30 December, 2010

2010 – The year that was…

Oh screw it! You don’t want to listen to how I thought 2010 was an awesome year….I got the MBA, I got a job, I have a study loan, I got my fourth tattoo, I got an expensive watch, I got the car….THE CAR!!! Thrilled? No? You don’t come here to read about mundane office stuff like ’10 ways to spend 8 hours in the office looking busy without accomplishing anything’,’ What ties match with which shirts’ or ‘ Office Stationary – How much of it can you take home and how often?’. You definitely don’t want to read on ‘ Why Cloud computing is so hazy a concept’, ‘ How to automate your CRM applications’ or something like that. You come here to read about how miserable life can really be and how to make lemonade when life gives you lemons.

So here goes my prayer for 2011….

Dear God,
First and foremost, forgive all atheists. They don’t know the miracle it took you to ensure I got a half decent education. Singing, “Then I saw my degree…now I’m a believer”. So thanks for that miracle! Now what do I want for 2011? A whole lot of things…. I hope to fight for world peace. Whoa…wait, sorry. Wrong audience! For starters, please ensure life remains interesting enough for me to churn out many more blog entries. My life is almost like a cheap knock-off of ‘How I met your mother’ without a Barney or a Robin….yes, no Robin! Hey, I said ‘ALMOST’! So let’s hope more and more interesting things happen in life…. More ‘Kids… I met this girl in the summer of 2011…. We had a great time, then she introduced me to her husband!’, but I wont be sharing those on the blog….sorry! Jokes apart, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some really interesting people, so keep that coming.
PS: It would be nice if I could make some money off this blog, or some other writing venture. Fellas from Rolling Stone Magazine….time to make me ‘Almost Famous’.

I also wish that this year, I could lose some weight. 3 months of swimming in the cold early morning waters is not helping much. May I be like a young George Clooney by the time I’m 27…and I don’t mean on the grey hair bit. Am not looking for a six pack or anything, but it would be nice to walk into a store and not ask,’ Is this the largest size you’ve got?’ or ‘Does this come in something with an elastic waist band?’

I really hope that I can go somewhere with my music. By no means am I a good guitarist, but I have a whole lot of heart. And that counts, or should count for something in today’s music world. Please allow me one major concert with/without a band. It would also be great if you can get one of Metallica, Pearl Jam, U2 or John Mayer to India this year. If not, please ensure I make enough money to go abroad for a show. Speaking of abroad, turns out almost all my friends are going abroad. I’m not too crazy to go and work there and stuff, but I would love a holiday there. So please help me save up enough so that I may afford one foreign vacation. Or at least introduce me to a nice wealth advisor. It would also be cool if the wealth advisor was an eligible dame. And not the geeky finance types if you know what I mean. No offence meant to geeky finance types, but why do you have to be so numbers-driven? It would also be cool if you could help me out with some more money too. Bottom-line is one thing….. but I love the top-line too. ( Yeah…and he’s making fun of geekyfinance types. Blaaaaaady MBA fellow.)

Thanks for the whole ‘maturity’ and ‘responsibility’ trip. But it would be nice if I could think a little more with my heart and less with my wallet. Not too much, just a little. Not as little as a smurf….but maybe as little as a hobbit. Yup, that’s about right…..hobbit-little-like. So I hope this year, I can finally buy a PS3 and not say shit like,’ Hmm… make hay while the sun shines but save for a rainy day.’ And end up putting that money in the bank. This ‘Wants vs. Needs’ debate in my head makes me feel old.

At the end of it all, I ask you for the standard gift of ‘patience’…and every year, you pull that GNR crap on me. Dude! I pioneered that joke….don’t pull it on me. No, seriously. With everyone I know living bits and pieces of my dreams and the life I hope for, I need a whole bunch of patience this coming year. Hope that I don’t give in and become a total corporate sell-out. And if I do sell-out, may I be a rich sell-out. May there be less wars in the world, may the price of petrol and onions drop…. I find it ridiculous that I take my car…you know…’my’ car all the way to the Pav Bhaji stand only to see that he does not give onions with the dish. It’s almost blasphemous…Pav Bhaji with no onion. May Manchester United win the league this year…double would be too much to ask for. May I finally get a band to play with/in.

Last but not least, let all my friends and family, and dear blog readers have a great new year ahead and let all their hopes and dreams be realized.
Regards,
The Great One

PS: I have not mentioned you introducing me to ‘The One’ in the letter because that’s a favour I want to take after 2012. You see, if the world is going to end, I don’t see the point in spending time just to see it (effort spent wooing 'The One') all go up in flames( or volcanic lava). So, if we’re still around Dec 20, 2012, then you can introduce me to 'The One'.

PPS: This applies only to God. You mortals may continue to attempt to help.

27 December, 2010

General ranting because I’m too bored to focus….

Why do I have to work this week? It’s a sin to make anyone work this week. There are hardly any people in the office, all my customers and partners are on leave, so why am I at the office? And we all know that nothing productive is going to happen this week, so why am I being tortured to think of what goals/tasks to accomplish this week? I normally never have a problem, but this week, I don’t care. I am weak this week. I want to stay snug in bed and watch season 1 of Glee.

All of a sudden I want to go abroad. Not because everyone I know are going abroad. But I’m bored here. And I am terribly jealous of all the music shows my friends get to attend while all we get is Bryan Adams for the fourth time. When is Metallica, U2, John Mayer, others coming? There I said it. I am jealous of people who go to better music shows than I do. I want to go abroad. This loan business is killing me financially, and by the time I save up to go….some other crappy responsibility will come through. This sucks! Responsibility sucks! Life is moving too slow....I want things to happen NOW!

I felt lousy this Christmas because no one gave me any presents. Was hoping for a Christmas miracle, but the good lord discounted all my good deeds for the year. Come on dude! The last time I did something evil to someone was when I broke that guy’s tooth in class 8, you can’t hold that grudge against me. I thought 4 years of engineering was supposed to be enough punishment, apparently not. Shame on you for doing this to me! There are more evil people in the world and they seem to be getting all the gifts (thinking Mr.Raja and Mr.Kalmadi) while I don’t even get a lump of coal. No presents…no miracles…only lousy informal greetings on FB where people tagged me and I spent most of Sunday morning clearing up reply message posts on those same greetings where their friends/family had replied.
PS: I bought a ‘Bournville’ and had it all by myself…..merry xmas to me!

I finally saw ‘It’s a wonderful life’ this Christmas. I loved the movie. Tried thinking how the world would be without me…turns out I did not like the picture. I have done nothing to help my fellow man. But then, fellow man did not give me Christmas gift. Fellow woman burnt mistletoe when I was around….so bah humbug! PS: It’s a nice movie…do watch!

23 December, 2010

Signs (not directed by M.N.Shyamalan)

It seems almost everyone I know is getting married, or engaged, or looking to get married. Apparently we’re all of marriageable age, or so they tell me. It’s almost crazy as to the amount of money I’m spending attending weddings and all my leaves saved up from work are utilized on traveling to weddings. I’ve got quite a few friends, colleagues who say that me attending weddings is a clear sign that I am going to be married soon. After the initial laughter and rolling on the floor, from my side, dies down, I share a great lesson from childhood with them….

Me: “ Mum, but all the boys are doing it this way….”
Mom: “ If everyone jumps in the well, will you also jump in the well?”

The above lesson has never made more sense to me than now. It’s amazing as to how these silly childhood lessons learnt come in handy now. Like the following which is a foolproof method to ensure you don’t have to share food with anyone – ever had to share your ice cream with people with whom you don’t want to share? I don’t mean the people…but the fact that you have to share, and you’ve had to grin and bear and share (that rhymed….awesome!). What would you do if you were 6 years old (or 26 in my case)??? Simple lick the ice cream and offer it to anyone….and since cooties was the big disease back then, rest assured no one wanted your ice cream any more. PS: This worked even during my MBA.

Earth to tangent, please return to initial trajectory….. anyway, back to the whole wedding bit, it’s not like I am against the whole institution of marriage or anything of the sort, but I find it ridiculous that yours truly is at this point in time qualified to be married. I’ve just about started making some money, buying fancy stuff, getting my bearings in life right, and the car….you read about the car right? Muhahaha….so how is it that all of a sudden I am eligible to be married based on the fact that I am attending a wedding every fortnight?

I’ve not even met ‘the one’, so how is me attending other people’s weddings make me eligible to be married? By that logic, now that I own a car, it’s a sign that Ferrari would be calling me up to replace Massa as primary driver for next season….and the fact that I play guitar means Joe Satriani would be inviting me to be part of the next avatar of G3….and the fact that we won the intra-corporate football tournament, with me as goal-keeper is a sign that I will be taking on the same responsibilities at Manchester United after Edwin Van Der Sar retires.

Dear friends, all it means is that I am going to be putting on a lot of weight by the end of this wedding season and am going to have to go to VLCC to ensure my clothes still fit. Attending weddings and hence being eligible for marriage is almost as stupid as how merely attending classes at an engineering college would make you an actual engineer. (You knew that was coming!!!)

