27 December, 2011

Excuse me "sir" !?!?!?!

First and foremost, you Punjabis with your fun-filled weddings should be banned. Just because you have an open bar with a Johnnie Walker Black Label, awesome kebabs, women dressed in their finest and music that makes me want to dance after a few pegs are down, does not…I mean DOES NOT give you an excuse to start  the sangeeth over an hour late. Nuh-uh! Look at us fabulous tams starting all our weddings on time and everything running like a Swiss clock. That’s why we’re so awesome at accounts and process improvement. Shame on you people for calling us at 8 and starting at 9:30…che che! Don’t for one minute think I will excuse such behavior just because I had fun at the wedding! There are long term repercussions for having fun in such a manner….it’s a major health hazard! Just as I was settling into a ‘Pearl Jam ‘sort of groove, you make me revert to Hindi dance music. Do you know what I was doing this morning? Grooving to ‘Katiya Karun’….I hate that song.  Karma….don’t know how long it would take me to recover.

To set the context to the previous outburst, the family and I were invited to the sangeeth of the daughter of one of my dad’s old colleagues from one of the big companies my dad had worked for. Dad and this guy started their careers out together in that place. The gentleman and his wife have seen me as a 6-month old baby. So they are all quite close. There were a ton of people from the company there who worked with dad, senior and junior managers, many of whom had welcomed my mum to the office community when she got married to dad, many of whom had seen me as a 6 month old baby, and even as a 1 year old wrecking havoc by peeing on their carpet.

The evening was off to a late start, but picked up. Slowly but surely enough the women dressed in their best started trickling in and the bar was open. So yaaay….drunk Punjabi chicks! Late Christmas gift I guess. In either case, not like yours truly has the guts to walk up to one of them and say hello, but I was expected to be on my best behavior because you never know when one of these uncles would ask for my resume and probably help out with a job interview. A lot of the ladies, and girls who were in their teens when I was just born took full advantage to scream,” Oh my goooooooood…..little Nikkkiiiiiii baby has grown up….shoooo cute!” and proceed to pinch my cheeks. I did not have much of a choice but to grit my teeth and seem happy at this public display of embarrassment. Didn’t they know that the good looking Punjabi girls were checking out the hot eligible tam Bram dude? Not helping ladies….not helping!

At some point, after I’ve had a good amount of Johnnie Walker and kebabs, I decide to break away from the uncle-aunty group and check out all the infectious dancing. No sangeeth is complete without a bunch of turban-wearing sardars dancing to ‘Why this kolaveri Di? I’m standing near the stage, with a whiskey in my hand trying very hard to pull off a Don Draper sort of look where you enjoy your whiskey and have a certain ‘Devil may care’ attitude to everything around you.  To my right, are three very good looking girls are dancing to the music. They must be a year or so younger to me. The cutest one among those, pink dress, takes two steps towards me. Needless to say, I’m thinking “Don Draper is my new God….I need to buy more suits!” Girl pulls out a camera, taps me on the shoulder. Playing it cool, I sip my whiskey slowly and turn around and look….and then it happens. Girl says, “Excuse me Sir, could you take a photo of me and my friends?”
‘Sir’…did she just effing call me ‘Sir’???? What the effing hell is wrong? Do I look like a ‘sir’ to you woman? Agreed that life has given me some grey hair before my time, and I do look like the bouncer of a club, or Kim Kardashian’s Chihuahua’s body-guard…but at no point am I a ‘Sir’? What the hell? Do I look like a prissy English Knight called Sir Nigel Bernard Appleby or something to you? Holy lord….you won’t believe how my ‘Don Draper’ moment just crumbled like the Walls of Jericho.

A woman my age just called me ‘Sir’. And it wasn’t a ‘Sir Mick Jagger’ sort of ‘Sir’….’Sir’ it seems. Bloody effing hell. Tell me dear reader….do I come across to you as a ‘Sir’ type of person? I’m very tempted to post a ‘Jaa Chudail’ link on Youtube right now, but since I’m a bloody ‘Sir’, I will honour my knighthood and behave more maturely. Now excuse me while I find a quiet corner in my office data center and cry. It’s good that almost everyone is on leave!

01 December, 2011

Revenge…dish served lukewarm!

I wanted to write about how corporations assume that just because you hold an MBA degree from a somewhat prestigious b-school, you’re expected to increase revenues by 25 % overnight and without any actual exposure to the field, become the next Steve Jobs in terms of identifying that ‘the iPod’ is the way forward….and all this while you’re expected to be nice to people too.

But then, I’ll leave this ranting for a time when I am more ticked-off by certain people and Twitter sends me a ‘You cannot tweet about that’ error message. So let’s get back to the favourite topic and why you 28 lovely people keep coming back to my blog…. Yes, we are going to discuss the impact of FDI on the retail sector in India. I sincerely believe that FDI would…. Aaah, screw it. Let’s talk marriage. For once, not mine.

You all remember “the” awesome wedding I went for almost a year ago in Meerut….you know, the one where I got totally drunk and….well, I don’t remember anything after that. The one where one of my best friends married his school sweet-heart of forever, and we all had this awesome baarat, and I danced, while being sober, and I still have not quite recovered from the bollywood music….that one! Anyway, ever since he got married, my friend has been sowing the seeds of bride-hunting in the heads of all the parents of all the guys who are still unmarried, which is basically all of us in the peer-group. Some parents (like mine) are very clear that their sons have neither the looks, the career prospects, the financial backing to woo any woman through the arranged marriage path. All the other friends(judas’) have very smartly told their parents that they will consider marriage provided the very smart and humorous author (who is very cute like a giant Winnie the Pooh when he wears his Manchester United jersey) of this blog gets married. Each time my married friend comes home, he tries his best to ruin the fabulous relationship I have with my…erm…guitars by suggesting to the parental unit that I get married.

This was getting quite annoying. I found myself in a ‘How do you solve a problem like Maria?’ sort of mood.

And then life threw me one of these gorgeous opportunities to get back at Mr.I-like-to-see-my-friends-married. So here goes, friend, his wife and I went jewelry shopping. (Yes, I went bling bling shopping… I am making the sincere effort to grow up).The shopping was for another friend who was getting married and we decided to buy her and the hubby some bling from Swarovski.  While we had more or less found what we were going to buy, friend’s wife was busy admiring some rings (Dei, not the ‘Lord of the Rings’ ring….but she did have that Gollum ‘My preeeeccccious’ look on her face). Brain-frickin-wave!

So here I go and say,” Dude! You’ve not got her anything since you’ve come back from abroad. You ought to get her one of these. One for the new job….you know, from your first paycheck with the new place. And then, there is always new year….it is your first new year after the wedding right? And then in a few more months you’ve got the first wedding anniversary coming up. So you’ve really got to celebrate all of these moments. They come once in a life time….and considering you guys have known each other forever, I am sure you’d love to see a smile on her face when you buy her one or two of these lovely rings.”

My friend’s face turned so frickin white, it was almost like one of those Tide soap detergent ads. Whooosh! My friend, normally the talker had nothing to say. Jaw dropped and speechless. Revenge, ladies and gentlemen was suhweeeeet! To top it all, friend’s wife says, “You don’t have to buy only rings you know….you can buy a necklace, and maybe earrings later on”. If I weren’t in a store surrounded by glass worth more than me, my life insurance and the total selling price of all organs I can donate put together, I would have jumped for joy. I just discovered kryptonite to take down married men. High five single dudes….high five! You may use this! Use it against those who falsely believe that we may be happier men after we’re married! Spread it to the far places of the world! Tell them that one man found a way, to keep our way of life. Tell them , that they may talk to our parents, they may register us with marriage websites, but they will never take…our freeeedooooooom!

(Sorry….got carried away there….Willaim Wallace, Braveheart and all that)

When his missuss had gone to the powder room, friend turns to me and goes, “Dude! What are you doing?” Me, “Maybe next time you’ll stop haranguing the parents of my boys with regard to marriage.” Friend, “Dude, I’m not causing you financial harm…. Why are you doing this to me?”.

27 November, 2011

Finally growing up….making space.

Yours truly finally grew up from being 8 years old to about 15 years old. In what was a shocking move, yours truly gave away almost all his G.I.Joe and He-Man action figure collection of some 15 odd years away.

Hold on! Rewind! You mean a 27 year old still had his entire G.I.Joe and other action figure collection?

