15 February, 2012

"Bah! Humbug....It's Valentine's day"

Valentine’s Day post… I’m Mr. Predictable. Anyway, I’ve got the remaining 364 days of the year to whine about being single, so I thought I’d put some thoughts on V-day out there. I was fairly alright with spending yet another V-day being single until I saw this girl in the auto next to my car holding this bouquet in one hand and a really big box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates in the other hand. She had this beaming smile about her, very similar to the one I get when I enter a guitar store. And that’s when it got annoying for me and I had to write something.

I understand that V-day is supposed to be that one day in the year where you can be as cheesy as you can be while professing your undying love for your significant other and no one will say anything. On the contrary, the “Awwwwwwww” meter would be going all over the place. Some argue that undying love or temporary love until you move on should be expressed every day of the year. While that’s the ideal situation, I don’t think life works that way. You need to probably have someone called Hallmark hold a gun to your head and scream in your ear, “Tell her how much you love her/him”.

 So all the mush and justification aside, I’ve always figured, from the many movies I’ve seen, romance and love are supposed to be a private affair between two people. It’s probably not about the grand gestures of candle light dinner, French wine, billboards, airplanes writing names in the sky but more about the subtle moments spent together knowing the other person. Please note that I am writing without an iota of experience in this domain. While I’ve grown fairly immune to the heart shaped balloons in store windows, excessive red all over the place (favourite colour, so not complaining), mushy ads, forwards offering me discounts for couple’s spa massage, etc., etc….this new pain in the neck called Facebook is really annoying.

It’s bad enough the entire world is witness to people’s private lives the other 364 days of the year, the single folks now have to tolerate the couples mushing it out on public domain. I came across many updates where people were missing their significant others so much that they decided to bring it on to FB. Boy writes “First V-day after D-day…missing the wifey “. Wife instantly likes status update and replies, “Miss you too sweety….wish we could be together. See you in the evening.”

Whaaaaaaaat? Hold on… “See you in the evening?” You mean you guys are in the same town, left the same house in the morning, after waking up from the same bed, and all of a sudden you’re ‘missing’ one another? I would have been alright if they were miles apart, different time zones….but nooooo! We miss each other, even though we are in the same town and we are going to meet in the evening for a romantic candle light dinner with wine and much hand holding. And then all the women friends associated with that relationship have to…I mean HAVE TO like the reply and go, ‘Awww….you guys are cute.’, ‘ You two are made for each other’,’ That’s choooo chweeet that you miss one another’.

Hello?!?!? Excuse me…but what’s with the PDA? Is there a soap opera going on? While so many things are excusable, Facebook updates are not. Do people have no sense of personal space? Why must everything be advertised like a darn reality TV show? If you want me to subscribe to this conversation…make a *beep* tape and put it on the internet. Instant fame….ask Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. I have not seen those two master-pieces yet…officially. And you lot who are replying and encouraging these main characters are equally at fault.

A big blame goes to TV and Facebook. Romance just isn’t what it used to be. There’s no courting, there’s no privacy, no hand-written letters, there’s nothing left. All about perfect bodies, 6-pack frickin abs, terrible text messages with poor English and corny pick up tactics (refer to previous post) and grand public displays of moronism in the guise of “Romantic on Valentine’s day”. Get a room people…get a room.

I’ve gotten fairly annoyed with all the updates of couples forcing romance down everyone’s throat. We get it, you’re happy and excited….roses, dinner, all that jazz… and you want to shout it from the rooftops, you want to apparently ‘share your joy’ with everyone. You really want to share your joy….send me some money, or at least take me along for dinner. I promise not to drink too much wine and pass out. I’m supportive of putting engagement, wedding, new car, holiday, baby updates on FB, but minute by minute cheesy romance….sorry, the line has to be drawn.

