Monday, February 27, 2006

QnR: Shopping et al

No matter what you do, he gets his clothes dirty in half a working day. And he is not overly bothered about it. A shirt will be worn as long as the deo does its job and it will be washed only when it becomes unwearable. I will not write about jeans. Finding an ironed shirt is an impossible task in the room. Announce a client visit or a crucial interview at short notice, and he will either wear a friend's clean shirt or buy a new one. Shoes are polished only once on the day of wearing. Any dust that the left shoe accumulates after the polish will see the calf portion of the right trouser and vice versa. Canvas shoes are never washed and are made to undergo the ultimate test of quality and endurance.

Two sets of shoes are enough for him. She, in contrast, is always short of footwear. Every dress should have a matching footwear and every footwear will have a matching dress. In fact she has only two problems: 1. Too less clothes to wear. 2. Too less wardrobe space.

He is generally clear-headed while shopping. A trip to buy a pair of trousers will end in just that. He knows the cut, the type, the fabric, and all he has to do is go to the store, pick the stuff, pay the bill and outta there. She will spend half a day (lunch included) to buy a single top, when she had actually come looking for a skirt, which someone in her parlour said was on sale.

He can finish shopping gifts for three weddings, two birthday parties, a social gathering and a thanksgiving in a single trip of one hour. She needs to be taken seven times, to seven different shops to search seven gifts and shortlist one for each occasion. Each gift has to be different and of a different price range. God, she even starts rating the recipients, "He is more close to me ya, I cant give him this.", "Arre, Seema is also giving him the same thing, ya". He goes "God, give them anything yaar, the wedding couple will be more interested in their honeymoon, they wont sit and compare who gave what." Then he cracks this joke which goes "Men will pay Rs.200 for something they really need, even if it costs only Rs.100. Women will pay Rs.100 for a Rs.200 item which they do not need, but just because it is on sale."

QnR: Life in General

She is Q. Because she is always asking "Kyon". He is R. Because he is explaining it to her, "Aw, its not like that", "Aw, it works like this".

Someone had asked me once, why only Q and R? Why not something else. Well, Someone, now you know.

He is generally messy, and comfortable in his own mess. He can live in absolute harmony with his remote, laptop, mobile, chargers, wallet, watch, bike keys, towel, tracks, yesterday's shirt, jeans, belt, specs and newspaper all lying on his bed. He can give you money, answer a call, watch TV, put two chargers in the socket and switch them on with a flick of the rolled up newspaper, all with the slightest movements of his body. He can find his things in the mess, wherever they are. The worst case is he may have to yank the bedspread down, and he will definitely get the laundry receipt he was looking for.

She is cleanliness personified. God forbid her cleaning out his room and bring some order into his life. He will go out and call her from the PCO to find out where his mobile is, and for two days he will be on the mobile, asking her where the other things are. "Q, where is my charger?", "Q, there was this recharge coupon near the pillow, where did you keep it?", "Where are my bike keys, yaar, why do you keep miss-placing things?". "It is there only, R, just look around" will only get "It is not anywhere near the bed" in response.

The bedspread may not have been changed for two weeks at a stretch, but he can never see the dirt on it. In extreme circumstances, he resorts to reverse engineering, and the thing is taken care of for 2 more weeks. This goes on until Q comes and gives him a earful, or some other person of the other sex comes and explicitly spells it out "CHANGE THE BED SPREADS".

Ask him about it, and he will only say "Boys will be boys, Oh oh Oh oh Oh oh...".
There is more.

Friday, February 24, 2006


He gets a fleeting glimpse of her. Eyes meet, she gives a cheerful smile, and there is radiance all over, before she gets herself lost in the crowd.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Oooff !!!

Missing out on India's most prolific run chase in recent years, a flat tyre, a PC which shut down while I was listening to songs, an earphone whose left speaker went on strike, a re-arrange of the paraphernalia in my duffel bag, a splitting headache, a blog which made me senti, an occupational issue, irrelevant questions, lots of answers and an abundance of explanations is all that happened to me since the last post.

Yuvi has come of age, and how !!! This Indo Pak series has been totally his. He has overshadowed every other performance, including Shoaib Malik's three 90+ scores. The young guns have fired, and in great style. Dhoni, RP Singh, Sreesanth, Pathan, everyone has some reason to punch his fist in the air and say "Yes". It was a delight to see Dravid splashed on all the papers. It is after a long time that Dravid has openly rejoiced and with such passion. For the first time, Indian cricket walks with a chip on its shoulder, provoking, almost throwing down a challenge to other teams in the world. This was India's thirteenth successful run-chase in a row, and I just hope this form continues till the World Cup.