Yup, what is said above is true. This 27 year old still clung on to his action figure collection…..until today that is. And those of you who do watch ‘Big Bang Theory’ would know that there is nothing wrong with grown men collecting action figures. And if you do like the TV series and still think I’m weird…I’ve got two words for you…..blaaaaaaady hypocrite. For those of you who know me personally, and happen to follow this blog, would know that this is a big deal….almost as big as Aishwarya Rai having a baby. (For that almost never happens these days….am I the only one who feels sorry for the other grandkids that Big B has from Swetha Bachhan? We don’t even hear of them.)

Anyway, the house is being painted this year, something that happens once a decade. So, I was cleaning out the loft and came across some old photos of when I was a kid. The parental unit had given me an almost perfect childhood. Great toys, a good education from good schools, instilled good habits and morals, showed me all the great places in the world aka Disneyland. And I will admit that this whole grown-up business is not going as planned. I’m still staying with my parents, have a job that isn’t financially pleasing, have not been abroad anywhere seeing the world, not in a relationship, have done nothing substantial with my life. So maybe I was clinging on to all these action figures because they reminded me of a simpler time. A time when life was good, a time when I would wake up in the morning and not go,” Oh crap, I have to get to work”, a time when I didn’t understand that the world was an unfair and mean place and you never get what you want.

But I think it is time to move on, it’s time I stop clinging on to childhood memories. It is time to make space for all new ones. And even if it means I’ll never be a part of a great band, or have that great job which sends to fancy places to work, drive that fancy car, be with the person you’re supposed to be and all that, at least going forward I know that whatever I make of life will be mine. And there is some joy in trying by yourself and not have dear mummy and daddy give it to you.

I kept a few of the action figures, just for namesake and gave away the rest to my maid’s kid who I hear thinks I’m a God of some sort and treasures any of the clothes we send across. Maybe my action figures have found a nice home. It was like the ending of ‘Toy Story 3’ which I frickin wept through. While these guys have been my best friends for almost 15 years and have travelled the globe with me, I think it’s time they went to somebody else. It’s time I make room for new things in my life. It’s time to start opening up spaces. I did spend a good 2 hours creating all those kiddish situations in my head where Cobra Commander created a monster that was causing havoc, so while G.I.Joe were saving the innocent town folks from the monster, Cobra were busy stealing nuclear warheads to sell. And oh my god did those two hours more than make up for my weekend and the sucky week of work.

So here is to my action figures that are going to give some other kid a part of the awesome world of imagination that I had growing up…. Thank you for being there. And no matter what other people say, I am here partly because of all the awesome stories you guys and I made together, far off places, future worlds, monsters and so much more. Now go and make some other kid happy.

Goodbye dear friends….and the best way I can repay you guys is to ensure that if I ever come down to having a tyke of my own, he/she gets enough of you guys to run away to great worlds and make great stories. And here's the ending of 'Toy Story 3' for all those who have/had action figures and had to part with them.

PS: The PS3 remains….. I still have my Batman, Darth Vader and Harry Potter action figures. And my Lego set.....i could not let go of Lego. Joke...get it??!?! 

20 November, 2011

Just got parented…

I don’t know how this happened or where it came from. But come on….I’m 27 and you can’t revoke TV privileges. I won’t get into the details of how this happened but the parental unit just suddenly switched off the television and told me that it’s being switched off for my behavior.


This feels like class 7 all over again. I’m holding back the urge to laugh out loudly. (or ‘lol’ as most of you call it today). I mean, come on….i’m 27…I’m practically a grown man who earns his own money to pay for his own fuel….PS3 and other minor juvenile behavior aside, this ‘revoking of TV rights’ is simply preposterous. Alright, I still live with my parents….but then, that’s pretty normal for any indian household. Like my friend says,”dude….we’re all f**ked up in the head from all this American TV. All this nonsense of ‘living by ourselves’, ‘bachelor pad’ is all bloody American thinking da. We’re Indian and we’re going to live with or nearby our parents forever,” (Will the court please note that my friend is staying in the US “with” a bachelor pad). Anyway, just because I stay with them, and the only relationships I have are with my 3 guitars, does not mean you can randomly remove TV viewing rights for me saying things you don’t agree with.

Sheesh! I remember way back in school and college where they would take away various privileges so as to ensure I study. Well, we can all clearly see that ‘that’ was a failed experiment. Anyway, dear parental unit…. I have a laptop, in my room, with unrestricted access to the internet. I don’t even watch TV anymore. I download. And if you think banning use of the TV is going to stop me from playing the PS3, so be it. I don’t get to play on week days thanks to work…so gnaaaah!

What was the last time your parents punished you? And what did they do? Mine was called ‘Mera beta engineer banega’.

PS: This blog is now up to 27 followers.(Ola 27th follower. That’s my age by the way, just in case anyone thought that this much obsession over a PS3 can only mean I’m 16 years old) Thank you all for your support in reading this blog, please introduce your friends to the same, so that one day I can do this full time. I promise to be bitter and whine about things even when I’m this “Salman Rushdie meets Chetan Bhagat in hell” type writer dude!

04 November, 2011

The 3 TV theory

I was talking to a good friend, who like me dreams to one day own a PS3. I own a PS3 NOW….but then we were in the same boat until I decided to finally jump off and swim to shore. So, friend is left without a PS3, at the moment. He’s moving on to bigger and better things where they actually pay you a decent wage….so we know where that paycheck is going.

However, unlike me, the decision to buy a PS3 is not a clear decision. In order to experience the full juvenile joy of games on the PS3, one needs to own a very good television.  My friend has this other problem ….ok…not problem…he has this other concern called a ‘girlfriend’. So here’s the problem, if he buys a TV, he would also have to buy a cable connection, so that his girlfriend can watch TV at his place, which clearly means PS3 time reduces. This is a grave problem….only a PS3 fan would understand and sympathize.

Based on this predicament, I have come up with the ‘3 TV theory’.  Here’s how it goes, “ If you are an avid male gamer and are fortunate to be in a relationship with a real human of the opposite gender and see this relationship turning into some form of a long term commitment like marriage, please invest in 3 televisions.”

Dear readers, I would like to pause here for a moment and state that I have absolutely no idea on how the concept of a relationship works, all my notions are purely theoretical (seen on TV and some in reality), so do not blame me if this theory does not work.

Here goes, Why 3 TVs you ask? Not all of us men would end up with a dame who likes exactly the same channels /programs we like. We men would probably want to watch the EPL, Dexter and Terranova while she wants to watch Masterchef Australia (although she will never ever cook any of those dishes), Saas ki bhi kabhi bahu thi and Grey’s Anatomy. The start of all fights….the power of control over the remote control. I know 2 women in the world who like some of the shows I like….but then, that’s 2 in a whole planet of women. If she watches football, she’ll probably support Arsenal because Van Persie is sooooooooooooooo cute! (Facepalm….I actually know a friend who supports AS Roma without having watched a game because she finds Totti to be so cute….no kidding here). So why would you subject yourself to watching all those TV series? Maybe it’s the whole ‘intimacy’ and ‘I love what you love’ thing which I don’t quite comprehend. You’ll also have to buy one of those Tata Sky recording thingies to record live matches and important events like ‘WWE Elimination Chamber’ and the season finale of  ‘Rakhi ka Insaaf’.

That explains the first TV. Now why the second? There is a good chance that if you were in a serious relationship with a woman, you might end up marrying her and given the right circumstances (lots of booze and pent up frustration) might result in procreation. The little tyke that comes around would want to watch cartoons. It’s fine as long as cartoons are limited to Tom&Jerry, Bug Bunny, Dexter’s Lab,etc….but from what I hear, kids today watch digimon,pokemon,yeah mon, mon-ica my darling, and other excuses for cartoons. Some of them love watching hindi film songs and jumping up and down to every song. So clearly, to prevent overlap of TV viewing priorities where you would end up watching what can only be described as “ Kyunki saas bhi kabhi Pokemon thi”…you buy the second TV.

That’s wise Nikhilesh…but why the third? Why? Why why why? Calm down dear reader….I’m coming straight to that point.

Assuming you are the MCP (google that) like most men, you really would not enjoy giving up control of the remote that allows mindless channel surfing only stop at every sport channel and the Discovery(FTV) channel. If you were the repressed gamer, like me, who is still fuelling his juvenile pursuits like a PS3, you’d obviously need a TV all to yourself. Preferably, the TV is to be placed in some dark store room or dungeon like place so that no one disturbs you. WWE and EPL would go undisturbed. This experience could be augmented by purchasing a 3 BHK, or at least a small penthouse/storage space near by so that you can run off to, to be by yourself without the Pokemons and Saas-Bahus.

