Saturday, December 27, 2008

:) All in a week's time...

  • Two nights on a private Gulfstream Jet
  • Two nights in a private Palace
  • Headbanged to Indian Ocean on-stage
  • Headbanged to Ensiferum on-stage
  • Weekend play-watching at Prithvi
  • Going home
  • Being happy :)
Not gloating. Just happy and smiling in a long time now :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Itta kaiku re bolte miyan?

The lame, for-the-want-of-time pointed format makes a strong comeback. 5 reasons to visit Hyderabad:

1. Here, disguised unemployment seems to be the local solution to global recession. It is perhaps the only Indian city where a single crossroad is manned by 13 traffic policemen in spite of the presence of traffic signals in perfect working condition. The absolute lack of synchrony in their traffic-channelizing dance (that would put most undiscovered South American tribes to shame) hints at their relative dispensability. Retarded chimps would do just as well.

2. The only people frisked in a bakehouse called Karachi Bakery are Muslims; the rest of the world struts in with ease. I am going to leave the multiple levels of hypocrisy and irony in the above observation unstated. Perhaps the city needs to discern Going Global from Aping Global.

3. What does a woman clad in a Burqa do in a club called Bottles & Chimneys? Double er.. Multiple standards? Please do e-mail me if you solve the conundrum.

4. The best biryani in town is dished out at a joint called Paradise. The only semblance to logic, albeit misplaced, in this confused city.

5. You will doubt the authenticity of your native tam/punju/bong/ghati/mallu/bihari/parsi accent when you hear the Hindi dialect of hyderabadi urdu. Tum logaan ku sharam aayinga. Hyderabad main itte itte tez potta hai rey. Inu logaan, ghar pe baithke gotiyaan nakko khelte re miyan. Road ke bich main, tiraafic rok ke, haathan aur pairaan ke saath paagalan ke jaise-ich khaleja piit-te rey bava. Phir hullu hullu karke, aap-ich pata nahin kaiku, tamasha band kartei. Jabardast majaa martei inu logaan. Ekdum jabardast!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bone of contention

With this post, I run the risk of losing the only couple of blog hits I get every month. Also, at stake are friends, reputation that I borrowed from a Big Boss contestant last week and Taploo’s frog Dubukk – Dubukk Jr. (Dubukk Sr. died a wise man; he learnt that no matter how drunk his master Taploo is, frogs can’t fly – even if they are deftly fastened to a Standard Fireworks brand rocket and launched from an autorickshaw exhaust pipe. Taploo is an Aeronautical Engineer. He lives to recount Dubukk Sr.’s valour.)

The reason for my veritable apprehension is the near obscene nature of the content. Then again, to my surprise, the lady involved approved of a word-for-word reproduction (minus the typos) of the piece in question – an e-chat conversation. As always, I request puritans to take a pass on this piece.

virus: Boss, I need help with my grammar.

me: You also need help with your etiquette. Can’t you begin a conversation like a normal person?

virus: Down boy! Down. Will you listen?

me: Yeah. Tell me.

virus: What is the plural form of Penis?

me: Oye, am at work. Kya type kar rahi hai? Kis paagal kutte ne kaata tujhe?

virus: No, seriously. What are multiple penis called?

me: Who in this world has multiple dicks? WTF is wrong with you??

virus: I was writing a nasty mail to this dude and wanted to ask him to shove ten tools up his…

me: I dunno baba. Just say ten tools na. Btw, asking him to shove two or even three qualifies as being nasty. Don’t you think ten is bare ruthlessness? :P

virus: Lol. Main serious question pooch rahi huun aur tu joke maar raha hai!!

me: Plural forms of male genitilia is your definition of serious!

virus: Sunega?

me: Bol. Tu aaj boss ke saamne marwa ke chodegi.

virus: If you please, take his opinion as well. Okay. So I have narrowed it down to a few options.

me: OPTIONS!! Fcuk. For a woman running a complete boutique, you have a lot of spare time.

virus: Is the penis like crisis?

me: Multiple ones and plural forms most definitely qualify as a crisis.

virus: Lol

me: Actually, Penile multiplicity syndrome (also PMS) is an international crisis!

