Sunday, November 29, 2009

Overreact na kari!


I once read in the newsapaper of a Japanese company that has introduced a unique stress busting technique….here’s what they do….they have a room full of glass plates….now don’t ask what type of glass cos I dunno…but its the breakable one….so if any employee is really really mad for any reason…boss ne shout kiya, biwi ne ghar se nikaala etc…then all he has to do, is go to that room and break as many plates as he likes…that way all the negative energy comes out on the poor plates….a little tod-fod and ur good as new…they say...this way mental stress won’t hamper employee productivity….Hmm interesting…. And a bit weird actually.

I went for a blood test today and I couldn’t help thinking that if inflicting pain on people and things is the way to cut stress, then the lab folks must have a pretty satisfying job….for instance, their job mainly involves sticking needles in people’s arms, and not needle stabbing alone, after that they suck out a good 10 ml of blood and to make the revenge more wholesome, further inflict pain on your wound by rubbing it with a horrible smelling piece of cotton (smells a bit like Bru ice cappuccino- Got it free on an ice cream so that’s how I know)

In my judgment, there are basically 4 kinds of people who come to get their blood test done….and this I mean is based on their behavior


1- The Maun Vrat types- they just shut their eyes and pretend like the whole world is at peace. Aha! Dalai Lama! Their hemoglobin is probably 15-20 bcos of which they are sooo tranquil….forget nervousness, they don’t even care if they are just getting a prick or the nurse is carving an entire dotted design on their arm….and when the whole process is over and they are asked to open their eyes, they have an almost mournful expression….like oh nooo…neend se jaga diya!

2- The Needle phobic types- Those are the ones that go frenzy just by the sight of a needle….and may I say, the cry and scream and shout reflects an exceptionally high decibel level. To get a blood test done for them is a horror and probably the thought of taking one keeps them up for a couple of nights in advance. Mostly accompanied by friends and family for moral support

3- The Funny expression types- They are generally a bit hyper….although they don’t say much….their expressions are very interesting….when they look at the needle, their eyebrows shoot high up…almost touching their hairline….when its stuck in their arm, its difficult to tell whether they are laughing or crying and when the ordeal is over, its… hffffffff….like they have just fought the biggest and hardest battle of their life.

4- And the last of the lot….The Curious types- By these species I mean, they ask a lot of questions….which flow in the following order
Ø Is this a fresh needle (and that is after seeing the nurse tear it from a packet) ….(No beta, I actually put these injections in the fridge and I didn’t want it to smell of pyaaz and tamaatar…that’s why I put it in a sealed plastic cover. Thik kiya na maine?)
Ø Are you going to put it in my hand now? (Yep! Smile and say cheese!!!)
Ø Will you remove the blood now? (Haa jaanemann! Grr! Tum mujhe khoon do, main tumhe azaadi dungi!!)
Ø Finish? Shall I go now? (Nahi nahi jaldi kya hai. Araam se chaai naashta karke jaao!)

Makes an interesting tamaasha I say. Hope you don’t have to be in this situation, but just in case you land up sometime, then it’s what you could look out for amidst an otherwise drab environment!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bend it 360!

MBA- the premier professional course that teaches you analytics in business management. Now I don’t have a business of my own or any use whatsoever of the degree itself but… I still wanted to do it. Why? No reason at all. Ae-wai!
And in spite of resistance from other parties, I managed to convince them to letting me have my way. That being done, the form was filled and the fee paid. Between me and the exam there was just one glitch….8 compulsory classes that I needed to attend to be eligible to write the exam.

Initially, 8 classes didn’t seem like much at all. All that I needed to do was attend 3 lectures in a day (They were of 2 hours each….That, I didn’t know!)

Now I have lived in Chennai for the last 4 years and can understand a decent amount of Tamil….come here…go there…do this…do that….ye sab I can manage… but when it comes to understanding Economics and Accountancy in Tamil, my limitations give way….Essentially, its an English medium course, but the lecturers being over- enthusiastic want to be more ‘expressive’. At least that’s what one lecturer told me when I couldn’t answer a question she had asked, and on explaining to her that I hadn’t understood a single word of what was spoken in the last two hours, she said….. ‘Ayyo!! I want to explain properly that’s why I talk in Tamil. Why didn’t you tell me from first only ma. Na rumba sorry!’ Hmm….its ok aunty!