So that ladies and gentlemen is my “3 TV theory” to ensure a happy (or less miserable) married life. Once again let me remind everyone that the author only owns a PS3 and currently is not nor has ever been in a relationship with a woman and is probably the best person to give you an unbiased opinion on how things ought to be done. Practice at own risk. I am not responsible for any break ups…but if any one who does break up and is looking for a drinking buddy, drop a message on twitter and I’ll be there. You’re buying obviously.

17 October, 2011

Mujshe Fraaaandhsip Karoge???? erm...no!

 Spoiler Alert: There will be references to the movie. When I say ‘you’, I refer to the geniuses who write such fabulous scripts and the bigger geniuses who pay for such movies to be made.

I just got back from watching ‘Mujhse Fraandship Karoge’, a fairly disappointing movie in the romantic sense. Not much rom...and a little bit of com. Allow me to explain. I don’t believe I’m a very romantic person, but I know you can’t portray love in the same way in every darn movie. Boy and girl fight…boy and girl realize they love one another….boy and girl confess….boy and girl fight again…boy or girl deliver dialogue at the end to make the audience sigh (and one person groan in pain) and then they kiss and make up and live happily ever after. Same story…every darn movie. ‘Break ke Baad’,’I hate luv Stories’,’DDLJ’…..and this one too. Do you all have to derive your inspiration from ‘When Harry met Sally’…which by the way, I thought was a very adorable movie.

There has got to be more to romance than this same old formula. If this were to hold true in real life, I’ve got a very long list of women I’ve fought with and have put in my ‘mortal enemy for life’ list that I need to reconnect with. And why do they all have to be sooooooo filmy….yes, I know, it is a film, but why so filmy? Why can’t you make a normal story without the melodrama and songs and excessive drinking by boy when he professes love to girl….or excessive drinking by theater goer because he can’t believe he paid money to watch THAT movie. Seriously chaps, wise up. I’m a critic, so don’t come and ask me to write a story for you. (FYI, the Dev D type story was fairly accurate….I know more stories of that type)

Next bone to pick. Why is it that you always portray the fat guys as morons? Seriously? Why? Do you have a problem with fat guys? Come on…to my face you son of a….yeah! Every movie, the fat guy is large, wears goofy shirts, has a beard, wears glasses and is always the comic relief. Even if it means you strip him down, give him a guitar and make him do a sick dance on a webcam for your ‘I used to be a moron and girls like me’ hero to upload on youtube or something like that. Being a gravitationally challenge person who does play guitar, I am very offended by the portrayal of my people in your movies. Also, why is he the only ‘fat guy’ in the entire movie???? You have a college full of students and there is this one fat guy only? Something is so wrong here. All you thin people are going to join an IT services company and have beer bellies by the time you are 30….just watch!

And what’s up with these colleges where these kids study? All the time they seem to be preparing for some fest, have random guys hanging around parking lots with their guitars playing some tune or the other, there is always a bunch of girls practicing for some dance or the other, the principal is always a fat guy and the main teacher is always this babe type person (thinking of Sushmita Sen from ‘Main Hoon Na’). And everyone are having a perpetual good time partying, hanging out, going on long drives and all the stuff most serious college going kids don’t do. What about real problems? Lack of money, worrying about exams, no placement in final year, job hunting, having to hang out with the rich kids when you don’t have very much yourself, problems about identity, peer pressure, bullying…all that?  But no, college is fun guys! All you do is hang out all the time and get drunk. Weird college people go to in the movies. I do not want to even get started on the dressing style. And no one seems to be suffering from acne and none of the guys have hit puberty…..except the hairy fat guy, but you can’t see the pimples because the beard covers it up.

And what’s with this sudden love for rock bands and rock stars? Suddenly every hunk is the rockstar of the college….guitar wielding, lyric belting idiot with his six pack and black vest. And aviator glasses….forgot important ingredient. And they all get steady gigs and everyone knows them. Please find me a college going band that has reached this great level of popularity worthy of the great Anu Malik. Bands in real colleges struggle to have to gain acceptance because the teaching staff see them as the devil. If they are in a city like Bengaluru, you won’t get that many gigs to play at except college fests. It’s not as easy as the movies make it out to be. Idiots. 

Also, why the sudden fascination with football ? You cricket supporting buggers suddenly want the Premier League? Sure....moronic hero takes bimbo heroine to a sports bar in the middle of the day to watch a Manchesters united vs Chelsea match. The idiot is hitting on her saying he'll switch sides from ManUtd to Chelsea for her....dear girl, if a guy is willing to switch clubs for you, and that to come from ManUtd to Chelsea, please leave him RIGHT NOW! He will cheat on you! Written guarantee....in blood....S.C.Bose style! And what's with the sports bar where you went to "see" the match and yet you spend time hitting on one another???? I don't get it. And where are the other fans in that darn sports bar or were you two the only coochie-coos there?

All this apart, I managed to sit through the movie owing to the gorgeous Tara D’Souza and to some extent Saba Azad. At least you made the way she looked while crying seem almost genuine. The rest of the movie was a somewhat painful affair. Maybe I've outgrown such movies. I should have gone for ‘Real Steel’ instead.

PS: Chicks on Bullet bikes was so Katrina Kaif....so stop doing it!

16 October, 2011

When was the last time?

First, watch this video. It has gone fairly viral the last few days….so in case, you’ve not seen this…WATCH!

This is true happiness. Something that seems to be in short supply these days. I had tears in my eyes because I wanted so much to be this kid and feel so much happiness that it drives me to tears. Remember being kids? Fabulous times it was….parents would buy you a 10 buck chocolate bar and would tell you that it was “all yours” and you felt so darn happy. Where have those times gone? Being a grown up SUCKS….sucks like a leech on the thigh of a fat juicy cow.

Even buying stuff does not make one happy like this anymore. Yes, you look back and feel so cool that you can buy a ticket for a movie or a show and don’t have to beg and plead for money and then be given conditions like ‘getting so and so grade in class’ and all that. I’ve wanted to buy a PS3 for the longest time ever…but when I got it, I was happy, but not this happy. The next item of purchase that I will be whining about for a few years is going to be a Fender guitar. For the uninitiated, a Fender is the dream guitar for anyone looking to seriously play the ‘Blues’….it is like the Jesus Christ of guitars. Anyway, I spent all of Sunday morning in the neighbourhood music instrument store trying out a whole bunch of guitars (I went in to buy a 20 buck pick) and when I played the Fender, it felt so cool…..almost like when Harry Potter got his wand in Diagon Alley. The guitar called out to me….in parseltongue. But then, I was not ‘this’ happy. I want ‘this’happy….the happiness where I am so overcome with joy that I weep like a little girl….erm…yes, like this little girl. I will even do a happy-dance. And will record it and put on youtube.

I can’t remember the time I was so thrilled about something. Not even graduation from MBA college that has left me with nothing but a loan at this point in time. They say it gets better, I hope so. What maybe came close was when I went for my first Iron Maiden concert….and I’m sure I’m going to get giddy with excitement at the upcoming Metallica concert. But even then, I won’t be soooooo happy. So dear reader and friends, the ball is in your court. Since the parental unit don’t plan surprises like this, I’m ruling them out of the picture.

PS: Can any of you help me meet Metallica and get my guitar signed by them?

05 October, 2011

Working for a Big4 firm...

 Note: I got this forward from a friend with only the main points in place. Being an MBA (now go oooooooooh.....aaaaaaaahh) I had to respond to these allegations that make big corporate firms seem like Mount Doom when actually they are like the Shire with everyone having a really good time. Hence, my response to the points in-line. Also note, the following comments are a work of fiction and bear no relation to companies existing (especially the organization I work for). We love you corporate buggers!

You know you work for a Big4 Firm when.. ;-)
(Note: Big4 fanatics and people without sense of humour need not read any further)

1.        You are referred to as a ‘resource’.

I am referred to the one that quit to do his MBA and still came back here…. Or in other words ‘victim of the recession’.

2.        You thank the heavens for an early pack-up for the day at 9 pm.

You mean I am allowed to leave before 9 PM???? And not apply for half a day’s leave?

3.        Late sitting means 3-4 A.M.

Yes, but that’s only with my guitar or the PS3

4.        You earn well but can’t find the time to visit an ATM.

Kindly explain this “earn well” concept to me.

5.        You gain weight and lose hair in an equal proportion.

Erm….always been on the gaining side of weight.

6.        You’ve been ditched by your GF cuz you kept missing your dates on a consistent basis.

Ditched by my what?

7.        Weekends are great pleasure. Atleast you can wear casuals to work u see!

I work from home on the weekends.