21 December, 2010

2nd Greatest Inheritance

It’s finally happened. As of last week, I received what I regard is the second best inheritance ever. I got dad’s old car while he decided to go in for a new one. I am now the proud owner of an 8 year old Santro which is in very good condition (minor repairs needed). First things first, the music system got the much needed upgrade. Previously, it only had a radio and would play tapes….tapes? You remember those things you put into Walkmans? Remember Walkmans? Anyway.

At least for the next few months, you are guaranteed a pleasant demeanor from me. You, dear reader, will no longer have to hear embarrassing Activa stories. Now you will hear stories of how an old lady in a Scorpio drove me off the road or something like that. Or stories of how I am now the official chauffer for all relatives who come to town. Dad no longer has to drive them around, as I am single with no scope and armed with a car….so we might as well put me to good use. PS: The latter is true. Before I get angry and wonder how I got conned into these responsibilities, I ask myself, “What would Spiderman say?”….'With great power comes great responsibilities.'

Some friend’s all seem to be of the same opinion that going forward, the dating scene for me should improve. I still fail to see how. They are convinced, so I guess some of us have to be blindly optimistic. How is me driving an 8 year old Santro supposed to impress anyone? Unless that is going to help me lose weight....Anyway, all that apart, I look forward to taking those long drives into the country side on weekends, and am happy to no longer have to battle the rain and cold en route to work. And that is good enough for me right now. So yaaaay! Proud owner of a 4 wheeler. woo hoo !!!!!

14 December, 2010

I’ve got a feeling…

…that tonight’s going to be such a good night! This probably isn’t a song you want running on your ipod (or Zune…you Microsoft bastards) while travelling by air in the USA. Now don’t jump to conclusions that my company made a lot of money and sent me there, and then mail me to bring you chocolates and iphone 4. This following post comes out of the big debate going on world-wide regarding the newly found P.O.A (Perves of America) aka the TSA. For the uninitiated, the TSA (Transport Security Administration) are a bunch of pervs who grope people at airport…kind of like an employed version of pervs on Delhi or Chennai buses looking to grope women. Their job is to literally pat you down, and I don’t mean like the fellow at the PVR entrance who frisks you for ciggies. They apparently have been authorized to put their hands wherever they want on you.

And this isn’t limited to the kind of search you see on all these perfume ads where a lady cop in rather tight clothing frisks a guy who suddenly opens his shirt to show off washboard abs and she allows him through security, even though he robbed the ATM outside the airport. This involves groping of grannies, fat hairy men, fat hairy ladies, and even kids. And it is outright weird….especially from the reports coming on the news and the net, the whole process is outright twisted. Apparently, they’re frisking for everything….imagine, you could be hiding a block of C4 up your butt or precariously caressing a Walther ppk gun down your bra. That’s how those terrorists do it apparently.

Dear Moron at the TSA, the last time you got screwed, they used an airplane. I cannot hide an airplane on me. No one can. If they want to smuggle guns in, they just go down to the friendly neighborhood nigga and get one. He’ll probably throw in some crack too. People smuggling drugs would have it up their butts…same with diamonds. Only an idiot would keep it in plain sight. AK 47s don’t sell as much as Ingrams do. I’m sure you’re gun pimp can get you one of that as well. So feeling up grandma’s and kids isn’t really helping anyone. Think about it. Also, PS: my extensive knowledge in these matters comes from the many Hollywood movies I see, which you guys make. The only smuggling I have ever done was a pencil box with formulae on the underside into the internal test hall during engineering. I was caught , I don’t know to cheat.

How does one recruit people for this sort of a job? Do they have to undergo some sort of boot camp? What does the recruitment ad look like? Wanted: “ People who would like to get in touch with other people. Must have soft hands. Preferred use of moisturizer and aloe vera cream. In the business of making others ‘feel good’ about themselves. Matter of national concern. People with granny,chubby and foot fetishes would be given preference. If you are a pedophile, we’ve got the next best legal thing for you. If you’re gay, there is no better forum to help you come out of the closet. Uncle Sam wants you….to feel him!”

I also hear that apparently, at the end of the experience they give you a ‘customer satisfaction’ card. WTF? Satisfaction card? ‘Kindly rate how our experienced personnel groped you…very poor…poor…fair…good…excellent’, ‘ Did our personnel greet you with a smile?’,‘ Do you wish to sign up for our special services gold membership where we will ensure our personnel wear rubber gloves? Our platinum membership would have our personnel grope you with silk gloves?’ First and foremost, how the hell am I a customer? Did I pay for this? Was it part of my ticket cost? If you outsource these operations to India, will the cost of service get lowered?

Personally, I think this is America being paranoid. And I still fail to see how this improves homeland security. Giving the devil their due, I think they can plan enough to get around the extremely, trained and qualified TSA squad. It’s all part of a government conspiracy to keep it’s citizens and tourists in a perpetual state of fear so they can do as they wish. I’m right now dreading any trips to the US. I thought the shoe-removing bit was weird enough. And now to have a weird guy feel me up, eeewwwww! PS: I will not complain if hot lady cop with tight shirt (like in the axe deo ads) wants a piece of the real estate.

On another note, they can sign up Katrina Kaif as spokesperson. She did that, 'Zara zara touch me touch me' song from Race. I was going to say Michael Bolton ( Anyone remember his hit song 'Can I touch you there?'), but known fact that women spokespersons are more believable.

24 November, 2010

True Lies...

I’m sure most of you folks on facebook have seen the grad speech by the guy who commends mediocrity in all its glory. I’m taken back to a lot of the resumes I’ve read over the years about how people try to market themselves to companies. Most resumes will have lines such as “ I am self-motivated, eager to work and am looking to make a difference to the top line of the company”. We all obviously know the person is kidding….their only motivation to join your company is either the fat paycheck that you give them at the end of the month or the fact that you are close to their home. Try not paying them for a month, we’ll see how god damn motivated they are. Such folks are normally the pioneers of threads such as ‘ Loyalty=pay” on the company discussion boards. And let’s not even talk about the ‘eager to work’ bit.

“I am a natural go-getter, known for taking initiative, being perseverant and have been commended for my hard work”. How does one get commended for ‘hard work’? Did your previous boss come and stick a golden sticker on your forehead? And what the hell is a ‘Natural go-getter’? Are their unnatural go-getters? Are you organic or something, while the others were synthesized in a lab? And asking women out (and not scoring) does not count as ‘known for taking initiative’. It’s almost hilarious as to how people write their resumes with all these little adjectives that they picked off their friend’s resume and are using as their own. I even remember this incident where one dude went up to the other, the evening before his interview and said, “Tell me what you are good at? If they ask this tomorrow, I need to have an answer.” Perfect ‘facepalm’ moment. I can even accept these resumes provided people are applying for jobs that require skills like being aggressive, a go-getter, great communication skills….you know, jobs like sales. But the job one is applying for is ‘minion software engineer’….. so why the hell do you need to be a natural born leader for this job?

And the worst part is companies hiring people for such jobs where all they are meant to do is follow orders issued from the top and not question, want all these dynamic-thinking-natural born leader types? Why would you get someone like Napoleon or Alexander the Great and put them in a cubicle and make them listen to your corporate ‘strategy’ (yet another over-rated word). What you need is an unmotivated, lonely, moderately knowledgeable person to enter data from column A in the Excel sheet to column B. I remember seeing an ad in the paper for a company’ Looking for young, enthusiastic, eager to work, well qualified person to head the desk at the reception’. Enthusiastic? Seriously? And how does it matter if they are young or not? It’s not like you need Emma Watson forwarding calls to your CEO.

What I’d love to see is an honest job-description to which one sends an honest resume.’ Wanted: well qualified person to work in our department. Kindly note, the work is mundane and will not help you develop anything more than a personality of a snail, yet we need you to be qualified so that it makes us look good in front of the client. We really don’t care too much for your opinion as we believe we are intellectually superior human beings, but you may occasionally whimper at team meetings. Yes, we will pay you well. Why? Because we can. And in return for the money we pay, we hope you hang around and help us with our corporate mission and vision statements. If that is not possible, the least we expect is that you don’t surf porn during office hours.’

Response: ‘ I am a mediocre fellow from an unknown engineering college in a branch that I am not too sure of. I really did not have a clue of what to do with my life back then, and the story has not changed, hence I chose engineering. The only reason I want to work is to get money to buy computer games and don’t have to ask dad for money for booze. I expect you to pay me more as time goes by so that I may buy things I really don’t need. I am not a go-getter and will not express my opinion at meetings. I hear your company sends people abroad, so I am joining with the hope of going some day.’

I must admit that I too am a bit of a cynic, because my resume also contains words like go-getter, excellent communication skills, well-rounded personality, and all those little keywords that make companies think they are hiring the next best thing after sliced bread. However, I am serious about the ‘well-rounded’ part….dear future employer; please ensure your chairs don’t have arm-rests that cut into my rather large butt when I’m sitting down.It is not expected that I will lose weight ever. Instead, I will launch a counter campaign against thin people mocking them....in case that does not work, I will spam their mailbox and ensure it crashes.

Anyone else have any interesting resume stories? Or strategy to make the life of thin people at the office not so friendly?

