Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ipod,Me and Spirituality.

Ipod, spirituality? Steve Jobs must be laughing up there. But stranger things have happened. When you are going through a creative menopause you feel like your pen is wearing a condom. The creative juices just refuse to flow. You get your metaphors mixed, the grammar doesnt seem right and the ideas get wobbly. You pray for that one act of providence. God make me write something sensible.
Here I was in the holy town of Triveni, right in the middle of the confluence of the three holy rivers totally fascinated with the siberian birds. These birds needed no visa and yet no one dreams of deporting them. I was trying hard to get them on the boat. But they just wouldnt come. Bribing them with food could only bring them close but not inside. I was trying hard but still that one picture was elusive. I was being distracted by the jerks in the boat and the jarring voice was of God’s messenger, the extremely loud and irritating priest. The Priest was trying to convince me to take a dip. It would rid me of my sins. Not able to convince, he was now explaining the full cycle of human life. “ what goeth around cometh around.” But still I wasn’t convinced. Nothing ever came back to me.
Not that I do not like water. I am a true blue blooded Piscean and take to water like a fish. But this was different. The smell of death was all pervasive. We were here to immerse the ashes of a close friend’s mother. Wherever you looked , you could see only boats and tonsured heads. I felt like it would be an insult to the dead. Didnt matter if i came back a human again in the next life but i am not dippin in.
Suddenly there was a call. It was my sister. The whole family was visiting me for christmas. She gave the whole plan and then while signing off casually told that she is bringing my ipod. In that fragile mind of mine , I felt jolted.
Onal had completed her MBA and it was her convocation. I was in USA then and was visiting her. When I asked what she would like to have as her gift, she didn’t think for a moment, IPOD. It was new then. Today when we think back it sounds like day light robbery. It wasn’t even 1 GB if i remember well and the price was $250.
Time flew and soon Onal got married. Her younger brother went to hostel to studying engineering. The doting sister gifted her prized possession to him. The price was irrelevant. She had collected some priceless music in it. But time still refused to stop. Soon Yugesh completed his studies. It was time for him to leave. He doesnt believe in much baggage. So it was redundant to have an ipod when you could download the music on your mobile. He asked if he could give it back to me and hence the phone call.
I looked incredulously at the priest. “ What goeth around cometh around”. Without a word I undressed and slipped into the holy water. Washed of my sins, I was brand new again.
The birds also seemed happier. They gave me one breathtaking picture. Take a look. It could win a contest anywhere.
Now only if i get the flow of my writing back, I would be a practising Hindu.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

How Bhajji won the Champions League Trophy.

Lasith Malinga looked around and spotted Bhajji by the pool side eating vada paav and washing it with some fruity looking drink. “ Panha.” He explained. “ Made from raw mango. Very popular with the Maharashtrians.” Malinga was impressed. This is a really great country. Unlike Srilanka, they assimilate the other cultures so beautifully. But still he decided to probe deeper.
“ But I thought its time for a patiala peg.”
Bhajji lowered his voice. “ We are in Mumbai. Can you see all those pesky photographers. Let them click and go. Then we can go inside and eat chicken tikkas with some scotch.” Malinga was nonplussed. “ Why do you eat this if you don’t like?”
“ MNS. Raj Thakeray.” Malinga stared at him dumbly. “ Look. I am out of the national team and this is my only source of income. Can’t risk rubbing this guy the wrong way.”
Malinga looked at him suspiciously. ‘ et tu Brutus?” “ No. No. just a figure of speech.”
Malinga thought for a moment. So many questions and no Guru. He had another doubt. “ Why do they call it Mumbai team? There are no Mumbaikars. All are foreigners.” Bhajji shrugged his shoulder. “ We really don’t care. It’s a national culture. Don’t you follow politics? Our government looks Indian but look who actually controls.” Malinga was impressed. “ Wow. You are brilliant. You should join politics.” “ Well I tried. I met Madam Sonia Gandhi and Advani ji. Normally they contradict each other. But this one time they both spoke the same language. Both were tired of that one Sardar in their party and didn’t have the energy to handle another one. Advaniji went one step further and explained that the only reason he didn’t give permission to Navjot Sidhu to go to Bigg Boss was because they promised him that Sidhu would come out after one month. He thought he would be in forever.” Malinga wasn’t interested. He really came to chalk out strategy for the final against RCB. Bhajji’s eyes were focused. “ We will win the cup for sure. I have to teach someone a lesson.” Malinga surely understood. Now they were on the same page. “ Yes Yes . The selectors must be taught a lesson. How dare they drop you.” “ No not them. Who is interested in representing the National team. Haven’t you seen Gauti and Sehwag. It’s Mukesh Ambani.” Now Malinga was totally lost. What had Mukesh to do with it?
Bhajji Explained. “ You know why we lost the finals last time. Mukesh Ambani bribed our team to lose.” Malinga couldn’t believe his ears. Why would he do that. Now Bhajji was irritated. “ Don’t you watch the TV. Remember after the semi finals I had lifted Nita Ambani. Mukesh was plain jealous. He didn’t want a repetition. But this time I am determined. He is busy with many law suits. He watches more of Court proceedings than cricket. ” Malinga had another doubt. “ Don’t you think we will become unpopular with some Indians if we defeat their team.” Bhajji assured him that Indians were like oranges. We look one but remove the skin and we fall apart. We never agree on anything.
“ Besides if we lose, we will become unpopular here in Mumbai. This is our bread and butter now. Can’t risk doing that.” The veteran paused. Clearly he was thinking. “ You know the country supported me as one only once.”
Malinga had a wide grin. Wider than his wide balls, “ I can answer that. They are our enemy too. When you whooped the Australians.” Harbajan looked at him with pity. This dumbo can only throw slingers. But he was his team mate and had to be mentored. So he patiently explained, “ No silly. When I slapped Sreesanth.”
Malinga was overwhelmed. Here was a leader. We had to win for him. He was chanting while going to his room, “ Yes we can. Yes we can.” But Malinga being Malinga couldn’t remember which pop singer sang that song.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Steve Jobs is an RSS agent

