Sunday, May 13, 2012

The thing is . . .

The thing I like about Indian media is that they debate – about things in general. Many a times, I am so overwhelmed with their reporting style and ability to raise thought provoking questions that I wanted to storm into their offices in the national capital out of gratefulness – but was too afraid that they might confuse it for an army coup.

So, today I would try and answer some of the recently debated topics with my own twisted logic:
Should Sachin retire? - A great man once said 'Never say never', but that was right after he said - Ooo Baby Baby. I know a lot of you would disagree with me on this, by this - I meant calling Beiber a great man. And I understand the debate is not much about the 'great' part as it is about . . . but I digress, my point is - Should sachin retire? – Never


Sharukh’s detention in US, how should the government react? – Before we get into the details – S M Krishna has already released a statement explaining how the incident has deeply hurt the sentiments of the Portuguese government. Last time SRK was detained, a lot of people have criticized the great man (Again, I know a lot of you would disagree with the great man part) calling it a marketing stint for ‘My Name is Khan’, but this time around there is no such thing – or is there? SRK was detained for a little over 154 minutes, the exact running time of Ra.One – No wonder SRK has refused to comment on it – the trauma has made everyone speechless.


But, Cricket and Bollywood is not all that this media discusses, a lot of other topics are being debated beyond these trifling things, like politics – and the most important question being debated of late is – Are Sachin and Rekha appropriate candidates for Rajya Shabha?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The not so Decent Proposal

There comes a point in everyone’s life - regardless of cast, creed and race; of whether you are a believer or an atheist, belieber or a rationalist, lady gaga or whatever the opposite of that is. .  - When we pause, sink to self with introspection and after a long stare in the mirror say ‘I think I have to hit the gym’.

If only I had a rupee every time someone said - "If only I had a nickel every time I heard someone say 'I think I have to hit the gym'." - I would have bailed out Kingfisher by now.
Of all the countless people with this enticing thought (of "hitting" the gym), only a few elite would actually dare to execute it, and of the few - only a lucky one or two would return, swallowing the embarrassment caused, to tell you their story of survival. If you are standing up, please sit down - for I am about to tell you that I am one of them. I belong to the group of chosen ones, a group that has seen the dark side and survived to tell you the tale - a group so small, that you can count them using your index fingers.

The whole world is divided into two kinds – the first, us, the simple frail unathletic kind, for whom bones are either like keys – you’ve to look really hard to find them or bones are simply the z-axis; And then there is the second kind, them, the athletic types, the bullies of the world, for whom the former's bones are like promises, meant to be broken. 

After registering at a near-by gym, I was asked to meet a Physiotherapist to evaluate my current level of fitness. I was a bit nervous, for evaluating me in fitness is like evaluating Shahrukh Khan, Sreesanth and S M Krishna in acting, cricketing and oratory skills quite respectively or irrespectively.

My phsyio was a woman in her late twenties, I reckon, who looked strong enough to lift me up by neck with her right hand and knock me down dead with her left. I tried to be as nonchalant as possible as I walked into her room, slowly identifying my nearest exits in case of an emergency

She saw me walking in and picked up her pen from the table, holding it above the writing pad as if she is about write something really important but doesn’t exactly remember what, paused for a moment, and then turned to me and said, "We will test your stamina, flexibility etc."
For the next few minutes we went to through a series of exercises; I wouldn’t want to go into the specifics but if you are curios, please Google for ‘the eye of the tiger Rocky’ and watch the relevant videos.
The entire episode, which lasted for around 5 minutes but felt like a life time, left me cramping with pain like Apollo Creed at the end of the 15th round.
She looked at her watch and scribbled down few comments on the notepad - and looked straight into my eyes and said what no woman has ever said to me before -

 "I will have to measure your body fat now"
I gave her a puzzled look not sure of what to say - so she went on
"They are two ways we can do this, one - you take off your shirt and I will note down some measurements; or two - we use this machine (pointing to a small machine to her left) which would cost you 250 bucks." She stopped and shrugged pointing her hand towards me in a gesture that meant that the ball is in my court.
There comes a point in everyone’s life when you have to choose between the two roads, between an embarrassing one and the economical one. It is this decision that would decide whether you would grow up to be part of the bully kind, or the simple, frail, unathletic kind. So, I looked straight into her eyes without flinching for a moment (what to a third party observer would have seemed like a cowboy standoff).
And I said - "Let me go get my wallet"