13 November, 2010

Movie Review: ‘ Skyline’ …and ‘ The Social Network’

Spoiler alert! There may be parts of this movie revealed, so don’t say I did not warn you. Here goes.

Skyline….Sigh! What can I say about this movie? Very promising trailer – which is why I went to see it in the first place, and in the end, quite a letdown. This is why marketing guys are going to hell for sure. We make you gullible people part with your money and sell you sub-standard crap. If it was awesome crap, you can use it in the garden at least to grow rose bushes. Wait wait….why am I apologizing on behalf of my marketing fraternity for your stupidity? Anyway, the fact remains that the last great alien invasion movie remains ‘Independence day’. Of late, I must say I’ve stopped liking these ‘end-of-the –world’ type movies...single guy, 2012 and all that. This movie had a lot of promise, and for once, the human race was not triumphing thanks to motivating speeches against E.Ts, we were actually losing. Nothing worked.

There I am sitting, expecting a nice ‘world-in-ruins’ ending …or reality, because I know when the aliens come down here to boogie, we are so getting our butts whooped. Here is where the entire movie just got annoying….the aliens harvest us for our brains, which they use as batteries to run themselves, which is kind of ironic if you think about it considering that humans don’t use it at all. They abduct the leading couple, who are obviously in loooooouuuuuuuuuuvve and are pregnant. The brain of the male dude is harvested and is transferred to one of the creatures there while the woman is being harvested for her baby. Their love is so strong, that this creature with the protagonist’s brain hears the woman crying for help and basically morphs into her BF. So, this dude basically becomes the alien but with the thoughts and heart of a human. And he goes about wrecking the mothership.

This is the point where you pull a ‘facepalm’.

Moral of the movie: Love triumphs of superior alien technology.

I thought the corniest ending to an alien invasion movie was ‘ War of the Worlds’ where overnight, the aliens die because apparently, they had not earned their right to live on earth while the human species had fought through 65 million years of evolution. This reminded me of how they would give out trophies at school. The house with the least trophies won the ‘overall best house’ trophy, so as not to demoralize them. Since when did ‘survival of the fittest’ become like when the youngest cousin got to choose which restaurant everyone went to, just because they were the youngest. WTF….

Anyway, I digress as usual… I should change my name to ‘tangent’. Anyway, the movie was absolute rubbish. In terms of effects, there is nothing new to see. Same old same old. As far as the ending goes, it’s your god damn fault for going and watching it despite me telling you not to, and you deserve to lose your money.

Might I suggest ‘The Social Network’ instead, which is a pretty neat movie and was really well made. Good dialogues. The movie is probably every IT programmer’s ‘Wall Street’. I myself am inspired to create a .com start up soon, but am sure the initial craze will fade away. They movie is a great portrayal of the saying ‘Behind every successful man is a woman’….however, she need not be the one egging him along, she could also say mean things to him and make him a workaholic with a great idea. So all you women who are mean to the ‘non-six’ pack male community, just you wait….we’re taking the world back. And your stupid 6-pack male friend will be made to serve us coffee and beg for an internship in our company.

Sorry about that! Irrelevant emotional outburst! My bad…. Anyway, the social network is probably the one film I’ve really liked after ‘Inception’ this year. Suggest you do go and watch it. It just puts facebook.com in a whole new perspective than just a mere social networking tool. Also, those with entrepreneurial itches, I suggest you get a girlfriend who ditches you, and then you can create some awesome stuff out of total rage. So I’m off to the bar…..see you all around. By the way, what happened to that Orkut Buyokutton fellow? Are they making a sequel to ‘Almost Famous’???

04 November, 2010

With regard to honourable ancestor...

Of late, thanks to my unlimited internet download plan, I’ve been able to get my hands on a lot of history based documentaries (that was not code for porn) and find myself especially fascinated with the origins of people. Stuff like how the Indian civilization came to be and how a lot of our Hindu religion is very similar to old pagan religions from where we originated. Many of these programs actually trace the gene pool of folks living in towns to ancient records to find some pretty whacky connections. For example, I was watching this documentary on the origins of the English and there was this one fellow who ran some small scale business in some blah-blah-shire town whose DNA code traces back to one of the old Viking knights who was part of the first wave of the Viking invasion of Great Britain and the fellow was of certain royal lineage.

Naturally, I being my ever curious self, did a lot of reading up on the possible origins of where I come from and I must say, from early records….not too bad. The area of Tanjore in the olden days was a center of learning. We were apparently always knowledge seekers, and not in the sense that we did it so that we could make a business out of it. Apparently, we were always the ‘ I know a lot of stuff….none of which helps me make money’ types. We boasted of great libraries which hold ancient books on philosophy, literature, poetry, math and grammar (take that Wren and Martin…we beat your English butts). We are also one of the early Indian cultures to chronicle our own history with genealogy, land grants, the works. Through all this, the present king of the Tanjore, and I mean this with the most humble heart your majesty, has the most pathetic display of the English language and looks like all he does is sits and watches TV all day long. Please don’t string me up for treason against the empire, your majesty.

In fact, the oldest recorded library in India was from our district. The king of the old age was apparently fascinated with science and mathematics, and had even imported books on numbers from outside India. I guess this is where the fascination with accounting began for my people. Note to you blokes: We should have learnt investment banking instead…or at least how to cook kababs. Accounting does NOT impress the chicks. Anyway, I must say that I was kind of pleased with the whole ‘ center of learning and knowledge’ bit.

It’s also so cool that we still worship the same temples built in the 10th century and the rituals followed then are followed even today. I’m especially glad about this part because it gives me some cool stuff to pass on to the next generation. History shows that not only did we hold grip over the entire south of India; we even got hold of Indonesia and stuff. We were into ‘outsourcing’ even before you knew it. This is clear that many of our temples depict the gods as warriors. The erstwhile LTTE apparently modeled their oaths on the same lines of the great armies of our King, Raja Raja Chozhan ! It was the great king who brought about the system of Bureaucracy …and maybe with it ‘the great Indian bribe’. Sorry present day folks for unleashing that upon you.
But through all that, we did have some pretty neat stuff. We made some killer temples and were even labeled the Athenians of India. So ladies, get this….according to history (or at least the BBC) we are the Greek gods of your world. See…see!!! From today, you shall call me ‘Achillesothirunathan’ or ‘Herculesoswamy’. Hum kaale hain tho kya hua dilwale hain !!!

I could go on for pages about how cool it is to be a part of such a great civilization, and one that has been undermined by the Moguls and their tandoori chicken and Taj Mahal. But we’ve never been the ‘marketing’ types…loud and boisterous. We’re still the silent accounting types. On a personal note, I really want to personally trace back my lineage and see if some great great grandfather was chief accountant at the king’s court….or that the first trace of our people is when some warrior from Greece settled down in Tanjore and married our local pavadai wearing Pocahontas. That would explain my awesome good looks and appreciation for the arts. Who knows, Leonidas could be my great great great great grandfather. Or worse, we came from some African country like Somalia in a little boat and have been farmers ever since. While I wont be too surprised by the latter, since my family (on my father’s side) leads a very simple life….lot’s of food on the table and roof above our heads. Sounds very similar to the needs of many refuges in Somalia. Maslow is probably pointing at me and guffawing in his grave !

Anyway, I’m now oozing with pride thanks to the rich history of my people. It’s a good thing too, because when I do marry that Greek Goddess, I can tell our kids how their mom’s people had all the beauty, and their dad’s people had all the brains! My kids will be good-looking accountants….a unique phenomenon among my people!

16 October, 2010

The forgotten art of profanity and cursing

I miss the old days when cursing someone or yelling profanities at someone actually meant something….or if not, at least it was innovative. People today are just not up to the mark when it comes to either of these. Let’s take profanities for example. The most common word is the F word, and I don’t need to even point out how boring the word has become. Personally, I don’t see the point of the word. For example, you’re mad at someone and you yell “f**k you!”, isn’t that in some weird sense an open invitation to you-know-what? And the F word is probably the most f**ked up word and is used in every possible context…verb, adjective, noun… Will Shakespeare is probably going bonkers in his grave thinking, “Of all the messed up words I created, I did not think of this one word that has such global appeal.” Any country you go to, whether people can speak English or not, they know the F word. That and ‘Baywatch’. I don’t want to even get started on some people who think it’s cool to use the F word in every sentence…even if it is not required. And if it has no place, just generally say” Oh f**k!”. I’m personally having a hangover from the ‘Eminem 8-mile’ stage where I still use the word and then wonder why I needed to use it, so I’m no angel.

