Monday, December 27, 2010

Thongful Intightment

I have always hated tights, not that I’ve worn them – I just despise the sight of them.

The last girl I dated was always in tights – ALWAYS. No denim, no dresses, no skirts, no nothing – just tights. Plain and simple – leggings.

Tights. They’re just so very… very… er… tight. So body hugging and so freaking tight. Why are they so clingy? Why do they need to eat up all your space in the nether lands? Why are they so bloody needy; almost insecure? Why is there no space?

Where is my space?

The thing is now I’m cold. This sham of a city, Chandigarh, is moving closer to the arctic circle with every bloody day, with every bloody globally warmed iceberg.

For crying out loud - we are supposed to be a tropical nation, not Eskimo zone dammit!

So it’s freezing and I realized that everything southwards of my waist – ass, feet, knees, vagina – are becoming colder than Russia. To prevent any further posterior frigidity, someone recommended Thermal Underwear – Thermal Long Johns to be precise.

My momma always said, “Life is like a box of knickers. If they look like tights, feel like tights, stretch like tights, then they’re not damned Long Johns you fool – they’re tights.”

But oh bloody God – they’re so, they’re so, so, soooooooh… comforting.

They’re so accommodating, all encompassing, and warm and do everything to make you feel so very secure.

They just give and give and give and give.

It’s like their second nature.

They’re like Mother Nature – there is so much give.

So kids, I don't know how I met your mother, but when in doubt - wear tights.

P.S. Superman, Hulk Hogan, Robin Hood – thank you!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Still fearing and loathing in Chandigarh

(This is the city I see)

The only reason I go to parties is to watch people.

I love to tell a story. Most of my conversations are punctuated with, ‘You know I met this guy last week…’ If you ever have a conversation with me, you will learn close to nothing of me. However, you will definitely hear of the retards I’ve met in the run up to meeting you.

Also, I would have watched you, and would have walked away with another story – you. Does that make me depraved? Some would say so. But would the chat bore you? I really doubt it. I’m not saying that I’m good at conversation. It’s just that I’m just slightly above average when it comes to running into idiots and then telling others about it later.

But in my defence, I don’t take names, ever.

So, parties.

Since moving to Chandigarh, I’ve been to a few parties and I’ve met a whole bunch of new and improved imbeciles. One such November party, that I’ve wanted to write about, stands out.

The thing is I am twenty-something. Most of my friends are twenty-something. The only people I know who aren’t twenty-something are acquaintances I have no choice over – family, colleagues and women I fall in love with (generally well into their thirties, married, with multiple kids and IMHO a bastard of a husband; I know I’m so very sorted). The point I’m trying to make is that when I’m invited for a party, I will most certainly assume that the average invitee age is twenty-something. Worst-case scenario – average age 29. Period.



A month back, a Chandigharite friend invited me for a party that could easily pass off as a Geriatrics Anonymous (Chandigarh Chapter) weekly session.

Everybody was so… so… so… old. There were only three in the entire party who had black hair and one was a Labrador. Most of them did not know their own age – having been born in a time when calendars were not yet invented and sun-dials were used to tell time. The only accurate way of telling their age was either sawing through their trunk to count the number of rings on them or carbon dating. Pseudo-motivational pep talk one liners like ‘Today is the first day of the rest of your life’ have no bearing on these people.

Uncle, if you woke up this morning and were able to stand with absolutely no assistance, without having lost bladder control overnight, today might, in remote probability, be the first hour of the rest of your fleeting hours, but maybe the last also; I can guarantee nothing and you just might die. Also, you might not survive the next sneeze.

At one point in the party, I was introduced to a couple of people in this odd manner - “This is Sethi Uncle. He’s Simran’s (the hostess) granddad. He’s an octogenarian.” The stress on octogenarian was so intense that it might have convinced a Normal-English speaking person into thinking that he’s a doctor of some kind; perhaps a vet who treats octopuses.

Mommy, when I grow up, I want to be an astronaut; or at least a sexagenarian.

Speaking of Simran (Name unchanged as it doesn’t matter. They’re a dime a dozen in this part of the world. Simran is the north-Indian human nomenclature equivalent of naming your dog Tiger) – what we have in her is a thirty-ish woman, born, brought-up and bred in Chandigarh, with an accent that is a cross between that of the Queen of England and the Maharaja of Patiala – plain and utterly incomprehensible.

I don’t blame her actually – in any case half the Punjabis think Punjab (Summer Capital – Chandigarh, Winter Capital - Chandigarh) is an island just off the east coast of England (Summer Capital – Southall, Winter Capital - Toronto) and the other half think Punjab (Summer Capital – Southall, Winter Capital - Southall) is an island just off the east coast of England (Summer Capital – Southall, Winter Capital – Southall).

The woman took it upon herself to spend her entire evening explaining to me the ventilation details of her house. She stood in the centre of her hall, arms wide open and twirled a couple of hundred times. She then mimed a swimmer attempting a butterfly stroke with one arm and breast stroke with the other and said, “Do you see? On a good day, the winds are allowed free circulation in my home. Otherwise, do you see those windows? When the weather acts up, I use them to control the winds.”

There are billions of dollars being spent in keeping scientists afloat on the melting polar ice caps that threaten to submerge the world in 2012, when all that is really needed is a little wind-control from our indigenous gusty wind goddess Simran.

Also, the woman had clearly traveled all over the world and made no attempt to hide it. She’d been to London, Southall, Birmingham, Patiala, Bhatinda, Pathankot, Southall, Birmingham, Southall and Singapur. The city that she loved the most was (to quote her) ‘the quaintly exotic Singapur’. And when asked about her favorite place within Singapur, I learned that she was floored by ‘the fabulous Santosha Island’.

There was more to come.

An extremely murderous looking man then walked up to me, introduced himself and out of nowhere spent an entire hour trying to find out my family’s bank balance and medical history. He was awfully proud of the fact that his daughter was my age (you have not read this incorrectly; he was proud of it, almost thankful to my parents), and that she had received the finest engineering degree from Punjab University and was now working as a mechanic in Birmingham. She was a prize catch, apparently.