I was re-doing this huge duffel bag I have, and I found this book, which I had bought at Crossword long back, but had never read it. Actually, it was because I had bought Chetan Bhagat's One Night at a Call Center and another one by Sudha Murty along with it, and after all that light reading, Gabriel Garcia Marquez was tough to relate to. Anyway, redid all the other stuff in the bag, and dusted it off. Got a blocked nose that night, and a splitting headache the next morning.

Then there was this blog on trains which made me senti, and I wrote a big comment on it. Now, I feel I could have written it here, and just given a link. Add to that small things like a PC which went off the LAN even as I was listening to its songs, and a creaky earphone, whose left part doesnt work. Using the right earphone in the left ear becomes a "pain in the neck", so I had to get my new Sony earphones out of my bag, and into the office. (This was why I even thought of re-doing the bag in the first place)

And all this week, I will be repeating the same long answers, to the same irrelevant questions and explaining the damn old things to every person who raises the occupational issue, until Friday. Then, its another weekend, and a brand new week...

Currently listening: Kaise bhoolegi mera naam - Euphoria
Currently reading: One hundred years of solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

PJ of the Day:
Hyderabadi 1: Kya ji, ine newsaan mein kya dikhaare so ... bird flu ki... kya ki?
Hyderabadi 2: Woch samasta nahi so, abhi bird flew nahi kartin to kya caraan bussan flew kartin kya?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Poor Jokes

Finally I write on something I really love. I came across this blog and this guy JV Rajan is some guy, I tell ya. He brings out these jokes which can easily be classified into the "PJ" category, and they have me smiling everytime I see one coming. I am totally hooked on to this guy's blog.

Anyway, this is the joke which I saw on his blog:

A neutron goes into a bar and orders a drink.
He drinks and drinks and when it comes to paying the bill, the neutron gives a cheque.
The bartender refuses payment saying, "Sir, for you, there is no charge".

Neutron is puzzled and comes out and meets an atom. Like all of us who drink, these two drunks, started talking. An upset neutron told the atom: "They refused to take any money from me". Atom enquired "Why??"
Neutron: "Don't know man. I am sure there is something fishy happening here".
Atom: "I also have this feeling. As soon as I came to this pub, I lost an electron".
Neutron: "What? You lost an electron??".
Atom: "Yes".
Neutron: "That's really sad man. Are you sure??".
Atom: "Yes, I am positive!?".

Jokes apart, let us dwell on what actually is a poor joke.

Q: What is a poor joke?
Q: What is a complex poor joke?
A: (P + i J)
Q: Why dont people laugh at complex poor jokes?
A: Because the joke part of it is imaginary.

Logical enough, dont u think?

And then there was this knock-knock joke I came across in another blog:
Husband: I can make you cry.
Wife: You do? Honey, just try.
H: Knock knock.
W: Who's there?
H: Boo
W: Boo Who?
H: Hah....gotcha.

Then there is this ultimate PJ which has more than one answer:
Q: You are in a boat in the middle of a river. You have 2 cigarettes and have to light any one cigarette. You don't have anything else with you in the boat? How will you do it?

A1: Take one cigarette and throw it in the water. So the boat will become LIGHTER........using this LIGHTER you can light the other cigarette
A2: You throw a cigarette up and catch it. Catches win Matches. Using the matches that you win, you can light the cigarette.
A3: Take water in your hand and drop it drop by drop...(TIP - TIP) "TIP TIP barsa Pani. Pani ne aag lagayee" -- us aag se hamne cigarette jalayee.
A4: Start praising one cigarette, The other will get jealous & "jalney lagega".

Well, these are all the ones which we have heard and read in our emails, and there are quite a few original ones, which have come off me in real "situations". But then, that's another day's topic. They don't call me PJ Master for nothing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

More on Thatha

Continued from here.

Thatha had latent humor. He would inject humor into dead serious situations, and still keep his face straight. Like the time when the couple next door bought an outdated nth-hand Maruti (The ones called Dolphins) and he went and asked him whether it was a new one. And when the neighbour said yes, my thatha had the cheek to ask him, "but the registration number does not seem new".

The second time Thatha had scolded me was when I was behaving very pally-pally with my uncle, not keeping in mind the age difference. He was very matter-of-fact this time and came straight to the point without much beating around the bush and things. It was around this time, that I learnt the Ambassador, and was permitted to take it around the city. But when I returned, Thatha would be standing at the gate, to remind me to park the vehicle inside the garage. I have this habit of leaving the vehicle in front of the gate, so that I can be off, as soon as I hear my friends' vehicles in the distance. But Thatha would always see to it that vehicles were parked inside.

