Kids… when they were actually kids!
Few days back, I was at one of my known’s place when his 14 years old was sounding quite depressed and dull. Knowing him, it was a bit unusual, so I tried to dig him, and guess what I came to know... The Einstein could score ONLY 2nd rank in the unit test for some IIT coaching. Gee, are you nuts, I asked him, its just a unit test and further more, you are just 14! IIT??  He gazed back at me as if I have challenged his virginity. Almost similar expressions were shared by his mommy dearest, and then followed a long lecture on how important it is to start preparing now, and how sincere the child is, while spending 15-16 hours a day in the studies. Uhhh.. From what I can remember about my childhood, when I was 14, the biggest concern in my life was to somehow get my hands on the new BSA-SLR bicycle of one of my class mate and then convince my dad that my present ride is good for nothing and how unkind, unfair and lots of other words starting with “un” it will be if I dint get a new one. 

Further more, even by standard 11th or 12th, if somebody used to ask me, so what are you gonna be when you grow up, I was like uhmmm.. and then stare at mum with a look on face that said “what do I say.. what kind of question is this..“ but today.. you ask a 10 years old and he/she will shoot back with the career/profession which half of the average Indians have never heard of.. How very contemplative and forward thinking, but ain’t it a bit unfair with the kids? Parents try to fulfill their dreams, desires and wishes in their children and somehow end up in forcing the child to be some one which he/she is actually not. The childhood which is supposed to be most innocent, stress-free and simply the best time of a persons’ life, gets lost somewhere in the unfulfilled cravings of the parents.

Then, there is my 2 years old niece. Getting her ready after bath or when going out is as herculean task as making Pakistan admit that they are behind the terrorist attacks in India. Kiddo will simply sit on bed while her mom will show all dresses and then ma’am will choose what color and what type of dress she is going to wear that day. Sweet as it might sound but its not, ask her mom when going out, while they are all dressed up for a party but the kid is dressed up in an old and strained sweater coz that is her current favorite at that time. If you ask me, I used to be all happy in a diaper with a loose home made vest. And colors, not even heard of them at that time.. o boy.. time is surely changing! 


Encounter, plain and simple. err.. kind of..
Disclaimer - When reading this post, if you find the dialogs from one of the lead characters familiar, its purely a coincidence and its definitely not you. You have the option to close the window right away or believe me on it, that ITS NOT YOU :)

Now, this is no more a secret that I am the next prey for the hunt called marriage in ‘Great Gupta Circus’. Hence the most integral part of my life these days is encounters. Though this is the popular term how gang calls it but ‘interview’ looks more appropriate to me coz that is how I feel, appearing for the post of husband. Nevertheless, one way or another, I am inclined to believe that I am one of the worst candidates, which can come across in the life of an interviewer (the girl in this case).

So, living on to the true spirits of an unemployed soul’s worried parents, they keep fixing me for these interviews and on popular demand, I am up with the transcript from one of these interviews. I leave it to you guys to decide, if there are any chances for me getting selected or I (read ‘my folks’) should stop trying.

This particular interviewer was from the capital with a master’s degree in management and hence they found it a pretty good prospect and a telephonic appointment was fixed.

After initial introduction

She – so howz weather there.
Me – its quite hot. Rajasthan is basically a desert area, especially these days when its summer, its really hot.. say 43-45 degrees.
She – oh, that must be very difficult then.
Me – well, not exactly, you get used to of it.. so..
She – oh yeah, but you must have got AC in your office.
Me – hmm, yeah
She – and you got AC in your home as well?

I thought she was going to marry me, but looks like she is more interested in an AC as a prospective groom

Me – hmm (thinking, what is coming next)
She – not disappointing me for a fraction of moment, and you must have got an AC car..

wondering… we are speaking for the first time and all she wants to know is if I am well insulated with ACs or not

Me – yeah, got an AC car as well… (in the most polite tone, I could manage)
She – okay, but then the hot weather doesn’t really matter. (oh... so that was the point). BTW which car do you have in your family?

How precise, she definitely does not believe in wasting time

Me – well, we got two SX4s and a Zen here (I was so tempted to tell her the actual cost, insurance expense, registration number, loan details etc., but somehow suppressed the urge)
She – wow!! so you drive a SX4, then I will marry you…
Me – excuse me
She – giggling, nah, nothing, just kidding.
Me – thought so…
She – if this place is a big city, or a town kind of thing
Me – not exactly a metro but not a town as well
She – so you get clothes there…

by this time, I was ready to slam my head in the wall as that really looked like a less damaging option, but the gentleman hidden somewhere deep inside restrained me. But unfortunately, it couldn’t convince me to avoid the scorn

Me – clothes!!! What is that? You know, we have got plenty of those date tress here and thus its no problem… we just use the large leaves from the tree as a wrap on and that does the trick.
She – giggling again, oh, you are pulling my leg. I just meant, if you have got those malls and shopping centers there.
Me - in the most innocent tone possible at that time, oh, that ways… yeah we got that..
She – okay.. so is it all desert?
Me – not exactly, but yes, if you go to outskirts, you see these sand dunes and large areas covered with nothing but sand.
She – then it must be difficult with water and all, how do you guys manage?