After the ‘my daughter is purrfect phor you son’ monologue, dodgy uncle was expecting something to happen – an epiphany, an orgasm or a proposal? I didn’t know what. But there was expectation.

I was so scared I have no recollection of what happened afterwards. I think I might be engaged to a car mechanic in Birmingham.

Oh dear God! Chandigarh - I still loathe you.

P.S. Refined is not sold here

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fear and Loathing in Chandigarh

Towns. Small cities. Tier-II-up-and-coming-metros-whose-‘you will see’-awe-inspiring-awesomeness-will-leave-me-in-awe-by-the-year-2031. Please bugger off.

I abhor you.

I am not being proud of my big city upbringing. Neither am I being presumptuous. I speak from experience for my work takes me places; small places to be precise. For the past two years, I’ve spent 2-3 months, at a time, living in shitholes like Kanpur, Hyderabad and Bhopal. Yes, shitholes. The kind that little boys from Dharavi are prepared to voluntarily dive into for the sake of an Amitabh Bachchan autograph (as vividly depicted in the factually correct, phenomenally logical and thoroughly Oscar deserving cinematic masterpiece Slumdawgg Millionaire. Err… sorry, Anil Kapoor uncle, was it Millannairre?).

Bhopal, especially Bhopal. It is a city so devoid of life, character and fun that the longer you live there, the more you die within. It is so monumentally boring that if you Google for ‘fun’ and ‘Bhopal’ you get 0 results. If you’re cheeky and you click on the ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ button instead – Google takes you to a page that says “No you’re not. It’s fuckin’ BHOPAL you idiot!”

I’m not kidding around, try it. Google; not Bhopal!

I detest these microscopic ink blots on the Indian map. Apparently they’re ‘quaint’.

Bollocks. They ain’t.

The point I’m trying to make is that when I was asked to move onto a project in Chandigarh for 4 months, I died. And rightly so. The city is bloody unlivable.

But I had to move.

Fortunately, I wasn’t going to move alone and wasn’t going to live (or die) alone. Or so I thought. As unfortunately, the said accomplice is a woman. So an unmarried, non-couple finding a house together, in a small city, was as easy as the Pope helping this guy out with his problem (click click).

So during the house hunt, we obviously expected a few raised eyebrows, ruffled feathers and tirades on morality from balding landlord uncles and their queerly hirsute and mustached wives. We got more.

Foxed by our ‘peculiar’ living arrangement a seventy year old retired army officer wondered – “So, you’re really not related?” No. She is Sharma and I am Gogol. Do we sound like we’re related? Are you retired or retarded? “But how will this work. A lady needs her space! You have to give a lady her space!” Dearest fake handlebar moustache uncle, after four back-to-back vodka shots, the said lady threw up all over me last Saturday. She is as lady as Gaga. You can’t read her,
can’t read her,
no you can’t read her poker face.

And the only bloody SPACE she needs is a brown paper bag with ‘Puke Here’ written on it.

Reluctantly, he proceeded to show us around the house. It looked perfect, or so I thought. The woman… sorry the lady, had issues – lavatorial issues. There were no attached bathrooms. The loos and the bedrooms were on either side of the hall. So? “Dude, I need my very own bathroom.” Yeah, okay. Pick one. Any one. “No dude. The thing is I have a habit of walking naked from the shower to the wardrobe. Absolutely no clothes on. It’s my thing. So I need an attached bathroom.”

This was TMI*; way too much information for the war-veteran to handle. I swear I could almost see his eyes well up. We left before he could die.

The next place we stopped at was being guarded by a man well into his afterlife, a Gollum like being. He did not care about our living ‘situation’. Clearly all he cared about was the rent which was to be paid in a mystical currency known only to him as ‘the monies’. “I need the monies on time.” “You give me the monies, and then do what you want.” “I want the monies in cash. I don’t keep the monies in the banks.” Obviously! How can you let go of my precioussss?

The house tour involved Gollum, the lady and me, each clenching 4 feet long wooden sticks to defend us from ‘the doggies’. “I have many doggies. The stick is for your protection if the doggies get naughty.” Gollum was honest. He did have many doggies. And they were being very naughty – but, to our relief, only with each other. The doggies were being naughty on the sunshade, on the rooftop, in the garden – in the middle of the day. It’s a doggie’s life after all.

The lady felt she would have teething problems with canines. She after all did not want the doggies invading her space. We moved on.

We then saw a house owned by an army-wife who had clearly assimilated the ‘defence’ culture into everyday parlance. She punctuated every sentence, filled every conversation gap and responded to every query with the same pair of verbal artillery – ‘Great Guns’! Is it okay if we have whores and meth-addicts over for sex de addiction therapy on the second Saturday of every month? “Great Guns!” Can the lady boisterously frolic around in bed with your sixteen year old once in a while? “Great Guns!” We urban yuppies say ‘Fuck’ during orgasm. What, aunty, is your choice of words during climax? “Great Guns Son! Great Guns!”

While the army-wife had a strangely elegant demeanor, there were a tad too many guns and rifles hanging on the walls for our comfort. Not so great after all, eh.

At the end of the day we were strongly considering a reply to this ad -

Chandigarh, I loathe you.

Note to self. When a ‘To Let’ newspaper advert says ‘suitably furnished in a safe locality’, it’s to be read as hospital beds, white ceramic tile floored hall, gentle electrocution sources and alcoholic Chucky Sr. standing guard.

*@SP – This is what aptly can be classified as TMI.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What Lonely Planet won't tell you

There are two ways to travel in a new country - as a tourist or as a backpacker. If you have the luxury of time and little money you backpack. If it's the other way around you're a tourist. Also, in all probability, you're a corporate whore. But I'll leave that for later. I've backpacked a bit and as a backpacker one is predisposed to despising tourists. They're loud, with kids (always plural; there is never only one kid) in tow and are always either searching for McDonald's or posing in front of McDonald's or, if Gujarati, are complaining that there are no veggies in that country's McDonald's.

