Thursday, 30 August 2007

Wonderful world ?

Wake up today morning and switch on the TV to be greeted with images of the new 7 wonder announcement, some millionaire has hit upon a super idea to make money and the rest of the world celebrates. The announcement has been made, I cant deny being happy that Taj Mahal has made the list.

I grab my cup of coffee and sit with the papers as Chaka Khan begins her rendition of the Louis Armstrong classic - "What a wonderful world"

Papers carry news about a suicide bomber killing 103 in Iraq, 70 dead in Lall Masjid in Islamabad, Glasgow bombings, a paeodophile rapist getting deported to US, 4 children getting sexually abused in their school by some attendant and I hear the lines from the song... "And I think to myself, what a wonderful world."

A year ago..

Campus placements had begun. We, the first batch of integrated media students in the history of our university were sitting down to write the tests on the basis of which we would get shortlisted for next day's interview. Only one drawback - the job!!!

After having studied 5 years of media, the last thing I wanted was to sit in front of a comp and do coding for an IT major. Its not like I was bad at coding or any such thing, just didnt want to do it. But I did need a job that my mom could repeat to the society at large and keep them quiet for a year. It was tougher for my mom cos she had given birth to an engineering dropout, a member of society who ranks one above paedophiles, drug peddlers and pimps. So if I did get placed it would be a good thing for the various stake holders who have invested in my existence.

So I sat down, answered ten questions on the speed of trains, distance travelled by cars, number of diamonds stolen by thieves and another set of questions on the English language. Seemed a cinch for me as well as for my buddies who sat with me writing the test. When we came out, we all had the same answers!! And out of some 50 odd only 10 got shortlisted, talk about lady luck. How the hell do they shortlist I wondered aloud, only to have my mouth shut with the retort - "What's your bloody problem, you got shortlisted na, all the best for the interview tmr."

Oh the interview tmr, hell. Formals to be worn. Decent shirt, decent pants and pair of shoes. That's about it. Land at the interview centre to see a confluence of ties. So many ties. Everywhere I turned the same question - "You not wearing a tie?"

Luckily, I had my two partners in crime. Kozhi and Masth. Kozhi was asked - "Is that what you wearing for the interview?" and Masth - "You here for the interview?". Guess I had one up on them atleast. We were nervous. Its not like the job meant the world to us. Its an IT job. Hell. But the fear of rejection was eating on us.

K. was the first to go in for the interview. He came out with a smile. "Dude, its a stress interview for me da. One twenty something year old girl wearing sleeveless was sitting, raising her arms behind her head. They were testing to see if I could be distracted" He was just joking, but it could be true. Soon the gospel spread. "Dont look at the armpits, keep looking at her face..only her face" This was only in room number 7 I think. There were 30 other rooms with no gospels.

My room had a rotund 30 something year old lady sitting on a chair with my resume on the table in front of her and wearing a shirt WITH sleeves. Hmmm. So the stress here has to do with looking at her scary face I guess.
Hello and hi done with. First question is shot at me - "Why is there a gap in my education?" I had to discontinue my engineering after a year for personal reasons. Personally detested engineering, but you cant tell them that now can you.

"Do you like sports, as in do you play sports?" Yes, I do "Do you play team sports?" Yes, I do.

"What were the last books you read?" The Greatest by Muhammad Ali and Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham.

"Do you have anything to ask us?" Yes I will be graduating from a course in Media, so will my job be related to my course?

"Do you know what post we are interviewing you for?" No

"Software Engineer Trainee" But I am not an Engineer

"We know that, just wanted you to know the post you are being interviewed for and that it has nothing to do with media" Hmmm. End of interview.

550 odd students are selected by the IT major. My name is one among the selected. Mom should be happy about it, poor lady has had to suffer enough. I can always look for a job in media in the next one year and not join the IT major.

All this was a year ago. A year hence, the IT major has called me for training. I postponed it.
And now I have escaped the IT professional life by joining a TV channel.. cheers to the world!!!

Who shoots, Mani ?

Working with Mani Rathnam for the movie Ayutha Ezhuthu was the pits...

Truth is, working with Mani Ratnam involved us being in a pit.. It was the third day of shooting and we had done it all... Stomping through shit (super art direction by Sabu Cyril) in Rameshwaram on the first day .. Riding on open top lorries in the blazing heat of Theni in the second day... and now the third day dawns..its literally dawn and we are asked to strip our tops off and get into a huge 10ft X 10ft X 10ft pit.

Its in times like these you tend to question the film maker's liberties in the quest for art.. the movie is about students we presume.. he has not given us the script.. we are part of a song sequence.. and we are getting paid 250 rs per day.. thats all that has been told.. and please bring your bags and a rain coat as well... hmmm..ok.. with bags packed and hopes of a long career in tinsel town.. i leave to Rameshwaram from Chennai...

Reach Rameshwaram the next evening, after crossing Pamban bridge, truly breath taking feat of modern engineering.... break for the night... shooting to begin tmr.. great.. so i get to see the famous temple with the long corridors.. you dont need to read this post to know that the temple is a brilliant sight to see.. but the paint jobs done by the restoration committee in the temple is pretty lousy.. i am guessing the colours have been chosen in keeping with the colours that were used by those who first constructed the temple... and with more guessing i assume that the actual creators of the temple (think its a chola king) must have had limited choice of paints and hence forced into these colours.. well the point is, i feel the colours used in the temple (most South Indian temples) are insulting to their architectural marvel...gawdy and vulgar.

