Friday, December 16, 2005

Romantic Cemetary

Posted by Picasa till death do us part

People go lengths to prove their love. Death is as far as it gets. Ask Romeo, Juliet, Pyramus and Thisbe, Laila, Majnu (Indian Context), and many others whom history and modernity has forgotten mercilessly. But lately, with practicality creeping in, romanticism has taken the back seat. Not that I thought that death was romantic anyway.
Talking of the length lovers go to, here is one recent incident. This one is not to be remembered for the extremity of the incident, but for the tinge of humour in it, if you can find it at all.

A colleague of mine, Amit - an art director, is getting married in a month or two. His fiancée is a news reporter with one of the channels. A cute young couple – made for each other kinds. One fine evening, in the middle of the campaign he gets a call. He jumps up, rushes towards the television and switches it on. “Guys, she is anchoring an exclusive.” Okay. All eyes turned towards the television. The title appeared, “Corpse Robbers.”
What on earth? We watched it, whether we liked it or not we did. That was how much excited the guy was about it. And why shouldn’t he be? It is his girlfriend on television. Even if it wasn’t the most romantic of places you would like to see your girlfriend, a rugged graveyard of all the places, it was his fiancée.

The programme, in contrast to the name, was really interesting. It was about a bunch of thugs who made a living out of selling fresh bones dug out of the graves, to medical students. A little bit of controversy lingered. Nice feature.

After half an hour of stand still, the office came back to life.( Obviously because we were literally buried in a cemetery.) Amit’s phone rang. It was her. What would she have asked? “Darling, did you check my dress out,” “Were I any good,” or “Which one of the corpses did you like,” or “Did you see that long dirty femur? It still had rotting flesh on it.” Not one of them thought the way I thought and made fun of Amit who was busy appreciating his fiancée’s effort and bravery in the grave. I broke into a laugh while every one looked at me as if I was laughing at my grandfather’s funeral. Well, what was so funny anyway?

There are lot of ways to express one’s love. Whatever way it might be, it should never go unexpressed. If it can be expressed by commenting about a corpse, so be it.

Note: This is completely senseless. I think it is black humour or maybe it is blank humour or maybe it is just because I felt like writing on it. It is like a movie which has three scripts, each by a writer of a different genre or something like that. Who wants to know?


Posted by Picasa walking the line called bias...

“And the winner is…,” screams the television anchor. Who is he trying to kid anyway? Why should he engage in all the histrionics and try and create suspense when the tale has already been told. Let me introduce you to the latest trend in the entertainment industry – Interactive Television. Game shows, music competitions, quiz shows and even beauty pageants, the audience has a say in them all. Let me not understate. The audiences give the final word.

The moment I switch on my television to watch my favourite show, a plethora of ads greet me. Vote for your best singer, the best quizzer, the most beautiful woman and so on.
Participants themselves shed out a bag of well rehearsed emotions in an attempt to reach the heart of the millions watching and en route maximise the number of votes. Tales of a lost childhood, fulfilling the wishes of one’s parents, a dream that never came true, a handicapped brother, charity funds you have never heard of(fund for homeless aliens from Glitula) and in some cases, more than a little skin show – a few of the tactics employed by the participants to grab their share of sympathy and votes. It won’t be long before a butcher who thinks that the notes in music are printed by the reserve bank of India will have the final say in deciding the best young singer of the country.

‘Sa re ga ma’ until recently staged the platform for exciting young singers to display their trade. Talented musicians rated them and eliminated the relatively lesser performers. Till the final round, everything was fine. And then there was interactive television. Presumably, a male oriented audience voted out the best of the male singers keeping the charming, voluptuous one on the stage. The butcher I mentioned earlier is quite certainly one of them. Quite sad! This is not an event to be singled out. This is just one of the instances among many.

Where are the channels headed? If the channels are planning to hike their TRP in the process, they might be very successful. But in the process they are losing the little credibility left in them. If they are doing it under the pretext of democracy, giving people the power, let them remember that power corrupts. Democracy may not be achieved, but democrazy definitely has been.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Posted by Picasa the cabin on the hill

Let me take you out for a date with nature. Let me take you to a place where you can get away from life and still be at the heart of it. A place straight out of one of those fantasy movies. Where streaks of the sun creep in through the morning fog; where the clouds kiss the lakes; where the mountains cuddle beneath a yellow carpet of blossoms.

Let me take you to Sundance – the cabin on the hill

Getting to Sundance: All journeys to the cabin are by the Wildacres 4-wheel drive vehicles that have proved themselves in negotiating the rugged terrain for years. The trail to Sundance is not for the faint-hearted; but you will know that the risk was more than worth taking once you reach there. The alternative is to hire a Deccan chopper(for once who burn money for firewood); a helipad zone has been demarcated for this. YOur jeep won't take you to the door. It will just drop you a few metres away. Trudge through the jungle for a few yards and there you are.

Sundance - The Cabin on the hill: The experience welcomes you right from the veranda (the only place in the cabin where you will find more glass than wood). 3 steps from the ground shall take you to the cabin’s veranda, turn around and your eyes will take you for a breathtaking ride over the lakes and the hills.

You enter into a large hall to face a fireplace right in the center. The neatly furnished living room and the dining area lie on either side. If the smell of fresh wood hasn’t tickled your nostrils yet, it will now. You will walk down into the coziest bedroom, with windows just large enuff to let in the light to awaken you from the slumber. Right next to it is the kitchen. That is strictly if you think your cooking is much better than the wonderful delicacies provided by your caretaker. Let me remind you that the caretaker and his wife are rare sightings who appear only at your beckoning.

Neighborhood: The occasional conversations you strike with a fish too close to the lake shore, eavesdropping on what the wind has to say or what the birds are chirping about, or shaking hands with a Sambhar which has decided to drop is as much a neighborhood experience you will have here. If you can’t wait a minute before seeing a fellow human being, which is seldom the case as you are mesmerized by the sights, you can either summon your caretakers to visibility or go on a 30-minute drive to the Wildacre farm.

Cabin Dwelling: The blissful solitude of the cabin can be enjoyed to the fullest by a couple. But up to six is never a crowd at this delightful place. The couch and the dining area will obediently turn themselves into bedrooms.

Dos and a few Donts:

Dos: You can do almost everything you’d do in a place where there is more wilderness than anything else in company. Fishing, lazing around the woods, catching the cool breeze at the lakeside or you can just take the telescope tucked in the corner of your veranda and lose yourself into nature. You have a cabin to come back to after the journey! If you have a mate, you need no reason to come back.

The few Donts:
Don’t bring your pets. Leopards love little dogs for breakfast, lunch n dinner.
It’s a great place for children to get a complete experience of nature, although I would advise against it as well. Leopards are fond of anything little. If you know what I mean.


I have never been to this place. I have seen plenty of photographs and also heard a little about it from my boss.

What are you waiting for? Indulge.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Posted by Picasa what the f*#k?


“Woof, woof! Looks like you are on the wrong side of your territory,” barks the dog. “Looks like you are on the wrong side of the evolution curve,” replies Garfield. The fat cat might have been joking, but how I would love to be on the other side, he would never know.

