I read somewhere – “If you want something truly…with all your heart, the whole universe conspires to ensure that you get it!”…either it was Paulo Coelho…or some old Chinese wise-guy saying…or it was a stupid e-mail forward that got stuck in my head. Whoever/whatever it be …they sure did miss out on an anti-corollary that appends itself to this wonderfully ‘oh-so-positive’ thought. It reads: “ If you are in deep shit…the entire world conspires to pile it higher n deeper…while they wait at the sidelines…sniggering!”

I developed a sore throat. In roughly ten minutes…my soundbox went from a ultra powerful Marshall Amp to a ‘raste ka maal saste main’ ear-phone output. It was like…my Larynx suddenly said… ‘That’s it boss…I need a break’. I said sorry dear Larynx…for as long as I can imagine…people have been wanting me to SHUT UP, one particular human being I know…wanted me to SHUT MY FACE and reminded me to do so at an average of every 23.57 minutes/day. It didn’t help…ultimately she left the country…(No kidding…she says she went for higher studies, but I know the real reason!). The reason that I don’t shut up is not that I won’t…it’s more like I can’t. There is so much to say…and it’s probably what I do best. So dear Larynx …back to your sweat-shop! The conversation ended on a dry note…and I knew I will have to deal with this in a more harsh a manner, but right now I was at the mercy of me bro Larynx.

Sore Throat

Now back to my ‘when in deep shit… part’, the moment my ‘friends’ got the hint of my lost vocal prowess…they started suffering from ‘hearing impediments’. This medical situation was usually accompanied by incredulous looking eyes and sly grins. They enjoyed every minute of having me talk…Bastroids! As the day progressed it got worse…I got calls from all over the place. Friends who remained friends, friends who had been enemies…enemies who had been friends…everyone…absolutely all of them…chose that particular day to call me…rather than mail or message!!! Then I got a wrong number…by the time, I actually finished telling him that it was the wrong person he was talking to…he had spoken to me for 15 odd minutes…I got to know, all about the stock market updates, why the Indian cricket players should be shot…what Rahul Gandhi did…Bob Woolmer update…daily train travel problems…Rakhi Sawant’s new music video…all!! Next in line…my cell –fone service providers…by the time I sed “ For god’s sake…I am not interested”, I was updated on all their ‘plans’…from GPRS and caller tunes to anti-ballistic cellular warfare, and all that was supposedly FREE, and still cost me 30 bucks a month at the same time!!! At last …when the credit card guy called…I just cut the call…and sent him a picture message with an impeccable display of the middle finger.

Mr Larynx has been treated on everything from salt water gargles to antibiotics to Mom’s super spicey Rasams to Snape’s Potions…it won’t be long before, it is revived back to the usual sonic excellence…So watch out all ye detractors…V for Vendetta ad infinitum…

I proclaim …like any true full blooded Schwarzenegger loving Mallu would say….ALBEEE BAAAG!!!

At my workplace they have this… ‘come-Wednesday-you-get-non-veg’ thing going. The sad part…the cook puts in all his efforts on the muscle and bones part…and fail to deliver at the grass roots level! What we veggies get is a grotesque green concoction that looks like a radioactive fluid or Hulk’s blood! (Yeah Wednesday is paalak potion for veggies!) Hapless…we a little group of ‘go-green’ chanting veggies, choose greener pastures to chomp on! The joint – a blue tarpaulin clad, seedy looking hutment type ‘hole in the wall’, off the roadside! The types that make the elites and the ‘high society’ faint…the kind that the health department hunt for…the kind we ‘once-hostelites’ swear by and owe our survival to!

I go there for two reasons…1) They make a graaaaand missal-pav! 2) They make a graaaaand missal-pav!

Missal: a spicy mix of chana/sprouts in gravy, topped with farsan , eaten with paav (buns). Served with chopped onions and a slice of lemon! Serves: entire Mumbai!!!

Missal And Two Cutting!