virus: No re. Is the plural of penis like the plural of crisis – penes?

me: Penes sounds like the name of a strapping gujju lad. Meet Jignes, brother of Penes.

virus: Lol

me: Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo. Shah Jignes, Male Penes.

virus: Ouch. Ok and penis is pronounced penus right?

me: I can’t believe I’m having this conversation 1 hour before my presentation. I have dicks on my mind. Woman, if any part of the human genitilia pops out of my mouth during the presentation, I will kill you.

virus: ROTFLOL. No listen. So its pronounced PENUS as in Octopus, right?

me: Penis? Octopus? Is there a new Hash Dhokla in town I’m not aware of? Woman, meeting in 52 minutes. Can we debate on this later?

virus: NO! NOW! Is the penis like an Octopus?

me: Lol. Lol.

virus: Idiot, matlab octopus – octopi na?

me: ??

virus: Arre is it like Fungus? Fungus – Fungi? Penis – Penii?

me: Gross woman. is IT like Fungus?

virus: Lol. I meant fungi re :P

me: I dunno man. Penii sounds a little warped.

virus: How about penuses then?

me: Lol. Are you planning to write a thesis on this? Or rather ‘theses’ :P

virus: Funny. I mean, is it like sinus?

me: First you ask me if the dick is like an octopus, then fungus. Now Sinus!!

virus: :D :D

me: I can’t stop laughing man. My colleagues will think I’m crazy :P

virus: Perhaps they should read this :P

me: Perhaps. I think, I should Cut-Copy-Paste this conversation on my blog.

virus: Fine by me.

me: Let the world know that I’m far more normal than the company I keep.

virus: :D

me: I’m doing it.

virus: Roka kisne hai. Daal de :P

me: Ahem!! PUNny..

virus: Anyway, so what is it? Penes, penii,.. or perhaps Penis is like Pelivis?

me: LMAO. So now you’re looking for plurals biologically? Forget greek or latin roots to arrive at plurals; this is the 21st century – biological roots. Lol

virus: Biologically a Pelvis is closer to penis than fungus or octopus na :P

me: Pelivis – pelvises; Penis – penises?

virus: Eggjhactly!! So which is it now? Penises, penii or penes? :P

me: And behind door number 3 we have bachelor number 3. Take your pick :D

virus: Lol. You are useless man. You know nothing.

me: Yes. I wish I had paid more attention in Class 3 during grammar lessons :(

virus: I’m going to go with Penes!!

me: And the lucky winner is Bachelor number 1: Penes Shah!! :)

virus: Lol. Now go. Work. Useless idiot.

me: Remember, if I screw up my presentation…

virus: IF? Lol.

Needless to say, for obvious reasons none of the lines/bars/bar-graphs in my presentation made any sense. With friends like these…

(P.S. Once again, if anyone was offended – my apologies. All in jest.)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I've started so I'll finish

(All that has been written is in jest. I am an ardent quizzer myself and this piece is an attempt to laugh at myself. All characters and events portrayed are real and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely deliberate. Four precious hours of airline transit time has gone into it. No quizzers were harmed during the writing of this piece. Inspiration: An hour long airport stop-over conversation with Sandhya, my long lost sister.)

I am not the Deputy Auditor General of India. I am not chauffer-driven, correction, Babu-driven in a pristine ivory-white Hindustan Motors’ 1993 model Ambassador dowered with a coruscant red siren. I don’t and, with reasonable certainty, shan’t weave or wear khadi undergarments in this lifetime. Gandhi does not grace the wall behind my work-desk. The chore of siphoning lakhs of Gandhi’s noteworthy lookalikes into clandestine banks in tiny, beautiful European nations has eluded my career interests for a while now. Consequently, I do not figure in the prominently displayed list of 29 dignitaries (all categories/sub-categories included) of national importance permitted to enter the executive lounge at the Raja Bhoj Airport in Bhopal. I envisage - ‘Dogs are not allowed’; today I am the dog. Amisha Patel (w/ two bodyguards), I learnt, is not.

Oddly enough, this piece is not consecrated to any of the 29 dignitaries (all categories/sub-categories included), Amisha Patel (a dignitary of national importance), Bhopal or Raja Bhoj. I shall embark upon vivid Madhya Pradeshi digressions in some other piece.

