Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Going the family way

A single man's life is a waste. I say this because till recently, I was a single man. This holiday season, I decided that enough was enough and that I would find true happiness by the year end. I couldn't have been truer.

For you see, today I met someone. It has been called 'the thunderbolt' or 'love at first sight' but whatever the prose, the poetry remains the same. I am in love. Let me offer a feeble attempt at describing my true love.

Thin and slim, light as a feature, with a fragile figure that redefines the word "delicate". And what a complexion! With Just the right hue, the skin sure has a magical glow. And that soft touch! A mere brush with the finger is enough to send shivers. And before I get too consumed by the physicality of the thing, let me just say that I have never met someone so easygoing and friendly. A personality that is sophisticated yet not fussy.

I have just one teeny-tiny complaint though. I wish my new iPod cost the same in India that it does in the US. Well, as they say, "har kisi ko muqammal jahan nahin milta..." (you can't have a cake and eat it too).

PS: We have decided that we will only have two cherubic 512MB iShuffles and no more.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Reports reveal every Indian part of three mobs

DELHI (Dec 1): Recent surveys have finally confirmed a long standing suspicion --- every Indian is a member of an average of 3.1 mobs at any given time of the year. The survey was done on an international scale across continents, with the sole aim of gauging the 'group dynamics' prevalent in various countries.

With 3.1 mobs per capita (mpc), India leads the tally, leaving its nearest competitor Iraq far behind with just 1.2 mpc. Pakistan, Somalia, Serbia and Rwanda were awarded the joint third prize with 1.1 mpc each. The usual suspects --- Finland and Norway, brought up the rear with an mpc of 0.001, that arose because of a fight during a football match between the two countries.

The survey also tried to find the reasons behind such phenomenal Indian success. It appears that while the Middle Eastern and African mobs focus only on Sunni vs Shia conflicts or Military vs Civilian fights, the Indian mobs have cleverly avoided putting all their eggs in one basket. They have successfully diversified into Dalit vs non-Dalit, militant feminism, Ganguly-haters vs worshippers , Kaif vs non-Kaif, idolizers vs idol-desecrators, pro vs anti-reservationists and so on.

"And this is in addition to our major offering --- the classic, good old fashioned Hindu vs Muslim clash, which alone guarantees five carnages every year", gushes a high powered official at the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

In an order to maintain their world supremacy, the Indian mobs have started thinking about their future already. Taking a leaf from the corporate books, they have started exploring hitherto unknown avenues.

"We cannot reveal all our business plans at the moment but here is one that is in the advanced stages of development. Take, for instance, the airplane toilets with their fancy western commodes. Now what is my Uncle from Jaunpur, who has squatted all his life, supposed to do? Besides, adhering to western standards clearly reflects poorly on our great Indian squatting tradition!!", reveals another animated character from Bangalore division of the Indian Mobs.
"To counter this, we are planning a mass burning of atleast five airplanes, along with 20000 litres of aviation fuel, so that they get our message!", he adds.

Heart-rending indeed. And with such ambitious plans in civil aviation, retail, manufacturing and agriculture, the mobs will need enormous manpower. Luckily, India is the second most populous nation (another shining distinction), with one gullible sucker born every second.

We talked to the chief recruitment officer (CRO) here in Delhi.

"Inside every civilized man, there is an animal waiting to set free. One who wants to burn, destroy, rape, pillage, plunder and in general, enjoy life to the fullest. As an individual, all his dreams will perhaps go unfulfilled. But at Indian Mobs, we let him get in touch with like-minded compatriots and re-educate him. Remember, over here, cowardice is not an affliction, its a god-given gift.", said the CRO, echoing the manifesto of Indian Mobs.

We also got in touch with the CEO of Indian Mobs and asked him what he felt about the 3.1 mpc mark.

"Measly 3.1 !!!! How dare they?? My estimate was atleast a 3.8-3.9. Those damned survey companies!! We'll show them! Two hours of stoning and burning their offices should increase their count to 3.5 atleast", answered the CEO, visibly agitated and getting into character.

"But even with 3.9, we have a long way to go towards our 2010 goal of 5 mpc", he sighed.

Indeed, from the Quit India Movement of 1942 to the Quit Muslim Movement in Godhra 2005, Indian Mobs have indeed so evolved beyond recognition, that it brings a tear to this reporter's eye.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Pardon my self-indulgence

But I was bubbling to say this. This weekend was spent at Hyderabad, and the aim was to run the Hyd half-marathon on Sunday. The stay was very comfortable, courtesy the wonderful hospitality of Raghu's parents and extended family.

Although both Raghu and I were scared because the starting time was 6am and we only had three hours of sleep the previous night, but we somehow made it just five minutes late. The marathon itself was pathetically organized (bad medicinal+water infrastructure), but the run itself was great and there were only 200 odd runners in the half-marathon, with no Kenyans/Ethiopians to spoil the party.

Both of us managed to vastly improve our personal best, clocking 2 hrs 9 mins each. As Raghu rightly mentioned, we managed to finish within twice the winner's time, and thats a mean achievement!

I will stop now before I lose any more readers.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Only in India

For every smart person in this country, a hundred morons are born to level the equation back to zero.
Consider this hypothetical situation. A guy takes his 10 year old son to a multiplex. But mistakenly, they enter the wrong theatre where the movie has already started. Soon, a couple of adult scenes come up on the screen. Now after the usual reaction of shock and awe, much publicized by Bush in Iraq, the father has the following options:

a) Sit through the movie as if nothing has happened.
b) Walk out of the movie with his son, and ignore this incident.
c) Sue the multiplex for letting a kid enter an auditorium that is screening R-rated movies.
d) File a case with the authorities, asking for the immediate termination of the multiplex as it is showing content that goes against the 'great' Indian heritage.

Now a bold father would go for (a) (I wish my dad was this cool), and a sensible one would go for (b). A slightly firebrand father would accept (c). And remember the moron I talked about earlier? Yes, idiots of those kind would go for (d). I hope that you would agree that anyone who opts for (d) is a Darwin-award qualifier for surviving evolution inspite of nowhere being the smartest.

Now let us replace the hypothetical situation with a real one. Replace 'multiplex' by Orkut, 'movies' by Orkut communities, 'adult content' by an obscure Anti-Shivaji community, and the moronic father figure by this wonder of evolution called 'Subodh Balsaraf'. Yes, he discovered the said community, and has filed a PIL in the high-court, seeking immediate banning of Orkut in India. More details here.

In the not-too-distant past, the Indian government matched such an act with a flawlessly stupid performance of their own --- blocking blogspot for a few days. So this has me worried, because the fate of my 12554 'frenship' requests now hangs in a delicate balance.

I will not go into the details of the dozens of fallacies in Mr. Balsaraf's case. They are too many and too obvious --- freedom of expression, obscure community, low Orkut penetration, American website, state-sponsored censorship and so on.

Just makes me think that is Shivaji's stature so fragile that nincompoops like Mr. Balsaraf have to constantly defend it using such means? Sadly, it seems so.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Of tippers and tippees

Ok ok I admit the last word is made up. But I am talking about one of the great pillars of the Indian cultural heritage --- bakhsheesh a.k.a. 'tip'. Like every good son, I too celebrate Diwali at home with my family. Now, my folks live in Lucknow, which is pretty much a provincial town, the new Pijja Hut and Cafe Coffeeday notwithstanding. Ya ya, I know, a metro doth not a Cafe make, but I guess you know what I am trying to say. The bakhsheesh syndrome (BS) is in full swing in such towns during such occasions.

A few days before any major festival like the D-day, there is palpable BS in the air. Hordes of wannabe and veteran tippees start popping up all over the neighbourhood, like dengue cases in Delhi. They come in all colors and shapes too. You have the postman, the garbageman, the bai, the 23 peons in sarkari offices (my dad is a bank manager in a nationalized bank), the driver, the Blue Dart courier delivery kid, the watchman and so on. Every year, I find a whole new genre of tippees showing up at my folks' house.

Now as all of you know, the tipping process is a three-way handshake. First, the tippee initiates the courting process, where he/she sends out pheromones to allure the tipper. The second phase is when the tipper acknowledges that he/she too feels the same way and the third phase deals with the negotiation and transfer of the tip.

The courting phase is usually almost silent, with all signals exchanged aankho-hi-aankho-mein. I say "almost silent", because, usually phlegm is always involved. For example, the postman shows up to deliver a greeting card from my relative, and then lingers, all the while coughing his lungs out in order to convey his desire for the tip. I part with some of my money, just to keep a safe distance from him. The courier kid is pretty savvy in this aspect. He acts coy, flutters his eyebrows, smiles and tells me that he has come 200 metres out of his way, in the afternoon, just to deliver my junk mail. This ploy always works with me, because I get all weak-kneed and get entangled in throes of passion with him, also involving a 20-rupee note.

The garbageman and the watchman usually do not believe in a silent exchange of vows. They show up at the door and go "SHOW ME THE MONEY!!" (politely ofcourse), as if the Lord himself has chosen them to be tipped on the holi day. Nothing wrong with that, its quick, simple and effective. But lacks that element of romance and elusion, the playing-hard-to-get feeling, which is very essential in a relationship between a tipper and a tippee. It is very important for love and money to co-exist, if you ask me.

Then comes the mothership of all tippees -- yes, thats right! The bai. Unlike the watchman and the courier-kid, this one doesn't have to indulge in any foreplay or dirty-talk to get her tip (Ya I know what you are thinking, you SICKO!, it doesn't mean that). It is tacit that the day before Diwali, she is going to get a big load of gifts from my mom. This time, I was fortunate enough to witness the holy transaction. It involved a saree, two boxes of sweets, a packet of almonds and some trinkets. The goodwill, the bonhomie was too much for me to handle and I had to turn towards my computer-game, lest they see my tears of joy. A happy home is definitely one where the parents and the bai live in perfect symbiotic harmony.

