Summer of 69

May 24, 2009

One of my uncle shared his college days memories when he got back from examination hall and his elder brother asked this question:
Q: Exam kaisa hua? (How was the exam?)
A: Arey bhaiji, aata to sab kuch tha exam mein, bas pen hi nahin chala ( I knew all the answers, but the pen didn’t work)
Can you beat that?


Final countdown Part 1

May 9, 2009

Time: 9:30 am
Place: Traffic signal at Richmond Road

I see Deepika Padukone.
Well, almost.
OK, not really 😉

So, there is a big hoarding next to the signal and she is the brand ambassador for Sunfeast, and they are organizing a 10k marathon run.
It says – “I will run for Bangalore, will you?”

I look at her, see looks back at me. I look up again and she is still staring. I grin and she freezes. In the midst of this emerging romance, the light turns green. The game is still on, but my reverie is broken by the Beep, beep, peep, peep, along with the infinite adjectives that follow in different languages – Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, English, Hindi. I could feel the essence of few of the swear words. Yeah dude, Bangalore is truly cosmopolitan and we have at least different varieties of gaali to choose from 😉

I move ahead and reach office. Deepika is gone, but those words still linger in front of my eyes – Bangalore 10k run. I have never been an athlete in my life, but somehow these words catch my fancy. Not sure why, but all of a sudden I decide to bring that Kranti in my life and take the first step.
Yes, literally.
By the time I reach my desk at 6th floor with that silver colored monster called ‘Dell’ over my back, I have climbed 152 steps, each almost 10 inches high and I am panting heavily. Woosshh. It would take a couple of hours for recovery. I think of those days when I could trek for 20 kilometers in one go, with almost 8-10 kilos of backpacks. Yes, I have done that quite a few times in Garhwal Himalayas. Breaking your fingers in front of the computer screen and getting myopia are not the only rewards of working in an air conditioned environment. Added to that as a bonus are backache, headache, toothache, nose ache, whatever.

I need Kranti in my life! Manoj Kumar comes up again and the hot blood flows in my coronary artery.


Manoj kumar is now inspiring me to get up early (yes, 6:30 is early for me) for my morning jog and Citibank is happy enough to lend me 215 Rs for the registration. Yeah, I have registered for it. Not for the open run though, but for the category called ‘majja run‘ which is meant for shallow people like me. The Hanes, the Crocodiles and the Adidas have already been obliged.
Come 31st May and I shall be there, perhaps chasing Deepike Padukone.

Smells like teen spirit

April 26, 2009

This post has nothing to do with any of my low cost ‘hawai yatra‘ or my photography skills or about Oracle buying Sun. This is especially about one of the most literary readings that I’ve done in my adolescent days. Something, which still remains close to my heart. Yup, you’ve guessed it right, it is indeed one and the only one – Raj Comics. The profound impact of Raj comics still lingers fresh, when the Nagarajs and the Dhruvs were heroes of every teenager in the Hindi heartland. Well, cartoonist Pran with his chacha chowdhary comics had his share as well, but he soon lost his numero uno position to Raj comics as it targeted the ‘grown up’ guys. Here is the true sample of what I meant with the ‘grown up’ janta and the mass hysteria associated with it. I picked up this pic from one of the groups in orkut – “Raj comics hai mera janoon” (yes, it is janoon and not junoon) where all of us, the like minded buffs, share such great stuff and participate in the literary discussions.

raj comics

And the best part of these “thrill, horror and suspense” comics was the warning associated with it – “Kamjor dil waale is comics ko raat mein na padhein” ;-).

The battle rages on..

April 23, 2009

Been so many words so much to say
Words are not enough to keep the guns at bay
Some live in fear some do not
Some gamble everything on who gets the final shot
Oh don’t talk to me of love
It’s obvious it’s not enough
Annihilation kill them all
Capitulation watch the mighty fall
The road to glory is lined in red
And though the reason now is gone
The battle rages on.

