Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Death of Common Sense

This obituary was printed in the London Times recently.

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always fair;
- and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I'm A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, let us pray that his legacy survives, even if only by a handful. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stairway to Heaven

There's a lady who's sure
All that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven.

Sometime in October, Swati and I were discussing our favourite rock songs. And the whole discussion started because she had the lyrics of "Stairway to Heaven" on her Gtalk Status Message. That reminded me of the only time I'd tried Karaoke at a fest in IIMB, when I attempted to dazzle an audience with this number with a hope that the place wouldn't echo with laughter instead of applause(more about my performance later). So what is it about "Stairway" that people, who were born more than a decade after the the song released, quote as twenty-something-year olds?

And it makes me wonder

Is it the mystical nature of the lyrics? Mysterious figures and images of nature abound: a lady, the piper, the May queen, a brook, a songbird, rings of smoke through the trees, a hedgerow, the wind. And with some evocative messages that implore listeners to pay attention to the lyrics.

There's a sign on the wall
But she wants to be sure
'cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
In a tree by the brook
There's a songbird who sings,
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.

Is it the haunting melody sung in an enticing tone that draws us to it like the mice and children that followed Pied Piper all the way in Hamlin? Do they really promise to lead us to a new dawn

And its whispered that soon
If we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason.
And a new day will dawn
For those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter.

There are probably several other reasons. What I love about the song is that it starts with the gentle strains of an Acoustic guitar with accompaniments that are very reminiscent of the simple folk of the shire in the LOTR trilogy. But then there is a sudden transition from the acoustic to the electric, probably symbolizing the evolution to the Industrial age, with a raucous roar of heavy distortion. It then ends in the poignant tone that it began with. All this render the song into the best musical representation of a gratifying orgasm, complete with an eight-minute foreplay leading up to it.

There'll be several Led Zeppelectics who'll probably tear this review apart, but where they'll surely agree with me is when I say "Stairway", along with at least a couple of other numbers like "Whole Lotta Love" and "Immigrant Song" have elevated Led Zeppelin to a sacrosanct place in Rock and Roll History and that they've made a lasting impression in the music history's proverbial sands of time.

And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll.

And shes buying a stairway to heaven.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I accept your nomination for presidency of the United States

Thank you! Oh! Thank you! I can hardly conjugate verbs!

Thank you, everybody.I feel so surgically enhanced! This is so orgiastic!

Thank you once more. To all my fellow citizens of this great nation, with profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for presidency of the United States.And this presidency - it's so suspiciously phallic! Oh, thank you again!

I just want everyone to read in the tabloids that even in my wildest fits of self-loathing, I never would have fantasized that this could ever validate my mediocrity. And to the other suck-ass nominees, I want each of you to know how totally mega-pumped your lackluster applause makes me feel right now! Thank you once more!

You know when they first told me I wasn't Blonde or Texan enough, I just had to take a craft seminar and scoff about how unaesthetic my experiences have been. I guess it all just makes me feel kinda special!

You know, there are so many ass-kissing two-faced harpies to thank! First off though, I want to bitch-slap the senile old bats of the Congress, who looked deep within their cold, black hearts before giving me this fantastic opportunity of kicking some ass! Also, I want to thank Charleton Heston, for being such a powerful force in all my negotiations leading up to the presidency. And to the People Under the Stairs, who taught me to take life by the fifth of bourbon. And finally, to all the sycophantic talk show hosts - I couldn't have done it without you!

Thank you America, and good night!

PS: I'd also like to thank this acceptance speech generator. So long till the next presidential campaign!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Got Tagged!

Kida tagged me the other day, and it's only the second time I've got tagged. Jayshree tagged me once and I didn't know how it worked then. So here goes.

The tag:

Two questions in each category answer them and then tag your friends from the blog-o-sphere. Leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been tagged and you are all set.


Your oldest memories

1. Falling of the bed while trying to pull off a stunt with the tricycle on the bed
( if you wondering how I've turned out like this, i fell on my head!)

2. Naming my kid sister even before she was born.

3. Driving around the world in my little blue Ferrari and dad's Atlas.

4. Playing at the Matunga Gymkhana with two of my cousins, pinky and jyo.

5. Winning a story telling competition at SIES Kindergarten.

6. Moving to Chembur, Mumbai.

7. Singing "Part-time Lover" and "Papa Don't Preach" which was played in our school bus at Fatima High School. Without understanding the lyrics, of course!

8. A Trip to the Andamans.

9. Moving to Hyderabad.

10. Losing my way after I failed to find a zebra crossing in Hyderabad.

11. My first kiss ( as an 7 year old, that ought to be special ;))

12. Playing battleships at the under-construction swimming pool at Divya Shakti Apartments.

13. Building a Robot using Lego bricks along with Ramanan and Parikshit, after being highly inspired by Force Five.

14. Winning my first quiz with Ramanan.

15. Being gifted MJ's "Dangerous" after standing 3rd in class.

16. Watching Jurassic Park at Sangeet.

17. Singing Christmas Carols for His Excellency Krishna Kanth, the Governor of AP at Raj Bhavan .

18. Being gifted a red rose by my crush for valentines day.

19. My visits to Thallasery, Kerala.

19. Refusing to learn singing because only girls went for singing classes.

20. Playing a game of Basketball against YMCA and nearly getting murdered.

21. Whacking the ball out of the ground in a game against United Avenue.

22. Being gifted a fountain pen by my Math teacher for scoring a 100% in an exam.

23. Buying my first pair of Nike.

What were you doing ten years ago?

November 1998, the start of a few very forgettable years,...errr! I cant seem to remember!


Your first thought in the morning:

Damnit!! What was my dream again??

If you build a time capsule what would it contain?

A sign which reads "All those of you who enter here, abandon all hope!"

Will Be:

This year…

I intend to pursue all my passions pro-actively. Those include lying on my bed and staring at the ceiling, and sitting at my cubicle and staring at the glass panel in front of me. I'm still optimistic about shedding 5 kilos off my body before the year ends, because the label of obesity is too heavy for my shoulders. I'm finally going to enter the Guinness book of world records for the number of times I utter "basically" and "chill! chill!" in a conversation.

What do you see yourself doing 14 years from now?

I'll still be in Advertising. I'll still be working on my first book, my first play, my first film, my first graphic novel and the likes. Basically, I'll still be 21. After all, some things will never change. For everything else, there is Mastercard.

I tag:

Precocious Perf ( the one who introduced me to blogging )


Sam,The Goddess ( My first blog-friend )

Jayashree ( The first blogger to tag me )

Alokish & Alole ( two people who have been, in recent months, subjected to both, my blog and I. And also all the typo's ( oops! i meant typos) in my blog. )

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Words: The long and the short of it...

The other day, when I was talking of a friend, I spoke of her thus, "There is much concealed behind that cheerful face. Her amicable demeanour betrays many a tragedy".
That left me wondering. Did I really have to use such long words to articulate my thoughts? Imagine if we had nursery rhymes like,
" Scintillate, scintillate globule vivific, Fain would I fathom thy nature specific."
Such circumstances would, as the cliche goes, create catastrophes of colossal proportions.

So, boys and girls, I have made up my mind. When I speak or write, you will not find any long words. I will use the good old short words - like the sun, the moon, the stars and the likes.

short words will start to chime
and this will bring forth some rhyme

Aye Aye, Sir! Short sweet words that please the eye and the ear and the tongue and the heart and the mind and the soul.

Why use long words when short words can shed light on big things with grace and charm. Use long words when you think they do you no harm.

And if you read this piece aloud, you will know that the tongue likes bright, sharp, quick terse, swift, brisk short words.

So love them or hate them, but short words are fine!

(PS: the last six paragraphs emerged as a result of a deliberate attempt at writing something with only single syllable words.)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Night Booze Anthem

Introduced by Kanishka, unearthed yesterday by Alok. Ladies and Gentlemen, sing along...

