Friday, March 5, 2010

When I was a Teenager........................

Let me start formally by a big "Hello" to all.Formality sounds better when you are seriously trying to repair a relation or when there has been an absolute lack of communication for a considerable amount of time.The latter holds true in our case.What stopped me from blogging is predictable but what brought me into it again can be attributed to the exceptional motivational skills of my dear friend "Vishal".I don't remember being praised so vigorously in my whole life than in the last 10 days or so wherein things finally reached a stage where it altogether defined a new level of stress.I decided to play it safe and start "Blogging" again.

I was planning to scribble my opinion about the latest Budget.A few minutes into writing the post I realized it was not my cup of tea.Shifting back to the "Nostalgic" mode didn't disappoint as ever and revived the adrenaline levels.Music acts as a catalyst to sustain the adrenaline levels and "Those were the best days of my life" by Bryan Adams forced me to think what mine were.In the fraction of a second I concluded it was "When I was a Teenager"

Teenage comes with wild sway of hormones which in turn decides the other course of events.Mine was no different either where my heart ruled the brains.Thinking logical was simply out of question.

I was obsessed with the "looks" factor to the extent that the magic potion to fairness "Fair and Lovely" which according to the manufacturers overruled all genetic abnormalities had become an extended family.I could skip dinner but could not miss applying it overnight.If I happened to miss I would make up for it the next day applying three to four times until I was confident.I was an obese all through out my childhood which can be blamed on my Rice eating skills.Rice is something which all "mallus" consider to be divine and if that is to be believed I had definitely attained nirvana as I was eating Rice three times a day.I earned many nicknames for it "Bhatalya" being the one which stood with me for a considerable time.

Come teenage and I definitely wanted to get rid of this unwanted fat.I stopped Rice altogether though the initial Rice abuse was such that the after effects were difficult to get rid off easily.The pot belly was the worrying factor.I used to be busy pulling my stomach inside especially during my interaction with females which were very few and I wanted to make the maximum impact.

Falling in love was a daily ritual and very ably supported my dear friends who would never fail to say "Tereko dekh rahi hain saale" when I had my own doubts.I felt like a living example of the word "Infatuation"

Exhibition of popular-ism is other area which stood out prominently during my teenage years.I felt that I need to be able to waive my hand and say "Hello" to the maximum people around and expected the same from them.It was definitely a big high when somebody would point out  "Yaar!! Tu to bahut popular hain"

Remembering all this makes me wanna grow up once again..............

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A beautiful "CURD" mind

For sure, the title isn't projecting the right essence of the post. It fluctuates between the extremes of seriousness and fun. So what is it supposed to mean? Translated literally in Hindi it reads "Dimagh ka (sundar) dahi" Yeah, possibly it would have pitched the right tone now. But wait till it unleashes completely.

February is usually a quite month. One of the reasons, I like this month of the year, is the climate. It is near perfect- Not too hot, nor too cold. It is also the month when our nation sits and watches Budget. Year after year, I have failed to understand what it means (to me and to others). No matter, how serious and grim I try to be in front of the television, it still manages to give me a flak. It is just too complicated and unhealthy for my heart. All I understood from this year’s was that I would be paying a little less tax. Even that hurt me. I had to finally make amends with myself that I also belong to middle class, aam admi category, who is affected by almost everything. Be it a price rise in sugar, diesel, chappal, and you name it. The best part of being poor is that you almost always give up hope and when you give up hope, it certainly feels much better. So the poor man lives for the moment and is happy. The rich keeps getting richer and you would rarely find a Ambani cribbing for a sugar price rise. He is beyond all that. And yet he tries to get tax wave offs for better profits is another story. But certainly when he goes home after a hard day of work and has a cup of tea from Tina, I am sure, he does not think of how much it costs. So to my thinking, he is better off too. Now comes out favorite Aaam Admi. He pays most of the money he earns in taxes, fights with the vegetable vendor for a price rise, sulks for his loans, children’s education and gets so habituated to sulking that it becomes his favorite pastime. Sulk to pass time, gosh! He cares how much is the monthly outgo and creates a new mini budget sheet at home only to be at the receiving end of his wife. To me he is not a aam admi. He is the "gutli" admi. Because he never eats aam, but keeps couting the gutlis.