I have been visiting this place for about 6 odd months now…and can be said to be one of their hall of famers…given my undeniable faith in their culinary skills! I go there during lunch hours…that’s the afternoon sun beating down on them tarpaulin covers mind ya…then there’s the fan that makes anyone about feel that they are being cooked along with the food! So amidst this extreme discomfiture they bring you the super spicy missal that I call for along with pavs. Extra gravy…keeps coming in…till I’m full! And I ask for 2 cuttings to go with it!

Cutting: a semi-filled glass of tea…more than half, less than full…somewhere in between…totally depending on the mood of the guy, pouring it out from the kettle!

So then …spicy missal+superheated environs+hot tea = invoking the dragon in me!!!

The guys I go with…they dun do the two cutting thing…they think I am suicidal! They appease the spiciness with cold drinks! I dunno till date why do I do it! I remember, that missal used to be a thing that we breakfasted on in our hostel messes…especially towards the times when funds from home started to run low. I have visited many a grand hotels…I have visited many a cool restaurants…I have seen huge-ass bills…and I have eaten wadapavs at roadside…pani-puris at stall and all…and what I know about food and joints is that….of all these places, there are certain ones, where-in you get a distinct satisfaction after eating…that makes the meal you just had complete in every sense. Sometimes it’s the ambience…sometimes it’s the people who serve you…It maybe the cost of the food at times, maybe it is sentimental…maybe its nothing! For me…I get a strange happiness, after the missal thing…hell right now I even fail to remember the name of the missal-place, but I would gladly go just to check it now…and grab a missal, while at it! Like I said, it’s a good missal they make there…it certainly ain’t the greatest missal ever, but there is something that makes me wanna go there over and over again…there is a reason I am blogging about it now…whatever it be…as of now I just dunno!

The horrible food at work that we get every Wednesday…that’s just an excuse 😉 !

Movie: Serendipity (2001)

Language: English

Director: Peter Chelsom

Genre: Romance / Drama / Extreme Fantasy

Rating: 3 / 10

Serendipity
The ones in love swear by it…the wannabe lovers see this one as a perfect film for that special moment, for that special someone…and I saw this…I fell ill – diabetic! So here’s the deal…when he was a kid, writer Marc Klein fell into a vat of super saturated sugar solution, enhanced with caramel and rose water, sprinkled with treacle coated chocolate chips and topped off with honey. As he lay wallowing in it…Peter Chelsom came about…and got himself pulled into it! The aftermath-Serendipity!

Love stories are never like this! This belongs to a genre called fantasy movies. Serendipity could have bettered Lord Of The Rings or Matrix…had they used more special effects…trust me on that one! My rating is simple…1 for the courage of making this movie…1 for the people who swear by it…1 more just for the extreme mathematics involved!!!

Ok let’s do a little math here…lets assume that the entire New York City had just 1000 dollar notes…let’s assume there are only 1000 people in NYC. What’s the probability of one note with one guys name on it…comes back to the same person? That 1 in 1000000 i.e. .000001 percent…super!!! And you know what…I honestly think there are more people and notes in the city! Wait …did I tell you …the person doesn’t stay in New York at all…oh yes…so then…yeah! Add to the equation a 10 year buffer time…so that the note goes around…anywhere it wants…yes…yes… it could end up with a currency collector in Mozambique for all I know! Ok next Math problem…this is relatively simple. A building of what 50+ floors…2 people….wats the probability that both will reach on the same floor. Well…I hate math…I dunno the answer…but I do know that it’s again a teeny fraction. So why am I talking about something I dunno/hate so much…That’s ‘cause these happen to be the crux of the movie!

Kate Beckinsale does the bit of the super-dumb-fate-believing-serendi ‘pitiful’ gurl to the perfectest best…Oh Kate…just in case you fail to read the omens here…I am being sarcastic! You were better of fending werewolves in Underworld…you guys connect well! John Cusack’s character…so then I felt sorry fer ya initially…I even thought you were a mechie at first…wonderful oratory skills…decent looks…but no luck with the gurl! But then…bloody weasel…he acted like a twerp for the rest of the movie! Despo ass!

This movie… coaxed me to understand one thing…Love is blind….deaf, dumb and mentally challenged all at one go…it bloody made it look like a medical situation!

Why did I see it…yes you guessed it right…just to write this blog entry 😀 !!!