Apart from the fine gentlemen and ladies who comprise the class of tippees, we have the extortionists who take undue advantage of the situation (ya i know, the word "undue" is unduly used). These are usually members of some vague mandir committee, who wish to construct a western style toliet in the temple compound, for the squatting pleasure of the priest. These people show a matter-of-fact attitude, as if my wallet really belongs to the Lord (Hindus say there are 84 crores of them, so which one?). Then begins the stare game, where I try to act macho and unyielding, but something about the triple-stripe tilak on their foreheads convinces me that they will break my bones if I don't pay up.

The other kind of extortionists usually consist of some people representing an orphanage, who soul-stirringly explain how the orphans will celebrate a dark diwali unless I fork out fifty bucks. All fine and good, except that the orphanage's name has three spelling errors, and there is no register, which makes me suspect the entire operation. Sometimes they do end up taking my hard earned dough, but mostly, I too give an Oscar-winning performance on the lines of "Aapke sahyogi [colleague] aaye the, unko hum de chuke hain. Diwali ki shubh-kaamnaayein".

The final kind of tippees comprise of the lucky ones, who usually are not looking to get involved, but circumstances throws them into the relationship. Allow me to elaborate. In the few days after Diwali, somehow there usually is some electrical and/or plumbing problem with the house, which requires minor repairs. The repairmen show up and do their task diligently. Now before they leave, and here comes the good part, my mom usually shows up with a box of cashews for them to take home. Strictly, this is not a tip, because they don't ask for it, and we don't grudge giving it. But the sight of a quintal of dry fruits and a ton of barfis as gifts is enough to break the strongest of us. Strong enough for my mom atleast.

I hope I have convinced you of the rich cultural heritage we carry, and as a sign of being patriotic, I hereby request you...ahem! ahem! (cough)....to shell out a buck or two whenever you read my blog.

PS: I thought I had seen it all, but a week after Diwali, my Delhi-waala garbageman showed up for a tip. It was also the first time he had offered to pick up the garbage of my house. I told him that I am flattered, but I am already seeing someone. Fidelity is important to me.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Its done. Its over

Thats what Frodo said when he finally threw the One Ring in the fiery chasm of Mount Doom. I say this because I finally successfully finished the 21 km Half-Marathon in Delhi this Sunday.

It had been a dream of a small boy living in a big city, aka me. Finally joining my ranks, was Goldie-Boy, who was running to impress his fiancee. And so we ran, finishing the race in two and a half hours each, thereby setting a personal record of sorts.

The race was rife with all elements of a successful drama --- will power, focus, the inevitable cramp at 16 kms, limping, mixing jogging and walking, and the cheerleaders. Goldie did it for his fiancee and I did it for those unnamed cheerleaders from Kingfisher.

If there was ever a sight prettier than those Kingfisher-ians doing their stuff, it was the sight of the 20km milestone, which signified that the end was nigh.

I will stop here and nurse my sore legs and will advise all of you to go and do it atleast once. A warm fuzzy feeling is guaranteed.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

What's in a face?

So I ask. Vehemently. Roxette's "Look" was sung for people like me, albeit with a tad different context. This face of mine has led me to nothing but misery all these years. Let me offer some sample evidences from a long list, gleaned over all these tiresome years.

a) I show up at my hostel on the first day of my college life. Its September and I am sweating like a pig. Ten other freshies are standing like fools in the hallway, looking like nothing but prime beef to a group of seniors. They walk across us, sizing us up and making up their mind as to who to rag first. "Let us begin with this idiot", says one overlord, pointing straight at me. "He looks dazed, scared and is sweating already", he justifies. Now anyone who has lived in Delhi knows what September heat is like, but nooooo!, I have "got the look", and hence it is I who will begin the ragging saga of 1997. And in the process, become one of the most ragged freshmen in my batch.

b) Chweeet little cherubic kids, who are otherwise cooing away peacefully, turn to stone, or worse, start crying when I offer them a glimpse of my mug. This has happened way too often to be a freaking coincidence. I have been beaten in this game by foul-smelling alcoholic males who instantly turn the little tear producers into laughing Budhdhas again. Doesn't help my sagging confidence, if you ask me. However, sometimes crying babies stop their routine on my sight. I guess thats because their vocal cords develop rigor-mortis or something.

c) I can't even count the number of times strangers have looked at me and said, "Oh come on! You look like the kinda guy who won't hesitate to drink or eat non-veg food". Repeatedly denying any such accusations have proven futile. Such conversations usually include dialogues of the kind: "Sweet Moses!!! Really!!!! No meat all all!! I could have bet my right hand that you would chase a chicken and gulp it down". It became so bad a few years back, that I turned to alcohol for support and started the odd non-veg meal, ironically turning the accusation into a tautology. People still haven't stopped using that sentence, but nowadays I just shrug my shoulders and reply, "Yeah I am *that* kinda guy."

d) All my efforts at naive diplomacy fails miserably. Plenty of people have told me that my face is like an open-book, that I can't hide stuff for long. This means that when I am face to face with Shahrukh Khan, I won't be able to mask my disgust for more than two seconds. That should count as a plus, and it is, except that it causes more trouble than gain. When girls ask me if I have thought of them "that" way, it is hard for me to maintain a straight face and say "no". This inevitably leads to sandal-assisted bashings, accusations of perversions, and general curses of the kind that "all men are dogs". All this drama inspite of the fact that I believe in the maxim of "ek ladka aur ek ladki shayad kabhi kabhi dost ho sakte hain".

e) Due to my "non-veg eating and booze-swallowing" looks (see (c) above), many people also think that I am a real bad-ass. Couple that with my Haryanvi roots, and people invariably conclude that I am a war-mongering Jaat. It doesn't matter to them that I am neither war-mongering (usually) nor a Jaat. While in Bombay, this helps me ward people off without lifting a finger, which is good. But the exact reverse happens in Delhi, where almost every guy wakes up in the morning with an excuse to fight.

I could go on and on, but I guess you get my drift. This face has been nothing but trouble for me. I think of changing it at times. But then I look at what happened to Michael Jackson, and say "^@$% that" !! A face like mine is better than an alien's face anyday.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Midas Touch

Most people are born ordinary. A few are given a special gift. Today I crossed the boundary from the former category to the latter. I realized that I am indeed special. No, not in the my-mom-keeps-telling-me-I-am-special way, but indeed extraordinary. And before this cup of narcissism spills over, let me explain how I came to possess the Midas Touch.

This May, I moved from Bombay to Delhi for a few months and took shelter in Solzaire's spacious abode. Nothing serious, just fooling around and having a good time. But in two months, Solzaire announced something grand. No its not what you think, you sickos! He announced that he is gonna get married in July. This came as a shock to me, as I had no clue about any of this. Dismissing this as a one-off incident, I changed houses and took off to the States for a brief vacation (read: conference). Stayed with a friend in New York for a few days and a few days ago I got an email containing a similar announcement. Yes! he is getting hitched in two weeks.

Slightly startled at this fascinating turn of events, I returned to Delhi to pick up the threads of my life. On one fateful Sunday, I spent an afternoon at a wingmate's place in Noida. Again, nothing special, just two guys engaged in good old fashioned 'fun'. And, yes, you guessed it right, a week back he announced that he too is going to be a family man in December.

By now, I was 90% sure that I had a gift of certain sort. Whomsoever I touched (figuratively) suddenly found his soulmate in a few weeks time. Whatever uncertainty I had, was soon to be demolished. My colleague and new roommate in Delhi and Bombay, announced yesterday that he too has found the love of his life (whatever that means).

I am in the "zone" now. I am da man! The divine matchmaker. Offers have started pouring in. Single men from all over the country are calling me to spend a night at their place (no, not for that). They are ready to pay me handsomely for my "services". I am seriously contemplating of leaving my full-time job and throw myself completely into this unique social service.

A toll-free number is on cards. Watch out!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Country anxiously awaits SRK's next hamming performance

Bombay (28th Aug): Reports indicate that Shahrukh has become the topmost obsession with the country as of today. Riots broke out in Bombay and Bangalore as his fans went on a looting spree after watching SRK's extraordinarily mediocre performance in Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (KANK). This kind of mob behaviour has only a few precedents, such as the sacking of Manchester after Man United won the English Premier League and the plunder of Buenos Aires after the Argentines lifted the World Cup in 1986. Everywhere, SRK's fans displayed scenes of ecstasy and total satisfaction, with a sexual equivalent of a hundred orgasms per fan. Adultery on screen was never sweeter, it seems.

In the movie KANK, Shahrukh plays the role of a failed footballer with the characterstic ease that has now become a part of his persona. Eating ham and cheese for breakfast all these years has finally paid off, as he juggernauts his way into the movie, doing complete justice to a cheesy role with his hamming mega-performance. For the lazy (and intelligent) readers who haven't seen the movie, here are some gory details.
As soon as the movie starts, we are treated to a football match in which His Highness King Khan is a striker. Taking a kick, he displays his ever familiar feminine grace, as his eyes are captured by the camera and shown on the stadium screen. Sigh! if such an amount of optical zoom was available in the Pakistan-England test match, the world wouldn't be tearing its Hair apart right now. Ok ok, I am done with the cheap puns for now. But, as usual, I digress.

A few minutes later, much to the delight of Shahrukh-haters, he meets with an accident and is forced to retire. Rumors say that he was replaced by a kid called Wayne Rooney. Anyway, so he is forced to live at home, watch TV all day, drink beer, make sarcastic remarks and get some action with Preity Zinta at night. So far, everything is going to his plan you would say. He is living the great Indian male dream. But SRK thinks otherwise.

