Can you put up with her idiosyncrasies?

Her stupid questions, on which you laugh at now and say, "Oh sweetheart! You are such a cute little stupid angel", will turn into nagging.

Suppose you are watching a cricket match. India is in its last overs in a crucial match against Pakistan. Its a world cup final and the match hangs by a damn thin thread. Suddenly your sweetheart stands up and says, "I am bored, tell me a story. NOW". OK. She won't say this but then she may say something as stupid. Are you ready to handle this?

3. Does she fit in your family?

It doesn't matter where she is from, or what religion she is from or what culture she belongs to. What matters is, will she be able to adapt for the 15 days every year you go to meet your parents? Compromises are the ugly truth of life. Is she ready for it?

Every guy carries a deep love for his mum and dad. Whether he shows it openly or not is another story altogether. So, if his wife starts finding faults with his parents then the trouble starts. This not only disturbs his mind but also affects the marriage.

So look for a girl, who will respect your parents. She may never love them as much as she does her parents. But then she must give as much respect.

Hmmmm... that completes it.

The first two conditions are infallible. Girls age. Girls ask stupid questions. Be it Sharone Stone or Marie Curie. She will grow to be an old nag. Be prepared for it.

So it all depends on how much you love the girl. And how much you can take for her sake.

The third condition needs to be fulfilled by the girl. She needs to understand that at the very depths of our hearts, we all guys are momma's boys. We have grown up respecting only one woman all our lives. We can't bear to listen to her shortcomings from the other love of our life.

Post Marriage

So, you have found out the girl of your dreams and have married her. Now what?

Is this the end of the tunnel? Have you found out the light at last? Have you found moksha?

Dfinitely not dude. Marriage is a constant struggle. Most of the times all the odds will be stacked up against you. There will be pressure of society, parents, peers, siblings and wife to perform. To win a race in which you are running alone. People will expect you to behave in a certain way and with dignity.

Goodbye daru parties. Goodbye sutta. Goodbye bathing once in a month. Goodbye a lot of things.

There will be a stranger (or maybe a not so stranger in case you had a live in before marriage) in the bedroom commanding you to take a bath before you sleep. What the hell is the point of taking a bath when you are going to sleep? Dude... you will never knwo this secret, but you will have to do it.

You will have your side of the bed, your part of the wardrobe, your side of the TV remote. Your bike and your PC won't remain the first love of your lives.

"Wait! Its not what I signed on for", you will cry every night. But then, you have signed the contract and you will have to honor the code.

So how to live in such a constrained world, where you have a little or no choice at all?

Here is the hitchhiker's guide to have a successful marriage:

1. Never build up expectations.

We guys pamper our gals in the initial stages of our courtship. Give them everything they lay their eyes on. Even the stars and the moons. Wish them on their birthdays, their parents birthdays, their neighbour's dog's birthday. Celebrate all your anniversaries. First kiss, first touch, first eye contact, bloody first time you two saw each other's photos on Facebook.

But then that's how we are supposed to behave, isn't it? I know.

However, what after you get married? You start forgetting her medicine routines, her ration lists, paying the electricity bill, the phone bill. There are tons of things you start forgetting. This is when the fun starts. She expects you to be the same you were in the first few weeks of courtship. Can you live up to the expectations?

So the best approach is that you keep her expectations low right from the word go. In this case every time you remember some thing, she will be totally smashed.

On a serious note, try to be the same. I know its difficult but then to raise expectations and then break her heart is not done, right?

2. Kiss and say sorry.

Never expect her to say sorry even if she is on the 'other' side of the argument. There is only one golden rule "Wife is never wrong". Say sorry and pacify her first. No use shouting at her when both of you are angry. Once she is pacified, try to reason out with her. I know, I know... its very difficult to reason with your wife. But then so is to see her in pain, isn't it?

Never let your fights go on for more than a day. Never, never sleep on one. Always sort it out before it turns into an ugly, monstrous rift.

Small fights bring out the best in marriage, but the longer ones bring in divorce.

3. Try and help her out in her daily chores.

Nothing keeps a woman more happy than a man who helps her out in the household chores. Remember that she was also a part of a family where she was never allowed in the kitchen. She was never expected to do the dishes and clean up the house. So, she is as new to these things as you are.

Once in a while cook for her. Maybe a simple toast and tea. But then do it. She won't ever expect a seven course meal but then she will love to see you try.

4. Gift her as often as you can.

Small gifts. Flowers. Chocolates. Jewellery. An unexpected movie date. The list is endless. You need to keep the fire alive.

She makes a lot of sacrifices for you. Cooks for you, washes out your dirty clothes, heck she even makes you bath twice a day. She definitely deserves a show of gratitude.