Was it love or hate that got here first
Hate’s a habit it’s hard to shake the curse
Kill to live and live to die
Human nature you let the strong survive
Oh don’t talk to me of love
Be serious it’s not enough
Annihilation kill them all
Capitulation watch the mighty fall
The road to glory is lined in red
And though the reason now is gone
The battle rages on.

—— Deep Purple


Is this a setting SUN or beginning of a new dawn?

And justice for all

April 13, 2009

Ever wondered, the age old adage in Hindi – “Laalach buri bala hai“? Time and again, it makes me realize that these adages were drafted by more smarter individuals in the past and lesser mortals of today should start following them almost blindly. Else, the results could lead to situations that people call ’embarassing’. Not sure what I would call that.

On my way back from a recent trip to Rajasthan, I had to board my flight at Ahmedabad. The flight was Kingfisher Red and the scheduled departure of the flight was at 6 o’clock in the morning. (I am emphasizing on the word RED to clear all the misconceptions, because I still can’t afford to fly the Mallaya’s original Kingfisher. I am one of those souls who, if offered discount on air travel, would be happy to travel standing throughout the journey, even along side the aircraft’s toilet. The great Indian railway has made me immune to all the possible smells that one could possibly bear)

I reached Ahmedabad at four in the morning in a half sleepy, sandwiched state in one of those awefully uncomfortable night buses that are termed as “deluxe”, “luxury”, “superfast”, “night special”, with just enough leg space to accomodate a 5 year old kid, but definitely not an adult. The icing in the cake was provided by few gujju bhai with their mobile phones that played non stop music whole night, paying rich tributes to the legends of 80’s music (the Jitendra, Jaya Prada era where lyrics like “tohfa tohfa” caused a mass hysteria and Mithun da ruled the silver screen with his “jimmy jimmy” act)

It was a hopping flight with a stoppage at Mumbai. I wasn’t aware that they would serve breakfast, for they never did so when it was Deccan. Soon, the Lady in Red came up and handed me the packed breakfast that contained some stuff like doughnut, fruit juice, salads, ketchup and a cheese spread . Well, I am one of those good hygiene conscious guys who are averse to eating anything without doing their morning rituals of “you know what” ;-). Though I was craving to have a bite, I reluctantly decided to keep my resolution till I reached Bangalore and didn’t eat anything. Everyone around was happily munching and burping and I cursed the Marwari bhai, sitting on the aisle seat who ate his daughter’s doughnut as well. I decided, when nobody would be watching, I would silently slip all the breakfast stuff inside the polybag that I was carrying as the hand baggage and eat it afterwards.

Not aware of the reason, but we were asked to board a different aircraft at Mumbai. In the midst of the chaos that prevails while people get down from the aircraft, I took advantage of the confusion and quickly moved all the stuff inside the polybag. I felt happy for this accomplished mission, greeted the Lady in Red and moved out like a king, as if I had achieved something Indian Soccer team had never dreamt of. I got inside the bus that took us to board the new aircraft. Excited with my great achievement, I hurriedly peeked inside the polybag, but missed the correct angle and the whole of cheese spread fell on to my blue jacket. Gosh!! I was dumbstuck. I prayed to God to end this world at that moment, but nothing happened. Drop by drop, it spoilt my jacket completely. I took my jacket off, folded it like a gunny bag and imperiously stuffed it inside the polybag. But along with this ‘white lining’, came a silver lining as well, when I realized that it was the last seat of the bus and luckily for me, nobody had noticed 😉

In the new aircraft, another Lady in Red came and asked – “Sir, what would you like to have for breakfast?”. I thought of answering – “Rin Supreme”.