8.        You start classifying personal problems as below or above the de-minimus threshold.

The only problems one has is that ‘One is not doing enough to improve share-holder value’. The other problems are inconsequential.

9.        Most of your festivals are celebrated with your colleagues at work.

Phew. Dodged that bullet!

10.        You get clueless upon being asked, ‘What time you shall leave today from work?’

I get clueless upon asked anything related to work.

11.        You have to fight with your seniors for allowing an off on an official holiday.

Guess who is taking the day off tomorrow come what may?

12.        The first thing you consider while planning your marriage date is whether you’d get an off around that time for your marriage or not!

Am still in the ‘Can I afford to think of the concept of marriage?’ phase. Will cross this bridge when I come to it. Kindly refer to point 6.

13.        You start assessing ‘inherent’ & ‘control’ risk associated with your potential girlfriend.

Again…potential who???? Point 6 people....please read!

14.        Your laptop replaces your wife as your ‘Constant lifelong companion’

My ipod has already done that hypothetically assuming point 12 ever happens.

15.        You get to hear this dialog atleast once a day from someone but nothing happens, ‘Had hai yaar.. Bahot ho gaya.. Main papers daal raha hoon’ (Enough is enough.. I’m resigning)

Oh no. No way! We all love the company! God promise! (fingers crossed behind back)

23 September, 2011

A some-what indecent proposal

I’m not sure if you remember me telling you that I am in a band which has been put together by the music school where I go to. Anyway, that’s the band, we have a 12 year old drummer and a 12 year old guitarist. My guitarist is one of those wonder kids who plays drums ,keyboard and guitar….not at the same time though. Or else he would not need to be in this band. Anywhooo….there are times his mum comes to the practice sessions. Yes….you read that right. My band gets chaperoned….you know, just in case these big boys teach him the F word, and talk about promiscuous sex and alcoholism…because I’d so do that. The tattoos and all…you know. Don’t trust the chubby boy, he seems oddly happy all the time, must be some valium he has in the morning. These tattoo fellows are like that only. BTW, my guitar player wants us to play “cocaine” for an upcoming show…..and asks me what is cocaine and why is this Clapton guy singing about it? And why does she not lie? Auntyji….you are supposed to teach him all these things at home and send for practice. I am not here to answer embarrassing questions. It’s a good thing he thinks Mary Jane is a song about Spiderman’s girlfriend.

Anyway, during one of these practice sessions, we decided to take a break. Auntyji suddenly enquires as to whether I have non-veg and drink those things. “Those things”?!?!?!?! I asked her as to why she’s asking me. She replies,” You are Brahmin no? I saw you are wearing that thread. But I wanted to ask if you eat chicken and all that?” Spidey-sense tingling….must be the Mary Jane I smoked before I came to practice! “Erm….I do…but why do you ask?” *Insert drumroll*

Auntyji replies”Noooo. You see….there is this girl. Brahmin girl only. She is a carnatic singer. She wants to marry a boy who is also in music. I know you are not in classical music, but you understand struggles of musician in this place. Also, the girl’s guru is here and she wants to settle in Bangalore only. So if you marry her, you can support her music career no????”

My jaw hit the floor faster than the permissible rate of acceleration due to gravity. First and foremost, my 12 year old guitarist’s mum is trying to set me up with a girl….and she expects me to “support” that girl? What the devil do I look like? A crossbeam or a push-up bra to be supporting anything? I can barely support myself….and here she expects me to not only marry a woman, but I am also expected to support her music career. I unfortunately had to tell auntyji that I am not interested in getting married at the moment. Reply comes, “ You are 27 no? Already you are old….you should get married.” “ No no no no no no no no no no……”

PS: At least she was kind enough to try and set me up with a girl….which is more than what my “friends” (open and close double quotes) have done in my 27 years. Humph....

13 September, 2011

How was I to know?

I happened to go ‘shopping’ with two of my woman friends over the weekend, I guess it was ‘window-shopping’ because I was the only one who ended up actually buying anything. We’ll call these friends ‘J’ and ‘K’ for now (Saw MIB 2 yesterday). So J tells K that J is going to buy Mac. Yours truly gets very very excited and says in a slightly high pitch tone, “No way….you’re getting a Mac. That’s awesome. Which model are you going for?” J realizes that there is obviously some part of the plot that I’m missing and both seem a little confused as to why I would be getting excited about someone buying a Mac.

“Erm…which model? Mac Book pro???” J clarifies that there are no references being made to laptops here and that Mac is apparently a cosmetics brand. So it’s M.A.C and not Mac. (leviooooosa, not leviosaaaa). Hey, I can’t help it. To any straight guy, working(slaving) in an IT company, if you say Mac…it either means the laptop or the burger. And since we just had lunch, I knew it could not be the burger.(Or could it????)

Also, how the devil am I supposed to understand that ‘tube’ is short for ‘tube-top’. I was starting to wonder why these ladies were discussing plumbing issues. Shouldn’t tubes be concealed, so how does it matter what colour they are? The same for ‘Spaghetti’…. If you say things like spaghetti, I can only think of food. There is no way, even if I really really tried that I would imagine a Genelia D’Souza type dame wearing a spaghetti-top ahead of an actually plate of ever so gorgeous spaghetti and meatballs. I’m a foodie, there is no way I am programmed to think of women ahead of food.

PS: Which one of you guys know that 'Anarkali' is a type of Salwar Design?

18 August, 2011

Nikhilesh at ‘Splash’

For the uninitiated, ‘Splash’ is a store (part of the Landmark Group, the $2.5 billion retail conglomerate in the Middle east….aha...the MBA touch aka “I can Google very well”) on MG Road that has a lot of international clothing lines, the only two which I recognized were U.S.Polo and Bossini…and other brands that must be real big.

A friend and I went on a shopping spree over the weekend to take full benefits of all the super sales going around town. Well, considering the number of shops we went to, I’m not sure if it qualifies as a spree. For me, buying more than one article of clothing is a spree. So, we’re going to refer to this day as a shopping spree. Towards the end, we ended up at Splash. One needs to note that this is the first time I am entering this store. Like a young lion(or chimpanzee) bred in captivity, being released into the wild, I trudged in with caution. Splash is not the kind of store I would normally visit. We did read earlier that the only party wear I own is a new ‘red shirt’ and an old ‘blue shirt’.

Anyway, we enter Splash. I must say, this is the most fun I have had standing around a store and not buying anything. I was having a stand up comic running sketches in my head. OMG. For starters, the place reminded me of an Asian paints showroom. All those colours. Being a fairly boring person when it comes to clothes, I’m used to blacks, blues, reds,whites, and the occasional green. Even this is 3 colours more than what the average male considers as a colour. This place was something. The same dress design is lined up in only what can be described as a colour pencil set. Starts with white and moves on to shades of pink, then orange, red, yellow….and goes on and on. (Please do not correct me saying that the colour I saw was ‘scarlet’ and the other one was ‘mauve’…we all know, it’s ‘Leviooooosa’ not ‘Leviosaaaa’. ) I look around, friend clearly notices that the wheels in my head are turning at a pace that I’m not quite used to. This is indicated by the Grinch like smile on my face….friend chooses to ignore. That’s when I start with the silly questions.

First, I notice this dress that looks like a jump suit, or something the guys in Ghostbusters wore, except that it has got floral prints. Turns out, that’s fashion. For whom? Lady plumbers? No, actual normal women. Go figure! I could only imagine someone jumping off a high storey building and being able to glide to safety in that dress. Something like Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider 2. My friend pulls out this shirt from a lot, and for some odd reason asked my opinion. My observation, “What size is that?” It was apparently a large. I thought it best not to be uncouth and say something like,” Dudette, that’s as big as my hand-kerchief”. I feel really sorry for larger girls who will never be able to fit into that shirt, no matter how good it may look. Sisters, I share your pain. Most of the clothes there resemble what one would buy at a baby shop. I even saw sweaters and jackets that really don’t seem to serve the primary purpose of covering up from the cold.

The height of jokes running in my head was when I saw this purse with so many tassels, that it reminded me of a cowgirl in a “religious movie”….yeehaw! Apparently, people do buy that sort of thing. Sensing that I was quite clearly of no use in having a decent opinion, my friend told me to go off and check out the men’s section. They had one???? I could not tell the difference with all the purples and light pinks with a satin sort of finish. And not to mention the bling. There were t-shirts…for men….straight men…with bling on them. The only 3 types of bling a man must wear are:

(1) The ring of power forged in the fires of Mount Doom (The ‘Lord of the Rings’ ring)
(2) The Green Lantern ring
(3) The Iron Man suit

I see no other reason for a man to wear bling. But that was all I saw. What’s insulting is that they stop at ‘L’ size. I don’t think anyone there has heard of the concept of ‘XXL’. The only wearable shirt was in the U.S.Polo section. I know, you women think I’m some sort of a philistine. That may be so. I almost bought two shirts with the exact same design, but in different colours at another store. My friend shops at Splash, she would not allow it. The “Go ahead and buy that if you want” was enough for me to pick another design.