A sole, A sole
A soldier I will be
I'll fight for the cunt,
I'll fight for the cunt,
I'll fight for the country

For kyu, for kyu,
For curiosity
I'll fight for the cunt,
I'll fight for the cunt,
I'll fight for the country

Two pis, two pis,
Two pistols on mah knee
I'll fight for the cunt,
I'll fight for the cunt,
I'll fight for the country

Harass, harass,
Harass them in the dark,
I'll fight for the cunt,
I'll fight for the cunt,
I'll fight for the country

Each hit, each hit,
Each hit will find its mark,
I'll fight for the cunt,
I'll fight for the cunt,
I'll fight for the country

A hor, a hor,
A horse will carry me,
I'll fight for the cunt,
I'll fight for the cunt,
I'll fight for the country

For king, For king,
For king and country,
I'll fight for the cunt,
I'll fight for the cunt,
I'll fight for the country,

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"Once" Smitten !

I don't know you
But I want you
All the more for that
Words fall through me
And always fool me
And I can't react

Victor Hugo said “Music expresses that which cannot be said, but about which it is impossible to remain silent.”

“Once” believes that statement with every fiber of its heart and soul, and its heart and soul are so pure, so warm, so loving, one cannot help but feel the man was right. Here is a movie that deeply explores the clichéd “girl-meets-boy” theory and renders it into an unprepossessing gem which is utterly magical.

A Dublin musician performs covers for the crowds by day and his own compositions to the empty sidewalk by night. However, a young Czech woman listens to his straining voice and discovers something that passers-by fail to hear. A Love Story!

I'm scratching at the surface now
And I'm trying hard to work it out
So much has gone misunderstood
This mystery only leads to doubt
And I didn't understand
When you reached out to take my hand
And if you have something to say
You'd better say it now

“Who did you write that song for? Where is she? Is she dead?” She asks. While the woman’s style lacked subtlety, it was not lacking in charm. And this brings together what is easily one of the most romantic movie couples of the decade.

This endearing association feature in a few duets, which could at best be described as poetry in motion-pictures. “Once” has some unforgettable scenes, especially the one that features the couple playing the piano at the music store, which leaves the shop owner completely in awe of the artists.

Falling slowly, eyes that know me
And I can't go back
Moods that take me and erase me
And I'm painted black
You have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It's time that you won

“Once” is a movie that’ll remind you of Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise. A movie that creates romance by featuring the couple in no more than a peck on the cheek is definitely from Linklater’s School of Romance. It’s a movie that’ll make you want to believe it’s true. It’s a movie that’ll make you want to make a movie, write a song and sing it. Its soundtrack will make you want to get out on the road in in your pyjamas and bunny slippers and sing along as you savour its tunes on your iPod. And most importantly, the movie will make you want to watch it just “once” more!

Falling slowly sing your melody
I'll sing along

Harsh Comments: Mr. Screwala calls it a day!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The writing's on the Wall Street

These are some comics my uncle found in a forward. Really cool!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Harsh Comments - Comic Relief !

Yep! Another comic strip on the cards. I'm really excited abt this one, and cannot wait to get it started. But before we get started on that one, I feel really nostalgic and all, so I'll subject all you readers to my first comic strip online.

[ the roll of drums]

If you want hard-hitting, ground-breaking and volatile journalism, you have wandered way off the map. Harsh Comments is an opinionated, biased and completely untrustworthy look at society through the eyes of Harsh Screwalla (yes, there's only one W). The characters and situations in this strip are reasonably fictional. Any similarities to people/incidents in real life are a wee bit conincidental.

Oh and if you notice a mildly irritating surfiet of puns in every strip, why, thank you!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Orkut Song

This song is dedicated to all the despo "Orkuttans" who can never get enough of all the "Orkutties" around. One truly needs to understand the psyche of vela Orkuttans who spend all day on orkut, surfing across seas of ennui, in pursuit of "Making Frend-Ship", a ship of Titanic proportions, which would take them to newer destinations and grant them access to more "orkutty" profiles. Even if all the orkutty profiles sport a Katrina Kaif pic, the thrills that comes with "Making Frndship" with one is nothing short of making love to the bollywood diva herself. Here's what an orkuttan would sing after finding some success at making frndship.
PS: sung in the tune of the titanic song...

Every time in my scrapbook
I see you. I scrap you.
That is how I know you go on.
Far across my scrapbook
And testimonials between us
You have come to show your, as “single”.
Near, far, wherever you are,
I believe that we'll make frndship go on
Once more you logged on
And you're here in my scrap book
And my friends list will go on and on
Testimonials can touch us one time
And last for a lifetime
And never let go till we're friends
Love was when I saw your userpic
One true time I hold to
In my life I’ll surely be your fan
Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that we'll make frendship go on
Once more you logged on
And you're here in my scrap book
And my friends list will go on and on

You're here, there's so much I fear,
And I know that you will know I checked you out
We'll stay forever this way
You are safe in my friends list
And my friends list will go on....

PS: This may not rhyme, but this is the true!
:D *the orbit white smiley*

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Rajni can't? Of course he can!

So do you really know Rajnikant? read on...

1. Rajni keeps himself entertained out of concern for the public. If he gets bored, he'd yawn and the last time he yawned, it caused a tsunami.

2. Legend has it that Rajni was once a certainty in the Indian cricket team. As a bowler, Rajni usually needed 10 deliveries to finish the game. Owing to monotony, he retired from cricket as a 12 year old.

3. Tamil Nadu was dry one summer. Poor monsoons had resulted in a drought. But then this was only until Rajni sneezed! Bless him!

4. Wachowski brothers approached Rajni for "The Matrix". But Rajni was looking for more action.

5. In his younger days, Rajni ran the 100 mts in 6.7 seconds. He decided to participate in the Olympics only after another athelete broke the 7 second mark.

Well wait, Picture abhi baaki hai...

Here is an interesting new story.

Rajinikanth was bragging to Jayalalitha one day, "I know everyone there is to know.
Just name someone, anyone, and I know them."

Tired of his boasting, Jayalalitha called his bluff, "OK, Rajini how about Tom Cruise?"

"Sure, yes, Tom and I are old friends, and I can prove it" Rajini said.

So Rajini and Jayalalitha fly out to Hollywood and knock on Tom Cruise's door, and sure enough, Tom Cruise shouts"Wassup! Great to see you! You and your friend come right in and join me for lunch!".

Although impressed, Jayalalitha is still skeptical.

After they leave Cruise's house, she tells Rajini that she thinks Rajini knowing Cruise was just lucky.
"No no, just name anyone else" Rajini says.
"President Bush", Jayalalitha quickly retorts.

"Yes", Rajini says, "I know him, let's fly out to Washington".
And off they go. At the White House, Bush spots Rajini on the tour and motions him , saying,"Rajini, what a surprise, I was just on my way to a meeting, but you and your friend come on in and let's have a cup of coffee first and catch up".

Well, Jayalalitha is very shaken by now, but still not totally convinced.After they leave the White House grounds, he implores her to name anyone else.

"The Pope," Jayalalitha replies.

"Sure!" says Rajini, "My folks are from Germany and I've known the Pope a long time".
So off they fly to Rome. Rajini and Jayalalitha are assembled with the masses in Vatican Square when Rajini says, "This will never work. I can't catch the Pope's eye among all these people.Tell you what, I know all the guards so let me just go upstairs and I'll come out on the balcony with the Pope." And he disappears into the crowd headed toward the Vatican.

Sure enough, half an hour later Rajini emerges with the Pope on the balcony..
But by the time Rajini returns, he finds that Jayalalitha had a Heart attack and is surrounded by paramedics.Working his way to Jayalalitha's side, Rajini asks her, "What happened?" Jayalalitha looks up and says, "I was doing fine until you and the Pope came out on the balcony and the man next to me said,
'Who's that on the balcony with Rajini?' "

So dear folks, if you ever get the pleasure of serving Rajni a cup of coffee, see to it that it is clear of any seeds. Grind it!
And if you know of any other urban legends about Rajni, then post a comment here. Find It!

But always remember, never say never when you talk of Rajni(oops! I've used "never" twice in this sentence). Mind It!

Do check this out

Friday, July 25, 2008

For better or for Verse

The rains are here, and I make a serendipitous discovery. I find two friends who actually love the very same poems I dig. That does make for an interesting conversation with the monsoon and the flowers contributing to the ambience, does it not? [:)]

Anyway to build on this conversation, I'll put down some poetry here. This one by Harold Monroe ( I was given to believe it was Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett Browning till sometime back, but I stand corrected) is high on sentimental value. In school, I was forced to participate in an elocution, so I actually read out these verses on stage. It was quite a challenge, conquering both my stage fright and my hatred for cats. Here it goes

Milk for the Cat
by Harold Monroe

When the tea is brought at five o'clock,
And all the neat curtains are drawn with care,
The little black cat with bright green eyes
Is suddenly purring there.