After two days of staring at the playground and drawing aimless designs in my notebook, when I couldn’t stand the torture any further, I decided enough was enough and as soon as the next lecturer entered, I told him to be so kind as to talk in English.
Any normal person would have complied…but naa ji naa…this guy instead of heeding to my request, started shooting questions which were of the following nature-----
1-Why don’t you understand Tamil?
2-Where are you actually from?
3-Where in Mumbai do you live?
4-What language do u speak at home?
5-Why don’t you know Marathi then?
6-Where are you living in Chennai? (complete address)
7-Where do your parents live?
8-After completing your MBA, will you go back to Dammam?
And if the question answer session itself wasn’t enough, he went on to tell me that he had been to Mumbai 2 months ago (with the exact date!!! Hello what am I going to do, by knowing that???) and saw the Taj Hotel and Gateway of India. ‘Have you seen it? Do you have relatives in Mumbai?’ ………All this he said at the top of his voice in front of an entire class of roundabouts 60 students! I hadn’t made a single friend in all of those 3 days and now he had blown away the minutest shred of a chance I had….needless to say...everyone hated me….a girl even said… ‘These NRI’s, what do they think of themself?’…..in Tamil…assuming I couldn’t understand….but unfortunately, thatttt I figured word to word :(

When the nosey lecturer finally got underway teaching his subject, it was in one hundred percent Tamil!!!!....I was purely dismayed. And to think I had staked my entire reputation for this! Mental note- Next time just shut up!

Never before in my life have I felt so unwelcome in a place. Never before have I not been able to make friends….of the few people whom I spoke to, they talked to me in English giving the impression like I was being accommodated…with the best intentions, I don’t deny….but all the same it was a compromise. And never before have I felt so helpless for being in an alien land whose people I didn’t like and whose preferences I didn’t share.

Bottom line- As a total misfit in such an environment and with 3 more classes to go, I just hope the degree I get at the end of this adjustment period is actually worth it!

Sunday ho ya Monday, roz khaao Ande!

I do love cakes and soufflés but eating the actual yellow and white gol gol thing (oval oval, rather) doesn’t really go well with me. That however, doesn’t have any effect on my egg making ability…don’t intend to brag, but I can do a pretty decent job with scrambled eggs and omelet’s (C’mon lets face it…how difficult is it anyway?)

So when I was asked to make a bolied egg, I didn’t think it was a big deal at all. Waise bhi, karna hi kya hai? Put it in water, light the stove and let it boil. Easy!!!
But as you may have understood from my past muddles, it obviously didn’t turn out to be thaaaat easy. You see with me in the picture, it’s a minor miracle if nothing goes wrong.


Right…so let me start the brand new tale….after taking up the grand egg making responsibility, the first thing I tried to do was… get advice from jaane maane log about how it is made….and whoever I asked, came up with the exact same reply…..Just boil it ….????.....Arey that to even I know….but how to ‘just boil it’…. I mean kitna paani…what temperature….for how long….etc.
The thing is, I had always taken egg boiling for granted… all these technical aspects never entered my mind…anyway….after getting the relevant details I got started with my assignment….lighted the stove….put one big mug of water…put the egg inside and let it boil for 5 minutes……and after 5 minutes of waiting…Tadaaaaa…Done!

It turned out great…just like a normal boiled egg should turn out….no major disaster…chalo Mubarka!...and I thought… I can make this everyday! In fact, I can even put it down on my résumé under the head culinary skills….So very enthusiastically, I offered to make it the next day as well….same process repeat repeat…..this time however,……apparently I had tried to stretch my good luck too far so the elastic broke and enter the…. hhhh…. ‘disappointment’ word…cos when the majestic white shell was popped open, it was completely uncooked…and there….....all my chamkaaoed impression went paani main….that too for no fault of mine….. I mean….I had done everything exactly the same as the previous day so obviously there must be some problem with the egg….but then again… who is going to believe that?? Oh well! Ye to hona hi tha! :(

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Starbucks



From Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series to The Devil wears Prada, there’s one brand that has been endorsed in a magnitude that would make you think it has a cult following across the globe. Yep, a lot of people’s daily addictive quotient- Starbucks coffee.

So needless to say, after the lofty image I held of the place, I was pretty thrilled to be in it and the ambience didn’t let me down one little bit. With shining glass cases of great looking food, long stool like chairs and comfy couches… I thought…wow what a warm place….and since the place is so good the coffee must simply be mind-blowing…..expectations rising three-folds.

We proceeded to the counter for the order and looking at the long list of stuff available with even more long drawn prices, the three-fold expectation doubled to…well six-folds…...I took for myself a sandwich and café latte….beats me why they keep such fancy names that people have trouble pronouncing…you try to say it and it comes out all wrong….I for one find it pretty embarrassing….Besides, What’s wrong if you call it hot coffee with milk???