As I said before, the good news is that I would be saving some taxes. The joy was short lived though. A pessimist friend of mine over a cup of caffeine told us that from now on our Provident Fund would be taxed and added "Dont forget the price hike in Diesel; which means it is going to be much tougher than you think. Usually diesel hikes have a cascading effect on all the rates and it does not matter if you drive a personal vechicle or not, it still would have a nasty effect on your life style". I had to nod to his pessimism and appreciate his knowledge. What choice did I have? So after the conversation ended and caffine kicked in my nervous system I began to think seriously how to move from the gutli-admi category to the better rich class. Getting poor was certainly not an option. The social pressure would be been enormous to bear with. So my conscience convinced me to study the basics. I readied myself to get accustomed to the budget and its implications. And there I was sitting in front of a random TV channel and listening to what Pranab Babu was trying to say. Now come on, I knew I would not understand it completely at one go, so I switched to AAJ Tak who were supposedly giving a more human version of what it means. But no matter how much I tried, terms like GDP, per-capita income, capital gain blew the remaining steam in me. I decided to give a try to the flamboyant "Economic Times" next day. But sadly, it did not enlighten me a bit. It only increased the confusion and left my mind in tatters. `So there I was back to square one. The stress induced from the budget certainly made me hallucinate and there I was talking to myself which reminded me of Russel Crowe's "A beautiful mind". Mine was slightly uglier. A beautiful “curd” mind. Something I am contemplating on.....

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tribute to God!

After a long long hiatus what inspires me to write? Well, I have seen god today. For all those, who have already drawn conclusions of me going crazy, hold on. Ok, let me scale down his status a bit and may be then you would agree as well. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, The ultimate GOD of cricket. What a man, what a genius, A true legend. Rarely would you find a person so grounded inspite of the fact that he is among the most powerful people in India. His words would weigh more than perhaps even the prime-minister. His deeds on the cricket field can overshadow even the best of breaking news. I won’t be surprised if his picture is being flashed on the front pages of most of the leading newspaper tomorrow leaving the temperamental Mamta Banerjee's railway budget to the inferior second pages. Such is Sachin's Aura.

This man has scaled the tallest of the mountains and yet is hungry for more. His 200 in a one day must have put the technology to test for sure. Some succeeded, others failed miserably.  The official simply crashed. Popular social networking site Twitter threw thousand of Sachin tweets at one go. Some of the classics I captured are

"24 Feb need to be celebrated as "TENDULKARS DAY" when all aspiring and struggling cricketers would observe a FAST......."
"I finally know what god really looks like!! He is about 5"5, maharashtrian and plays cricket!! Tendulkar bapa morya"
" Lemme repeat: 'I Will See God When I Die But Till Then I Will See Sachin'"
"anandmahindra:On my way to ndtv Indian of the year awards.But wonder if any other indian matters tonight after sachin's double ton..."
"HISTORY has been created by d Master . In future people will always remember where they were when SACHIN scored 200* runs. Atyanth abhimaan."
"Missed it? You're madowat???? Anwar's 194 doesn't count for me - he had a runner. *THIS* is how you score a double century!!!"
"Those lucky fckrs in the stadium can say it for the rest of their lives, "I was there"... I wish i was.."
"kjohar25:His name is TENDULKAR and he is a LEGEND!!!"
"priyankachopra:Oh my god!Just read about sachins double century!Mannn!I slept thru it!! :( feel so proud to be born at a time when I can witness greatness!
 Sachin everywhere !

and finally this one, I enjoyed the most. Poor Shree
"I know Sachin is God but I have to remind you that Sreesanth has a chance today to be the first person to get 200 while bowling"