5. Keep the passion alive.

You need to stoke the fire in your marriage. There is tonnes of literature on the net as well as the bookstalls on how to have a passionate sex life. Its the most important secret ingredient to a successful married life.

6. Be honest.

Honesty is the best policy, specially in an intimate relationship as marriage. Trust is the only virtue which will save your marriage when confronted with ugly situation.

7. Keep talking.

You need to have a constant conversation going on between the two of you. Trust me, nothing can diffuse a situation as amicably as having an honest discussion about what happened. Never ever clam up. Speak out your likes and dislikes. This will make clear your expectations.

Whooo!! The post ran long. Marriage indeed needs a lot of hard work. But when the going is smooth (as it does mostly) its the best relationship in the world. You need to smoothen out the rough edges though.

Hope you all have a great married life. Good luck and God bless!!

An Indian SuperHero Flick

A thought has been nagging me for the last few days. When ADA group can invest 400 odd million greenbacks in movies with American superheroes, why can't we have one from India. And no, I am not talking about a movie about Shaktiman. Drona doesn't count as a superhero either. At the best, he is a great grump but no superhero.

Lets have a movie based on our favorite superheroes from Raj comics. Nagraj and Super Commando Dhruv. WHAT!! You don't know them? Damn man!! You don't deserve to live in India. These are our Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Chaddiman, every man rolled in one. I can go on and on about the heroics of these two. After all, I have followed them for 20 long years. But I won't. Go to the nearest bookstore and get a Raj comics. They will rock your world. You can trust me on this.

Now, coming to the cast, I have Hritick Roshan as Nagraj and Amir Khan as SCD. Both fit the bill perfectly. Hritick has the height and physique to pull it off in the green suit. He even has the natural curls like Nagraj. Amir Khan, post Ghajini has got the looks and the physique. He also looks smart enough to potray a person with super thinking capabilities.

As for the story is concerned, we can have their childhood and upbringing being shown in a parallel way. As the movie nears the climax, we can have a clash between the two as they fight the same bad bad man (Our very own Gullu). The tension builds up before they come to know both fight against the dark, evil forces and then join hands to beat the shit off Gullu. Ta da. A great movie with all great action scenes. It will earn more than Batman Returns and Superman Returns combined.

The VFX can be done by our own desi animators sitting in Bangalore and Bombay. When they can work on movies like Matrix and Madagascar, they must be truly world class, isn't it? I personally know a few who can do these.

A R Rahman can give the OSTs, and wait for one more Oscar perhaps. We can have Papa Rakesh Roshan as the director. He has got experience in directing superheroes, remember Krrish?

Do Aankhen Barah Haath

Last time I watched this movie, I was a 10 year old kid.

Those were the days of Doordarshan, frequent "Sorry for the Interruption"s and power cuts. Economic liberalisation of India was going on in full swing, with the PV Narasimha Rao & Co. working full time to repay the loan by the IMF. How do I know all these when I was just a kid then? Wikipedia. Its the mahagyani encyclopedia, remember?

Coming back to the movie, all that I remembered is the song "Aye Malik tere Bande hum". Sung by Lata Mangeshkar and written by Bharat Vyas, its melody touches your heart. I also remembered that it was an awesome movie.

When I told biwi about this movie, she wanted to watch it. We searched all over Bangalore for the DVD, even placed order with Landmark twice, but couldn't find it. Luckily when we went, last weekend, to the new Landmark in Jaynagar, we saw it on the stalls. Biwi hastily picked it up lest we miss it again.

Yesternight after we saw the movie, I realised I was a connoisseur of movies even when I was a kid. It is really an awesome movie.

I won't spoil the fun of the movie by telling the story here. Its a must watch for any movie buff and is a masterpiece by V. Shantaram. Its a movie based on the gandhian principles and is one of the best exponents of this genre. Way better than Lage Raho.

Before I sign off, I want to say is that is the first Indian film to win a Golden Globe Award.

Yippie!! I got an award.

The Humane Award

Rules of the game:

The award is given for being "Humane as being characterized by kindness, mercy, or compassion; marked by an emphasis on humanistic values and concerns."

You are also requested to

1. Accept and post the award on your blog.
2. Link to the person from whom you received it.
3. Pass the award to 5 other blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment.
4. Let them know they’ve been chosen for this award.

Today, I got an unusual award. The humane award, as the name suggest is given for being humane. According to Wikipedia:

" An award is something given to a person or a group of people to recognize excellence in a certain field; a certificate of excellence. "

So this means, I am excellent in the feild of being humane.

But am I really? I don't think so.

Lets examine the three essential qualities of being humane as described by the award:

Kindness: I don't give alms, I hate beggars and I kill cockroaches with my slippers. So am I kind? You decide.