I was having one of these ‘rum’ sessions with Vivi. I luv these sessions because of the quality(very subjective) of the conversations we have. Before that, let me tell you about vivi. Vivi is one of my closest friends. He has been going through a rehab of sorts, had a serious drinking and drug problem. He is one troubled mind, who believes that the whole world is against him. His love for his dad lasts only as long as the bottle of booze his dad buys him on weekends. That time is halved the instance I decide to barge in on weekends. Let me get back to the session. When we have these sessions, we discuss about the weirdest things on the planet. Simple things which might have been overlooked; crazy things which humans would fear to contemplate (includes him and me) under normal sober conditions and lots more. Things that made sense to just both of us.
In the end, that is all that matters. Why should a conversation between two make sense to the world? Why the hell is the world so bothered? Why is life so complicated?

One of the things we discussed that day was about the complications in life. Why is life so complicated? Why does a newborn baby cry? Medical science claims that the moment of the first cry is the moment of life. The moment when the child takes his first breath. That is the scientific part of things. You know what I think? I think, the baby cries because it is the moment of realization. A realization that it is not safe anymore. The simple agenda in the mother’s womb is over. It is a mess out there. The baby is crying on the thought – Why isn’t the world as transparent as a mother’s womb?

Can’t we live like our forefathers…when I say forefathers, I mean, ‘the stone age men.’ The guys from over a million years ago. Forget the ‘sun worship’ part. The rest of it. No electricity bills, no career counseling, no office politics, no traffic jams, no prohibition, no rapes, no AIDS, no hassles. Hunting for food, caves for shelter and a mate for love(literally and laterally). Life was so simple. Why ain’t it anymore? Today if I have to write an ad, I have to think about the consumer psyche more than I think about my parents. What the flying fuck? Dinosaurs might have been a threat. But they don’t bully you. They don’t kill you on a monthly basis with income tax. If your fate would have it, you would have sudden death. Why aint life as straight and simple as that?

Take my case for instance. I am stranded with hardly my bread and butter. Copywriters don’t earn much. I advise all aspirants to think twice before opting for the glamorous advertising life. I survive on a ‘brunch’ all day. Landlady calls up and all efforts of charming the MILF are dissolved in a solvent of monetary demands. In the stone age, all I would have to fight for my place of residence with, would have been a pterodactyl. Why ain’t life as simple as 1 million B.C. or whereabouts.

I guess I would have proudly owned Garfield’s statement. It would have been a privilege to be on the primitive side of life. It would have been a luxury. Hunting wild boars, making cave paintings and making love to my mate and with some luck, some other desperate cavewoman. Neanderthals rule. Why ain’t I on the wrong side of the evolution curve?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

School life Vs The rest, etc.

Posted by Picasa nostalgia...

Which is that period of life that you will cherish till you die? “School Life”, would be the unanimous answer. I beg to differ. Call me a black sheep in the herd, but I have plethora of things that don’t go in tandem with the rest of you. What are you going to do, outcast me?

One of the reasons why my school life falls short of the first spot in the long list of enjoyable phases in life, is because of that word which frequented the nightmares of everyone that age – ‘Home-work.’ Planning ahead to select the snack you will eat while watching a football match during a weekend is the best I can do. Scheming a modus operandi to pass the calculus exams the next day or picking the best person to copy the organic chemistry assignment from, is definitely not my cup of tea, coffee or whisky.

Getting up every morning, rushing to school after bath and breakfast(both have literally stopped appearing daily in my life), encountering the empty basketball court(which we usually use to play cricket), the empty stairway(which used to buzz with activity once upon a time), empty park(home to swing-cricket, a patented Udyogamandal school sport), and a group of uniformed girls and boys piling on a rainbow of assignments to be completed in 15 minutes is not a pleasant sight.

Many guys would consider a co-ed college with the male-female ratio as 1:3 as the closest thing to heaven. When you get suspended for admiring a girl( in the trrrrrrrrrue sense of the word), the heaven image gets tarnished in a second. It is as good as Anna Nicole Smith nude and horny in front of an impotent man. Against all odds, I had fun like never before. Lack of pretentious displays of attitude being the main cause - due to the lack of proximity of the opposite sex.

A chained dog is more dangerous than a stray one. This is applicable in humans too. The opposite poles attract, and here too they attracted with vibes and vigour. A few hearts broke at first, a lot many followed. A very few survived; but fun it was. An attendance shortage with a record breaking 23% should substantiate my claim – a renegade’s dream.

Exams came and went unnoticed, like the hero’s friend in teen movies, with a loud ‘I came, I saw and was ignored’ written all over their faces. I claimed another instance to fame with a miraculous, fastest ever exit, from the exam hall. ‘Gone in 27 seconds’, they called the phenomenon. A few of my friends consider this achievement as a direct reflection of my unscrupulous life; the paper if you remember, was ‘role of ethics in the society.’

I came across the wonders (not listed in any book of records, quite sadly, I must say) called cigarettes and liquor during my graduation years. They were branded evil(what a sinful thing to say!) during school days. This is just one of the few lies taught to us; damn the education system. How untrue our text books were, I ponder as I walk down the memory street (I am tired of using the ‘lane’) with a cigarette in my hand and a few drinks in my belly.

‘Girls are god's worst mistakes’, a popular belief until the 10th standard. The line loses all its credibility as you enter college. Moments of joy and innumerable disappointments that even Shakuntala Devi’s math genius will fail to keep numbered. In large probability, your first kiss – a smooch to be precise, is very much likely to happen (this is in a purely conservative south Indian context- for all those who chuckled and thought out loud, ‘what about the DPS mms clip?’).

Motor bikes – a faster, flashier and a noisier version of your school day mode of transport was also available. Bicycle bells cannot even scare mice away, air-horns on the other hand, can disinfect a jungle.

A great bunch of innovators for friends, ready to venture into the unknown, brings some zing in contrast to another bunch who head home at 5 in the evening to finish the math assignment. Journeys to as far as the center of the earth, or to be honest, as far as your motor bikes would take you when run on fuel that is entirely dependent on the perpetually limited capacity of your wallet, are memories that remain.School life was an unforgettable phase of life. But in the long run, like in the movie ‘eternal sunshine of the spotless mind’, if I were to chose one to be erased from my memory, I’d erase school.

Arguments are not welcome, coz this is a blog.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The fourth ' W '

Posted by Picasa rain, rain, go away...

It was from one of my friends that I had come to know that Bangalore was called the land of 3 ‘W’s – namely Weather, Wine and Women. However, he seems to have forgotten the months October and November while he made the statement and with it, the fourth and a very prominent ‘W’ – Water.

Cometh the months of October and November (my first in Bangalore), the fourth ‘W’ pours upon you with all the vigor and mercilessness of Mother Nature. The elements have this way of giving us human beings a wake-up call as if telling us – ‘You guys are so helpless.’ The humbling effect – that is what I would call it.