Another common word among the auto-driver, bus-driver and other folks in Bangalore, heard mostly when someone is driving like a lunatic is a word that is the equivalent of pubic hair. How is that even an insult? It’s about as corny as Russell Peter’s ‘ya f**king blowjob’ profanity. Every now and then, I like to live on the edge and drive my Activa a little crazy, darting between trucks, cars and autos….hey, us Activa-ians can be daredeveils too, just that we do at the speed of 60, and every now and then I hear some bus driver yell this at me. I probably find it the most confusing profanity ever. Since when did parts of one’s anatomy become cuss words? Imagine this, “you’re the hairy mole under my armpit.” Or “you’re the rash I have which I can’t itch in public!” or “you’re that stupid wisdom tooth that needs a root canal”….how are these even supposed to be insulting? If you want to look at it, it’s probably not an insult at all, the guy screaming it is associating you with something really personal…which is erm…kinda sweet if you think about it. You cut the guy off in traffic and nearly scratch his car and he screams,” You’re the diaper rash on my baby’s butt”. If it came to profanities, the best person yet is Captain Haddock! Bashi bazouks! Caterpillars! Sea-gherkins! Carpet-sellers! Pithecanthropuses! Slubberdegullions! Doryphores! Miserable earthworms! Bougainvillea! Ectoplasmic Byproduct! Logarithm! Pickled herrings! Fancy-dress freebooters! Breathalyser!....oh I could go on for hours! Now these are examples of great ways to scream at people. My new personal favourite , when I see some crazy people driving in a fashion that is guaranteed to get themselves killed and maybe a few others along with them has been ‘Suicide Bomber!!!’.

And when it comes to cursing people, I am talking about ‘curse’ as in Harry Potter type curse…you know, “May warts grow on your face” type curse, people have just forgotten how to do it. The most common curse is to wish death upon someone. And quite frankly, death is boring. It’s quick and the person around just does not suffer enough to see the point. How about the ‘ I curse you that someone treats you like a dog’ ? Dogs today get treated better than people. Ever seen those up-market Paris Hilton type dogs that wear jewelry whose worth is my study-loan about 3 times over? Dogs today, have it made. People to care for you, clean up after you, take you for walks….so how is that bad? How about the ‘May you die like a dog’ curse? Do dogs have some special cool way of dying….cigar in one paw, chardonnay on the other with Luciano Pavorati singing in the background while a firing squad aims at them?

Allow me to take a real life example. Now I’m not saying that my curses actually work, or that they are any good, but I would like to think that they are innovative. After my recent Tirupati trip, where I got a tonsure done, my colleague has been hurling abuses at me regarding how hideous I look and all that. Now, normally, I don’t care too much for all these, but this time it was getting too much. Counter curse –“ May you marry a man with long locks and 6 pack abs, and a year after the wedding…may he go bald and get a paunch belly”. People thought I would curse her to lose hair, but where is the fun in that? Imagine this, you marry a guy for a few superficial things like hair and abs…and then when he loses all that, a bald fat man is the last thing you’re going to see every night before you go to sleep, and the first thing you see in the morning when you wake up, the hand you’ll have to hold at the movies and the dinners you’ll have to have sitting right across the table. Excellent curse???? You tell me.

One of the most innovative curses I’ve heard till date was, “May you get a windows operating system based PC with the ctrl, alt, del keys removed on the keyboard” (Non IT folks…I pity you for not knowing this). And that’s how curses should be. Something like a toned down version of all the ‘Saw’ movies….no physical torture, but visual torture. Someone cursing an MBA grad, “May you make ppts and excel sheets forver!” Du-uh….we do that for a living! We can do it with our eyes closed. You want to curse an MBA grad, “Tell them they can’t use Wikipedia or Google to get answers and must make a presentation without MS Powerpoint” and watch us shit bricks.

10 October, 2010

And the crowd goes wild….

Last weekend marks a milestone in my life….a milestone that must be reached, mostly at an early age, by almost every idli-vada filter coffee loving Tamilian….I went for my first Rajinikanth tamil movie.I am ashamed to admit that I am experiencing this ‘rite of passage’ very late….but better late than never! I went with the folks to see Enthiran. I will be honest and say that I thought it was a very entertaining movie…. Had incorporated every joke I had read on those many internet forwards, the best one being ‘Rajinikanth knows the ending of ‘Inception’’.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and was laughing right through, although I am sure that the movie was supposed to address the eternal Asimov conundrum of man vs. machine, who is superior…or was it something else? Anyway, the movie starts and the crowd goes frickin wild….the last time I saw a crowd in a cinema go nuts in this fashion was …….wait….I can’t remember. And hat’s off to the film maker for addressing his new audience which is predominantly IT junta ( those of you who got offended….so be it…. ). Am sure most of you have seen the movie, if you’ve not, may you burn in hell…kidding da….okay! Spoiler alerts….. When the cop asks Chithi (Watte a whacko name for a robot) his address, in my head, I was thinking, please don’t say 127.0.0.1. You non-IT mortals, shame on you for not knowing the importance of 127.0.0.1…. and luckily, he never said that IP address, but stated some random IP address, and the IT junta went wild. I was laughing in pain because I got that joke, my poor folks on the other hand wondered why everyone was laughing. And the man addressed a whole host of typical IT junta problems….the most important being ‘work-life’ balance. Now I am sure tons of my coding buddies would be thinking ‘If I can get a robot like me, then I can stay late in the office to impress the boss….and the robot can take care of my girlfriend/wife’. Guys, don’t! While in the movie the Robot asks Aishwarya aunty if she did not love him, because there was no sex involved and that he was just a machine…..was I the only one thinking the robot came back from the dead n all, but did not think of an…alternate solution! Okay! Family blog….will not say anything!

Another thing I must commend Shankar for is the formations he made with those many robots…sure took the fun out of all those school day pyramid and so-called gymnastic formations, you know…the ones where the only time they call on the fat chubby kid, who ever so excitedly goes up thinking ‘ Finally, a sport where my weight can come in handy!!!’ only to discover the PT master say ‘ Aey, fatty! You become base of pyramid I say…you are fat, so you very strong!’ My thoughts to the man, ‘I if am strong, then how about we put me against that Cedric Diggory equivalent pretty boy in a wrestling match….am sure I can give him a bruise or two so that those air-head girls he has on either arm can act stupid and show the wimp some sympathy’….but nooooo!!! Sports are meant only for the slim guys…. Weight has no place in sport! Anyway, I digress…my bad. Just that, all those killer formations, especially the ‘ball of death’ one brought back some emotionally and physically painful memories from school. But still, I think Rajinikanth has kicked Agent Smith’s butt in the replication business. Oh, another point to note, the great one has matured to such a level that only he can kick his own ass.

On a more bitter note, let’s talk about Aishwarya Rai. I think she has a set of about 8-10 expressions, and she charges for what expressions she would use. Most of the expressions in this movie were exactly similar to those from Ravanan. Auntyji, please get rid of this damsel-in-distress look!!! Sheesh! At least, she was not deadly white in this one while standing in the rain while perpetually crying and no signs of mascara on her cheeks! But then, hats off on the Kilimanjaro song that was shot on Machu Pichu(Ironic song). Very colourful, and thanks to you, all the extras in the background looked attractive. And what’s with you walking into those slum areas dressed like ‘that’ and not expect trouble !!! Sheesh! Anyone else feeling very insecure about their doctor’s skills after looking at the way Aishwarya Rai was studying? I know people who did that in school…and OMG, it is frightening! Yelling “ The appendix needs to be cut off when inflamed” about a dozen times to ensure you don’t forget it, kind of dents my trust in the new bunch of doctors coming out.

Anyway, before I go on a Rai-bitching spree, let’s come back to the movie. I was alright with the script writers mocking every sci-fi movie on the planet, except the 5-second song sequence where Rajinikanth pulls out a Light Saber and mauls the so-called villains. Dude, you DO NOT MOCK STAR WARS!!!! EVER!!! Will kick you in the nuts if I see you in person. That was probably the only low point in the movie. Chiti robot, you may have magnetism skills…but Darth Vader has ‘The Force’ on his side. He will win!

Anyway, for a first time experience of watching a Rajinikanth movie in a theater, I must say, I was impressed. The movie was a spectacular masala time pass movie. But if I ever catch one of my IT guys trying to be cute and say ‘Dot’ at the end of a conversation, I’m going all Ghajini on your skinny behind!!!

29 September, 2010

My thoughts on my Gods

If after this blog gets published, if something dire happens to me, then we know that the Gods were unhappy about the remarks I am going to make and have unleashed their vengeance on me. (This may come in the form of keeping me single forever….which may not be too bad a thing actually….we can get more blogs about my single disoriented life), but it also means they read my blog…so that’s a good thing. If nothing happens, I will continue to unleash more posts on you poor mortals ….which is also a good thing. I win!!!

Anyway, here goes. Our family god is Murugan (No…not my batch mate from college…the original one) and he’s considered to be the ‘God of War’. Imagine that….how cool is it that a peaceful benevolent fellow like my self has the God of War as the family deity. And he isn’t any normal God of War, he’s the ‘Daniel Craig as James Bond’ type GOW (Switching to gaming lingo)…shoot first and ask questions later. The dude was known to imprison guys like Brahma for not having the answer…almost like a God version of Kiran Bedi towing away Indira Gandhi’s car. Murugan aka GOW was confident and arrogant (sounds familiar) to a point where he taught his dad some deep stuff on Brahminism n stuff which the almighty Shiva did not know. So that’s all cool. But here’s where I have a bone to pick with the fellow.