For beneath the thin veneer of cynicism, lies a void. No, not the void in his brain, but a void in his heart. Which no amount of Budweiser and free marital sex with the hottest dame in Bollywood can fill. So he goes ahead and starts flirting with poor Rani a.k.a. Maya. Now Rani, with her brusque masculine voice, has no chance against the coquettish charms of Shahrukh, so she promptly falls for him before the audience can say "What the ...!".

For a while, both the newfound lovers compete in the game of "Who is the silliest?", as exemplified in the furniture-shop fake-sex scene, plagiarized (or "inspired") from the famous diner scene in When Harry met Sally. However, things start getting serious soon. No, not the "main tumhare bacche ki maa banne waali hoon" type, but that their adulterous relationship is soon exposed. The exposure happens when Amitabh (who plays the awe-inspiring character of 'Sexy Sam') discovers the two canoodling in front of Grand Central.

So now, poor SRK, abandoned by the hot-hot Preity, and separated from Rani, is very distraught. This was definitely not something in his grand plan of free Sex in the City! Totally devastated by the lack of female attention, he makes the daring move to Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. But after enjoying brotherly love for three wholesome years, he realizes that the void is still there.

What happens after those three years? Did SRK take a strapping African American dude as his lover? Did he finally come out of the closet? I am afraid I am gonna leave you hanging here. Go watch the movie and enjoy your two hundred minutes of masochism!

Back to the real world now. As of today, there is only one question that the common man has. Will SRK be able to essay the role of The Don in the movie with the same name? Or will his dimples betray his boyish charm? That, my friend, only time will tell. Time and SRK.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

There and back again

Shortest post ever. Back to Bombay today! :) Immense joy results. Highest density of happiness per word. Will miss Delhi a lot but a few dozen beers should take care of that!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Blogger disappointed with the performance of his blog

In an exclusive interview, area blogger Rahul Gupta (juvenile nickname: Asterix) told us that he isn't satisfied with the progress of his blog on any level. In this newspiece, we cover an extensive 'analysis' of the past, present and future (if any) of his blog.

The blog was started almost an year back on 30th July under immense peer pressure and the fear of non-conformity. Midway, the blog's name was changed from the zero-information phrase of "Rahul's blog" to an equally useless "A blog about nothing" after watching an episode of Seinfeld, which is called "The show about nothing".

While the blogger can take solace in the fact that he hasn't blogged about what he had for breakfast yesterday (yet) or what colour is his toothpaste, he hasn't exactly become an epitome of blogdom either in the past year. His forte lies in covering jaw-droppingly awe-inspiring news like the Rakhi-Mika fiasco and the Prince debacle or making self-indulgent posts on the lack of tags or girl friends.

With tasteless subjects like these, its no wonder that he cannot cross the physical barrier of 21 comments on any post of his. We talked to him about what makes him go on and on, punishing his readers every week or so.

We: So is writing about such topics the only reason you blog?
Asterix: Err...no. There was an ulterior motive.
We: May we dare to enquire what that was?
Asterix: Well I thought that some female readers would visit the blog and get impressed by my awesome writing skills and would sleep with me.
We: Hmm...your 'awesome writing skills' you say.
Asterix: Well I did get 90 out of 100 in English in Class 7th-A and I was voted the person most likely to memorize all the entries under Q in the dictionary.
We: Ooookay! Well we looked at the profiles of the people who comment on your blog and there indeed are a few single female readers. How that happened is beyond our comprehension but any leads from there?
Asterix: Well they are single, and they are looking. But I guess they aren't looking in my direction. What a sad irony! I feel so used!!

Apart from such pathetic attempts at losing bachelorhood, the blogger also faces allegations of plagiarism. His writing style (if you would call it that) reeks of 'inspiration' from Onion. With such dark clouds, his blogging future looks bleak indeed. On asking about any possible policy changes in his blog or any modifications, he chuckled and replied, "Well lets see how long I can hold fort. And there always are the breakfast/toothpaste posts!"

It would be interesting to see if the blogger runs out ot topics before he runs out of readers. And that if his blog-code turns into a reality. Until then, lets pray that he doesn't write about the Owl-in-the-temple story.

Monday, July 24, 2006

A hole in one

How does one earn quick money? If you are a dumb moron like me, chances are that you would put in nine hours every day at the office. And get a few measly lakhs per year as the compensation.

Or if you are really smart, you would fall into a 50ft deep hole. Thats what a five year old chap named Prince did in Haryana, although he didn't have money on his mind at that time. Now Prince (not to be confused with the arrogant "all-rounder" from Kolkata) was just playing around when he fell into a hole that had been dug for a handpump. Immediately, fecal matter hit the fan and the whole village surrounded the magic hole that had swallowed the child. Fortunately, Haryana's ground water table is as bad as Delhi's, so the kid was safe and dry.

Soon, the press reached the village, with the army and the honorable CM of Haryana in tow. People prayed all over the country for Prince's survival and his story was on all the news networks for 40 consecutive hours. Even our dear old Moneymohan Singhji ordered that the kid be speedily rescued. Such a reaction was missing when 200 people were killed in Bombay a few days back, but we will let such trifling details pass.

Prince, on the other hand, was heavily paying for this sudden fame. Along with food and water, a camera had been lowered into the hole to continuously monitor him. Now I like to think about all the possibilities of a particular scenario, so I couldn't help thinking how on earth would he answer the calls of nature in the invaded privacy of his new habitat.

Anyhoo, to poop or not to poop wasn't the question. Rather it was a question of waiting for the army to dig up a tunnel. That happened after around 45 hours and a scared Prince emerged from his subterranean abode. The quick money thingie happened soon after that. Star TV offered a sum of five lakhs to him, Zee News promised two and another channel announced that it would sponsor Prince's studies.

Well I am sure I can fit into a hole. Not one dug for a handpump but surely one made out for a tubewell. And I promise to look shit scared after my 'ordeal'. And some people have claimed that my mental age is five too. And I need someone to sponsor my PhD so that I can study fulltime. Seen any nice deep holes lately? One with an attached toilet and a DSL connection would be preferred.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Zen helps me strike back. With a vengeance.

A 14 hr flight makes you ponder about stuff. Hardens you and builds your character. They try to break you and snatch your very soul but you resist and fight back. You learn and zen it out.

The flight in question is the long-haul Continental flight from Newark to Delhi which included yours truly as a passenger. The completely full flight also included hordes of tiny tots, ranging from zero to twelve years old in age. And in order to make every passenger's life miserable, Continental had sprinkled the little devils uniformly across the economy section.

Now I usually am not a big fan of kids and normally wish that they should STFU, and this time was no exception. With frequencies ranging from ultrasonic, which would make a dog cry out loud, to the cracked voices of the adolescents we had them all in the flight.

The first half an hour is the easiest because you are optimistic that would indeed STFU and go to sleep or something. The next few are those of intense agony and anger as you wish that their parents had used protection while fornicating. And then you enter the state of Zen when nothing can touch you. More like when Neo dies in the Matrix and becomes the super overlord of the domain. In the Zen state, you have absolute control of your body and mind and you become one with the universe.

" 'ssup dawg? You live in India or what!", asked an ABCD kid with a horrible accent and an even more horrible vocabulary.

Now a lesser man would have recoiled at the question, slapped him a couple times and not answered but I had attained Zen after three hours of torture that violates all rules of the Geneva convention. So I was unfazed.

"Na man, I just chill them niggers out back in the hood with my homies.", said I with my best possible Afro-American accent, before making a "peace" symbol with my index finger and my pinkie. He fell for it and assumed that I was indeed from Harlem and hence, a real badass. I didn't hear from him throughout the remainder of the flight. I felt like Neo did after he killed Agent Smith in the Matrix. This took care of the eastern defence.

The real power of Zen comes from the fact that it helps you do stuff without you having to lift a finger. Some kinda weird psychokinetic stuff. Real scary shit if you ask me.

There was this kid playing in the aisle with two other kids, generally screaming, talking loudly and making life generally miserable for his neighbours including me. So I decided to take the matters in my own hands, but not literally. Remember Zen! It so happened that he was in the middle of one of his generic screams that we happened to lock our eyes. One cold lifeless stare from me, devoid of any emotion and empathy, threatening to suck the very breath out of his lungs was enough to make him STFU. For the rest of the flight, he became deathly quiet whenever he used to pass me. The western front was won without lifting a finger.

But the real challenge remained in the north. Where there was an infant crying incessantly for hours altogether. A pre-Zen Rahul would have committed suicide, or worse, started watching the in-flight entertainment system. Staring coldly or rapping at the infant won't have helped. However Zen came to my rescue again, but before that, a simple mathematical fact begs to be explained.

In a 14 hr flight with three meals and many drinks, there is no way that you won't go. To the restroom. Even Zen won't help you there. Its a cold mathematical fact and you cannot beat maths.

Back to the crying monster. So I had succumbed to my biological need to go to the restroom and had gotten up from my seat. Generally surveying the neighbourhood, I zeroed in on the family in the next row - the one with my crying arch enemy. Naively trying out the stare at the kid won't help. So I turned 30 degrees and stared at the mother. Not one of those lecherous stares that we Delhites are world-famous for, but one of those "I will wipe out your family if you dont pay heed to my order" stare.

The young mother was no match for me. She had no chance. Kinda like when Voldemort vaporized Harry Potter's mother except that I am way better looking than Voldemort. Really.