Dear Steve Jobs,

I am very depressed today. Honestly I am a very big fan of yours. In fact I cried only twice in life. Once when Michael Jackson died and second when you died. You were my hero.
But I came to know through very informed source that you are an RSS agent. My heart broke then. The name of that informed source is Honorable Digvijay Singh Ji. I am mentioning his name very respectfully because he is patrolling the internet these days and lodges an FIR against who ever he feels is using abusive language against him. It gives him enormous stress. Never mind his own language. He can call a swamy a thug. If things go out of hand he doesn’t hesitate to use his knuckles and knees. He can be a motor mouth really. But then he is Honorable Digvijay Singh.
Now you may wonder who is he and how did he find out about you. Well let me take back to your own country. After that dreadful 9/11, you remember the sniffer dogs you employed to find bombs. They are pretty smart dogs. My legs were shaking once when they came and sniffed my bag. Well this man is smarter. Here we use him instead to find out who is an RSS agent. And he is pretty good at it. His party is ridden with corruption. But he tries to pin all the blame on RSS. A good dog this one. I mean a good man. He does it very sincerely. In fact we are waiting for another startling disclosure from him. His honorable president recently went to USA for a surgery. Turns out that was the handiwork of some RSS goons. We are waiting for him to enlighten us.
He has other qualities too. He is the mentor of our crown prince. It couldn’t be for nothing. You see the prince holds a very important position in his party. Although he does nothing, they find ways to credit him for everything that goes right and find ways to cover up all his foolishness by apportioning the blame on someone else. And this honorable man is adept at it.
Another quality he has is he is a very secular man. He loves his muslim brothers. It doesn’t matter to him if they were terrorists. Well whoever said love is blind. So he calls the dreaded terrorist Osamaji . I do not know his views on another dreaded terrorist Kasabji. I guess we will have to wait for some elections to come. The fountain of love then simply overflows.
But coming back to you, why am I calling you an RSS agent. Well first of all my iphone crashed and I lost all my valuable data the day you died. I thought it was my tribute to you. Just like Nehru’s famous speech when Mahatma Gandhi died – The light has gone out. I thought all the iphones have gone. But no. it couldn’t have been anyone but an RSS agent. This was a conspiracy by your RSS.
Another point. Anna Hazare, that loathsome man, has given you the credit for his lokpal bill. He says that he saw the proceedings of the parliament on his ipad. Now my hero, the Honorable Digvijay Singhji has always claimed that there is a foreign hand actively trying to topple their clean government. People thought it is one of his usual rants. This horrible man Anna Hazare even suggested that he should be sent to a mental Hospital. But now he stands vindicated. Never mind the humongous corruption, never mind the inefficiency of his government, there is a foreign hand and that too, it is colluding with the most despicable RSS.
How could you my hero! Oh, how could you! Long live Digvijay Singh Ji.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sex and the City

The Dussehra came and went without a fuss. There was nothing much to celebrate. The Ravanas are still alive and kicking. We shall keep pretending that all is well. Anna Hazare will keep on threatening that he would go on a hunger strike for one reason or the other till people get bored of him. In the meantime the Ravanas in power will continue making money, those in Delhi will continue raping their women and those in Mumbai will continue throwing north Indians out of locals. Life will go on as usual.

My posts are fewer now. Almost like once a month. Been busy with completing my novel. Now wait eagerly for the literary agents to start rejecting! Rowlings was rejected some thing like forty times. So I still have a long way to go. Also there wasn’t much to write any way. Besides no one seems to be missing me. Ah Chetan Bhagat! I hate you. Your books are cheaper than my pizzas. I am losing not just my readers, but my customers too!

Being in Hyderabad has allowed me to catch up with whatever is happening on the TV. They Hyderabadis love their movies like they love their food- hot and spicy. Sadly, it is easier fighting in Kargil than going out and watching a movie. The Telangana war has brought out all the violence out of the movies and into the street. So TV is the safer option.

The Bigg Boss is back. It feels like the producer hired a porn writer, offered him some weed and a CD of ‘Snow white and the thirteen dwarfs’ ( OK. It was seven. Grant me the poetic license will you!) and ordered him to rehash. What we now have is a veritable soft porn of the basest kind. We have a eunuch, a snake charmer, the wife of a serial killer, a washed out Pooja Bedi who would surely dip the sales of Kamasutra Condoms which she had so steamily launched and a list of jaded out of work models and actresses. Shakti Kapur , the snow white does what he always did best. He can jarr your nerves. But still the peeping tom in me was kept glued. I wasn’t disappointed. God! Am I not cheap enough already?

