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 ...............................................

Monday, November 16, 2009

How to face an interview.............................

If you happen to have completed graduation without an appreciable track record and have taxed your brains to the hilt to qualify for higher studies but yet "Failed".You have no other way out but to succcumb to Social Pressure and hunt for a "Job" at an early stage.......

        That is exactly what happend to me though I managed to sneak in around 6 months of prefect bliss doing nothing as my parents gave in to my confidence of clearing an upcoming entrance exam.Those six months were spent in utter confusion since I could not figure out how to study for an Entrance Exam as there was neither a Defined start nor a Predictable end.My confusions showed in the results and I failed big time.

       I was a part of the Social Pressure now.Though may failure to crack the Exams was supposed to be the best kept secret on earth confined to the four corners of my house.The paparazzis did their job and the news leaked out.I was not very popular in my locality and  was considered to be studious.Not their fault since they were always used to seeing me  carrying journals and big books on my way to college.

Give in to Human Psychology failures attract people like bees to honey. I was suddenly everyones eye candy and saw a sudden surge of unexpected visitors enquiring about me.I guess when someone who is considered an intellectual fails the excitement is doubled.At times I felt like a Terminally ill patient who is being visited with loads of fruits....

Things got worse and one fine day my mother downrightly declared

"I am fed up of making tea for these visitors and then discussing your failures over it"

After a lot of "APPLY APPLY NO REPLY" scenario the ball finally landed in my court and I was called for an interview by a reputed MNC.In a split of a second the gloomy atmosphere turned into a Festival one.This time for a change my interview call was made public just to keep the visitors at bay and it worked.I was suddently left alone......

The buzz and excitment surrounding the interview call was such that I totally ignored the Presentation and Technical skills required to face it.I was just banking on some university viva sessions which I thought I faced confidently and imagined this would be a cake walk for me as well.

    All my calculations however went haywire and I couldn't even make it past the first round.I learned the facts the hard way.The situation was back to one at home with the visitor count gradually increasing but this time I was conspicious by my absence as I was busy hunting for books "How to face an interview"


Thursday, November 12, 2009

How to propose a girl - The township way!

I spent my childhood in a superb sleepy place called Ozar Township which is about 19 kms from the holy city of Nasik. Township is a habitat for the employees of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It has the company of a small and petite village called Ozar-goan which mainly belongs to the business class and farmers. The school in which we studied (Ranjit included, yes Ranjit is educated!) had majority of its population belonging to these twin brothers. The diverse culture between the small towns provided a perfect platform for students to understand the difficult geographic and political topic of "Unity in Diversity”. I never had to mug that fortunately, as that was the only one I understood perfectly.Unity in diversity meant, studying together, playing together, hitting together and yes proposing the girl together too.

The picture to propose the girl may look rosy looking at the camaraderie of the school friends. But trust me, it was not. It was as difficult as getting a hefty pay raise during a recession year. There were tons of millions of factors to be considered before which you could think of proposing a girl - even in your dreams. As you would expect there were typical, boy loves girl (one sided) stories. And then there was also usual, hypothetical "starvation of good looking females" crib. On an average there were two good looking girls per class. Our batch had seven divisions and each division would have 50 students approx with a girl to boy ration of 40:60. Any one could imagine why those scant extinct species of beautiful girls had to suffer. 28 adolescent, hormone avalanche-ing boys, per division, had their crushes, dreams and what not on a these rare beauty personified girls. When the competition was so neck throat and stiff, only a few gutsy ones would get a chance to propose his sweetheart. Others would mull over the lull. The majority of guys would fall under the 'other' (Ranjit included) category. To soothe themselves they would form a group (of failures) and would together blame the gutsy fellows, each one though secretly admiring the gustiness.

Who got to propose the girl largely depended on his status in the school. Some of the parameters to qualify for these were smartness, popularity, marks, father’s status in the office, ability to speak confidently, to name a few. But amongst all, Vat-ing or Backing (support from seniors and external crowd) had the most weightage. Gosh even if you had all the things in your favor, without the support factor, you had no chance to stand. So, the seeds of lobbying were sown in childhood itself. It was not surprising that there were many groups and subgroups. But mainly there were two rival groups and the subgroup support would go to the one who agreed to their ideology.

Now the smartest boy from Group A would throw his weight around declare that he has fallen for the beautiful classmate. Other members in the group would half heartedly (as they are also equally passionate about her) nod their heads. Their true emotions would never be shown on the face. When this eligible boy is trying to impress the girl by doing all sort of crazy things, Group B members (the opposition party) are secretly planning to bash him up. They would sometimes contact the girl offline and bitch her about him. D-day would arrive. Eligible bachelor, after all his gimmicks would plan to propose her. Group B members would not let this happen. They would suddenly turn themselves in to her brothers. Brother! yeah.They had their I-Cards printed with these words. Eligible bachelor would now be nervous. He would try to contact his group members. It would be too late sometimes. Group B member had already pounced on him and hit him all over. Girl would be confused, but also proud now. She had gained all the TRP's now and would walk with lots of confidence. Twist in story. Brother's friend also has a crush on the same girl. He proposes. Girls about to have a nervous break down.
Though the story appears hyperbolic, I had been witness to worse scenarios. I remember once, the two rival groups were bashing up each other and the girl was completely unaware as to why was this happening. Even worse was a scene where the brothers asked the hero to bend on his knees and ask the heroine to forgive her. If anyone succeeded in proposing the girl, it meant she has said 'YES' to his strange question. "Aye Friendship deti hai kya tu?" I often laugh alone remembering that punchy line. The question it seems is now changed. It is more forthcoming and updated now. It reads "Aye Loveship deti hai kya tu?"  Jeez, what a way to propose. Well,this can happen only in Township. No where else!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Was I focussed enough????????

I was pretty much happy on a personal level with the way things had been unfolding over the past few weeks.When suddently the age old proverb "All good things come to an end came true on me"  after  I met this 15 or something adolscent in the bus on my way to office.

 Usually I have this habbit of getting into conversations with people in the bus just to kill the time and avoid dozing off which usually lands me in big trouble since there have been occassions where I have almost travelled 5 to 10 km backwards to office as I would be busy dreaming when my stop arrived.A glance at the teenager  and I knew "Studies and Career" and no other topic would be ideal  in starting a dialogue with him.The attire he wore seemed to be the uniform of some reputed college coupled with the overloaded bag which seemed more healthier than him.I was already busy preparing the script in my mind . How I would advice him regarding the mistakes which I committed and which he could avoid.I even went to the extent of thinking as to how this conversation would change his life for ever and he would always be indebted to me.

I greeted him with an "Hello" and he responded half heartedly I didn't mind since as a initiator of conversations in most cases I was pretty much at ease with half hearted "Hello's"  After a round of some more interesting questions and equally uninteresting replies I could summarise the gentleman was named "Rahul " by his parents and was in the standard XII busy preparing for the upcoming board exams.One question that generated some enthusiasm in him and even made me happy for a while was "Which profession do you want to be in" .I was doing my home work how I would tackle  answers like  "I don't know" "Abhi decide nahi kya"  "Mere parents decide karenge" "Woh mera best freind hain na !! woh Engineering ko ja raha hain to main bhi most probably udhar hi jaoonga" as these were the only ones I could think of since I thought like this when I was of his age....