Thatha had this insatiable hunger for technology. In his later years, it was the mobile phone which caught his fancy, and he would ask me on and on about how they function. He would listen with rapt attention the stuff about networks, towers, billing, SMS and whatever stuff I dished out to him. He would devour the newspaper for new terminologies and refer them to me, for clarification. Once, he wanted to know the difference between 'web' and 'cyber'. He had seen it in one of these internet parlours.

Internet was one thing that got him hooked. He was amazed at how fast the news travelled, and he followed the Iraq war entirely on internet. He would open accounts, and ask me the funda behind the secret question thing. He would mail me and check on phone whether I received the mail. He was passionate about computers. He joined the tutorial next door on how to assemble a computer. Hardware stuff basically. He wasnt interested in software. So poor thing, he skipped the classes on software installations. Everytime Windows gave him a problem, he would just hit format *.*, and come back to me for having the OS installed again. He loved XP and its colours. Google Earth was another favourite of his. He would look up all the places where US had bombed Iraq.

He was ill for most of his later years, the reason being, he would always stand near the front door, and take in all the dust and smoke. Come autumn, and he would take a broom and start sweeping away all the leaves. He never listened to anyone, and if he felt like it, he would take the vehicle and go roaming, exploring new suburbs of the city, at 11:30 forenoon. He also became a bit stubborn. He would keep quiet when the doctor was around, and as soon as he left, he would pester the nurse to write a discharge sheet. Sometimes when we had asked the doctor to tell him that he needed bedrest, he would act very active, and read the paper, walk around his ward, and make us look like fools.

He was so happy when I got my job, and when I filed up all the documents of the house, vehicles and other things. He was very ill when the house-warming was done, and he just came to attend the final chants of the puja. He maintained regular contact over email, while I was here in Pune. Once he would mail from one account, and then from the other. He was impressed by the way cellphones clicked the photos, and transferred them over the internet from person to person. When I left for Pune after the house-warming, he asked me to bring along the datacable, so that he could learn how to transfer the files from cellphone to computer. Sadly, he never got to learn it.

Thatha died last Diwali. I was the last one to see his face. Grandma, Mom, Dad, my uncle, everyone was holding their emotions, somehow. I got the feeling they were postponing the imminent, minute by minute until I arrived. The moment I stepped into the hall, loud sobs broke out all over. Mom was clinging to me, Dad had closed his eyes, and my palm was hurting in his hands as he tried hard to take control over himself. Thatha was lying there, his face serene, almost as if he was just there in a deep sleep. He was sleeping, yes, but he would never wake up from it.

May God rest his noble soul in eternal peace.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Roll in a Retired Superintendent of Customs and Central Excise, a lover of all things mechanical, a technology freak, a hardware student, a card-player who played every Sunday evening, a WILLS patron (as long as it sponsored the Indian Team), a smoker who quit, a man with impeccable English, a person who thought all government jobs could be taken care by flawless correspondence, a stubborn man and a stick-to-basics-rest-will-be-fine personality together, and you may somehow be close to what my maternal grandfather was.

Given the brat that I was in school, and I was away from my parents, my grandfather was the person I was initially afraid of. There have been only two times in the eleven odd years I spent with him, that he admonished me. The first was when I bunked school with 10 other friends, and went to play cricket the whole day (like Swami and his friends in Malgudi Days). He had slapped me right in front of my teacher, and my glasses had gone for a toss. That night he had checked on my glasses when I was pretending to be asleep, and years later, he asked me forgiveness for it. He gave me a golden rule then : "Men forget all the yap you give them, but never an insult". He had made a point by insulting me there, in front of everyone, because I would remember the insult till the last day of my life, and with the insult, I would remember the lesson learnt.

It was fun with Thatha, during school days, he was the one who would sign my report cards, and there was one time, where to control my brat-ness, he had asked my class-teacher to mark "No complaints" and the date on a small notebook, which he would periodically review. This book was maintained for about 2 months, before everyone grew out of it. It was while cleaning my cycle, that Thatha and I would really get into the groove. He was the total D-I-Y guy, there was nothing in the house which could not be ripped apart using the tools in his bag. From snippers to soldering irons, he had them all. He taught me how to clean the cycle, repair its brakes, rechain the pedals to the wheel and fix a dynamo to the whole thing. He would even take a test ride and tell me whats wrong and where.