Rains in Bangalore, I have noticed, have this weird habit common among the vampires and similar creatures. They strike you close to sunset. They strike you just hwne you are planning on having a heavy dinner after having skipped you lunch; just as you are planning to down two gulps of whisky and sleeping tight. They strike you with equal ferocity as the above mentioned nocturnal creatures and leave their marks behind; much bigger than those two little puncture marks ‘the Count’ leaves behind.

I left Delhi supposing Bangalore to be the place where good weather resides alongside the crowded IT industry. The realization that Utopia exists only in books glared at me on the day I went to give my third interview in 40 days. I had hardly left home with a printed set of my press ads (as advised by a wise man from Euro RSCG) when the first signs of doom showed up. Airport road for all its beauty and the long stretch doesn’t have a single shelter for almost half length of the stretch. When it rains, the mouth that was full of praises for the road turns to one full of words that have been avoided from the English Dictionary. As a result, I stood under a tree, which was not opaque enough for my comfort, covering my head with a bag (borrowed from a friend, who was sleeping peacefully unaware of the torment I was putting his bag through…) and in the process, drenching every bit of drenchable material that was in it. Finally the sun smiled, a rather wry one. I raced to my bike, not bothering to wipe the seat dry with my bottom, which couldn’t have helped it any way. I sped. In less than 3 minutes, I was stranded at a traffic signal, with nowhere to run or hide.

I reached the infamous Brigade road and was a moving spectacle to the by-standers, all of whom were dry and well-sheltered. I drove into what was a private parking space. Seeing my pathetic state, the human being that was the guard did not make an effort to stop me. Nice him. I rewarded his humaneness with a cigarette which was promptly lighted and shamelessly shared. When you are shivering, etiquettes are not the first things on your mind. I called up my interviewer, cribbed about the trouble I was having with the rain, and delayed the interview by half an hour by promising to be at the office as soon as I won the battle with nature.

Another thing I need to mention about Bangalore is the number of one-ways. Surprisingly, they are not visible to the maverick riding a bike on a sunny day heading to a pub that is home away from home. When it is raining heavily and when you aren’t sure of your destination, the one-ways are more prominent than ever. I parked my bike, knowing well that it would be easier to swim than add a 150-odd pounds’ vehicle to my misery. I walked through knee deep water for half an hour and with the assistance from some helpful Bangaloreans, managed to get back to where I started. I have been in Bangalore for 2 months and I realized that I was where I had begun only when I saw a familiar Bajaj Discover.

In an hour, I reached Opus CDM, a turbid sponge and half an hour late upon half an hour delayed. The interview went well despite my ‘merman’ looks and shattered pieces of my press ads(which for one moment resembled shattered dreams). The rain was at its peak by the time(in accordance with the vampire characteristic I mentioned earlier) I left the Opus office.

Bangalore is full of surprises. You never get back to the place you have started from, by taking the same road back. Numerous one-way menaces await you on your trip back. I had to take a road I had never taken to get back to my place. There were water bodies everywhere. Two wheelers either side of me were breaking down or making wild noises as I passed them on my bike. I was rowing my bike more than I was driving it by that time. I was closely following one of those PYTs and to my distress, her bike was sidelined by the waves caused by a huge inconsiderate SUV that passed by. ‘Bloody Snob’, I murmured, as the only thing that drove me on the flooded roads was taken away from me.

The mechanics had their shops closed and had gathered on either side of the troubled waters. Newspapers glorified them by calling them ‘Samaritans’ who were acting saviors to the ones in distress. It might sound cynical, but to me they were no more than vultures waiting for their prey. You can see the glint in their eyes the moment your bike showed symptoms of breaking down. I survived the vultures and the flood, thanks to Bajaj Auto Limited.

The endeavour that would make Gulliver’s efforts trifle, came to an end after two of the longest hours of my life (the ride under normal conditions would have taken hardly 20 minutes). I opened the door to my house and literally fell in. My roomie turned back, looked at me from head to toe, smiled sarcastically and asked politely, ‘Were you caught in a Tsunami?’ Little did he know that he was ‘this’ close to the truth.

a phony tale

Posted by Picasa the devil in a grey dress

‘Pick up the phone. Pick up the f****** phone!’ I heard the shout at least three times before I realized the origin of the oracle. It was my phone, it was my voice, it was in my pocket and it was ringing!

My phone is a Nokia 7650. I bought it a month after coming to Bangalore and I did not buy it at an antique shop. Didn’t I just read your mind? I had a Nokia 2300 phone when I was in Delhi. Unfortunately, a fellow passenger took a fancy for it and before I knew, he took more than just a fancy. I was left stranded and phone-less.

National Market near majestic is a shopper’s paradise - that is if you are a master at bargain. Other wise it is as good as going aboard a pirate’s ship with a crate of gold. Naveen, my shopping companion and senior from school, was boasting about his vast experience in the ‘art of bargaining’ gathered during his seven year reign in Bangalore as he dragged me through a congested alley. There were shops on either side selling things that ranged from a thumb-ring to a home-theater system. The shopkeepers looked as if they wanted a piece of me as they extended their hands towards us - supposedly waving, but slightly more physical in nature.

There it is, or rather, there they are – an unending line of shops selling mobile phones. Let me be frank, I did not take Naveen along for his bargaining skills (for I am a great bargainer myself); I took him along because my knowledge about mobile phones was limited to – ‘a portable species of phones which reduces in size every 2nd month.’ My eyes were scanning the whole place, and honestly, they did not convey much information to my brain. Naveen took hold of the opportunity and started off a highly jargonized conversation with the shopkeeper. He was talking about the camera configuration, the internal memory, Bluetooth (hey, I thought Bluetooth was used in computers), Infra-red(WTF?) and loads of other things which took turns in sounding Greek and Latin to my ears.

‘Dude, how about this one?’ My eyes leaped out of their sockets at the sight of the ‘thing’ that he held in his hand. Love at first sight literally. As I checked out the camera on the phone, my eyes leaped a step further out. I did not even bother to bargain. I bought it.
For the next half an hour, the owner of the phone(me) was completely ignored by the prospective user of the phone(Naveen, as it seemed to me) Excuse me reader. At this point I would like to bring to your attention the fact that this is a second-hand phone. This model is not available in the market anymore, and it is one hell of a job to change its outer casing. All of these facts, expect the first one, were not imparted to me by my enthusiastic friend, who had by now discovered every possible nuance in my phone. He further persuaded me to take a ‘Hutch Connection’ simply because he had one and he could make calls from one hutch phone to another at a lower rate. How interesting would that be. Chatting away to glory with a guy who was my roomie, whom I saw for 12 hours everyday. The higher STD rates and poor connectivity were incentives which I would later be aware of.

‘You paid 5k for this Iron Box!’ are not exactly the words you like to hear when you proudly present the phone before your room-mate. I tried to repeat everything the shopkeeper had told me about this amazing gadget. ‘So what’s the big deal? You have got an Iron Box with Bluetooth connectivity and a 1.1 mega pixel camera,’ was the prompt reply. I walked to the balcony, with an ‘I don’t give a damn’ look,’ and made plans for my inaugural call.