Not as vulgar as what we were told to do the next day... there is this pond of shit.. or something that looks like shit.. the choreographers are ready..Kala and Shanthi... they make us form rows.. then the hero Surya appears.. he comes and stands at the front... now we all just walk straight.. then beat our chests and shout oh yuva oh yuva oh yuva...hmmm.. only prob was that walking straight is basically through slush (read shit).. why did Mani have to come to Rameshwaram to shoot this when there is nice slush and shit in Chennai... god only knows.. and unfortunately for most Indian actors...Mani Ratnam is god !

Once that is done, a few more shots follow, rain sequence, where a huge fan with super wind power thrusts the water that comes from these huge fireman hoses and basically fakes a rainy day... wonder if they are gonna use a filter cos its bloody sunny and its two o clock in the afternoon... but we proceed to get drenched.. and to make matters worse.. none of the actresses take part in the rain sequence.. no wet sari wonder the movie flopped...(is this what prompted Mani to add that non consequential kissing scene between Vidya Balan and Madhavan in Guru ?)

Work done for the day, we travel by night to Theni we are told.. great.. Rameshwaram is done.. Theni cant be worse.. right? WRONG !!! Sleep for three hours at the most.. and we are at the shooting site.. a bloody quarry.. its really really sunny.. and the giant fans are here as well.. but there is no hose.. hmmm... what purpose does the fans serve ? Oh crap....they are going to replicate dust storm... Mani Mani Mani... cant you just concentrate on getting a nice tight script instead of the stupid song sequences... Hell my skin feels like paper, and my hair is worse... We all breath a huge sigh of relief once the Theni shoot comes to an end.. and are even more happy to know that we will reach Pollachi by 8 p.m.. that will give us a good night's sleep.. the nice lodge in Pollachi and the nice weather aids our nocturnal ambition of a decent sleep..

Masth is up early the next day.. he has a nice hair wash with a whole satchet of shampoo.. .takes out a new vest... spanking white.. all dressed... we leave to the shooting sight.. its 6 a.m in the morning.. the assistant dirctors ask us to strip and get dirty.. we have to get into a pit.. what the hell are a bunch of students going and singing songs while stomping on shit and digging in pits ?? i dont ask Mani that.. would love to ask him sometime later though.. for now.. i strip.. so does Vish... Masth and Mak have worn vests with sleeves.. and one of them has a sparkling brand new white one.. we get into the pits.. and are given our digging tools.. hell, i am not being paid enough..

Anyway, everything seems to be ready.. when there is a noise heard at the top.. we are down below in the pit...Mani is upset about something we realise.. he is screaming... then the assistant director comes running (by the way the Assistant Director has now become a movie hero, apparently made a good debut in Paruthiveeran, i have not seen the movie so not making any comments.. but he was a nice guy for sure) why is that vest so white, he asks.. its ruining the shot.. make it more dirty.. and before he knows what's happening Masth is surrounded by people throwing mud on him and rubbing him with dirt.. while Mak has actor Siddarth (who joined us in Theni) rubbing mud on him in a rather sensual way (ok this is slander or libel..its fun to cast aspersions though).. basically, the Masth's new vest dies an early death...

Two more days in Pollachi, and we return home with our money..Esha Deol makes a brief appearance, not really great looking..but atleast some lady has come for the shoot with us..not to forget Mirchi Suchi, to whom Mak (he who had the brief fling with Siddarth gives a chilly)..and thanks to Masth's brilliant pin hole camera...which was something from the stone age (Masth had advised Mak against bringing his brand new cam, for safety reasons)..not a single photo came out...atleast the movie will have us we hoped... movie is out four months later and I get the most screen time (15 seconds)..Mak never appears.. but someone consoles him with the lie that he appeared in a couple of posters outside the city limits of Chennai.

Rather disappointed with the cinematography though.. He didnt capture my best aspects... Two years later, Mani comes knocking.. he has a role for me.. based on India's biggest industrialist.. sounds interesting.. but he tells me that there are a few song sequences.. so what do you think ?

Many thanks Mani.. but no thanks.. why dont you ask that guy with the big surname.. he will suffice... can't romance Aishwarya Rai at my age, Mani... maybe next time..

Although (to paraphrase Roald Dahl or Saki..not too sure.. from the story The Open Window)... Romance at short notice is my speciality...

Retrospection i.e. Looking back

I am not too sure if it was William Wordsworth or Tupac Shakur who said 'Revenge is the sweetest thing next to getting pussy'.....I guess its Tupac cos i am certain that Wordsworth would have used more flowery language.. anyway its this quote that comes to mind when i retrospect.

As i have been vengeful many a time... not always sucessful.. sometimes very successful...and my revenge, i had.. either way it aint that sweet.. I am sure there are many things sweeter than revenge.. the feeling of exhilaration one gets after seeing a great movie... the emotion of achievement you get when you finish reading a brilliant book.. the sense of wonder you feel when you visit a new place or sight the Taj Mahal for the first time....the satisfaction that hits you when you get a child to smile...the meaningfulness your life gets after realising you have helped someone out through your actions... Much Sweeter !!!

But sugar is sweetest when you take it to remove the bitterness... this holds true in my life as well.. and nothing makes me feel more bitter than regret... as i type this post there is a lot of regret in my heart.... regret of not taking hold of the opportunity to go along with my father to his hometown, Kottayam, this weekend..This is the first time he is going there since i was born.. as his family have moved to Trivandrum, the capital of the state of Kerala, my visits to Kerala have always been restricted to Trivandrum (or Thiruvananthapuram)...always wanted to go and see the house that he was born in... the tank where his grandma refused to let him swim ( owing to which he never learnt to swim )... the school where he studied his first lessons, the college where he learnt the important ones...the town that made him the man he is today.. I presumed that i would be more busy than what i have been this weekend...and decided not to go... Bitter !!!