At first she pretends, having nothing to do,
She has come in merely to blink by the grate,
But, though tea may be late or the milk may be sour,
She is never late.

And presently her agate eyes
Take a soft large milky haze,
And her independent casual glance
Becomes a stiff, hard gaze.

Then she stamps her claws or lifts her ears,
Or twists her tail and begins to stir,
Till suddenly all her lithe body becomes
One breathing, trembling purr.

The children eat and wriggle and laugh;
The two old ladies stroke their silk:
But the cat is grown small and thin with desire,
Transformed to a creeping lust for milk.

The white saucer like some full moon descends
At last from the clouds of the table above;
She sighs and dreams and thrills and glows,
Transfigured with love.

She nestles over the shining rim,
Buries her chin in the creamy sea;
Her tail hangs loose; each drowsy paw
Is doubled under each bending knee.

A long, dim ecstasy holds her life;
Her world is an infinite shapeless white,
Till her tongue has curled the last holy drop,
Then she sinks back into the night,

Draws and dips her body to heap
Her sleepy nerves in the great arm-chair,
Lies defeated and buried deep
Three or four hours unconscious there.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gotham Knight

Before I begin, I'm still to watch the "Dark Knight". This is because I wanted to watch the mid-quel (for the lack of a better word!) titled the Gotham Knight. If you still wondering what this is all about,Batman: Gotham Knight, a new animated feature from Warner Premiere, is a collection of six separate-but-interlocking stories, each looking at a different aspect of the character. The segments have been created by visionary anime directors and acclaimed screenwriters including David S. Goyer (Batman Begins), Alan Burnett ("Batman: The Animated Series"), and Oscar-nominee Josh Olson (A History of Violence).

The first short film explores how Batman means different things to different people through the narratives of a bunch of teenagers. Is he a shadowy figure? Is he a mutant? Is he a robot? It totally heightens the enigma that is Batman by capturing different perceptions in Gotham.

The second short film exposes the thin line that lies between being a crime fighter and vigilante. This features the experiences of detective who's frustrated of being relegated to errands like taking the arrested felons to prison after they've been "delivered" to the headquarters by Batman.

While this animated feature,released earlier this month, was purely done as a promotional venture, it is good enough to pass off as a movies by itself. It never really disappoints you as some of the earlier batman flicks did. After a slow start, things quickly pick up, combining a strong sense of visual energy with an interesting meditation on Batman's motivation and development.

The anime style may upset a few fans, the art work is an absolute animated renaissance. The artists' impression of Gotham is very reminiscent of Nolan's Gotham in Batman Begins. Thankfully for those die-hard fans who will pick up this DVD, the work done by the directors and producers on this animated feature is far more than just a trailer to the Dark Knight.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

No strings attached!

So when was the last time you felt like buying an acoustic guitar and learn how to play? Was it when you heard Tears in Heaven for the first time? This is a global phenomenon and capitalising on this urge that music fans have everytime they hear a good acoustic number is Now Play It.

Launched last year, Now Play It aims to get people as close to the artists and songs they love as possible. To do that, it offers downloadable video tutorials on the art and craft of playing hundreds of different songs on guitar, bass, piano or drums, many of them led by the artists who wrote or perform them. Paul McCartney among the artists currently offering instruction on the site, and users can search for tutorials by artist, song, instrument, difficulty level or tutor.

Being taught by a well-known artist, even if by video, is certainly going to give a user a healthy helping of experiences to narrate. So when will your guitar gently weep?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Animal Instincts

Animal Instincts is a humorous take on slang. The animals featured in this comic strip indulge in all kinds of colloquial word-play that they themselves identify with. However, no animals were hurt during the creation of this comic strip. Take a trip to your wild side!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fast Forward: Shalom! Bong! Thank you maam!

Bongs are my favourite bunch of people. even if they're from delhi and if they have me believe that the country's capital is CR Park. This is because only a bong could write something of the sort.

The ABC Of Bengalis

A is for Awpheesh (as in Office). This is where the average Kolkakattan goes and spends a day hard at work. And if he works for the ' Bhest Bengal Gawrment' he will arrive at 10, wipe his forehead till 11, have a tea break at 12, throw around a few files at 12.30, break for lunch at 1, smoke an unfiltered cigarette at 2, break for tea at 3, sleep sitting down at 4 and go home at 4:30. It's a hard life!

B is for Bhision. For some reason many Bengalis don't have good bhision. In fact in Kolkata most people are wearing spectacles all the time.

C is for Chappell. Currently, this is the Bengali word for the Devil, for the worst form of evil. In the night mothers put their kids to sleep saying, 'Na ghumaley Chappell eshey dhorey niye jabe.'

D is for Debashish or any other name starting with Deb. By an ancient law every fourth Bengali Child has to be named Debashish. So you have a Debashish everywhere and trying to get creative they are also called Deb, Debu, Deba with variations like Debanik, Deboprotim, Debojyoti, etc. thrown in at times.

E is for Eeesh. This is a very common Bengali exclamation made famous by Aishwarya Rai in the movie Devdas. It is estimated that on an average a Bengali, especially Bengali women, use eeesh 10,089 times every year. 'Ei Morechhey' is a close second to Eeesh.

F is for Feeesh. These are creatures that swim in rivers and seas and are a favourite food of the Bengalis. Despite the fact that a fish market has such strong smells, with one sniff a Bengali knows if a fish is all right. If not he will say 'eeesh what feeesh is theesh!'

G is for Good name. Every Bengali boy will have a good name like Debashish or Deboprotim and a pet name like Motka, Bhombol, Thobla, etc. While every Bengali girls will have pet names like Tia, Tuktuki, Mishti, Khuku, etc.

H is for Harmonium. This the Bengali equivalent of a rock guitar. Take four Bengalis and a Harmonium and you have the successors to The Bheatles!

I is for lleesh. This is a feeesh with 10,000 bones which would kill any ordinary person, but which the Bengalis eat with releeesh!

J is for Jhola. No self respecting Bengali is complete without his Jhola. It is a shapeless cloth bag where he keeps all his belongings and he fits an amazing number of things in. Even as you read this there are 2 million jholas bobbling around Kolkata- and they all look exactly the same! Note that 'Jhol' as in Maachher Jhol is a close second

K is for Kee Kaando !. It used to be the favourite Bengali exclamation till eeesh took over because of Aishwarya Rai (now Kee Kando's agent is trying to hire Bipasha Basu).

L is for Lungi - the dress for all occasions. People in Kolkata manage to play football and cricket wearing it not to mention the daily trip in the morning to the local bajaar. Now there is talk of a lungi expedition to Mt. Everest.

M is for Minibus. These are dangerous half buses whose antics would effortlessly frighten the living daylights out of all James Bond stuntmen as well as Formula 1 race car drivers.

N is for Nangto. This is the Bengali word for Naked. It is the most interesting naked word in any language!

O is for Oil. The Bengalis believe that a touch of mustard oil will cure anything from cold (oil in the nose), to earache (oil in the ear), to cough (oil on the throat) to piles (oil you know where!)

P is for Phootball. This is always a phavourite phassion of the Kolkattan. Every Bengali is born an expert in this game. The two biggest clubs there are Mohunbagan and East Bengal and when they play the city comes to a stop.

Q is for Queen.

R is for Robi Thakur. Many nany years ago Rabindranath got the Nobel Prize. This has given the right to all Bengalis no matter where they are to frame their acceptance speeches as if they were directly related to the great poet and walk with their head held high. This also gives Bengalis the birthright to look down at Delhi and Mumbai and of course 'all non-Bengawlees' ! Note that 'Rawshogolla' comes a close second !

S is for Shourav. Now that they finally produced a genuine cricketer and a captain, Bengalis think that he should be allowed to play until he is 70 years old. Of course they will see to it that he stays in good form by doing a little bit of 'joggo' and 'maanot'.

T is for Trams. Hundred years later there are still trams in Kolkata. Of course if you are in a hurry it's faster to walk.

U is for Aambrela. When a Bengali baby is born he is handed one.