Mechies: an underprivileged breed of engineers, who live through 4 years of their prime youth in an environment devoid of anything remotely feminine. And hence…they take up software jobs the first thing they pass out!

So then…I am a mechie! And I have a friend …he’s a mechie of a higher order…an IITian mechie, so to say…it also means that he experienced a deprivation of the elevated order! While we mechies got to see girls from the other streams, but if one goes by the grapevine…females are said to be extinct in IIT, and hence my claim regarding this.

It was after a reunion of sorts that I ran into this friend of mine…where we exchanged mechie sentiments, and speculated on the ‘still-single’ tag. We were shocked to see that … four years of Stress, Strain, Sheets and Work-shop Lathes later, we had been rendered socially dead and utterly inept! We didn’t know…how to talk to gurls anymore…our earnest attempts to strike up a conversation ended up like our marks…barely passable. Our enthusiasm to convert the freedom of speech into an act…was equated to desperation (horrendous math at work!). We were in grave danger…and as we grew, the possibility of arranged marriages loomed like an imminent KT! Mulling over all this, we became good friends and decided to do a co-joint operation to tackle this grave growing concern.

The Coffee

One Saturday Evening in 2005:
(The Coffee Shop…me n my friend meet up and after initial hi-hello…it boils down to THE question!)

He: Aur…Found anyone yet?
I: No wayssssss man…and you?
He: Scopeeeeeee! Naah!
(Both: Phewwwwwwwwwww! Thank God…I am still in the competition!)
I: So wat else?
He: Nuthin much yaar…dude…what the hell man…that bloody Tawde…he’s having a great time man. He’s got a girl-friend and all man!!!
I: Whoa how come…arre he was Civil na (Construction<Mechie<Civil…goes the equation!)
He: Yeah man…he is in Amsterdam now…
I : Aah that explains it…(bloody lucky$%^Q@%%)
He: Yeah I guess …(bloody lucky$%^Q@%%) …

<Two guys walk in presently with a gurl….one of the guys, asks us politely… “Hey this chair taken”. Inside my head, “Yes…you punk…can’t you see her…she ain’t visible to $%@#s like you! Then my friend sees the gurl…sighs..and says, “Naaah ..Go ahead!”>

I: See…bugger see! Learn something…whats the use of being an IITian…Shame on you!
He: Wtf…dude, you the writer guy na…why don’t you concoct some lovey-dovey stuff man!

<We see that this was going nowhere. The two guys sitting beside us, crack a joke, they laugh…the gurl giggles! >

I: Let’s get the hell outta here…
He: Yeah man…f%$% it!

<Days roll by…change sweeps over everythings…I met new friends…fought with some old ones…changed jobs…orkut became famous…new muliplexes blossomed…deadlines were set on pubs…summer…rains…winter…summer…rains…winter… happened.>

One Saturday Evening in 2007:
(The Coffee Shop…me n my friend meet up and after initial hi-hello)

He: Aur…Found anyone yet
I: No wayssssss man…and you?
He: Scopeeeeeee! Naah!

< Two guys walk in with a gurl.>

I: Sigh
He: F#$%

We: Let’s get the hell outta here!

Beauty sometimes is seen in the simplest of things. And sometimes it is really simple to create something beautiful. Here’s a glimpse of something beautiful!

Sony Bravia-Balls
One fine day, a town in San Francisco woke up to a flurry of activity. 2,50,000 brightly coloured bouncy balls came down hurtling down a slope, and Sony Bravia walked home with an experience to remember! The ad was simple…the thought was simple…the result was beauuutiful! Danish director Nicolai Fuglsig did for the BRAVIA commercial, what many directors fail to give their ads these days…an angelic touch, a touch that was over the top…and yet so artistically exquisite. Jose Gonzalez gave it the final shades with his ‘Heartbeats’
My reactions when I saw the ad, started with a… “Wat The… ”, evolving into a “Whoaaaa”, and ending with a “Wow”

Fellow people…may I present you the ad :
Sony Bravia – ‘Balls’

300 Movie Poster

Movie: 300 (2007)