Another show that caught my fancy is the one and only Rakhi Sawant’s show. It is quite refreshing. Contrast it with the plastic Simi Garewal. I have no hesitation in admitting that I am a big fan of her. She is plain guts! Nothing, not even a lack of talent, can come in her way. Her English can be as delightful as her personality. It took me a while to understand ‘small mammary’. For you ignoramus, She meant short memory!

But then, why single out her alone? The Hindustan times screamed a heading on Sep.28, 2011 ‘ Are we a nation of flashers!!” what is happening? Have we suddenly realized that we belong to the land of Khajuraho and Kamasutra? Or have we stopped using the dictionary because our staple read is Chetan Bhagat .

There was one show that was a definitely thumbs up. ‘The Masterchef Australia’. The participants are judged on their culinary skills by a team of very knowledgeable and polite judges. They have charm oozing out of every word they speak. The format is very tough and engrossing and there exists a very healthy rivalry among the participants. They are competitive but not mean. Interestingly, there is an Indian too. Kumar is surely kicking some ass. A must watch.

Finally, here’s the prologue of my Novel, ‘The Bare truth’. All kind of comments are welcome. Even the decent ones. To the abusive ones, I can dismiss them like the diva from that favorite news channel of mine. “ Trolls. They are plain jealous.”

Dear Ajinkya,
I hate two things in life. Prologues and tragedies. My bad luck, I am scripting both. Ouch! Even we have to swear by our luck!
Perish the thought that your Lady Luck is some sixteen year old sexy nubile. I am seventy five, arthritic and to make it worse have Carpal tunnel syndrome. So I take the help of my sixteen year old grandson to type your fortune. He is bipolar, ugly and an inveterate homosexual. I am old fashioned and cannot fathom how homosexuals can be gay? So I still call them homosexuals. Coming to my grandson, he is going through a severe depression. So he is vengeful. But I had seen the glint in his eyes when he saw your turn. After all you were the only male today. I was furious and cursed, “ Go kiss his ass.” Sadly for you, even a guy like him finds you ugly. That made him crankier. And so he replaced the ‘ss’ in kiss to ‘ck’. That is how you find yourself in the Hospital with a bruised ass. Wish I could say ‘Good Luck’! But I am helpless. I can, however, offer you some advise. Go find the right doctor. See a brain surgeon!

Yours truly,
Lady Luck “

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ms. Batlivala goes on a Fast.

It is not easy being a socialite. Mrs. Batlivala could be a case study for all the IIMs on how to multitask effortlessly.
But the last thing on her mind was IIM. To be fair to her she didn’t even know or cared what was IIM. She had a more important issue on hand. So as she carefully nursed her glass of Chablis between her thumb and forefinger, Her More menthol dangling sexily in the recess of her middle and forefinger, she absent mindedly picked up a canapé and deposited it her mouth. Then she picked up a tissue and brushed off her designer white kurta. She had avoided the cap as it would have been too obvious.That old man had made the fashion statement of the year. She wore below a ballooned white lower which resembled a dhoti quite oblivious of the fact the Mrs. Sachdeva was sniggering in the ears of Miss sexy legs, “ Looks like there was a fire in Mrs. Batlivala’s house and she wore everything she could lay a hand on.” Miss sexy leg smiled politely careful not to spoil her lipstick. She was meeting her boss in The Taj for an afternoon rendezvous.
Mrs. Batlivala wanted to pull of a quick one. She wanted to fast. It was fashionable. But she wasn’t too enamored of that old man. She wrinkled her nose disgustedly. Typical middle class. And the woman who as with him. God! What awful fashion sense. But Kejriwal. Oh he is an absolute doll. She felt her legs go weak thinking of him.
Now the reason she was getting these anxiety attacks was that she had to something fast. She searched in her bag and felt the comforting presence of Restil. Thank God for these anti anxiety pills. She had to act fast before someone else does it. Should she have an ‘Anna’ theme party or should she go on a fast.
Thirteen days. She rolled her eyes in horror. Who on earth in his right mind would do that. She liked Narendra Modi’s Idea. Nice air conditioned comfort; three day fast. short and sweet.It was like the old man was playing a five day cricket match and Modi a one day.
She was a big fan of Modi. Loved his sartorial tastes. Look at those lovely kurtas. And the white beard. One could play football on his wide chest. She felt giddy. Oh lord! Why are the handsome men either single , taken or gay? The press is comparing him with Rahul Gandhi. She dismissed it instantly. Boys will be boys and men will be men.
She reached for the wafer thin cucumber sandwich as she signaled the waiter to refill her glass. Her mind was made up. she would go for a fast. She could always decide on the cause for doing so later. But three days would be too much. She could go for a T20. Something between Lunch and Dinner so she could be in time for the evening ball . being the cynosure of all eyes.
There would be no orange juice to break the fast. It is so passé. Maybe a melon juice. Nice and sexy . or perhaps strawberry. Let me check with the bar tender if he could dish out something delightful that would go well with my white dress.
She stood up determined. There was still time to think for the cause of this fast. But a lot had to be done. Inviting the TV crew, ordering snacks for the meet the press party announcing the fast, planning on the glassware; should it be a champagne flute, tall and sexy or Paris goblet round and wholesome or a simple juice glass , deciding what to wear for the party errr fast then go for shopping. She had to buy accessories and shades. Lot of work and no one to help dear me.
“Oh lord. Is anyone as socially committed as me?”That was the last thought as she left the club.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pizza Corner Memories.