Of all the animals and cooler transportation thingies in the world, as a man, who has two wives, why did you ever choose to ride a peacock? I mean, was it a first-come-first-serve thing and you forgot to set the alarm? Dude, you could have chosen to ride an Activa…but nooooooo…..you chose the ‘lady-frickin-Gaga’ peacock!!! What was it man, were you trying to showcase your sensitive side to the ladies? Nothing ever came out of desperately trying to impress the ladies. Or were you just a confused kid who was not sure which way you wanted to swing? The Peacock….seriously? And no…you couldn’t stay put in the Kailash mountains…you had to travel around the world on that peacock….thrice. All while brother Ganesha pulled a killer PR campaign by saying his parents were the world to him….and years later Karan Johar makes K3G! I digress….

The other gods got eagles, and flying elephants, massive serpants…am cool with even the buffalo, and yet you chose the peacock! Take note, it was the dame-goddesses who chose the birds…Lakshmi’s got the Owl, Saraswati has the Swan….and you chose the Peacock. Even Durga was being a total tom-boy and chose the Lion…. Am sure she’s like one of those dames who rides her Bullet bike next to your Activa and makes you feel insignificant as a man. Why man? And there’s your bro…Ganesh (peace out dude….lotsa respect) who rides the rat because he’s still in denial that he’s a large guy. Ganesh Machaan…don’t worry da, these thin people don’t know what we can do. We’re smarter man…. High-five on the ‘around-the –world’ thing.

Anyway, back to you Murugan. It’s high time to upgrade. Think He-Man and Battle-cat. Or Ghost Rider. Or if you’re still all about the flying thing, get the Swatkats jet. But the peacock has got to go.

21 September, 2010

Almost like a Rock Band.....almost!

The music community will effectively disown me after this post…provided they even know I exist as a so-called guitar player with a voice that shatters glass. I had been attending some conferences last week which gave me a lot of free time to think, over the noise of grown men discussing IT. Anyway, the point I am trying to make is when you come to think of it, being in an office, or working is more or less like a Rock Band.

Wait…wait…before you unleash the forces of hell on me and banish me into the dark alleys of permanent-corporate hood, hear me out. Think about the analogy. In an office, in a team, in order to have the perfect team that delivers, you need to have good complementary skills and people who can work off one another…exactly like in a band. You need the ppt guy(bass player), the presentation guys(lead vocalist or guitarist), the data analysis guy(drummer), the guy who gets everyone coffee(groupie)….all integral parts of the successful office band…I mean team. And in that team, you need two dominant forces that are perpetually creatively at logger-heads with one another, like Lennon and McCartney, that help drive the entire team to work. These are generally represented by reporting manager and head of the team. The consultants are something like an Eric Clapton, who played with a band, but then are better off alone.

All team members, in the initial stages need to use and redo old presentation material made by other greats in the office (or perceived greats in the office) until they are mature enough to start doing their own thing and being recognized for it. Exactly like a band starting out. You have to play covers and improvised versions of great songs before you are recognized and are given due liberties to work on your own stuff. And once you work on your own stuff, there is a constant requirement to bring out improved material each time that blows the minds of clients (analogy for the fans…or the peeps) away. And work that is not accepted is instantly torn down….kind of like a bad record. (Thinking of Metallica’s St.Anger) But then, you need to put these out occasionally, to ensure the crappy ideas are out of your head, kind of like Metallica’s St.Anger (again).

When it comes to performance, there are no off days for the true rocker and the disgruntled minion. Every time you’re under the lights, which most of the time is the glow of your monitor or the projector, you’re expected to deliver one heck of a show. You can party afterwards, but showing up drunk for a show, or a presentation does not go well with fellow colleagues or band members. And definitely not with bosses (analogy for the guys at the recording studio). Rockers travel a lot, so do ambitious sales teams. Difference is probably in the number of women that would kill to spend a night with a rock star (or so I’ve heard….has not worked for me so far….but then again, bedroom guitarist in college band is not exactly rock star material) is definitely way more than the number of women who want to spend the night with VP-sales. The previous thought may sound cheap, but its true and you know it.

Here comes the part of creative differences. Similar to how Jason Newstead left Metallica, people in companies join dream jobs to find out that after many years, despite them loving the job, they need to quit purely because other people in the team are over bearing or simply a pain in the butt. (The pain in the butt could be attributed to the non-ergonomic chair at the workplace too….but we’d rather blame the boss, or the guys at HR for this). And they tend to walk out…and sometimes over the silliest of disagreements. And then you have these super-bands, which are guys from various bands who get together and jam on a single album which is then despised by their native bands and these guys get fired….you have dudes from various companies who form this consulting thingie and are made to quit their jobs and become self-sufficient folks.

With all these similarities, why is it that working in an office is not considered an ounce as glamorous as playing in a band? Tell me guys, how many chicks have you struck up a conversation with “hey, I play guitar in a band!” v/s “ hey, I’m marketing manager in a company!” . Personally, my count is zero on both, but then, that’s just me. And I know some of my friend’s who still play music would say that it is about ‘passion’. But then, there are those who are perfect examples of our corporate-driven lifestyle who actually love to work and that is their passion, but even then, they can’t stand up against a rock star. Put Bill Gates and Axel Rose in a room… a majority of the women would choose Axel Rose. Well, Billy boy might get some if he flashes his…. Bank balance(What were you thinking?), but even that would not be sufficient. I guess that’s why we all love Tony Stark….corporate guy who lives like a Rock Star, fast cars, loose women, the works. And this is guys and girls alike.

Anyway, I’m done digging my grave for musicians who know me to throw me into for even daring to try the analogy.

12 September, 2010

Silly Nostalgia

I really don’t know what to make of this concept of nostalgia. On one hand, it gives you this nice warm fuzzy feeling inside (but that might be the chicken from today’s lunch) that reminds you of all the good times you’ve had. And on the other hand, it sort of depresses me that one might not ever get times that are as good if not better. What if that was the best fun you’ve ever had and you did not make the most of it? Anyway, this long weekend had a couple of really silly moments that had me all nostalgic.

I remember always heading to GRT Temple Bay for an awesome buffet breakfast of omelets, sausages and the works with the gang on days when we had nothing to do and pretty much clearing the place up. And come this long weekend, the first after many months, I was suddenly overcome by the feeling that I needed to do the same. However, trip to Chennai this month has been postponed owing to large credit card bills from the previous month. Sigh!( Note to self: Make more money!) So I went to Koshy’s ( those in Bangalore would be familiar) and had a similar awesome breakfast all by myself. To give me company was my ipod with my favourite tunes and this month’s Rolling Stone magazine. Didn’t expect friend’s to be enthusiastic to step out at 9 in the morning. And boy did I have a good time. That’s not the bit that was making me nostalgic.

The really silly part came about when I went to a restaurant and to the washroom. For those of you who got any funny ideas, nothing happened. I digress. Anyway, the tap on the sink in the washroom was one of those automatic spring type taps….the ones where you give it a press on the top and after about 1 minute, thanks to a spring system, it automatically closes the valve shutting off the water. And I got all sentimental and nostalgic looking at the tap because it was exactly similar to the ones we had in our washrooms at college (Great Lakes). I stood there for a good 5 minutes, wasting water by just jabbing the tap everytime it stopped and remembering all the fond memories of college.

Weird! Funny things can make you nostalgic and it is annoying as to when it creeps up behind you at some really odd places. Kind of reminded of Monica when she broke up with Richard where every little silly thing reminded her of him. Sheesh! I’m becoming sentimental like a girl. Okay! Time to do some guy stuff! Am going to play some counter strike, drink beer and watch porn….I mean ‘discovery channel’! (Relatives or judgmental folks reading this….I don’t know what this ‘porn’ word means… I don’t know who Jenna Jameson or Tera Patrick are….I really don’t!!!)

02 September, 2010

Living with an 8 year old

Mum’s been away for a few days on vacation now leaving the apartment to slowly rot into a bachelor pad with Dad and I. Dad too has been on leave from work and OMG…..he’s a terrible room-mate. In fact, I have assumed role of mother now in ensuring that he eats on time, the house is clean, clothes are put away and all the other stuff. And dad is not making it any easier. The man is behaving like a total 8 year old. ( If you’re reading this dad, you know it….and you can’t ground me…I’m a big boy now!)

What do 8 year olds do? They are stubborn when it comes to eating, they are incapable of feeding themselves and need someone to ensure they eat on time, they eat only junk food, they throw tantrums and they leave a mess everywhere and think it is perfectly fine for mum to pick up after them. Dad is being no different. He’s being impossible when it comes to food and the house….OMG the house. My dear mother will die of a heart attack if I don’t take care of this place. Clothes are strewn all over, the bed is not made, the newspaper is scattered all over the dining table, the used dishes are piled up in the sink, clothes are worn directly from the clothes line without ironing and here is the best part….clothes are reused for more than two days. I can imagine the life my father led before my dear mother came into his life.

I agree that I am a clean freak and enjoy cleaning up. I like the sight of a tidy room, shiny floor and sparkling vessels….so sue me. And to the future Mrs.Murthy (who ever you may be)I make the following promises:

1. You will always have an almost clean home to come to.
2. There will always be food of almost all kinds available.
3. There will always be music, a killer music system and a flat screen TV to see all the saas bahu TV serials if you are into it. Or if you want to snuggle up to a Manchester United game that’s cool too.
4. There will always be good alcohol in the house , in case you want to get drunk and whine to your girlfriends as to how your husband is so neat and tidy.