V is for Bhaayolence. Bengalis are the most non-violent violent people around. When an accident happens they will fold up their sleeves, shout and scream and curse and abuse, "Chherey De Bolchhi" but the last time someone actually hit someone was in 1979.

W is for Water. For three months of the year the city is underwater and every year for the last 200 years the authorities are taken by surprise by this!

X is for X'mas. It's very big in Kolkata, with Park Street fully lit up and all Bengalis agreeing that they must eat cake that day.

Y is for Yesshtaarday. Which is always better than today for a Bengali.

Z is for Jebra, Joo, Jipper and Jylophone.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Animal Instincts

Animal Instincts is a humorous take on slang. The animals featured in this comic strip indulge in all kinds of colloquial word-play that they themselves identify with. However, no animals were hurt during the creation of this comic strip. Take a trip to your wild side!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Waking Strife

10 PM, Monday

Today is the time for self-change. I’ll hit the sack right away. Set the alarm for 5 AM. Tomorrow is another day. And here comes another man, me. No more late nights. No more 15 minute deadlines for shower, shave and catching the 8:15 train. No more missing the 8:15 train. Tuesday morning, a new chapter in my autobiography, will be titled “The Awakening”. Ha!

10:15 PM, Monday
Humm, it’s just a matter of time before I fall asleep. Ok, so what do I title my autobiography? Humm… “Deja Boo: Have you had this nightmare before?” Tch tch! Think positive! Ok… “ When I sleep 8 hours on the trot, there is usually a great awakening”? Why am I still thinking of sleep? Hai Hai! Humm…what if I write a book without a name? I wonder if that’s been done before. I write the autobiography about a loser! Since everybody feels like a loser at some point of time in their lives, they’ll surely relate to it. < A triumphant smile> ahh… and the title is left to the reader’s imagination. Why limit the subject with a title, I say! Yea Baby! It’s a smash hit. An absolute bestseller! Ha! I can sleep for the rest of my life with the money I make from it!

10:45 PM, Monday
Ho humm! It’s been 45 minutes already. I know what’ll put me to sleep. My dream job! Let’s direct the last of the Harry potter series. Let us change the cast a bit! How about giving Salman Khan a role? As one of the wizards? Yea I know what’ll work. The only magic spell he’ll pull off successfully on screen is a vanishing act! Ha! Let’s add Katrina too. Oh yea! She’ll make a “ghost” appearance! Ha! Wow! This is turning out to be quite a blockbuster! What about Bachchan senior ? He can do any role in his sleep…oh ! sleep…yawn…

11:58 PM, Monday
Yawn! I’m still awake…so much for awakening! I wonder who said “ If you have a dream to realize, stop sleeping” What a moron! I’d really want to ask him something. These days, even in my dreams, I’m trying to fall asleep. So now how do I realize this dream of mine?? Huh?? What?? No reply? Sleeping or what? Yawn!

12:43 AM, Tuesday
Oh god! There’s no way I’ll wake up at 5 in the morning. I’ll set an alarm for 7. That’ll still give me an hour. Ok let me go thro my To-do list tomorrow. Joggers Park! Forget it! Shave, That’ll take 5 mins. Shower, 5mins. Ok, let’s go have a Shower now…Capital idea my hearty! Har har!

1:03 AM, Tuesday
Yawn! Humm, I love the feeling of a fresh towel! Talc after a shower! A fresh set of pyjamas! New Bed sheets and pillow covers! Perfect! Bliss! Yawn!

2:09 AM, Tuesday
Yawn! Now what do I do? Lets go thro my to-do list again…A copy for Valley View Health Resorts! Humm… ok 30 miles from the city…ok…I could do with a weekend there! Humm…30 miles to go before I sleep! AH! THAT’S IT! Even Robert Frost would’ve taken a break from poetry at Valley View! Wonderful! We all need a vacation don’t we? Brilliant! Now let’s think of a visual…something really enticing! Humm… yawn! Something very striking!...humm… yawn….hummm something…hummm…on the lines of…hummmmm…ok, let me ..yawn..sleep over this one…

2:42 AM, Tuesday
< heaves a sigh> ok now lets try Sweet Dreams…humm…Ok, I’ll ask Ekta out tomorrow…for coffee! Yea, that should be good! < thrilled> I’m finally gonna pop the question! < blushes> …no wait, she’s been having a fight with the < gestures the air quotes > loowe of her life < < closing air quotes >…How did I forget him…!#@!$$%# … Are there any single women left?? Man, I’m in the wrong country! Yea, for centuries, we’ve killed infants till a boy pops out…criminals…illiterate hooligans…ppl who practice foeticide should be castrated…but what’s the connection…man! Why I ruin my sleep over these ills of society…lets dream of Ekta…hummm…man! Even in my dreams I’m being a nice guy…humm….even in my dreams I’m an intellectual whore…humm…an coolie who offers to carry her emotional baggage…humm….when all at once that moron turns up and shatters my miserable dreams…hummmm….Even in my dreams….hummm…I don’t get to sleep with her….yawn…. ok let me count the number of times this has happened…this’ll put me to sleep….yawn!...

3:36 AM, Tuesday
Yawn!...what’s up dude!! Cant you @!$#$#$ sleep…hummm…need a “crash” course huh? …yawn…ok lets watch a movie… How about “Insomnia”? … What if I fall asleep while watching the movie…hummm…what an irony… … Ok if I ever go on to direct the longest movie ever, probably with a duration of 6 hours or so , I’ll call it “A Cure For Insomnia”…hummmm…..

4:29 AM, Tuesday
Yawn!... I’ll do this…I’ll type all these thoughts of mine and upload it on my blog…hummm…probably reading it will help me fall asleep tomorrow night…err…I mean tonight…whatever…yawn….Even if it doesn’t help me…it’ll help the few people to muster up enough courage to read it…yawn…good karma you know!...yawn….

7: 02 AM, Tuesday
(Alarm rings)…(opens one eye)…(eyes shut again)…(snooze alarm rings)…(turns it off)…(Snooze alarm rings)…(Changes settings)…(sets up new alarm)…

7:51 AM, Tuesday
(Snooze alarm rings)…(Jumps out of bed, alarmed!)…GODDAMMIT! ONLY 20 MINUTES MORE!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Departed

Movie directors are like cooks. Each have their favourite ingredients. There are those who take their time to make their first decent dal tadka, after which they master it to perfection and serve it every time a guest desires a hearty meal. There are those who start off with a splendid serving of paneer butter masala, subsequent servings of which leave a poor taste. So they are forced out of their comfort zones. Only a few possess the motivation to master a seven-course meal, even it requires them to lose some of their best years and several customers during the endeavour. However, for everything else they stand to lose, what they never forget are the ingredients that have worked over the years. Martin Scorsese is one such director and “The Departed”, his last offering was the proverbial seven-course meal that took 24 years in the making.

Watching “The Departed” is like nostalgia trip for any Scorsese fan. The celebrated director picked up a script that had worked earlier, a 2002 Hong Kong crime flick “Infernal Affairs”. He studied the plot like a research scholar, found many areas that could do with some sprucing up, recalled all of his favourite recipes and carefully chose all his ingredients. He conjured up a few newer concoctions with the flair of a druid and laughed his way to his first oscar. It’s pretty interesting studying this directorial odessey which has assumed Homersque proportions in the Hollywood Pantheon.

Like many of Scorsese’s movies, this one has an element of identity crisis among the protagonists. Like in Mean Streets, the protagonists have inherited the life of crime from their respective families. More often than not, they seem ill-equipped to live a life of lies and deceit, but then they go through the motions more as an obligation to their employers. However, unlike in Mean Streets, the lead characters serve the two ends of the spectrum. Instead of a kid who dreamed of growing up to be a mobster, we have two kids who grow up as imposters: One becomes a cop who goes undercover as a gangster, and the other becomes a gangster who goes undercover as a cop.

The movie has its share of organized crime scenes in the grocery, which could have been from Goodfellas. However the characters have come of age vis-à-vis the early 90’s counterparts, well-versed with the nuances of technology used in computers and mobile phones. And these devices have been deftly incorporated in the plot, adding to the chaos that comes with being a trader in loyalties between the cops and the mob. The traps and betrayals are well summarized in this one scene where a character says to one of the moles, “I gave you the wrong address. But you went to the right one.”