Good lord!!! Please help me, this is not happening to me… Please..

Me – you don’t watch movies? We have this well around 1 KM from the home, so in the morning, we just go there with buckets in hands and get water for our daily use. (Trying to find the other phone)
She – Hey.. you started again.. why do you keep pulling my leg.
Me – what are you talking about! How can I do that.. (Dialed my desk phone from the other phone)
Me – Hey, hang on a sec., got a call on other phone, shall we speak again in a while?
She – yeah, sure…
Me – slam

Next morning on breakfast table, not knowing that dad has already spoken to them after this incident

Dad – so did you speak to her…
Me - eyes firm in to breakfast plate, hmm
Dad – so how was it
Me - eyes still in the dish as if it will run away from the table, if I stopped staring, it was okay, she is kind of strange.
Dad – loosing the temper, what is it with your cocky attitude… is there any girl which will fit in your so called criteria?
Me – silent…
Dad – so what exactly do you want?
Me – silent…
Dad – okay, fine.. do whatever you want to.. left the table
Me – left for office

Made for each other!
It is quite an old story and I have heard it numerous times, but somehow it always held me spellbound and fascinated. Looks like a fairy tale at times and an old romantic classic at others.

I don’t think, I will be able to do justice when narrating it, but would still like to give it a try.

It all started in early 70’s. H was a typical Punjabi gal. Delicate, fair, very sweet 22 years old, freshly out of college with simple and innocent dreams in equally innocent eyes. Dreams to support the family, do some thing respectable out of her education and of course get settled in life with a loving husband and kids. At those times, education of girls was not a common phenomenon, especially in the smaller cities, let alone the jobs. However, parents allowed her to join a job till things get finalized, not having a slightest glimpse of what future has stored for them. H started in a school as an English teacher and there met M.  

Speaking of M, he was just the opposite pole on the planet, belonged to a bania (agarwal) family, serving in the same school as a political science teacher. 6 feet tall, dark, handsome in his own ways, and of course quite popular amongst the other female staff members of the school. H was duly warned on the very first day by some concerned fellows (probably the broken hearts) to stay as far as possible.

H saw M, decided, she can’t stand him for a second, and chose to dwell on different path. But… cupid plays funny games, and as expected had some other plans this time as well. Being in same school, same shifts, meetings were inevitable. They met again, gradually started liking each other and thoughts of staying together started coming in. But it was not as simple as it so sounds… we are speaking about 70s when a love marriage that too inter cast, was considered as one of the most disgraceful act in the family and society. It was an equally reluctant situation with both of the families but they kept firm on the decision and the parents had to surrender. H’s family was traditional “sardar” so her dad asked M to grow a beard for the marriage so that he at least look like a sardar boy. 

For H, it was not easy to get adjusted in altogether different circumstances, new atmosphere and a large family as opposed to her fun loving Punjabi background , but together they faced every situation, good or bad, simple or complicated. Changed the mind set of other family members who were always unenthusiastic to the alliance, made this small house with whatever they had, sacrificed on so many incidents but planned best of best for their children and above all, lived the dreams together. 

Today… I feel blessed to have them as my parents and would like to thank god for being kind enough on me. This December they celebrated their 34th marriage anniversary and whenever I think of them, it makes me believe, that there is true love some where. It is not always in romantic novels but its in our every day life. They are so different on so many things, like mum is a movie buff and dad goes to theater only for an uninterrupted sleep. Mum likes to have fun, travel around and dad is kind of serious guy but they definitely beat the odds together… 

God bless them !

Insanity.. at its extreme!!

Some one remotely known to me calls up…

He - Hey.. this is 'Z’, remember we met at this place with Mr. ‘X's reference.
Me – Ohk.. Please tell me how can I help you.
He – Actually I need some assistance, so I was wondering if you could please spare some time tomorrow or may be one of your guys.. I am stuck with this software problem and need your help to fix the code. 
Me - oh sure but its quite a hectic schedule these days as we have a deadline. Can we make it some time next week.. you know.. if you don’t have any problems
He - Well, it is a problem for me.. so let us do it tomorrow. I know it would be like wasting up your time but I think I have that much right on you.

Me – stumped! Jeez.. I don’t even know the chap and he has got some hold on me to be confident enough that his problem is worth messing up a deadline. Wow!!

2) A customer calls up 

He - I have some issues with this system, so could you please have some one look at it and fix the things.  
Me - Umm, how about Monday (3 days from now) 
He - No, its top priority, I needed it like yesterday
Me - I understand but Monday is the best I can do
He - I insist.. I need it tomorrow
Me – Okay.. let me see what I can do

As obviously, it can not get done tomorrow coz we are not in a position to do it.. 

On Monday after the issue is fixed, calls me again

He - You know what the problem with you guys is…
Me - Well, not sure, what happened.. 
He - If you don’t have resources to do it in time, then you should have told me clearly.. that okay, this will be done on xyz date. We just keep on waiting and it is not fair.. no?

Me – stumped!! dint I mention that in the first place.

3) A friend’s friend calls up.