Somewhere in all this, yours truly had a sort of Eureka moment. (No, there was no running stark-naked through the store). I think I may have understood why women take so long to shop and maybe even to dress up. You gals have choices. When you walk into a store, like the one I walked into, you have something like 30 different colours of the same dress, and each is of subtle difference in shade as it progresses up the light spectrum. The only thing that comes close is Baskin Robbins with their 31 flavours of Ice cream. I may be wrong on this, but we men don’t have very many colours we can wear without standing out in a crowd. And that’s not always a good thing. Now assuming that you girls found “THE” colour, there is a question of size, and fit and so many parameters that I’ll have to write a program on an IBM super computer to match them all. Plus there is the problem of competition from other women, where you can’t be seen wearing the exact same dress design with the exact same colour bought at the exact same store .Just thinking of it gave me a near concussion.

If you think I’m being patronizing and am mocking women, I’m not. Here’s how I was able to relate to this problem of choosing. I underwent the exact same trauma a few months ago when I bought the PS3. “Xbox 360 with Kinect” v/s “PS3 with Move”. I nearly died trying to choose. There were so many pros and cons. All my friends had Xbox, but PS3 was a better console, Xbox had ‘Halo’ while PS3 had ‘God of War’. Xbox had a media center, but PS3 could play Blu-Ray discs. Do you see what is happening here? I was so torn as to what to choose. So if there is anyone out there who gets what the big deal about shopping is, it’s probably me. How do you people do it? All those colours.

And also, you guys wear this shawl type thing which is called a ‘Stole’. You buy a ‘stole’ at a discount sale where almost 70% of the price is knocked off, it’s a ‘steal’. See….I can’t make bad jokes with the clothe types we men have. We have full-sleeve shirts, half-sleeve shirts, T-shirts, trousers, shorts and bermudas. I can only make triangle jokes with Bermudas.

Anyway, closing statements are in order after that verbal diarrhea. Imagine the live feed running in my head when I was actually in the store. If there was a server running twitter feeds in my head, oh boy it would have crashed. Two times over. I do sympathize with men who have to wait on women who shop, but guys, it’s not their fault. They just have way too many choices presented to them. While this is indeed a red letter day in terms of shopping for me, I do hope I learn enough about woman’s shopping before I am expected to have a proper opinion and not have a Russell Peters meet Jeff Dunham show running in my head. I’m not very good at holding back silly thoughts in my head….hence this blog.

12 August, 2011

It’s always best to encourage a good mood

Times are indeed tough. When I came out of college a year ago, the world was just recovering from a recession. I could some how wrap the idea around my head that I will not be making as much money as I would like to. A year on, the bloody recession is back and guess who is left feeling like they’ve made all the worst choices in the world? Anyway, its times like these that require one to be as cheerful as possible. If you’ve read some my previous post, you would remember that post attending my friend’s wedding in the north, I have this new found sudden urge to actually enjoy hindi film music and break out into a song and dance when people are not looking.

Despite the rather dull weather in town, the last few days see me wanting to listen to more hindi music than my usual Pearl Jam or Foo Fighters. By hindi music, I generally mean one song. I seem to have gotten the ‘Senorita’ song from ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ stuck in my head and have been playing it on and on in the car, even performing a little dance when the traffic is going no where. The inherent problem with such behavior is that I seem to forget that I don’t have dark tinted windows and that people ( by people, namely office going dames on scooties or other cars) can see me behave like a moron. I realized my dancing skills are very similar to Barney…..oh, not the cool dude from HIMYM, but Barney the dinosaur.

I did not realize this until this girl on scooty next to my car this morning started laughing. Thank you very much….and you ask me why I don’t go to discos or dance in public. I don’t know how long she was watching, but I stopped and was all ‘knight in shining armour’ (fat dude in old metal car) and allowed her to pass on ahead…. a luxury not given to very many bikers if I have my way. And why? Not because I am a nice fellow, but so that I could go back to singing at the top of my voice and dancing in my car seat….while driving. It’s not often that a good mood comes along without me either being drunk or having bought a new electronic item….and I am in no mood to let it go away that easily.

PS: To all ye conspiracy theorists, no, I’m not getting married and no I’ve not fallen in love.

03 August, 2011

Let sleeping dogs lie…aka…the ‘blue’ shirt syndrome

Some time end of May, I attended a friend’s wedding. Being the owner of a 4 wheeler meant I was expected to play chauffeur to another friend who wanted to get all decked up and go in a Saree. (You’re reading this blog and you know who you are….BTW, I’ve not mentioned that you made me wait for over an hour on a Sunday evening when I could have been home watching football). I pick the girl up and head towards the wedding hall which is on the other side of town.

Half way through, my friend, who was all fancy in a saree and stuff starts screaming at me. Readers please note that I was kind enough to switch to the hindi station on the radio and not mention a word about how I was made to wait (which apparently is considered normal…”in which world????”). The reason I was being yelled at was because I was wearing a blue shirt, jeans and sneakers. The article of clothing that was in question was this blue shirt that my friend points out; I apparently wear to every wedding or reception I attend.

Guys will be guys, I honestly did not care. Some one like me does not attend very many parties (namely 2 a year….one of them being new year) or formal functions like this, so I don’t see the point in investing in fancy shirts for such affairs. I own this one blue shirt, kind of fancy, that goes well with jeans and trousers and is worn to all weddings. I however, did not notice this trend until I was being yelled at in my own car by a woman who made me wait for over an hour and then listen to hindi film music on a drive to the other end of town.

Post the wedding, I went back home to look through photos from the weddings attended earlier this year. Turns out she was right. Barring one wedding where I had worn the blue shirt the previous evening, I’m there with the same blue shirt in every photo. Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Blore…goatee, no goatee, stubble, clean shaven….jeans, trousers, shoes….all change; but the blue shirt remains the same. It was all fine, and life would have gone on for many years with my blue shirt….but nooooo….some people are not happy about that. Heck, I may have even worn that blue shirt to my own wedding reception should I ever come to that bridge in life.

I find it very scary that women notice all these things. Very scary. I’d like to point out that out of fear, I have bought a red shirt with a fancy finish. You will now see me with a red shirt in all weddings going forward…..or until the next person yells at me for wearing it for more than one event. The next time any of you have an issue with what I am wearing; you are free to take me shopping and buy me clothes.

(PS: Not the blue shirt in the pic below)

29 July, 2011

Nikhilesh Murthy sort of jams with Ehsaan Noorani & Jayanta Dasgupta.....

Yes! You read that right…it is the very same Ehsaan from the ‘Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’ trio. Fender guitars are launching their new Ehsaan signature series guitars in India. I was fortunate enough to be there for the launch. After playing for a bit on stage, Ehsaan’s blues band asked people if they wanted to come up on stage and play the new guitars.

As always, me with my’ be the first horse out of the stable’ mentality when it comes to such things ran up. I may have trampled some other people on the way…happens! Never seen National Geographic? Never stand in the way of a charging Rhino. Anyway, I get on stage and one of his band mates gives me his guitar to mess around with. It’s a good thing I go for the classes because I knew some very basic almost laughable blues pentatonic scales. Played a little by myself. And that’s when he and Jayanta start pointing out how different tones on the guitar work with the different pick-ups and how different styles come across. So he plays this little riff and I try to follow in vain. Your truly got a solid ten minutes on stage getting lessons from Ehsaan on how to play the blues and how to use the new guitar.

While the entire evening was a promo for the new guitars, which are okayish (pics to the left).
Good sound, but I’m not exactly kicked about the work on the scratch board. I still don’t believe that the whammy bar will not de-tune the guitars without a lock. Anyway, enough about the guitars. Some of my band mates also got to play with Ehsaan onstage. Post the launch, we got a good 30 minutes where Ehsaan & Jayanta were kind enough to actually squat down and show us some nice licks and techniques on the guitar which would help play the blues better.

Overall, totally nice chaps. Very humble and very open to having a conversation with people. So that’s my 5 minutes of fame this weekend. Someday, I’ll be in a full time blues band. I tell you, all this are signs for me to just stop working and play guitar all day long.