Mercy: Does mercy mean I have to forgive the bastards who kill innocent people for religious fanaticism? Thank you, but I am not merciful. I believe these fuckers should be dealt with the an-eye-for-an-eye rule. Forgive my french.

Compassion: I don't feel for the guys being killed in Afganistan. I will never join a biking trip to showcase the plight of the children dying in Africa. And I will definitely never join any charity dinner where you drink a-thousand-rupee-per-glass-of-wine to discuss the atrocities of child labour.

But then, I do help blind people write out application forms, give way of passage to people crossing the streets when I drive and give the child on the street a packet of biscuits. I told ya. I am a bundle of conflicting and confusing actions.

Do I accept the award? Heck I do. Come one come all. I accept all the goddamn awards of this world.

You can say I am a selfish, popularity-seeker. I won't mind.

Thanks a ton Shas for this award.

Now for the 5 other blogs worthy of this achievement, I would like to give away the awards to:

  1. Neeraj
  2. Deepak
  3. Mustafa
  4. Tys
  5. Maurya
Lazy bum that I am, I would like them to come and collect the award from me. One other reason for this is, I dunno how much humane these guys are or whether their conscience will allow them to accept the award. But then its on their conscience, isn't it?

Force India gets the first podium finish!!

Congratulations and Celebrations!! After 2 years and 29 races Force India gets the coveted podium finish at the Belgian Grand Prix.

And do I give a damn? No I do not.

Is Force India the real Indian dream? In the land of 50 odd Crore people below poverty line, I don't suppose it is. I want to ask a question to all those of you who are rejoicing, is an investment of 88 million a way to boost the Indian Spirit? No. Its a cold, calculated, business decision. We were never a part of the decision and would never be. All we can do is follow the sports, because it is supposed to raise the Indian Flag in a hitherto unchartered territories.

Do we need a F1 racing team in India? Not now. We have lot more to contend with. Poverty, unemployment, hunger to name a few are more important than a german racing a car that has, among hundred other logos, a Force India written over it.

Talk about jingoism and False national pride.

Me... Going Green.

Commuting is a word I learnt in my early, formative years. In the 1st standard, suppose. Damn Convent Schools!! There was a story where a big, fat Mrs. Sharma used to commute to her office daily. She was a major cause of tyre punctures in the city. So much that they had to finally hire a bullock cart with wooden wheels for her. This word has caused troubles then and is causing trouble now.

The deal is, I have to commute some 14 kms to my office daily. I am no eco-conservationist, in the strict sense of word, but I hate when I see people travelling to the office solo in those huge fuel guzzling monsters. Now, my Rampyari is no monster, but my God, does she guzzles fuel! I spent two litres of petrol every day just to reach office and go back home.

Everyday I reached home, I felt guilty of wasting precious fuel, and robbing off the future generations. Simply because I can afford it, doesn't mean I should do it. So I decided to do something about it.

Travelling in company buses was impossible as I hate being bound to routines. What's the fun in standing in the bus queue 7 o'clock in the morning?

Car-pooling was also out of the question as I can't see myself being tied down to someone else's whims and fancies.

Push-biking (riding a bicycle, for the uninitiated) was not even in the option list. I didn't want to be a part of the Hosur road forever. Maybe when the mandarins at BMC decide to provide us with dedicated cycle lanes. But definitely not now.

So I decided on the next best thing.... Public Transport. BMTC has started a new service called BIG 10, which runs from the CBD on the 10 arterial routes of the city. The one which I am interested is in the G-2 route. It starts from MG Road and ends bang in front of Wipro's office in EC. And the best part is it passes very near to my home. I said to myself "Dude.. It looks like it has been run just for you. Go board it."

The course of action decided, it was now only a matter of 2 Km walk to the bus stop. Poor me.

Biwi took pity on me and offered to drop me to the bus stop everyday. Offered gladly accepted. For a few weeks, the arrangement worked awesomely. She used to get up at 6, cook breakfast for me, cook and pack lunch for me, wake me up at 8, drop me to the bus stop at 8:45, come again to pick me up at 7 in the evening from the bus stop. Basically she took all the pain, and I gloated with the new found pride of helping save the planet.

But now no more. Though she smiles every time I ask her if its trouble for her, but I knew she has to put up with loads of my idiosyncrasies already. I have decided now I will drive, to the nearest point to the bus stop where I can find a parking.

Today was the first day of this exercise. Though I had to wait some 20 mins to get a bus and stand all the way on the foot stand to the office, I loved it all.

Now I have an answer to my kids' questions when they will ask, "Dad! What did you do to save the planet for us?".