He – Hey M.. I need a favor. This guy (some one known to him) is an engineering student so could you please arrange a summer training for him in your office. 
Me – We don’t usually do this trainee thing, so its quite difficult man.
He – Please, if you could manage it…
Me – okay, have him speak to ‘X’ (my PM)
He – Well, I was thinking if you could speak to him.. he is a bright kid so may be you can guide him.
Me – Hmm.. okay.. 

The bright kid calls up 

after the initial introduction

He – so you have this company for this software thingy
Me (annoyed with the tone) – Yes
He – you know, you guys should really make a policy for these trainings. They can help you with lots of things and its no harm after all.. You will get some stuff done for free. 

Me – stumped!! Look at the guts man.. and I thought, I was doing a favor to him.. 


I wanna…

As the New Year is approaching, it’s the resolution time again... Ever since I can remember, I take some time to make certain resolutions every year and then break them in the very first hour itself, but okay that is what resolutions, rules and conventions are meant for... no? Indians after all, so its actually in our genes.

Okay, so this is not exactly a list of resolutions, but its more of a wish list, like what I want to do, how I want to change myself… from a better to worse person… I am kind of narcissist some times, so I know it can’t be better than what I am right now, and thus it has to be the other way around. 

- First of all, I really need to change my routine. If there is actually some thing like a biological clock in our bodies, mine must has been exploded long back… and you can’t actually blame it, what else do you expect, when you sleep at 4 in morning, wake up at 9, lunch at 3 and dinner at 12 in night.. I definitely need to get myself back to humanly courses man!

- Then there is the biggest problem in my life. I am sick of being nice all the time (okay, not that nice, but good enough). There are times when you really get pissed off with certain things but just for the sake of being nice you don’t react, and on top of that, the other people start taking advantages of this.. so I really wanna say “fuck off” when I feel like it.. and trust me it happens quite a lot these days. God knows why the world is full of insane people, or its just that they come across in my life so often! 

- Next is another equally big crisis… the whole family is on a mission to get me married by any means! And when I say “any”, I mean it, be it by hook or by crook. Dad is like, either you get settled, or leave my home, mum is busy looking for prospective bahus (daughter in laws) and all other budha log (old chaps) have made this kind of national issue. On the other end, poor little me feels like running away to a remote island at times. In the safe zone where I can live with a little peace without the constant nagging and regular morning chants about it. I know I can’t do it but I really wish I could :(

- This one is a little contradictory to the previous one, but at times I feel that how good it would be to have that some one special in life, a partner in crime kind of mate, with whom I could share my joys, confess all my guilt, go for a long walk in cold and dark nights while holding the hands together, dance crazily while shaking my legs and head wildly till I fall down for the last breath… but then the reality stings back hard and it looks like straight from an old Hollywood classic.. so I roll back to my previous wish.

- Finally, there is a very small and trivial kind of itch and that is, I wanna learn to play Guitar. Don’t know why, but I was always fascinated about it, and for this one, I tried as well… but again, if only I could keep a routine in my life, it would have been a lot more simple. But okay, I am sure, am gonna do it in coming year, so get ready for a Rock on concert coming to your city guys!


I vote nobody!!

Found this interesting info. on web. Worth reading and trying I guess.. 

49-O in Constitution of India - "I VOTE NOBODY"...

Did you know that there is a system in our constitution, as per the 1969 act, in section " 49-O" that a person can go to the polling booth,
Confirm his identity, get his finger marked and convey the presiding election officer that he doesn't want to vote anyone!

Yes such a feature is available, but obviously these leaders have never disclosed it.

This is called "49-O".

Why should you go and say " I VOTE NOBODY"... because, in a ward, if a candidate wins, say by 123 votes, and that particular ward has received "49-O" votes more than 123, then that polling will be cancelled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people had already expressed their decision on them.

This would bring fear into parties and hence look for genuine candidates for their parties for election. This would change the way; of our whole political system.... it is seemingly surprising why the election commission has not revealed such a feature to the public.... obviously they are working under instruction as there would definitely be scarcity of good candidates for all well known parties who are admissible by public as OK.

Seems to be a wonderful weapon against corrupt parties in India ... show your power, expressing your desire not to vote for anybody, is even more powerful than voting... so don't miss your chance. So either vote, or vote not to vote (vote 49-O) and pass this info on...

Use your voting right for a better INDIA.

It happens only in India!

-  We buy a new car and then keep the plastic wrappings on seats, red ribbon on hood and some times even the paper mats under the carpets intact for several months… just to keep the feeling and of course showing off that its a new car!

- Any smartass will grow a beard, wrap himself in saffron cloth (with potbelly hanging out) and start preaching on stage or a TV channel about any damn thing from yoga to religion to moral values to traditions and culture. We the people start following him staunchly and then one fine morning we come to know that the so called guru jee is involved in a sexual harassment case or with a terrorist group in backyard of their hermitage.

- A crazy driver does a hit and run accident and people come up on road while putting buses, building and other public properties on fire. Government will do nothing to find the guilty, but create an additional speed breaker (no matter it is a highway) at the place of accident and get rid of its responsibility. 