 But  to my utter disbelief !!!!! .He came up with a answer that shook me off for a moment even though the bus had to come to a halt for the passengers to alight . He said "Uncle!(I was not wearing my cap)  I am aiming for the IIT and have joined the entrance coaching classes which is after the college hours and I am confident I would make it" I did not give up and tried to get the answer I wanted from him "But my friend what about your parents won't they have some dreams about their son" and "Come on ! How can your forget your best friend"

He answered with a smile as if he was aware of my trap  "Uncle! My parents totally abide by my decision and as for friends with my nature I can make best friends anywhere"  That was the final nail in the coffin  I suddenly realised that it's not easy to converse with a person who is smarter than you and is even more stressful if he is half your age.I was now finding ways to end the conversation but as luck would have it he was busy preparing to alight at the next  stop and I hastily conveyed my best regards to him.Forget giving advice all thanx to this gentleman my rest of the day was screwed as all I could do was think
"Was I focussed enough????????"


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Freaking out on a saturday!

Weekends aren’t exactly celebrated in India. All those you reply to the Monday morning customary, gossipy question of “How was your weekend?" with "Oh, I totally freaked out!" are all but lying, trying to ape the westerners-mostly. Once I asked my colleague what he meant by freaking out and not surprisingly, with an embarrassing tone said, he watched television all day. Is this called freaking out? To him perhaps yes!

For me a day well spent is the day I do nothing. I just love doing nothing. But this happens rarely and mostly theoretical. I spend my Saturdays quarrelling with government officials, bargaining vegetables, paying overdue bills, repairing my cycle and many more abysmal things which I cannot afford to do weekdays.

The day typically unfolds ten-ish with a long gaze at the newspaper reading mostly the latest who-killed-whom sort of stories. There is also a ‘pretending to read the editorials’ session at the approach of elders. What follows is a lazy breakfast with a long list of to do things, some thought carefully and some just thrust upon by all sorts of adorable people. The outcome of the list depends largely on the day. On a good day all things magically work out and you begin to think of how beautiful the world is. On other days, it is, why I the heck am I supposed to do this kind of feeling.

My favorite though is visiting the government offices. Changing the passport names, updating the ration card entries, pan card application are few of the things which comes as a package of getting newly married. Since in Pune all these places are at different demographic locations, I have to take an auto-rickshaw ride to these places. Auto drivers in Pune have a definitive aura about them. They often reject rides and mostly agree taking us only to their preferred locations. And yes, they can charge you astronomical figures and could take you miles if they realize that you are a newbie. I have a history of altercations with these creatures and my blood pressure shoots up nadir when they try to fool me with hyperbolic sums for meager distances. Such is the apathy of the public transport that you have to depend on these characters and I often end up troubling myself. Visiting closed government offices on Saturdays in an auto-drive is a rare combo which only a lucky few pune-ite’s are privileged to. I totally enjoy such experiences as it gives me a subject on which I can scribble on my blog.

Bargaining vegetables is another thrilling event. I try to get under the skin of the vendor for a bargain of couple of rupees. Often I end up at the receiving end of the fiery temperaments of the vendors. Why I do this is beyond my understanding as well, since late evenings when I spend a couple of hundreds on a stupid tasting pizza (more out of compulsion) I end up blaming myself.

When Saturdays are such stressful, I often end-up meditating on Sundays. If some one asks me Monday mornings as to how was my weekend I confidently say, I freaked out. Isn’t this called freaking out as well?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Marriages are not made in heaven...........................

Our forefathers downrightly declared "Marriages are made in heaven" cleverly ignoring the tricky part that thay are supposed to be celebrated on earth!!!!

But how can one celebrate when marriages got futher classified into Love Marriage and Arranged Marriage.

Love marriage holds the upper hand  with only getting into love being the most difficult part and the rest just  falls in place.The boy meets the girl.The boy likes the girl first.It remains one sided for a few years until the boy finally gathers some courage to express his love to the girl and later realises the girl was waiting all these years for the him to take the initiative.Then it enters the second round of issues where they realise that their parents don't want to be a part of this love story.But since "Pyaar andha hota hain" parents are ignored and the boy marries the girl.After some time parents slowly start missing their children and finally they all kiss and make up and the Family photo is complete.Life can't get more thrilling than this........

In an "Arranged marriage" things are confusing right from the start.The boy in the first place is not sure whether he loves the girl but what is  more important is that boy's parents have to love the girl's parents and vice versa.Then both families need consent from  their respective eldermost person(90 and above)  in the family who is on the death bed but taking advantage of the situation shows some tantrums initially  but finally gives in.Then they all rush(boy and girl not included) to the so called Horoscope expert who is at home with stars,moons,sun signs etc.After a lot of trial and error the horoscope matches or rather is matched up and all heave a sign of relief.Poor Boy and Girl before they realise are already Married.Life can't get  funnier than this


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Eka Daji chi kahani (Story of a son-in law)

Daji, the term itself tickles the funny bone. The fun stops there though. This simple, innocent term creates loads of negative energies for the bride’s parents. The entire family is supposed to be addressing the son-in-law by this, with lots of respect, of course, never mind how the Daji looks or behaves. It is particularly used in the northern part of Maharashtra and its mere utterance means, the girls family would start shivering at the same time, top to bottom, in unison, nerve by nerve. Imagine a family of parents and 2 kids shivering at the same time. Jeez, it is quite a scene. I have seen this with naked eyes and till date, I can’t stop laughing at the sheer fear the term generates.

Society, particularly the rural middle class treat their son-in-law’s as demi gods. This fear is so embedded in their genes, that the respect comes at a spontaneity and one does not have to rehearse it in any which ways. One wrong statement from the brides family and they are game for the rest of the life. "Daji rusley mhanjhe muli kadche phasle". This so called Daji would wait for an opportunity to throw a tantrum. Every one from the Daji’s family in-fact had the license to dominate the fearful bride’s family. The dominance is directly proportional to Daji’s education qualification. More the education, worser the tantrum.This forceful respect came more out of the fear that their ladli gudiya would have to sit at her real home (maheri), if Daji’s ego was left unsatisfied.

The tantrum season would start right before supari (engagement) but would gather vociferous momentum after it.  It would reach its pinnacle during Basta. Basta is event where bride, bridegroom, all parents, elders, relatives, distant relatives, kids, every one is supposed to shop for the marriage. After the shopping the clothes are tied neatly in a white clothe and then reopened only on the marriage day, I guess. This is a real event to flex muscles, display chauvinist power for Daji and his family. Daji has the right to break all the agreements which were made during the marriage talks and his entire family (distant relatives included) would get a chance to shop things which they always dreamed about. Any denial, non-approval of the bill from the bride’s family meant disaster which they could face immediately or later depending on the severity of the crime.