With that, the area was secure. Peace reigned all around me. As a sign from the Gods, food began to be served. Wherever I looked, grateful eyes of my co-passengers greeted me. Some of them had tears of happiness. Maybe it was because of my deeds or the food really sucked. But anyway, no amount of Zen was enough to make me ignore that. I nodded in return and went into a dreamless sleep.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Status Update

Been a hectic last few days here at Pittsburgh. Came here on the pretext of attending a Machine Learning conference, but my achievements have been elsewhere. Be it a visit to Lake Erie to meet a friend, or to Niagara Falls (like a true desi) at the drop of a hat, or eating tuna dishes (3 meals in 3 days) - which is a mean achievement for a veggie like me.

The conference has been good, a little more down to earth than I expected, but thats ok. Got to meet some of the famous names in this area, whose papers I had read for years now. My blog backlog is huge now, with bloglines showing a list of more than 100 blogposts to be read. So I guess I will put the wireless internet to good use, while nodding and pretending to appreciate all the talks.

And I will answer this one question all of you may have -- I expect myself to take around 7-10 days to undo the effects of the conference and refill my cynicism tank. Postings on completely inane topics are expected around early to mid-July.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The case of the stolen kiss

In American Beauty, the character of Ricky Fitts had said - "Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in". But it took me almost six years to realize the meaning behind this dialogue. Well not so much about the beauty as about the "heart caving in" part.

A few days back I was hanging out at my home with a friend and generally flipping through channels when I stopped at IndiaTV's announcement of its latest exposé. The anchor, visibly excited to the extent of hyperventilating, shouted about IndiaTV's hottest news of the hour. And yes, you guessed it right, it was about the issue that had rocked the entire nation that day - Mika kissing Rakhi Sawant in front of the cameras.

Now, maybe it was the carpal-tunnel in my hands from playing so much video games that I couldn't change the channel, or maybe it was the beer that enhanced my judgement abilities, but I knew that I had struck gold.

Although I was shocked at knowing that this was THE "breaking news" of the hour, but I like low grade gossip as much as the next person, so I was hooked. To our joy and amusement, that breaking news was discussed at length for around thirty minutes and less important things like the FIFA World Cup had to wait. I will refrain from saying anything about this, but probably Rakhi Sawant's beauty was too much to handle for a simple Punjabi boy like Mika, so his heart probably caved in. Rather than missing the kiss, he decided to kiss the Miss. Little did he know that one smooch (and that too lousily done) would leave such a bad taste in the mouth, cheap pun intended. One small smooch for Mika but one giant lawsuit in his, uhh, you know where. Word on the street is that he has gone underground to evade any arrest (much on the footsteps of his elder bro Daler Mehendi). I can almost imagine the conversation between Mika and his fellow subterranean dwellers:

Mika: Paaji, whom are you hiding from?
Javed: I committed a triple murder a week back. The police of two states are trying to hunt me down. Why are you hiding?
Mika: O koi nahin, main Rakhi Sawant nu ek chummi de ditti. (Oh nothing! I kissed Rakhi Sawant)
Javed: Really!!! Oye Shukat, Arun, sab suno, this man kissed Rakhi Sawant. Wow man! you are like our hero and everything!!

When the chips are down, its high-quality news and low-grade actions like these that help cheer me up. That prod me to see that indeed, there is so much beauty in this world. Although I had found the world to be pretty, but not heart-caving beautiful yet. But little did I know that I was an impatient fool. That the last half-hour was only a build-up to bigger and better things to come. Much like "Fellowship of the Ring" was a trailer for "Return of the King", but I digress.

So after extensive coverage of the unholy smooch, IndiaTV tried to play mediator between the warring parties. The 29" screen of my TV was split in three parts - occupied by Rakhi, news anchor and Mika respectively. For those who play video games, this felt like Mortal Kombat except that in the game, the only thing the mediator says is "Round One, FIGHT!"

After much mud-slinging, colorful usage of vocabulary by either parties, and an exemplary display of impromptu thinking (mostly by Mika), the anchor realized that he is supposed to mediate and not laugh his ass off. So when Mika said that he has "full support from his true fans, who believe him", Rakhi was asked the same question in the most hilarious way:

Anchor (spoken with a straight face): "Rakhi, aapke bhi kaafi fans hain. Jo aapke item songs pasand karte hain, jo aapka.....(long pause).....kaam pasand karte hain, woh bhi to aapke saath honge?"

Needless to say, my day was made. This outstanding show of journalism had egged the total amount of beauty to beyond what my heart could handle. The cave-in was complete.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

City admits it doesn't give a TRA about blogger's absence

BOMBAY, May 17th 2006. After much dilly-dallying, the city of Bombay today admitted that it doesn't give a Tiny Rat's Ass (TRA) about the absence of the wannabe blogger Rahul Gupta. In a formal statement at the Mayor's residence at Prabhadevi, a town spokesman said, "Frankly, we didn't even know that he was here. So the question of us missing him doesn't even arise" , and then quickly added, "but we wish him the best in his future endeavours."

Rahul Gupta, who goes by the juvenile nickname of Asterix, had moved to the city of Bombay in order to take a shot at blog-fame and to jumpstart his PhD, in that order of priority. Dozens of naive and mediocre posts later, he was still no way near his goal. So he resorted to blog-whoring. Blog-whoring is a concept in which a newbie blogger starts leaving inane comments on other, more popular blogs, with a trackback URL to his own blog. The hope is that any other commentator will mistakenly, or out of curiousity, click on the URL and visit his blog.

Such a childish endeavour was only partly successful, as Asterix managed to gather only a handful of loyal readers, most of which were amassed using lures of chocolates. By using self-commentary, Asterix managed to reach an all time high of 20 comments on a single post.

In interviews done all over the city, we talked to a lot of people and asked for their opinions. The results, not surprising in the least, are as follows:

"Asterix who?" : 68%
"I am glad the loser is gone" : 20%
"Bombay's loss is Delhi's gain. I will miss Asterix": 1%
"Well his blog was oookayish, or atleast the chocolates were nice": 6%
"I live/work on the same floor as Asterix. I HAD to read and comment on his blog under gunpoint" : 5%

As expected, Bombay police has launched a manhunt to nab the loony 1% readers who think his blog is good.

We managed to contact Asterix and asked for his comments on this formal press release.
"Well....What can I say, I am aghast! Day after day, I used to eat the hostel food and turn it into my blog posts. And after that this is the treatment I get!", he said. Although it may be debatable which one of hostel food and Asterix's blog post resembles smelly organic matter, but one thing is for sure: If all he did was to convert one to the other, then it wasn't too much of an effort.

He goes on to say, "How can they even say that they don't give a TRA? Not even a BRA (Big Rat's Ass). After all I have done and written about, I deserve atleast a BRA."

As usual, the blogger's comment became too much PG-13 to be recorded and the interview had to be abruptly terminated.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

An ode to a wonderful abode

Leaving Bombay tomorrow for Delhi. Its been a wonderful two semesters here at IIT Bombay and it was much better than I expected. For a change, I will lose the cynicism (temporarily) and state it as it is. I am going to miss this great city terribly. When I came here, my ego of being a Delhi-phile stopped me from accepting how cool this place was. Subconsciously I used to find reasons not to live here - the lousy traffic, the jampacked trains, the ubiquitous crowd and the rampant concretization with total disregard to greenery and the environment.

What I didn't realise was that my acceptance of this place didn't make me less of a Delhi lover and vice versa. Bombay, I will miss you - walks in the green campus, the lake, the train rides against the traffic, the sea-fronts, bandstand, Nariman Point, quarter bars, BEST, autos, cheap cabs at 2 a.m., the gorgeous Victorian buildings of South Bombay, Marathi signboards and annoucements (even though I had no clue what they meant), but most of all, your humility and simplicity which hides your pride and determination perfectly.

My stay here couldn't have been peaceful without old and new friends - Vikram, Raghu and Kohli from undergrad days and all the PhD/Masters gang members here at IIT Bombay.

May your tribe increase. And may I return here soon enough.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Never been tagged

This was the name of the movie I had decided to make. You see, till about an hour back, I was just another ordinary guy living just another ordinary life. Till a friend read about my plight and took pity on me. Life is worth living now. Yes, thats right. I am a part of the hip crowd that tags each other. The tagging clique, if you may.

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn on page 18 and find line 4.

The main parameter in this maximization problem is the choice of family Q.

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can.

Did it, and looked like a moron with one hand in the air.

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?

Highlights of the NatWest Series final between India and England.

4. Without looking, guess what time it is?


5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?


6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?

Pearl Jam blaring loudly, through my headphones, into my ears. Can't ear anything else as a matter of fact.

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?

30 minutes back to answer the call of nature.

8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at?

Some mathematical derivation in my notebook.

9. What are you wearing?

T-shirt, Track-pants, sneakers - living up the grad-student dream.

10. Did you dream last night?

Unfortunately no.

11. When did you last laugh?

On reading today's Dilbert, a few minutes back.

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?

Asian Paints Distemper, whiteboard, calendar (no swimsuit calendars though :-( ), helluva lot of power sockets, ethernet points.

13. Seen anything weird lately?

A 40-year old dude laughing like a moron on _every_ dialogue of Ice Age 2, even the senti ones.

14. What do you think of this quiz?

Pain in the butt.

15. What is the last film you saw?

Ice Age 2.

16. If you became a multimillionaire overnight, what would you buy?

A mountain, with a cottage at the summit.

17. Tell me something about you that I dunno.

That I can kick your ass for such a quiz.

18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or
politics, what would you do?

I cannot say "world peace" as that is the territory of Miss Universe wannabes, so I will have to say college education for the entire population.

19. Do you like to dance?

Only when drunk!

20. George Bush.

The luckiest bastard who doesn't deserve even an iota of what he has got.

21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?


22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?


23. Would you ever consider living abroad?

Why look for discomfort else where when you can find it right at home?