Anyway so that being done, the order arrived in jet-speed….Chalo so far so good.
Now the reaction-
First the coffee- To be blunt, it was horrribbleeeeee…….soooo kadwaaa!!Yuck Yuck Yuck! But I refused to believe something could be wrong with the coffee….How can it be bad?? Arey Bhaai its Starbucks!!…so I blamed it on myself….maybe I had just brushed my teeth so I was finding it bitter….no problem…got a second sachet of sugar and inverted it into the cup as well……same reaction….Brr..Yuck!..Made all my senses wide awake….How can people drink this damn thing???? And if they drink it the way I am, are they oblivious to the word ‘diabetes’??.....And to think I spent so much on it….mental sob sob….ab kya kare….ok told myself ki kindly adjust…and to take my mind off the coffee I tried the sandwich……..

Coming to the sandwich- From past experiences and miscellaneous people’s advice I have learnt not to order stuff that I’m not so sure about…keeping that in mind, I had picked from among the options the one that seemed most normal…the name I do not recollect but the content read chicken and cucumber….and I thought… Fair enough…how wrong can it go?? Nope nope! Galat again!....In my entire sandwich eating career- which is pretty elaborate cos its what I used to take to school everyday as a kid….so that’s 12 odd years of clowny combinations…..never until that day did I know that something so simple and basic could turn into such a disaster. The cucumber factor turned out to make the whole package sweet and what started as a healthy breakfast left me short of wanting to throw up.

To put it all in a nutshell, I was pretty disgusted….Am not a huge fan of coffee and Starbucks didn’t turn out to be my cup of tea either. Next time I guess it’s just got to be Madras filter coffee or Nescafe Classic for me.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Drone away with Drona


You know there are times when you watch a movie’s first promo and irrespective of the sweat and tears and years and decades that have gone into making it, you just shake your head from left to right and think…..nope nahi chalegi!

Drona was one such movie. Not a single person I know went to watch it and when a movie buff friend of mine asked the group if we would like to watch….a glare from all of us was enough to speak our mind. And in spite of all that when its worldwide TV premiere showed up, I very faithfully watched the entire crappy thing until my eyes could take it no longer and snapped shut into a disturbed sleep. You must probably be thinking….was she that desperate to watch a movie?? Wellll, I have no answer to dat :$
This here is not a review of the movie… mainly cos u must have already read its wholesale main buraai in the newspapers. No, this is a little more….giving them a moral back up is more like it….. to say…don’t worry Abhi bhayya hum tumhare saath hai.
Here’s presenting you something different. 5 reasons why you mustttt watch the movie- Here goes. (Wanted to write 10 but didn’t get past 6 so giving you 5 plus ek bonus for paying itna attention to me rattling nonsense. Mera nahi, it’s my friend’s idea)

1- Its good for your hindi- Drona, my friend, has the ultimate upyog of shudhhh hindi. And its so hi-fi that you might doubt yourself to be watching the Sanskrit version galti se (as if the hindi version wasn’t a galti by itself). Have a party at home and can’t think of lateshhttt tongue twisters??? Tension na lo ji. Here is your resource. Pick any dialogue at a random and it will surely do more good than kaccha paapad pakka paapad.

2- Wowwiee kya costumes- Jagmag Jagmag!!! The most pressing issue in today’s time is energy conservation. Tune in to any news channel and they will confirm it for you. So what do you do now?? Nahi pata?? Ok ok main hi bata deti hoo- wear these jhataak Drona waale clothes. Ek to you will tohoootally stand out and still better you don’t even need to turn on the lights. The light energy will just emnate from within you…..I know, I know… your personality itself is enough to do that. But try this. Just for me ok :)

3- Udti Udti Zulfeinnn- We have seen hundreds of thousands of Bollywood starlets lagaoing thumkaas with fans blowing their hair in every direction. But how many times did we see that happen to a guy?? Hardly ever. DRONA…the movie that has made a breakthrough and set a mark on treating the less fairer sex at par with the ladies! Don’t believe me?? Look at the poster of d movie! Abhi bhayya ka long hair… so long ki he even needs a hair-band so it won’t get messed up and itnaaa shiny straight ki u need to wear sunglasses just to cut the glare.

4- Singing JLT- JLT bole to Just Like That (thought maybe you won’t know). Yeah to expand further on this technical point, we know people singing in bathrooms, we know people falling in love and singing under trees…we even know annu malik singing..annu malik is the best…annu malik is only one….nobody is like annu malik etc. etc.…(????)….but have you heard of singing just by the mere look of a doggie dressed in a frock?? Nahi na??? Here is your world best chance. Why spend money on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar or Art of Living or Yoga when true inner happiness actually comes from looking at dressy dogs?? Waat an idea Sir ji!