So a couple of weeks back when a friend, ATG* recommended that we 'tour' Kuala Lumpur as opposed to a trek across the Malay countryside, I had my misgivings.

(ATG*: Desi, economist, feminist, Mallu-Maoist, armchair activist, Bombayite-Singaporean. Don't be overly impressed. This is snapshot of what these pseudo-intellectuals study - pic below. JB's kid's rhymes are more profound.)

Tourist? Who, me? Was she expecting me to use taxis, hunt down desi restaurants, ogle local women, drink Budweiser and wear denim during travel? Really? Did she even know the anal ego that she was dealing with here?

Despite our ideological differences we wanted to meet up. So we talked it out and a loose framework of ground rules to mollify any potential tourism-guilt was drawn. No butter chicken or meen moilee. No shopping. No phone calls. No wake-up calls. There is no such place as a crowded place. Drink till the first one drops. If we ogle, we ogle together. One is free to not believe in the lord but one must trust the trinity - Jack, Johnnie and Jameson. Cigars are injurious to Clinton's health, not ours. The amount of alcohol in one's system does not dictate one's sexuality. Darker the night, weaker the gaydar. Use zebra crossings.

With such pious, devout and upright principles, we were not surprised when our trip went from being weekend of tourism to weekend of debauchery.

This is how you do it.

1. Hotel Booking - Do not ask for the 'City View' or the 'Lake View' or even 'Petronas Twin Tower View' bedroom. Request for the 'Bathroom View'.

2. Dining - Begin your night in a shady back-alley with the 'Soup Torpedo' - a recommended local aphrodisiac; a devilish concoction of 11 spices, beef broth and bull's penis (hence the explosive euphemism). Follow it up with a cuppa of Tongkat Ali Coffee - essentially coffee spiked with local viagra - strictly for men. What that translates to in English is 'Not recommended for women'. So if as a lady, you choose to ignore the warning from the hawker, you have only yourself to blame when you find yourself doing something extremely unladylike with transvestites (always plural; there is never only one transvestite) in a club.

3. Sightseeing - Sufficiently satiated and appropriately aroused from the meal, head to the busiest whore pickup club. Take your seat at the bar. Do not order a drink. Why? As the only Indian couple at the bar, adorably horny, significantly sloshed and incredibly stupid Indian men on the prowl would be more than happy to send across bottles of whisky your way in an attempt to impress their ladies.

Warning: In a club, never let your wily albeit drunk friend out of sight. He/She would surreptitiously pay off a prostitute to come feel you up and freak the crap out of you. True fact!

4. Off the beaten track - In a state of ecstatic inebriation, have your future told by a Malay Oracle. Do not call her fat.

Personal digression: The oracle read the tarot cards and this is what she had to say about us -

Me - Women mess me up. I only know messed up women. (Even cards can tell now!)
I will find 'true love' only in my abroad living woman friend's firang friend in the month of Jan 2011. (I have only two close female friends living abroad. The both of you, please to introduce me to these firangs. Don't you think I deserve 'true love' and all?)
An interesting fact - I drew a set of cards 5 times in total for the oracle to read. Every single time the card below came up. I wonder if it was a sign from God or perhaps the trinity?

ATG - If she gets married before thirty, she will get divorced and will not marry again. If she waits till she turns thirty, the guy she marries will most certainly be a jackass. (Whoever said that there is no such thing as Sophie's Choice.)
She will never become a successful politician/economist. At best she can aspire to become a clerk. (I laughed so hard I had tears of joy in my eyes.)
The card below was recurrent in her draws. I'm guessing, I won?

Now you may call the oracle fat and leave.

5. Rounding-off the night - Head to the shadiest transexual club in town for a ringside view of the weirdest set of 'guy-who's-a-girl vs. girl-who's-a-guy' competitive sporting events known to man; rather not-known. I shan't divulge the details of these events on the blog for fear of losing my seven existing blog-readers. The participants, however, I'm sure wouldn't mind a little publicity.

Things that Lonely Planet might tell you -

(Clockwise from top left: Guinness Stout Beer in English/Chinese/Tamil, the most ridiculous soap ad - why is that kid being raunchy?, fresh coffee beans, Ramzan street-food market, multi-ethnic love, random cafes)


My aunt has always said that a really good traveler does not need a camera.
I clicked twenty-odd photographs. That makes me strictly ok.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Atom Heart Mother

I come from a pseudo family – pseudo-Punjabi, pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-classy, pseudo-Madrasi. We’re pseudo and for some unimaginable reason we’re unabashedly proud of it.

So say, for example, why do I think we’re pseudo-Punjabi?

Of the eighteen and a half in-house residents, a majority cannot speak a coherent sentence in Punjabi without emitting guttural noises that bear a strong resemblance to gagging. English and very suggestive signals are the chosen media of communication at home.

Punjabi is spoken only when abuses are being hurtled at one another. Well that’s only because - let’s admit it - the degree of sophistication and punch packed into a heart-warming ‘m@&@#c#od’ is conspicuously absent in a ‘mother-fucker’, right? As you can see, we’re a very religious, god-fearing, simple, wheatish complexion cultured family (why then, won’t you bitches read our dramatically correct classifieds ads and marry into us?)

For the six years that I’ve lived away from home I’ve missed this, the pseudo-ness – evolving, growing, and changing size and shape, like an amoeba. Every time I’m back visiting, I observe a new dimension that has been added to my family’s pseudo-persnalty. And I have never been scared by any new-found idiosyncrasy than this time upon realizing that my folks are now pseudo-conservative.

My typical weekend lunch was brought to a jaw-dropping halt when my father smirked at something he read off his phone, passed it to his wife and said, “This is hilarious. You think I should re-tweet this?”

Tweet? No no, re-tweet! Re-FUCKING-tweet!