‘I can’t hear you!’ replaced ‘hello mom’ as the first words spoken into my phone. I rushed to the kitchen (the quietest place in my house) and replaced the ‘I can’t hear you’ with ‘How are you mom?’ I asked her to call me back as I have been a miser all my life.
The call never came. After half an hour when I picked up the phone, the message on the screen read – ‘3 missed calls.’ I had just discovered the first of the shortcomings.

The camera however was a stunner. Wow! That is cool, I thought. A week later, the camera started losing its eagle eye and showing its true colour. I was knee deep in thick shit. Wait a second! I have Bluetooth and all that jazz. Let the camera and the speakers go to hell. I still have got my Bluetooth working perfectly. Bluetooth came into the act two weeks later. It accepted comwarrior.sys (which I initially thought was a game from a good friends and which I later identified as a virus from a complete stranger) which in turn impregnated my outbox with innumerable picture messages.

2 months have gone by since I was transformed from a prince to a pauper. Quoting my friend – ‘I am left with an Iron Box that is deaf, dumb, blind and with a viral infection.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A pair of naked feet!

where r the slippers? Posted by Picasa

The most insignificant of things strike you as insights to life at the most unexpected moments. For e.g., when your office has choked you out with hours of boredom and you land at a snack bar. As you munch through your potato bun, half way through your third cigarette in 7 minutes, sitting besides a half empty bottle of mango juice; that is when the insight passes by you. For all the Holmesian observation, you might not notice it. Surprisingly, it is the Watson in you who catches it. It is a pair of feet – bare feet. It belongs to Muniyamma, the sweeper at my office.

As they ventured through the stony terrain unhindered, they threw me a gaze, an audacious one. They said, ‘hey tough guy, what are you staring at.’ I choked. The smoke I had inhaled had nothing to do with it. It was a thought that flashed my mind, which transformed into a sigh, clutched my windpipe and forced a choke out of me. It moved me. The ever-smiling old lady, in her late fifties I assume, with her equally old feet – I somehow felt a spark. I do not know what or how or why. I sat there for another half an hour before I walked back to my office. My legs were loose and my mind was heavy. It was on a spree, a meaningful yet a wayward spree.

I had to get her a pair of slippers. I have decided. I feel a sense of accomplishment on merely the thought. I had tea on the terrace just to talk to her, and stealthily take a visual measurement of her feet. She speaks Tamil and I speak Malayalam. We communicated in neither. I asked her the question –‘Why don’t you wear slippers?’ I do not know whether she was offended, but I did not care. I wanted to know. She was waiting for her next salary to buy them. I do not know whether it was an honest reply. Whether she considered a pair of slippers a luxury rather than a necessity. She got up and ran off to the kitchen as if the sky would have fallen otherwise. I sat there for another twenty minutes. I walked down to my office and started writing. I took a break in between for lunch. I couldn’t eat much. I will buy her a pair of slippers tomorrow. I stopped typing.

Uncomfortably Numb

the lights are brighter... Posted by Picasa

I ran up the stairs, 2, 3 or 4 at a time; I felt nothing. I avoided my room in the hostel and its unsuspecting inmates and raced to room 302. A Gujarati friend of mine, the only guy who knew what I had been up to, greeted me with a wicked smile and a string of abuses.

I sat on the bed, legs crossed. As if they wanted to obey the bible of all deliriums, Floyd, my hands had started to behave strangely like balloons. They were raring to be freed, to swim across the oceans with blue whales and giant squids.

A million things passed my mind, though I did not keep a count. I wanted to see it. The ‘It’ that was mentioned in books, movies and friends’ circles. The lotus. The bright red lotus in empty space - a literal translation of ‘Shoonyaakaashathu Chenthaamara’ in my native language. I closed my eyes, imagining that the ceiling had blown away and empty space, or so it seemed with the smoke infected Delhi skies, was all that was between the sighting and me. I saw it, it was bright, it was hanging in space, but it wasn’t red. It was yellow, blue, green and orange. The colours were not symmetrically arranged and looked more like the paintings I used to do in my third class. A lotus it was, unmistakably identified by its shape, in full form. What is the thing with lotuses? It is probably because I am an Indian that I saw a lotus. Lotus being our national flower frequents our flowery thoughts all the time. If I were a Chinese guy I would have probably seen a chrysanthemum and would have seen a rose were I to be a Brit. Or would it be a Lily?

All the world, I remember Shakespeare saying, is a stage. What was I waiting for? I decided to perform. As I started my singing endeavour, I realised that my voice was tremendously deep and powerful and shared an equally strong resemblance with that of the ‘High Hopes’ chap; yeah our very own David. The words I uttered paced themselves slow enough to allow me to contemplate the power of every word. They echoed of the walls and hit me like cannonballs – but, they caused me pleasant bruises in place of painful ones.

The bliss was torn apart when Tanny made his entry. If I call him a mama’s boy, he might sue me on the grounds of mental abuse and so I refrained myself. The urge was there. I had to bully the chap. The urge took a superlative form as soon as Tanny broke into tears. His little brain had smelled a rat. He did not know what the size or stature was, but he knew it deserved a few tears at the least. He broke into a gallon of them. The next thing I remember is a multilingual foray of abuses that questioned every one of the principles he had on food, water, career, religion and cricket, embedded in his malleable mind. With an invigorated flow of tears, he fled shouting, ‘This guy has gone mad.’

I returned back to my bed, which by that time had become one made of feathers. I experienced nirvana. It was a sadistically hysteric euphoria. Wow! I opted for a change and landed on my face on to the bed. The bed of feathers had just turned into one made of thorns. I felt as if I had been crucified in a horizontal position. I felt the nail that was connecting my forehead and the pillow. The blood stains however, were missing.My friend asked me repeatedly to get up as he had enough of my histrionics. Little did he know that I had little intention and further lesser ability to do it. My state had just attained an involuntary status. I had become uncomfortably numb.

I puked till I saw green – bile that is. At one point during my puking cameo, I remember seeing a black mass, which I thought was my liver, going down the commode. I slept for 17 hours straight after that. When I woke up, I felt like Rip Wan Winkle, only less old. My classroom, I later learnt, was a much peaceful place that day. I guess the broth missed that extra cook.

Friday, August 12, 2005

English Premier League - The wait is over!

It all started 7 years back when Aston Villa sat proudly at the top of the Premiership table. I was in Trichur, my mom’s place, and was extremely bored as whenever I was there. Nobody in my age group within miles, no computer, plenty of ‘things-not-to-do,’
and an extremely irritating grandpa to top it all – perfect. Browsing through channels on an Onida TV, which could be auctioned off as an antique piece any day (surprisingly, it has stood the test of time, increasing its antique value by tenfold), probably the only source of entertainment.

I, unlike many or any, can stay alive with just 4 channels – ESPN, STAR Sports, HBO and Star Movies. As I surfed through these four, a bunch of people in the most detestable football jerseys caught my eye. I paused. Till date I do not know why I chose to support the team that Aston Villa (detestable costume) were playing. Was it because the other team wore a better jersey? Was it because of my nature to support the mid-table underdogs against the league leaders or was it because they played like Gods?