PS: Willing to write songs like ‘Sheela ki jawani’ for a living if I can play guitar otherwise. Here’s a pic of me with Ehsaan and my band mates.

28 July, 2011

They did not teach 'that' at B-school....

Alright, if there is a blog entry that is possibly going to get me fired, it is this one. I am feeling rather suicidal so here I go. I am going to reveal some of the really plain things people tell one another in meetings which when heard through the very straight and decent ear of Nikhilesh Murthy just sound plain dirty.

i) Get on top

I can’t remember the number of times people have asked me to get on top of someone else. It’s ok if they refer to some technology or a problem, but when they take people’s names, there is no way I can keep a straight face. If it were the babe in the other department (not mentioning which babe or which department….HR may be tuned in), I can somewhat keep a straight face. It does get weird when they ask you to ‘get on top’ of really old men…who are soooo not my type. It’s even worse if they tell the women in the room to get on top. Come on now, there is no way you cannot not picture Penelope Cruz from that unforgettable movie ‘Woman on Top’.

ii) You can’t be on the surface, you must go deeper

This is a no brainer. When you’ve spent a fair part of your graduation watching religious movies (defined as movies where people seem to say ‘oh my god’ a lot more than what is considered appropriate), there is no chance you can keep a straight face and nod politely to this one. It gets better when they say ,” If you can’t handle this alone, we’ll give you a resource.” ‘A resource’…is that what they’re called these days? They refer to it as 'A tricycle' in HIMYM.

iii) Touch Base

So now you want me to touch base and go deeper? Weird. I do believe I will get slapped if I go around touching base with everyone here. I know we’re all told to build intimate relationships with our co-workers, but isn’t this PDA a little too much. After all, we’re supposed to be a professional firm. It’s not like I’m one of the account managers in ‘Mad Men’ who can literally go around ‘touching base’ without being fired or thrown out by his wife.

iv) Sitting on our hands

Why would I sit on someone else’s hand? No really?!?!? This always manages to put in a lot of laptop jokes. You know stuff like, “ My secretary wanted a laptop….” No?!?!? Never heard this one. Sheesh!

v) Best in breed

Hehehehe…. Horses? Ducks? Fighter fish? What do you want to breed? And more importantly, how are you going to do it. “We must provide the ‘best in breed’ service”. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want any job that involves breeding of any sort. Speaking of breeding, did you hear about the Beckham’s fourth child?

vi) Blow by blow

While this does mean to cover all the details in the real world….oh darn. This is way too simple guys.

vii) Dead wood

Normally used in the context, “The organization has a lot of dead wood that is weighing us down. We must get rid of the dead wood”. While I’m all pro-cost cutting (even if it means my appraisal….yes HR, I love what you’ve done with it)….don’t you think we should council the dead wood. I am sure there are pills for such a thing…or maybe they’re just nervous. No need for the neutering.

I could go on and on (oh damn…there’s another phrase) but I think I’d better hold off more content until next time.

BTW: Here’s a game you corporate types can play. It’s called B.S Bingo. Create a 4x4 matrix and fill it up with jargon words or phrases used in meetings. Some examples are “in my mind”,”strategic direction”,”Synergy of strategy”,”push the envelope”,”call to action”, etc and hand them out to the non-participating members (yeah right, I’m sure HR have told you that you are all very important to them in every meeting) and cross out words as the participating members say them. The first one to get all the words struck out wins a free coffee from the vending machine.

13 July, 2011

And good things to all those who wait for it

It’s been over a fortnight since I’ve put anything up, my apologies, I have my reasons…some of which I will explain. Soooo…. What has been keeping me away from finding the time to write? I can group the reasons into 3 broad buckets for you. ( This ‘grouping into buckets’ is one of these things you tend to do post an MBA degree. MBAs love grouping things into buckets….pointless, but necessary) Anyway, here they are…
(a) Work
(b) Music
(c) A ‘surprise’ that you will have to read about at the end.

Soooo….work. Yes! It’s been happening….or not. It will happen….or not. Let’s not waste time on this.

Next….music. Yours truly seems to have found some momentum once again as a performer. However, it does have a certain Jack Black ‘School of Rock’ twist to it. As part of a band from the music school where I go to learn guitar, I recently performed in a 30 minute slot at a weekend-long music festival at the ‘Alliance Francaise’ in Bangalore. This is the first music festival I’ve ever played at……and it was awesome.

Why the Jack Black twist? Well, the band has got people from the age of 7 right up to the age of 35. One of the lead guitar players is 11 yrs old (But don’t tell him that….he corrected me saying that he is almost 12 years old….it’s THAT big a deal). A drummer who is 13, keyboard player who is 17….and the cutest 7 year old violin player you will ever see. And I’m almost exactly like Jack Black during the jam sessions; overly enthusiastic about everything and very “into it”. I’ve even got the shorts bit narrowed down. (Gorgeous legs….hubba hubba hubba). The show went off really well and we seem to be getting more places to play at. We recently played at one of the Barista’s too. While this may not be a long term thing and I do need a band with more people my age, this avatar is fun too…..even if it means I play bass.

Now to the big surprise we have all be waiting for. No, I don’t have a girlfriend and no, my parents have not found a bride for me. (These were the top two entries when I excitedly asked people ‘guess what?’ after ‘the big surprise’) Followers of this blog will know I’m one of those ‘focus on what you don’t have’ types. But for once, I am going to be very grateful and acknowledge and appreciate the new love of my life.

Ladies and gentlemen…..drumroll *burra burra burra burrrra burrrrrra badda bish*…. I am now the proud owner of a PS3. Yes, you heard me right…. I now finally own a PS3. A dream that began almost 8 years ago has now been realized. Phew!!!
I bought myself a PS3, along with the ‘Move’ controller a couple of weeks ago. Why all of a sudden? I’ve finally decided to start living a little and start having fun for once. I’ve wasted many years in the pursuit of ‘education’ and quite frankly, I fail to see the point of it all….so I bought myself a PS3. While this purchase will more or less bring an end to any semblance of a social life that I may have, but who cares…. I have a PS3. To all the women whose heart I’ve broken with this news, I say “You had your chance…..now you don’t. I’m now plugged in to the PS Network. We can probably meet over a friendly game of COD Black Ops or Fifa. ” To those who feel jealous that I can afford to buy a PS3 because I stay at home, and am not married and do not have any real responsibilities in life, I say “That’s my fault????” I also believe that I no longer have to leave home on the weekends and socialize with the human race. This should also take care of the boredom and spending part of things. Global surveys show that the average age of gamers world-wide is now 34, so don’t think it’s silly to be as excited as I am at 27 to own a PS3.

Well, that’s about it from my side. I will now have to find a new ‘not-have’ to perpetually whine about and benchmark everything in my life to. I’ve got the car, the band (some what) and the PS3. Any suggestions on what is the next big thing I ought to aim for? All possible entries are more than welcome. I was planning on an Ibanez guitar…or a nice expensive holiday in Europe. Until I can find something else, I’ll get back to my PS3…yes MY PS3….muhahahaha!!!

PS: Life should more or less follow the path shown in the video below. Geek Gamer Rules!!!

21 June, 2011

Without the bare minimum score

I’m sure you’ve all been reading the news regarding how some colleges under the DU have put their cut-off score for their Honours course at 100%. The news came out when all of us were at lunch at the office. There was a unanimous sigh of relief from everyone at that table - we were done with our education. Quite obviously, that fleeting moment of elation turned into worry for those with kids still in school. I sat there wondering to myself as to how someone like me, an average joe (‘Joe’ jeeta wahi sikandar…sorry…had to say that) would survive in a world where even a 100% can’t ensure one get’s to choose their line of study. It’s a miracle how I managed to pass exams and even get a post-grad certificate, I shudder to imagine if I were part of this year’s batch.

Sometime later in the day, I was at home, and watching the news again where students were complaining as to how it was insane that they got 99.9% and were still not able to get a seat in that college and now had to think of alternate lines of career. Wheels turn in my hamster powered brain. What if I had not even got the basic score to do an engineering degree? Would I have forced myself to become street smart and find a job that did not require a graduation? What if I had taken a degree in the Arts, which I believe is a very undermined course here in India, supposedly meant only for dullards and those who grace the lower rungs of the ranks in class, something I held for a great many years in middle school. Maybe today I would have been a hotshot creative director at some big ad firm (Don Draper fantasy) or could have learnt sound engineering and been on the crew for a major rock band. I could have actually learnt what it is to make money from the stock market rather than comfortably wait for a pay-check at the end of the month. I could have become a salesman for some FMCG company and actually moved up the ranks by knowing some ‘real’ selling. I may have gone in for a course in mass communication where I am sure I would have done far better at, than in engineering. Maybe even joined film school and become one of these new age directors who make real movies and not masala flicks. Perhaps even a course in psychology and then become one of those fancy chaps who talks about how the mind works at Ted sessions. Unfortunately, I cleared the minimum cut-off to be admitted to an engineering course and in the process may have denied myself the joy of being part of the “un-gifted” crowd.