It is routine that the wife’s first pregnancy is an in-law affair for Daji. This basically means that the wife is brought to her parent’s home at 6’Th month and stays there as long as he wishes. This also means greater inconvenience for the parents because now, Daji could visit anytime he liked and every visit of his would mean lavish food and 5-star treatment with at-least one house-hold person accompanying, rather entertaining him at all times. Gosh, such an inconvenience. I remember a real life scene when a ruffled Daji was upset that he was ill-treated rather ignored by the in-laws while his wife was in labor for the second time. As usual, this Daji would not speak with anyone and declared that he would keep the new born and his wife forever with her parents. Looking at the grim situation, the parents had a routine shiver session followed by tons of apologies and promises. But this time it seemed things were completely out of control. Anticipating serious trouble the father came up with a solution which he thought would help cool down the matter. He announced insanely that he would treat his son-in-law like a king if they would be given another chance. Another chance meant another pregnancy! This word spelt disaster. Daji was left red-faced and embarrassed at the same time. Listening to that he went to a shell and I can’t remember how long it took them to make Daji happy again.I was laughing at the solution. So innocent, yet so devastating.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Getting nostalgic this Diwali.........

First of all let me encash this opportuntiy to wish all of you a "Happy Diwali".

Writing a post on paid Holiday with Karanji and Chaklis for company is something out of this world.The ambience of Diwali however is slowly but surely diminishing.The mithais are there infact more exotic and more sweeter,the crackers are more louder and more colorful,the lightings are more techno and state of the art but the real part that is missing is "Sanctity and Enthusiasm"

        An insight of a typical Diwali a decade ago would be not be so colorful but the zeal and the excitement part could be given a ten on ten."Diwali Vacations" was an important part in the school curriculum both for teachers and students each having their own reasons for it.The transition from  "Exam fever" to "Festival atmosphere" would be spontaneous.The once deserted galli ka ground would now be overcrowded and infact there would be so intense space crunch that we had people appointed only to wake up early in the morning and ensure that we made our teams presence felt on the ground though at times we won't even have a play for the entire day.........

Cricket was the only game I and my friends played confidently more often in the diwali vacations so the confidence was pretty much conveyed through our body language and we took on some well known galli teams.Though we would almost loose every single game the ideas and strategies for the next game almost never ended which was nothing but optimism at its best.................

More than eating "Pharals" distributing them was adventurous and required some guerilla tactics  since due to the amazing camraderie we all shared as neighbours we had to ensure that "pharal" reached the the third persons house without the second person knowing about it...........

The motivation to wake up early morning and burst the loudest cracker on earth so that people get out of their beds in a shock was such that we hardly slept on Diwali nights.

This blend of naughtiness and fun is conspicious by its absence in the Diwali of the present era.Where did it dissapear???????????

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I am a responsible citizen, are u?

Honest Confession- I Vishal Pore voted for the first time in my life. Better late than never!

And for the very first time I felt like a confident, responsible citizen. The feeling is upbeat and rightly goes with a promotion of a leading campaign "Hey, sarkar maza asel" which displays a hapless, suicidal farmer requesting to vote for the right candidate. The hype created by the media with countless, beautiful, creative ads had a huge huge impact on me and finally decided to break my silence and cast my valuable vote. The impact was further accentuated today morning by Anand Mahindra's impressive tweet which reads "Just finished voting. Never fails to make me feel proud and exhilarated". I have never attended any election rallies but my vote went to the candidate who least sms'ed me during wee hours (of-course I am kidding). But yeah, the nuisance was intolerable and could have been avoided for sure. Blame it on technology.

The question as to why I voted so late in my career is worth answering (certainly not a excuse). The seeds of (self) awareness where sown pretty late. In-fact they were never sown when they should have been. I remember we had a terrifying subject called Civics during school days. It talked about municipal corporations, state governments, assemblies, Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha, prime-ministers age, who's responsibility is to fix the broken street lights and all such things and it surely had all the ingredients necessary. But my feeling is, it was being taught at a very tender age when one has difficulties understanding family relations. And further there was no time for understanding; all thanks to my mugging capabilities (well documented at Mugging a day keeps parents meeting away.) I remember quite vividly that it took 3 hours for me to mug the eligibility of a Lok-Sabha member. Phew! Where was the time to understand what it meant, when all that mattered was marks on mark sheets and report cards (read My Report Cards)? So the blame goes fairly and squarely to my studying habits first and may be a little bit on the 'education at the right age' factor. As i grew up i began to understand what it takes to form a government. How politicians promise a lot and deliver nothing. How they beg prior to election and alter their personality post win. The vibes surrounding the general public were not exactly encouraging and mostly negative. All i heard from colleagues, elders, and friends was, "kay upyog vote karayacha" (what's the use of casting the vote). So certainly I went with the flow and never tried to question it. Suddenly out of no-where my interest grew in politics. Suddenly i was listening to Sonia, Raj, Uddhav, Vilasrao and suddenly I began to understand alliances, the MNS factor the feud between the first cousins and suddenly I decided to become a sincere citizen. After so much of suddenness, I was happy to vote. In-fact, euphoric! May be i felt like a adult for the first time (never mind, i am already a father)

However, the rituals required to get the election card were not so easy. I ran pillar to post to and vice-versa to get myself registered. But, I can tell you with a lot of certainty that India is progressing and progressing quite magnificently. The form to be filled was simple and i cracked it with full marks. This form was provided by jago-rey, so many thanks to them. Next, submitting the form to the election office was not as difficult as I thought it would be (interacting with the government officials, I thought was huge task. Read Encounters with Government officials). They performed way beyond expectations. The only road block was to get myself registered to the correct ward. The absence of the officials there put some pressure on me and had to visit them often. But nevertheless, I am happy that I got myself registered and yes I voted today. The election identity card is yet to make inroads to my house. Let’s hope it would be ready by next election. Till then I am all optimist about it. Cheers!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Shelar Mama, Nasik style Khichadi and much more

It was yet another hopeless Wednesday morning and I was all alone at home killing time. All of a sudden my phone rang. Mornings usually i don't get calls from Ranjit, friends and well wishers. So,the phone ring i thought was from marketing executive who would promise to manage my portfolio, insurance sellers and other irritating scheme tellers. I was in no mood of an altercation so was trying to avoid answering it. But surprisingly the call was from my childhood chum Vijay Shelar whose alias list includes Pappya, Shelar mama, Vijya to name a mentionable few. He was at a walking distance from my house so obviously i suggested him to walk by. I had just woken up (10 something) and had finished my daily dose of newspaper and a cup of ginger tea (95% water and 5% milk as a taster) to kick start my day.

We were meeting after quite some time so the intensity, motivation and the energy levels were pretty high. After the high fives i settled for another round of tea (his first of-course), this time the milk proportion increasing manifold. We talked about work, recession, mobile phones and also managed to get nostalgic remembering the lovely good old school days. Vijay was also a average performer like most of us in the group. No wonder we gelled so well then. The only enviable fact about Vijay  was he was member of the NCC group (Army) and I was thrown in to the less favorable scout group (all thanks to my height) which was a default group for all the rejected NCC folks. So when these guys would march in unison, we would be busy plucking grass, cleaning grounds,collecting donations which were the activities for the scout guys. Our uniform was strange too. He had white shits, matching pants, a rope and a unforgettable orange scarf tied round our necks.