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back from a block (I guess) . . . with random hyperlinks

Has it ever happened to you that you are on a comfy chair in your room watching a scenic rainy day from your window juggling between Gmail, Reader, Facebook, Twitter, Quora (and all that) on your browser and a sudden wave of introspection hits leaving you wondering about everything and - how the fudge did I get here? (No! No! not to The Comfy Chair! in my room- I am talking about the whole internet footprint thingy).

Just a decade back internet was this vague thing where your elder cousin goes to meet random girls from across the globe pretending to be Chiranjeevi (now, if you had to click on the hyperlink to know who that dude is? I say – go die, you lucky bustard!).

But, as you spend a little more time around this series of tubes they call internet, creeped out by this virtual world where so called brazillian girls think fat dudes with thick mustaches are cute (don't ask me how, I just happen to know - that's all!); you realize that internet is a completely different world – where people go to watch brilliantly photoshopped naked pictures of famous people. I still remember the day, years later, when I tried my hands on softwares like photoshop and probably had the most weird epiphany of my life (ah! The day I lost my innocence)

What has it turned into now? - almost everything. What has happened to those long waits for web pages to load up? Every mobile device now has zillion times faster internet and there are now political scams based on it. I mean what happened to those ultra cool days of conceptualizing scams on anti-aircraft autocannon weapons?  

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Nazi Salon!

I got up early today to pay my Electric Bill, something I’ve gotten used to now-a-days – no not getting up early, paying bills! Anyhow, after a lot of fight with the new BESCOM ATM styled automatic bill payment machines, I ended up losing all the change in my wallet and was left with a 1000 buck note – the result of what happens if you think too much; should I put a 1000 buck note and let the balance get deducted from next bill? Or should I give the machine nearly the exact change? Time value of money and all that BS.

On my way back I found this “Haircut beauty parlor for men”, I was a little bit hesitant to walk, but still did as I was looking for a salon since I moved to this new part of Bangalore. Now I really don’t care about my hair, I frankly don’t, and I can easily count the number of times I’ve had to use a comb (two, if you count the time I had to do this weird Sanskrit skit in school, which is a completely different story). And I believe, getting a haircut done is something that comes naturally to me. Seriously, I don’t know if they have a record for the youngest kid to walk into a salon all by himself, but if there is one I should have totally got it.

I learned the nuances of getting a hair cut done early on in my life, if I can proudly say. It was easy and all I had to do or rather the secret behind my success in this task was to answer that one simple question with one word – do you want it short or medium?
Every barber asks the same question and the answer to it, if you are a kid, undoubtedly with a strong inflection on the word – Short!! Now I understood early on that this was the reply that would result in something that would keep both my parents and that physical training teacher at school happy. To put it in few words, I was a good boy, who made his parents proud every time he had a haircut.

Wherever I go, the barbers seem to keep things easy to me by asking the same question. I knew a lot of kids who used to complicate the answer to this question by showing pictures on the wall, describing some movie star e.t.c these are exactly the kids that got into a lot of trouble at school.. And when I grew up went to college, the key was to answer this question with one word again – Medium, but this time do it with a style - like shake your hand and head with sync, pause a little and then say hhmm medium.
Looking at others around me at salon, who had to fight, nag and beg the barber to get it done, I always thought that I was born talented and I had something in me that makes it to so easy for me to get a haircut done.

Recently, to be exact, over the past two months I couldn’t find a salon near this new house and having never owned a comb in my entire life, my hair turned pretty bad. It gave me the stares at office and a visit from home planet made things even worse. I got strict orders to get the mess on my head cut before the weekend; it was always on weekends, my hair cut. Apparently, I was told as a child, that any other day of haircut would make the gods angry and you wouldn’t want to make them angry, well at least for silly things like a haircut.