5- Advertisement waalo ki life kaunu life naahi hai kaa??- If people have told you that the movie is incomprehensible and plain ridiculous then its all been created that way for a reason…so you can pay close attention to the commercials (kuchhh to dekhne jaisa hona chahiye na)….they put you in a position where you actually look forward to seeing them and if it wasn’t for this magnificent piece of art I would have never known ki Vaseline ka 100 ml bottle par you get 13 Rupees ka Pears saabun muft!!! How cool is that!!!!

6- This is the bonus point that you deserve as a reward for your perseverance- Animation- Ye to sacchi genuine reason hai. Abhi bhayya is trapped in a Lakshman rekha of fire…..you give a horrific expression and cover your mouth……hhhh u say…..but he being the macho man with flying hair….does some zoom zoom and meditation and Voila! Aag becomes thanda….evaporates… and becomes sand and suddenly he is in the middle of a desert. Chalo jo bhi hua… jaan bachi so laakho paaye. Ram Gopal Varma should have picked up a thing or two from here.

Ye sab sunne and dekhne ke baad I’m sure you will race to your nearest DVD store and get the first pirated CD that you can lay your hands on (relax nobody will sue you)….itminaan se listen to chintoo bubble gum ka ads and breathtaking graphics…..Hail!! Drohohoooohooooonaaaaa. Mat ro na. Please! :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

2 States by Chetan Bhagat- Book Review



This comes as the story of a love marriage attempting to unite in Holy Matrimony, Krish Malhotra (a Punjabi munda- matlab the smart and macho hero) and Ananya Swaminathan (a Chennai ki kudi- matlab the fair and lovely heroine). The story commences with the guy and girl hitting on a note of initial takraar and after some intezaar, they finally do ikraar. What follows is a breezy romance unto the time they plan to get married.

But if it was that simple, the story wouldn’t have come about. So just like any other drama, the bottleneck comes in when both sides of parents need to be convinced. You might think the two could just elope….especially this being the express generation where everything happens fataafat….but nope….in this regard the modern couple have puraane khayalaat....so thus triggers an attempt of Krish trying to woo the lady’s parents by staying in Chennai for six months (!!!) and sucking up to them in every imaginable way…..
At the other end, there is Ananya who needs to pataao Krish’s mom,(source of unending emotional atyachaar), who by the way totally looks down upon all ‘Madrasis’. To her, any Madrasi girl is the equivalent of Hema Malini or Sri Devi trying to snatch at the earliest an educated and ‘fair’ guy.

In the background you get a vivid picture of the Chennai ka culture that mostly involves a conservative society……..greatly values knowledge, rises at 5 in the morning every single day of their life and eats bland food dipped in oodles of sambar. In contrast, there is the Punjabi culture where food holds more sentimental value than anything else…..its all they seem to care about, and off course… splurge is the word when it comes to weddings.

All this blended together brings to you the flavor of 2 States.

My take- Priced at just 95 bucks I think it’s a total paisa vasool. The humor is at its best in Chetan Bhagat’s signature style. It’s a stereotype plot in a ‘new and improved’ package.
Rating- 4 on 5
(Don’t want to take any credit away from it, so the book was cool, but I still like Tushar Raheja better!)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pravachanists

By Pravachanists, I mean college lecturers. Now irrespective of the type of student you are, there always are categories of lecturers you like, don’t like and simply can’t stand…..this gets further inflamed when you have to face the undesirable on a regular basis. Here’s my take on the different types of lecturers that I have known to exist....

First up, the Stern chashmish types- These are a serious kind of species. They take their profession in a vigorous way…….their subjects mainly being application oriented (i.e. math or accounts), give problems as ‘homework’ on a regular basis and if that’s not bad enough, they even call roll numbers at random asking unknown and unheard of formulae. Any form of back answering or late aana qualifies as a serious offence to them and if you are in the mood for an argument you better save it, unless you want a dose of Khudko bohot issmart samajhte ho??? Not only is chain se sona in their class out of question, on the contrary, you constantly dwell in the fear ki God pleassseeee aaj mera number na aaye!


Next is the chilled out- Mujhe-apna-dost-samjho types- These are by far the best of the lot and liked by majority of the student community….simply because they totally connect with our dukh dard and understand what a pain it is to be on time for a grilling lecture when instead you could be in the canteen drinking coffee and doing gupshup with your buddies. Even the subjects they take up are of a lighter sort, that involve plenty of class interaction…all in all you actually learn something positive when they are around.