All the same, a chance encounter in the airport lobby with a quizzing rival from yesteryears, her conception by a dignified (of the aforesaid 29 dignitaries fame) father, flashing of a laminated, Indian Government authorized and embossed thingamajig, entry and coffee at the lounge that restricted access by the hoi polloi – all culminated in an hour long autopsy of the archetypal student-quizzer-menagerie.

For the uninitiated, the biological classification (scientific taxonomy) of a quizzer is as follows:

Biological Classification










Infinite Bounce*


Disownia (pronounced dis-own-ya)


Mortifya (pronounced like Vengaya**; might resemble/smell like one also)


No! Genius.



*Comprehensible by only above species' specimens

** Comprehensible by sub-species' Tam-Brahm specimens

Physical characteristics:

Today, quizzers are perhaps the most recognizable of all freeloaders (with the possible exception of the Marwari Mahila Mandal flying first class on a Kingfisher flight). They typically have a ginormous head counterbalanced by designer spectacles that were/will be a rage during the period when khadi/spandex undergarments were/will be in vogue (Not the magazine! A quizzer on the cover of Vogue is as probable as Pratibha Patil not winning the denture round of the Ms. Chinchpokli pageant. Funfact: Quizzers do have a magazine for their species – Vague, and a show on TV – Ripley’s Believe it or at least give me 5 points.) Commonly a white fringe or a halo surrounds their face that can only be spotted by fellow specimens. A few sub-species, however, have bulbs (only Surya brand) mysteriously levitating above their heads, which increase in number, size or intensity with the number of excruciatingly difficult (multi-level connect*) questions answered in a quiz.

The form, number and density of the average quizzer’s ego differs between sub-species (as well as the coloration of the halo), but most quizzers have over 100 egos. The pattern of egos is unique to each animal, and thus could potentially be used to identify quizzers, much in the same way as fingerprints are used to identify humans. This is not, however, a preferred method of identification, due to the logistical difficulty in measuring the size of their egos (Natraj Pencils, Erasers, Rulers & Bros. are currently spending billions of dollars in R&D to manufacture a ruler long enough to be employed for the same.) It seems likely that the function of the ego is camouflage, serving to help quizzers conceal themselves amongst humans as they make uninterestingly trivial conversation about the contents of Oscar Wilde’s/Karan Johar’s closet (But wait, haven’t they come out of it already?).


There are five recent subspecies of quizzers, one of which is extinct. The surviving subspecies, in descending order of wild population, are:

Karthik Triviamanium: These animals predominantly populate the recently liberated but constantly warring nations of Iyengaristan (erstwhile Matunga) and Iyeria (formerly Mylapore). Their preferred habitat is curd-rice fields or subtropical and tropical okra forests. A majority are known to fly south to Lake Horlicks during winter and Sambar Lake (not to be confused with Rajasthani namesake) during Rahukaalam. Triviamanium’s coloration, more often than not, varies from a free T-shirt won at last week’s quiz to previous birth’s quiz. Juniormaniums are born with birthmarks on their foreheads which straddle between various permutations of saffron and/or white vertical and horizontal strokes depending on their nationality.

Since 1972, there has been a massive wildlife conservation project spearheaded by the renowned wildlife activist Jane Iyer (sister of Jane Goodall of the chimpanzee fame), known as Project Iyer. The project is considered as one of the most successful wildlife conservation programs, though at least one Iyer Reserve (Guindy) has lost its entire Iyer population to IIT Madras.

Triviamanium’s vocalizations are complex and poorly understood. Some of the many vocalizations that they make are "Sappae matter, Peter!", usually echoed back and forth between themselves, a series of "aiyyo" in discrete units, a long “jujupee” followed by a series of short “I-know-it-ra” (usually made to intimidate other sub-species’ members), and more.

Celebrated specimens include Speed Round twin-specialists Quick Gun Murugan and Quick Fire Iyer.