Language: English

Director: Zack Snyder

Genre: Action / Drama

Rating: 8.5 / 10

300 the movie

Two words………….oooooooooooooh yeah!!! This one was made for the Cornea, Pupil and Iris! Visuals my friend visuals…that was all there was to it…one of the finest pieces of art, if you ask me! You take a handful of men…put a green screen behind them…tell them to act…the result is seldom 300! So then what made it … the answer is passion! Zack Snyder…did a not-so-spectacular Dawn Of The Dead, then he reads Frank Miller’s 300…and says this is gonna be it! And on seeing Sin City, he knew exactly how it was to be pulled off! He takes over a warehouse…and filmed it all there! There was just one outdoor scene…if you have seen the movie…you will reflect the surprise. It was digital godliness at work!

Why did I not give it a 10/10…well…the answer is the storyline. It might be inspired from true event…but to me a commercial movie has to have a story! People might argue that it was not a story in the first place…it was a war account…fair enough…I admit so, but there were times when the comic book melodrama peeped through, and I felt Bollywoodised! Another low point for me was the narrative…given the dark and gloomy feel of the movie as such, I would have preferred a voice over that showcased the emotive heights of the Spartan story. I felt the narrative was shallow and pedantic, to put it in the Peter Griffin perspective.

The plusses- The direction, the technicality, the colors, the action sequences…everything that a computer could possibly do to make celluloid seem like canvas has been done! The OST is killller…I dunno what Spartan music was like…but it contributors Nine-Inch-Nails sure sound Spartan enough! Extreme mixes amidst war sceneces multiple the effectiveness ten folds. Next in line…the actors! Lesser known…but intense. Every actor was a true Spartan, when it came to acting. Gerard Butler and Lena Headley were in true sense royal! And last but not the least, what I savored the most…the screenplay! Witty, emphatic and powerful…the best reason to go catch this …after the visuals of course 🙂

300 movie still

If there is something that the guys love about us…it’s our hair! A million guys will revolt against me now, and a million will nod their heads in agreement! We love them so much…that we do stuff to them …we treat them to oil, shampoo, conditioners, creams, gels…so much so that many of the guys lose ‘em all before they know it! We feel that our hair …is our plumage, our crest…our ‘hair’loom! Ok I will stop generalizing…I will talk about myself! I too like my hair! In fact I was forced to like it at a point of time! Then…I grew to love it post Dil Chahta Hain!

I was born with hair…that probably belonged to an Army Officer in the previous birth…they always were at an ‘Attention’ position! Everything was tried and tested to get ‘em at ease…from lubrication to heat treatment, and to say…..naaaaaaah! ‘Porcu’, ‘Spikey’, ‘Electroman’…were a few of my aliases…thanx to you-know-what! Then came DCH…and spiked hair were all around me and a fashion statement, at that. I mean …come on…who would have known, that I would get to see this day. I rejoice it while it lasts…but I keep a wary eye…for the day it will be a passé, and poor Spikey’s gonna be outdated. All this talk about hair, reminds me of a story…that still brings tears to my eyes! And…its most definitely not the joyous kind! Sigh…

I wear glasses. I go to a barber to cut my hair. I remove my glasses when he cuts hair. Visibility is but a grubby halo in the mirror upfront. I like my hair short, and needless to say…straight! So I say to him…gimme a cut…which is like very short on the sides of my head…and slightly longer on the top! He interprets it as….The Infamous, Just-In Style Spike Cut. ( For those who fail to see the obvious difference: The difference between what I asked for and what he thought was that…Spike cut…you have like 10 hairs in the front longer than the rest, whereas I wanted all the hair on top to be longer than ones at the sides. Shimple!). His eyes glistened…I misread his interntions to expertiment…as his devotion to work. He took out his electric razor…like a Spartan unsheathing his blade…and attacked. Hairs fell like dry leaves on a breezy autumn day…! I was lost in the poetry of it all…and the music the clickety click the scissors made. All that my weak eyes could make out in the mirror, was someone using an eraser to rub away…a black patch far on the horizon. Autumn went on and spring comes in…the sun shines bright! Whoa…Whoa…that ain’t no sun…that’s a light reflecting from the top of my shiny scalp!