Through the many painful public display of temporary affection aka ‘I’m getting some tonight because Hallmark Cards say so’, there was one interesting conversation shared with me on FB where the girl puts a picture of a huge bouquet sent by her husband who is in some other town. The usual ‘miss you…love you…XOXOXO’ goes one, at one point the girl says, ‘I’ve sent a gift for V-day. Hope you love it sweety. Look forward to receiving my gift’. The hubby replies, ‘Erm…. Was I supposed to send a gift too?

Anyway, here’s a song for all the single optimistic idiots like me….cheers! C’est la Vie!

PS: My apologies to all you couples, fresh-in-romance cases, 'I'm going out with him/her because I don't want to be single' cases, etc., to whom Valentine's day is a joyful commercial affair sponsored by Hallmark Cards, restaurants with dim lighting, manufacturers of chocolate covered strawberries and French Wine and the Florist Union of the World, this post comes from a person marginalized by society's over-burdening expectations of conforming to social norms. I'm not so bitter otherwise...it was those Ferrero Rocher Chocolates I tell you.

06 February, 2012

A Breakfast on Sunday keeps the Douchebags away….or not.

Prologue: This incident really happened. But for the sake of avoiding sheer embarrassment, all names except mine shall be masked.

It sometimes amazes me that at one end of the spectrum life seems so cruel to me, almost like it is playing some sort of a practical joke, you know, like the one my company pulls at the end of the month with the paycheck. And at other times it is just so awesome that I don’t even have to try to have a great time. Great times just happen. This post is about one such great time….for me that is.

I was to meet this very good friend of mine (although I don’t know if we would continue to remain on talking terms after this post) for breakfast. We’ll call her ZZ (listening to ZZ Top….so only name that popped into my head). ZZ and I have been planning to meet and catch up for quite some time now, but work and life schedules thought otherwise. We finally decided to meet up this Sunday for breakfast at this quaint little joint known as ‘Hole in the Wall’. We got a table after about 30 minutes of waiting, and soon got yakking away. Suddenly ZZ gets up to meet some person she knew, who was waiting outside the joint to get in. We’ll call him D-boy (for Delhi Boy….that’s where he was from. Kindly note, references made to the people of our nation’s capital are purely intentional unintentional).

ZZ comes back in looking a tad worried. ZZ was introduced to D-boy at some party which was organized by a friend of ZZ’s mum, and D-boy works for that friend….or something like that. Apologies for not getting the relationship correct….but all that matters is that ZZ has met D-boy only once at this party and merely exchanged pleasantries. It turns out D-boy had rushed back home to get a present he made for ZZ’s budday (I like saying budday instead of birthday) which was almost 45 days ago.

Now all of you please go ‘Ooooooooo…..ZZ and D-boy…sitting in a tree…K-i-s-….’ (I dare not finish that rhyme for fear of having a sharp object hurled at my head). ZZ has met D-boy only once in the past and he already “made” her a present. “Made” like Alisha Chinoy…’Made in India’ type ‘Made’. Ok! Kind of a creepy thing to do when you’ve met a girl only once. The only thing I have made after meeting a dame once was an excuse not to meet her again. Before you all start judging me, in my defence, which woman in the right mind tells a guy she just met, who after much courage called her back, ”You’re cute like a rossagulla”.  Anyway back to ZZ. I was joking that he’s probably going to return with a 2x4 frame with pictures of her downloaded off the internet and maybe he was one of those 'K..k...k..k....Kiran' SRK type psychos. ZZ is clearly freaking out.

D-boy returns with a packet in hand. 

Ok….drumroll please…..dumdumdumdumdumdumdumdum.......

The packet contains a pencil sketch of ZZ that D-boy made.