Regret not taking up Tamil as a third language in school as I believed Sanskrit would get me more marks...this in the fourth standard and till the eight.. after going to the ninth, not once has anyone ever asked me what my grades were in the eight standard...not even once... I can't read the bus boards...the the local papers...why ?...cos well they are all written in Tamil... Bitter !!!

Regret amongst other things not knowing what sarcasm was when i was in third standard.. cos i assume it was sarcasm that made the guy who discovered Greenland name it so.... and in all my eight year old wisdom.. i wanted to go to a green place for the summer hols and asked my dad to take me to Greenland...and he being the man that he was and is, promptly agreed ( Damn sarcasm...although i think i have grown up to embody a bit of the sarcasm myself ), much to the delight of the wiser eight year olds, right up to the not so wise eighty year olds... as i would proudly exclaim to anyone i met that i am off to Greenland for the summer... one fifteen year old actually stroked my head and burst out laughing inspite of trying hard not to laugh at an innocent kid (ME) that he ended up flushing my face... Bitter !!!

Regret not having the gumption and the freedom to go upto my parents and thank them for ensuring that i grew up in a secure home... thank them for ensuring that none of my wants were left unanswered ( but for the Greenland trip ).. thank them for providing me the means to stand up and fall, knowing fully well that I had to stand up again cos crying would not serve any purpose.. thank them for ensuring that there was never a fall that i could not get up from...thank them for exposing me to books, movies, sports, places, sights and sounds... things they didnt get so easily when they were my age.... Bitter !!!

Regret not being able to tell friends who have suffered loss of dear ones, family problems, financial insecurities, physical deficiencies - but still living normal or extra ordinary lives - that they have greatness in them... Bitter !!!

But amidst all the regrets i have the sugar that tastes the sweetest... Hope !!!

I hope to take my dad to Kottayam one day... with me taking care of all the expenses.. hope to tell my mom that i missed her cooking when i was away and to thank her for letting me have differing thoughts on many issues inspite of the pain it undoubtedly causes her... hope to learn tamil and read the Thirukural....hope to make some of my friends realise how great they are... and most of all, hope to go to Greenland and blog a one line post that says - BEAT THAT, FACE FLUSHER !!

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Boatride at a wedding not held at the Big Temple

The one line thread :- A bunch of guys go on a road trip from Chennai to attend the wedding of the brother of their friend at Tanjore, stopping off at Mannarkudi for a day before attending the wedding.

The Cast :- 20 odd handsome guys between the age of 21-23

The Villain - Earth's rotation that restricts a day to 24 hours and hance very little time

Departure - From CMBT to Mannarkudi, bus boarded at 8 p.m on a Saturday (much to Dil's consternation cos he thought the departure time was 7:15 p.m and he was speedily and panic-strickenly shopping for underwear... not the right frame of mind for underwear shopping... anyway, we reach Mannarkudi at 4 am on Sunday. DD breaks his 21st pair of spectacles on the way.

Plan of action for Sunday - Crash till 8. Breakfast at Prem's joint (Prem is also the Superhost at Mannakudi) at 9.. hearty breakfast at that with Idly, Pongal, Poori, Halwa and a nice cuppa to round it off.

Next we move on to Muthupet. MUTHUPET is a lagoon, a restricted area of mangrove forests and a bird sanctuary. It was also not too crowded with tourists and is 35km from Mannarkudi. The cars drop us off and go all the way back to bring us lunch (Superhost at work). While lunch is being brought. We, the 21, board a boat and set off through the mangroves and to the lagoons. Spotting quite a few birds, unfortunately the our knowledge of Ornithology was restricted to Daffy duck and we did not know what birds we were spotting. One hawk or eagle or kite put on a show for us by sky diving to catch a fish in its claws.. this piece of NatGeo action taking place some 3 feet away from us.. super.

There is also this bat field (Vavaal Thottam in Tamil). Once you reach there you are literally in a scene from a Batman movie with a few hundred bats flying over you, and these are big bats mind you. It was still day hence not so scary.

More boating action while lunch is awaited. Then we dock at this private picnic spot, complete with a cottage and all.. and LUNCH arrives... BIG LUNCH - Lamb briyani, Chicken 65, Fish fry, Mutton Kurma and the tour de force - Crab. OOH LA LA!!! Let me say that one more time - OOH LA LA!!!

Lunch done we set off on our boats to satisfy the sailor hidden inside us all. The sun is in its descendence and the mercury is coming down. There is a nice breeze coming through and all this just adds to the hallucinogenic high that the sumptuos lunch had brought us to. We finally conclude our sojourn to Muthupet and return to Mannarkudi as a temple trip awaits us.

Mannarkudi Rajagopalaswamy temple

could be better maintained, i still believe that the big temples should be taken over by ASI like THE Big Temple (mentioned later on) is. We have only half hour of Temple time left so we hurriedly rush through the visit. An insult to the temple, but nothing can be done. We next head to the HUGE temple tank. Lovely setting to sit and while away time, but time is of essence and we rush to Prem's house where dinner is waiting. Dinner is served in the terrace - Chapathi, Upma, Paneer Butter Masala, Ice Cream and a warm cup of milk. All that is left is sleep.