Now that brings me back to the story of paying bills and having found a new place to get a haircut. Now if you are already bored reading, I would suggest you to stop because it is going to be long. I am about to enter the second page of a word doc and I have not done this stunt before.

So, out of desperation I walked into this not so decent looking salon and the barber inside directed me to my seat. He had a straight and serious look on his face, my barber, and with a moustache that reminded me a lot of the Nazi Soup guy in Seinfeld.  He seemed as if he just had a fight with someone and I didn’t want to do anything that would add to his anger, so I silently walked to the seat, made myself comfortable and waited for the golden question to be asked. He gathered all the paraphernalia required placed them on a table in front and turned to me and asked “what do you want?”
It is a slightly different question but being the expert I am at this, I knew the answer was same and simple, I have seen many versions of this question in my vast experience and I know exactly what to do.

But inside my head something told me that I have to cheer this guy up, and so replied with a smile, left eye blink and a sarcastic tone – “Haircut”. He just let out a deep breathe and stood with his hands folded staring, as hard as he can, at me. Making people angry with my stupid jokes is not new to me, but I haven’t seen someone this angry and most importantly I realized that I have messed up with the system. I was so good at this because I had a process and I never deviated from it, until now!
I quickly replied short hoping this would put back things to normal. He followed up with a series of questions in his angry tone
How short? Pointing his scissors to the side of my head  this short?  till here?
I had no idea about exactly how short or long I want my hair to be, the barbers always seem to decide it for me and all of sudden I am being asked to make this decision myself, am I prepared for it?

This went on for some time, I kept pointing my finger at different areas on my hair and he would cut it short till there and then move to the next question. And every time I try getting a glance of my face on the mirror he would tap on the back of my head twice with his finger, a gesture meant for me to stop moving my head, which I realized only after a good number of strong taps. Finally we reached the end of the ritual where he would give the finishing touch with a shaving blade. Now, I am sensitive and ticklish at the back of my neck like most other macho men, so I tend to giggle like most other . . .
It is probably the only time I can afford to laugh with a blade put up next to my neck.
But I knew if I do that today, there is a high probability of me not walking out of this place. So as he started off with the blade I bit my lip hard to control from laughing, till finally it reached a point of beyond control where I burst into a huge guffaw. He stopped put the blade on the table and with a frustrated look nodded his head to show some kind of disagreement and said “It’s done”
I knew exactly what he meant it is the equivalent of “No more Haircut for you!!”
I got up and with out even thinking for a second started walking out of the place when he blocked my way and said angrily 30 bucks!!
I hit the back of my head for forgetting, took the wallet out only to realize what is inside. I slowly moved the 1000 rupee note out, pointing it towards him and said change ??
He just stood stand still with his hands folded and stared . . . 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I am always late in putting up stuff, this one is supposed to be out weeks back.

 Salinger and his master piece were in the news after a long time and it made me thinking, again, of the kind of influence his book had on people and all that. I think there was this phase of my life, where I used to read anything that came under ‘The best novels of all time’ kinda section thinking it would be a cool show off in literature related conversations or something like that, I don’t exactly remember, I have a bad memory you know. So in this frantic effort to read these “cult books” I stumbled upon Catcher in the Rye. After reading the first page, for a moment I was shocked, can somebody write like that? Is this allowed? Do they accept such style as books?

    I always used to think there is this secret community of old people wearing weird clothes deciding on which books to be put up on classics section and I just couldn’t fit the catcher in rye with the kind of image I had for this community. And if you ever happen to meet one of them, I imagined, they would go on about how a classic should be, stroking their long white beards, "oh the style, the punctuation, the long complicated sentences with deep meaning that would make you read them twice to really understand and think like a hundred times to get the intended meaning behind it.", and then, since it is a secret community and you just met one of them, they have to kill you, anyhow . . 

I am not criticizing the classics or anything, oh I never would. But, Catcher in the Rye has changed my style of thinking, from ‘he is one of the finest authors . . .’    to      ‘boy, does he write well’.

And when I read this book it kept reminding me of some one I knew, all the time. Till one day, boom, it struck me Holden Caulfield is a lot like calvin of calvin & hobbes. If Calvin ever had to grow up, which honestly I hope he wouldn’t, this would be exactly his autobiography, word to word I say. It made me thinking, Bill Watterson and J.D Salinger, both this reclusive types that were so particular about their creation that they protected the copyrights with great care, are similar in so many ways. A classic case of great minds think alike . . .