And here I am, part of the many simple rats in this race track that is getting very crowded because they allow people with slightly more than average scores, an access to higher technical education. The fact is that once you’re in the race, it is tough not to run along, even if it kills you. To all those who believe life has closed the door on your career aspirations, please remember that sometime you have to find the window to jump through, or tunnel through with a spoon. India is a whole new country and people without technical expertise can make great careers. It will be a longer road, and a tougher road, but I am sure you’ll love it. There is a life beyond engineering, medicine, law and science. Think arts.

And happy world music day!!!

15 June, 2011

With a little help from my friend

I don’t know how many of you take notice of the ‘friends you may know’ section on Face book. It’s a very neat way to send out requests to people from school or college to whom you've not spoken to since. And it’s through that feature that I've actually gotten in touch with a lot of kids I used to hang out with in school. It recently threw an update of this very good looking girl….and by good looking, let’s put it this way… if Keri Russell had an ‘Indian’ tan, this girl would be her. Believe me, I would have remembered a friend who looked like that. I thought it might be some acquaintance who after going to the US decided to get this major make-over and look like….excuse the ‘guy’ness ….a total 'Elisha Cuthbert' girl-next-door bomb!!!

Turns out, we have only one mutual friend, and even he’s more of an acquaintance. But the girl, OMG, for a few minutes there, I fell in love. The 18 year old in me was going, “Arey….friend request bhej… I want to make fraaandship with you!”. I was sighing and going all dreamy eyed over her. (Yes….guys do that too). My eyes glance to the lower part of the screen….and that’s when my heart broke into a thousand pieces, like glass being shattered by Bianca Castafiore. I see the most horrendous thing….. The girl is an Arsenal fan.

Just then, my friend from college pings to ask what was going on. Boys will be boys, I had to share this ‘Birthday gift’ Face book had given. I shared with him as to how I felt so betrayed. But then, considering my friend himself, for some unexplainable reason, supports Arsenal…..if we could get along, maybe I and this girl could too. This is where one cannot highlight enough the importance of friends. He points out the other interests which….to cut a long story short…included Justin Bieber (Nooooooooo), Lady Gaga (Oh Nooooooooooooooooooooo), Ke$ha( Honestly why??????), the Twilight series (Oh crap…another girl who believes she should marry a gay vampire called Edward because she is so much like Bella….yes, in case you’re wondering how I know this, I sat through the first movie when it came out), The Vampire Diaries TV series (no surprises there) and Splitsvilla....and that's just me naming a few.

Needless to say, yours truly was cured very quickly of almost a week of sighing over her picture in my head while pleasantly smiling, and actually being nice to everyone. Imagine that, I’ll be in a good mood at the office. People will think I am ill. The last time such a thing happened in December, I found myself listening to Bollywood love songs for a week, it was THAT bad. And that’s why one needs friends. Friends who will be cold-hearted enough to pull out that pin to burst your bubble. Friends who would rather see you for your real miserable grouchy self than to see that fake happiness which we know is only temporary.

PS: The irony of it all, the only thing the girl and I had in common was we both liked F.R.I.E.N.D.S

PPS: I think a small part of me died tonight.

10 June, 2011

Wishes from the voices...

Dear Nikhilesh,
Here’s wishing you a happy birthday. I never really understood the saying, ‘many happy returns’, so I’m not using it. So, you’re now a whole year older. While it’s a good thing to celebrate this milestone, I would like to take this chance to impress upon you the true meaning of celebrating a birthday. We don’t live in the dark ages where disease, famine and plague made celebrating a birthday a big affair. So, we’re going to have to look at this whole ‘turning 27’ from a different perspective.

I know this is not where we envisioned we would be at this age. While most of your friends and acquaintances are finding comfort in their jobs, settling down with the people they’ve fallen in love with, buying nice shiny things like cars, homes, PS3s, travelling the world; you can’t help but wonder if you’ve done something totally wrong with your life. You all started out together, but you’re all in very different places in the world. You need to understand that we are the outcome of decisions we’ve made, and this includes the decisions made for us by others which we have silently agreed to follow. But we must understand that if we chose to take a path different from others, we must not expect the same outcome as others. So if you’re not where you expected you would be when you turned 27, it’s probably because you did not understand how the decisions you’ve taken in life were on a path very different from where you wanted to go. I want to quote something we heard at school, “When Columbus set out to find India, he found America…” In short, while you may share the objective of your friends and acquaintances, should you choose a different path…you may land up in India. Or you just may land up in America after what may seem a very pointless journey. But as long as you take the journey, I guess you’re alright.

27 is a good time to re-look at setting real goals and ambitions for one’s life. It’s a great time, especially if you’ve got no plans (or no scope) of settling down to actually start working towards them. The 27 year old you is more in control of your life than the 22 year old you from 5 years ago. The awesome part about still being unsure about everything and doubting everything you’ve done is that you’ve been given a chance to discover a whole new part of you by trying to change the old you. It may not make any sense to you now, but it’s something you’re going to look back on 10 years from now and probably say, ‘it was worth it’…and even if you’re still as confused or worse ten years from now, kindly remember Gandalf, “Not all those who wander are lost”.

On the lighter side of things, here’s what you ought to be grateful for. You’ve still got almost all of your hair in place, but you also have most of your weight in place. You have a car to drive around and don’t have to be overly worried about the weather, but you do have the rising cost of petrol and repairs. (Cool factor has not improved….maybe it’s the weight). You’ve got a job where people know you and you actually have a chance to learn what it is to work in ‘adverse’ conditions. (HR dept…I love this place…serious….Dog promise). You’re staying at home with your parents and enjoying home food, but you somehow thought you’d be staying for free. As your father would say, “Gotchaaa!!!” You’re in Bangalore, which is a pretty cool city, barring the fact that everything closes at 11:30PM, but most of your friends are either not in the country or are way to busy with their own lives to go out for beer at 11 PM in any case. You’re not being pressurized by your parents to get married , but then let’s be honest…on your income??? Seriously? You’re 27 and are still going to perform on stage in a week’s time with a rock band; so what if you’re just a an adjunct to a bunch of ten year old child prodigies…. You can’t possibly suck that much.

Age is just a number, and jail is just a room. But it’s never too late to change things around. So enjoy the day, and we can begin our George Clooney meets Don Draper meets Mick Jagger meets Johnny Depp meets Salman Rushdie make-over tomorrow.

Yours Sincerely,
‘The voices in your head’

30 May, 2011

Even if it was for 5 minutes…

Mr.Murphy and I had yet another meeting today, and like all the other times, he won. I’m going to beat him one day….just you wait. (Does a rendition of Eliza Dolittle’s ‘Ooooooo Professor Iggins…just you wait’ ). The car had some trouble today and I ended up riding the Activa to work. Yes, you read that correctly, I rode the ‘Activa’ to work. And guess what…it began to rain on the way back. Yours truly spent about 20 minutes towards the end of his work day cursing the rain and swearing he will never date a girl called Varsha (I’m still trying to figure out how that became part of my cursing and swearing).

The rain weakens and I head out. Same old pot-hole filled roads , now filled with water, all the passing cars decide I’m the best target to splash water on. Normally I’d be fuming by now. But somehow, being in this place after so many months took me back to the old days. Yours truly turns nostalgic in the rain. I remembered a simpler time from about 4 years ago. I was just one among many IT engineers who found himself in that position because he did not know what to make of himself, but it was clear that he wasn’t going to find his true calling being an Engineer, but did it anyway. A time when I did not earn much(and still don’t) and every penny I got that was spent on ice cream or a low budget restaurant was more fun than what I now spend on expensive cocktails. A time when I went to work, finished at a certain hour and went around town for cheap beer and chilly chicken and met friends to discuss the last weekend’s football game. A time when I would never over analyze or even bother as to why I’m still single and the world was music, food and booze…until I met the first one that changed all that. A time when I felt there was so much to conquer and knew what I had to do next, or at least I believed that I knew what I wanted to do next. Inflation was just a word that had no hold on me. It was all so simple then. How did I let it all get so complicated?