Plan of action for Monday - Early start to Tanjore after hurriedly bidding our goodbyes to Prem's warm and caring family. Our class's tradition of hospitality gets a new chapter added to it in Mannarkudi. Kum's bro wedding awaits us. Reach in time for breakfast. They give extra pooris ( a blessing for those who cant stand Idli and Pongal). The bride and the groom arrive. Most of us are stunned by the similarity in the smiles of the groom, kum and kum's dad. We wish the couple a very happy married life and chat with Kum for sometime and then before we know it we are off to THE Big Temple - Brihadisvara Temple in Tanjore The architectural marvel is a sight that will stun you into silence. Thankfully its maintained well, cos of its UNESCO heritage status. We also checked out the small museum inside the temple complex, which contains details of how the temple was constructed. It also put to rest a doubt that we had - that the Vimana Gopuram is NOT a monolith. After getting the blessing from the temple elephant, Velliammal (donated by the thespian Sivaji Ganesan) we leave for our next destination.

Sudden change in plans take eight of us to Trichi to visit our good buddy Kozhi. We land at Trichi at 4 p.m. Trichi is a town that has an abundance of temples to visit. But time being the villain that it is restricts us to one - Rock Fort. We head towards rock fort at 5, great time to take the climb and catch the wind breezing through. But before that we are treated to some lovely Pav Bhaji, Brinjal bajji and delighful home made chocolates, courtesy Kozhi's mom. The view from the top of Rock fort is one that will last in your mind for long. With the river Kaveri and the tall gopuram of Srirangam to one side and the town of Trichi on the other side. Romantic to say the least.

The next day we catch a train to Chennai... the train journey finds me lost in my thoughts of the trip that was one for the ages.

Wayanad's wiles - 1

We begin at the beginning... but the beginning is not at the start of my five day trip to Wayanad's forests... the beginning refers to those days of watching Disney's Jungle Book.. and singing 'The bare necessities'.. I wanted to be Mowgli.. growing up with the wolves.. something needed to be done about my primal i set off with four other buddies from college ( Ja, Dil, Sreeps and Vish) to Wayanad, a district in the North East of Kerala with two beautiful forest ranges - Muthanga and Tholpetty

When are the unreserved compartments getting cushions

We had to get down at Kozhikode (Calicut) as thats the nearest railhead to Wayanad. ( Actually from Chennai the shortest route as far as time is concerned is to go to Mysore and take a bus from Mysore to Sultan Bathery) Owing to timing probs we decided to board the Mangalore Mail starting at 20:15 from Chennai Central on 8th March, Thursday..and as we are college guys, real men..that and the fact that it was cheaper meant that we travelled unreserved.. cost us 150 Rs... the journey to Kozhikode is twelve hours and involved a lot of butt ache.. when we getting those cushions here Mr. Yadav ?? We reached Kozhikode at 08:45 on 9th March, Friday. Took care of our morning ablutions at the waiting room in the station, which to my pleasant surprise is stunningly clean...

Breakfast at the Hotel Divar consisted of 10 Parottas, 4 Pathiris (rice chapathi), Beef Liver curry, Chicken curry, Egg Masala, Fish Curry and Tea and cost us a 'grand' total of 163 Rs.. Food is definitely cheap in Kerala.. We didnt get the chance to explore Kozhikode's famous Mithai street as we had to rush to board a bus to Wayanad.

Schumacher Wannabes

There was no direct bus to Sultan Bathery (which is a major town in Wayanad district and the one closest to Muthanga forest range - our destination) at that time so we took a bus to Kalpetta, the capital of Wayanad.. got into the bus at 11:00.

Wayanad is a hilly district and the roads have many hair pin bends and long you kinda expect a journey to be slow.. but trust me when I put this on writing - Kerala bus drivers are fast, recklessly fast.. Dil wanted to puke at most hair pins.. and once we got out at Kalpetta at 12:30, he made us promise him we are not going back to Kozhikode...which luckily for him we never were planning to in the first place.. Kozhikode-Kalpetta bus trip cost us 180 bucks (56 Rs per person) for a journey of 107 kms, Mysore to Kalpetta distance is 140 kms..another bus to Sultan Bathery cost us 105 Rs (21 per head).. Tipu Sultan had built a fort to peserve his arms here and hence the name Sultan Bathery, which in English i assume is Sultan's Battery...halted at a relative's huose for a sumptuous lunch and left to Muthanga

Sultan Bathery to Muthanga bus will cost a person 6 bucks but as the next bus was a one hour wait and we wanted to reach before dark. Hence, we took a jeep to Muthanga Forest checkpost that cost us 170 Rs...Jeep driver's name is Ajit Ph no. - 94473 - 57191.

Watch tower or watch house ?

We reached Muthanga by five and the forest officer at Muthanga told us to parcel some food and gave us a guide..a nice guide but very silent type, not a conversationist..would only answer the questions posed to him.. and some of the answers weren't too convincing... We were allocated the Marghata Watch Tower and as we drove in to the guest house (jeep costing 200 Rs.) we passed a sexy watch tower next to a watering hole and got sight of our first elephant.. the first wildlife we spotted was the Malabar Giant Squirrel, a crimson coloured thing which is the size of a well fed domestic cat... anyways, coming back to the watch tower.. the watch tower next to the watering hole had some problem with the trench around it and that wasnt where we were headed...
Just when we started to enter the deeper forests we suddenly came to a halt..and in front of us was a two storey house... something out of a housing board colony..there was an Adivasi couple living in a hut besides the house and there was a trench around the house.. this was the Marghata Watch tower... there was no watering hole around the tower... suddenly our prospects of spotting Sher Khan seemed bleak.. and it gets even bleaker when our guide says that he has spotted a tiger only four times in his 13 years of work in this range.. hmmm... the guide is even more disappointed when he learns that he is spending the night with 5 college students who are teetotallers (atleast most of the time they are)

Wayanad's wiles - 2

Is that Orion or Scorpio ?