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Letter from an almost extinct species

I want to tell you guys my story, a pretty sad one, that would probably make you all think (real good) and feel guilty (real bad). I was once the most crowded species on earth with population in billions, belonging to a family of great men and women; I am your simple next door, always in your pocket or rather was in your pocket, normal key pad cell phone.
But then something strange happened, with the introduction of iPhones. I still remember that day like it was yesterday, I was sitting next to this huge coffee cup watching the news and this bald dude with glasses was displaying this new, apparently cloned, version of my species. I still remember it like it was yesterday, we were scared to death and the wise old men of our species began to predict the end of our race, ‘a massacre soon to begin’ they said in their shaky voice. You should have seen the coverage this event got in our 24x7 media, with texts like – ‘is it 2012 already?’ ‘What would the few left ones of our species do – comedy??’; And also, there was this viral message of a really funny joke about our species’ religious preacher going to a bar . ., which I don’t think I can discuss considering the serious tone I have determined to bring to this letter.
I am not righting this out of anger, I remind, but of concern, concern for all the species around me. The question to all you humans is – where? Where do you want to go with this entire touch thingy?
Touch phones, touch books, touch flush, touch buttons to your shirt!! Is there a stop to this? Do you really want your children to grow up in a world where the word button is unheard of, do you want them to grow with obese fingers that have not touched anything other than stupid touch screens. What do you think you’ll say to them when they come to you asking, “mama, what is this ‘press button’ grandpa keeps talking about in all his stories?” You think you can explain to them the action press without having a button around??
I hereby call all you people of earth to say no to a flat world, say no to obese fingers, say no to touch and yes to press.
Just another ordinary Phone
P.S: sent from my normal phone using a key fuckin pad

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My letter to Kids (of all sizes)

Read on if you are an Infant
Kids - Finally, I’ve decided to be brave and tell you what I really wanted to, but never could. But before all that, I truly acknowledge the fact that you are innocent, cute and all that. But why, why in god’s name do you cry? See that kind of rhymes (why cry?), hope it keeps your ever changing attention span here for a bit long.
Now, I don’t mind if you cry or whine at a decibel level that matches your size and I clearly wouldn’t care if you cry anytime but for my sleeping time and I wouldn’t give a damn if you whine at anyplace but for the train I am traveling in. Please don’t whine in my train (trying my best to get it rhyming kiddy)
Nevertheless, I have to be a little fair to you and I would tell you why. Because I was a kid like you once, I sometimes recollect those wonderful times as young and stupid. And on this note I would give you some advice – Don’t Cry. Period.
Read below if you’re a kid under seven, little ones you can get back to sleep.
Kids – you guys are cute. I like watching you on Youtube, you know the ones where you weep while you’re brother toddler bites your finger. But please don’t call me Uncle, because we are not ready for that yet! And I probably wouldn’t mind if you just call me that and leave, but please don’t ask me to resolve your plastic ball plastic bat cricket issues. Again, I still wouldn’t have taken it to heart if all of this stopped there, because we all know that the ‘I am not ready while he was bowling’ is a bad excuse to get bowled, but for heaven’s sake why should I go talk to his parents and get you his bat, that he took along all pissed, so that you can continue playing?
Read here if you’re above seven, others play time’s over
Kids – I understand you’re all smart whiz kids. But there is a reason why these social networking websites wouldn’t let you register and login. It’s called free iPod, obviously it’s not but that did buy me some time to keep your attention from the other 10 tabs and 12 IM windows open right now. As always, I don’t have any kind of problem with you just registering on these websites, but why do you add me in your network just because you happened to be my neighbor or my second cousin or my second cousin’s neighbor. Now, I might sometimes end up accepting your invitation hoping it would stop you from pestering me, but why in this world would you send me your Twitter page link, do you really think I enjoy knowing that your math hme wrk scks! even if I was lucky enough to decode through your ttyls, rotflmao, ctc et cetera?