24. What do you want GOD to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?

I am sorry but we are aleady overbooked, we will have to offload you. Back to the earth you go!

25. 5 people who must also do this in their blog.

The madness must stop here! On the other hand, I want to name Solzaire and Tweety if they are reading. A little sadism never hurts ;-)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Nation applauds much wanted change in law

BOMBAY, INDIA (12 APR 2006): The entire nation stood on its feet today and welcomed the introduction of the much sought after reservation bill. The bill aims to guarantee the availability of girlfriends to the deprived sections of the male society. Although the exact details of the bill haven't been released yet, its salient features are as follows:

Who gets some?

The bill seeks to help out the needy and deprived males. As of now, it covers all engineering students, graduate students, medical students from North India, pizza delivery guys, waiters in Bombay's quarter bars, Haryanvis, Indian armed forces and airline pilots. The honourable minister for HR, Mr Arjun Singh elaborates - "We are trying to cover all demographics where the males hardly get to interact with females". This new category will be called the MIDGETs for Men in Deprivation of Girlfriends Etc. The "etc." covers one-night stands, "just good friends", "sahelis", live-in partners and the like. As of now, the MIDGETs cover almost 27% of the population!

This law is not without precedent. In 1991, its predecessor, the "Cool guys should definitely get girls" Act, it was ensured that all B.A/B.Sc/B.Com male students should be granted easy access to the female form. At that time, the logic provided for the Act was that these students, pursuing their worthless degrees, are no match for the professionally qualified B.Tech/B.E/B.Arch/MBBS students who land up with all the nice brides. The 1991 Act, recommended by the Sandal comission, wished to rectify that situation and was a nudge in the right direction. The Act was successful in making procreation feasible for 22.5% of the male population.

However, with every revolutionary idea, come the imbeciles who oppose it. To oppose the 1991 Act, two students from IIT and IIM turned publicly gay to show their defiance. Will such an uncouth opposition be on display this time too?

"No way! 15 years of conditioning have made us totally heterosexual", says Anand, a BA student of Hindu College, Delhi University, with his arms around his two girlfriends.

The logic behind the law

The MIDGETs have been suffering from a lack of female contact (platonic or otherwise) for decades now. A survey carried out in 2005 attributed an average of 13.5 girlriends to every engineering student in IIT. But the figure fell to an abysmal 0.13 after removing "chat-friends" and "orkut-buddies". Hence the need!

"Would you want a horny nuclear engineer in control of the atomic power plant? Huh? Would you?", opines the head of nuclear safety at BARC, Trombay.

Minister Arjun Singh echoes the concern - "Due to lack of female company, boys in IIT were turning to homosexuality, or worse, assembly programming! So it was high time for some affirmative action".

Implementation nightmares

With 49.5% of the male population becoming legally eligible overnight, the question arises as to where will we get the requisite numbers?

"We are talking with the governments of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh", answers Arjun Singh. Bangladesh, in particular, can come in handy with its large diaspora legally and illegally settled in India. Talks have started which will create almost a million jobs, exclusively for female foreigners, in the next 2 years. It should be noted that on account of the bad example set by Manisha Koirala, India will not be "that interested" in pursuing the matter with Nepal.

This will also allay any fears of the non-MIDGET community on the lines of "not being able to find a bloody girlfriend nowadays".

Implications for gays

So what about gays in the MIDGET community? Will a girlfriend be forced down their throats too?

"These are minor wrinkles that can be straightened out. Remember, the State of India doesn't recognize homosexual relationships as legal! And anyway, its high time we stopped discriminating on the basis of sexual preferences", clarifies Arjun Singh.

"Further, it shouldn't be a big problem. They can become 'just friends'. From what I have seen in the reruns of mediocre American sitcoms, chicks really dig gay guys", adds Singh, before quickly replacing the word 'chicks' by girls.

Well, as of today, the bill has been passed unanimously in both the houses of the parliament and is awaiting the signature of the President, who coincidentally is also single and may relate to the problems of the MIDGETs.

This reporter will take your leave now and be off to enrol in one of the neighbourhood engineering polytechnics.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Untagged man very unhappy

Couldn't resist an onion style post.

BOMBAY, INDIA (7 Apr 2006) - Area man Rahul Gupta, who goes by the blog-alias of asterix2k, has declared that he is on the verge of emotional bankruptcy. And the reason is that no one has ever tagged him. Not once. When contacted, he said "I come across inane blogs daily where people are tagging each other senseless. I want to be a part of that crowd. I want to belong! IS THAT TOO BLOODY MUCH TO ASK??"

The rest of the interview had to be postponed, as asterix2k became blasphemous. On resumption, asterix2k added that he is dying to let the world know about his last five crushes, the seventeen books he likes, the twenty three movies he can't get tired of watching, and the dozen things he can't live without.

"I think the entire world is ready to know what turns me on", he conjectured.

Tagging is a complex process wherein, a blogger details out his favourite lists of books, movies, MMS clips etc, and in turn, tags another blogger friend who repeats the loop. So is tagging limited to just ordinary fares like what we prefer to read and watch?

"No. It works at many levels, from top-ten favourite colors to top-ten favourite traits in women", answers Rahul.

He continues to say that answering a tag is a great way to make a post without actually having anything to say, but still attract two dozen comments or more, depending on how famous the blog is. "So , this is right down my alley, because my blog is really 'a blog about nothing'. A vacuous tag-post will fit right in!", he adds.

Preliminary studies show that the following are the ultimate goals (in descending order) of every blogger:
a) Get a real person of the opposite sex to visit the blog.
b) Get tagged.
c) Get a s*it-load of comments on every post.
d) Squat on a good blog-domain name, even if we aren't blogging yet, *just in case*
e) Make meaningful posts.

Legend goes that many online romances have bloomed as a result of tagging. Female blogger Sarah (real name hidden) says, "I thought Zack (real name hidden) was just another stupid male blogger. But then I came across his tag-post! When I read that he likes to sleep on the left side of the bed, likes his eggs scrambled and adores the movie Josie and the Pussycats, I knew it was a match made in heaven!". Their marriage lasted two months after two years of online courtship.

"Right now I would rather get tagged than laid.", gushes Rahul in a wave of emotion. "After that I can move on to tell the world the color of my shorts, my adventures with my pet spider, my gargling habits and the 10-page analysis of my favourite character in Seinfeld", he quips.

Tagging has often been derided by blog-critics as being typical of the "I scratch your back, you scratch mine" philosophy prevalent in the blogging world. Blogger friends comment on each other's posts, irrespective of the post's contents, so that the post/comment count stays healthy. So isn't tagging the same sort of evil?

"No way! First of all, let me clarify that I have myself made half the comments on my blog. And this was possible only because I was vigilant enough to check for comments every half hour, and answering any comments right away!", clarifies Rahul, now visibly agitated.

"Secondly, who'd you rather prefer scratching your back? A stranger, or a friend who's more familiar with the terrain?", he adds.

Well, evil or not, this correspondent wishes asterix2k the best of luck in getting tagged, but secretly hopes that he never gets a chance to read about the blogger's "ten places on my body where it itches the most" list.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Gunda: The obsession continues..

Check out this link. Don't forget to read the user reviews!
A partial screenshot is provided below. Check out the IMDB rating of 9.9/10 (well, even Gunda isn't perfect!)

This weekend, I also fulfilled another childhood dream of mine - watching "Paap ko jala kar raakh kar doonga" at midnight with rowdy junta, with a litre of beer safely inside my tummy to make my experience truly out of the world. Have to admit that although a 60-year old Dharmendra makes a real crap lead-hero, this movie did have the guts to hold a candle to Gunda. Now don't get me wrong. Sure, Dharmendra doesn't have half the sophistication to rub shoulders with Mithun-da, but pair him with Anita Raj (30 years younger than him) and you got some serious competition!

Although the dialogues were a far cry from the literary genius on display in Gunda, the story and (lack of) logic is what made PKJKRKD real fun! Saudi Arabia has more religious tolerance than this celluloid masterpiece had coherence. Excerpts:

Kulbhushan Kharbanda is a very rich and honest engineer. He has a daughter, Farah, of marriageable age. Deepak (played by Govinda) is KK's PA.
KK (to his wife Tanuja): Ab Roopa ki shaadi karne ki umr ho gayi hai. Meri nazar Deepak par hai. Sharif hai, imaandar hai, steno ki naukari kar raha hai...apni Roopa ke liye theek rahega.
(An exec engineer marrying his daughter to a steno! What the funk!!)

All in all, a good paisa vasool.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

TV Today

First, after so much publicity, they announced his departure. I, for one, was devastated. For me, he was an integral part of the whole experience. But then, he came back. Well not exactly.

I am talking about Isaac Hayes, the South Park chef, the most ultimate sex machine to have graced the idiot box ever. Apparently there was a big fallout between the South Park creators and Hayes over an episode where SP ridiculed Scientology, which Hayes is a devotee of. What Hayes didn't realize is that SP is equally capable of poking caustic fun at _any_ issue under the sun. So they promptly debuted their 10th season with an episode titled "Return of the Chef". And Hayes won't be flattered on seeing that episode, to say the least.

Wonder, what song will Hayes sing now? And speaking of the 10th season, the second episode is one of the funniest I have ever seen. At par with the 8th season, which contains the best SP episodes.

Am also watching the 17th season of Simpsons right now. Wonder how they manage to keep the quality up after so many years!

Consider this: Marge Simpson prods Todd to overcome his fear of heights and climb up a church spire. Now Bart is helping him climb down:

Bart (to Todd): Lets just go down without holding hands. It looks gay.
Todd: What's "gay" ?
Bart: umm... gay is when you overcome your fears and do cool things.
Todd (shouting at the top of his voice): Hey DAD!!! I am GAY!!! Did you hear that? I am GAY!! Mrs Simpson made me GAY!!