- A scam or scandal for thousand millions (of course the hard earned money of the tax payers) or a dreadful gang rape or a horrendous murder happens and every news channel go crazy with their breaking news for few days, then a new scam appears and every body forgets about the previous one like it never ever happened. Can you remember what was the verdict with “Harshad Mehta”, “Amarmani Tripathi”, “Telgi” and so on. 

- Political parties choose a veteran movie star as election candidate instead of a devoted worker, who has spent years of his/her life in the party while doing some thing worth for the region. On top of that, the star will win with a historical difference from the nearest opponent and then go back to the show business while never coming back to the region where he/she was elected. Lively example – “Dharmendra” won from district Bikaner (Rajasthan) and then never came back for next 5 years coz he was too busy with scantily clad “Mallika Sherawat” sitting in his lap (This is not fictional, it was an actual statement by latter during the shooting of a ‘B’ grade movie.

- And last but not the least, we spend millions of dollars (not INR but dollars actually) in the name of armed forces, security bureaus and law enforcement agencies but 10 eunuchs come in with tons of ammunition and no one even notices them. They attack on the most sensitive and important places of country (even parliament) and kill hundreds of innocent people. During all this time, our leaders inhabit themselves in the safe zone of ‘Z’ grade security, only coming out to declare a compensation money to victims, give canned statements on how it would not be tolerated and of course making provisions to increase the security for themselves!! 

Mera Bharat Mahaan indeed... 


Ah.. the sheer pleasure of doing nothing!!

Though I, in fact all of us, love to imagine ourselves as very organized, hardworking and no time waster kind of persons but no matter what, there are times when we really feel like doing nothing. You know when the brain cells (or germs) are so stressed or lethargic or just too apathetic that they start dancing on a threatening tune. Now the problem is, we can do that for a while (in my case, the record is half an hour) but after that we can not really sit idle. The mind wants to be idle but rest of the body does not actually want to cooperate. 

To deal with such critical situation, it was required to derive some really neat and innovative techniques (at times, I also imagine myself as a very good planner, thanks to the company of my brother), so after carefully working on several hypothetical notions, I have come up with this sophisticated white paper (sounds classy?) on killing time. All of these techniques are proven and tested (courtesy me and my brother), however, you are suggested to try them on your own risk and make sure you have read the last section (Side Effects) of this post. So here it goes… have a happy time killing session :)

1) Chat with a Tele Caller while making him/her believe that you are really interested in product and in between bring up dumb questions like “so you mean I will be able to withdraw cash from my credit card with any ATM” or may be “oh really!! So you will also be delivering hardcopy of a statement apart from e-bill, you know I am really bad with this computer thingy”. The key here is to keep your expressions and tone full of innocence and/or enthusiasm.

2) Play an imaginary instrument with your lips and fingers, making ablub, bub, blub noises.

3) If you have the luxury of a couch or sofa in your cabin, you can sit there while specs adjusted on an angle when your eyes are not easily visible, keep an open book or magazine or office document in your lap and take a quick (depends on how much time you have or how far can you go without being caught) nap

4) If your laptop or desktop has a webcam, switch that on, check out your face for best expressions (for meetings when you try to look serious, for dating when you try to look intelligent and witty at same time, when smiling and so on) you can also try different sitting positions like legs crossed, different positions of your hands on your face and so on.

5) If you are in office or a place which is suitably crowded. Try to look around and start staring people. In offices, this has been proved as a very efficient trick coz most of the people around will think as if you are so occupied and involved in a thought process. Some of them might try to stare back at you but don’t loose momentum and keep on staring and they will break it in no time... For better effects, make a pile of papers on your desk, keep several windows opened on your desktop and while staring, try to play with a pen or pencil in your fingers or mouth…
6) Close your eyes and try to feel the things around, imagine how it would be for blinds and how good is your sensing abilities (with touches). This one has a positive side as well, when working in dark or really difficult corners where you can’t actually see the things, you can rely on your fingers. It proved very helpful in my previous office when trying to plug in cables in my computer which was located in a place, only an interior decorator/architect can think of.

7) If you are in home.. try to relax on bed, roll over, crack your  ankles while making strange noises like ohhoo.. ho ho ho..  ahh god.. and please, don’t start racing your minds in the dirty directions. I didn’t have had any such intentions. If its night, try to stare at sky and draw imaginary shapes from clouds and/or stars. There is a fair chance that you will see a falling star (if you believe in that theory) or if you are luckier then probably a UFO hidden some where in clouds and aliens starting at you (come on they might also feel the urge to do nothing)

8) Write an email to president or PM office or even your MD while stating problems and of course solutions to the poor state of facilities, employment issues, your PF a/c statement mismatch, salary policies or an damn thing under this sky. Make sure that you DON’T post it otherwise you won’t even need to read the side effects section of this post. 

9) Invite your friend on a messenger with whiteboard access for a Tic Tac Toe game. Skype and Yahoo has got pretty good add-ons for the same. (Tried and proven approach you see ;)

10) Read this blog, post comments, refresh on every 5 minutes to check updates, repeat step 1 

Side effects/Warnings

1) If you boss is also reading this page, there are fairly good chances of your getting fired.
2) If your wifey or GF knows that you have this much time to kill, you are very likely candidate to accompany her on next shopping spree.
3) You might start finding these activities so interesting that you will intentionally try to find time to waste.