It was on his old scooter that I graduated to geared vehicles. The scooter would barely give 25 kmpl, but he would diligently write down the reading on the garage wall, and calculate the mileage everytime he filled in gas. He would open the scooter up every Sunday, much to the wrath of my grandmother, who had a hard time calling him in for breakfast and lunch. The best part was he would call for coffee and sit in the garage, while she would look all over the house for him. And when he finally got it, it was cold, and was sent for re-heating. My thatha would often send me on small trips to the local store to get him his quota of Wills cigarettes. There was a time when we were going on a trip, and he had got a 20's pack, because he was not sure whether he would get them on the roadside. He eventually quit smoking, but it was too late by then.

Every family occasion was a time for him to recount his old tale, of when he had a Morris, which was started by spinning a pedal wheel in front of the bonnet. He had gone to KRS along with the family, and while he was going uphill, all the petrol in the car tilted towards the bottom of the angled tank, causing no petrol to flow into the engine. And how they had to walk back and get more gas, till the time the car could start in its inclined position.

Much later we had a Padmini in our garage, which Thatha would polish every Sunday, with a generous amount of WAXPOL. He cleaned it religiously and would never let my uncle drive it, for the reason that it belonged to another uncle of mine, and my Thatha was not the one to be in a position to answer unwanted questions. My uncle had actually sulked for some time, because Thatha had not allowed him to drive on the way to Bangalore. By the time I was in a position to drive those machines, Thatha had become quite frail, though you could never go on his external appearance.

Continued here.

Monday, February 13, 2006

How do you mend a broken heart?

How often do you actually realise that you have broken a heart? How do you cope with the knowledge that every word you spoke was making an incision, every action of yours was sawing away on an innocent heart? How do you cope with the fact that you could be so heartless? How do you get out of the lousy feeling, which makes your stomach churn its guts out?

For the first time in life, I made an other heart bleed, and I cringe at it, more so because of the fact that nothing in my power....nothing I say, nothing I do, will make it up to her. For the first time in life, I was so myopic to my own actions, never saw where it was going. For the first time in life, I want to say all the SORRY I can, even though it will not make an iota of difference to the damage done.

For the first time in life, I have been guilty of nurturing an undefinable relationship, and bringing it down in the worst possible manner, of extending hands to build castles in her heart, and then demolishing them with the same ones. For the first time in life, I am ready to do anything to make her feel better, to help her get over the trauma, but I'm tied down with the helplessness that I was the one who made her go through this in the first place.

For the first time in life, I hate myself. I hate myself for having broken a heart, for having made her cry, for having given reason for her to drift away, for throwing away the crystal I had in my hands, for watching it break it to a hundred pieces, for the knowledge that nothing I do can put it up the way it was before, for gashing an existing wound, for bringing back the pain, for giving wings to a placid heart and bringing it down when it started to fly.

I just wanted to be someone she can say she shares so much in common with. I just wanted to be nice, to care for her as a good friend, to be around for her, to hear her agony, to provide her a shoulder to cry on, to share her joys, to listen to her laugh, to console her in her sorrow, to wipe her tears away, you know, just to be the thing good friends are made of.

But, now I know I can't. Because now the sorrow has been caused by me, the tears flow because of me, and I only want that one chance. To wipe away the tears which flowed on account of me, to make her laugh away the sorrow which I caused her. I want her to talk to me, about all those things which we have put off for another day. I want her to know, that I dont want to lose her, what with all the things we have in common. We came up with something in common, even the last time I spoke to her.

I want her to know that I will be there for her, even though it is highly unlikely that she will ever ask me anything consciously. I want her to know that my utter thoughtlessness was not intentional. I want her to know that the lines were not blurred deliberately. It was only that there was a difference in where we drew the lines. I kept my line in sight, and was totally unaware that my feet were stomping, making undefinable patterns, on what was left of hers. And when I backed off, it was too late. My eyes, which were so mindful of my line, could only see the blurred remains of footprints: awry, trodden, shambled, irreparable. I want to redraw those lines, but this time, the two will be together. I just want her to give me another chance, as she said she would.

I have fallen in my own eyes, and there is nothing that makes a man more ashamed. She may forgive me, after her wounds have healed, but it will be a long time before I can get this lousy feeling out of my gut, before I can look myself in the eye.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Gok's gal

Goks: People, I got my girl.
Viky: Cheers mate, when do I get to ride her.
Goks: She's all mine, but you can ride her from the back.
Viky: The rear is always for the taking, but I was talking of 'you-know-what'. These are experienced hands, I will rev her up like anything.