I had a hard time controlling my laughter.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Its finally happening

India is finally catching up with Amrikaa. And before all you nationalists start boycotting my blog for this blasphemous statement, et me clarify. It happened somewhat like this. Sometime last year, the Adlabs company decided to adopt the C-grade theatre of Huma outside the Kanjur Marg station in Mumbai. Now Huma's claim to fame till then was that it was a theatre for the masses. It was the place where auto-drivers and taxi-wallahs used to throng, to spit paan on the walls and relax on the crumbling chairs. The place of the ubiquitous "morning show".

Now Adlabs literally took the hall apart and replaced it with a shiny 4-screen multiplex. So far so good. Apparently they wanted to cater to the crowd from the nearby suburbs of Vikhroli, Hiranandani and the spill-over crowd from the various malls at Mulund. Not to mention the thousands of students from the nearby IIT.

Now I like to waste 150 bucks or so on a mediocre movie now and then whenever I find time, so I am a regular visitor at Huma. But for some reason, I have never found the halls sold out or even 3/4th full at any screening. Not even a weekend night. Apart from "why am I still single?", the mystery of an empty Huma has kept me awake on many nights.

Well, tonight's experience was so mindblowing that I had to waste 20 minutes describing it you and in turn waste your time too. I had gone there to watch some random movie, and saw that there was a decent queue (>2 people). So I thought that finally I would not have to face my fear of "large empty spaces". After buying the tickets, I got a first warning sign when the usher asked me twice if I wanted to go to Screen 1. Really? Let me see your ticket. He opened the doors (we were the first of the audience) and Vikram and I were the only ones in the empty hall, standing in deference to the anthem being played. After some nervous foot-tapping, we were joined by a young couple, who were making a movie on their own on the backseat.

There it was. Four people in a hall meant to seat 200. On a Friday night. In Mumbai. And I have had movie experiences like these only in the US. Hence the title of the post.

By the way, all four of us left in the interval because the movie sucked bigtime. I wonder if they kept playing the movie in an empty theatre. I wonder how they make any profits with attendances like these. With the huge AC, the housekeeping, electricity bills and everything. Sure they charge exorbitantly, but only, like 10 people, actually buy tickets.

I am sure this will keep me awake tonight.

Friday, March 17, 2006

I am back

Woohoo! Finally the back-breaking drudgery of incessant work is over. For all of my readers, who were anxious about my long absence, the wait is finally over. Yes, I meant both of you.

A lot seems to have happened in the weeks gone by: Blasts in Varanasi, a record smashing cricket match, a test victory for India, and the moving on of a good friend. He finally decided that reading my inane blogposts was a waste of his precious student time. So to make it worthwhile, he took a job in Delhi so that he can waste company time doing the same thing, rather than his own. As a reward I got his throne [his lab desk actually] and his 21" monitor to watch Mithunda's movies on. But although I may occupy his chair, it will be more like Denethor guarding the throne for Aragorn, except that there isn't an Arwen in his sight right now.

Enough said about moving on. Some things, thankfully, haven't changed. Like the general studdappa (called "Ptushun" in Delhi lingo) of Bombay, my iron-grip on my single status, and Ganguly's ouster from the Indian team.

Thank god for small mercies.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Those were the days

Read this nostalgic and at the same time mildly naughty post. Reminded me of the days gone by when porn was an openly integral part of everybody's life. Termed as pondi, pondz, pr0n and wotnot, the essence remains the same. Rose by any other name.....

Although it has been more than 13 years, but it seems like yesterday. At the tender age of 13 years, I was introduced to the world of porn. It was the early nineties, and internet wasn't even born, CDs weren't popular enough, so printed media was pretty much our saviour. A school senior had managed to procure an 'educational' magazine named BodyTalk. Like first love, I vividly remember my emotions at that time. I was very curious about the number of Xs on the front page (there were 3, as I clearly recall in hindsight), and there were two German female models that looked very anxious to teach us sex education. Now being the class geek and all, I was at the front of the queue to receive gyan, and boy! did I receive gyan or what! However, the seniors were not always so generous with the supply and I was not aggressive enough to persist, so such devi-darshans were few and far between.

And then came 1997. The magical year. When I entered the hallowed halls of my college hostel. Having done the hard part of clearing the entrance exams, the priorities underwent a slight change. Applied Mechanics gave way to Playboy and Quantum Physics lost to Basic Instinct without scoring. Yes, it was a booming time. When friendships were forged and broken on the basis of porn and it was porn that kept us together in our darkest times. It was our dreamland where the bombshell girl would not judge us by our semester grades or our week old beard. Where everyone was loved and no one left empty-handed (ahem!). Where fantasies became reality and reality became a distant dream. Where the 9 pointers and 4 pointers were equal. And jocks and nerds were indistinguishable. Yes, those were happy times my friend!

The transition from printed porn to digital porn was smoother than Tendulkar's cover drive. It felt like a natural progression, the survial of the fittest. Darwin was never truer. It was also the start of the digital revolution in India. And the half a dozen CD shops around the campus were always ready to pander to the basic needs of the teeming thousands inside the campus. A trip to the CD shop had a clear agenda - one Jackie Chan CD, one Hollywood CD and one CD for the night. On second thoughts, make that 2 CDs for the night - you never know if the first CD is scratched. KLPD ho jayega na?

The CD shop was another marvelous entity in itself. The shop owner used to memorize each and every CD that passed his shop.

Student: Bhaiyya woh swimming pool waali hai kya?
ShopOwner: Pool..hmm...oh woh hotel ke pool waali..haan hai...
Student: Nahin aap shayad kuch aur samajh rahein hain.
ShopOwner: Bhai wohi na jisme woh Brazilian ladki hai?
Student (sheepishly): Haan wohi...bahut suna hai uske baare main.
ShopOwner (triumphantly): Maine kaha tha na wohi hai. Ye rakhi hai. Sasura naam bhi nahin hota hai in picturon par. Bahut dikkat hoti hai yaad karne mein.

The movie night was spent fast-forwarding the Jackie Chan movie and move on to the real maal. In that era, when computer count was 0.1 per capita, hordes of curious souls would gather together in that ceremony to see Lena the Warrior Princess or Sex-Files. The owner of the computer was like the high priest, who had veto power over deciding which scene had repeat value and which babe wasn't worth a dekho. He also had one more power. To ask the horde to vacate his room because usko abhi sona hai. The most pathetic codeword. The poor souls, deprived of seeing the thrilling climax of the story, would take their revenge by peering over the ventilator and banging on the door just when the dude was about to 'fall asleep'. Whats that you ask? What about the Hollywood movie? That used to be unopened most of the time. Harrison Ford would lose out to the vily charms of Candy and Holly. Sigh! the good old days.

The hostel was a home to all and sundry. And there were those, who were not impressed by the appealing graphics. Flash a page/scene to them and nothing. Nada. Zook. They were the ones who got their kicks from reading the same stuff. And the internet was their messiah. Spending unearthly hours ogling at the internet sites, gleaning amongst the candidates, and in a final swoop of victory, finding that one story that would make their day (or night). The one story which they would forward to the entire junta the next morning and bask in the glory. "Abey kya sahi kahani thi baap!".

And then there were the pseudos. Who would tirelessly mention how they liked the story in a particular XX movie. The same kind of sickos who read Deb for the articles.

Yes, its true, the hostel was home to all kinds of people.

After a gap of so many years, when I finally return to hostel life, I find lots of things have changed. Firstly porn is now completely free. No more pooling money to buy the Penthouse annual edition. No more asking the friends for 20 bucks to rent that CD. Free Porn. Free as in free beer.

However, I find that while the essence is there, the purpose is lost. Gone are the days when finding porn was as important as enjoying it. When the journey was as exhilirating as the destination. Hunting the hostel wing, going door to door. "Yaar PlayBoy hai kya? Nahin? Chal theek hai......sun sun, kuch khane ko hai kya?". And then one would find his friend in the corridor, wearing that naughty DevAnand grin, waving that CD in his hand and shouting "oye! mil gayi re!". And you would know that all the search time was time well spent.

Finally, I would like to end my homage to the old school of pondigiri by a quote:
Porn: It is what you enjoy between the times you study.


[Disclaimer: 1. If the article portrays me as a depraved lunatic, then there is nothing I can do about it. The article is already public. In reality, I am a happy, well adjusted grad student. 2. If you were googling for porn and this article turned up because of the frequency of the usage of the word 'p*rn', then I sincerely apologize for wasting your time. I do not host such material. Please go to the next search result, and chances are high that you will be amply rewarded.]

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Which phobe are you ?

Was going through a list of phobias to see if I had anything (yes, thats right, I have nothing better to do at 9 on a weekday morning). As it turns out, I am a walking psychotic timebomb, a prime candidate for the luxury suite at Agra's most famous landmark - the mental institution. Some of my endearing qualities are:

(List courtesy this website)

Ablutophobia - Fear of washing or bathing. (More like laziness than a phobia actually)
Agrizoophobia - Fear of wild animals. (If I see a lion from up close, it is time to change my pants)
Altophobia - Fear of heights (hmmm..still on phobias beginning with 'A')
Arachnophobia - Fear of spiders (stomp stomp stomp!)
Automatonophobia - Fear of ventriloquist's dummies, animatronic creatures, wax statues-anything that falsely represents a sentient being. (was sh*t scared of mannequins when I was 7)
Claustrophobia/Cleisiophobia - Fear of confined spaces (When I die, I would like to be burnt, not buried, thanks very much)
Ergasiophobia - Fear of work or functioning (sigh! thats true, you got me. I fear and hate working)
Gamophobia - Fear of marriage (this one is shared by all men)
Medomalacuphobia - Fear of losing an erection (again, this is every man's nightmare)
Phronemophobia - Fear of thinking (yeah baby! thinking is for losers. I am more of an action guy. Kaaaching!)
Stygiophobia - Fear of hell (with deeds like mine, where else am I gonna go)
Taphephobia - Fear of being buried alive or of cemeteries (this one keeps me awake at night. Can never forget that scene in Kill Bill 2)

And now some of the funny ones. Can't help thinking who would have these phobias.