So guys, I seriously hope this post has successfully wasted 5-7 minutes of your time and probably suggested few more ways to cleverly invest rest of the same. Feel free to add more ways oh sorry techniques and keep posting in comments!! 

Cheers !! 

P.S. – only tried and proven techniques will be accepted here ;)

Why o why!
This is going to be one of the shortest posts I have ever read or written, and probably does not even deserve creating a separate post (but okay, who cares.. its my blog, right!)

Back to the story… From last couple of days, I am almost bed ridden and thus nothing productive to do, apart from devising some really ridiculous plans (like inventing a motor driven embedded system which can be plugged in to USB port and LCD of your laptop and then scrolling the mouse wheel will allow the user to flip up and down the LCD), coughing like a 90 year old who has smoked like a chimney for the whole life and cursing few of the really insignificant (at least looks like that) entities created by almighty.

All this started as an innocent looking cold which soon became a cannibal while eating up all of my energy. On top of that, every body was like, its just a cold and runny nose, why the hell are you stick to bed. Huh.. If only I could exchange half of my runny nose with them…

To justify the title of post, my question is, why this damn cold and cough was created in first place. If it was supposed to be JUST cold, then it should have some decent effects on poor human beings like me, and if it was supposed to be this horrible, then god should have put in some more sympathy in to the other persons’ hearts :(

The next question is, what is the significance of mosquitoes on this earth? When in school times, the old bio teacher used to tell us that every creature on this planet has some important role to play and one way or another they are doing it without even our knowing. But still, why mosquitoes? What role they have to play here. Mr. Darwin, are you listening? I want my answer now otherwise I am gonna put a counter theory on “origin of species”. Told you, I have nothing better and productive to do these days…

Cheers !

P.S. - Oh, did I say, it was supposed to be a short post?
Me, T and the so called vacation…

Date – 07th Oct. 2008 (Evening, India Time)

Place – My Office

- I am about to leave from office for an out station trip… enabled the auto responder on email and signed off.

Date – 07th Oct. 2008 (Early Morning, Eastern Time)
Place – Far away, some where in USA

- T leaves the bed, though still half asleep and red bull banging in head. Bound and forced with the routine, some Spiritual (read Satanic) super power brings him to the PC and first thing is to write an email about the updates on project, some new requests, some new conclusions from brainstorming last night and what not.

- Auto responder comes in action and throws away a canned response immediately.

- T rubs the eyes in disbelief and reads it again… mutters some silent curses and replies “What the hell, how can you go like it.. you can’t go for a bloody vacation at this time”

- Auto responder is still prompt and vigorous and catches the mail in between to throw away another canned response.

- Some more curses, audible this time… some abuses.. tries to find his cell phone and composes a text message, as politely as possible.

- No response. More abuses, loud enough to wake up the chick in bed [sorry T ;)]

- Sends again

- I read the message and scratch my head. Can’t think of any thing which will cool him down. I knew this was going to happen but still… I couldn’t avoid this trip so.. I call names to the inventors of the cell phones, email and the revolution which has made it impossible to live in this world without all these tiny boxes.

- More threats from T, more excuses from my side and this goes on and on for next 4-5 days.

Now, I know most of us are very familiar with above scene but two things come up in my mind.

First is, I feel that I am quite an important person on this earth, not just another insignificant walking talking structure of bones and flesh. Argh… I know its not true but the second one is very true and worth a thought, and that is, if we were happier when we didn’t have these gizmos in our pockets, with access to email, internet and all that crap, or we are happy today with such an easy and quick access to each and every information (wanted or unwanted). There are pros and cons of every thing but ain’t it going over our heads now? We can’t go for a vacation in peace, can’t spend some private moments with family and can’t even concentrate on our work because there is always a high priority email waiting for our immediate attention.

There can be an argument, that I should not have gone for a trip when the project was in such a state (mind it that I am not using the word “vacation” coz it was not) but then what, even if I would have skipped it for 1 week, it would have been some other client, some other urgent matters and some other project…

Remember the times when we could go for a vacation without even knowing and hence not worrying about the offices. When we used to come at home at 6 PM and then the next connection to work was next morning. I really miss those times.. do you ?

Cheers !

P.S. – T, I know you are going to read it and scream at me but I am prepared and all ears :)
An alien thing named “Civic Sense”

1) When your pet dogs bark frantically (which probably sounds like music to your ears), instead of letting them in, you leave them outside of your house so that the neighbors and others can also share the feeling and get crazy.

2) When walking, you spit out the chewing gum any where on the road, so that it can go and blend with the shoes of others and they can curse you in full sprit.
3) When driving, you change lanes as per your convenience, or your mood or may be the direction of sun. No matter others are showing you fingers and brakes of other vehicles are screaming.
4) You keep on honking on road, even though it is just impossible for the driver ahead to give side. (yeah yeah… you have just come out of the pilot’s school and you are used to of flying an aircraft where the side problem is not that significant so far)
5) After sipping your tea or coffee on railway station, you toss the cups on the rail track (this one is especially for mera bharat mahaan (we the Indians)

If you have nodded and smiled in consent for 2 or more points in above list, then welcome, please come on board to the ICNCS. Yep, I have just formed this informal association for International Community of No Civic Sense. Unfortunately I could qualify for only one of the points above but I am sure there will be others who can meet the criteria and we will get benefited with their vast expertise in the field.