Chillax guys, the girl of Gokul's dreams is a YAMAHA RX 100, and it has fallen right into his hands, and boy, is he happy about it?

Hey Goks, this post is for you, mate. Drive safely, and always with a helmet.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


I have a friend. But lately, she's kinda drifting apart.
I know her for long. But I feel she's miles out of my reach.
I talk to her often. But we rarely go beyond pleasantries.

She is definitely not the one I knew before. We used to talk about everything under the sun, but now the talks are silent, the silence is killing. We could end it and go our ways, but then, we could also make it work, if she only speaks.

I am the kind of guy who likes to look at the lighter side of things, and she was one who acknowledged the efforts. Nowadays, nothing has any effect on her. She flares up for the flimsiest of reasons, she argues on the relevancy of my jokes. She explains the real meaning of a phrase when I have woven a joke around it.

This can go on until we both reach our boiling points, and one day, it will fall apart. I dont want to take it up with her, because she will either say "Nothing" or will classify it "Personal", which means there are no more discussions on it. I just dont want it to end with such stupidity that we can't even laugh about it five years down the lane.

Is it something I did? Or said? I dont know. One more face in the mind, is on the verge of fading away. One more photo will go down the memory lanes with LOST stamped on it.

John Abraham in Jism..."rishtey hamesha buri tarah hi khatam hote hain, ya phir khatam hi nahi hote."

Friday, February 03, 2006

Raat baaki

Sleeplessness has taken its toll on me this week. (Ask my roomies and they will raise an eyebrow and say "Yeah, Right!!" ). Gets up at half past eleven and still speaks of insomnia...But then, I sleep late guys. Staying awake till 1 am to catch Simpsons on Star World has become commonplace. Even after that sleep eludes me for an hour or two...

The night before yesterday, I was gazing at the little amount of sky visible from my window. Thankfully, it was cloudless, and I could see some stars, twinkling away, as if someone was sending a coded message to someone else in this wide vast universe.

Watching the sky, the moon, the stars in constellations, makes you feel so humble. It shows you your place in the scheme of things. So tiny, so insignificant, so helpless. Yet we keep on harping on power and authority every time we get a chance. The cool breeze wafting along brings the scent of jasmine, and you inhale it with your eyes closed, and for that single fleeting moment, you are one with nature. You may get another chance when you take a second breath, but it never gives you the heavenly feeling, and this knowledge gives you goose-pimples on your arms. You rub your palms on your arms, and go back to the warmth of your rug.

Yesterday, I was listening to soulful songs by Lucky Ali, including my fave "Nahin rakhta dil mein kuch". I listened to the entire CD once, and then put it in shuffle and repeat. The player was OFF when I woke up, and the earphones were not entwined to my body, and I dont know whether it was me, or the roomies who put it off, and away. The player even had some power to play some songs today morning.

Strangely, even though I was listening to Lucky Ali, it was this song by Rafi, which was doing rounds in the back of my mind.

aaj ki raat, yeh kaisi baat, ke humko neend nahi aati
meri jaan aao, baiTho paas, ke humko neend nahi aati...aaj ki raat.

machal uTha ye dil naadan, baDa ziddi baDi mushkil
khuda ko bhi mana loon main, magar mane na rooTha dil
tumhi dekho karo koi baat, ke humko neend nahi aati
meri jaan aao, baiTho paas, ke humko neend nahi aati...aaj ki raat.

Guess I'll listen to some Rafi tonight.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


karmoDa maLeyagi suridaga, kaNNa hanige mukti
marada hakki mari rekke beesidare, adara garige mukti
yadeya novu haaDagi hommidare bhaavakke bandhamukti
endu aadevu naavu mukta mukta mukta...?

The opening lines of a popular kannaDa TV serial MUKTA, these lines have so much meaning in them that I keep going back to them again and again. Especially nowadays.

karmoDa maLeyagi suridaga, kaNNa hanige mukti
when the black clouds descend as droplets of rain, it meets the tear-drop in the eye, and thus the tear-drop attains salvation.

marada hakki mari rekke beesidare, adara garige mukti
when the young bird on the tree, flutters its wings and flies, the branch which supported it hitherto, attains salvation.

yadeya novu haaDagi hommidare bhaavakke bandhamukti
when the pain in the heart, bursts out as a song, the 'thought' behind the pain attains salvation.

endu aadevu naavu mukta mukta mukta...?
on what fortunate day do we attain salvation?