The banter had reached exciting levels when i realised that my stomach had started complaining for lack of solid food. I avoid packaged food so that meant, I had nothing ready made. It was already noon then so there was no point in breaking fast by a breakfast. So I thought of cooking something for lunch. I pressurised Vijya to stay over and he did succumb to it. The question obvioulsy was the menu. I am not found of cooking but soon realised that Vijya was a fine cook and had heard some stories about his cooking style and so forth. So we finally decide to settle over Khichadi. He asked which one I like. Moong or Tur.I had no clue of the distinction between the two (all dals looked the same to me), so i pulled out a dabba and found the dal which Vijay identifying it as tur.

I also managed to find the cooker,the stirrer spoon, salt, rice, meerchi, onions, potatoes and yes all the spices too. The only ingredient which he thought was missing were groundnuts. I searched all over the kitchen but finally gave up. Vijay was certainly disappointed but we decided to move on. I cut one onion, two chillies, coriander and handed them to Pappya. He had already poured a couple of tea spoons of oil and the spices (mustard and jeera) were busy crackling in the hot oil. Next he put the neatly cut onions and potatoes and fried till it tured orang-ish. He then mixed 1 1/2 cups of rice with almost half cup of  tur dal and washed it carefully. When he was satisfied with the the torture of  onions and potatoes, he put the mixture (dal and rice) and kept stirring for a minute or so after adding haldi, mirchi and other masala in a medium ignited stove. He then poured about a liter of water, added salt and left it to boil. After another couple of minutes he closed the lid of the cooker and it seemed the rituals were over now.In the mean while I removed my glasses and started searching for the groundnuts just to make up the disappointment. But it was not to be.

So 10 minutes later the pressure cooker released all the pressure it had accumulated and buzzed with a lot of confidence. He let it buzz for a couple more time and left it to cool down. I readied the eating apparatus by the time and also found ghee as a topper and pickle to spice things further up. Finally he decide to open the lid prematurely (possibly looking at my hungry face) and there it was. The food was ready to munch. I decided to serve it as a good will gesture. It tasted wonderful and suddenly took me in to Nasik mode. We did not chat while we eat. I guess it was more to do with the taste rather than the lack of topics. Of-couse I burped at the end of my lunch and thanked him vociferously was such a wonderful meal. He too obliged and we decided to wind up things as we suddenly realized that we had to go to office. It was indeed a memorable meal with Pappya.............

Thursday, October 8, 2009

When Things go wrong!

One fine morning I getup and realize that I have a demand draft to be made from the cash, to pay my brothers college fees. Unfortunately the college for some strange reason does not accept cash. Only demand drafts, strictly! I think it is a fair and simple job though the draft has to be made today as it is going to be last day tomorrow. I casually walk at noon to the HDCF bank. I ask for it . I have no clue about the procedure. I am told by the officials to get a cheque,they wont accept cash. I say ok, what if you don't give, there is many others who would service me. I go to ICICC. As usual, nobody pays attention . I still go to the brightly displayed customer service department . The front desk lady smirks and suggests me to get a cheque. I am disappointed now. I start to think, may be this is a standard procedure followed by everyone. I walk back home with the sun shining comfortably at 38 degrees . I decide to get the cheque ready. I cant find my cheque book. I am controlling my emotions now. By this time, my semi smart brain works parallely for alternate solutions. I decide to call up my office buddy to exchange my cash with his cheque, Buddy is obliged. He calls me urgently as he has a meeting to attend. I rush to the office realizing half way, I forgot the identity card. I run back home which is at a walking distance of 20 minutes. I get the identity card this time. I storm my way to reach in time. I barter my cash with his cheque. He gives me Citisank cheque. I rush back to HDCF. By now it is 3 pm. With tired tone and polite manner, I am told "Only HDCF cheque are accepted". I am shattered now. I find my way with a heavy heart to ICICC. The lady gives the same explanation. "Saar, only ICICC cheque we accept, you see". And with a harsh tone requests me to use common sense. I dont handle demand drafts daily. How on earth would I know that they need only respective banks cheques. Not her duty to tell me to tell me the salient points? I refrain from asking .I had no intentions to increase my blood-pressure which by now has shooted nadir and putting heavy load on my fragile heart. I walk away regretfully cursing  faith. I decide to give a final try to Funjab bank. I go there with a lots of patience. Reason- a) I have no hopes from Government affiliated corporates. b) I don't expect exceptions there. I go there with dropped shoulders. I bend and a man in 50's looks suspiciously . I ask him if he can give me a draft. He says of-course why not? I give him the same old cheque as if to tease him. He says, why cheque, only cash. I cant believe this. But whats the point. I don't have cash now. Oh holy heavens. I am told to get cash in 15 minutes as it was close to their business hours.15 minutes flat. I sprint back to office. Buddy in meeting now. Holy geez. I call him out of desperation, He comes out and I explain him the story. He is upset with my strange behavior. But I don't explain further, I take the cash and run harder now. I would have been devastated if the bank was closed. Fortunately, it is still alive. I am told to fill a complex form. I do that. I am told to come in another hour. I had no idea why was I told to run that fast earlier .Pressure tactics perhaps. I am restless. I can't sit one hour in Funjab doing nothing. I walk back to office again with a reminder set . I reach office. Start my work and the alarm buzzes. I crawl to Funjab. Draft not ready yet. Told to stand quietly and not to make fuss. 2 signatures ,3 careful examinations and a grumble over the lengthy college name, I get the draft with a careful pasted tape on the name. Finally I get what I wanted. I nearly missed a breakdown today. I go to work again. Work, work work and head home late night. Give the draft to my bro as if I had won a medal.(You don't just buy a Bournville! You earn it! ) He is amused. I try to explain him the pain I went through. He hears patiently and sympatises. I sleep at night. I cant sleep. I get spasms and muscle pulls as a result of over work. Next day bro comes back from college and says college accept cash now. I faint.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Sorry ! We are Middle Class............................

When god sent man on earth he never knew there was one more class waiting for him here where he would  automatically fall in depending on the financial status and the rest of the course in the  persons life would be decided upon the protocols followed in the class.

So I am from a "Middle Class" now with that comes loads and loads of restrictions..So how do you define psyche of a middle class  person.Lets make things easier for ourselves by analysing a real life story which happens every other day in the lives of people in this class

Once upon a time in a small  sleepy village called OZAR  there was this middle class guy who had gathered some courage to be an exception or rather  behind the scenes gave in to his wife's constant cribbing decided to buy  a car for himself.Now before coming to this decision and at  times trying to forget his wife's angry face  he had to go through the rules to be followed here as per the class.He needed to get a big loan for himself..................

He approcahed his wife as the first option since by default she had some ornaments which were her most beloved poccession and at times were more important than her husband,.He tried to pacify her that he could get some amount in ready cash and take a small loan if she allowed them to be sold.Now with this idea all peace and harmony which was left went for a toss and he was compelled to drop the idea with  immediate effect...........................