I have never seen so many stars in the sky...the moon was not out..may be that's why..but trust me there was not a single speck of sky that was not occupied by stars...time was 19:00 hrs and not a single nocturnal creature was spotted... we heard a lot of noises... one bird had a particularly entertaining sound which resembled a villain's or comedian's laugh... the city bred boys that we are, the only bird sounds that we can recognise are that of crows, cuckoos and make matters worse, our guide didnt seem to know the name either..

Early dinner at 21:00 hrs..Parotta and Beef and we climb upto the balcony and hit the sack...Early start tomorrow morning... the cold and the sudden and bright appearance of the moon at approximately 23:00 hrs plus all the forest sounds ensures that the sleep is a disturbed one... The moon is so bright and its appearance is so sudden that Dil wonders who put the lights on ?

These pug marks are real

Trekking starts at 06:30.. Vish and Sreeps are keen to show us the pug mark that they spotted when they woke up ( those two had risen earlier and thanks to their joblessness..made up a pug mark to fool us ).. we played along and started our trek only to be confronted by real pug marks...leading into the jungles.. His Majesty was certainly there somewhere...

We trekked upto the Trijunction which is the meeting point between Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and we also got to climb up the watch tower we had seen the previous evening..but no elephants to be found
Samba deers, Langurs, Spotted deers and suddenly....

Our forest guide, after an hour, takes us off the beaten track and into the jungles. The group automatically becomes quiet, thanks to hunger and a sense of danger. The guide mistakes a wild boar to be a bear, but quickly corrects his mistake when the boar starts to run.. we are dissapointed to say the least, but the sight of a majestic Samba deer with antlers proves to be some consolation although his majesty still eludes us...
We continue walking through the forest trail with our guide leading us through the way when we suddenly come across a pile of elepant dung..and then a fresher pile and then the freshest pile and then suddenly there he is.. a lone tusker.. Lone tuskers are the most dangerous animals in the forest... Elephants are very group minded.. a lone tusker means that the particular Elephant is an outcast, which means it has a bad behaviour..having heard the stories of numerous deaths at the hands of tuskers from my uncles, i am a bit apprehensive of going any closer. The guide seems to be more apprehensive and takes a u-turn as soon as we finish taking our snaps... We continue walking for another hour and we reach the dormitory by 10:30.

4000 B.C. ! you gotta be kidding me

Briyani for luch from Hotel Jubilee at Bathery costs us 60 Rs per plate.. big mistake ordering a heavy lunch cos our next destination is Edakkal caves, 12 kms from Bathery..bus cost 14 Rs... containing prehistoric paintings...4000 B.C is how old the paintings are...

God bless the shopkeeper who tells us to leave our bags at his shop before climbing... oh what a climb.. the five of us are not weaklings...but we struggle through the climb to reach the top..splendid view and super caves.. history around us and the comforting thought of a downhill climb... we wind up by 17:30 hours and get on a bus to Mananthavady ( 27 Rs from Bathery for a journey of 48 kms)

Wayanad's wiles - 3

To Alaska or bust

Alaska tourist home is the place we decide to halt fr the night at Mananthavady and we experience super hospitality.. sexy double bedrooms for 100 bucks and 40 Rs. for an extra bed.. the rooms are cheap as the bathrooms are common.. but to our joy we find out that the bathrooms are common but they have locks that ensure that one bathroom is allocated with a separate bathroom.. in other words our rooms have bathrooms but they are not attached.. worth the money trust me.

Lovely settings but a 'small' temple

Kerala for all its communism is small in its outlook.. a case in point seen at the Thirunelly temple (32 kms from Mananthavady and 27.50 Rs. bus ticket, time 07:00 on 11th morning when we start).. the temple is set in pristine surroundings with hills surrounding it and a river running besides it..but non hindus are not allowed.. Ja, inspite of me insisting him to come, decides not to enter...being the principled man that he is, I am not surprised...Dil is upset that he has to remove his t-shirt cos he has put extra powder in his armpits..fortunately for him and unfortunately for the rest of us..there are no traces of the powder.. the temple is a small one and has nothing particularly appealing in an architecture point of view but for its location...definite must see just for its settings..
After breakfast, we head for Tholpetty Forest range.. 7 kms from Thirunelly...bus journey costs a total of 13 bucks

I have been going to forests for 34 years and I am yet to spot a tiger

Thats what Mr. Narayanan says..56 year old guy sitting next to me in the bus... he is heading towards Nagarhole sanctuary but decides to join us and come to Tholpetty.. he warns us that the chances of spotting wildlife are very low.. 50 % are the chances is what the forester at Tholpetty warns us.. are you sure you wanna go in ? Well, we have come all the way from Chennai, so even if we dont get to spot any animals, the forest is reason enough for us to go costs 300 Rs, guide costs 100 Rs and entrance fee of 80 Rs.... Ideal time to spot animals is in the mornings and the evenings.. the forest range is closed in the afternoons.. the written entries show that most of the tiger spottings are between 17:00 hrs to 18:30 hrs.. we got to go in the afternoon...thanks to influence..ahem ahem.