Isn’t the future Mrs.Murthy going to be really lucky? She’s getting a guy who cleans up after himself and everyone else. No better deal in the market, I can guarantee all of the above.

99% of our bachelor male population who for some god forsaken reason think it is their birth-right to be slobs. And I realized that my dad is no different from most of my college guys in terms of housekeeping skills. Agreed that I’m a little over-critical on matters of cleanliness, but come on, how can any human being possibly live so shabbily? If Dad and I were ever room-mates back in the day, I would have probably killed him by now and hid the body somewhere. I remember entering the house of some of my colleagues from work and I was shocked. Their house made a pig sty look like the Hyatt Hotel. There was underwear strewn over the floor and one plastic chair was the only furniture they had. And I thought to myself ‘Humph! Slobs’. Turns out my own flesh and blood is a slob too. I am going nuts living with dad. I finish work, I come home and I have to clean the house before I have dinner; after which I catch up on work. And all dad does is sit at home and refuse to help with the house saying he’s got some priority work which more or less involves sending me some really sad forwards, playing bridge and sending me ‘friend requests’ on Facebook. (Ah the semi-retired life)

All the greatness aside, the man is after all just a man and I guess among all the greatness, this is the one flaw my mother has accepted and has put up with for these many years, so I guess as the only completely responsible male in the house (dad is coughing so hard that he chocked) I must accept this too. Sigh!

Why? Why? Why can’t he just clean up after himself……Mummy…come back puhlease !!!! I need a vacation now !

29 August, 2010

A lot to say….starting off with an apology

This has been a very intense week, not only in terms of the amount of work but in terms of soul searching, re-prioritizing and mini wake-up calls. So this is going to be a long one (not very many haha moments, but a lot of Ah-ha moments) So here goes:

1. Dear friends, I’m sorry I sold my soul….will try to reclaim it.

Yesterday, I missed the first birthday of my friend’s baby. He is the first kid in our group of friends so it definitely calls for some celebration. And why did I miss it? It was because I was at our 21st Anniversary celebrations of the office. I’m sure I may have been excused from the birthday, but am sure friends present would have thought that I have become this total arrogant (worse than before) MBA bitch who has all of a sudden become pricey and acts as though his time is more important than giving it to people whom he should be giving the first priority in my life. Dear Friends, I’m sorry. Believe me, I am not being arrogant or not giving you guys importance. I unfortunately find myself with my fingers in too many pies and I am for all practical purposes trying to justify the career choice I have made and I want to do it well so bad that that I am finding this juggling bit a little tough. “ All good work is being rewarded with more work” is apparently happening to me and I am trying to find some stable footing. Please bear with me until then. It will take me some time to curb my enthusiasm. I like to be the best at whatever I do and I want to do everything.

I want to be the guy who is this combination of the corporate killer attitude of Gordan Gecko, simplicity of Forrest Gump, the poetry of Jim Morrison and a whole bunch of other people. And it is tough for me. So please bear with me until I figure out who I really want to be…hopefully it will be me. So I am really sorry for missing the birthday celebrations kiddo, but I was there, just not physically! Don’t start referring to me as that uncle who never shows up and only sends other friends with gifts. I am not like that, I’m just a little confused right now.

2. What about brand Nikhilesh?

I don’t want to sound like a whiner, but I think I have taken on more than I can chew at work. And I am sure the boss is pushing me in a good way to see how far I can go. And I am sure he gave me a job post-MBA again knowing that I was someone he could trust enough to get work done. So I really don’t think the weight he has placed on my shoulders is too much. It all adds up to the ‘corporate-avatar’ of me. But then a couple of days ago, I woke up (metaphorically) and went, “Whoa!!! What happened to me?”. I have been working the last 4 weekends (and enjoying it) at the cost of my friends, family and hobbies. I even got annoyed with a friend for rescheduling our meeting time as it did not disagree with my schedule (see how I refer to ‘hanging out’ as ‘meeting time’). I love reading and I’ve bought a ton of books at home and I’ve not read them because I come home and I’m reading up on some ROI model or some ‘work’ thing. I’ve not played Counter strike or Quake 3 in the last 3 weeks. I finally managed to change strings on the guitar and bedroom jam once…once! What the fark? I am supposed to be trying out on this side career as a guitar player….and I jammed once!?!?!? Blasphemous! I’ve stopped going to the gym, and this week it showed on the waist. Why am I missing gym? It is because I’m reading late into the night and am too zapped to wake up in the morning to find time for the gym. And all this ties up to point 1 of me being pricey. I’ve lost myself somewhere in this mess.

I’ve read about burn-out and a whole bunch of articles on ways I can use technology, and maybe even my company can use to reduce wasteful time in meetings at work and how one needs to draw lines between work and personal life. What personal life? My point exactly….I’ve always been so busy doing things, that I’ve just not found the time to develop the ‘talent’ for a personal life thanks to the fact that I want to do everything in the world has not made matters easy. I think I need to step back and take a look at Nikhilesh who is very much part of Gen Y and not Gen X with old style ethics of work, play and party.

3. Acknowledging the pain

I recently downloaded the Rockstar INXS series to sort of help me get in the groove of playing guitar all over again. One of the episodes was where the potential band members had to write songs of their own and perform. This one girl wrote a song which turned out to be pretty alright. After the performance when INXS asked he what was the inspiration for the song, she replies “ I wrote it thanks to my ex-boyfriend whom I totally loved and he cheated on me with another female singer. And thanks to that I wanted to become a singer because I thought it would help me get back with him” And when the band asked if she had anything to say to him, she replied” Thank you!”.

This little bit set me thinking of a lot of people I know, and probably you all have in your life too. People who’ve tried so hard to become something else or run away from love lost (most of the time your first love) that you end up becoming this new person who is stronger and sometimes better, even if the journey is otherwise tumultuous. And we still want to strangle that person for what they did to us and would love to see them endure the same pain that we went through. But at the end of it all I guess what does not kill you makes you stronger. And for those of us who’ve come out the other side knowing we are stronger and better people, I think we owe a little bit to these first loves who pushed over the edge. I am not saying it is a good thing but I guess it is that silver lining over the dark cloud. So here’s my confession (because I am confident the person concerned does not read my blog or even knows I have one):

‘” Hey! I’d like to thank you for being that person in my life who I liked for no explainable reason! I still hate what you made me go through and I don’t want to ever be that person in any girl’s life again. And thanks to you, I now fear all women and the mere thought of having a relationship. But that served me well as it saved me a lot of time for studying for my CAT exams and a lot of money that helped me through college. And now I’m a half-decent corporate sell out who fills his spare time with work. Yaay! It is also thanks to you that I learnt the beauty of love songs without which no singer-song writer type person is complete. And it is this bit of music that was introduced into my life that makes me love a whole bunch of songs as songs. For example, I would have never understood the beauty of a song like Black by Pearl Jam and a whole bunch of other songs! I’m stronger….a whole lot wiser too. Thank you for sending me down the dark alley, the trip was totally worth it. So thanks!”

27 August, 2010

The Fat Patch

I think it is high time you treat fat people with the same sympathy with which you’d treat a disabled person. No my friends, I am not being a heartless human who is looking for benefits and claiming that I am some oppressed class. But the truth is, that’s how fat people are treated. Think of all the fat kids you have made fun of in school, and the same juvenile behavior continues into adulthood, you’ve never allowed them to play sports, even if they would have made the best goalkeeper ever. You always picked them last to be in the school play, even though they acted better than that hotshot fellow who was sort of the Robert Pattinson of school (looked decent, but had no acting sense…if he goofed up, he’d flash one of those smiles that made the brain dead girls…a vast majority of them, sigh). You’d probably not even invite the fat kid on outings because oh, he might get stuck in the water slide and he’ll need one entire seat in the car to himself…and he might finish all the food. And I am sure our larger women have a whole other set of issues as well.

Anyway, when you wont allow us to lead normal lives merely because of the way we are ‘physically’ why don’t you create a quota for us and give us benefits. Considering the emotional baggage we have to carry and smile through all the taunting and mocking, we obviously need to have some sort of benefit over you supposedly perfect looking twits who will lose all your looks the day you hit 35 and then go in for plastic surgery which will go horribly wrong and then you’d spend the rest of your days looking at old school photos and wondering where it all went wrong. Karma is a bitch baby!

Leaving the emotional issues for my session with a psychiatrist (will need one someday), I was thinking, for those of us larger folks who are still somehow affected by the taunting, can someone come up with a fat –patch? The idea is simple. You’ve heard of a nicotine patch for all those who try to wean themselves off the cigarette by wearing it. The patch slowly infuses nicotine into the skin and helps reduce cravings. For us weak-hearted folks, why not create a patch that infuse….mayonnaise, or barbeque sauce into the bloodstream rather have us gorge on that burger. It could come in different flavours.…tandoori chicken would be my favourite. Maybe chocolate flavor for the ladies. No one ever thinks of that. The point is to take care of those temporary cravings. So why not create a fat-patch?