Prashnoy Roy: Exclusively found in the Western part of West Bangladesh, they were not considered a sub-species in their own right until circa 1969 when Neil I-am-Bong placed his left foot on the surface of Singur (erstwhile Moon ruled by Queen Moon Moon Sen) and said “One small step for Mamta, go to hell Tata!” Favoured habitat includes protest marches, football stadia and fish markets. In the wild, Roys primarily feed on sponsored goods. Fish, maach, mase, meen and macchi are the Roy’s favoured prey in captivity; sponsor logos engraved into the scales of the prey are believed to enhance the flavour and heighten their freebie homing instincts.

Roys usually hunt at quizzes. They generally hunt alone and ambush their prey as most other quizzers do, overpowering them from any angle, using their body size and strength to knock the unsuspecting diminutive freebie distributing volunteer off balance. Even with their great masses, Roys can reach speeds of hounding 49-65 freebie volunteers per hour.


Basic Ali (sub-species: Funda Mint Ali and S. N. Chi Ali): Hybridization among quizzers was first conceptualized in the early 21st century, when Quizmasters were particularly interested in the pursuit of finding oddities to display on stage for higher TRPs. Humans were abducted and surreptitiously deported to the Louzi Concentration Camp – Ohhshitz (the sister concern of Auschwitz) and impelled to breed with quizzers to create hybrids called Basic Alis. Such hybrids perennially suffer from verbal diarrhoea and cerebral constipation. Symptoms include broaching every sentence uttered with an elaborate, asinine amalgamation of the words basic, fundamental, funda, mental and essence – “Basically the funda is…”, “Fundamentally the funda is…” or even “Essentially, the basic fundamentals behind the funda are…”


Streekanya Penn also known as the Female Quizzer, is the most critically endangered subspecies and is listed as one of the 10 most endangered species in the world. Considered to be the most aesthetically pleasing of all the subspecies, the Penn can be spotted consciously distancing themselves from the Maniums and the Roys alike. Possessing an uncanny resemblance to attractive female specimens of Homo Sapiens, camouflage and subterfuge are recurrently engaged to feign superior evolution.

There are currently 39 known captive Penns, but these are known to either abhor quizzers or fancy Pablo Neruda, both of which are kafkaesque breeding conditions. Thus, the genetic diversity required to maintain the subspecies may no longer exist.

(Penn is the Tamil word for female)


G.K. Manorama: Exclusively spotted thumb sucking in and around their mothers, these quizzers were mysteriously conceived during a minute of fervent copulation between the 1991 edition of the Malayalam Manorama yearbook, a garbage bin, a Milton water bottle and an obsolete microchip. Tightly clenching mother Manorama (or chachi Competition Success Review), they were subjected to the most exquisite and enchanting form of cannibalistic genocide known to quizzers – taunting, derision, censure and apartheid.

Following an extensive drive encompassing a multitude of Manoramas weeping in a multitude of dark corners, on Feb 30th 1995 (Birth Anniversary of Derek No’Brain), to the surprise of absolutely no one, the entire sub-species committed mass suicide. However, there are still occasional reported sightings of the Manoramas in the wild, the latest one being here. The only verdict is vengeance and weapon Monty Reshammiya has been deployed to vanquish the renegade.

(P.S. I have just dug up loads of campus quizzing stuff (ppts, docs etc.) from my old laptop. In the remote chance that any quizzer reads this, do buzz me on gtalk.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


My brand-new replacement at home.
The blanket looks suspiciously familiar.
Isn't that the flooring in my room!
"Hello Mum. Remember me?"

P.S. To my seven-odd blog readers, I shall post soon. Lots to write about. For now, imagine a Thai chick, an Ozzie woman, a Singaporean dude, a Nigerian lady, a Kiwi bloke, me, two bottles of tequila and Charminar - all in one single frame :) Did I mention how much the corporate schmuck loves his job :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Simu vouches...

My six year old cousin sis states that I am the best post-midnight-fried-chicken-mayo-sandwich-emergency-snack-chef-bhaiya in the world. I am proud and I concur :D

Sasura, Futurewa & Chowpatty

Six out of every five Indians have been conned by soothsayers in the guise of parrots, over cosmetic Maa Rithambaras (of the Mandira Bedi-Tarot-Sidekick fame), Sanskaar TV Babas who in stoic stillness seem to occupy the same screen-pixels despite innumerable to-fro channel surfs and the Linda Goodladies of the astrosphere. A quaint encounter with an oracle of sorts at Chowpatty left me befuddled about my future and over-indulgence in curios.