I am not dying. I consider myself still young. My Pizza corner is young too. People write memories when they retire. But with my terrible memory, I may not remember half of them.
Entrepreneurship isn’t as bad as it is made out to be. At the same time it is not a bed of roses. There are some good and bad times. Here are some of my favorite moments in my Pizza corner.
1.The two young medicos were deep in studying the menu. Young Tanmay, carrying the MOT like a seasoned pro, went to them and enquired if they were ready to place their orders. The young ladies froze for a moment and stared at him for a moment. Suddenly they broke into laughter. They were taken aback to see someone so young. Priceless. Tanmay stole the heart of all the young ladies who visited during his brief stay.
2. This young engineering student signaled for a waiter. Since all the staff was busy, I went and enquired if I could help. He was holding the menu with the picture of the large pizza with the real pizza on the table. He was counting the number of tikka pieces on the picture and comparing with the real one. “They are less than the one in the picture.” I explained that I have measuring cups for each sizes and the chicken is spread according to that. It is pretty uniform. He thought for a moment and stared at me, “In that case, change the picture. “ I too stared back intensely and said in the same serious tone, “ Good idea.”
3.These two Malaysian girls have the loveliest smile in the world. But one day there was an inordinate rush. Their order was not only delayed, it was mixed up as well. One of them was furious. When reminded of that night, she has a very simple explanation. “Hunger can do many things to people. “ I hope beautiful girl, you are never hungry.
4. I had an unusual request. This young boy came with his girlfriend carrying two large bags. It was his friend’s birthday and could he have a candle lit. I assured him that it was his restaurant and he could do whatever he pleased. We gave him a corner and switched of the lights there. He was a charmer. He pulled the chair for his girl. Brought gifts for her. Then he ordered an empty plate and placed a large cake on it. The staff was surprised how they could eat such a large cake. But he was not only chivalrous; he was kind hearted as well. He cut the cake in large pieces and offered them to all the staff. The staff genuinely wished them well. I hope we don’t get many such guests. I can’t resist desserts and I am already overweight!
5. A young man was standing outside carrying a bottle of beer. He was insisting that he drink inside. The staff was unable to stop him. I went out as a large crowd was waiting for their turn. I pointed to them and explained to him there weren’t enough chairs inside. Only one of them could go inside. So why don’t he get the beer inside him and then haul his solitary ass inside. The young man smiled and in one large swig drank the whole beer to a huge applause. He patted my shoulder and said I was cool. But I, on the contrary, was glad that he wasn’t hot headed.
6. This young lady brought her grandmother to the store. The old lady was diabetic. She had multiple allergies and was a high blood pressure patient. But she was insisting on eating all kinds of foods. “ I am not going to live long. Let me eat what I want to.” She kept on saying. We carefully planned her menu. She wanted to try mint mojito. The young lady was worried about the impact. Suddenly I asked her if she would have tea with me. The old lady said that she couldn’t find it in the menu. I winked and said we keep it for special people. While paying she wanted to pay for the tea as well. I told her it was on me.
After a week the young lady came and informed that the old lady had expired. Her last meal was the one she had in Pizza Corner. While dying she remembered me and asked her granddaughter to thank me for the tea. It was a poignant moment. I pointed to the star that was twinkling the most and said, “That must be your grand ma.”
she smiled and squeezed my hand, her eyes moist, said, " Thank You."
7.Young Rehan always comes with his mom. Then one day his mom explained. whenever his father is out of station and he misses him, he wants to visit uncle's store. I make it a point to offer them both seats even when there is a waiting.Him and the students who come with their parents. No one minds it. for each one has parents. and parents visit hardly once a year. They certainly deserve the special treatment.
Memories are many. The young Arab, who has the most pleasing manners but always pays half the bill and the remaining has to be collected from his apartment, The american girl who orders from a bar, we were uncertain if it was a crank call since she orders huge. Then that charming Malaysian couple who stopped their auto and helped me reach my store dry under their umbrella. Their explanation that I care for them a lot. Well! who wouldn't love such well mannered boys and girls?
They all have their own idiosyncrasies. But I love them all.
The best compliment I have received was from an NRI from California. "It reminds me of my home!" she says with a far off look in her eyes. Thank You young lady.
The Pizza corner serves it purpose!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An open letter to the PM.