I haven’t regretted my choice for nearly a decade, and will not, for as long as I live. I have been supporting Manchester United from that boring day. They rose from the mid-table, with their classic post-christmas surge, and went on to win the EPL title, FA Cup, and most famously, the champions league.

I’ve followed Man U and EPL with equal passion. Man U have gone through ups and downs, and I have followed them. I have cried when they lost, I have cried when they won, with highly contrasting tears. And after 7 wonderful seasons of mind blowing football, I still stand by them. As the slogan goes, “We (United fans) shall not be moved.”

The next season, 2005-06, starts tomorrow on the 13th of August, missing Friday the 12th by as whisker. With Roo n Ro, United will be a treat to watch, as they had always been. Adios. UNITED WE STAND. EPL RULES and I DROOL.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Red Devils

'theater of dreams' Posted by Picasa

There are times when you are frustrated because you want to do something, but you do not know what. 30 seconds earlier I was. Now I am not. What does that mean? It means that I have got the answer. The answer is that I want to write. I do not have time to write a book, or I am too lazy for it. I will blog. Okay. What do I blog about? Let me think about something I am really passionate about. Something I can talk about for close to 30 minutes, if you were to wake me up in the middle of my slumber. Eureka!

Rightly dubbed the Theater of Dreams, Old Trafford stages the home games of the entity I am most passionate about, or rather obsessed with – Manchester United. With over a century of tales to tell, the Red Devils run in my blood, the other reason apart from hemoglobin that results in the colour of my blood.

I started following them the moment I was exposed to English Premier League, back in 1998. Unlike most of the rookies, I did not follow them because they were top of the table. I distinctly remember Aston Villa topping the table at that point of time. I have this intrinsic passion for supporting the underdogs. This is probably what sifted my support towards a bunch of men playing excellent football in red shirts and white shorts, in the middle of the premiership table. The surge after Christmas(which they are known for) saw Manchester United lift the trophy under Sir Alex Ferguson, and under the captaincy of Roy Keane. The following year, in an epic battle which lasted for 93 minutes, Manchester United crushed Bayern Munich to win the Champions League, on their way to the historic treble.

After dominating the English Football Scenario for a decade, the form slumped. The likes of Arsenal and the financial might of Chelsea are showed signs of shift in power. United lost the trophy last year to Chelsea and finished a lowly third by their high standards. Will united bounce back? With arguably the greatest prospects in the world, the likes of Ronaldo, Rooney and Rossi, United may hit the winning streak again. As one of the fans displayed in an FA cup match between Man U and Chelsea – “Form is temporary, Greatness is Permanent.

Glory Glory Man United. We shall not be moved!

Monday, June 27, 2005

BBC Weather Forecast

Posted by Hello see no evil?

If you ever visit a middle class housing complex in Delhi, one prominent thing you would notice is the roof-top rooms. These are little, single rooms built on the terrace, which they rent out to bachelors, and in some case, small families. I live in one such attachment.

It acts as an oven in the summers and a freezer in the winters. In the rainy season however, it acts as a water-tank. This is one reason I ring up my room-mate every thirty seconds on rainy days. Due to the lack of space and furniture, my computer sits on the floor. When it rains, water rushes in mercilessly, within its vicinity. My computer is slightly allergic to water making me very cautious during a rainy day.

Summers were ending and the fear of rain had started haunting me. Everyday I left for my office kissing my computer good bye. You never know when you will see that highly ‘radiating’ smile again.

As I was sitting in the office wondering about calling my room-mate, (who worked very close to where I live) just in case it rains, and tell him to stuff the gap between the door and the floor with a cloth of some sort to prevent the water from gushing in, a BBC weather forecast pop-up popped up in front of me. Bingo! Now I can make a schedule as to when I should call him up.

BBC forecasted a clear, sunny sky all week. However, since all good things should come to an end, it predicted heavy showers on Monday. So Monday it is. I had a pretty nice booze on Saturday at a friends place (on the BBC assurance), slept over there like a dead duck. On Sunday afternoon, I woke up to the sounds of heavy thunderstorms. Damn BBC!

I called up my room-mate. As luck would have it, he wasn’t home either. I did not have any modes of transport at my beckoning. I left it all to fate. Monday was warm and sunny. It rained heavily on Tuesday; that is today. So much for the very reliable BBC weather forecast.

Friday, June 24, 2005

How I became a copywriter...

Posted by Hello Confused? Me? Never!

I had a troubled childhood. No, no, no, don’t you get any wrong ideas. My dad never beat up my mom, he never burnt my bum with hot iron rods, nor did I have a sister who had reasons to press charges on a number of issues. When I said I had a troubled childhood, I meant that I was a very confused child. My childhood spanned a very long time. The time from when I was born, to the time I was happily employed, that is now.

Many children when young want to be pilots, carpenters, truck drivers, dacoits and a whole lot of things which they never grow up to be. The first thing I ever wanted to be was my dad! I wanted to pull my son’s (my dad would be my son in return) ears for playing with earthworms, would like to scold my brother (something which my dad never did, and something I have always wanted to do) for crying too much while I watch ‘Jimmy and the magic torch,’ and a lot of such things only the elder is privileged to do. In our language we have a saying – ‘An elder can even shit in the stove.’ That is power for you ladies ‘n’ gentlemen.

My second ambition in life (speaking of which, I had plenty later on), was to become an oceanographer. I had to fight hard with my teachers while trying to explain to them what I wanted to be in the future. Simply because I did not know the term. “I want to go underwater and study about whales and giant octopuses,” I used to say. That’s weird for a fifth standard guy. (note the point that I was in the fifth standard, before I had my second ambition. I was never an ambitious man. I hated to even plan a few weeks ahead. This, also, wasn’t a properly framed plan; just that I wanted to say something when the teachers asked me; something to match my classmates saying stuff like, ‘doctor’, ‘engineer’, ‘scientist’ n all that.) I grew up, letting people around me take decisions for me and pave the way to my future. ‘Hey, I don’t have time for such trivia.’

It was after my tenth standard, while busy engaged in a game of cricket, that the big bad term ‘Future’ struck me. (I hate the word future except in the name of the movie – ‘Back to the future’ – one of my all time favourite movies, the trilogy) Hey, I had to do something. I asked Chandrakanth, who was fielding right next to me, the class topper, “What are you going to do?” “I am going to get into the same school and choose computer science option,” he replied. My future was decided for the time being.

I chose computers not just because Chandrakanth told me to, it was also because I hated biology. I never cared much for both the subjects, but I cared less for biology to such an extent that if I ever have a kid, I will send him to a school where they don’t teach him biology at all. I am ‘Biologiophobic’, probably because this was the first subject in which I came across a prominent character that would follow me till I left school – ‘Failure.’