Nonchalantly perched by the sea-water was the seer, henceforth called Gadget sasura (fellow) - a frail saffron-robed old man tightly clenching a chillum in one hand, counting rosary on the other and promptly abandoning either to manipulate a forecasting gadget at the behest of a prospective client. The gadget, that could comfortably pass off as installation art, was essentially an LCD screen linked up to a weighing scale via a multi-laser endowed light-saberish tube (commonly referred to as 'that glowy thingy'). Ostensibly, the contraption would 'compute' the future of the retard standing on the scale and 'display' it on the screen for a meagre operational charge of rupees fifty. I succumbed and stepped on the scale.

Contrary to popular expectation, both mine and that of the twenty odd bemused by-standers, no farcical graphics laced with fortune cookie text were displayed. Gadget sasura, evidently annoyed by the rising public scepticism, grumbled that the forthcoming display would merely be a representation of the future and not the future itself. I was excited. In a matter of seconds a disastrously buxom pair of women graced the LCD screen, began mouthing a bhojpuri song and commenced thrusting vigorously to its beats. I was stumped at the appearance of these women in what was supposedly a visual rendition of what my future beheld. Gadget sasura, appearing from behind a cloud of his chillum smoke, egged me on to pay attention to the lyrics of the bhojpuri song which were apparently a manifestation of my future. I conformed.

Due to my limited exposure to bihari élan and bhojpuri panache, a major portion of the lyrical content was incomprehensible. However, with aid from mother - a woman of competence in the domain of bihari maidservant - punjabi employer squabbles, a fraction of the prophesy was deciphered over gelato by the sea. Vaguely, it was a hodgepodge of several elements of daily parlance including khatiya (cot), aincha (squint), bhagai (loin cloth), ainthhan (twist), thaeun (knee), chariyail (tantrum), padosbo (neighbour's wife), huliyaye (poke) and jhaunsal (heat). The precise nature of participation of the aforementioned thrusting belles in the above equation of my future, sadly, remained hazy but promising nonetheless.

The psychic-reading has had an influence on me. Genuine contemplation of vagabonding Bombay's streets clad in a loincloth, seeking the tantrum-throwing neighbourhood wife prostrate on a cot, is afoot.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Five Point Someone

It's official now. After holding on at the '5 point - 6 point' cusp for long, I am now a five point someone. And yes, I am pissed about it.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Unquestionably Weird

Statutory Warning: Reading this piece is injurious to the health of prudes and puritans

Normality is an endangered concept which traditionally defined one who lacked unique characteristics or beliefs that made him blend in with peer environs. Now, in an effort to breach the social boundaries of normality, a breed of mortals priding in oddities, quirks and weirdness tread on our comfort zone. Consciously or otherwise, they refrain from conforming to societal, unspoken and implied rules and distinguish themselves as behaviorally distinct. In this slice of my four-year long IIT chronicle, I parade my strange encounters with this weird kind.

Despite the reality that English seems to have metamorphosed as the medium of communication in the higher echelons of Gujju-ben kitty-party culture, it is most disagreeable and weird to witness it being butchered by inapposite and incorrect usage. It is not that I belong to the progeny of the East-India Company who drink tea with their pinkies raised to the sky, despise all things Himmesh-esque and animatedly discuss the literary brilliance of a random, vagabond 18th century Polish author. I simply state that one must choose a communication medium based on comfort level more than anything else. Rakhi Sawant, the pouting, stripping, thrusting and twisting item-girl, does not concur. When I had sent the icon of Indian womanhood an SMS to confirm her participation in a celebrity debate on campus, the weird reply (quoted verbatim) I received was - “I am in the midst of somebody momentarily. Please you do me your massage later.” Euphemism or an elegant display of Rakhi’s SMSing dexterity?