Arachibutyrophobia - Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth (no comments.)
Coprastasophobia - Fear of constipation (such dudes have a tough life for sure)
Dishabiliophobia - Fear of undressing in front of someone (who won't have this phobia!! streakers I guess.)
Coitophobia/Genophobia - Fear of coitus (poof! there goes the bloodline)
Eurotophobia - Fear of female genitalia (combine this with coitophobia and you have a rockin life!)
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia - Fear of long words (need I say more)
Phobophobia - Fear of phobias (At last, a metaphobia!)
Pteronophobia - Fear of being tickled by feathers (Obelix's nightmare)
Venustraphobia - Fear of beautiful women (perfect phobia to couple with coitophobia and eurotophobia).
Urophobia - Fear of urine or urinating (how do urophobes discharge bodily fluids then? On second thoughts, don't answer that.)

Asterix the phobia guy.

Monday, February 20, 2006

We may have defeated...

...Pakistan 4-1 on their turf, but we had to face the music in some other departments. The under-19 cricket team lost to its Pakistani counterpart in the U-19 World Cup Final at Colombo. The Pakis were shot out for 108 but retaliated by limiting the Indians to just 71! The Pakis retain the World Cup as a result. By the way, I also came to know that erstwhile 'medium pace' bowler Venkatesh Prasad is the coach of the U-19 Indian team. I can almost recall Kumble and Prasad bowling at the same speed :)

We also lost the hockey series at home 3-0 to Pakistan. Three more matches will be played in Pakistan, and I for one, wont be surprised if they make it 6-0. Can't help wondering why there is such a huge gap between the quality of the Indian and the Pakistani hockey teams. Is it all the fault of Gill baby, or is the apathy rampant in the organization. Maybe someone who follows hockey, and more importantly, its politics, can throw some light on it?

Meanwhile the dreamer in me thinks many a times, what would have happened to the subcontinental sports scene if the country hadn't been partitioned. Would we be an even stronger cricketing force? Probably. Squash? Definitely. How about hockey? With the Gill monkey at the helm, heck never!


Update: We are going to host Pakistan for the Davis Cup playoffs in Bombay in April. Isn't there too much of Indo-Pak sports going on nowadays (Not that I am complaining) ?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Return of the King

Solzaire writes about the return of his biggest role models since childhood, the one and only Mithun-da, to the silver screen. You may remember him (Mithun-da, not Solzaire) from such memorable movies as Gunda, Military-raaj, Dalal and other such brain-smashing masterpieces.

He got the Asterix Lifetime Achievement Award for his all-round performance in the timeless classic "Gunda", where he played the role of a coolie in a trolley-deprived airport with the characterstic aplomb that is now synonymous with his name. His lesser achievements include a handful of National Awards that he received a few years back.

Until I saw Gunda, my knowledge of the Supreme Lord was limited to movies such as Disco Dancer (with the famous song - I am a disco dancer..teenu eeennu...I am a disco dancer...teenu eeenu.. zindagi mera pyaar....ad nauseum) and Agneepath (haaaii saalaaa). Like an ignorant impatient movie goer, so far I had dismissed the God without witnessing the gamut of performances that he had under his sleeve. I was but a fool in darkness.

And so my friends ordered me to watch Gunda. And therefore I saw Gunda. And then there was light. And God was happy. And I was his blind disciple thence.

Like Hobbes eating his first can of tuna, and an adolescent watching his first porn flick, I wanted more. So I scoured the web for news about Prabhu-da and single-handedly pushed "Mithun + movie" to the most googled query on the web. And at last my patience was rewarded by Chingaari.

Chingaari. What a word. Apart from the reference to a possible arson sequence in the movie, the word also has sexual connotations. Remember the song, "Chingaari koi bhadke...la la la ...sawan jo aag lagaye use kaun bujhaaye?". So far it seems like the movie was being released only to pander to depraved souls like me, who have just lost their Prabhu-virginity and are clamouring for more of such action.

However, more googling and active surfing led to some disturbing news. Chingaari, it seems, is directed by a woman director Kalpana Lazmi. Well I have two serious issues with that. Not that I am a sexist. Heck! I fully support sex in all its forms. Well, my first problem is that a woman director may develop moral issues while directing a Mithun-flick that obviously requires one to shed his/her inhibitions at the front door. In layman terms, it means (a) no blouse ripping (unless it is done tastefully) (b) no assaults on any women-folk (read - Mithun's dear sister) unless the story cannot move ahead, and (c) absolutely no double entendres and crass dialogues.

Now a person like me can live without the first two. Ok not completely, but I will live to fight another day. But what good is a Mithun-movie without the rhyming double meaning waale dialogues ? "Hi, I am Bulla" doesn't quite cut the cake when you compare it with "Mera naam hai Bulla, main karta hoon khullam khulla". And Bulla's orgasmic "Main tujhe maar doongaaaaaaaa" beats "Tu mere haathon marega" hands down.

My second problem is that being a serious director, she may actually try to inject some sense into the script. I mean what the hell man! First she will take away the skin-fest, then the dialogues, but now she will also take away the comical element of the movie which is the only common theme in an otherwise incoherent script. It is ok with me if she doesn't show the villain laying his dirty hands on Prabhu-ji's sister. But atleast let the sister say that she was on her way to college, when clearly she is in the middle of a 100 sqkm patch of grassy meadow.
Well, with a name that rhymes with Shabana Azmi, what else can you expect other than rhyme and reason. Correction. Make that just reason.

So with all hope of a good comeback movie lost beyond retrieval, I read this article about the "behind the scenes" dealings of the movie. Rediff reported that during the filming of a rape sequence in the movie, my dear Lord Shree Shree Mithun-ji (Calcutta-waale) inappropriately touched Sushmita Sen. Now I was delighted. Not because Sush was touched, but because the skin-fest was back on! The irony of the unsolicited touching in a rape sequence was however not lost. The reporters went to town about this sleazy piece of news and digged up dirt about Mithun's B-grade movies, which therefore explained his B-style behaviour. However, as a loyal fan, I wish to defend his position through this open letter.


Shat Shat Pranaam.

Just read the groping news in the tabloids. Journalism at its worst.
In my mind, however, the picture is crystal clear. Oh Lord of all Lords, if you are testing my belief, then be assured that no amount of your touching any woman (or man) will cause my faith to waver. However, I do know that in all probability, you were so immersed in your character, as the rapist and wot-not, that you forgot where the boundaries ended. Such a pioneer of method acting! How will these imbeciles understand, what it takes to be a multiple National Award winner? Haaaiii saalaaa !!

O mighty king! this news has bolstered my faith, and pretty soon, I shall witness thy rock-solid performance in Chingari on the big screen. That, my sire, is my dream.

I have given my heart to thee, and my brain to the gutters.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Delhi revisited

Finally back from a 3 day visit to Delhi. Delhi. Motherland. The only city which I love as much as I hate. Much has been said about Delhi and Mumbai, and I will not add anything to it.

This was my second trip to Delhi in less than a month, and an air-trip at that, which is still a big deal for a lot of Indians. As is obvious from this template of a conversation I had with lots of people before I left for Delhi:

Me: I am leaving for Delhi on Thursday.
Friend: Kya kaam hai ?
Me: Delhi Marathon
Friend: Oh, tu 42 kms bhaagega ?
Me: Kya meri shakal par likha hai ki meri 42 km ki aukaat hai?
Friend: Then the half marathon ?
Me: Nahin, 7km.
Friend: Sirf saat kilometre. Sahi sahi bata kis kaam se ja raha hai ?
Me: Sirf bhaagne
Friend: Ladkiyaan dekhne jaa raha hai kya (as in arranged marriage) ?
Me: Nahin
Friend (with a "your are definitely not among one of us" look) : Bada paisa hai yaar tere pass!!

Any attempts at proving that my Air Dhakkan ticket costs less than a Rajdhani ticket was met with a "nahin nahin, theek hai yaar, bahut paisa hai tere pass" type of answer. Damn my friends!

Khair, I did reach Delhi and much to my disappointment found that the stupid organizers could not procure proper road permits and stuff, and so the 7km was trimmed to 5kms.

Swallowing my pride and my month long practice, I still showed up at the stipulated time (after looking around for car-parking for 30 minutes). With the typical "nothing-can-go-right" attitude, the race was postponed by further 30 minutes and then started 15 minutes before time without any announcement. Since we (me and my 7-8 friends) were too enthused to run, we didnt give a damn and ran away to glory. After around 17 minutes, I saw the "finish" sign and was very proud of myself for a full 2 seconds before reason kicked in. Realised that the dumbass organizers had further trimmed down 5 to 3.5 kms or so. I guess no other buffon flew 800 miles to and fro so that he could run 3.5 kilometers in 17 minutes.

A pathetically organized event , when one compares with the awesome Mumbai marathon in January.

Ofcourse, with a nadir like that, everything else was ten times better - be it getting drunk after a long time (and being able to enjoy it too), playing on my PS2 after a long time, checking my official email after 3 weeks, driving on 3+3 lane roads, watching India win against Pakistan, eating matar paneer and kadhai paneer together, or listening to Rang De Basanti's musical score again and again on the car stereo.