Getting into the eleventh standard, or plus two section as it is popularly known, got a virus into every kid’s head, at least in our part of the country. They had two options in front of them, as distinct and as singular as ‘life n death’ or ‘devil n the deep blue sea’ – the tug o war was between ‘engineering and medicine. I got out of one of them by default, medicine, coz I had opted out of learning Biology. Now, I would by no means say that I was saved, nobody who has seen the engineering physics or math text ever would.

One year of coaching and a large amount of money was spent before I realized that I was not fit for engineering or rather(being egoistic), engineering was not fit for me. My dad though wouldn’t share the same realization. I had to make an excuse. My excuse came in form of one Ms. Elizabeth Varghese. She put in front of me an option, the door to freedom and luxury, in the form of a law degree, wherein I did not have to know much of mathematics, physics and all that. Cool, I wanted to be a lawyer. A good score in English, and a decent knowledge of things around me, got me in a prestigious law school in our state. Hey, where is the twist? Patience is a virtue. One month from then, I was sitting in a place that closely resembled an ashram, and studying computer science.

Speaking of computer science graduates, all they ever want to be is an MCA holder. I was no exception. No tension about future for three years. Two years into the course and I had a sudden change in plans; a cry from the Oracle which told me to join for a Business Administration program. Now what did I know about business, do not ask. Apart from tricking my friend into buying a post card worth 2 bucks for 50 bucks, I have never come close to what I can call – Business. With that experience to back me, I decided to be a business chap. (To tell you the truth, Java and VC++ were eating my brain as if they were competing against each other.)

You must be thinking that this guy is finally settled, decided what he has to do. Let me wish him all the best. Wait! Don’t you dare do anything of sort. I have just seen a couple of brochures and realized that during an MBA, I will have to encounter one of my childhood phobias – Math. No, not again. (This was one of the many occasions when I strongly abhorred the Indian educational system. A person is not allowed to learn what he likes; things are being imposed on him; it is time for a revolution; and then I woke up.)
What do I do now? I am stranded for sure. I have been one real client servicing guy convincing my dad about this n that n this n that. Now what?

Page 112, MAT brochure, Program in advertising…there lies my answer. No math, no physics, no science. Fun all the way. My future has taken a safe stance once again. It is to be noted that I had never seen an advertising agency(I might have seen it, but not realized it was one), leave alone the formation.

New college, new friends, new inspirations and new SENIORS; hence – ragging. ‘What do you want to get into, ’asked a senior. “I love writing,” said I without realizing that I had just made my career. My senior replied without even bothering to wait for my second sentence, “So you want to be a copywriter.”

That is what I am, guess that is what I will be for the rest of my life. Let us see, I might just bump into a sports journalist someday and …

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Interview - one of its kinds

Posted by Hello david 'n' goliath

I was trembling when I stood in front of Alvin Saldanha, the National Creative Director, of McCann Erickson India. What provoked the fear? Was it the feeling of being unemployed mid way into January or was it sheer respect for the man, till date I do not know.

He hardly had opened my ad portfolio(something which every copywriter had to treasure more than his balls) and I was wiping the sweat of my brows. The ice had grown thicker than that block which toppled Titanic. Silence echoed the loudest.

One of the ads in my folio was that of NGC. It had a visual of tortoises mating in the conventional position. The headline read – ‘from where they meet to where they mate.’Alvin turned around. “The story of my life kid. Every time I hook up with a chick, she has a shell on.” The ice broke with a series of earth shattering laughs. From then on it was a joy ride.

Alvin briefed me on the rules of the agency. A few of them were:
1. Never light a joint before 8pm
2. Never watch porn without sharing it with your superiors
3. Never have sex in the office without the lights switched on
4. No sleep
5. No luxuries
6. No girlfriends
‘Excuse me sir,’ I interrupted. “I don’t have a girlfriend.” Alvin stood up, put an arm around my shoulder and said, “Oh, so you are not privileged with a sex life. Do not worry son. We will give you a sex life. If you don’t do your stuff on time, we will screw your black ass, right left and center.” The point was put across very clearly.

All this jazz apart, I was in. I was in one of the top five agencies in the world after a string of abuses and a healthy folio. I turned around, thanking everybody to head home and party. Unfortunately for me, I had shown Alvin, some of the films I had made.As I was walking towards the exit I heard Alvin shout. “Fucker, you were showing me some movies eh? Let me see what you have got. Write a film for Nestle.” The whole world fell apart tumbling in front of my eyes as I heard him say that. First day in an agency, 26th of January, a National holiday, our dear old Republic Day, friends partying at Saket, and I was writing a film for Nestle.

God help advertising!

Ironic, isn't it?

Posted by Hello ironic!

Q: Which is that one term which surpasses all the ironies around you?
A: Unbeliever.

The term is used mercilessly by the Christians to identify anybody who doesn’t believe in the myths and prejudices formulated at Vatican.

Many of you would disagree with me if I tell you what I feel about it. A person who chose not believe in something he hasn’t seen or felt being branded, by a bunch of people who believe in something which is intangible in its superlative form, as an unbeliever! Isn’t that the most ironic thing you have ever come across?

I am just putting my thoughts on paper (e-paper). Arguments and abuses are not welcome. This post isn’t posted with the intention of sparking up any controversies. I felt so, hence I wrote so. That is it. Amen (now that should be comforting).

Heat wave...

Posted by Hello hot! hot! hot!

It was 8 p.m. at night and I was shouting out abuses at the top of my lungs to a very perplexed Hyderabadi room mate of mine. Every night, apart from my cigarette and a visit to the toilet, watering my mattress (YESSS…U HEARD ME RITE!) has also become routine work. You get some solace out of the fact that you can sleep on the terrace at nights. Delhi has answers for that too. I have just caught up with my sleep and at around 3 a.m. in the morn, a time when the greediest of thieves are sleeping, a trickle of rain. I pick up my bag n baggage n run in.

Fortunately for me, it did not rain yesterday. I had a sound sleep on the terrace. An interesting fact about the terrace which I forgot to mention; this most coveted piece of concrete during late evenings, can toast you into delicious human kebab in the mornings or afternoons!

In the mean time, my neighbour, a worn out Delhiite, tried to console me. Her words of consolation were more of an intimidating statement than anything else. "It is absolutely okay. It is the Loo(the hot wind from the Thar desert) that is going to be the worst part of the summers." Yeah right. If this is not bad, Loo sounded fatal. It seems, during the Loo, there will be heavy sandstorms, literal heat-waves; there will be simultaneous rain and hail. Wonderful isn’t it? Simply put, lying on a frying pan under an ice shower.

Indian constitution is supposed to have been made by picking the best from all the other constitutions. Delhi seems to be a stark contrast. It has the worst of all. It takes in the burning sand storm from Rajastan during the summers;( can’t disappoint winters right?) during the winters, freezing winds from Jammu blows in to make lives miserable. Pardon me for wondering whether I am on Earth itself. This is unheard of, some kind of punishment for some godforsaken thing I did in my previous birth, if there ever was one.


Posted by Hello dreaming to dare!