While we’re hovering around social faux pas and tactlessness, weird pet-names bestowed upon a few hapless souls on campus desperately warrant revision. A Himendra is conveniently called Hymen, Saxena becomes Sex, S. Hiten creatively transforms into Shittu and Charchit is christened Chameli. The irony with pet-names is that, over time they unabashedly replace one’s forename and are begun to be used in everyday parlance. Consequently they stick on forever and no longer remain pet. A ludicrous incident that played out before Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy (SEL) in the backstage of a campus concert stands testimony. The trio, already discontent at the Security arrangements, was flabbergasted to hear a frustrated concert in-charge holler the following orders into the walky-talky – “Come in Hymen. Come in Hymen. I haven’t been able to find Sex for the last three hours. Chameli has gone to find Sex at the Security Gate. Also, Chameli’ll drop Shittu at the gate to help you out. Come what may, Hymen, don’t let any pointed objects through.” Not particularly music to SEL’s ears I presume.

Singapore has once too often been depicted as a foot-traveler’s South-East Asian dream – rosy, with a picturesque skyline, traffic moving like clockwork and a culture switch around every street-corner. On a recent visit to the city, I, along with three others, learnt about this street-corner culture transposition the hard way. The four of us violated the cardinal rule of on-foot explorers – ‘If any local on a street corner pulls down/lifts up/tears down/strips apart/peels off/divests/uncases any part of his/her/it’s clothing – one runs. One does not gaze out of curiosity/fear/humour/titillation/sympathy/empathy. One runs.’ We were knocked senseless when a Singaporean woman flashed us on the corner of ‘Where are we Street’ and ‘Why isn’t it on the map Avenue'. While three of us were recovering from the impact of all things new transpiring before us, one was astute enough to make a critical observation and screech out - “She’s not a she. No she’s not. Run, tranny (= transvestite), run. Tranny, tranny. She’s a tranny. It’s a tranny. Run, please, run.” The dilemma of who’s weirder, the lady who chose to stare long, close and hard enough to make the vital observation or the lady who wasn’t a lady altogether, remains unresolved.

Spare time breeds incredible weirdness and my four year long mis-adventure is a sufficient testament. In a sea of curios, there are a few encounters that merit more than a passing mention like the Malay tour guide who incessantly insisted that her name was Violet and she was not to be called toilet, a male classmate who chose to use “you smell nice today” as a befitting compliment to my choice in perfumes, the lady who was armed with nine pencils, five sharpeners and four erasers for her CAT exam and looked at my lone three inch pencil with murderous disdain or the guy who casually enquired about a lady’s bra size within five minutes of being introduced to her. As I unwind in the summer before I transform into corporate schmuck, I shall elaborate.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Questionably Stupid

I am astounded by the benchmark of stupidity that people around me set; and just when I begin to sense that rock bottom has been reached, someone always seems to dig down further. Particularly so is the case with the dim-witted questions which chorus Frank Zappa’s conjecture that there is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and stupidity has a longer shelf life.

Another thing that fascinates me is that stupidity is driving the world - evident from where the world is headed with Dubya chauffeuring us. Nonetheless, in this piece, committed to proving Zappa’s hypothesis, I shant borrow from oft-repeated anecdotes or resort to bush-whacking. I merely state the inane questions that have been posed to me by random someones in my humble lifetime. Also, I have deliberately chosen to quote dialogues verbatim to retain their succinctness. I begin.

Contrary to popular belief, airplanes aren’t a safe way to travel; and coming from the survivor of a horrific crash landing, I do lend a certain amount of credibility to the statement. Brought up on a strict regiment of three-law theories of viz. Newton, thermodynamics and common sense, it is hard for me to imagine an airline course - piloting, air-stewarding or otherwise - without the same. Unfortunately for hapless passengers, flying schools underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools and refrain from stating Notgogol’s three laws of basic airline intelligence:

  • If the tarmac is damper than the diaper of a toddler being forced to watch The Exorcist, do not attempt to land, particularly on the gravel beside the runway
  • When the crash-landed aircraft is tip-toed on one broken wheel alike a helplessly inebriated ballerina, the air-stewardess can give the routine of vigorously flailing her arms, shrieking “Emergency, emergency!” a pass
  • The emergency protocol of deploying an ambulance to the landing site, bearing only a strapping young driver with the therapeutic dexterity of a chipmunk, should be reconsidered

To prove Zappa’s hypothesis, the icing was spread on cake by the Reuters anxiously awaiting the ‘survivors’ at the arrival terminus. A reporter, whom I had presumed to be rational and intelligent, unexpectedly turned out to be unquestionably stupid when she enquired in earnest, “When can we expect the aircraft to take off again?” I smiled and asked her to wait for the day pigs have flown.