Dear PM,
It’s been a while since I wrote a letter to you. But trust me I remember you every single day. It is because of a young boy, Tony. Now if you were my fan and read my blog regularly, you would know who is Tony. But I doubt that. So let me enlighten you. He is my friend’s precocious nine year old son.
If that isn’t enough to interest you, let me tell you one more interesting facet about him. This would certainly interest you since you are a great patron of arts. I gathered it when that bare footed artist died in exile and suddenly your whole party including you and your reverend realized his greatness. Death can certainly absolve one of all his sins, no? well , this young boy is a step ahead of this artist. He doesn’t walk barefooted. He runs totally bare. Admire his latest creation as I come back to our story.
So whenever I call young Tony and ask him what is he doing, he says that in his sing song voice, “ Kuch Nahi”. That immediately reminds me of you.
If anything offends you sir, promise me not to let lose your favorite tear gas or water cannons. I, too, am like those unarmed women and children on whom your police showered their benevolence. Also please don’t arrest me or send me to Tihar. It is anyway overflowing with your brothers and sisters in arms. There would have been some space if the DMK had won. But no such luck. You have to move ahead in life. so rightly dump them and go ahead and sew an alliance with Amma.
Sir, you completed two years in power. Well done. We all stood and observed a two minute silence.
This country is doomed anyway because all the opposition is provided by naked fakirs and tired old men. The BJP is busy dancing at Rajghat.
But if you are serious, which you always are, I have a few advises to make. Trust me this talent comes to me naturally. I can give advises on all issues which I have no knowledge of. No sir, thanks , but please don’t offer me membership of your party. My talent would stand no chance against the superstars in your party.
But sir, do invest some money for the sake of your party. Find a good English teacher who can teach elementary English to your entertainers. You have studied in Cambridge and don’t seem to be doing much anyway, so maybe you could offer them some advise. Please teach them that when someone says that he hates your party for its corruption or inefficiency or brutality, he means just that. It doesn’t mean that he is a Hindu fundamentalist or an RSS agent.
Also please invest on a good dentist. Make express reservation for Digvijay Singh, Kapil Sibal, Manish Tiwary………… what the heck, the list is long enough. Go find all the dentists you can. You won’t find enough.
You don’t have a problem. Its an epidemic. The doctors call it ‘ foot in the mouth’ disease.
Another advise. Send that great Digvijay singh back to MP. Let him lose it, instead of Delhi, for you. You are not winning there any way. Each time he opens his mouth, you lose some thousand supporters.
Haven’t heard from another favorite of mine, Rahul G; which means there are no elections round the corner. Remember the famous seasonal cuckoo comment by our Mamta Didi and he shooting back to the journalist, “ do I look like a cuckoo to you?” The charming journalist was too decent to comment. Please enroll him in your elementary English classes too.
Hope this helps.
Forgive me. I must now go. I have to pray. I know it didn’t help the naked baba. But still this world lives on hope.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Porn Nights - The epilogue

The response to porn nights was overwhelming. So much so that now I have become a Dr. Phil to a young student from Manipal. He considers me his sex guru.
He is my favorite. Because he is a big spender. I like people who come and spend money in my place.
I like to spin stories to him because when he gets excited, he sways in his seat like the Titanic,becomes hot and sweaty and guzzles my Mint mojitos like beer till his main course arrives. It usually is a large pizza – an all meat extravaganza or a sausage lover or chicken supreme. The large pizza is just a ploy to sit here as long as possible. I am plainly jealous. Here I am on a detox diet and still ‘ delightfully plump’ as someone kindly put it. I go on that diet at least once in six months. It’s a crazy diet. No alcohol. No caffeine. No meat. Removes all the toxins. And here he was loading himself with all the toxins and yet slim and trim.
Seriously I don’t really mind as he keeps my cash register ringing. Can’t really complain since the business was bad what with the exams and all. So I keep spinning. And if some one things I am being unethical, I cant claim the patent to that trick. It started long back, from times immemorial , when man discovered fire and invented wheels and Go Go bars. And when the girls there found how stupid men can really be. Its business really. You don’t have to be in Harvard to understand that.
But Yesterday he foxed me. He looked around surreptiously and in a whisper asked me if I had ever used Viagra. I asked him why would I. He was on his second Mojito as he said that he had heard that all old people needed it. Me old! I cheerfully told the waiter to add two slices of green chillies to his mojito.
“ Gives it a zing.” I said cheerfully. As he persisted , I asked him what was his age. He was sweating as usual as he chugged thirstily, “ Twenty”. Well at twenty, if he was so curious about Viagra, I thought something was really wrong there ( No Pun).
But he was anything but stupid. He suddenly said something that clearly left me speechless.
“ You know somewhere deep within all of us lurks a peeping tom. This peeping tom drives us to into other people’s lives and their bedrooms. Else there would be no porn and all those porn stars would be jobless.” I was speechless. Damn I knew he was a smart lad. But this coming from him?
We were quiet for a moment. Then he asked me that inevitable question. Did she meet you?
I was silent collecting my thoughts. What could I tell this youngster with raging hormones. His brain was in his pants. Such was his age. How could I tell that there was more to life than sex.
Its been more than a month since we met. That was a special meeting. Two strangers yet not quite. When we hugged each other, it felt like I had known her since long.
Honesty has a cascading effect. we sat for hours. From my restaurant to a bar and back, sharing all our inner secrets. She spoke about her drugs, rehab and countless teenage issues. I about…. Well lets us leave it for some other day. I looked at her with respect. She wasn’t afraid of her past. We all have our pasts. How many have the courage to own it?
Her name was Anagha. “Call me Anne”. Whats wrong with our wooly NRIs. When in India, they are more westernized and when abroad, they suddenly become more sanskritised. Why couldn’t they have named her Anne?
“ You know you are my best friend. My friends are all jealous of me.” She smiled again. I smiled too.
There was nothing extraordinary about her. But her beauty lay in that ordinariness.
I just loved everything about her. Her thick glasses, her braces ( Since when have people looked so pretty in braces! when she smiled , she lit the room. ), her trampish clothes and above all her honesty.
She let all her skeletons out. I am not disclosing them to any peeping toms.
As she got up to leave, she hugged me , her eyes moist. “ you are not half as ugly as I imagined.” We laughed. Her tears shone in the light making my throat choke. I was seeing a little girl not so long ago, hugging me as she hurt her toe. I had picked up my neice and kissed her toe and told her that her pain would evaporate and vanish in thin air. She believed it. But would this pretty girl believe me?
The randy boy poked me. What happened when you met her.
I stood up and smiled.
“ea venit, ea vidit, ea vicit” she came , she saw and she conquered.