Another of Scorsese’s trademarks is to get the best out of a high profile cast, be it Goodfellas, Gangs of New York or even The Colour of Money. Marty pulls it off again in “The Departed” with consummate ease. In Matt Damon and Leo DiCaprio as the two moles, the prospect of a Jason Bourne-Frank Abignale dogfight is highly anticipated and it lives up to your expectations. Both actors convey this agonizing inner conflict so that we can sense and feel it, but not see it. Jack Nicholson plays his meanest self since Joker in Batman. He commits obscene acts and speaks in cynical taunts, but his poise doesn’t waver till the very end. . His is a character that is slowly losing his mind much like Travis in Taxidriver, and while he is a goofy old man when he wants to be, he is also very, very menacing. His virtuoso swearing with more than liberal doses of philosophy can at best be described as – eloquence in profanity.

Scene at restaurant:
Costigan( Leo DiCaprio): Frank, how many of these guys have been with you long enough to be disgruntled, huh? Think about it. You don't pay much, you know. It's almost a fuckin' feudal enterprise. The question is, and this is the only question, who thinks that they can do what you do better than you?
Costello(Jack Nicholson): The only one that can do what I do is me. Lot of people had to die for me to be me. You wanna be me?
Costigan: I probably could be you, yeah. Yeah, I know that much. But I don't wanna be you, Frank. I don't wanna be you
Costello: Heavy lies the crown... sort of thing.

Scene at his pub:
Costello: Who let this IRA motherfucker in my bar?
[the man looks startled]
Costello: [laughs] Only kidding. How's your mother?
Man in Costello's Bar: Oh... I'm afraid she's on her way out.
Costello: [walks away] We all are. Act accordingly.

There definitely has to be a mention of Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg and Ray Winstone who had their share of memorable scenes.

Also there’s the background score, with Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones & Allman Brothers band among others, very reminiscent of Mean Streets again.

And most importantly there is a moral, which eventually emerges out after a very circuitous path throughout the movie. One cannot overlook his conscience while living one big lie. Gradually, your conscience does grip your neck and wrestles you into submission. Irrespective of your motives, you could be a cop or a criminal, when you're facing a loaded gun, what's the difference?

This movie cannot be missed for the world, but then would you take the word of a die-hard Scorsese fan?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fast Forward: You know you are in 2008 when ...

1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.
2. You haven't played Solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they are not on your orkut account.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
9. You pout because nobody leaves a comment on your blog.
10. You give up on mankind because nobody reads your blog.
11. You close your blogger account and hope somebody sends you a hug on facebook.
12. Your favourite pastime is reading people's Status Message on Gtalk.
13. Your favourite conversation topic is the funniest Status message you'd read during the day.
14. You are still to watch all the movies on your system and your 250 GB hard drive because you've been busy hunting for new torrents.
15. You look for a net centre only to check out the latest notifications on facebook.
16. YOu do not have the patience to watch a cricket ODI on TV but while at work you refresh page after every single delivery of a test match.
17. You get up in the morning and go online before getting your coffee.
18. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
19. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
20. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
21. You are too busy to notice there was no #21 on this list.
22. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't #21 on this list
23. You desperately want to post this somewhere, on a blog or a tweet perhaps!!

PS: thanks kida, this is quite an eye opener ;)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What IPL can do without in 2009

1. So what was it about Rajastan that intimidated their opponents? Shane Warne's captaincy? Sohail Tanveer's bowling action? Yusuf Pathan's belligerence? Shane Watson's sixes, which were smacked with arrogance? Warne's womanizing skills? While all of the above may have contributed to the Royale finish of the IPL, what surely gave our icons from the other teams a nightmare was Ila Arun's war-cry for her "mera walla pink" city franchise. The catchiest tune brought fear in the minds of the opposition, who continued to drop matches against Rajastan the way Indian fielders were reputed to drop catches.May be we should let the cricketers' skills do the talking, you know. "Balla" Bol!

2. 59 matches are way to many and at the end of the tournament, the ones who showed maximum fatigue were the commentators. Arun Lal never stopped talking about "Momentum" like it was the latest fad in the world of cricket, while Fernando advertised the "Key to the Sri Lankan Success" with loyalty, every time a lankan roared or even purred. This would have been a fantastic platform for Siddhu, if it was not for the fateful day when the sardonic sardar spelt his "luck" with an F.

3. Articles about "Cheerleaders". Well, I'm hoping the mere mention of them in this piece will earn me some hits.

4. Product Placement Overdose(PPO). I mean "That is a DLF maximum six!", " This is surely a Citi moment of success!". What happened to the good old figures of speech , gentlemen? " Magnificent Shot! Absolutely Majestic! That'll clear the side-screen! Wonderful, wonderful shot!" Now even this, repeated a million times will do. Lets not relive the Pepsi Huddle experience! It could get worse,Itch guard "lets start from scratch" contest or Sreeshant dancing to " Hit me baby, one more time" with a pepsi.

5. Focus on the owners of the franchise rather than the cricket their teams play. Thanks to SRK,Preity, Ambani, Katrina, Akshay Kumar and the likes, fans were denied some precious action replay of some flashbulb moments( or "citi moments of success" if you insist)!Dont we get enough of dope on these eminent personalities even otherwise? I mean, isn't a copy of Deccan Chronicle enough?

To be continued...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

IPL: Indian Phoren League

Today, we'll the witness the successful completion of half the matches of the first edition of IPL. While the presence of the international stars definitely boosted ticket sales and the controversies, both on and off the field have left media houses licking their lips, I thought it's a good time to review the impact that IPL and the teams have on cricket and Indian Cricket in particular. Let us review the teams in the ascending order of their positions as of today.

At the bottom of the table is Bangalore Royal Challengers. Mallaya's team suffered the most disastrous start to their campaign. Losing to the Knight Riders in the most humiliating manner ruined the efforts of the Liquor Baron to host a spectacular opening ceremony at home. Many of Bangalore's superstars are yet to justify their prices. Nathan Bracken's timely injury put to rest an hopes of his participation. Only Praveen Kumar and Zaheer Khan and to some extent Mark Boucher have justified their places. The future will see some pressure on Dravid, Kallis, Misbah and Styen. With the sacking of CEO Charu Sharma, reasons(cricketing or otherwise) notwithstanding, Mallaya has tactfully made it clear he means business and will employ any any means to bolster the teams performance. We might see the franchise trying to acquire Bangalore-dude Robin Uthappa for the next season. Don't rule out any franchise acquiring players from ICL. Stuart Binny wouldn't be a bad investment.Trust the "king of good times" to "force" a bottom's-up.

At the start of the tournament, I was certainly very patronizing of the Hyderabad team, but half way into the tournament, the Deccan Chargers have flattered to deceive. A description of the Hyderabad line-up would definitely help a Grammar teacher in school impress upon her class, the concept of adjectives. And also that of irony. How can a team comprising Aussies Superstars Symonds & Gilchrist, electric Gibbs, mercurial Afridi, the ever consistent Vaas & Styris, and India's T20 heroes RP Singh & Rohit Sharma fail to even create a ripple in the IPL ocean? The problem undoubtedly has been at the top. While Laxman was selfless enough to trade his icon status for a stronger team, he's not been able to influence the big names in any way to shape his team into a cohesive unit. There was a remarkable performance from the chargers in the only game that Gilchrist led. The future will see Gilchrist leading this team, probably the next season. Also we might have a situation of the Chargers being forced to elevate Rohit Sharma to an icon status to parry off prospective buyers like Mumbai Indians. However the one postive discovery from Chargers is Pragyan Ojha. The left-arm spinner will surely replace Murli Karthik in India's Test Squad someday. Do we see one Mr. Ambati Rayudu sulking in his ICL Hyderabad Heroes dressing room?