Spending life as a pseudo-cynic has rendered me incapable of enjoying joyous occasions like weddings as well. But sacrificing this pleasure hasn’t been futile. Economist Carlo Cipolla stated that the probability that a person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic possessed by that person, particularly beauty. Chancing upon living manifestations of Cipolla’s statement at weddings is a reward befitting the sacrifice.

Mother has always used weddings to her advantage, trying to introduce me to many unimaginably beautiful women in the hope that I might fall for one. I almost did but for two impossibly obtuse queries posed by the lady. Upon learning that her name was Camay, pronto came my quip – “How’s your sister Lux doing?” I had presumed that the experience of a lifetime with a name like Camay would have placed such ‘soapy’ remarks right up her alley. But she was befuddled silly by it and queried – “Are you sure you have the right person? My sister is Lovely” No pun-intended, her sister IS named Lovely.

Discussing banalities, like education and work, would help skirting away from the debacle of an introduction I thought. However, extremely disturbed to discover that only firms like McKinsey and P&G had chosen to offer me a position, she opined – “Oh! Why not Infosys?” I smiled and replied by blaming it on the system. She seemed content.

Student life in Mumbai was dotted with college festivals and it was as much annoyance, as pleasure to attend them. As if waiting for three hours in line to enter a ridiculous fest wasn’t torture enough, the organizers deemed it obligatory to discipline me as well. When warned against throwing paper-planes in the air, I requested to be granted permission for making paper-submarines. Emerging, from what appeared to be an emergency huddle of organizers to tackle the voice of dissent, a volunteer quizzed – “But how can you make the paper submarine fly?” I smiled and echoed Asok from Dilbert - “I’m from IIT. We can make anything fly.”

Considering the fact that nature limited man’s intelligence, it seems highly unjust that it did not limit his stupidity because I am gravely bothered by stupid questions bobbing their heads up in the least expected places. Stupidity is running the world; stupidity is ruining the world. Why do we seek answers to artificial intelligence when natural stupidity still eludes us? The blind are leading the blind. E.T watches us from outer space; he’s having a good laugh.

To end, the most half-witted question in the history of television from the series Blackadder. A dialogue between two officers about to set out to war:

George: If we should happen to tread on a mine, what do we do?

Blackadder: Well, normal procedure is to jump 200 feet into the air and scatter yourself over a wide area.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

If only someone had knocked on the door

As a child I had a morbid fear of sci-fi and would desist from reading anything that required imagining objects and beings that I hadn’t come across in my life as a human. After all nightmares replete with my school principal and the creatures that infested his interminable moustache were predicament enough for an 11 year old. But then, reeling under the might of peer-pressure – I succumbed.

The world that I dreaded to death had gone nuclear with The Matrix and the subsequent cerebral coup had brought about the capitulation of the rest of my brain. Could I be just a battery? All I needed was a sign or perhaps a red/blue pill and I would renounce everything materialistic in the world and embark upon an epic odyssey in pursuit of the Truth/Golden Fleece. Am still waiting for that flash….

Last week I watched a movie called The Butterfly Effect and was flabbergasted by the basic plot, which can be gathered from the statement below:

“A butterfly flapped its wings 60 years ago in Brazil, and today an earthquake hit China.” –Chaos Theory

Basically a small variation in the initial conditions of a dynamical system can produce large variations in the long-term behavior of the system.

Those of you, who are contemplating about leaving this blog right away to safeguard yourself from the tortures of another ludicrous hypothesis, bear with me for a while. The fact that you are reading my blog right now instead of doing anything else is affecting the future in profound ways. Because of your decision - everyone in the future will be different people than they would have been had you made a different choice.

“and it is this simple act, now, which unleashes the fires of life
from rock on a far away world six hundred million years from now”

At least, so the theory says.