Spend all day worrying about how to make yourself a better asset to your company through work, spend all night wondering about how to save money, rising cost of fuel, food, rising cost of bank nterests, credit card bills, future housing and a whole bunch of things that give me grey hair. And somehow, for a short 5 minutes, my brain seemed free of all these blues….me getting drenched in the rain on that darn Activa….an almost care free school-boy like feeling overcame me….my hands knew where the road was, my instinct knew where the cars around me were… the rain seemed almost irrelevant at that point in time…almost Zen like. And it was good… to be free of everything and everyone, even if it was just in my head. Almost like a ' ....and I'm freeeeeeeee....... free fallin' sort of moment!

And then an image of Urmila Matondkar singing ‘Geela geela paani’, from ‘Satya’ popped into my head and life was normal again…stupid god damn rain, stupid god damn car and stupid people driving their stupid cars soaking me. Hello World! You’re a b**ch!!!

PS: Sorry for the tangential trains of thought.... early signs of ADD I guess....also, I figured out how to embed videos from Youtube onto Blogger. I have tried not to over do it...please don't scoff. It's this sort of enthusiasm at discovering new things that made the parental unit believe I was cut out to be an engineer.

24 May, 2011

I know...some where I am evil.

It is the birthday of a dear friend in the US today. I wanted to call him to wish him, and discovered that I am yet to activate ISD calling facility on my cellphone. (Anyone remember trunk calls? Fabulous fun those were). Anyway, I call up my local provider to request them to activate the same so that I could call my friend to wish him. Provider asks me as to which country I wish to call, so that he may inform me of the rates before hand itself.


I tell him, I want to call the US.....he tells me the rate. Then I ask about the rate to Australia (the other country where all ditcher friends have gone), he tells me the rate. This is where the evil in me decides to point its ears up like a dog that had heard something in the distance.

"So, how much to Azerbaijan?"
"Sir it costs...."
"What about Bolivia?"
"Sir it costs...."
"And the rates to Burkina Faso?"
"What sir? where is that?"
"Never mind... what about Sudan?"
"Sir it costs...."
"Are the rates to Laos and Chad the same?"
" Erm...wait sir....let me check."

(Annoying call waiting tune plays)

*Click*" Sir, the prices are different...they cost...."
"And what about Columbia?"
"Sir....is this for official purpose? We have special plan for corporate users who have heavy ISD calls"
" No...I don't do business with the Columbians."
"Anything else I can help with sir?"
(I've gotten bored with myself by this time) "Haan....last place, Canary Islands...how much to call there. We want to set up an office there."
"Sir...where is that place?"
"Leave it man.... Just enable ISD on my phone now."

16 May, 2011

To be a Marked Man...

I’m back from Mumbai where I had attended my cousin’s wedding. Everything seems bleak because thanks to my cousin, we are now about 3 people away from yours truly becoming the next subject of attention of all the relatives for marriage. Nevertheless, thanks to the absence of the 3 before me, guess who was given the spotlight? So kanna, when are you getting married? Next year no? You should lose little weight by then ok?(prods my slightly large tummy).

It’s amazing as to how many people seem more interested in seeing you get married than you are yourself. Most of the relatives were keener than my parents. ‘Do you drink? Do you eat non veg? Why the tattoos? Do you have a girlfriend? Is she tamilian? Are any of the tattoos because of her? What do you do in your spare time? What do you watch on TV? Why do you not sing carnatic music? Do you say Gayatri mantram? Where do you go with friends? Are any of those friend’s girls? Do you have a car? How fast do you drive? What do you think of a live-in relationship? Do you cook? How much does your watch cost? Are you a ‘project manager’ in your company? Why are you not a ‘project manager’ in your company? When are you going to the US? Does your company not send people to the US? Have you any plans of buying land or an apartment this year?’…. it goes on and on and on. What happened to all the aunts who saw me coming a mile away and laid out food on their tables? Why the Gestapo like questions?

Clearly, they were not ‘catching up’. This is what we refer to as ‘Primary market analysis’ where all the aunts get information into some common database (managed by Infosys…where their son/son-in-law is project manager in Chick-a-go, yaamerica) and do a quick correlation when one of their own require certain criteria to be matched when looking for a groom. And they’ve all been using cloud-computing way before anyone knew what it was…their database is always up-to-date with all the relevant patch fixes and never seems to go down.

I am now officially petrified of attending any more weddings where relatives would be present. They have all the information they need; I’m now a wanted man. Very soon, they will begin introducing me to random girls and will begin telling me their qualification and expect me to be floored. Nuh-uh...no way.... this is not happening.(This song has been running in my head for some odd reason) I was saving up for a PS3, but now I plan on moving that money to a the ‘I-need-to-get-to-Cuba’ fund.

PS: Anyone wondering why Cuba? India and the US, the two places in the world with the most tam-brams, diplomatically, don’t talk to Cuba… won’t bother hunting for me there. Mojitos for breakfast, lunch and dinner….

11 May, 2011

The Bottom of the Geek Ladder

I think I’ve more or less confirmed it for myself, and there is not much I can do about it. The problem is far more deep-rooted than what we initially assessed it would be. And this problem will take a lot of work if I am going to undo the effects any time soon. Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m a ‘Comic book Geek’!(Sudden sound of astonishment from the crowd)

It was all revealed when I went to see ‘Thor’ last week. I was explaining to some colleagues the great history behind the Avengers and the Marvel Universe in a little too much detail than what was required. But it’s so simple. Everyone knows that Captain America was the very first Avenger, and according to movie folklore, Tony Stark’s(Iron Man) father was the scientist behind the super soldier serum program that was responsible for making Steve Rogers the tough guy he was. I also spoke of how Bruce Banner aka the Hulk was experimenting with radiation to see how to recreate the super soldier program because Captain America was the last of the super soldiers. However, things went bad with the radiation making the Hulk the one guy you don’t want to tick off. However, the Hulk was a fugitive being tracked by the military, who are the biggest customer for Tony Stark…and I assume you saw the Iron Man movies. While I was quite excited that Hawkeye made a small appearance in Thor, I don’t think the others shared my enthusiasm. And how does Thor fit into all this? Well he’s a Norse God….he can fit into anything. But truth is somewhat close to the movie where Loki, Thor’s half brother, comes to Earth to create havoc, which is when Thor warns Agent Nick Fury of the coming tempest. It turns out all of Earth’s heroes cannot stop the chaos unleashed by Loki and his allies, which is when Thor sort of steps in. To make matters worse, there is an Alien Race called the Skrulls who attack Earth because Earth has the cosmic cube (check post-credit scene of Thor). And that’s how the Avengers sort of come about. Well, that’s in the movie. In the comic book, there are a whole host of other heroes including Wasp, Ant Man, even Spiderman, and Wolverine who have graced the Avengers team. I also had to fill everyone in on the ‘Post credit scenes’ on all the Marvel movies. And this was after forcing everyone to sit right through to the end to ensure we don’t miss the ‘Post-end’ credits of Thor. I missed the same in Iron Man 2 and felt very sorry for myself.

After all that, the question I get,” So where does Batman and this Green Lantern fellow fit into all this?”

Any self-respecting comic book geek fan would know that there is no way Marvel and DC heroes could exist in the same universe. DC has the ‘Justice League’ with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Hawk girl, The Green Lantern. While the Marvel Universe has ‘The Avengers’…..you see it’s all so simple. All it takes is doing a little bit of reading. (A concept that sort of gets limited to text-books in this country).

It was in that moment, an epiphany occurred. It turns out, even on the long ladder of geeks, I’m not even the ‘I have a great idea for a social media website so I can afford to dress like a homeless person’ sort of geek. I’m not even the ‘I am researching stuff that no common man would care about, but it will help unlock secrets of the universe’ sort of geek. Heck, I’m not even the ‘ I may spend my life pursuing childhood dreams and studying fossils for a living, but I have Rachel Green’ sort of geek…. I’m the comic book guy from the Simpsons.

Yup, I am the comic book guy! I own action figures; I get annoyed when people wonder why you never see Wolverine and Batman together. I get annoyed when people can’t tell the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek….how difficult is it to distinguish Spock from Yoda???? Honestly….sheesh! Of all the geeks in the world, I’ve chosen the lowest form of geek. Sigh! I’m going to own a comic book store one day! This is a dark day in self-evaluation and self realization. Sniff! According to Wikipedia (our best teacher ever) Comic book Guy is defined as “an obese, nerdy and snobby man best known for his eloquence and sarcastic quips” Please do not read the part about ‘Romance’ on that page. It will drive you to tears, as it has done to me.

I need a drink! A strong one! Catch you later!