Goodbye Anne,Hope your life is filled with happiness and sunshine and hope you remain as weird as ever and I as ugly as you thought me to be.
For that is what brought us together.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Porn Nights - The interlude.

Ten days of vacation and I have been made as redundant as the sofa I am sitting on. Except for the mandatory signing of vouchers and reconciling the bank statements, I am not needed. When I left I was the fulcrum. Today I am sitting on the periphery, a mute spectator. But I must confess that I am watching not without pride. Two months back these very boys were hesitant, stammering and stumbling. Now they walk with confident steps, smug in their ability.

Everything around is moving with slick precision. The meter reading from the cellar has been taken. The dine -in is spick. The cutlery is clean. The pasta is ready. The soup is boiled and ready to be served. The ovens have been switched on. The inventory has been checked. The monthly report is being prepared. Not much variance. No wastages. Losses within limits. The auditor has given them 96%.

One small glitch. I am delighted. I notice that both the ACs in the dine-in are on. With a knowing air, I tell Sandeep that we don’t switch on both the ACs at 10am. Politely, he informs me that they will run it for some time till the room is cool and then switch off one of them. My ego has been pricked. I sit down. They have built a wall around them with their skill and dedication which I would be unable to pierce and find my way back to the old days. Nothing much to do I simply observe.
The ice delivery boy comes. As usual he is carrying the ice in the right hand and with the left hand he is playing on the window as he walks leaving a sweaty trail. The shift –in- charge shouts. I smirk. This is routine. The kid doesn’t change. He has seventeen rupees and seventy five paise change, the balance of his bill. Sandeep groans. He has to be paid every day and he brings the same amount every day. We requested him many times to take the money weekly or fortnightly. But no.
Reitesh is as usual late. I know the precise moment when his hand would caress his hair. At the door he would wait momentarily, cough and then open. After the second window, his hand goes up. I smile once again.

No one is aware of my birthday. i have guarded it well. I feel proud like a virgin bride. As one grows , birthdays become more of an embarrassment.

With nothing much to do, I think of our date tonight.

Just then the mobile rings. It’s a new number. “ Happy birthday, writer.” I jump with a start. Its weirdo I am sure.

“ Hi there.” I pretend nonchalance.

“ Don’t pretend. I can see you jump.” I am sitting near the window and there is just the greenery.
“ I am watching you.” She giggles. Is she weird. She is watching through a pair of binoculars from one of the apartments of Premier green woods!!!

I am fazed. So to change the subject , I ask, “ what time are we meeting.”

“ we are not. Birthdays are meant to be celebrated with near and dear ones.”

I tell her we are a long distance family. Our love oozes out when we are far. When we are in the same house, we sit in different rooms and chat on gtalk.
Our family never meets in the living room. It’s the facebook. And we don’t laugh. We lol.

She has an easy laugh.

“And I thought I am weird.” Ok so are we meeting?

She signs off saying she will give it a think. My bet is she wont come.

I am sure I will be left with my bottle of Chivas Regal, which my partners had thoughtfully packed when I was leaving. And I am not complaining.
We both make a great pair. I mean Chivas Regal and me.

I couldn’t agree more with her. “Birthdays are meant to be celebrated with some one you love.”

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Porn Nights II

If I were asked to name the biggest sadist in the world , I would unhesitatingly name Dr. Martin Cooper. This guy has single handedly destroyed more homes by inventing mobiles than all the liquor in the world put together.
I can imagine all the young ladies sneering at this perfectly personal and logical theory with a monosyllable , “Duh”. Now Duh is to women, what fcuk is to men. The Norwegian nobel committee should seriously consider awarding a nobel prize for literature to those great men who invented these words. The world of literature would have been that much poorer without these great contributions. Half the world would go dyslexic. How many words can we toss up, which can be used in every conceivable way- verb, adverb ,adjective, gerund(now I got a little carried away).
Coming back to those lovely damsels, I do understand that the mobile to them is a life saving appendage more important than even a pacemaker and that they spend almost half of the day on it, but seriously girls ,have you considered the risks associated?
A couple of examples would suffice. A man is cheating on his wife. Pangs of guilt have destroyed his happiness. So he decides to give his wife a day to remember.
He comes home early, with a bouquet of her favourite lilies and food ordered from again her favorite, Mainland china. They have a great candle lit dinner with Frank Sinatra and Champagne for company.
Everything is picture perfect. The tense husband , afraid that nothing goes wrong ,decides to have a shower before the last act. His bad luck, that when he is in the shower, his flame, whose number he has so imaginatively saved as ‘kitten’ because she is so soft and cuddly, calls up. The wifey, who normally doesn’t give a damn about his phone has now been softened by all the pampering, lovingly picks up the phone. She feels its her duty to help her ‘stressed with business’ husband.
Now, God , while creating Kitten wanted to be fair. So he reduced the size of her brain to that of a lima bean while showering her with bigger assets elsewhere. “ Hi Duhling. Hope that old bitch is not listening.” The kitten purrs seductively not for a moment thinking . The old bitch is not only listening but listening loud and clear. The kitten can say good bye to her Tomcat for ever. There would be just one mouse left.
Consider another situation. You are in the train and are an insomniac like me. With a great difficulty you fall asleep. Suddenly two phones scream. The one having the ring tone of ‘Gayatri Mantra’ has woken up the gods in the heaven and the another, “ my name is shiela” has woken shiela sleeping in the third compartment from where we are. As for your jangling nerves, they are further jangled by the incessant chatter into the wee hours. You can say good bye to sleep.
On return to india , I had managed my life beautifully without a mobile or a watch or a pen for almost six months till I started this business. My bad luck that Dr. cooper had a bigger competition in the field of sadism. They call him Apple.
It was on this iphone while I was returning from Thailand after a sun soaked, mobile less vacation that I received this mail.
My anonymous fan was reaching Manipal on Tuesday and would I be free to meet her for dinner. I was left chatting with her for the rest of my journey. I am Skipping the details of this chat, because I remember the advise of my young friend when I started first blogging.
Keep the posts short. KISS. ( Keep it short, stupid). People have very low span of concentration.
I am in a quandary.
I am not sure where to take her. Guzzlers inn or Blue water, if she drinks. Opium if she smokes hookah. Or just a plain old fashioned pizza at my place. It is difficult to position her. Maybe i will leave it to her.
One good thing about going on a vacation is that the staff doesn’t depend on you. They are running the store better than I was doing. So I wouldn’t feel guilty of ignoring my business.
Waiting now for the D Day and more weirdness.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