Shot in the dark

February 11, 2009

Well, a quick update – I am now a proud owner of a digicam (yes, yes, yes!!! Imagine it guys, I am doing it with clinched fists, so you would feel how excited I am. It is indeed the first camera of my own ‘ khoon paseeney ki kamaai’ and has cost me a fortune by my standards. Hello!! check, check. I repeat – by MY standards. Well, I am not going to tell you the exact model because Larry Page and Sergey Brin designed a website called Google which is shameless enough to expose the high standards I maintain.) I am more happy because I got a discount of Rs 500 from a camera shop in chikpet, near to Majestic theater (Walked almost 3 kms to reach a place similar to chandni chowk in Delhi, but somewhat bit more authentic in terms of quality. A place full of maddening crowd, serpentine streets, roadside shops and cluttered showrooms, that have stuffs ranging from dant manjan, old books, combs, ‘gayban’ sunglasses, pirated dvds, desi viagra, herbal oils to kanjeevaram silk, diamond jewelery, consumer electronics, idli-sambhar, panipuri, and any other ‘you name it, we have it’ stuff) Since then, I have been happily obliging the window panes, doors, chairs, bathroom, kitchen, fans and tube lights of my house. I paid a true tribute to these unsung heroes of my daily life and no human soul was allowed to intrude into their territory until first 50 shots.
So janta, feel blessed!! From now on, all you lesser mortals would have the privilege of witnessing the best photography that ever existed on this planet. Stay tuned.

Heavy fuel

January 18, 2009

I had been a pathetic student of biology in my school days. (No, I wasn’t decent in other sciences either. My expertise in chemistry was as hopeless as a flying ostrich. That’s one reason I am highly indebted to the municipal corporation of Bangalore, for they have never given me a chance to forget my chemistry lab. The similar rotten smells from the open sewers can always be revived at infinite places, but that is a different story. We would talk about biology today.) Irrespective of our knowledge in biological sciences, the one thing that all of us remember is the disease called “gastrointestinal illness”. In not so scientific language, it is termed as diarrhea/dysentery or stomach disorders or loose motions or simply dast.

The other day when I moved out of Reliance “Fresh”(stone hard bhindi lying alongside 10 day old karela, and they still call it fresh. They are the only one in the vicinity who accepts sodexho food coupons, so I am left with little choice. For those of you who are unaware of this sodexho bliss, you may not be doing optimum tax planning :-)), I saw a panipuri walla standing right next to the parking lot. (Of course it is a no parking zone, but all of us love to break the rules until we get to do our bit of social service) Armed with countless readings on hygiene and stuff like that, I tried my best to ignore the panipuri guy. But the battle was soon lost when the smell of tamarind reached my nostrils and I meekly surrendered to the might of my salivary glands. One, two, three and the counting started. There is this option of eating golgappas only in the multiples of seven and after I munched my 14th piece, I stopped. Well, I didn’t have to compete with anyone, as there wasn’t any babe eating alongside (Sigh. It never happens with me. Rather, there was a mid aged woman, giving free gyan on preparing the masala. The panipuri guy would have hated her for sure.)

I reached home and in couple of hour time, started feeling the movement of troops in my stomach. The Spartan army was preparing its assault on city of Troy. Alarmed with the movement, I looked for some medicine but couldn’t find anything. I cursed myself for not listening to Rakesh Bedi in the old doordarshan ad where he is shooting the gastrointestinal demons. “Goliyon ka bhi asar nahin? Inka ilaaj goliyan nahin ayurved hai. Bhavnagar waale Seth brothers ka Kaayam churna”. In Navjot Siddhu’s terminology, my state was like a “fish without water” (or should I say – a fish with loads of water)
Finally with some divine intervention, Baba Ram Dev came to my rescue. I had a bit of recollection of a program on home remedies that they once showed in the local channels in Dehradun. Baba had advocated the usage of heeng (asafetida) and jeera (cumin seeds) with hot water in such circumstances. After few rounds of farts and salty burps, the heeng-jeera combo helped in bringing truce between the Trojans and the Spartans without any bloodbath. One more entry was added to the never-ending list of babaji’s fans.

No, I haven’t stopped eating panipuri. With babaji’s blessing and ayurved at my side and with the condition of multiples of seven, I would aim for 21 someday. If Michael Phelps could do it, why can’t me? But a word of free gyan from the veterans:
Try fooling your mind but never your stomach.