He felt taking a loan and facing the consequences as a defaulter would be  far better rather than coming home to a angry wife.Now the next step was to get a loan with the minimum rate of interest which he managed.All thanks to this friend of his with whome he had always maintained a good relation anticipating this scenario.

So now everything was set but which car was supposed to be brought.Wife and children were hoping for a luxury car since he neighbour had one and they couldn't face them if they a brought a cheap one.Now our protgonist when he had thought of buying the car he was always thinking of "MARUTI 800" and never anything beyond that.After a lot of  karan johar scripts and emotional melodramma wife and children give in and protagonist won the battle for a change...

    The car was finally brought with a lot of fanfare and the initial few days were spent going on long drives.Once the initial craze had settled in the next protocol was supposed to be followed
"FUEL EFFICIENCY"  It was observed that  wife and children who earlier used to walk for shorter distances were no longer able to do that since they now had  a car.The peace and harmony was suddenly back to its comfort zone The "CAR"  was  now the centre of all disputes .

By now you must have guessed the end.Yes! the "CAR" finally  found its home for ever and where it was  always destined to be right from the start and rested in peace in the  "CAR SHED" and the family continued with its new struggles.........................

We can conclude in chorus that  psyche of a middle class person is like a pendulum though it sways here and there it will always be back to the middle...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mugging a day keeps parents meeting away..............................................

Since vishal has opened the gates to the dreaded topic of "Studies and Academics" I would like to highlight my approach towards studies which I followed throughout my entire school life which for sure earned me some accolades until this dreadful event  happened which forced me to think for a second,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

The approach was simple and user friendly "MUGGING" When somebody ordered me "Go and study" for me it was "Go and Mug" I made it a point to mug  the entire topic with full stops and commas and if I succeeded in reproducing it exactly the same way in the exams I would feel confident about the results and say "Paper ek dam mast gela boss” Now all went well until we got introduced to this no muggers  subject called "Geometry" where we studied  about triangles,rectangles,squares and other crap,But I  was so very comfortable in mugging that I never could  leave that comfort zone and  make the transition to  "Application of Mind" which is what is required to excel here.

I found out ways to stay in the comfort zone and face this subject and phew!!!!!!!!!   like a light at the end of the tunnel I found out this wonderful thing called "THEOREMS" designed by  mathematical wizards who had already taxed their brains and come out with the conclusions so we did not have to use ours and just learn i.e mugg.Basically theorems are results that are to be followed for solving  advanced geomteric problems and  were explained by using examples like triangles or squares with ABC being the principal naming convention used in the text books..Ex Triangle ABC                                                                                            

So here I was one day prior to "GEOMETRY" exams reading loudly when my fellow classmates would be busy practicing for sure.My parents confirmed with me about the time table of the exam since they could not digest my approach to the subject.Not their fault since only a fellow mugger would understand my plight.When the paper began  my funda was to leave  blank spaces initially for the problems which I am unable to solve and straight away rush to the ones I knew.So after leaving two to three pages( I was below average in this subject) I found my home turf "THEOREMS" just a glance at the question and I gave full justice to it reproducing every instance of what I mugged............

At the end of the paper  unfortunately the blank spaces remained blank since my good friend "Vishal" whome I had pinned hopes on at the last critical moments was infact asking me "Start bata re start!!!!!!!!!!!" I later realised that his paper was also blank and the start he was referring to were for theorems which he had mugged but could not  remember the starting forumla.Another serious disadvantage of mugging things illogically probably he could not master the art as I did.............

I was very optimistic until the papers were distributed.Our geometry professor had some trap set for muggers which I never realised and was too late when I actually did.Remember the naming convention I mentioned  in the text books "ABC"  which I had mugged so well was infact changed to PQR in the question and  I had unfortunately reproduced the entire thing with regards to ABC.

The fiasco was well advertised by the geomtery professor and I went into a shell after that and stopped mugging for a week.But somebody rightly said "Once a mugger always a mugger" I went back to my comfort zone after a while...............................................

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Keep it UP!

Before you think our joint venture of writing this blog is all but over, no not yet!Just that I was pretty busy with personal stuff and Ranjit has all but given up and finally accepted that my marketing of the blog is pretty essential to take this forward and thus we have agreed upon a 70:30 partnership with me Vishal taking the larger pie, of-course.

So whats up for today? Report cards! Can never forget 2'nd May. This date haunted us for many years. To be honest, the eve of 1'st of May was usually a non-sleepy affair. I always prayed to god and muttered "Deva saglancha bhala kar..Majha pasun survat kar" (God bless one and all, though don't forget to start with me). Not that i was that bad a student and worried about losing a year or something but I guess the tag of "Can do Better" was more frightful than the "Passes and Promoted" remark. The beauty about "Passes and Promoted" was that at-least it did not invoke any false hope among the anxious parents. "Can do better" was always a questionable question. My parents were pretty upset with me about this whole "better" thing. They never understood the meaning of it and their rightfulness about asking "when will this happen " was never justified by me either. No one including the teachers would predict that, neither did they have any action plan .So the long story short, my report card consistently and shamelessly threw "Can do better" with no answers to when and how. It was like a do-while loop (programmers would know this) which never ended. And yeah, Ranjit's wasn't extraordinary either (that soothed me more than anything). But he had a better mugging capability which meant he digested the Geometric theorm's and proofs by heart and had a marginally better card than me. I am pretty sure he even by-hearted the essays, autobiographies , reference by context's and much more. Kudos!

My understanding of the two remarks was good, but I couldn't understand the meaning of "Keep it up!" which only a elite few managed. I failed to imagine why a scholar was asked to keep his report-card upstairs. I even went to the extent of keeping mine 'up' on my home shelf only to realize that it yeilded nothing but a few angry words for not keeping things in place from my parents. It was not until I reached puberty and someone told me the real meaning was to keep the performance up and not the report-card. Ah!, that was a some real relief. Of course, I never managed to get anywhere near to the elite group but once I did crawl the top ten list. I had tear in my one eye that day. The other was still in disbelief!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


                                 STATUTORY WARNING..........
 This post  has no resemblance to any person living or dead.Please do not follow or imitate what is being mentioned here.The outcomes may be hazardous and the author should not be held responsible for it....

For some reason my interactions with Goverment officials have never been forthcoming.It may be quite possible that the fault lies at my end since I am always mentally prepared to start an altercation with them at the slightest chance.My experience with these guys over the years  have brought  me to the conclusion that they have some unique qualities in them which can irritate even the most peace loving person on earth.......

So you have decided  today you are going to a Goverment office for some unfortunate work.I would like to call it unfortunate since it is mandatory that  your  peace and harmony in life is going  for a toss.As per the IST of govt offices when the sun is over your head you land up  at the office well dressed with some apprehensive thoughts at the remote corner of your mind about the outcome of the event though you still like to be optimistic.Assuming you are going to the office for the first time the first task at your hand is to ensure you are at the correct department and dealing with the correct person.Not easy since  government offices mostly resemble an alien planet where nobody is even bothered about your existence.