For those who don’t know me personally - apart from my heartfelt congratulations - a fun-fact, I’m not what you twits and tweeters would call socially-networked, online or otherwise. I have an email account that I religiously check once in four days. I now know that the deposed King of Nigeria is a conniving bastard who despite all his convincing e-mails will not give me his gold in return for an online transfer of a meager $250. I am completely aware that facebook is not an online database of human mugshots. (FYI – my colleague’s dog has a facebook account and is apparently very active. I don’t blame the mutt; he has his own bloody personalized wall and all. What more could a dog want?)

The point I’m trying to make is that, I now know my folks are more active online than their own son. It’s a precarious situation. It’s the Indian Kid version of the biggest Indian Parent fear – realizing that your kid is sexually active. I now know that my parents are social-networkingly active.

They’ve lost their virginity and that too online! Two fifty year olds. Going at it. On their keyboards and keypads. In full online-view.

Have they no morals? Could they have not learnt from their own son – the significance of social-networking abstinence? And the justification they give me is – “Not our fault son. It was all the peer-to-peer pressure? We gave in.”

Who do they think I am – some naïve fucking n00b!

I’m ashamed. The unethical bastards have let my proud family name down. They’ve hacked my trust.

Come to think of it, it’s my fault only. I knew that introducing them to broadband and wi-fi would do them no good. I should’ve monitored their activities; at the very least curbed their freedom… err… bandwidth.


Pseudo-conservative twits.

The women in my household have always been, to put it mildly, mental. The news of the presence of a ‘new woman’ in my life would always warrant an insane interrogation, the sort that would put the Spanish Inquisition to shame. Where did you meet? Is her father the only proven sodomite in the family? Does she re-use syringes for her heroin shots? On a scale of one to ten – if one is ‘a typical daughter of our household’ and ten is ‘roadside Tamilian nympho-by-day-whore-by-night slut’ – how horny is she? Is her mother a witch? Does she respect her elders? The sorts.

So I expected a modest burning at the stake when I expressed my intention of taking up an apartment with a woman. A woman - who was not a fellow man, did the dishes and did not have a penis. However, the only bloody question that came my way was – “Can she cook?”

Can she cook?

That’s it? No witch-hunt? No inquiry? No ‘we’re a god-fearing, religious family’ monologues?

Can she fucking cook? That’s it?

I was bloody offended.

Of course she can cook – that’s the only reason I’m prepared to share an apartment with her in the first place. But they didn’t know that. Why would they assume that I had no intentions to take advantage of her lack of male genitalia? Why would they assume that I would have no interest in her skills that are not culinary in nature? Why?

Pseudo-progressive bastards.

FYI – my mother, who for fifty years of her earthbound existence, was referred to as Pammi, a fairly common Punjabi name, now chooses to go by the name - Pam.


Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave you met Pam?

She’s Punjabi, progressive, pseudo and my mom. If she is Pam then I am bloody scared.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Save the tiger na baba

Save him.
Save him so that once in a while, twenty something boys get to be twenty something boys.

Excuse the trembling hand. I was not being big wuss in front of big puss. It was just a tad breezy okay. I know the tiger, tiger was burning bright and all. But believe you me, it was breezy ... err... windy okay. Very windy!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Newshance Makars Will Be Vekatad This Blog

Poster in a Bhopali cafe

Click to enlarge lest I Spit On Your Grave

AB, to your pulp-art taste I'm sure :P

I don't care that it's 47 degrees C and I have to hold an umbrella. I'm getting married today. So fuck you!

Who the hell do you think you are?

Dearest Hawtt dudie,

If you ever see this video, please know that I was very late for work because your entire family's favourite pastime is gallivanting to bhojpuri music on a National Highway in the middle of the day, in the middle of summer.

Also, while I was waiting for your highness and HMS* Equestrian Ass to pull over, I could think of but three rational reasons why you must get married in sweltering Madhya Frigging Pradesh on a Wednesday afternoon in May -

You get to sport these really sexy glares/cooling glass/goaggles while there is a horse between your legs
You can have the audacity to look like a clown who's really really so desperate to get married despite all weather-beaten odds that you're prepared too hold an umbrella over your head while there is a bloody horse between your legs
You get to lead the most gaudy and retarded entourage that decides to block traffic on NH-12 for over an hour just because you have a bloody horse between your friggin legs

Please know that I am pissed. Very Pissed.

Your biggest fan

*HMS - Haggard Motherf*****g Steed

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Us and Them

I don’t like airplanes. I don’t like being disturbed when I’m asleep.

Don’t try to wake me on an airplane.

If you are a harebrained airline steward (as opposed to the fictional intelligent one, eh?) who particularly enjoys being at the receiving end of some nimble eye-gouging or clumsy rectal probing, ignore the warning.

My shoulder was nudged by a hand that ignored the warning. The hand would soon be involved in a fierce struggle to prevent involuntary colonic irrigation by a monkey with a squirt gun.

There was a voice. As I was roused, my ears were forcefully strained to tune into what seemed like a command. Over the acoustic rendition of Careless Whispers (ironic?) – the sort of airline music that would leave the world one less gay George Michael to worry about - was an emphatic command from the airline steward to pull up the window shades. I could hear myself asking why. Why must I pull up the window shades?

Windows. I like windows.

I like the windows in a suburban apartment complex.

Recently, a colleague moved into an apartment in my complex. She has spent a majority of her lifetime in South Delhi (apparently called SoDi by her and others who stemmed from a gene pool that primarily begets bigots, people who say things like mirror-mirror-on-the-wall and people who think Facebook invented ‘The Wall’. Mister Pink Floyd, I apologize).

Here’s the thing about people from South Delhi – I don’t like you.

Correction – I can’t like you.

But here’s what I do like - Irish Whiskey, cigar smoke, a 7th floor balcony view of a grid of windows lit up against the night and conversation with the condescending SoDi woman that is limited to pointing to positions on this fluid grid of lights - 5th floor, right wing, 3rd window from the edge, Aerobics Aunty; 10th floor, central wing, middle window, Chaste Chetan.

Some people talk. Some others poke.

But the both of us - we point. We peep. We peek.