Hah.. jokes apart but I am really not sure why we find it so difficult to behave like a civilian these days. One way or other, our behaviors are getting changed to ancient times like a caveman. We see educated and intelligent people behave like a 5 years old brat who does not realize that his innocent (so called) actions might be a torture for others.

Few days back, one of my friends was driving on road and the guy ahead spitted out the betel from his mouth. Though here in India, its quite a common scene, but my friend somehow couldn’t resist and tried to stop him and asked, what the hell he was doing. The other guy glanced at him from top to bottom like he (my friend) is the biggest moron on this earth and muttered “So… what do you want… swallow this shit and die here” My friend was like astonished with the guiltless explanation when the other guy coolly cleared his throat (spitting out the remainings) and moved ahead.

This is just one incident but actually there are countless sagas of this kind of warriors and I think ICNCS is going to be a huge and smashing hit. All of you guys are requested to join the club ASAP and I am confident that we will beat the communities like facebook and myspace in no time…


The eternal truth!

Well, what else… the life and the death. Every body have seen or going to see those difficult times when some one very close leaves us for ever. Surely its some thing which is going to happen with all of us, but what surprises me most is how we react these days on such occasions. So indifferent, so unconcerned, like just another page 3 gossip in the morning paper, a cup of tea, or a phone call from credit card marketing agency. You can see people giggling at these places even before the cremation. Some schmucks will be found with their cell phones ringing at full volume or probably speaking loud on phone at funeral homes. Come on, whatever happened to civility! If you are so busy that world will stop moving without you and your cell phone then please do us a favor, stay away and don’t bother to appear.

And what do we say to others, when even the relatives and so called friends behave in such a bitchy and bizarre way. I remember few days back when my uncle passed away and one of the daughters in law (in relation) was overheard saying “why couldn’t he die tomorrow, at least I didn’t have to cancel my evening plans to visit to my mother’s place”. God only knows, how I suppressed the strong urge for calling her names and then kick on butt to throw her out. It might sound overreacting and you can call me an emotional fool but I still regret and feel that it was the right thing to do.

If you look around, our previous generations used to live and care for the joint families, neighborhoods and even distant relatives, but today, we are concerned with our immediate relations only. Me, my wife and my kids, that is it. Some times even parents don’t get place in the list. Quite obviously, the next generation if going to live for self only, the words “ME” and “MYSELF” are going to rule and thus be warned and prepared to see the worse times coming…


Money Talks Baby…

Scene 1

Freaking out in city surrounded by glamorous shopping malls, multiplexes and pizza huts. A beggar comes to you, wrapped in rags, a wounded kid in hands and asking for 1 or 2 bucks. Your expression changes immediately as if feeling sick in stomach or like she is responsible for all problems in this world, or at least in your life. Ruthlessly ignoring her existence you will move ahead to light a 5 bucks cigarette and then probably toss the half burnt butt in the air.

Some of the perverts will go one step ahead and scan her from top to bottom while throwing in a filthy remark. And then probably enjoy her dirty curses with a smirk on face.

Errr… sounds familiar? You bet it does… Most of us have a pretty smart excuse (the most generic one I have ever heard in life) that its no use of giving money to these tramps, they will spend it on booze and drugs, or they should work hard and try to earn a living. Okay, agreed. But don’t you think that at least 1 out of those 10 could really be in need and the 5 bucks spent on a cigarette could give him/her some food for a day.

Scene 2

Your friend, relative or neighbor asks for a loan, say 5 grand, coz he/she is really in need. The immediate excuse will be are yaar, abi to thoda tangi chal rahi hai, dekhta hu kuch ho saka to (Sorry man, its quite difficult at this time, will see, if I could do some thing).

On the very same evening, you will go shopping with your wifey and present her with a 25 Grand necklace. What kind of difficult times are these? Agreed, you have your own priorities and your wife needed that necklace desperately (coz the heaps of other jewelry in her cupboard needed a new friend for company) but don’t you think that neighbor might have needed that money for more important reasons like some medicines or for the fee of the school going kids, which can not wait…

And before giving up, another incident which happened few days back…

One of my known is settled abroad with another generic excuse of earning good money and save that for future. She came here few days back and at that time her mother in law ended up in letting her son spend some good money on house hold. I heard her (my known) grumbling for several days that what kind of squanders are her in laws and how they don’t understand what pain they are taking to earn this money. Again, agreed… but ever thought, who else the parents will ask to. May be they are spending the money heartlessly but probably they did it in last 25 years as well while growing the children up and fulfilling their stupid demands. And no offences but if you can buy a luxury car in the name of need then you can very well spend some money on your parents’ not so urgent needs… isn’t it?

Cheers !

Politics AKA Raj Neeti. Why we are in such deep shit ?/!