Considering that you are the biggest believer of optimism you manage to overcome all the hurdles not cursing the system even once and finally land up at the concerned persons office.Now as per the protocol the person is yet to come  so you manage a seat next to the office and see some helpless faces who have already occupied the seat.Due to your friendly nature you wish them and  they respond half heartedly.

Possible cause for this lack of interest being its your first day and these people are already a  part of the viscous cycle

"Udya ya!" Parva Ya""Saha mahinya nantar ya"

So after some anxious moments where you are fluctuating between pessimism and optimism the gentleman finally arrives.Optimism wins the  battle this time and you are pumped up.The officer gets in and immediately calls the office boy.Office boy has a flask in his hand and rushes as if there is an emergency.Nothing to worry the guy is not sufferring fom an heart attack  its "TEA TIME"

With the recreations over the officer is ready for the day and your half day is over.So finally your turn comes and you are surprised the way he cleared the queue.You are very sure about  his effeciency and get in to the the cabin.You present the matter to him and the guy listens to you with keen interest and finally  you end your power point presentation. By this time the guy has already loaded the template in his mind and shoots at you "Saheb"! ek kaam kara tumhi udya ya!

Kudos to you! You are now a  part of the VISCOUS CYCLE.........

Some tips which may prove effective while dealing with government work

1>Take a few days leave in advance.

2>Put off all your egos.

3>Do not look for any logic and go with the flow.

4>Ensure that you have some anti-depressants ready at your disposal.

5>Start your work on an auspicious day since divine intervention can only save the day for you.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Serial Killers...

No, this is not a biography of any serial killer, but a few thoughts on soaps as they are called in the television industry. Soaps are like cancer. They kill you slowly but surely. Though they wont hurt you physically but they murder your mentality for sure. And thats why, the title sits there comfortably.

Hey, I am not going you to bore you like Ranjit's posts. So stay tuned yet. To write this I should have been an avid watcher of the serials in the first place .But offlate, I have realised that you dont have to be any of these. Even if you are a part of the never-ending serials at a frequency of say once very 2 months, you can easily get connected to the story and it's characters, like you are a part of their daily household cores. Not to forget the sub-consious mind picks up even when you are not attentive. Thats the best and the only part, I like about serials.

I being a Maharastrian Marathi-Manus (remember the Puran-Poli from the URL ?), the prime time forceful watch on the idiot box is usually a nerve wracking affair. It starts with a soap called "Kalat,Nakalat" which if translated literally would sound like "Known,Unknown". Holy "unknown" heavens! the protagonist is at the never ending woes in life. One tragedy after other and yet this lady is all decked-up happily in a designer wear with a baby like smile to charm the viewers. It is hard to understand how after a being a widow, she falls in love, not once but twice, with a company of a cruel mother-in-law and an unfaithful handsome husband, a tragic murder of her mother, a failed marriage of her real sister who battles for her stolen baby and non-stop on-off current relationship(s), a drug addicted brother(phew! and wait there is much much more) .How can somebody have such a tragic life really defies logic. Its hard to understand the intention behind the plots. Are they promoting the steely desire of the young lady, or are the plots of the villains that are to be promoted?

And then there "was" (thank-god) a serial called Asambhav which means "impossible". Like its title, it is near impossible to understand, the black magic powers of Sopan Kaka and the fleet. Not a ounce of common sense and yet the popularity and the TRP of "asambhav" was impossibly amazing. Educated-Uneducated,Literate-Illieterate, Young-Old, all watched this with equal fanfare. And then the newer ones are neither inspiring. Atleast, the older ones would start with a happiness, tragic in-betweens and a decent ending, the newer one called "Anubandh" started off with a tragedy and it seems and I bet, there wont be a happy moment in the fictious cursed family. A sensitive subject like surrogacy is handled so animatedly that the real surrogate mothers would go in grief forever watching this. Not sure who the real audience is for the subject. Both the soaps are produced none other than the talented Pallavi Joshi who anchors a musical show with lots of elegance and yet when it comes to production, she choose something so silly. Nevertheless, those are still ok, but there is another one called "Kunku" whose title song and promos gives the feeling the adolosent lady is born for only one reason, "marriage". I havent dared watch it yet and I am sure I wont indulge in it either.The only soothing part about all these is the title tracks are fantastic and you can easily end up humming with a lot of sincerity.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I would be lying if I dont admit that more than the time spent in school I enjoyed the journey to and back from it.

On a typical school day the journey would begin with me on my cycle.A unique thing about this cycle was that the height of the cycle was inversely proportional to my height.In a socially accepted position of driving the cycle I would struggle to place my toes on ground and so I would be literally flying on it.Now when this big cycle was given to me I was made to believe that since you are of a growing age this cycle would better suit the needs in the long run or else we may need to by a new one later.The anticipation may be correct but nobody incuding me knew my height would never increase beyond 5 "3"

So as per the human tendency I found out ways to overcome this issue."SWAPPING POSITIONS" was the answer to it.No this was no rocket science it was based on a simple principle I would look a few metres ahead on the road and if the road was empty I would place myself on the seat and the moment when some vehicle came in the front or I felt low up there I would just lean forward to a position where I am neither standing nor sitting and I am sure everybody remembers that amateur position of drving the cycle................

Now me and my cycle after a couple of position swaps reach Vishal's house.How can I even dare to think of going directly to the School without fulfilling the obligations of friendship.Things are not easy as it may seem.Here I am all dressed up ready for the school outside my dear friends house shouting "Vishal Vishal" but this dude never turned up during the initial calls and when I used to feel a bit confused about the definition of friendship he woud suddenly rush out of the blue on to his balcony in his home attire as if no such thing as "SCHOOL" existed on earth and say confidently "Aaya re malla"

I would sulk to the core and put up the bravest smile on earth.Finally this gentleman would come fresh and energetic ready for school and by this time I would be drained and worn out ready to go back home.So we both now as a team with a lot of cold war within would go to other members of the group and finally we would all collectively head towards school ensuring that we completely blocked the road on the way and the person behind had an awful time overtaking us..............

You guessed it right by the time we reached school we would be late for the assembly by a huge margin and would rush to the stand in the "LATE COMERS LINE" The ordeals we faced there would qualify for a new post......................................

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Satish the intelligent dud(e)

Back to original ways! San Satish is another dear and a common friend of ours. A straight forward guy with a no non-sense approach in life, his surname is more complicated than his nature. He is among the few guys who emante positive energy and usually after a chat with Satty means you are refreshed positively (with Ranjit its the opposite). Currently on an assignment in Japan, he is dying to get back to his motherland, if the
countdown on the social networking site is to be believed. Proactiveness comes naturally to him, and he always buzzes with new ideas and worms (kidas). An avid back bencher, he still was attentive and had the guts to answer questions asked by our scary teachers (read the Teachers article). We wasted (or was it investement?) a lot time during our junior college days playing amatuer rugby (with a coconut shell), cricket, aba dhobi and what not. By doing that we often struggled with our marksheets and this guy would come to us with a cunning smile and an excellent score card, leaving us with confused thoughts about his brillaince. He was the leader of the pack and we were often the side heroes dancing in the background (ranjit danced in the second last row and was rarely seen or recognised). We celebrated new year eves a couple of times but one of them is etched in our memory forever. After some great food and some drinks (read coke), we decided to spend rest of the time in a small park discussing new year resolutions. It was a chilling night below 0 degrees. I guess we excused Satty for a hour or so. I only had the dreadful company of Ranjit. We kept dicussing everything on earth on how to become a millionaire, how to excercise this year(both pysical and mental) , how to participate in social events (Ranjit was a die hard fan of Paris Hilton then) little realising that neither of us were interested in the talks and kept encouraging each other by muttering Barobar ahe Barobar ahe just to keep the midnight oil burning...later realising after a couple of hours that Satty was not joining the party. I suffered from flu like symptoms the next day from the coldest sleepless night of my life and all my new years resolutions went for a toss from the very next day. I did not ask Ranjit about his either, as I was confident about it. What a way to start a new year! All thanks to Satty...