People at work call us voyeurs. These, I think, are the sort of people that poke.

Once every fortnight, standing in her balcony, leaning against the parapet – we watch. We watch a microcosm of suburbia live, Live. We watch Aerobics Aunty running towards her bedroom’s left wall, on the treadmill – not moving an inch. An almost motionless motion. Four windows to her left, Protein-shake Pawar sweating it out on his treadwheel, runs to the right, runs to Aunty. Lovers unaware of their love.

Some lovers are victims of religion, some of society and some of Shakespeare. Our lovers were being kept apart by bricks, concrete and three windows.

Incognizant lovers - AA and PP, loving incognito.

Once a fortnight, we spend our evening with Scrawny Shilpa while she tries to learn Salsa (or Jazz or Kathak? Or whatever, I don’t really know! Not my fault, I can’t tell one from the other two feet away; at fifty metres they all look like conditioned epilepsy to me) or the Harridan on the 3rd Floor – the sort of woman who has perfected the art of nagging at a pitch that drives both men and dogs wild; on grounds of uncanny similarity - the sort of woman who most definitely gave birth to your ex or my ex or anyone’s ex; the sort of woman who PMSes during menopause. Here’s the definitive answer to all those Miss Worlds striving for world peace – Kill Her. Please!

Windows. I like them.

Cars - not so much. But car windows are a different ball game altogether. And speaking of car windows and games, try this one the next time you’re driving to work and are stuck in a bad traffic jam.

Peer into any vehicle that is below a car in the automotive food chain – bus, autorickshaw or a taxi. Say for example, a bus. Pick one window, perhaps the one framing the most seemingly docile passenger and preferably of the opposite sex. Look her in the eye and lock your gaze. Don’t blink. Don’t flinch. Stare.

Now that you’ve grabbed her attention contort your face into expressions that would put a Kathakali dancer to shame – lust, rage, envy, pity, resentment, hatred, awe or even epiphany. Once you’ve found the one that displaces her from her comfort zone – stick to it and hope that the jam lasts long enough to drive her to suicide but just short of her actually slitting her wrist. It’s the Moment of Mindfuck.

If you’re not alone in the car, stare together. All at once, four faces consumed by rage – stare. Stare at same pair of docile eyes. Stare till she is reduced to desperately groping for that elusive blade with her name on it. Mindfuck. Communal Mindfuck.

I like windows. Why must I pull up the window shades?

He commands me to pull up the window shades again. Why? Give me a logical reason to pull up the shades.

“Erm… hmm… Sir, so that when it’s dark, people outside can see the light inside.”

It’s summer. 10 AM. 43 degrees hot Hyderabad. It’s anything but dark. So, why must I pull them up?

“Sir, when the plane lands and if there is a terrorist on the runway, you will not be able to see him!”

Great! Why would I want to see him? I can’t see him. So he can’t see me. Right?


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Any color you like

Having finished with her board exams, my cousin (dog molester in the previous pic-post) came visiting last weekend. She believes she is a girl of limited needs. The metric system, having given up trying to measure these limits, believes otherwise. She was armed with a shopping list that had a mind, body, soul and even a twitter account of its own. And not any averagely active twitter account. An account with a tweeting frequency of milliseconds; littered with twitpics, retweets and hashtags for her own shopping convenience; but strangely enough, not limited to 140 items… er… characters, 140 characters.

Girl of limited needs, she believes. A good brother, I think.

I paid for all her demands, pun intended. Dresses that seem to be a whole new wardrobe altogether, her first prithvi play, her first and my only and last horse-cart marine drive ride (honest!), her first beer, her first long island iced tea, her first 3AM road-side tea.

Then she stopped just short of killing me – “Bhaiya, I want you to get me a tattoo. But you don’t worry; I’ll get it in a spot where not too many people will get to see it in my lifetime. If you know what I mean!”

She winked. She winked, again.

I do not have a problem with tattoos. I have a problem with my little sister wanting a tattoo. I have a big problem with tattoos wanting to be in a 300 kilometer radius of my little sister. I have a bigger problem with the intended questionable location of the intended tattoo. I have the biggest problem with her reference to the plural nature of the target viewership of this intended tattoo.

I do have a problem with tattoos.

I have a problem because this is what happens when you put an 18 year old girl, a tattoo drill and a ridiculous idea in the same room (watch the two minute video below; you bloody well watch it – my little sister’s sanity and skin are at stake here) -

A tattoo machine is but an electric drill. It is an electric drill with a needle at a speed of 9000 rpm (for all those who had a life and did not study engineering – it goes round-round 9000 times in a minute), which is only marginally higher than that of a Ferrari. Is one supposed to feel secure just because the needle is laced with multi-hued ink and is in the hands of a professional tattoo ‘artist’? I think not.

This brings me to a few questions I have for the starry-eyed Belgian girl.

Why would you let an electric drill moving at the speed of a Ferrari back-wheel get close to you let alone your face?

Why would you let a man who looks like this within a 300 kilometer radius of yourself?

How could you then conveniently fall asleep when a man who looks like this was working your face with an electric drill?

I get miffed at few things. But I have a constant bone to pick with stupidity; which brings me to ‘televised tattooing’. The only television I watch apart from racy Bhojpuri item numbers on the local cable channel is Discovery’s Travel and Living. One show that particularly fascinates me is LA Ink – it’s a reality show that follows the life and times of tattoo ‘artist’ Kat Von D and her human canvasses. The next time you have a chance to catch it, please pay close attention to the justifications people give for getting a particular tattoo. Also observe the persistent use of the words ‘like’ and ‘you know’ in these justification monologues. I don’t like and I don’t know.

(For greater reading satisfaction try to read along in the respective ethnic accents, especially the second one)

Hispanic woman getting a gecko tattooed on her lower back – “It was like you know, the first time like I’d been to like my motherland Costa Rica. And the moment you know I entered the hotel room was like the moment. I totally like saw the gecko on the wall, it like totally saw me and we like jumped together. I was like scared of the gecko; it was totally you know like scared of me. That was the moment. It was then I decided I needed a gecko tattoo to remember this visit to Costa Rica, like you know forever!”