To be honest, I am not really sure if this is a question or exclamation. Hence both of the punctuations in the title! But okay, let us not get into grammar or fundamentals of English. The point is, if you are also like me, an ordinary and common individual with the slightest sense of goings- on, then probably this would be the most clich├ęd thought, banging into your head.

Actually, the answer lies some where in our very own indifferent attitude and way of thinking. Coz when it comes to grumbling or cursing, we spare no opportunity to throw in our two cents worth, but when we are required to do some thing on grass root level or share the responsibilities, we try equally hard to avoid the situations. Just try to stroll around and think, if you ever heard of an IIM graduate willing to join the politics? Ever heard of a so called intellectual rejecting the offer to go get settled in USA and opting the politics as a career option. The answer is a plain and simple NO, a big one actually. Given the chance to choose between politics and a fortune paying job, we will always pick the latter one. We come out of colleges while dreaming of a helluva nice paying job and immediately get settled into the first one thrown into our way. Use them as jump boards, switch 2 or 3 with a 50% hike in each and bingo! We are set for the life. What happens next… fairly relaxed while sitting in our cozy home or offices, we give our expert comments on every single scam, politician, corruption and what not. yaar, rajneeti ne desh ka kabaada kar diya (Buddy, politics has ruined this country). Quite an easy thing to do… no? Why not do some thing on root level and try to change the scenario. Nope, we won’t do that, come on, why to screw up a bright and rewarding future for the pothole like politics. Isn’t it?

On top of that, we always scream about corruption, dishonesty and bribery. However, when it comes to ourselves, we always prefer to kickback or manipulate some one to get the things done easily. Be it breaking a signal on road, crossing a queue or filing the deceptive (just trying to use a politically correct word) income tax return. If we are in power, we make it our prerogative to abuse the law. We do the very same things which we used to curse at some time.

So my friend, the fact is, all of us are equally responsible and hence live with it, unless some one decides to think and act differently…


Deadly Embrace… of relationships... and of course relatives !!

Few days back, I was speaking to one of my friends (for the sake of name, let us call him Z here), and we were like, just bitching about this and that on every unimportant piece of the universe.

He is doing pretty good on the professional front, unlike few years back, and an obvious reaction was how the things have changed in all these years. A close relative of him often drop in to his office, just to say a quick hello. If it was 4 years back, the same smartass used to change direction or pretend as if he has not seen him (Z), when meeting in some wedding or other social gatherings.

In the similar gatherings, like wedding of a relative or friend, he used to be the most active and thoughtful person, helping a lot, working continuously for 3 days, as if it’s the marriage of his own sister or daughter. However, when it came to the treatment from the other party (the relative), he was the most neglected one. The friends, coming from USA or some thing with shitload of money were used to be the favorites.

As obviously things have changed now but that is not the point, the point is, he is the same Z what he was 4 years back, he still looks same, he still has the same ego, and his talks are equally boring or interesting as it was 4 years back, then why this change in the mindset of others. And the point is that it is actually about double standards and fakeness in our attitude. We admit it or not but we as Indians, are always trying to pretend the things. We always have double standards for every damn thing in this world. For our partner, we will be trying to pretend as if we are the most faithful one in this world (though we start eyeing the chicks as soon as we come out of her radar), for our parents, we always try to pretend as nice little kid without any bad habits, for our friends we try to look like the most caring and concerned person around, and the story goes on. Why so, why can’t we be ourselves every where? Why can’t we be straight forward in these relationships, and above all our attitude?

Imagine what happens when we meet to a relative or friend with a mutual feeling of strong dislike for each other. What we say and what we think

Me – Heyyy.. (gosh, the day is already bad enough and now this.. )
He – (with a broad smile) Hey.. (God.. I can’t stand this man)
Me – Long time no see (Not that I want to)
He – Yeah, you know, busy with the usual things (I have got better things to do)
Me – So, howz life (Though I couldn’t care less)
He – Life is cool (None of your business you see..)

And again, the story goes on…

Most of us, encounter such situations in our every day life and we react in more or less similar manner. Isn’t it about time to get real? Isn’t it time to stop pretending and be honest to others, and at least to ourselves? Keep thinking…

Cheers !!

What Abhinav Bindra’s Gold Medal means to us.. through the eyes of a Pessimist...

Lo jee.. India has won a medal in Olympics. Vo bheee Gold. Isn’t it some thing !! So what, it’s the first individual medal in last 112 years. So what, if his father has spent some odd 5 Crores of his personal wealth to train his son (Yes, you can check him boasting in every damn news paper and news channel that if he was not a wealthy business man this could never have happened)

So what exactly this Gold Medal means to us as an average middle class Indian.. Again I repeat, through the eyes of a Pessimist

  • Be prepared to see him in every other advertisement while selling Soaps, Cola, Biscuit, Underwear, and any damn thing under this sky.
  • Government endowing him with a new house, new job, new car, Khel Ratna, Arjun award and what not.. that too on the cost of our hard earned money which they suck out of our blood as tax.
  • News Channels going Ga Ga over him for next couple of days and playing the same story in repeat mode while interviewing his school friends, teachers, relatives and every other person having a slightest relation to him
  • MTV declaring him as new youth icon of the year

There might be so many other things which we will see in coming few days but these are the immediate effects already flowing in.