Kolkata started it's campaign like a dream. It's reality check subsequently, suffered an awkward bounce, much like the eden gardens wicket. What'll bother SRK is the fact a "hero" is yet to emerge from the shadows of Brendon Mccullum, while SRK's still busy trying to organize a "Villans Ka Milan". The Nokia campaign probably sums up the state of affairs in the Knight Riders' camp. There is an obvious lack of team spirit and the latest addition to KKR, Mr. Shohaib Akhtar, is as much an ambassador of team spirit as Karan Johar( one KKR patron) is to Victoria's Secret. The coming days will see SRK giving a live performance of his prize winning role of Chuk De India in the KKR dressing room. A screening of the movie in KKR dressing room will certainly be on Mr. John Buchanan's list of coaching mantra's if it shows results. Unlike Bangalore, Kolkata can still boast of great number of positives. Besides Brendon's Blinder in Bangalore, Ishant Sharma's miserly spells have done no harm to his reputation, Agarkar continues to take wickets at his erratic best and the addition of Pakistan's Gul and Akhtar gives Kolkata the winning look on paper, but the biggest impact that KKR will have on Indian Cricket is the development of local boys Wriddhiman Saha, Laxmiratan Shukla, Debabrata Das and A B Dinda into competitive cricketers. We cant help but feel the lure of ICL drove Rohan Gavaskar away from an opportunity of a lifetime.

After 4 succesive debacles, the Mumbai Indians under Shaun Pollock have epitomised the resilience that Indians(of India and not only Mumbai. well, One cannot ignore the irony here.Mukesh Ambani can literally claim complete ownership of "Indians", thanks to IPL! ) have come to associate with the name, Ambani. With Sachin still to make his IPL debut, Mukesh Ambani will take a lot of heart from the team's performance. Fans can expect a lot of investment coming the Indians' way and may be an IPO in the BSE a few years later. It takes an astute businessmen like the Ambanis to ask BCCI to mind their own business, or to shrug off a bad investment like Harbhajan Singh.

Captaining the super kings has been a test for Dhoni, and the man delivered instantly. Dhoni won the respect of all his men, which also included a former skipper Stephen Fleming, who was left warming the bench and Matthew Hayden. So incredible were the super kings that Chennai was high on MSD. But after 4 successive victories, the skipper realised that he had indeed taken the services of Hayden, Mike Hussey and Oram for granted. Even Sivamani couldn't help him beat his drums. Even if the mascot , K Srikkanth was a maestro at playing a wind instrument, like say a trumpet, It couldn't have cheered Chennai. However while the team looks to find their winning ways, one must admit Dhoni definitely marshaled his forces well. The likes of Goni and Joginder Sharma have delivered when the going got tough and though Murli is yet to find his wicket taking formula, he's helped chennai keep a check on the oppositions run-rate. It would auger well for Chennai to bring back some of her disillusioned sons like T Kumaran and induct them into the Super Kings.

GMR Investments had some capital ideas for Delhi. They invested wisely and look like the most balanced side in the tournament. Viru is the only icon to justify the money spent on acquiring him. Gambhir was a deal, Vettori a steal, and Mcgrath, the f@#&ing sale of the century. And likes of Dhawan, AB De Villiers, Malik, Tiwari, Karthik and Bhatia setting the fields on fire, few teams could dare delhi. Also the presence of Mcgrath has definitely brought the best out of Asif, Mahroof and Yomahesh. One only hopes Sehwag doesn't allow himself the luxury of talking instead of letting his willow do it for him.

Rajastan Royals is the greatest thing that has happened for Indian Cricket since, well, helmets and protective gear against the West Indian Pace Battery in the 70's. Shane Warne would be remembered as the Indiana Jones of Indian Cricket for unearthing gems like Swapnil Asnodkar, Ravindra Jadeja, Taruwar Kohli, Yusuf Pathan and Siddharth Trivedi to the world. And add Graeme Smith, Sohail Tanvir and Shane Watson and the Royals look like they'd paint the "pink city" red. 5 successive wins definitely surprised all those who'd hardly given them a chance. Irrespective of the final outcome, Rajastan Royals will become one of the most popular teams in the league on account of their performances. And expect Shane Watson's price tag to hit the roof, just like the balls that leave his willow.

The team that's created more hype than any other in this edition is, brace yourself, Preity Zinta's boys from Punjab. Having started off very poorly, this team was open to any new idea that emerged from any quarter. While cricketers Irfan Pathan, Sangakara, Simon Katich, Brett Lee, Piyush Chawla, Jayawardene and Yuvraj made headlines for cricketing reasons, there were others who resorted to some "slap"stick. If that wasn't enough, Preity motivated her boys to "embrace" a new winning formula, her own Munna-Bhai inspired Jadoo Ki Jhapki. All these definitely helped Mohali turn (points)tables on their opponents. One is left wondering if the Mohali Franchise would be keen on acquiring Punjab da Puttar Bhajji next season to pump up the Bhangra. " Cricket is a serious Business" insist the owners. "This is no song and dance and we definitely need no villans", they say as some more "trainees" vacate rooms at the Taj for the dignitaries who grace the matches at Mohali.

Do we hear purists say "This is not cricket!" ?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Poetry in Conversation

A friend ( who we'll affectionately refer to as "Small Wonder") and I found an interesting way of Killing time. We make poetry out of scrap! check it out...


Where art thou?
I'd like to ask thee
How u doin pai?
Are u taken or free?


Blessing is it,
Or is it a curse,
Free as I am,
To reply in verse.


Free as you are
So am i!
Was goin thru friends
And saw sudhir pai.


So good it is
To hear from thee
What friendly tidings
Do you bring for me?


Life is a drone,
It's just work and work.
Is it the same for you
Or do better things lurk?


Life, a drone? is it?
A vacation is what you need,
To charge up your batteries,
Your creative cells doth plead.


A vacation has proved futile
For my sense i havent got back.
Sometimes sane sometimes senile
It's the fun that i think i lack :(


Work life is hectic,
But it is not a bore,
I pray it's better,
For you in Mysore.


Not hectic as of yet,
But yes, it is a big bore
Staring all day at a black screen
Is more than just an eye sore!


I thank thee for the pleasure,
I had a great time,
To speak of my listless life,
In lines of decent rhyme.


Haven't written like this
For donkeys years
Thought you would gladly oblige
For you possess the ear!


These lines I’ll cherish,
And keep for posterity,
Some day I pray we meet,
And laugh at our preposterity.

:D, Thanks, Small Wonder! Orkut's never been so much fun! [:)]

Sunday, April 27, 2008

American Beauty

I was discussing movies with Swati today when she asks me " what do you really like about this movie ? " while we were discussing American Beauty. Humm!! I'd never given it so much of thought.

The movie begins with Kevin Spacey introducing himself in the narrative. " My name is Lester less than a year I will be dead. Of course I don't know that yet, and in a way, I am dead already." Now that simply "kills" the prospect of having an interesting climax, does it not?

Next, we know that Lester's life is beset by sexual frustrations and he decides to take matters in his own hands, in the only way he likes - literally. His sarcasm only goes to highlight his depression when he says "this will be the high point of my day. It's all downhill from here." Can it really catch your interest?

"My job consists of basically masking my contempt for the assholes in charge", says Lester, who in his own words, has, for 14 years, been a whore for the advertising industry. In the first 10 minutes of the movie, one cannot overlook the dialogues which are humourous and brutally honest. But you're left wondering where does all this lead to?

" It's a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself." The debutant director Sam Mendes definitely believes in this adage and also in his characters and the script. Add to that the memorable sound track and cinematography that's from the top drawer. The ingredients seemed well set for a perfect recipe, but the seasoning which the audiences savoured long after the movies release in 1999 was provided by Kevin Spacey. In his oscar winning performance, Spacey gets us to love the loser. He suddenly emerges from the stereotypes and turns them upside down.

" Today is the first day of the rest of your life ". He revels in the decay and disharmony of his miserable life as he finds inspiration in the form of a mini-skirted Angela Hayes, his daughter's cheerleader friend. His lust for the teenager brings back all the exuberance of his adolescent years as Lester takes to weed, the gym and a job at a burger joint. With some unforgettable tracks from Bob Dylan and The Who in the background, Lester seems to catch up on all the joys lost during his apparently comatose years.

This however is not lost on his family. " I need a father who's a role model, not some horny geek-boy who's gonna spray his shorts every time I bring a girlfriend home from school." says Jane, who's yet to experience and appreciate paternal affection. And now you suddenly witness the dark humour of Lesters life, with greater emphasis on the dark side. The movie reaches the climax, encompassing whiplash changes of mood, orchestrated with exquisite control and fluid grace. Lesters life, unlike what the movies posters and his fantasies had us believe, is no bed of roses. And with the movie, his life comes to an end.