We get to spot a few deers and langurs but no tigers or elephants or bears... the forests at Tholpetty are definitely more denser than the ones at Muthanga... Lovely watch tower besides a watering hole too..which is sure to guarantee sightings...sure hope to stay overnight here next time around... But Narayan insists that Goa is the place where youngsters like us should be headed.

Wow, these are islands ?

We stop of at Kattikulam for lunch and regret every minute of it.. After lunch we take an auto to Kuruva Dweep ( 17 kms from Mananthavady and 8 kms from Kattikulam).. the auto guy charges us 50 Rs.. which we realise is a really meagre amount.. as the 8 kms are made up of roads which are sure suspension killers...
The autos are have more value for money than the buses.. the government buses have fancy ass technology for ticket delivery with the conductors equipped with electronic ticket machines...the machines are two years old..but the buses seem like they are thirty years old.. absolute torture.. we try to talk our auto guy into waiting.. but he tells us with a smiling face that there is a lot to see in Kuruva Dweep so it will take us time
Entrance fee to Kuruva Dweep is 25 Rs per head and is well worth the money... One can easily spend a day here...Its an uninhabited island and you have to take 2 ferries across. most steps and seats and benches are made of bamboo.. lovely they are.. sexy lakes surround the islands.. really a sight to see

Bye Bye Mananthavady

Night bus to Kannur starts from 01:00 hs from the Gandhi Park bus stand is the info we get when we call up Bathery bus stand (Ph - 04936 - 220217) The bus starts from Ooty and comes via Bathery to Mananathavady..
We get enough time to vist Pazhassi Raja's tomb... which is in Manathavady itself.. a nice 15 minute stroll from Alaska Tourist home.. nice little place nestled on a table top hill.. giving a nice view of the surroundings.. as the tomb is being spruced up we dont get much in the kind of information on Pazhassi Raja apart from him being a king who fought against the Brits and got killed in battle

Pack our bags after dinner at Garden Restaurant ( 180 Rs.. after carefully interrogating the waiter and extracting the information that the cheapest ice cream is 10 Rs, which is a 50 ml cup of Vanilla..Sreeps decides to order a Casatta ice cream...which the rest of us promptly gorge on) and say bye to the friendly reception attendant at Alaska...

Board the bus to Kannur... 56 Rs. for a very uncomfortable journey.. reack Kannur at 04:30 hrs.. bus to Kasargod starts at 05:00 hrs...

Wayanad's wiles - 4

Kasaragod is not Wayanad

Its a whole new district..the northernmost in Kerala.. Mangalore is a mere 51 kms from Kasaragod.. why are we here ? To see Bekal fort... the fort where Arvind Swamy serenades to Manisha Koirala in the film Bombay. Its 16 kms from Kasaragod... We initially decided to leave our bags in the cloak room at the railway station..but to our disappointment we discover that there is no cloak room at the station.. as our train is only at 22:15 p.m and we have reached Kasaragod at 08:30.. we are left with no option but to check into a lodge... we check into Airlines Hotel or something to that effect... by far the worst place i have stayed in.. lousy staff and lousier service.. buggers charged us extra for a triple bedroom with one bed broken and useless.. lousy place... especially coming after our wonderful stay at Alaska Tourist home in Mananthavady..

Thankfully Bekal Fort eased our irritation.. its a stunning sight but the weather proved to be a dampener.. bloody hot.. True lovers should serenade in the heat..not in the rain like the way Arvind Swamy does in the movie. In spite of the heat, the fort is truly stunning and we found ourselves a spot under a tree where we stopped off for a couple of hours before returning to Kasaragod.

The guys then went shopping for some traditional banana chips at Kasaragod town.. and Sreeps, Vish and Dil bought some Padhmukam which is this herbal powder to which boiled water is added and strained to get this flavoured water which is, i think, supposed to be healthy. All the restaurants we ate in served us water hot and pinkish brown in colour - thanks to this powder. All the restaurants had crockery as well..china flourished.

After dinner we checked out from the hotel unceremoniously and boarded the West Coast express to Chennai at 22:15.

Five days of super fun

In case you get a chance to go to Wayanad..take a nice torch with you.. this is useful in the forest as well as in the towns which go to sleep by 21:00 hrs.. lack of streetlights give it an eerie ambience.. torches will be useful
The fun factor of the trip is the responsibility of forest officer Sujith (Trivandrum range), A.K.Gopalan (Muthanga Range), Guide Rajeevan, Thangu aunty, a couple of auto drivers, Abhay from Alaska tourist home ( i think thats his name)... A big debt of gratitude to them all.

If you are from take the opportunity to go on a auto rickshaw ride.. its tough to find decent auto drivers in Chennai.. tough not to find decent ones in the north of Kerala..

Trip in brief(s) -

8th March 20:15 Board Mangalore mail from Chennai to Kozhikode, 9th March 08:30 Reach Kozhikode, 9th March 17:00 Reach Muthanga Forest, 10th March 14:00 Visit Edakkal caves, 10th March 20:00 Reach Mananthavady, 11th March 08:30 visit Thirunelly temples, 11th March 12:00 visit Tholpetty forest Range, 11th March 15:30 visit Kuruva Dweep, 12th March 01:00 start for Kannur, 12th March 05:00 start for Kasargod from Kannur, 12th March 08:30 reach Kasargod, 12th March 12:00 visit Bekal fort, 12th March 22:15 start for Chennai

Trip cost us 1600 Rs per person.. mainly for the bus was well worth the price paid... but like the credit card ad says.. the trip : 1600 Rs., the novel experience : priceless

Saturday, 25 August 2007


As I write this post, two buds of mine are doing things that I would have killed to do. Ok maybe not kill, but I sure wish I was in their place.