Friday, September 4, 2009

What Went Wrong ??????

No ! I am not discussing my career .Ever since I have given up hope I feel much better in that area.I am introspecting my big time failure to click amongst the opp sex in school..I can go one step ahead and confidently say “WE” here since my dear friend Vishal equally struggled with me and there was a healthy competition amongst us as to who would be the better struggler……..

“First impression is the last impression” I had serious doubts about this phrase after seeing the dismal failure of Vishal who without any second thoughts and you would all unanimously agree is the better looker.I had some genuine reasons to be a failure in this area so no complains but looking at Vishal I wondered how this better looking gentleman could also fail……….

So looks apart we move on to the other areas which were possible reasons for my poor show.Some of the few which are prominent and cannot be ignored are

1>Never been Flamboyant( elocution competition main part lena, )

2>Never been in the good books of teachers.

3>Never became the Monitor of the class (It’s a seriously competitive post with lot of corruption) Forget becoming a Prefect (Can be defined as gentleman for whome everything is supposedly a cake walk)

4>Been part of a eccentric group where each one was in neck throat competition to prove who was the naughtiest amongst all

5>To a major extent my dressing style I was not very sure till the end of the battle as to which combo would look great.

6>My hair style was the biggest failures of all and I was even addressed once by a respectable sir as “GUFFA” not his fault since my style surely resembled an endless tunnel ahead…………………

You would say if someone can so precisely detail the causes of the failure why wouldn’t he try to get things corrected in the first place but our forefathers rightly said “Har cheez ka ek time hota hain”

The ball is no longer in our court today.Vishal has officially accepted the lost battle status and is happily married.Offlate even I cannot boast of any major tunround and have convinced myself the battle is lost and am heading towards getting it official……………….

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Teachers Day Out...

With Sept 5 approaching, I thought of paying tribute to our teachers who shaped many people lives (I am in a state of doubt, since I am not sure if my life is indeed shaped up). Nevertheless, with Teachers day nearing, I thought of highlighting my encounters with teachers which may not sound exactly like a tribute, but I prefer seeing it in a lighter vein. I grew up with a lot of fear (fear is a understatement) about these people. My
understanding about teachers was pretty much screwed up. I thought teachers were aliens who lived in schools and their only aim in life is to hit students with chalk, put dusters in throat (sorry Satish :) ) and ask them scary questions (I was about 5 then). To add to the agony I was among the least preferred student. Nobody ever remembered my name. But life moved on. I was happy to be a underdog and be a below average performer with equally below average looks.

To be frank, we had some really good teachers ( I am going to refrain taking names here) but the supposedly bad ones outnumbered them by quiet a amount. I remember we had a Hindi teacher who treated students like animals. His way of addressing students would put our status of human-being to serious doubts. He would start with "Ghodey, Janwar" (horse, animals ) and end was a hit on the back with a horse like shout from the student (kinchalney). He was a strict disciplinarian and never tolerated un-tideness.

There was this Physical Training (PT )and Marathi language teacher. He had license to bash up the guys. Girls were luckier. They would get free entertainment with this. He was given the task to make people dance to his tune before the assembly prayers (school Savadhan, Vishram, Savdhan...........) and if by any chance he would spot any one not following routine, it was game for the poor student. He had the unique ability to spot people no matter where they stood in the huge assembly gathering. I always had chill down my spine since he would sometimes address people suffering from Myopia with, "Hey you spectacle boy!" and I would be the first person to start shivering only to realize later that there were millions of other "spectacular" guys. Once after lunch time, I had mouth freshener (avala supari) and entered the class where this dreadful teacher was teaching. When he looked at me, i gulped down the stony freshener only to realize it was too late. Boy I will never forget the humiliation I faced thereafter and the after effects of gulping the stone are beyond words.Till date, I never buy that mouth-freshener and when ever some one offers me I manage to stammer, to refuse it.

And there was this Art teacher. He drew sketches live in the class and to be honest, those were mind blowing. We had some good students as well. But poor me, I barely managed to draw. Once the subject given to us was "Diwali Night" With lots of effort, I managed to draw a typical house, with a typical mountain and sun (oops moon) in between. I also drew a girl holding a fulbagi (some fire cracker), However, while painting, I messed up with her eye. It turned black. The only option I had was to draw a new picture as it was pretty ugly. However, my creative instincts told me to turn her eye to  Ray-ban sunglasses, so that the mess could be covered up. I did exactly that and with greats guts and pride, I went to get it certified from the teacher. To my horror, he made a mockery of my painting , showed it to the entire class who laughed even more  hysterically. What a disaster! Diwali's for me now are stressful. I have "Diwalophobia" now and you can rarely see me in sunglasses. I wished I had a art teaher like Aamir khan. But, that horrible day I was dancing alone on BumBum boley.

Hope you enjoyed .There are a lot more teachers and lot more funny instances. Hopefully I will continue this  in Part2. Till then Vishal says goodbye, have a great day! Cheers!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Blog for an environment cause

Question: How would a blog turn the earth greener?

Answer: Every time you hit the green underlines (advertisement), which are so prominently seen in the blog, 10% of the income earned from clicking the advertisements would go to make this earth greener. We plan to plant trees once every year. So go ahead and feel free to click and in turn make this earth a better place to live.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Blogging, but why?

Where there is a "will”, there is a loads of money and property for sure.

Since we have stabilized with some blogs now I thought of letting you guys know the motive behind the blog. The motive is simple. To let people know our thoughts and earn a buck or two in return. No we dont charge  people for visiting the blogs. So don’t panic yet! Neither is your visit being tracked or recorded. You may visit at your will and comment at a whim. The idea here is to portray characters, situations and quote the unquotable. The point is, we often think of doing numerous things, but often end up by being non-proactive and that way we continue to live in our comfort zone, in a shell, a subdued shell to be accurate. So we decided to break the routine, go one step ahead and pen our words (type actually) and let people know of our existence and inshalla (god willing) we started off. How long it goes really depends on how motivated we  would be in the near future. Hope this is not a flash in the pan. I often wonder though, why would people visit the blog. Neither are we a personality like BIG B, whose sneeze becomes a national breaking news nor we have someone like Aishwarya, whose illness we could report to .On the flip side, that is what spurred us more than anything. So stay tuned and don’t laugh if we fail miserably. Our writing is going to be simple with a  promise that there would be no machoism of words.. No themes, but whatever comes to the mind, be it making a receipe. So whats the deal with visiting the blog. The green links which you so prominently see are for you guys. So go and find whats hidden behind that note, its me Vishal signing off (wow! i could become a BJ). Cheers!