But it is not without its share of irony, neatly wrapped under layers of poignancy. There is a scene where Ricky, Jane's wierdo of a boyfriend is transfixed by an image of a plastic bag caught on video, whipped around by the wind in an empty parking lot.
" It was one of those days when it's a minute away from snowing and there's this electricity in the air. This bag was, like, dancing with me. And that's the day I knew there was this entire life behind things." That probably sums up what Sam Mendes wanted audiences to see through the eyes of all his neatly sketched characters in American Beauty.

I'm still to get over Lester's posthumous soliloquy,

"I had always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die. First of all, that one second isn't a second at all, it stretches on forever, like an ocean of time. For me, it was lying on my back at Boy Scout Camp, watching falling stars. And yellow leaves, from the maple trees that lined our street. Or my grandmother's hands, and the way her skin seemed like paper. And the first time I saw my cousin Tony's brand new Firebird. And Janie... and Janie. And... Carolyn. I guess I could be really pissed off about what happened to me, but it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain. And I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life. You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry... you will someday."

I certainly have no idea of what it is to experience the last second of my life. I 'm left wondering what images will flash in front of my eyes in the last 100 metres of my free-fall. As it stands, I'm sure I've certainly not lived a great life, not great enough to die for. But a movie like American Beauty does open my eyes. It inspires me to savour every moment of my life and render it worthy of a pleasant viewing as it flashes in front of my eyes, someday.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Battle of the Sexes

It is very unlike me to write on subjects that may hover on controversy. My diplomatic skills get the better of me and I smile incommunicado. However, I was requested to work on a debate last evening.In the opinion of the house, "women are stronger than men". I was requested to write on behalf of my mother, who favoured the motion. It'd had been 3-4 years since I'd scripted a debate for a friend, so I had my reservations on writing one. It's really not my cup of tea. But then as a male, speaking in favour of this subject on behalf of a woman would challenge my being, and also my imagination. So the mama's boy obliged. Here's what emerged an hour later:

" Have you had a peek at the latest issue of Maxim? You discover that Men's magazines are filled with pictures of pretty women. A women's magazine like Cosmopolitan also feature pictures of pretty ladies. This is because the female body is a beautiful work of art, which is best appreciated by men with Beer-bellies. That only goes to show the extent of influence that women have on men.

While it is a known fact that men are indeed physically stronger, a woman’s Intelligence Quotient(IQ) and her Emotional Quotient(EQ) can never be understated. How “intelligently” do we subjugate even the most muscular of men with our “emotions” and bring them down to their knees. A man initially encounters this situation, literally at the time of courtship, when he woos a lady for marriage. More often than not it’s masterminded by a woman, and after that a man is inducted into a vicious cycle of marriage. It is observed that a woman’s tears can sometimes make a man cry for mercy!

Men usually have little idea about enhancing their own looks. They are mostly incapable of looking their best without women. Jewellery for example is tastefully employed by women to look beautiful. Men can also capable of trying to experiment with Jewellery, but more often than not they'd end up looking like Bappi Lahiri.

There is little doubt about the fact that women are emotionally stronger. We definitely drain out a lot of our emotional repository in admitting we are wrong. However, even the most powerful man on earth, Mr. George Bush fails in this department.

Women are very good at attaching and detaching themselves emotionally and are not hung-up on any object of desire. Little girls are very fond of playing with their barbies, but get over it in their teens in order to pursue their career and everything else that follows like marriage, family, children, children’s marriage, retirement plans, medical bills etc. Boys seem to be better with their objects of desire. They enjoy a smooth transition from GI Joes in their teens to Bikes in their tweens, to iPods in their 20s to Playstations in their 30s to Blackberrys in their 40s and Titanium Credit Cards in their 50s. And if they are lucky, a woman or two, interspersed over the years.

Well, I haven’t even spoken of relationships. We women seek immense strength from our relationships. And emerge even stronger when we are out of one. All hell breaks loose initially but two months later, we’d be more than glad to moderate a “Battle of the Ex-es”. But how do the menfolk handle the same? While being in a relationship, their significant other assumes as much importance as Gym every evening, the Friday night binge with the boys, Saturday night game on TV, the laundry on Sunday afternoon, the Sunday night game on TV, the Monday morning presentation and the works. They also seem to be highly articulate in discussing their relationship over a few drinks with their buddies, “Oh! You know Deepa and I have a thing going, right?”. However, they seem to have a tougher time letting it go. Typically, three months after a break-up, he’d call and say, “ Oh! I’m so miserable without you in my life anymore. Can’t we give it another chance?”

Men always fancy being in the throes of power be it in their jobs or politics or even in a Rotary club. But for all the power they wield, they do have a “weakness” that can either bring out the best in them or lead them to their doom- women. History has enough of evidence to support the same, be it Helen of Troy in Greece or the women in Mahabharata or Ramayana closer home.

The problem here is more of perspective or may be the lack of it. History has taught us the primordially, man has been the hunter while a woman, the home-maker. For the roles to change, it’s more of a personal choice and history or evolution need not necessarily be credited or blamed. When the house fails to view the big picture, the members will gladly chew their “coffee bite” on subjects like “Woman is stronger than man”. Tch tch! The arguement continues...

Yours truly,
Mrs. D. Bates

Monday, April 21, 2008

Animal Instincts

Animal Instincts is a humorous take on slang. The animals featured in this comic strip indulge in all kinds of colloquial word-play that they themselves identify with. However, no animals were hurt during the creation of this comic strip. Take a trip to your wild side!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Animal Instincts

Animal Instincts is a humorous take on slang. The animals featured in this comic strip indulge in all kinds of colloquial word-play that they themselves identify with. However, no animals were hurt during the creation of this comic strip. Take a trip to your wild side!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Animal Instincts

Animal Instincts is a humorous take on slang. The animals featured in this comic strip indulge in all kinds of colloquial word-play that they themselves identify with. However, no animals were hurt during the creation of this comic strip. Take a trip to your wild side!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Animal Instincts

Animal Instincts is a humorous take on slang. The animals featured in this comic strip indulge in all kinds of colloquial word-play that they themselves identify with. However, no animals were hurt during the creation of this comic strip. Take a trip to your wild side!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What do you think of me?

Well, I could never elicit a response to the above question. So I thought I'd shift my imagination to the top gear and try and figure out how people spoke of me in college. I'll try and list them down in a chronological order. Do keep the caveat in mind that any resemblance to real-life incidents is purely intensional.

1. Girl 1: Hey! Here is a side-splitting intro. This chap is from my class. I'd never noticed him till today, after one whole semester. And he says, "Hi! I'm Sudhir Pai, Roll no.271" and smiles gleefully. Ha ha ha!

2. Guy 1: This dude's wierd man, his favourite pastime seems to lying on his bed and gazing at the ceiling in contemplation. That's till he forces himself to fall asleep.

3. Guy 2: Just check out this guy who walks with a limp. Hyuk hyuk! I can see his legs cry for mercy when tries playing basketball.

4. Guy 3: The intensity which which he stares at something below the bench in class gives you the impression he's still coming to terms with his manhood. But then out comes Ayn Rands "Fountainhead" at the end of the period.

5. Girl 2: "I never worry. I wouldn't want to exhaust my emotional reserves on something so trivial" he says. Psycho!

6. Guy 1: Dont even bother asking him if he's joining us for dinner. He's busy, daydreaming

7. Junior Boy 1: Why didn't you tell them you know Sudhir Pai. They wouldn't have ragged you. He's the secretary of the Society of Personality Development

Junior Boy 2: Society of Personality Development? Is he a gym instructor?

8. Guy 2: Can he stoop any lower? He's now directing a play with the first years. And he wouldn't even have the numbers of the first year chicks, which is besides the point. And he expects to compete with people of his age with a bunch of first-year kids.

9. Guy 4: ha ha ha! this chap says he's from the Literary and Debating club, which is neither Literary nor has any debating.

10. Junior Boy 1: Pai's team has won three quizzes on the trot. we'll beat them the next time, I think I have a measure of him.

11. Girl 3: There he is with that woman discussing books again. Doesn't she find him intimidating? He's the kind who probably thinks the rest of us are dumb!

12. Guy 5: Oh Boy! He's an associate editor? really?? Of all the exceptionally brilliant guys from our batch, they found him as the most suitable candidate?