Walking along the banks of the Amazon, alongside the pyramids of Egypt, watching the sun set beyond the Himalayas, enjoying the environmental inexplicability of Switzerland, making way through the wind swept prairies and above all hand in hand with the girl I love. Practically impossible, due to obvious geographical constraints. This is a dream .to be precise - this is my dream.

Dream is one limitless allowance that Mother Nature has bestowed upon us inferior mortals. Is there a person without dreams or is there anybody who hasn’t had a dream all life? If you have met anyone who claims to be one in the former categories, he lied. In this very conventional world, there is hardly anyone who can boast of doing everything he wants, in the way he wants it to be done. There are limitations.Take the case of my little but extravagant dream. In my ‘not so ambitious’ dream, I wish to be present in five continents all at once. 'A little greedy, close to impossibility', would say Napoleon Bonaparte, if he were to be present. Unfortunately he wasn’t immortal or else he would have had second thoughts about his so-called infamous saying - 'Impossible is found only in the dictionary of fools.' If you still stick to your ego, try to make this possible Mr. Little Corporal.

Though the above mentioned feature of my intercontinental presence may seem very unlikely, under the present circumstances, my hand in hand travel with my girlfriend seems to be a tougher task to endeavour. All the geographical boundaries and the girl’s father may prevent me from doing whatever I plan to do with her. Try stopping me from dreaming that out, Oh, you mighty ones. Anything you want to do, close your eyes and there it is right in front of you. As Janos Arnay once said - ‘In dreams and in love, there are no impossibilities.’ I do agree with the former one of the entities. Love is unpredictable, but never incredible.

Dreams are considered to be attributes of mere talkers and not doers; but can you imagine a life without dreams. A life where there are always boundaries ,limits ,restrictions ; where we can't do what we really want to do; where there are no ridiculous fantasies of our childhood. Dreamless life is like a wingless bird - though certain birds have impossible flight routes like the one in the first paragraph. I don’t fully agree with some of my friends saying stuff like ‘dare to dream.’ There is nobody who can stop you from dreaming, so what is it with daring to dream. Close your eyes, that is all you got to do, and surrender to your darkest dreams!

Zombie Dhaba

Posted by Hello stereotyped!

Delhi has more dhabas than there are Maruti 800s. They fall into a very monotonous group of institutions where you are almost sure to find a 15 yr old north east Indian, a poor replacement for a ‘Sardarji’ in a Punjabi speaking 6 footer and an antique piece of a tandoori stove. All these elements in place, you have a sweet, old, Delhi dhaba.

Those were the days when I used to go to any extent to tell my family back home that I am having three square meals in 24 hours. What did my every meal consist of; I left to their optimistic imaginations.

It stood there, a few hundreds meters before the first 'Golchakkar' as you travel from the Nehru Place fly-over towards Govindpuri. It blended beautifully into its surroundings, neatly camouflaged, which included a few lanes, a grocery shop, a very prominent ‘Aggarwals’ and dozens of indistinguishable brethren.

Every single person in the Dhaba, including the customers, would fit into any of those Hollywood horror flicks without much effort. I went there once, probably twice, or you can rather say that my pocket persuaded me to go there. Once inside, a one eyed waiter and the cook with six fingers on his right hand( the one with which he mercilessly slapped the roti on the inner walls of the tandoori stove) intimidated me into having food in the shortest span of time ever recorded and get the hell out of the place. Every time I asked for a roti, he would come to me with an expression so menacing as if I had asked him whether I could sleep with his sister. I finished the entire meal without taking a sip of water. I was almost certain that he would chop me off and shove me into the stove if I had asked him to get me a bottle of Bisleri from across the street. I paid the bill, and not waiting for the change, rushed home to live happily ever after.

Had to end this abruptly. Even the narration is scaring the shit out of me. Speaking of which, I am a courageous man.

My definition of a bad day - in a nut shell!

Posted by Hello me at the end of the day

09:21 PM 7/25/03

note: This is a true story and has got everything to do with a person living not so perfectly well and not dead by any means.

A bad day by my standards is when... You wake up in the morning and realize that you can’t get off your bed due to a back pain that is killing you. After immense pressure from the parents and a mini-battle, you decide to go to the doctor and find out that he is busy and will be back only after 30 minutes. You decide to spend the time in a very industrious manner like surfing and go to a net-cafe and My oh My, the highly reliable electricity board has given you the privilege of working with a computer without an electric supply(UPS unavailable). You curse the board and get out and run into a very unfriendly man in uniform who informs you that you are riding without insurance and gives you an opportunity to part with 500 units of your hard earned money. You are also shown the way home, which you are supposed to cover on your feet. A meagre 2.5 kms! You get home and realize that you are not very eagerly awaited by your parents who had somehow come to know about the whole incident and push you out of home for paying the insurance. You find out that the person who could have saved you from the plight has just been transferred and you are all ready to part with your (your dad's) money. You rush to pay your insurance (a dragging 15 km) and get to the office to find out that the man at the counter needs your father's signature to pass the insurance. You rush to your father's office(15 km yet again) and is very much unwelcome, get the signature and rush on eagerly. You get there and are struck by the fact that, the man at the counter is demanding an amount of money which is beyond the 'then scope' of your purse. He ushers you out and asks you to pay the full amount. This time he gives you a time limit for covering the grueling 15km, as it is closing time. You are prepared to take the fastest ride of your life to get the money and soon find out that you have to take that ride in heavy rain and ... you don’t have a raincoat. Bravely you take up the challenge and rush to your nearest friend to find out that (the guy who carries around cash at all the times unnecessary) he is totally broke becoz he had to fill petrol in his bike which was running around with a cool 9 ltrs the day before. You are stranded and decide to go to an acquaintance of yours and unfortunately neither she nor her mom is home. You go back to the insurance company and you are fired and you are asked to return after two days. You return home wondering what could be worse. You get the answer as you get home. You have just forgotten to get a couple of your documents laminated to intensify your dad's anger. You go through all this and decide to get to bed and your back pain, in a worse manner, gives you a wake up call. And over all of it you come to know that a few of your very good friends are leaving and you might not be seeing them for a very loooooonggg... time.

If the greatest of the optimists were to be around, they would tell you that there is going to be a better tomorrow. You have an answer for them too. It is becoz ... the most irritating of all human beings is coming to town the next day.

Closing this nutshell hoping that Mr. Bobby Mcferrin does not come before me singing, 'Dont worry , Be happy' , after you have been through a day like this. Now you, don’t give me that crap about smiling all day. Hasn't the damn nutshell broken yet ???

Moral of the story : Friday the 25th may prove to be as equally disastrous as Friday the 13th

(9:54 PM 7/25/03)

Kerala – Welcome to heaven’s neighbourhood

Posted by Hello nature at its best!
Unlike a lot of people who flaunt on their t-shirts the pride they derive from being born in a particular country, I kept my mouth shut. I guess it is time to give vent to all that was suppressed.