The Pangaa-bhaari-padega types- Initially its difficult to identify them because they just come, teach and go…….all you need to do is shut up in class….but things take a sudden turn when you plan to behave otherwise…..you say something…or just ask a mere doubt and they take it very personally……..Mere ability par shak kar rahe ho!!!.....and then what follows is pretty nasty……although your query is answered in a mean tone, you get glared by them in every lecture thereon, and all their mann ki bhadaas comes out in the forthcoming exam……they are extremelyyyy dangerous and messing with them is a potential risk.


The You-are-the-worst-batch-types- These types are available wholesale main….all they do most of the time is crib…..they term you as the worst batch ever and ironically your seniors would recall them being called the exact same…either times are getting worse or they have set their dialogues to a standard mode……what they talk in class is simply painful to stand and they most often qualify as the target of mass bunking.


The hunchback types- These are the lazy ones who make it very clear right from start that you need them for your attendance more than they need you…….they teach whatever suits their convenience without caring much about whether you have heard, let alone understood. Your well being matters very little and the lesser you see of them, the better you feel.


And finally, the Naya Panchees types…. aka Student’s Delight- These are generally first time lecturers and so inexperienced on ways to tackle a class….even better is the fact that they want to chamkaao their impression with the students (instead of the situation being otherwise)…..They rarely ever say no for a free period, but in times when they do teach, either its too good or too bad……more often being the latter….the content of their teaching is mainly a portion of the syllabus that has been rattofied from the text book and then vomited in class. Considering them as first timers and of a meherbaan nature, you can dismiss them as average.


That’s about all the enriching fortune I have managed to gather from past experiences.

10 most bakwaasest soap operas!- PART 2

For PART- 1, click here

And after jheloing the first round of entertainment ke naam par black dhabbaa’s ur back for yet another dose. Here’s the hoop once again-


At number 6, its Sansani- I do think of it as a soap opera. For one thing it has absolutely no utility value and the suspense factor is amazing. The host is one scary person with a booming voice and the way he constructs the situation is just wow. For something you don’t care two hoots, like a cow in the middle of the road or some Gyaani Baba on a maun vrat in Kerala for 4 months, he can make it look like some world ending ghatnaa and thus providing fuel for mileage that lasts an entire hour.
My Take- Trash!
Pathetic Rating- 10/10


7- Kis Desh Main Hai Mera Dil- And I have picked this one solely on the merit of its title. What is it supposed to mean? If it was kis ladke ke paas hai mera dil…..then at least it would make some sense…..but kis desh main??? Dunno. Yeh to national crisis maalum hota hai.
The plot- Ahh. Same stuff. Do you care?
My Take- Flop Flop!
Pathetic Rating- 9/10



8- LOC- Life Out of Control- By far the most thakela comedy show I have ever seen.
The plot- An Indian and a Pakistani family live together and have routine trivial issues that they fight over in a real shoddy way. At the end of each episode they just patch up n be friends like old times……always giving a moral about Indian-Pakistani bhaai bhaai……I think they assumed the audience to comprise mainly of kindergarten kids…
My Take- Amateurish
Pathetic Rating- 11/10


9- Tez Taare- This isn’t a soap opera like the others….. It’s a horrorscope show that features on Aaj Tak everyday and tells your bhavishya by looking at your Raashi…plus in between the show the host gives you a mythological story ekdam freee. About her,……..all I can say is… I have never seen a person with worse dressing sense and her entire persona itself is enough to freak you out completely…….so if she says ghar se bahar mat nikaliye….u better take it very seriously…….lock yourself in the bathroom as an extra measure….you never know!
My Take- Fullto timepass
Pathetic Rating- 8/10 (Arey at least its amusing)



And finally at No. 10, its Woh Rehne Wali Mehlon Ki- Waah! Kya title hai! Coming straight from the Rajshree Production house, this one unfortunately doesn’t have a hero named ‘Prem’.
The Plot- From what I know, started with Rani as the protagonist, then came her daughter Pari (played by the very same girl who played Rani), and then came HER daughter…..also named Rani (No surprise! Also played by the same lady who played Pari!) ……kuch samajh main aaya….so now if u want to know kaunse number ka generation is going on, all u gotta do is find out the name of the current heroine…that is, is it Pari or Rani and do a counting of odd or even numbers. Social messegwa ke saath saath math tutorial freee!!!
My Take- Too Good hai ji!
Pathetic Rating- 10/10


There are still more that I can add to the list especially from the K wagon but I guess fair justice has been done and this is it. Bottom line- Do yourself a favor and don’t everrrr everrrr watch any of the above mentioned stuff……even if you are bored to the ultimate extent, even if you have absolutely nothingg else to do except stare at a leak in the ceiling, even if it’s the onlyyy thing on TV! DON’T!