BTW, you never make fun of smokers for being weak-willed do you? But you have no issues mocking the fat guy for being weak-willed when it comes to food. Talk about being cynical! With smokers, you at best stop at the ‘chimney’ joke…but with fat people, you seem to have an entire barrage of jokes; most of which we’ve heard at least a hundred times before….do you skinny idiots pass it on from generation to generation? Was there this one skinny caveman who made drawings of a Woolly Mammoth on his cave wall, pointed to and fro between the painting and his large wife and laughed and set the precedence for all fat people jokes?. Aren’t smokers and bingers on the same plane? They suffer from a lack of will power and can’t control it until regularly serviced. God damn cynics! Bah!

24 August, 2010

My Facebook account : for some eyes only

Dear Relative\s,

This letter is to my many dear relatives whom I so dearly adore and love with the purest of heart. You are some of the nicest people on the face of the earth, and I am indeed fortunate to have been blessed with such relatives. They say you can choose your friends but not your relatives, but I don’t believe I would choose anyone else. But all said and done, I am sorry but I will not accept your ‘Friend’ request on Facebook.

As the name suggests, it is a ‘friend’ request and not a ‘relative’ request. Hence please spam the facebook administrators to create a ‘relative’ request with relevant policies and then we may think of adding you to the fray. But as things stand, I do not wish that you see pictures of me in the company of….erm…liquor and other blasphemous vices like non veg and women. You may not find many women or any women though, but I do not wish to give you any sort of wrong idea even if there are any. I have seen the torture some other lady friends have gone through with their facebook profiles with relatives for wearing a spaghetti top and holding an apple martini in their hands. Not that any of my pics have me wearing a spaghetti top or holding an apple martini in my hand. I also do not wish that you view pictures of my tattoos, the people I hang out with and the places I hang out and get all judgmental and ask questions like “ Dai…you looked ill in that photo…the one where you’re lying on the beach in some funny liquid Did you have an upset stomach!” or “ Dai….what is that you are drinking? Apple juice aaaa?”

Relatives of mine, I really love you all, but I honestly don’t want you getting updates on my status which are pretty random and really are ‘spur of the moment’ sort of things with no real basis. An update like ‘Interested in the hot consultant chick from E&Y’ can cause many problems and misunderstandings. Please note that the above thing did not happen…god promise…pinky swear! I have no intentions that you guys call mum and ask her in a funny fashion “ Yenna di…boy is in love aaa? MBA fellow sooooper ponnu pudcharkaan!” (That was tamil which meant I caught a good fish….. understand *wink wink). I also do not wish that you misinterpret any comments from a woman on my album which says ‘looking good’ (This surely is not there) and believe she is hitting on me and then call me up to give me a lecture about the evils of women and how I must focus on my career.

Please stop sending me ‘friend’ requests. (Dad….this goes for you too…I know you read this blog!) I have nothing to hide as such and I lead a very simple yet almost full life! And I do not wish to complicate it by you good folks misunderstanding and misinterpreting stuff on my profile. Let’s be cordial at family meets and avoid any embarrassing questions or misconceptions about yours truly.

Yours Truly,
Nikhilesh “I hope you read my blog” Murthy


19 August, 2010

Random Broadway musical micro-break down

Lately, thanks to the Bangalore traffic and sudden random changes in my responsibilities at work ,a lot of which falls into my lap when I am rudely awoken from day dreaming at long winding jargon-drivel…I meant jargon-driven meetings when someone takes my name. Anyway, I’ve been having these micro-breakdowns which last for about 10 seconds where you do something totally random just to get the heebie-jeebies out of your system.

Take yesterday for example, as I approached the office, I was welcomed with one of those awesome traffic jams that take 45 minutes to cover 2 kilometers (Americans….please convert to ‘miles’) and seeing the traffic I suddenly got excited lifted my hands off the bike and sang out loud (from Annie) “the sun will come out tomorrow….tomorrow….tooooooomoooooroooooooow” and began clapping. And that was it. I think I frightened away the girl on the scooty next to my vehicle. She stared at me for about ten seconds as though she was waiting for my head to explode or something and then rode away. Not even a cute smile which is indicative of her thinking “ haha…watte cute retard!”.

The day progresses fairly uneventfully at work until suddenly at 3:30 PM, I get this urge to do a medley from Chicago. I go to the pantry where no one is there, do a quick 10-15 second dance and song medley of ‘we both reached for the gun’ ‘all that jazz’ and ‘mister cellophane’…full dance n all. And that was it, I was fine. Imagine me singing

'I'm gonna rouge my knees
And roll my stockings down
And All That Jazz.’

I would have made a very good Catherine Zeta Jones….hey! New break away career choice – lead in a broadway musical!!! I can see it now…. ‘Overweight phantom of the Opera’ ‘ The Sound of Mucus’ ‘ Less miserable’….

I’m honestly a little worried. Is that part of my brain that filters out insanity undergoing some sort of trauma? Well, I can use that as an excuse for the last 20 odd years. Maybe I just need a holiday? Or maybe I just need to eat a really killer steak and all will be well. Anyone else have these random breakdowns?Oh wait, this morning I woke up (awesome no? I woke up…most people do something else) and while brushing my teeth started my own rendition of Figaro’s Aria from the Barber of Seville….awesome no? My day has not even begun and I’m already breaking down…maybe I had a dream about work and ppts or something equally boring.

04 August, 2010

Random free birthday cake

I was at UB city this evening, despite a horrid neck sprain that does not allow me to turn my head to the right. Why this dedication? Well, a good friend was leaving for foreign shores for the all important ticket to owning a blackberry and all those shiny little upper management things, called the Yem-Bee-Yay. This was a sort of going away party, and it was at UB city…do you know what that means? Dude! UB City…awesome up-market high society babes who think I am invisible….awesome! Let the gawking and drooling begin!

The shallowness aside, dinner was pretty good. But that’s not the high point of the evening. While waiting for some more folks to join us, I was enthralling the audience at the table with my drivel of an opinion about something like ‘couples who perpetually give one another running commentary about what they are doing over the phone (PS: Wanted to blog about this…but feel it may drive away any potential female stalkers from this blog )’ when we were interrupted by this skinny dude who asks,” Excuse me Sir…but can you please join my friend and I for birthday celebration. We have a cake” Ignoring the fact that he made fun of my age by calling me sir, and excusing him because he said there was cake, I (we) obliged.

So we move to this table to see this youngling of a girl sitting there looking very amused. This dude then tells us that they are both engineering students and they wanted some people to help cut the cake on her birthday. Suddenly panic overcomes me. What if this is one of those MTV bakra type shows? Even worse, what if it is a local channel and all the auto drivers tune in to see me drool over cake? Or some cheap survey to prove ‘Fat people will fall for anything if it involves food’. I look around for cameras or a Cyrus Broacha in the corner somewhere. The cake appears. Birthday girl is told to make a wish before she blows out the candle…to which she clasps her hands and says a little prayer ( I was almost going to ask her which verse of the Bhagvad Gita she was reciting, but refrained as there was free cake being given) Girl cuts the cake, lovingly feeds it to her ‘boyfriend’ and cuts the rest of the cake up for us.

One thing I’ve noticed is the difference in the way guys and gals cut cake. Girls always cut it in small symmetric pieces, ideal for pulling out into a plate while guys always cut these large unshapely chunks which are meant to be grabbed in the messiest manner possible.

Anyway, no bakra, nothing. I am still unsure as to why we were invited for that small cake cutting thing. Normally I fret and down a couple of vodkas if ever invited to any of these ‘couple’ type things. Don’t ask….therapist is trying to figure that one out. But this time I must say I felt sort of nice, and that’s not only because of the free cake. I sort of felt like one of those people who help these young couples elope type. At the end of it they were kids, and I am sure the poor boy had a tough few weeks saving up to take this girl out to this fancy dinner and buy her like a ton of gifts.(PS: This is not because of the sentimental bit or anything…..I saw many shopping bags, so ran some random accounting in my head and believe he paid a bomb…let’s hope this one sticks, or else the dude made one really bad investment) So sort of felt happy to be a part of it, and that’s the part that still confuses me – when one takes a girl out, on her birthday, to the fancy UB city locale, why did you invite some folks like me just to cut the cake, sing happy birthday in my Frank Sinatra(Ahem) like voice, and that’s about it? Very puzzling….but then a lot of things about ‘couples’ puzzle me. The inquisitor in me seems to be stronger than the foodie whose being all “Dude!!!! Free cake da….you got to have it and eat it too! Let it be”!

Anyway, thank you crazy young engineering couple for giving us free cake and a happy birthday to you girl! Dude, I will pray for you sincerely!

23 July, 2010

Flush to disconnect

I’m sure a lot of people…especially the guys will relate to this, maybe some of you even do this and are part of the inspiration for this post. ‘Do what’ you ask? Be disgusting. That’s what. It always annoys me when people take phone calls in the loo. It’s worse when they’re not just saying ‘Busy, will call you in a few minutes.’ But are instead either having long conversations with some customer (who I think they lost after he heard the sound of the flush) or with their significant others (who is now wondering how she fell in love with this filthy pig…after hearing the sound of the flush). The sound of the flush is very integral to the entire plot…..sort of symbolizes the end of the relationship.