Now go,’ Awwwwwwwwwwwww….that’s cho chweet’. Ok stop. It’s not sweet….it’s creepy, that is what it is. Creepy for the girl….I’m having a ball of a time laughing away in my head. D-boy just pulled “THE” move of the century on ZZ. So effing hilarious….right out of the movie ‘Vanilla Sky’. So ‘Titanic’ too. I had to muster up all the will in my body not to burst out laughing. You’d think that would be the end of it….oh lord no…this gets better. While ZZ is staring in absolute shock, d-boy says in pukka delhi style hindi, “ Maine apne life mein kabhi kissi ladki ka sketch nahin kiya. Tu pehli ladki hain jiska maine sketch kiya”.
(Translation for non-Hindi speaking friends: I’ve never made a sketch of a girl before. You are the first)

Hoo boy…. cliché  cliché cliché. He did not just say THAT?!?!?!?!....nope...he did. Can we bring in SRK with his white sweater playing the violin? Could this fellow's vain attempt at wooing a dame actually be so filmy? I've only heard of these 'I am vant to make the fraaandship with you' types, but here he was, in flesh and blood, freshly imported from Delhi, D-boy aka 'The new cliched king of the block'. ZZ’s still speechless. I’m sitting there with a grin that would make the Cheshire Cat green with envy. D-boy continues,” Maine yeh sketch aapse milne ke baad banaya tha. Main roz subah uthke yahin tasveer dekhta tha. Aaj mera kismet acha hain. Maine baahar se dekha aur socha ki aankhen to vahin ZZ se milti hain, aur yeh dekho, aapko dekha. I vant to vish a happy baarthday belated to you.
(Translation: I made this sketch after meeting you. I see this every morning. My fate is good today. From outside, I saw and thought that those eyes matched ZZ, and here you are. I wanted to wish you a belated happy birthday.)

Our D-boy was hitting on ZZ like there was no tomorrow, clichéd line after clichéd line. ZZ’s sitting there all freaked out of her life. D-boy goes on to show her pictures of herself which he’s stored on his Samsung Galaxy S2 phone. I sort of blanked out for a few moments looking at the phone….Samsung S2….drool….. only to be brought back to reality with ZZ requesting him to delete those pictures. Clearly, this is a strategy that works in Delhi. I must give the boy credit for being so bold. One of two things could have happened. ZZ could have made a scene and slapped him…..a risk I will never take no matter how much I like a dame. Or, in some twisted universe, I could have been the over-possessive boyfriend and I could have slapped him…an ever bigger risk. But D-boy was pulling off every clichéd filmy dialogue in the book with unabashed thought to where this might end up. I’m actually a little insulted that he thought there is no chance in the world that I was the over-protective boyfriend types who could beat the daylights out of him. Must be the haircut and glasses.

Anyway, D-boy decides to join us for breakfast, even though he wasn’t invited. Sits down, right next to ZZ, almost like he were in a crowded Delhi bus minus the groping, orders chai and toast for himself and goes on talking about people called Radha and Anitha whom we don’t know…..but Radha is getting married in June, so I wish her the best and hope she didn’t meet her husband in such clichéd fashion. Clearly ZZ is uncomfortable with the brazen approach of D-boy, she does her best to ignore him and just keeps conversation with me not even acknowledging his presence. He still does not care and goes on saying stuff in rapid Hindi.

Now this is where I know I’m an absolute moron….I decide to make D-boy feel a little more comfortable involving him in the conversation. And not because I’m a nice guy, I just know it would get ZZ all wound up. Poor chap was clearly finding it difficult to speak to me in English, and sticks to his rapid Delhi-styled Hindi… I decide it is a good time to switch to Hindi too. Every vein in ZZ’s forehead wants to smack this guy in his happy place for not taking a hint D-boy, ZZ and I continue with the conversation till the end of the meal....well it was either only ZZ and I or D-boy and I, never ZZ and d-boy. Feels almost like one of those CAT exam questions.... A, B and C are sitting around a perfectly round table at equal distances from one another. A and B are men while C is a woman. A is talking to B, C is talking to B. A wants to talk to C, but C is not replying. the reason for this could be one of the following options:
a) A is creepy and over-confident of scoring with C and is trying every filmy tactic there is.
b) C feels creeped out to be in the presence of A and wishes he'd leave immediately and ignores him.
c) B being the good guy....who according to the popular saying finishes last.... is encouraging A to hang around.
d) All of the Above.