I sure hope she doesn’t travel to India or want to remember it ‘forever’. I don’t think a cockroach tattoo is socially acceptable let alone sexy.

African American woman getting three purple lilies on her hip – “Ma name’s Lily. Ma grandma’s name is Lily Sr., ma mamma’s name is Lily Jr. and ma lil sista’s lil Lily. So I’m Lily getting a tattoo of 3 lilies for the gals in ma family!”

I will not dwell on the intelligence of the above idea for the woman is clearly as much of a visionary as Louis Braille’s three blind mice. My primary concern is the color of the tattoo – purple. Purple on an African American skin tone? Has this woman never heard of contrast? Would the average Punjabi girl tattoo a glass of milk on her face (left half – it is the only half washed with Dove soap day in and day out. After twenty years of taking the Dove soap challenge, she still doesn’t know if it is softer, whiter and moisturizer than the right half)?

White woman getting a fork and knife tattooed on her side torso – “I’ve been like dating this guy for you know a year. He’s like a really super cool chef (the two words I hate most in the English language – super cool). So I wanna get like a really cool tattoo for our anniversary. So I thought (I’m not so sure she is capable of thinking, but anyway she thought) why not you know, dedicate a tattoo to like the tools of his trade – forks and knives (I’m confused; is he a professional diner or a professional chef?). I hope he likes it.”

I hope he doesn’t dump you, because after that fork and knife tattoo you’re only eligible to date other chefs, butlers or if you fancy Indians – south Bombay Catholics (does any other desi culture set even know what a fork is?). Also, two of my past relationships have lasted for over a year. Does that mean, as an anniversary present, my exes should’ve gotten a tattoo of the tools of my trade – a Microsoft Excel sheet and Powerpoint presentation? Wouldn’t that be like you know super cool?

Long story short - girl of limited needs was not to become the girl with a dragon tattoo. A good brother? I don’t know.

P.S. @ Sowmya - Notice, I did not call my cousin sis, my cousin sis :P

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Up for adoption

The things people do to get clicked and onto a blog.
Clicked. Done.
Now will the both of you get off my bed. Now!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Slower, Lamer, Vancouver

Conspiracy theories. They’re so unbelievably preposterous, one cannot help but find them entertaining.

Elvis is alive’. No, he isn’t. Elvis has left this and every other building. In case you were wondering, that is actually Vivek Oberoi waggling his crotch in the trailer of Prince, it’s not the King.

The Wingdings font predicted the fall of the two towers’. How did you not know that? Even Nostradamnhim… erm us… Nostradamnus ‘prophesized’ that. Have you never received the e-mail forward that succinctly captures the brilliance of this scientific theory? If not, you’re lucky. You either have very intelligent friends, very few friends or a mom who cannot use e-mail. It is the most well-researched hypothesis after the Liberated Tiger of non-Tamil Elin (aka LTTE) theory - ‘The reason we have only 1411 tigers left is that there is this one tiger in the woods screwing up… erm around… screwing around for the whole bunch of us. He leaves behind nothing for us to do and quite literally so’.

As I had said, these theories are ridiculous but good fun.

During her weeklong break in Bombay, Nilo (the tripod hugger from the previous post) did precisely three things – slept, messed up my already disorderly house and watched the Winter Olympics telecast. She theorizes (and I now agree) that the Winter Olympics are a hoax. Why?

The Winter Olympics are but a mélange of the most nonsensical human activities in the guise of sport. If you did not know, here is a fun-fact - the Winter Olympics was born as the Canadians were pissed. Not at their own sheer stupidity for choosing French over English as their national language. They were miffed to constantly find themselves languishing at the bottom of the medal’s tally along with Kyrgyzstan and Moldova at the Normal People’s Olympics. Leap year after leap year, the board read Canada - zero Gold, zero Silver, zero Bronze, one Maple Leaf.

So they conveniently invented the Winter Olympics and the motley of absurd sports that are showcased in it. In the interest of time and average attention span of the blog reader, I make but three ludicrous cases in point – Curling, Biathlon and the Skeleton.

Curling - The objective of the game is to slide a granite blob (imaginatively named ‘stone’) on a floor of ice in the hope that it goes somewhere. Where? That has not been established as yet. But someone needs to ensure that the blob has a smooth slide while going anywhere, right? Hence, there is a group of humans who L-I-T-E-R-A-L-L-Y ‘sweeps’ the ice with a broom as the blob slides. Why? So that the blob doesn’t have a rough ride.


Please watch the video below, with sound (Slow connection? Go have a cuppa, but come back and watch the video). Please do observe two things – how the rabid howling generates sound waves so intense that the blob pushes itself further and watch closely as blonde, bob cut aunty throws her broom in ecstasy at the end of the shot.

I have as much respect for the ‘sport’ as I do for the brides on Rahul Ka Swayamvar. For things to start looking up, you curlers first need to respect yourselves. Rehash the sporting nomenclature - please do not call your sporting instruments ‘brooms’ and ‘stones’. You are not out witch-hunting!

And why are we Indians not participating in this event? There must be at least one stone pelting Shiv Sena boy married to sweeper Gangu bai, right? I’d wager that their offspring is our next and only Olympic medal hope.

Biathlon - As the Canadian Winter Olympic Committee was running out of creative steam while coming up with events, they figured that it would not be completely unethical to ‘borrow’ a few from the Normal People’s Olympics. After long hours of absolutely no reflection, they zeroed in on the triathlon (swimming, cycling and running, in that order). Consequently, the Winter Olympic Triathlon took shape – swimming in a glacier followed by cycling and running on ice.