It’s out right disgusting. And the new touch screen phones make things even more disgusting. No sir! I would not like to see or touch your iphone any more! It’s even worse if you’re talking to someone assuming they’re comfortably seated …on a chair (just realized ‘comfortably seated’ could mean something else) and you’re having a serious discussion with them and then you hear the sound of the flush. It just totally throws me off my guard and makes me lose my concentration. I imagine germs travelling over the GSM network and giving me some weird illness. I’m a total Monica when it comes to making telephone calls from the loo.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Me: “ I believe we could look to integrate the two service lines and create a single bundle and take it to the market.

Other: “sure sounds good, maybe we could target a new geo. What do you say?

(Sound of the flush)

Me:”erm..yeah, ok. Talk to you tomorrow

( The above was a fictitious conversation…similar things have happened)

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Me:” Dude, did you check that dame out? Totally hot she looked…. Give me an intro dude.”

Other:” yeah! I have her phone number….give her a call. You want it?

(Sound of the flush)

Me:”erm…no….erm….later dude

(This was also a fictitious conversation….my evil friends do not introduce me to any girls, and even otherwise, I am like ‘Courage the cowardly dog’!)

Assuming the above happened, the first thing that would pop into my head if I were to ever talk to this dame over the phone would be how I got her phone number. Or, every time I hear a flush, I'd think of her. Weird! Creepy! And definite cause for recommending a good shrink! I'm odd at remembering people that way!

What’s worse than all of this? Dude uses the loo…you see him not wash his hands, is still on the phone with the other hand, suddenly recognizes you….either puts his hand out for a handshake...or even worse, pats you on the back! Uggghhhh! And so far, I've only come across guys being disgusting this way....so like some John Mayer song, I appeal to all the girls -Please don't ever pick up your phones in the loo! Allow us men the honour of being disgusting!

20 July, 2010

The beginning of the end

I recently bought myself a new phone…the Nokia E63. Well I sort of exchanged it for my old Samsung phone which to be quite frank, looked fabulous but was marginally better than my old black and white phone from college. And after purchasing the new phone, I’ve slumped into a major depression.

Now before you open a can of ‘I’m your psychologist’ on me, hear me out. The acute depression has come from that fact that I willingly broke one of my golden rules which I had sort of formed in my head, which if broken would signal the death of me….or basically have me surrender free thought and any scope for unconventionality for a steady corporate job. I always thought those manager types with their blackberry type phones were hopeless. I never ever thought it was cool to receive office email on my phone, that’s what the 9-9 gig is for. And no offence to any senior ups reading this, but perpetually working is old school style. Most of my generation does a zillion things, so no offence. And somehow swore I would never willingly buy one of those phones. And here I want to do a million things on my phone, which I could never do on the relatively new Samsung.

And what do I do, I go and buy this. I’m delighted because I can do a zillion things and all these nifty apps. But then, I’ve sold out. It’s over; this was my acknowledgement to life that I am never going to leave the IT industry and all its glory. I’m never going to move out of my comfort zone ever and am going to let conventionality take over me. Next step, work late hours, still remain single, then mummy will hunt for some south Indian bride who post marriage will not allow me to listen to heavy metal or enjoy a good scotch because some good lord said so. And we can kiss non veg goodbye. Will then silently endure working until the end of my days and all my money will go to some stupid kids of mine. That’s it….the end. Thank you and goodnight!

I was chatting with a friend who said that I could have the ‘Rock On’ story happen to me. Madam, let me tell you this….first and foremost, the dude was an investment banker. I still don’t understand how my LIC policy works except that I don’t get money to buy my PS3 right now. I’m a mere manager in an IT company, and we may not admit it, but the rest of the world thinks we are scum. Second, do you honestly think a Prachi Desai type babe will marry me? Have you not seen the way I look? ( I wonder how come a single guy gets love handles?) Last but not least, I have been in many tiny bands, but no one big band…so what band am I getting back to? Nothing. And my ‘Almost Famous’ story isn’t going anywhere either…none of the rock mags want to publish my stuff. (PS: Thanks for trying to cheer me up….but the truth is overwhelming. Okay, not the truth, but the deep dark speculation running through my head)

So this is it my friends, do please come to the funeral. You may not recognize me….I’ll be the overweight, balding IT manager fiddling with his Nokia E63 in the corner. Do bring lilies. I’m not much for flowers, but hey, since we’re any case being conventional going forward, let’s go all the way.

PS: I am now switching to drinking beer as that is the only form of alcohol I can afford, have to pay for the phone na. I think it was this that pushed me over the edge…not the phone. Exchanged scotch whiskey for beer….sigh! It’s all over! And yes, I cannot be optimistic when I've sold myself to this world for the cheapest going rate! And you come to this blog to read about my fairly miserable point of view.....you really would be bored if I were blogging about the economy or something!

10 July, 2010

Sesame Street for IT Managers

For those of you uninitiated with the Sesame Street program, my condolences, you missed on some good ‘childhood’ (notice the quotes…it is a commodity these days). Anyway, Sesame Street had this section where they would have ‘letter of the day’. So if the letter of the day was ….’R’, they’d showcase a whole bunch of tunes and pictures around the letter R…Raccoon, Rabies, Retarded, Rottweiler, Roasted Chicken, Romans, ….or if it were the letter ‘S’, they’d cover ship, sheep, sister, soap, silicon, Pamela Anderson…and …well you get the picture!

I recently read one of the blogs where the writer said that there was a way HR in IT companies could offload their training costs to parents. Teach the kids at home about HR policy, especially considering the fact that almost every college graduate is going to sell their soul to an IT company, why not catch them young? Install swipe cards at home, have a instant coffee machine, casual Friday’s, penalties for coming late to dinner, over promise on number of chocolates to be given and club most of it into the ‘performance bonus’ which is never seen by the kid, and so on.

We can take this a step further and tailor make Sesame Street like programs to teach kids jargon. This brilliant plan came to me when I received a whole bunch of emails from the boss, which dropped a whole bunch of words on me which made no sense. Words like ‘technology cut’, ‘value delivered services’,’ self-realized solutions’, ’solution storyline’…and a whole bunch of such words. And this just isn’t from the boss but a whole bunch of people. It is already painful enough that the MBA grads can only use jargon to show off their degrees (I think this is an inferiority complex issue because the world refuses to accept us in the same league as doctors or lawyers).

Everyday is a god damn ‘jargon’ fest. IT MBA grad rule number 1 “Thou shalt use heavy duty words that really don’t mean anything but are trying to capture what you think you want to say and are hoping that if the minions or equals do not understand it, they will deem you as a superior being. If you cannot convince them, confuse them. And if you can’t do that either, become a private consultant”. It is so annoying; all we do is drop words. So why can’t we teach the next gen all those words. In any case kids don’t understand most of the words they use, so why not acclimatize them to their dron- like future in an IT company.

Kid in class 2 is giving a speech about his family – I live in a collaborative family where every unit while behaving in a silo-like fashion are all bringing some value add to the table, except for my 5-month old baby brother who is somewhat a half baked potato and hence cannot replace the incumbent need to bring value into the family. My father is the primary revenue generating SBU , who is supported by my mother from an on-site model. Mother is the key driver and champion with regard to the nutritional needs of the family unit. My elder sister is a drain on our revenues from her off-shore location in the US, as most of the opex is spent on her collaborative needs with her boyfriend and her opex needs to follow the accepted Gartner model of buying clothes and make up which involves assess->prioritize->procure->refresh cycle which is a market accepted model. I however am a hot potato and am showing great potential to drive new expense models. I believe an initial investment is being made to ensure that I too proactively become part of the revenue model of the family unit.


I am now planning to request HR to include a daily mailer which goes out “Jargon of the day”, and the winner would be one who can use the word (appropriately or inappropriately) during the course of the day. They would be given a taxable cash prize of Rs.500 which would be given upon completion of 5 years of service with the company. Please note, the winner who wins more than 3 times is now the “Jargon Champion” and will be felicitated in the cafeteria with a free meal upon completion of 7 years of continuous service. (PS: Now I am thinking like HR too….muhahahaha…. murder by clauses and sub-clauses).

Today’s word for the day – Competency-based Advantage.

Heard around the office, “ My wife really must not attempt to cook idli, it is not part of the Competency-based Advantage cooking skill she has

I really like that babe in the other department, but I don’t have a Competency-based Advantage over that moron she is going around with in her department.

I’d like to review these presentations to determine our Competency-based Advantage.

There remains a Competency-based Advantage for me looking at our strategic based alliance going forward.

And heard by the new recruits in the engineering department, “ Machaan…..that marketing fellow who graduated from our college is using this word - Competency-based Advantage. Must be some big thinking shit da…we’ll also use of. Then we’ll also get a promotion” “Dai….you know what it means?” “Machaan…..they were using in that presentation thing….it must be something big…don’t think too much…just use it”