" Porn Nights"

A young reader complimented a recent article that I wrote. Pleased as punch I continued to read. He sheepishly added that he, however, read it because he had read Prom as porn in my article ‘Of Prom Nights and more’.

I wished that he could have been a little dishonest. I really am not against Porn. Much of my brothers from across the border come and read my blog only when they feel a whiff of porn. Sadly writing porn is not my forte. That kind of imagination really has eluded me. But he robbed me of my two minutes of happiness. “ Well I too was searching for my two minutes of happiness.” He added. I had no answer. He had a point. “ Each to his own poison.” My boss would always say.

If we could celebrate sex in the temples in Khajuraho and write reams about it, he could also celebrate sex the way he thought was right. After all we all live in a free world.

Any way sex for me , is more between the ears than in the groin. I told him so and requested him that next time better appreciate my posts for what they really mean and not what he perceives them to mean. But he has an amazing sense of humor. He asked me , tongue in cheek, if he knew anyone as slutty as him. His candor was totally disarming. He was young and hence not a hypocrite. I laughed loud.

Seriously I told him that enjoying porn doesn’t make him slutty. He asked back if I watched porn. I candidly told him that I did when I was young but now I feel it more like monkeys performing in a zoo. “ Horizontal jogging” I remarked, borrowing from that master piece, “ Yes Prime minister.” I passed the test. He too liked my humor.

We must have chatted for over an hour which was remarkable since I no longer chat . He asked me if we could be friends. I thought about it. Why not? I had not laughed so much for quite sometime. And any way it was only a virtual relationship.

Revels is the largest cultural and musical fest of South India. It is hosted annually in Manipal. He informed me that he was visiting Manipal too attend it and maybe we could hook up for a drink or dinner.

My fingers were tired of tapping the keyboard. I said let me think it over and wished him a good night.
He stopped me and said he had another confession to make.

Now what? My first thought was that he had broken up with his girl and wanted to discuss a broken relationship. Why else would anyone sit and chat with a middle aged man. But I was not going to play agony aunt. I braced for his confession.

“ What would you say if I told you that I am a girl?”

We are meeting next week. Now nothing she tells me is going to shock me. She could be a transvestite or a junkie or simply an old bored bag! There is just a tiny hope.
Maybe she is just a normal girl having fun being anonymous. whatever she was, she had tossed me like a dead rat the whole night and played like a wild cat.

Just as I was going to sleep, a thought struck me. Why is it always me?!!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

When the bug bit my ass!

I am not a very tall man. I measure just 960.127mm from the sole of my leg to my butt.Some times I like to be reminded that I am an engineer.So I checked the length with a vernier caliper.
This length is very important.It is the metaphorical difference between my life in Miami and India. on any given weekend I would be resting either on my butt or my back depending on whether I was in the Pub or the beach. After coming to India, if my butt and my back were on the desktop, they would have been archived by now, so seldom are they used. I am most of the time on my two tired legs.
So why and how did the proverbial entrepreneurial bug bit me. honestly it didn’t. it was a Hobson’s choice. I had no other option. No one across the two continents thought I was fit enough to be hired. I lasted in my last job in USA for barely forty eight hours. I knew then, that my career is over. Now I have to look for something that I can enjoy.
But I can say that with confidence that being a entrepreneur has widened my horizons. Till now I thought that Sonia Gandhi was the best known Italian import to India. wrong. It is Pizza. She is not even second. That is pasta. I am glad. As long as both these are popular, I am in business.
Being your own boss has its own privileges. Like you could, if you wanted to, get drunk even on a hot sunny afternoon. But these priveleges are liked the air miles given by various airlines. They are hardly ever used. I stand there the whole day counting the pizzas that are being consumed. It is hard work. The pizzas cant be eaten that fast!
The worst thing is that everyone thinks that life is a Hawaiian Salad for me . one girl even commented, “ you are a lucky man. You don’t have to work!” really ! what was she thinking? I am Manmohan Singh?
I don’t think we have settled yet. Our deliveries are way behind our targets. In fact they are so bad that I think the local hospital delivers more babies than we deliver pizzas per day. I thought that we needed some aggressive marketing. So I decided to do it myself. The other day a doctor, a gynecologist came. I suggested that we also deliver. He stared at me and said disdainfully, “ very smart.”
What is it that makes a great entrepreneur. I don’t know really. And I don’t really care. I only know that as long as I am in this business, I can never sleep hungry. There is always some order messed up by one of our staff ready to be gorged.
Many youngsters come to me for advice. ME AND ADVICE! If I was that smart I would have got myself a job.
But this job has its perks. For instance, when you see a happy customer gushing that the food was awesome or overhear a staff telling his friends that he works for a great guy. Or when young Donald sends an sms that uncle your connizza is fabulous or Rehan comes and says that his dad is out of town and he told his mother that I was feeling low. So let us go to uncle’s place.
These are times when I feel a lump in my throat. Feels like it is worth all the trouble. I know i miss my writing.I am letting my readers down. But still it feels great.
My butt and back can get archived for all I care. My legs will surely not complain.