Type 4 vs Type 1

Ranjit again.............No you guessed it wrong.I am not trying to prove my knowledge in the field of Medicine by explaining the different strains of the Swine flu virus but rather trying to remember the first signs of negativity which we experienced during our adolscence.

Let me make you comfortable.Typ4 and Type 1 refers to the housing status of an HAL employee which he or she is alloted as per his or her importance in the company or rather grading.As the name suggests Type 1 does not have the upper hand but infact less superior to Type4.A Type 4 house is spacious while a Type1 house is congested and resembles the car shed  of a  typical Type4 house......

I and most of the guys in our group belonged to the inferior one.(TYPE 1) I would not like to comment why we were there in the first place.Now slowly but surely this difference in houses which was rather materialistic somehow created a sort of empathy or rather fear for the persons living there.

We considered our fellow classmates who were from this so called privilaged TYPE 4 class as extraordinary.In fact when somebody would point   "Arey woh type 4 see aata hain" there would be sudden rush of negative energies within and "this is it ab kuch nahi ho sakta" kind of feeling...................

The conversations between a Typ4 and Type 1  guy would be rather one way with the TYPE 1 guy just agreeing to what the other guy had to say and all he could mutter with great difficulty  was   "barobar barobar " (Giving in even before the battle began....................)

I remember  the horrifying game of "Abha Dhobhi" (not sure what it meant) wherein  a particular team  has to hit the opposition with a ball (which was hard as a nut).The teams were deliberately formed on this discrimination so that we could vent out our frustrations and which we did with great pride.........................................

We never could get out of this hysteria throughout our entire school life......................................

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thane to Pune on a weekend

Thane to Pune on a weekend

Vishal writes,

After a series of people centric blogs, I decided to draft on a generic one. Traveling is one of my favorite hobby. I like to do things which do not involve a lot of thinking, rather no involvement of brains. That is why I like situations such as complete power outage (rather blackouts), jogging, walking, cycling and yes traveling. Usually, traveling is such a unwinding experience, where all that you have to do is sit quietly (did i say, I like to travel alone?) , switch yourself completely off, switch on your ipod (i use my phone handset) and let it play. Don’t think of home, office, friends, foes, just in a world of your own, bliss, divine. But that’s a perfect picture isn't it? And when you travel on late Sunday evening, after a weekend hangover, without a bus reservation, on a busy route, in a festive season, you have to accept what comes your way. That is what happened on my way back to Pune in a lal dabba (public transport).

That horrific Sunday after having a look at the crazy SWINE flu-ish crowd, I had no option but to board what was available. Infact, such was the euphoria of the crowd, after seeing the bus, that I had put all my athletic reflexes to hang on to the running bus to get a damn seat. And I did get one after putting my life at risk. No issues! And yes, the bus was not empty either. It had people pre-loaded and 70% of the seats were already eaten up. Considering that, I felt like I did a great job. But who cares. I put my luggage (squeezed it) and sat on the edge of the seat of a three seater, later realizing that my counterparts where little interested in offering me the amount of space, I would normally get after paying the full fair. But no complaints. They were two ladies. One of them nearly twice my age and the other was possibly her mother. The bus had a strange stench.Probably a mixture of sweat (200 underarms), vomit (50 old and a few fresh ones), gutka, cigar, bidi and all sorts of other things which you can think of. Hygiene was least on my mind. It never goes hand in hand in such places. But to add to the stench, my counterparts looked like they had a bath a decade ago, and were in desperate need of eating the over-ripe bananas, cucumbers, oily chips and what not packed in a oversized luggage, in those humid conditions (before the bus even starts) and when food is the last thing on your mind. After a lot of physical and mental stress and my help, they managed to get these things pulled out of the luggage and mail it to their tummy. In return they offered me a wry smile for helping them get the stuff out. I acknowledged it with a warm smile with a lot of sarcasm inside. Nevertheless, the bus started with tons of people inside. People of all ages and sexes.

Checkout the Banana in the picture....

These days, the bus conductors are supposed to be helpful because on such busy routes they get added incentives depending on the number of seats. However, ours was an old man waiting for his retirement and his wrinkles and long beard suggested he had a daughter to get married off hence was neither interested in the job nor willing to help people. He stopped the bus midway to throw people out, those who requested to halt the bus at the non-qualified stops (even if it was pretty much on the route). To be fair to him, he was just doing his job, though he was least empathizing with people. But no one complained, neither did I.

Here is the Bus conductor!

The bus kept traveling and passing one station after another. Though the bus was not traveling at more than 45 kmph, the half bare driver put in a lot of effort and made it look that it traveled at 200 kmph or more. It stopped at some request stops to let the awaiting crowd know that it was overcrowded. But some of them got inside anyways and to my grief, a 17 something young girl got in and called me "UNCLE" (Uncle thoda sarko, mujhe piche jana hai). I was devastated and realized that my hey days are all but over. Quarter life crisis took over me. I sent a message to Ranjit who replied saying that you are lucky, he was called the same by a 25 year old. I was relaxed but not satisfied. After a hour or so, I realized that there were people who were in more need of a seat than I was. I had a good look in the bus and decided to relinquish my seat to a mid
-life crisis stucken man. Though strong and sturdy, it looked like age was taking its toll on him. I thought may be I will allow him to sit for an hour or so and then may be request to get it back. The bus in the mean while traveled happily only to stop at Lonvavala.

Lonavala is a scenic location with an ugly bus stand. It gives an impression that the bus halts in the middle of a garbage site. Flies, papers are found in abundance. The always crowded wada vala was doing his usual brisk business. The sweaty hands were exchanging money with equally sweaty wadas and chutney. People were happy buying those. I got one as well. While munching those, I spotted one adventurous foreign couple trying to catch a pig (or swine). Chikki walas were all around. I was dying to get inside. The bus smelled better than the station.

There (below) is the couple hunting the swine and yes the wada wala too...........

After a couple of burps, the driver got in, so did the bus conductor who vociferously ranged to let the driver know that he was ready. I decided to seat myself. However the person to whom I granted my seat was in a state of disbelief that I was asking my seat back. I smiled and let him have it on a permanent basis. He smiled with a lot of confusion. The bus halted at the designated stops to let people get down. The bus conductor did not stop anywhere in-between despite many request and remained true to the image he had created earlier. I finally got a seat behind my original seat. The man to whom I offered seat made it a point to bend his back and thank me(tumhi majha sathi ubhey rahile). I smiled back with no answer. Finally, I got down at Shivajinagar and was burdened with the thought of getting in to another government owned local bus. To my luck, my bother was there to receive me on a two wheeler. With a peaceful mind, I sat pillion to reach home in a pretty quick time. What a journey!

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