However, after thirty nine athletes succumbed to hypothermia during the ‘swimming in the glacier’ phase of the first ever Winter Triathlon in 1924, the sport was replaced by the less arduous and more bizarre biathlon – an amalgamation of cross country skiing and rifle shooting. Why? But why? At least the Normal Olympics’ triathlon can be thought of as a training ground for prisoners contemplating an escape from Alcatraz or Guantanamo. What conceivable human purpose can the biathlon serve? Competing athletes can now lug a rifle all the way up to the Arctic Circle and shoot a Polar Bear? Or perhaps, we could have a biathlon chase sequence in the next Bond flick – For Your Ice Only?


From top (clockwise) - Curling, Bobsled, The Skeleton, Biathlon

The Skeleton – Apart from possessing a single-digit IQ, the dunderheads who are retarded enough to take part in a sport with a name like the Skeleton, are expected to slide down a frozen track, face first, on a sled thinner than an anorexic cockroach. The objective of the sport, which has its humble beginnings as a genocidal experiment in Nazi Concentration Camps, is to see how long you can hang on for dear life. If you come out alive, you win!

The same icy-track used for the Skeleton is also used for a sport called Bobsled. Watch the video below.

However, the critical difference between the two is that with the Bobsled at least there’s a questionably shaped sled. In the Skeleton there’s no sled; it’s just Bob!

One needs to be monumentally sloshed or a mental Canadian or both to either devise these events or take part in them. But the icing on the cake, the biggest joke of them all is not the Winter Olympics; it’s the Winter Paralympics - Winter Olympics for the paralyzed. What was the Olympic committee thinking? Were they even thinking? This Bob can’t walk on normal ground let alone ice. This Bob most definitely doesn’t need a freaking sled. He needs a wheelchair.

Will you please return the wheelchair to Bob?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Javan coffee, Bacardi 151 conversations and nothing more

(If you don't have the patience or don't know me, scroll down to the pics)

Karan: The only thing we have in common is the blood in our veins; the antithesis of me – rational, teetotaling, thrifty and responsible
Nilo: My soul sister’s sister – only, we have no souls, I traded mine for single malt and she traded hers for a tripod; a Muslim – I’m not a communalist, but this is an important part of the story
QY: Colleague. Part Singaporean, part Chinese, part bitch, completely insane. Has forgotten the existence and use of pronouns.
A few locals
A few non-locals

Act 1
[Scene 1: Saturday, 7 PM. Company paid for Singaporean hotel room with a view that is heavenly and a mini-bar that empty. The floor is littered with peanut shells, miniature alcohol bottles, Nilo and me. Enter QY.]
QY: Are (you) guys drunk?
Nilo: [In earnest] No, we’re Indian. We like free stuff.
QY: [Puts her bag down on the floor. Guinness cans take a peek from within.] The mini-bar is not for free.
Nilo: Well, I’m certainly not paying for it and [poking me] he’s not paying for it, so you do the math Chinky. You have your pocket abacus on you, right? Or did you leave it behind with your pronouns.

[Scene 2: Saturday, 9 PM. KTV – Singapore’s answer to public-humiliation induced suicide – A ‘private’ Karaoke.]
QY: I’ll sing (my) Chinese-song [pronounced in a typically hurried oriental manner – chhainisssong] and you guys can sing (your) Indian song.
Nilo: There is NO such language called Indian.
QY: [Realizes her Eureka moment] Ah ah ah, yes – Hindu song.
Nilo: [At her wit’s end] Abe, kahaan se hai yeh?
Me: God knows. [Enlightened] Or perhaps, the Hindu God knows?

[Scene 3: Saturday, 11 PM. Outside KTV – 7 Mandarin, 5 English, 3 Hindu songs and 4 pitchers Guinness later]
QY: [Swinging her arms wildly] Do (you) guys want to dance?
Me: Karaoke ke baad agar yeh aurat dance bol rahi hai toh DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) hi hoga!
Nilo: Clubbing or karaoke-dancing?
QY: [Confused] To a club.
Me: [Regaining partial sanity] No QY. We’re going back to the hotel. Our flight to Jakarta is at 9:30 in the morning.
Nilo: Pu*sy!!
Me: [Re-losing regained sanity] TAXI!! Where are we going QY?

[Scene 4: Sunday, 9:15 AM. The same hotel room; re-emptied mini-bar.]
[Phone rings. Phone rings again. Phone perseveres, rings again.]
Me: [Groping for the phone] Huhlo!
Voice: Good morning, sir. I’m #@$* from the reception. This is to inform you that check-out would be at noon, sir.
Me: [Miraculously awake] What’s the time now?
#@$*: 9:15, sir.
Me: [Miraculously alive] NILO!! Its 9:15. Get up! We missed our bloody flight.
Nilo: [Without moving a milli-millimeter] It’s ok, mom. We’ll get another one. We have three hours to check-out. Go back to sleep.

Act 2
[Scene 1: Sunday, 4 PM. Karan has dozed off on one of the dingy rexine sofas at the at the Jakarta airport exit. His backpack is lying on the ground. Enter Nilo, me. She stops by the sofa and smacks Karan on the head.]
Karan: [Stirring awake] How can you guys miss an INTERNATIONAL flight? How? I mean, how?
Nilo: If you please, after 8 days we can demonstrate it again.
Karan: My flight arrived at 10:30 AM. I have been waiting for over five hours. Why is this city so humid? What is wrong with the currency here? Why is it so devalued? I will need a truckload of currency to buy a bottle of water here - Ten thousand rupees for a bottle of water. What is wrong with the economy?
Nilo: It’s not Rupees testy. It’s Rupiah. [Looking at me] Is he so annoying even at home?
Me: No, even more.

[Scene 2: Monday, 10 PM. Karan, Nilo and me are sauntering through a flea market.]
Me: [Picks up imitation sunglasses from a stall] Dolce & GabbUna? Hah!
Vendor: [Tries to make an ‘honest-man’ face; fails miserably] Original from China. Good Price. Only nine hundred and fifty thousand Rupiah.
Karan: See! The currency is so bloody f**ked. Nine and a half lakhs for sunglasses.
Me: [Facing the vendor] Too much! [does the Indian fake bargain walk-away]
Vendor: Ok! Ok! You be good man. For you, best price. Fifty thousand Rupiah.
Nilo: [Staring at me in disbelief] Did he just drop the price NINE HUNDRED THOUSAND Rupiah (INR 4500) because he thinks you’re a good man? [Addressing the eager vendor] He’s good, but I’m awesome. How much do I get it for?