Now I can’t help my thoughts from floating in but some times I wonder why a country like India, with its 1 billion of population, can’t do some thing respectable in sports when even tuchhu countries like Kenya, Cuba and Australia can score few Golds here and there in every Olympics or such events. No.. don’t even speak about Cricket, we know in our heart that if its not about 1 or 2 players in the team, our salty performance is visible there as well. But okay, look at the positive side of the picture.. Look at the things we do have and they cant even imagine about, in their weirdest dreams. Do they have a news channel like “India TV” with its sensational breaking news? Do they have politicians like Lalu and Bahan Mayawati who leave no stone unturned to take political advantages of every situation, even out of the horrifying incidents like Bomb Blasts and Communal riots? And what is Australia man.. we can and we are creating an Australia every year.. Aakhir bacche to bhagwan ki den hote hai yaar

Now some optimistic thoughts

  • I really hope, this will make a difference to an average Indian, forced to be lost some where in streets and slums while trying hard to do some thing in sports for his/her country. This will give a least hope, that no, this is not impossible.
  • May be our so called white collared officers and selection committee members will think again when charging the deserving candidates like Monika Devi with fake doping charges
  • The players who can and who are trying to do some thing good, will be inspired to do better in their game, rather than endorsing the brands.. (Saniya Mirza.. are you listening..)

Amen !

Kismat ka Connection..oh sorry.. Konnection

It was really long since I watched a Hindi movie. Yes, of course our good old bollywood hindi filum.. When it comes to kill time without actually applying thoughts or mind, nothing else will do.

So this Sunday I decided to ditch the office for a while and watch a movie (The guys who know me well, also know that office is like a girl friend to me, and that too with a steaming heating romance on). I was like thinking and playing a recap in my mind for the trailers seen in last few days.. Jaane tu.. umm too chocolaty.. Singh is King.. oh, Akshay as Surd, that too with the strange beard.. neeeaah… So finally I settled on “Kismat Konnection” . Oh yeah, they spell the word connection like that. You know the bollywood man, no room for argument and no explanation for the logic. But.. I did apply some mind and logic. The cast seemed good, a sensible director (Aziz Mirza, the Yes Boss fame) and trailers looked amusing. Music, which is another important factor to me, also looked good, as I was playing couple of songs in my car from some days. However, what I didn’t realize at that time was what my kismat was actually up to.

So here it starts with a lousy plot and long haired Shahid Kapoor…. I am like all excited and eyes popping out. I really love bollywood movies and they seem to have such effect on me. Now just imagine the very first scene. Shahid is late for a meeting and his car is broken so he decides to do a run, all alone on his feet. No matter he is in Canada and distances would be far more than my bechara poor city Bikaner (at least that is what I imagine) but no guys.. no prize for guessing that he actually makes it in time. On top of that, when he reaches there, he is all fresh like just had an Ayurvedik Massage. I wish I could do some thing like that when getting late to my office in morning (which happens quite a lot but that story I will tell you some other time) and clients are screaming and threatening me to keep up with time.

One thing about Bollywood and our heroes, when they decide to do some thing, they do it, and the do it real big.. come what may..

Now some of you might think that how come I am trying to find a logic in a Hindi film, and I do agree, that is not fair. I should not do that and so I tried to convince myself that no.. it’s really a good movie.. they will catch up in next few reels and this much idiocy is okay. But, nothing happened, no pigs flied, Juhi came and went, trying hard to act and look like a friendly witch, Om Puri – ah what a waste of such a sensible actor, Himani Shivpuri defining new meanings to loud and overacting, and above all Vidya Balan with her trade mark street side dresses. Like a fresh lot has arrived in Sarojini Market or Fashion Street. Oh how I wish this lass has some sense of dressing.. and me.. I am still trying to convince myself that no this is a good movie. By the end of 1st hour I was like scratching my head and thinking why I am doing it to myself.. don’t I have some thing better to do

By the end of second hour, my dad, who was playing Solatire on his laptop in same room started giving me long stares… the meaning was clear, either you stop this crap or I am gonna do some thing terrible. But I still managed to overlook him by changing the positions. Though it didn’t really help like some times it does in Cricket Matches (the die hard cricket fans will know, what it means, especially in the crucial moments of an India – Pakistan match)

Thankfully the so called Konnection was over pretty soon and it left me with words “shopping mall” and “community center” banging in my head. Now you will have to go and see the movie to realize why it happened to me but trust me it’s a secret best kept undisclosed and going through the trauma of watching this movie to make sense of it is not really worth it.

Some times I wonder if it does not take money to create such movies. It must be Crores of bucks which they spend on producing the movies and how come financers (who must be very wise and clever men because one way or other, they have managed to earn so much money) agree to fund the project. Why can’t they do some thing sensible out of this money? Why don’t they realize that movie is a bummer when they watch it in private screenings during the production? These are some thoughts that hit to my mind quite often after coming out of a theater or after killing my precious 3 hours in front of the TV. Alas, only questions.. no answers so far.. any one and every one is invited to answer if they have some thoughts less wobble and scattered than mine…

Cheers !