Illustrating the principle is a sci-fi tale A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury, in which a future time traveler goes back to the dinosaur age, breaches protocol by stepping out of a restricted area and accidentally tramples a butterfly. Upon returning to the present, he finds the world to be a somewhat different from than the one he left. All of history has been changed slightly by the death of a single butterfly in the distant past.

A parallel can be drawn between the effect and Karma (the totality of a one’s actions in any one of the successive states of one’s existence, thought of as determining the fate of the next stage) - the law of cause and effect. Your actions create ripples that spread out, echo and interfere with the ripples from the actions of others. Quoting Kofi Annan, “The world of human activity also has its own "Butterfly Effect" - human actions can either save the world or destroy it.” The Butterfly Effect reminds us to be conscious of our actions, the brittleness of life and our inherent liability in the disposition of all things.

Imagine the world today if someone knocked on the door of Hitler's parents’ house the moment he was being conceived.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Behold the power of the Sindoor!!!

A nuclear family of four, at 8 o'clock every night, welcomes a new member that graces us with its divine presence for 3 long hours. The Idiot Box. It reveals the infinite potential possessed by the SINDOOR; potential to tame the faculties of every second housewife in the nation; potential to defile all that was achieved by the women's liberation movement and potential to expose the divinity of the letter 'K'.

It doesn't take a genius to master the Art Of Cooking a soap opera.So here it is - an instant recipe for a K-Soap Opera.


1/2 a dozen Sindoor laden, overdresed and over-bejewelled Bahus who can weep on cue

1 heavyweight Saas with a streak of white hair, like the smoke trail of a jet in the dark sky

1 fortress of a house in the guise of "A bahu's temple of love"

1/2 a dozen male business tycoons that make the Ambanis look like paupers

Podgy Kids according to taste

1 Karva Chauth after every 15 episodes

1 family doctor; Specialization - Amnesia, Most Prescribed Drug - Generous doses of "Bhagwaan pe Bharosa Rakho"

1 Dr.Jekyll; Specialization - Plastic Surgery/Murder, Most Prescribed Drug - Generous Doses of "Aapka Kaam Ho gaya"

10 litres of glycerine

10 kgs of Sindoor

1 Time Machine


Middle class girl - read Cotton Salwar Kameez clad - is married into the Birla household - read Colosseum. Spends her day being devoured by the ennui of kitchen work and frivlous conspiracy. She is pitted against her Saas in a gladiatorial battle whose outcome determines the Daal that would be prepared in the kitchen(or something even more frivlous). For allies the Saas has a whole batallion of other like-daal eating, superficial, scheming, and petty walking Make-up Boxes for Bahus. Battle uniform - Sarees that would put Madhuri's "Didi Tera Dewar Deewana" and Sharmila's "Almost Backless" to shame. Being the Saint that she is, the Middle Class Bahu gives into the excesses dished out to her. End of story? On earth, perhaps. But not in K-World.

As soon as the Saintly Bahu shows signs of recovery from her lost battle she is dealt the coup de grace - a dead/unfaithful/oblivious husband. Broken and in despair she leaves the arena, only to make an appearance after 3 episodes in the highly publicized Revenge Of The Bahu (in Dolby Surround, whether you like it or not).Apparently she rediscovers the business acumen that she never possessed, turns "Business-India Cover"quality overnight and returns to lend a helping hand to her ever-instantly bankrupt in-laws.And they live happily ever after? On earth, perhaps. But not in K-World.

Fast Forward!!

20 yrs and 1 episode later, the bahu hasn't aged a day and she has an over-bubbly, mini-skirt clad daughter who looks like her older sister. The Saas is live and kicking. The Husband is reborn/is forgiven/has obtained a new fuse. One big, happy family - read gigantic, plastic menagerie. Does the torture end here? On earth, perhaps. But not in K-World.

Enter Junta Ka Poll :

"Kya aap Tulsi/KKKKKusum ki zindagi main apne aap ko dekhti hain?"

"Kya aap Sindoor ki taaqat se waaqif hain?"

Agar humein aapki daal pasand aayi, main Tulsi/KKKKKusum aapse waada karti hun, aapki rasoi main aapka daal/dard baatne aaungi.