One is off to Iraq. That's right..IRAQ!!! The country where bombs go off every other day. Where there is a civil war happening between Shias and Kurds. Thats where she is going on a pilgrimage. She, her parents and 70 others if I am not mistaken. I would have loved to go to Iraq, although not with my parents and 70 others and never for a pilgrimage. Just to go and see and get an idea of what really happens and is happening there. To get my perspective on the war torn country. To understand the country that has given the world so much culture right from Mesopotamia to the Arabian Nights, which now lies devastated.

The other friend of mine has set off on a North India trip (atleast that is what he says, with him one can never be sure) He has set off on a quest for the all important truth. Hopefully his search will end under the shade of some Peepal tree. Most likely to be somewhere near Jamshedpur, but he could also be in Coonoor or hiding in his KK Nagar home.. With him one can never be sure.

Travelling is such a pleasure. I cant answer the question of Why does one travel. But I do know why I love to travel. Its for this moment, where everything else no longer exists and its just you and the surroundings, and you bond with the place like no one else can. Everyone feels wonder when they first visit the Taj Mahal, but everyone do not feel the wonder that you feel. When you first sight the Taj, it does not matter who is standing next to you. Mundane questions like where you are going to get your next meal from is pushed to the background. Its just you and the edifice of love, standing face to face.

Such moments can happen anywhere. On a crowded bus that suddenly breaks down in the middle of nowhere and it starts to rain. There you are, where? you are not sure. You just walk to the nearest tea shop, get yourself a hot tea and suddenly realise that the only thing on your mind is the tea you are sipping. You are in the moment.
Such moments is what I travel for, and I hope my two pals find many such moments in their trips. Famous last word - GOOMTAKKA

Beggars of the world...Unite !!!

The reason why i have asked all of you to turn up at such an early hour is to have an open discussion... why ?
Well my brothers in alms...i am fed up.. i am sick and tired of the lack of self respect.. the so called middle class does not seem to realise how tough a profession ours is... it aint easy to go up to those morons and beg.. let them give it a try... they never will.. and they dont realise the importance of us beggars...they dont realise the link we form in the economic cycle...

We need to stand up and be counted for.. We need to fight.. We need a union..but our union should be different...we unite not in strikes..we unite not for politics..we unite for the sake of penury...
I propose to start a union..but i dont like the term has a negative ring to it.. prefer to call it a conglomeration...and this conglomeration shall be called..... Albow(l) inc. pronounced ALL BOW.. as everyone will bow before us... we will have as our symbol an Aluminum Bowl..
Our first proposal will be a ban on Child Labour within the more will children beg... this will ensure that these kids dont exploit us older men... the bloody kids have become too smart these days..and with technology having become what it is..they get greater exposure at a younger age.. and in our business knowledge is power... kids run faster and have better physical capabilties and they also get more sympathy from the people and hence eat into our are smart alecs who may take over our organisation right from under our noses.. Hence for our betterment..we should ban child beggars under the pretext of a ban on child labour.

We should divide the conglomeration into different ministries or rather have seperate holding companies that will be separate entities but come under the umbrella of the Albow conglomeration.. I shall elucidate on what I mean by that... We should have a separate entity taking care of tourist spots... a separate entity for beggars with physical deformties... a separate entity for old aged.. a separate one for singers and artists.. separate mobile one which will take care of beggars who have to travel on trains and buses... separate entities for different corporations and cities... Having such separate entities will ensure that no one eats into the other's profit.. these entities will collect the daily wages and take a small bit and put it in a fixed deposit account...the members of each entity will get a share of the interest generated and have separate accounts in banks initially, where the interest will get distributed in their names.. in the near future, the members will get insurace as well.. of course you wont have mediclaim cos that will eat up into the profits we can get.. always remember - a sick beggar is more valuable than a healthy beggar.

Taking inspiration from the present goverment's Employment Guarantee Scheme... I propose to have a 100 day begging duty guarantee scheme where we could combine it with a paid holiday.. what i am trying to say is.. for eg. We give holiday for ten members from the physical disabilty entity in a particular city..and during those ten days..we replace their post with trainees...these trainees will get hundred days in ten day shifts every year...
We should also have an age limit for the members... the age limit should be flexible.. those with physical disabitily can be members at a young age...those with no handicaps whatsoever apart from poverty should become members only when they cross 58 years of age...till that time they are physically capable of doing menial tasks...
In case there are those special beggars who cant find menial jobs... they can join the pension scheme where they will get pension till they become fifty eight years of age.. membership to the pension scheme will be open to only those who bring with them the right references...

And finally, the first and foremost task is to remove the false notion of prostitution being the oldest profession by legitimising Begging as a profession....

Now, all those in favour of the setting up of Albow Inc... say please !!!

Friday, 24 August 2007

A dummy's guide to football terms

Red and Yellow Cards – These are cards used for warning a player if his fouls are too violent… Red Card means automatic expulsion.. Two Yellow Cards in the same game will get the same punishment.

Offside – The simplest as well as most confusing (and controversial) rule in football that involves the striker to be behind the opponent teams player when a ball is passed forward to him by his teammate. See what I mean by being simple and confusing at the same time.

Striker - The player who gets to put the most number of goals and hence gets the most media coverage.

Midfielder – The player who plays in the middle of the football field. He can be attacking or defending depending on which part of Europe he is coming from.