13. Girl 4: Oh the guy does an Sania Mirza imitation in Mock Press today. when asked about the balls bouncing he says " For the bounce, it's not the surface that matters. It's all about how you stroke the balls" ha ha! naughty boy! And the others couldn't match up to his wit and spontaneity. So we simply declared him non-competitive. He he! That'll give the others some chance!

14. Guy 6: Pai says he wants to get into advertising. Ha ha! He sure has some imagination!

15. Girl 3: The guy does a bhangra for an ozzy osbourne track and Jives for a hindi movie track. Crazy!

16. Guy 3: The guy runs a Comic strip online. I see where he gets his inspiration from. His Life!! har har! what a cartoon!

17. Girl 4: Now Pai runs a blog where declares the world is full of pseudo- intellectuals like him. And he even knows all his readers personally. Some 10 vela people just like him. Hey Bhagwan!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Animal Instincts

Animal Instincts is a humorous take on slang. The animals featured in this comic strip indulge in all kinds of colloquial word-play that they themselves identify with. However, no animals were hurt during the creation of this comic strip. Take a trip to your wild side!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Animal Instincts

Animal Instincts is a humorous take on slang. The animals featured in this comic strip indulge in all kinds of colloquial word-play that they themselves identify with. However, no animals were hurt during the creation of this comic strip. Take a trip to your wild side!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Animal Instincts

Animal Instincts is a humorous take on slang. The animals featured in this comic strip indulge in all kinds of colloquial word-play that they themselves identify with. However, no animals were hurt during the creation of this comic strip. Take a trip to your wild side!

Do you understand me?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Animal Instincts

Animal Instincts is a humorous take on slang. The animals featured in this comic strip indulge in all kinds of colloquial word-play that they themselves identify with. However, no animals were hurt during the creation of this comic strip. Take a trip to your wild side!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Olive Ridley Turtle lovers left Shell-Shocked!

Dear Readers,

I've just written to Ratan Tata requesting him to reconsider his plans of building a port in Dhamra, Orissa, dangerously close to one of the world's largest sea turtle nesting grounds for the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle. I think its a good idea for Mr. Tata to relocate the planned port rather than endanger the turtles.

By living up to the Tatas' environmental legacy, Ratan won't just save the highly-endangered Olive Ridley Turtles, he will also end up making Tata a better company.

The only problem is that I can't bring about that change alone. I need help from lots of people, especially you.

Please do what I've done. Write directly to Ratan by clicking here

Please Act immediately, otherwise we'll be left bidding the endangered Olive Ridley Turtle Tata!

Thanks a million,
Sudhir Pai

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Animal Instincts

Animal Instincts is a humorous take on slang. The animals featured in this comic strip indulge in all kinds of colloquial word-play that they themselves identify with. However, no animals were hurt during the creation of this comic strip. Take a trip to your wild side!

Baby's Day Out

Meet Needhi, my two year old niece and my favourite muse. Ain't she a buttercup?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

This is not the title of my latest blog entry!

Have you ever had this serendipitous experience of inadvertently saying something fascinating and then later being awestruck by the sheer brilliance of it?

The other day,I finally understood why “The swiftest traveler is he that goes afoot”. So if you are given to believe Wren & Martin for rules of grammar, “I’m a liar!” is a simple statement.But,think again. So how would you classify a sentence like “I’m such a good liar that I actually believe everything I say”. Well, when I said this the other day, I just couldn't believe it. If I may venture to say so, the rules of grammar are, in reality, very illusive.

So, ladies and gentlemen, if you’ve not deciphered anything that’s written here, you’re better off thinking it was not written by yours truly.

Friday, February 22, 2008

50 ways to lose your lover!

My apologies to all Simon & Garfunkel fans, for corrupting the title of one of their songs. But then it is an apt title for this post. Ever wondered how two geeks discuss their love lives? Or the lack of it? read on...

Statuatary Warning: This a geek peak into a conversation between two S&G fans.

B: hmm... put somehow all the happenign women with the right perspectives on life...dig the classics & know their S&G, and I've not met one in a while...:(

M: dude you kidding?
and the ones you talking abt, make very entertaining dates. But that is it!

B: [:)]

M: he he!
dating them is good fun
but you'd prefer simplicity over sophistication when you looking long term...
he he!

B: been pondering over it dude for sometime ...
i think there's nothing simpler than S & G, nothing easier on the back than a bloody 20 kilo backpack ...yadayada
sophistication and simplicity can be heavily loaded words :)

M: ha ha ha!

I'll tell you this from experience....
if you ever date a woman who knows her S & G , you'll end up singing " I am a rock" to yourself....


B: :)))))))))))))))

twas a good one M :) But there's sumthin about women who know their SnG.....

M:trust me!

B: u betcha :)

M: May be it's not all that bad in the beginning...but later...

B: naah..

I think it starts with "feeling groovy", when u've just come thru a "boxer" phase

M: ha ha ha!

B: somewhere along the way u have "kathys song"

M: thats only after you've sung "bridge over troubled water" a million times! and being an S&G fan herself, she wouldn't buy it so easily...

B: ive known very few women who know their SnG and Ive havent really dated all conclusion of mine are bound to be conjectural...

M: you realise you never get to sing "wednesday morning 3 am" after "Kathy's song", instead you end up singing "cecelia" and feel like "the only living boy in new york"

so i never let it go beyond the "dangling conversations " path...


B: Drat! I wouldn't want to be labelled the "most peculiar man"

M: Christ! you "think too much" man. We wouldn't let that happen. what are "old friends" for, anyway?

B: ha ha ha!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

A day in the life of...

“So why don’t you blog as often as I’d like you to?” asked a friend. That’s an interesting one. I could possibly write about it. I just had to write about it. I was really excited about this one. Man! It’s brilliant! Wow!

Woke up, got out of bed
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs

And drank a cup
And looking up,

I noticed I was late
Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in seconds flat
Found my way upstairs

And had a smoke
Somebody spoke

And I went into a dream

I could feel some path-breaking creativity shaping up in my head, and the forms were swaying to the tunes of a Beatles number. I just had to start typing. Oh! I cannot wait anymore. Oh! The Bloody Traffic…

An hour in the traffic, which seems like a day, is spent fantasizing about what is to come. The hullabaloo of honking Hyundais and Hondas are lost on me as my mind continues working in a flip-flop mode, alternating between an inebriated writer and his martinet editor; the former conjuring up verses without a care for deadlines while the latter dissecting and transplanting words, which fail to impress.

By the time I reach home, my thoughts have elevated to great heights. It's 8 PM! No time to waste! Rush to the shower, the kettle’s heating, the system’s turned on. Time for some action! The lights are dimmed; Dizzy Gillespie plays in the background as I stare at the plain white text file. Time passes, excitement in my veins, hand-eye reflexes reach a peak, an emotional everest is conquered, and there's more, it's a creative burst in my head, and all the veins feel the impulses...and there is more...It's a thunder storm, I'm profusely sweating, yet I enjoy the moment like a walk in a teeming rain, ... oh my god! and theres more...a lightning in my mind sends electric arrows all over... my eyes are blinded by a rainbow that strike my eyelids, i shut my eyes and I see words weave themselves into sentences, sentences into paragraphs , ...into fairytales,...triggering by other senses...a foam of music fills my ears and renders a racing pulse, ... my nostrils flare up and my mouth opens to fuel the inner flames...the heart is pumping overtime like a steam engine and cannot take it anymore...oh god!...the words...the emotions...passion... ecstasy ... fervor...bliss...ah...goodness...this is life...jesus christ...the words...i need some more words ...more words...i'm running out of 'em...just some more...a little more...ahhh...THE END!

Normalcy is restored, the heart is less frantic, each breath is longer than the preceding one, the paroxysm of pleasure settles down into a mist of fulfillment, a warm glow envelops the body and lethargy obscures reality. I open my tired eyes and find the blank document stare at me, indifferently. My mind's too exhausted to start it all over again. Besides it's 2 AM. Sigh!

And this song I was writing is left undone
I don't know why I spend my time
Writing songs I can't believe
With words that tear and strain to rhyme

As I lay down on my bed, I realise that my thoughts and I are too detached, and the relationship, a mere one-night stand isn't good enough to procreate an idea that's worthy of being written about. Now I know why I dont blog as often as I'd like to. That being said, it's still a wonderful experience as it leaves my intellectual batteries recharged, to live at the least another day in the life of... (ahem!) yours truly.