Lived in Kerala for nearly 2 decades without realizing what I was blessed with. When the time came to cross the borders in pursuit of education, I was thrilled to leave the cage which had held me captive for over 20 years. Kept me away from the wonders of the northern, eastern, western and to some extent, southern part of India, I relished the departure. The frog had managed to jump out of the well. ‘The grass is always greener on the other side.’

The moment I stepped out of the train, 3000 kms from the apparently detestable land, I realized how wrong I was. The moment I put my foot on the Nizam-ud-din railway platform, I started missing my homeland. Every time I tore a ‘roti’ apart, I missed Kerala; every time I drank a ‘lemonade-masala marke’(spiced up lemonade), I missed Kerala.; every time I talked to friend in Hindi, I missed Kerala; every time I listened to a song about rain, I missed Kerala; every time I hailed a taxi, I missed Kerala; every time I closed my eyes I missed Kerala; every time I took a breath, I missed Kerala; every moment I was alive…I missed Kerala. I never realized what I had before being miles away from it.

They did not name Kerala ‘god’s own country’ for nothing. Kerala reminds you of a pampered child, in this case, one pampered by the almighty with all the beauty of nature one could have asked for. One of those rare dreams that came true, you have to be there to believe it.

The oldest medicinal form in the world; the pungent aroma of spices in the air; the shrills and cries of 50 men tearing through the backwaters in never-ending boats; Lovely damsels who visit the temple, in the evenings, with jasmines in their hair and clad in ‘Kasavu Mundu’ giving the mermaids a complex; resplendence of, arguably the most colourful festival on earth – ‘Thrissur Pooram’; the toddy shops which serve the best sea food on the planet; Coconut trees which outnumber any other living plant form around; An early 70s melody playing in one of those shops where they serve you hot ‘Puttu and Kadala’; a procession which is studded with red flags; a language which only half a percent of the world’s population can speak, which has the most mind boggling tongue twisters as alphabets, still loved by over 45 million; a few things that await you as you travel across to this little state, in the south western corner of India. 5000 years of culture preserved in just over 38,000 square kms, Kerala brims with heritage beyond frontiers.

You will find it hard to find most of the things that I’ve mentioned, if you visit Kerala. These are some things which no boundary can hold, no tour guides can lead you to. These are things that you can find only in warm corners within this state - the hearts of Keralites; No…in the hearts of ‘Malayalees.’

‘God did not rest on the seventh day. He was busy working on this.’

Sleepless in New Delhi

Posted by Hello that's her

There are a thousand things you can lose your sleep over- from your neighbour's success to your girlfriend's cleavage. Why has it got to be this?

SLAPPPP!!! 12 down, I wonder how many more to go! I stared at the ceiling, the only thing I had been doing for the past so many hours apart from the mosquito massacre. If there is god and if he were to appear before me and ask me for one single wish... I wouldn't ask for a longer life, a fatter wallet or a prettier wife. I would plead him for a mosquito free summer inDelhi.

I made most of my kills on my forehead. I simply cant understand what these mosquitos have for my forehead. I have a broad one and it is not very full of blood. Why not my 'bloody' buttocks? Why my forehead? Since the mosquitos cannot understand my language and vice versa, I guess the answer shall go unanswered to my grave.

Mmmmmm..... The most irritating music second only to Britney Spears in its unbearable nature - Mosquito Melody. Why fancy my ear? There are a couple of more good looking, equally well functioning pair of ears right next to mine. Why not those? He might be a music lover too. She just wouldn't understand( the mosquito).

You leave me no choice dear. I am no Gandhi or Christ to feed the mosquito till she is chubby and fat. If any of you animal rights people have problems, take her home, give her all the blood you want. If you cannot do that, just keep your freaking mouths shut and mind your equally disgusting business. Slapppppp! Dead. Death of another one of those obnoxious creatures. I am going to get some sleep now. My hands are too bloody for the day.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm... Darn u!

Portrait on water

Posted by Hello 'moment of realisation'
Definitely sounds stupid, doesn't it. How can anybody draw anything, anything at all, on water of all things ? It was when crossing a watery mass - a lake - that this impossibilty struck me. Wouldn't water be a fantastic background for any painting. I haven't seen any material work until now, but visualisation has had its effects on me.

I was lying when I said about not seeing any paintings on water. I have seen the most picturesque of views on water. I am not suffering from schizophrenia nor have I been struck on the head by this inconceivable idea of painting on water. In fact all of us have seen these sceneries. Still wondering what I am talking about ? Reflections. What else ? Water, due to its lustre, reflects almost every ray of light thrown upon it. Hence I have seen the pictures of every visible object from the mother of all powers - The sun, to the most insignificant of the natural entities, yep, that is me.

That was the first portrait I came upon. It was all wrinkled and disfigured. A stone is dropped upon it, it disappears into little geometric sculptures (has this guy gone crazy? First paintings on water, now sculptures!).Ripples. Yeah, that is what I was talking about. The image appears after the troubled water turns calm again. This little 'at-the-first-sight' unimportant phenomenon has a lot to do with real life. Isn't this what happens to all of us? When there are troubles we run away from them and return when everything is over, return to face life, rather than trying to face them straight, if the troubles were to be personified that is.

The other factor is the comparison of the portrait with a person's character. He changes with the change in waves (circumstances), light (fortune) and other disturbances( troubles). His thoughts and behaviour are so very temporary. He is malleable and tends to bend under pressure. He forgets relationships out of self centeredness and greed. He tramples everything in his path, regardless of bonds, to become what he wants to be or achieve his selfish goals. His life becomes a 'lone wolf' race, where there is only one winner and that is him. He will loot, cheat, betray, plunder or kill to get there. That is the way the modern man lives. He becomes so mechanical, so insensitive and void of emotions. In the end he becomes a portrait - So very life like , yet so lacking in life. His character so fickle makes him - a portrait on water.

Whisky thirsty!

Posted by Hello Manna!

Have you ever been thirsty for Whisky? I have been and am curious to know whether I have lost the battle against intoxicants. I clearly remember a day when I preferred a glass of iced whisky to a glass of iced water. Can this be rated as perversion?

There is something about whisky that makes it so drinkable. During my initial drinking days, whisky was a luxury (with some weird taxes Kerala government imposed). Rum used to be every Keralites' delight, something we dared not to think beyond.

Delhi has spoilt me with its ridiculously low liquor rates (I stunned a friend of mine to death when I went back home, entered a bar, and ordered a whisky). Unlike Vodka, whisky is good when taken dry, on the rocks, with water, soda or cold beverages including iced tea. It is not all that bad even when taken warm.

Whisky takes you on slowly, unlike rum which hits you as if are in the middle of a street brawl; whisky is like much awaited bondage, something you would succumb to. Directors Special Black for me has become synonymous with whisky. (I remember trashing a glass of Bacardi for a Johnnie Walker at a party) Scotch is heavenly, let me not talk about it till I am within reach or rather it is within reach. I would hide behind brand loyalty when it comes to my passion or hidden desire for scotch. It is like committing yourself to your girlfriend just because you know that things working out between Katie Holmes and you is not something that will happen in the near(being optimistic) future.

That’s it about whisky. I might add on when I am high.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005