Act 3
[Scene 1: Thursday, 6AM. Karan is throwing up into a paper bag in the corner of the train compartment. Nilo and I are looking at a map. A woman in the seat before ours is kneeling on the musallah (prayer mat) performing her morning Namaaz.]
Nilo: [Sneering at Karan] Doesn’t he take motion sickness too literally? You’re not supposed to get it every time you move, you know.
Karan: I can puke in your handbag, you know.
Nilo: [Ignores pukemon; her gaze is fixed on the woman praying] Isn’t it amazing that she is not ready to compromise on her faith even if she’s in a moving train?
Karan: When was the last time you prayed?
Me: Ouch!
Nilo: [Pretends to ignore] Wait. Hold on. Shit! Shit! Shit! We’re on the wrong f**king train.
Me: Huh?!?
Nilo: If she’s facing the right for her Namaaz, the west is on our right; and we’re moving straight ahead, which is the south. We need to go northwards, damn it! Pull the chain. [Panics and walks up to a lady wearing a hijab; enquires in flawless Urdu.] How does one stop the train?
Lady: [No response]
Nilo: [Howling] Largest population of Muslims in the world and not one speaks Urdu. [Switching to her pseudo-Brit roots and accent] How bloody fantastic!
Karan: Try sign language Einstein.

[Scene 2: Friday, 7PM. Restaurant in Cemero Lawang. The characters are in conversation with a German, and an Australian with a local woman in tow.]
Karan: [In a pretentious display of rage] Do you have any idea how badly you Aussies have been treating us Indians down under? There is one Indian murdered ever week because of the color of his skin. He is battered. His wife is brutally raped and kids burnt alive. Is this what you do to foreigners? [Screaming] Tell me, is that what you do?
Aussie: [Expressionless; shrugs shoulders] I’m really sorry for you mate. But, it wasn’t me!

[Attempting to change the topic] Anyways, so tell me. [Looking at the Aussie-Indonesian couple] I’ve heard that women in this part of the world love the white skin. They throw themselves at Caucasians? Is it true?
Indonesian woman: [Going red in the face] Grrrrr..!
German: [Butting in] Yes, it is. Such women are called prostitutes and they charge you a fee for throwing themselves at you. And, at times you get more than your money’s worth. [Staring at the Aussie] Right, mate?

[Attempting to change the topic yet again] We’ve all heard that French women are great in bed. What about German women?
German: They’re cold, lousy and more man than most men. The high point of sex with them is probably orgasm when they stick their hand out and yell “Heil Hitler!”

(The remaining scenes have been reserved for beer conversations)

Pics from the backpack. Any pic that is remotely brilliant is Nilo's work; anything fuzzy is mine. Click to enlarge. Blame pixelation on Microsoft Paint.

We climbed

Clockwise from top left (Smoker, flower, gusher, shaker)

We saw

Temples – Buddhist and Hindu; The water palace; Bahasa Ramayana; the Komodo Dragon

We ate

Line-wise from left to right – Fugu sashimi, ox-tail soup, fried abalone; Prawn-mee soup, durian (the smelliest thing in the world), silver fish fry; Martabak, fish and tofu, chicken satay.

We moved

Pretty obvious; in total 14 different modes of transportation had to used be on Java


In a random order – Bacardi 151 (observe warning label; it kills); “Zara sa jhoom loon main” on Karaoke; Nilo and her tripod - inseparable; German, prostitute, Australian; Bahasa Rock; Rules are meant to be broken; etc.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Eats flies and leaves

Addendum 132 to the 'List of 5 inappropriate things to tell Paraglider'

1. No matter how drunk you are, never tell two Dutchmen that 'Belgish' beer tastes better than Dutch beer, especially if one of them is your flight instructor. Also, do not verbalize weird drunk analogies about the beer of a nation epitomizing the true nature of its women. Haywards - strong, unpredictable and can give an unforeseen kick. Heineken - characterless, bland and at best, its just something cold.

2. Never tell a Jolly Roger tattooed Swiss tennis fan, sans front teeth, that Roger Federer does not fancy women - "Why else would he marry a cow*?" Do not indulge in punning commentary about the movies Roger's wife could star in - Bridget Jones' dairy, Dude where's my cow, The lives of udders!

3. As a flyer is about to take off refrain from being a wise-ass - "Isn't this para-glider like a modern manifestation of an albatross around our necks? Oh sorry, what I meant is... safe flight!"

4. Mother nature 'urgently-called' is not an acceptable reason for me to return to the ground 5 minutes after take-off. "You amateurs do not respect the wind. You did not have to come down!" Exactly how peeing into the wind is sacrosanct, is a topic I chose not to broach; at least not when your life depended on Mr. Wind-Respecter's walky-talky directional directions. With my sense of direction (to call it below-average would be lying and abysmally embarrassing an understatement; if you can guess the probability of a deaf bat trying to find its way out of a box with a bat shaped hole in it, what you have are the chances of me finding my way from HRC to Shiro, sober) discretion this time, undoubtedly, was the better part of valour.

5. I'm bored. Let's play a game. Let's estimate the number of years of your life you've lost watching the weather forecast on TV?

(all photos by the only non-flyer, Popat-bhai. Ironic?)

(Click-on-pic. FYI, as I don't own a glider, I must rent it. And, when I rent a glider, I have no control over color. I did try my best to convince the Dutchmen that looking chic and NOT YELLOW was as aerodynamically critical as weight, chord, height and number of glider cells. To put it mildly, he was not amused - "Spring je eigen kont en sterven!")

Left - Icarus wannabe; Right - Eric von Whothefucken (on ground), Neil van Whathefucken (suspended)

Gliders of a polyester, never flock together [sic]?

* Mirka Bovine-ic