For sure I will always remember what I was doing when Sachin was raining boundaries. I was trying hard to work, and I was not the only one doing that. There were dozen others besides me flipping between work, chats and cricinfo. The flip became so violent when Sachin was nearing 200, that it was almost good to say, most of them weren’t working. Never before had anyone cursed Dhoni for hitting fours and sixes. But today was different. .He was denying Sachin is well deserved strike. It enraged almost everyone and I am sure his effigy could have burnt had he not allowed Sachin his due. Not everyday you witness history. It was special today. Very special. This person evokes hopes everytime he walks to bat. What a man. And look what he did to me today. Woke me up from the deep slumber and do what I like doing. Write. Writing praises on a supposedly funny blog surely must have had an impact on me. Hats Off to the man. Truly blessed to be born in the Sachin era. God please accept my bow !

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Who pays the bill ???

After a forceful hiatus from blogging which can be safely blamed on the daily hassles of life reaching an equivalence point.I am back to what I love doing the most.No better way to unwind than switching into the nostalgic gear.I vividly remember we had a rocking group in school.The camaraderie was seen to be believed.We as a group were more famous rather than being known individually.Of-course the reasons for which we shared the limelight are debatable.

I don't remember how the group was formed but going by its members one thing was for certain "POCKET MONEY" which is the only socially accepted source of income for a student. was an issue with all of us. At any given point of time each individual had at-least two guys depending on him monetarily.Though there would be resentment nobody expressed it.

All would go well until someone would come out with an idea of having a Party which by default meant to be "SAMOSAS" at the nearest sweet mart with loads of chutney (Red colored water) for company.At times we would forget the samosas momentarily and would be busy drinking the chutney.Depending on the frequencies of parties we had which could be very well compared with the appearance of a comet on earth.The samosas would dissappear in quick time and chatnis would make another round or two until until one of us would point out that shopkeeper was showing gestures to his waiters to stop the supply.

Before our taste buds could get over the shock of samosas from the typical "Ghar ka Khaana" our brains would be busy creating hormones and make us think "Who pays the bill now" The thoughts would reflect on the body language and nobody would dare to make eye contact with each other.Most of them would either gaze over the empty plates or rather be faking some serious discussion..Finally after each one would complete his share of antics we would all collectively look to the member who was relatively well off with the "Pocket Money" but he would mutter angrily "Pichle bar maine diya tha" We would then get back to the basics with each one asking the million dollar question "Tere pas kitna hain" After some anxious moments during which the sweetmart owner would be busy repeating his morning prayers for the second time our contributions would finally match the bill amount.Some of the guys would still put up a brave smile and say ""Agli baar doonga" though everybody knew believing it was like digging your own grave.............


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"YES" I can't say "NO"

I am not sure how many of you are comfortable uttering the dreadful word "NO" , but I am for sure at complete disarray with it.I am at ease in scenarios like Boss's  final take on a project or  girlfriend's choice of gift on your birthday,  where saying  "No" is absolutely not in picture and you need to accept decisions gracefully putting up a brave smile. But the dilemma arises when I have an option between "YES and "NO"

They say saying "No" is an art.Can somebody please make it more user friendly?. All these years I have been  struggling to say "No!Sorry I won't do it” nonchalantly.Infact I don’t even  remember saying it. The moment somebody expects some work to be done from my end which would of-course not benefit me in the least possible way, I always hear an inner voice saying to me  "Wake up Dude!!” but I just say “NO” to the inner voice and end up saying “YES” to the front person.

All thanks to this trait I have been a part of numerous birthday parties,marriages and at times even played the role of an event manager staying back even after the hosts have left home. I did some googling and found I was not the only one struggling to say “No” .There are millions of others who are a part of the club. The root cause is the belief that , you are on this earth, to please everyone and can't take chances of causing an upset.You start thinking ”arey yaar ! sunil kya sochega” “woh sunil ke padosi sharma uncle kya sochenge” the list is endless.

“Learning the art of saying NO” is serious topic being discussed in MBA courses off late. But I feel its too late for me now to join an MBA course just to say “NO”

So I am continuing the trend of saying “YES” and my inability to say “NO” to Vishal has landed me yet again in a new venture "”.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Whats up with marriages and invitations?