Monday, January 31, 2011


The construction workers gape from about eighty feet down. They are awestruck. Half naked, they stare at the procession of people who visit my place. The distance is metaphoric too. Perhaps its as much the distance between the economic levels too.
They try to comprehend though. They are half clad because they cant afford. But the rich have no such reason. I sit there half clad too. Ever since I am in this God’s beautiful place, I haven’t worn a full pant many times. In fact the times I have worn, my employees stare at me like they have seen a ghost.
I am not a great believer in God. But somewhere I cant deny that I share his benevolence. He gifted me two things unique. He gave me an incredibly wonderful readership and then he gave me this wonderful city.
Every one who visits my place, compliment the fantastic view. Its breath taking. But recently some moron carelessly threw a lit stub into this beautiful dense forest causing a mini fire. It left the ground charred. The ugly mark on this beautiful forest seems like a question mark tossed by the mother nature at us , “ Are you really that evolved of species.?” We can only hang our head in shame.
I have suddenly become very busy. The Americans have a very special jargon which is not only very eloquent but very charming as well. I would like to borrow the colorful ‘ Busting my ass’ here. It perhaps conveys more than a thousand words. So readers may forgive me for the irregularity.
What is that drives the Americans to use their posterior in almost every third sentence. So you could move your ass if you are leaving or keep your ass off if you do not want to interfere. But I am going to park my ass here till I finish. No doubt about that.
It’s the love of some loyal readers that is persuasive. Thoughts come cascading but fall short of words. It is plain fatigue. Fever has quietly come as an unwelcome guest and now refusing to leave. It doesn’t help that it is almost one in the morning. The eyes are red.
Yesterday was a disturbing day. A German Shepherd had perhaps strayed from his home and was lost on the busy street. He was bewildered and blinded by the oncoming cars and lorries. The security guard and I tried hard to rescue him. But he was afraid and would suddenly run up the road. We gave up after a futile attempt of more than three quarters of an hour. I was praying all the time that he would be run by some drunken driver.
I am sure his anxious owners may have rescued him from his torment. Only a dog lover would understand the anxiety. I had one youngster last week with long hair refusing to cut his hair to get the job. He told me that he loved his hair more than anything in the world. I had to apologise since MNCs have their set of rules. But the next day this boy was there with his hair cropped. He explained that his dog had died.
It was touching. Love is priceless.
We had a lot of birthdays celebrated this month. I calculated nine months back to check the reason. Maybe it’s the summer vacation!!!!!
Keep smiling people. Life is too short to sulk.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A crisp New Year - Not Quite

There is nothing more risky than predicting future with the benefit of hindsight. I had thought nothing could be worse than 2010; a year of corruption, rising prices and non governance. We have a PM with the best resume but who gave every cynical reason to a cynical like me to believe in professional politicians rather than professionals as politicians. He almost made me nostalgic for Deve Gowda. And that means something!

Yet I was so wrong.

It’s the third day of a new year and still my cup of woes refuses to brim. My cup is what the Americans so eloquently describe while selling soda – bottom less. Miseries keep piling.

I woke up on the first day of a cracking new year with a sore throat. Then the servant bunked. While cleaning I broke a glass. One of the shards injured my hand.
As if that wasn’t enough, I woke up today with high fever. Worse I am cribbing too much.

I think I know the name of the disease. Its called old age.
Help me God. I need an extra drink. To all the youngsters reading my blog and thinking that male menopause is a myth, Think again. Or better wait till you reach there. Trust me its not funny.

There is something really funny about genes though. Yugesh, my nephew ,is imbibing some of my not so charming qualities by no fault of his. His only mistake- he is born in our family. But for me its hilarious to see some one else go through the same torment.

So , here he was booked comfortably in 2nd AC and woken up a good one hour before the train. He was to leave for Doon and there was so much time that he could even have walked to the station. A blessing really when your train is at 4 am. But people like us ,who are an evolved species, taking the comfortable trodden path is anathema. So he calls up the station, they tell his train is late, he relaxes a bit more than necessary till he knows that his train has already left. A havoc follows. i wouldnt want to embarass him with the details. I love you kid!

Be warned son, your life is full of such adventures just because of one folly. You are not even responsible for that. GENES.

The company who is doing my texture paint is owned by a very garrulous lady. She is one god’s creation. She is like a Bose sound system with no off button. She can really sap me off.
She was bugging me about my new year resolution. Chivalry forbade me from being honest.
When will people learn. If screaming was marketing, Dolly Bindra would be Rocket Singh!