It’s not over folks….picture abhi baaki hain. I know, you’re thinking how does this get any worse? For ZZ that is….I’m enjoying every minute of this episode. We’re done with breakfast; D-boy goes in for the kill ....in one swift move, he asks ZZ out to coffee. In true corporate style, she replies, “I have your number. I’ll check and get back to you. Maybe next weekend.” D-boy, “ Main yahaan har Sunday aata hoon. Akele bait tha hoon. Aaj aapse mulakaat hui.” (Translation : I am here every Sunday and sit by myself. Today I met you. ) On that note, D-boy decides to be all bro-like with me and gives me a dude hug. I had to hug back because it would have been odd if my hands are by my side and a skinny Delhi boy with his greasy hair in spikes and pink t-shirt was hugging me. He proceeds to attempt to hug ZZ, she pats him on the shoulder….much like one would pat a dog that fetched a ball back after you threw it.

I’m trying so hard not to literally fall to the floor and die laughing. After he leaves, ZZ turns to me and says,” Why didn’t you do anything? Why were you encouraging a conversation with him? I should have beaten him up…or you should have done it. You sat there, having a ball of a time with the wheels turning in your head to a hazaar jokes. I know it. I saw the look in your face. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BLOG ABOUT THIS!!!” And that’s precisely what I did….with permission from ZZ of course.

I’ve got to hand it to D-boy. The risk, the spontaneity, the pencil sketch of a girl he met only once…and he was clearly a smitten kitten. I’ve never ever be so bold. This dude managed to get a pencil sketch, compliment a girl, sit right next to her, and ask her out…all in a few hours’ time. I’d probably spend years contemplating if I should even send a friend request. Part of me so wants to be D-boy….. maybe replace the sketch with ‘ I wrote a song for you’ and run home to bring my guitar and play in public. Naaaaaaaaaaaah! Too cheesy and oh so clichéd….and so not Nikhilesh Murthy. I prefer being the ‘endure pain in silence over a scotch’ types. Also, it would be very unbecoming of me to behave like I were a 'I'm a stud in my head and my dad knows a guy in politics so I can get away with anything' sort of guy from a certain capital of a certain country. I choose being non-confrontational, single and desperate over being a total creep any day. Yet it amazes me that guys actually use this strategy, and heck it even works....just not this time..... I think. 

Female readers of this blog - Has this cliched filmy 'Kya hum pehle kahin mile hain?' tactic ever been tried on you? 
(Translation: Have we met somewhere before?)

PS: ZZ is actually looking forward to this post, however, I don’t see her leaving any comments for the sake of anonymity.

01 February, 2012

Responsible Drinking

I don't know if this info should be out there, but for safety reasons let us refer to the person to whom this happened as my good friend. So, my good friend met some other good friends at a pub for a few drinks. My good friend has what can only be referred to as excellent capacity to hold questionable ales. However, the police of Bangalore have a very low limit that is so absurd that it ensures that all my good friend can do is drink two breezers...cranberry flavour....and drive home.

My good friend and his other friends were leaving a pub and they saw a police checkpoint. You know, the one where they stop and make you breath into a pipe of some sort where you are judged to be 'above the two breezers' limit. Anyway, 3 large Old Monk rums down, my good friend knew that he could be in a spot of trouble.

My good friend's friend tells him, "Arey yaar! Cops are there, better to avoid them. turn right and go off. " Being the responsible citizen my good friend is, he slows down and puts the right indicator just to tell the cops that he's turning right. Erm, my good friend was being a vigilante of some sort....like Robinhood....or Batman, so why the right indicator when you intend to speed away?

Simple, so that the other intoxicated drivers know that he's turning right and they don't over-take.

Warning: Drinking and driving is injurious to health. All stunts in this post have been performed by trained and experienced professionals. Kindly do not imitate. Also, kindly use indicators while turning....sober or otherwise.