I quickly recover from my erstwhile reverie…and quickly get a jolt of reality; as soon as I rest my spectacles in place…I looked like Nagraj from Raj Comics! I shuddered…my entire head looked like how the side of my head was supposed to look…and right above my forehead…was a serpentine hood! I looked like a tabletennis ball with a tuft of hair. You blasted, bloody $#^%#$%&%$^$…Whyyyyyyyyyy …Whyyyyy!

A Snapshot

I asked him to perform some ‘disaster management’, and cried a silent cry, as all the people in waiting eyed me as if…I were actually Nagraj! Last heard…my barber telling someone, “ Aaj kal…yehi fashion hain!” . That B#$%@#!@! The college kid sitting there sniggered, the 30 yrd old man looked on wonder-eyed, other barbers smiled…the octogenarian sighed and shook his head in one of those aaj-kal-ke bache-uff style. I cursed as I pictured a month long torture of being the joke of the class. 🙁

As I made my way back home, I felt a teasing, cold wind caressing my near-naked scalp.

Ok…take your thumb and your index finger, on both hands…What’s the best thing you could do with them?

Yep …the index finger is the finger beside the thumb!

Well…

The answer is…..not twiddling fingers! No….there’s something even better than carroms! There are stuff even better than whistling and chess…think!

Nooo…. picking nose is not the best bet! Gross!

Shame on you …if you couldn’t figure that out……….the answer is GAMING mannnn!!!

The sheer exhilaration of flying, racing, cricket, soccer, espionage, war and what not in the comfort of your room! Aaahhh….bless the guys who devised these video games! Children are no more what they used to be! They are evolving at a faaaar superior rate than what we do as adults! They know more than us…they speak more than us…they work more than us…and needless to say…they are wayyyy better gamers than us!

So how old were you before you learnt to push all the right buttons?
Let me show you something that will shame you!

Gameboy!

And…how long was it before you mastered it?

Gameboy 360!…It took this guy a minute and 43 seconds to go from two hands to one!

That was just one 2-3 year old kid …at a particular mall in Mumbai…and that was an Xbox 360 at his mercy! A few evolutionary cycles on… these kids will be electoral candidiates at 5 (education is not a big ask there!), software engineers by 10…mind readers by 15! My stupid intellect doesn’t allow me to extrapolate beyond that…but I guess by 20 it would be time travel! We guys will belong to museums!

Twiddling fingers……………………………Arrrrrrrrrrgh! Get a life!

Long you live and high you fly
And smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be.

May be these were the lines that first ran through his head, this morning!
May he didn’t think about anything at all!
May be he thought up a new musical piece!
May be he thought about Roger Waters!
Maybe he went back to sleep again!

He woke up today and he finds out that he’s 62…

40 years ago…he had joined a ragged college band. It was a fair trade…he helped make the band and in return the band made him! Guitars had started off as a lunch break pass time…and then they evolved to such magnanimity that every time his six-strings spoke…the listener felt touched. He may not have been the greatest guitarist ever…but certainly shall be one, who played it with a difference. He made it bend…he made it cry…he made it wail…he made it oh-so- human! A sustain from his guitar…stayed with one for life! Simplistic compositions…sans any fancy riffs…precise and effective, that was his style. Melody was him!

Ladies and Gentleman….David Jon Gilmour!
David Gilmour Wish You A Very Happy Birthday!

Sleepers

The stillness is ominous.
As they lie quiet in sweet oblivion,
Knowing not what was happening;
Nor as to what will happen.
The black remains warm.

They do not do much
They just sleep….
Until later when a wandering candle,
Would come by for them.
Life’s a sleep after all!

They, for most, remain unperturbed,
Unaware of the others.
But for that icy glint of
The proverbial steel in the dark,
And the lurking Judas.

Born alone, most stay alone
Many find a friend,
To share the blanket.
Sometimes the feet get cold.
Some grow, some fade, some apparate, some made!

Sleepers are born, never on their own
Sleepers die, into the unknown
Sleepers stay, never knowing why
While some wake up to a dream
After all , it’s so for a dream!