My friend called me one month after my wedding. "Hello! Vishal, tell me one thing. Are you married?", "Yes of-course", I replied, realizing that I had forgotten to invite him. "Many Congrats!" Bang, the phone was down. I tried to reach him. My calls were all rejected. Dropped him an sms. "Apologies, I somehow forgot, please come and meet me over a coffee!" Pat came the answer "Go to hell" Annoyed , I sms'ed him back. "Would you have made it from the US? Expect a honest answer!"  Back came the reply. "No! I expected a invitation anyways". I had no answer to all this. I decided to give up realizing, this was just a tip of the iceberg.

Another call came some day later. A distant friend to be honest. "You mailed me but you never called me. How do you expect me to come?" I was like, but I wrote in the invitation "Please consider this as my personal invitation". He asked, "do you really mean it?" I said, "Of-course". The conversation ended there. I did not dare to sms him, I was experienced now! A relative called this time. I was in a meeting at office. Nevertheless, I took the call. With lots of confidence I asked, "You did not make my wedding". I was expecting a optimist response like, "Arey Chotu ki exam thi", "Achanak tumharey uncle ki tabiyat kharab ho gayi". The reply was interesting."You did not invite properly". I was shell shocked. What is proper invitation? Alien concept!  "I had sent a hard copy of my invitation and called you too". "Yes, you did all that beta, but you did not write a letter in the invitation. We are elders and expect personal invitations" I had not answers to this. I excused myself, saying my meeting was is progress. "Will call you after the meet". No prizes for guessing. I never called.

And then there was another friend with whom I had a chat session. In-fact, I was getting all sarcastic replies to my questions. It did not take me long to realize I did not invite him. It was a recession year and I had decided to call a selective few. I did not call outstation people for a simple reason. The hotels were unavailable and the ones which were available were only 5-stars. Gosh I wasn't spending my honeymoon in those, so the question of accommodating them was certainly out of question. I told him matter of fact. "Yaar, recession chal raha hai, so I made this event a low key affair. But of-course you are welcome anytime, if you like to wish us and spend time".To utter disbelief, he made a mockery of it and did not limit it to the confines of the chat-room.

And then there is other category too. One who are invited with all personal invitations, phone calls, invitation cards (both hard and soft copy) all arrangement made, but don't turn up. There is a friend of mine who did not turn up too. It seems he was happy about it though. Days later, he sent a mail across (many people included), "why there were none from our group for your wedding". The intention of the mail was unclear. May be he was trying to embarrass me. Guess what, I was least bothered.

That's about me. I have heard equally amazing stories too. A very good friend of mine, had printed millions of invitations cards (supposed to be distributed to the entire village). However on the day of marriage only a countable few turned up. After a desperate find, realized that the card had a misprinted date.Gosh what a error. Another chum of mine had distributed equal number of cards (if not more). Same apathy.Not many turned up. In rural areas, there is a tradition to include the name of close ones (specially relatives) in the invitation cards. Somehow there was a printing mistake in the card too. The crime was, he had misprinted his close relative name by mistakenly addressing him "Late" (meaning expired). Half the people were upset with it and the other half had gone to share the sorrow of the deads family.

Worse was a scene where the bridegroom decided not to turn up for his own marriage. Reason- His education qualification were not scribbled on the bride's invitation card. He decided to throw a tantrum at the last minute.Fun, isn't it? Not really. An evening to remember suddenly becomes a evening to forget for the hosts. Remember we can get caught in that trap too. These days, I make it a point to attend weddings just to wish people. Sometimes invited, other times ...........

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A shot at Bhaigiri!

Inspite of the fact that Ranjit has warned me not to scribble on this subject again, I couldn't resist the temptation of describing another eventful Pune-Mumbai journey .There seem to be no dearth of stories and events while I happen to travel this route frequently for personal work.