"Thodi si dhool meri..dharti ki mere watan ki...." .. how can one not help liking the movie. Hell, I am in des, and I felt like I was missing India (kinda weird feeling only expatriates can feel, I guess).

Well Monday came, and I am back in Bombay now. Bombay. Motherland.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Flushing the TOIlet

I wonder what the hell is going on in the minds of the simians who manage the tabloid known as The Times of India, whose creative nicknames include Slimes of India and the TOIlet Times.

My parents have always been a follower of the Indian Express for as long as I have been able to read the alphabet. Even then, they used to acknowledge that TOI, though partisan, and a butt-kissing servant of the Govt. of India, did used to have real news on its pages.

Somewhere in the early nineties, I had my first serious look at the TOI. I was shamelessly mesmerized. The thickness of the newspaper could only mean one thing - more probability of a cartoon somewhere in side. Infact, I forced my parents to subscribe to the Sunday Times of India so that I could enjoy Mindsport (a puzzle column) and Hagar the Horrible. The front pages never interested me that much because I was getting the daily dose from IE and the good old Doordarshan.When I moved to the college hostel, my long attachment with IE was broken and a new one with TOI was forged. And believe it or not, it was still because I read only the cartoons and nothing else.

Then one day, I began noticing the supplement "Delhi Times". Nothing much, a collage of photographs of forty something socialites, semi-naked movie stars, insipid interviews, pointless articles. Needless to say, I was hooked. Delhi Times used to be the paper we used to carry to the toilet for timepass reading. What we didn't realize that it belonged there, and thus, we shouldn't have brought it back. Nonetheless, my fascination waned pretty quickly.

Until they snatched me back with www.indiatimes.com. The sleaziest tabloid I have seen in my life! After watching some utterly crappy (I am really out of adjectives here) 'news' and raunchy photographs, I sensed a strong sense of deja vu.

Just have a look at the 'headlines' posted at the beginning of the post.

An Egyptian ship carrying 1300 people sunk in the Red Sea, but Aishwarya's compatibility with Abhishek is more important I guess.

By catering to the basic desires of the masses, the TOIlet times has succeeded in raking loads of moolah. Like Microsoft, it has some top notch businessman in managerial positions. Who possess the skill and the audacity to sell mediocre stuff to me, just because it looks jazzy and is all shiny and glossy! And the sad part is that there is hardly any newspaper left (apart from Hindu) to provide us with real news. Even Indian Express is a shadow of its previous self.

I guess until things improve, I would never have to worry about the shortage of toilet paper in the country.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Mother of all movies

I can't believe this is my third posting within 48 hours. A record of sorts for me.
Well this post is about the best movie I have seen in my entire life, and so it deserves more than a passing mention.

When I was a kid in college, I used to hear a lot about IMDB and the top-100 and so on. Names like 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Shawshank Redemption' used to do the rounds very often. Well, soon after I graduated and helped myself to the purchase of a TV and a DVD player, I started my own movie collection. Courtesy the bootleg DVD stores at Palika Baazar, a haven for immoral cheapskates like me. Thanks to these stores, I was finally able to see most of the so called gems like the ones mentioned above and many others.

However, I knew something big was still missing. Firstly, I still hadn't seen a movie that would make me jump out of my pants with laughter, roll on the dirty floor and beat myself senseless out of sheer delirious excitement. Secondly, all the good movies were English, and as a card carrying nationalist, it really pinched me sometimes. So all my life I waited for this one movie, a Hindi movie, 'The One' if you may. That wait was over yesterday night.

Now this movie didn't spend any money on publicity. However the sheer raw talent of this movie was so much that it gained a lot of word of mouth publicity. It was doing the rounds of bulletin boards, some of my friends who had seen it swore by it, and so many reviews raved about it that I felt like checking out what the hue and cry was all about.

So I went ahead and procured 'Gunda'. A typical low budget, made-in-two-weeks Mithun-starrer, 1 good vs 200 evil kind of movie. Five minutes into the movie I was totally hooked. Like a heroin addict who knows that its bad for him, yet he can't stop, I too was acutely conscious of the gray cells that were quietly dying, yet I couldn't look away.

In my opinion, the star of the movie is not Mithun, but the immensely talented dialogue writer. Consider the following gems:

"Mera naam hai Bulla, main karta hoon khullam-khulla".

"Bulla ka naam lekar tune mera khada kar diya hai...gusse se ek ek baal".

And one of my personal favourites:

"Ab yahan laashein (bodies) aise girengi jaise koi bachcha jab pishaab karta hai..tap tap"

The genius of the dialogues lies not in the extremely high quality but in the fact that they rhyme. 25 minutes into the movie, I noticed that not a single dialogue was out of rhyme with its predecessor. Along with the jaw-dropping background music, it almost felt like a three hour song! The extraordinary hamming effort put forward by all the 'actors' also helped the cause.

"Bulla mujhe mat maar...tujhe AIDS se bachaane ke liye main nirodh ban jaaonga"
"Towel ban kar teri kamar se lipat jaaonga".

Sheer genius!

Apart from the great Mithun-da, the movie boasts of a stellar crew like Mohan Agashe, Shakti Kapoor and the Neanderthal who played Inspector Salim in Sarfarosh. Some girl picked on the street plays Mithun-da's romantic interest.

Now, the movie's storyline is predictable yet gripping. Mithun-da works as a coolie in Ooty airport. Yes, thats right! I guess the airport administrators haven't heard about a little thing known as trolleys. Anyway, so with his high paying coolie job, Mithun-da fulfills all his simple pleasures in life like liquor every night and Maruti Esteem. Now things are going fine with him and his family, which comprises of his sister, his girlfriend, his dad and his pet monkey. Till one day he takes pangas with Bulla (the Neanderthal) and co. Like true Bengalis, they continue making noises at one another for the first twenty minutes of the film, without getting physical. However, the dialogues are poetic (as proved before) and the delivery is par-excellence. Bulla throws in a pathetic fake Punjabi accent once in a while which really spices things up.

So these two are at loggerheads, and nothing is happening. Till one day, things get slightly ugly at the sea-port. Don't ask me how a mountain town like Ooty got a sea-port. Bulla decides enough is enough and finds out that he is horny enough to rape Mithun-da's sister. So after some blouse ripping, Mithun-da's family count reduces by one, which really pisses Mithun-da off.

He proclaims that he has fixed the death dates for the five villains in advance.
The relevant dialogue containing the dates is:
"Do , chaar, chheh, aath, dus. Bus!"

This rhyme amuses Bulla so much that he goes ahead and knocks off Mithun-da's havaldaar father. This makes Mithun-da so mad that he stops fooling around with his girlfriend for a while.

"Nafrat ki aag mein jal kar main pyaar karna bhool baitha hoon".

So now Mithun-da is horny as well as pissed off. Well, so much testosterone proves too fatal for poor Bulla and his minions. The killings start and bodies begin to drop on the promised dates. Apart from Dominos, Mithun-da becomes the only other entity who delivers on time.

In the climax, Bulla (who has killed Mithun-da's girlfriend, by the way), along with an army of 2000 auto-rickshaws faces Mithun-da, who, understandably, is alone. So Mithun-da opens the trunk of his Maruti-Esteem (remember the fat coolie paycheck?). And lo and behold! Mithun-da has dozens of rocket launchers with him, the kind which would put Doom and Quake to shame.

So after some pow-wow and boom-dhoom with the rockets, the auto0rickshaws become cycle-rickshaws (consequently, this ticks off the citizens of Ooty, who are left with no transport). Seeing that Mithun-da is playing at God level with the cheats on, Bulla gives up and is swiftly killed by the God.

That, my friend is the end of the movie. Thats three hours well spent.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Rocking Karachi

So a friend living in the US of A decides to call me at 9am on Sunday and I negotiate a more humane timing with him and promptly go back to sleep. Well, once woken up I can hardly sleep, so I open up my laptop and begin the daily rituals of blogsurfing. Was reading some really funny articles by Greatbong for around one and a half hours when the hostel erupted with a loud noise. Being a veteran hostel dweller myself, I instantly decoded the noise to mean that (a) A cricket match is going on (b) Either an Indian batsman has hit a six or a bowler has scalped a wicket.

Well Rediff instantly confirmed my claims - Pakistan 0/1 in 0.4 overs. I had barely sat down when the noise erupted again... Pak 0/2 in 0.5, this was looking more like an Indian one-day batting scorecard in the late eighties (remember the failed opening stands!) By now the last shred of stupor had disappeared and as if to make me a believer, Pak was 0/3 in 1.0 overs. I was willing to kiss Pathan at that time at a great risk to my heterosexual image.

No other wicket fell for quite sometime, but the wait was not long. Three more noises (more like explosions) rocked the hostel at even intervals of 4-5 overs. Right now it is 45/6 in 11.4 overs. The Pakistani top order is gone and so is my sleep.

I am just wondering if the caretaker of the pitch has taken umbrage at the comments on the dead pitches of Faisalabad and Lahore. Now I cannot wait to go to my cousin in Chembur and see the highlights on the telly.


Still looking for the starting gun

Had gone to Delhi for a 'special' celebration of my birthday (or 'budday' as they call it in North India). Nothing really special, except that 12-13 guys showed up at midnight, sans any girlfriends/wives, so the gathering turned into more of a bachelor party :) Not that I am complaining.

So I turned 26 on 24th. Big deal. I guess I have crossed the age limit after which you avoid birthdays like the plague. I am reminded of the lyrics of Pink Floyd's Time:

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines

Story of my life. I distinctly remember being a confused chap at 16. Still no closer to clarity at 26. Well, as they say, "its a phase. It will pass on...". Guess I will just have to wait and watch.

Meanwhile, a happy 56th birthday to our Indian republic!