It was Saturday and after an unusually heavy meal, took my sack and boarded the bus. My thumb rule for any journey is board the first possible bus irrespective of whether it is cattle class (Shashi tharoor's knows what it means) or whether it is sophisticated high class Volvo. This time I  spotted a  Volvo from a fair distance and ran a half marathon to catch the bus. I made myself comfortable at my favorite window seat;plugged in my cell earphones and  there I was, the happiest living human being on the earth. All was hunky dory until the bus decided to take a halt after a good half journey. Some wanted to pee and others wanted a snack.

I decided to get a cuppa to wake myself up from the lethargy of seating numb-less for a couple of hours. My bums were more tired than any other part of my  body, so just stretched myself a little bit. With a alert body and semi lethargic brains, i joined in the queue to get tea coupon. I just stood at the  overcrowded counter and after a patient wait of 5 minutes, I was warming up for my turn. Just when I picked some cash from my wallet, I was screamed at by a  strange looking 35-40 something fellow. By the time I could realize what was happening, he had already hurled a bountiful of abuses on me. I stood there shocked for a second  and asked him the nature of my crime. He continued to yell at me "Kya #$#$#$# log hai, samajtha nahi hai line hai $#$#$#$#" Listening to the meaningless abuses, I had become extremely alert by now as the pressure created by the adrenaline rush was climbing up by gigantic proportions. Essentially, my blood was zooming like a F1 car.He kept shouting in Hindi for not standing in the queue. Queue what queue? I realized, may be he was standing a little longer than I  was, but honestly there wasn't a queue any where per se. I would be the first person to follow a queue and would not have felt ashamed in any which ways to stand behind him. But, he continued to shout (may be venting his frustrations on me) and by now ,I was loosing my control as well.  Suddenly I lost my patience and there i was, shouting back at him, unleashing harsh yet decent words on him left, right, center. He soon realized that he was loosing battle as I was getting pretty aggressive. He left the counter with head down as he never expected a backlash. I was not in my senses though. I followed him to his desk and gave him a mouthful in front of his gang. He looked embarrassed as his ego was bruised badly. I too realized that I had gained the upper hand now and just to make him realize,the way in which he reacted was wrong, I mock called a BHAI from my mobile. My one sided conversation was like this. " Ha Bhai, mi lonavala la ah, dhabya var....pathav jara karyakartyanna...Lavkar jara........ek gabra ahe, tyla dakhvacha ahe.......ha lagech gadi bhar" (Bhai send a truck load of volunteers at Lonavala dhaba to get this stupid guy straightened out) I soon realized that he was a fellow Marathi too and by now seem to have completely mellowed. He discussed with his fellow mates as to what to do now, since he had got in to trouble . His face was showing all kind of expressions. He managed to pull crowd to his table and began explaining to them how right he was. In the mean while, i continued to call on my mobile following him like a Vodaphone network and this time all i said was, " ha kuthey ahe...lavkar lavkar" (ha where are u, pls send asap) I managed to create  panic in him mind. I was happy that my fragile body was by now swelled up with pride. Realizing that I was not  going to leave him , he decided to break ice with me. He apologised for the abuses and told, me that he was wrong for using such harsh words. I too realized, no need to pull his leg further and spoke politely to him too. "If you could have requested me, I wouldn't have created a scene too" He continued to apologize and I told him to leave as soon as possible since once the BHAI gang comes, they would not listen to me as well and would definitely have a shot at you. He requested his fellow mates to pack up and within minutes drove away from the place. I suddenly was looked as a role model there and walked with a bhaigiri aura .

Silently I was praying that the plan did not backfire on me. After few minutes, the bus started again. I took my seat. My fellow seat mate who was full of attitude earlier was suddenly smiling at me with loads of respect. He broke a conversation with me and asked me who Bhai is? I was dumb-stuck at his question as I myself did not know who he was. But, I decided to enjoy my bhagiri a lttle more. "Arey Bhai ka naam Ranjit hai aur woh bahot dangerous he, uske sar key baal bahut lambey hai ...............................................

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