Defender – The most hardworking group of players especially if you are playing Brazil. Don’t get any media coverage as they try to stop goals from being scored.

Goalkeeper – Stands before the net and prays that the ball never comes his way. Complains about the striker being offside some of the times, complains about his defender being inadequate some of the times, complains about the ball's aerodynamics all of the times.

Penalty kick - If an opponent is fouled inside the 20 yard box around your goal, then the opponent gets a penalty kick which means they get a chance at taking a shot at the goal from the penalty spot with only the goal keeper as a barrier.

Free Kick – If a player is fouled anywhere else then they get a free kick.. That is they get to kick the ball without any opponent player trying to take the ball away from them.

Dribbling – The art of kicking the ball with your legs and getting it through the opponents. Basically, it is a skill that any great player requires. Don’t tell David Beckham that though.

Weighted Pass – The perfect pass that requires the receiver only to put his foot or head on to the ball and the ball magically flies into the goal.

Header – When you strike the football with your head.

Crossbar – The bar across the top of the goal.

Upright – The posts on either side of the goal.

Corner Kick – When the ball goes out of play behind your goal and if your teammate is the last to touch the ball then your opponent gets to kick the ball in from the corner near your goal.

Metatarsal – Not a traditional football term but now pretty common after every top player in England (David Beckham in 2002, Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney in 2006) getting an injuring his metatarsal…that is basically what normal people call the TOE.

GOOOOAAAALLLL!!! – you dont need me to tell you what this is, right ??

Divine Blasphemy

I dont smoke.. or consume liquor.. or do drugs.. the closest i get to a hangover is eating beef ( at least that's what it says on the menu ) at this fast food named besant fast food... and every time i get a chance to sneak out and have this senses conquering bits of cow or bull or dog or rat.. really cant make out by the taste or the colour and the light in the fast food is not that great

To my one international reader... (the other one quit reading my blogs after the one about my love) when i type fast have to read it as road side junk outlet..and i hope you continue to read my posts even after this one

Anyway... every time i eat the beef... in the night i am haunted or rather disturbed by really intellectual dreams... and the next morning my family is disturbed by my flatulence skills... this routine took place last night.. and this morning... and the following conversation is the stuff my dreams are made of :-

Divine Blasphemy continued 1

Dream Conversation Pals : wake up vinsamp... wake up... its time for your dream...

Me: huh.. oh yeah.. i had that beef didnt i.. but who are you guys.. what happened to the cross-dressing richard nixon and the voltaire quoting marilyn monroe ??

D.C.P : well today you actually had real beef at that joint.. so you get us

M: so who are you guys.. looks like tonight its a technicolour dream huh

D.C.P: I am Prophet Mohammed.. and the man next to me is Lord Krishna

M: I am James Bond

Note:- Reader(s) from here on i will not be typing D.C.P or M so hope you guys understand without it... and if you dont.. well you are not missing anything

yeah right vinsamp... we know who you are.. and james bond has six pack abs not six flat tyres..

oh is that the only difference between james and me.. thats not so bad..

ok vinsamp is that all you have to discuss with us

well what the hell do you think.. that i keep a list of questions ready in case i get to meet prophet Mohammed and lord Krishna.. hey prophet.. how come you are... you know a person.. isn’t that like not right

first of all vinsamp.. this is the Danish cartoon version of me.. that’s why i am so colourful and i have this Chinese accent.... and secondly please don’t call me prophet all the time.. i wanna be a part of the 21st century.. so please call me Pro-Mo.. you got that dude..

Pro-Mo ??? ok.. so what do you wanna be called lordakrish ?? just stick to Krish.. i am the ISKCON version you know.. so i am truly international...

Pro-Mo and Krish.. thats cool... so Pro-Mo.. first question to you.. whats with this no personification nonsense huh

well vinsamp.. you see i thought it best that the people should not bow down to one person or thing... they should not be slaves so to speak.. i wanted them to be true to themselves not to some idol...

and besides as you can see vin... the man is bloody ugly

hey krishna, you aint that great looking yourself.. blacky

ok ok hold it.. listen this is my dream.. and i am the only one who gets to throw insults here.. alright... Pro-Mo.. .there are a few things i have a prob with.. first is this thing about men getting to marry as many women

hey hey vinsamp hold on a minute.. i never made that man-marry-many rule.. that was made by some others during the crusades.. the reason was that as many of my followers were dying in the wars... the wise men thought that the only way to ensure that Islam would continue to exist was to let the men marry many women so even if they die in the war.. atleast they will have many offsprings back in Arabia...

ok fine Pro-Mo.. fine.. the law change seems ok then.. but why is it continuing now.. please dont give me jehadi as a reason.. now there is no crusades and there are abundant muslims so why cant the law be removed... isnt it anti women.. atleast one thing about hinduism is that there is no such laws

yeah in hinduism case one woman got to marry five men... check out Draupadi.. thats true equality for women

please shut up Krish.. out of those five men.. two thought of her as an elder sister... one used to discuss military strategies with her when she was pregnant... the fourth gambled her away.. and the fifth was a violent glutton.. and this whole nonsense happened because she was mistaken for a thing and was asked to be split five ways... please keep quite and smoke on your ISKCON dope for sometime.. now Pro-Mo even otherwise.. there are some really tough rules for women.. like the triple talaaq rule for instance

you think it should have been made five talaaqs instead


oh ok.. well.. well..

Divine Blasphemy continued 2

see that vinsamp.. pro-mo does not know what to say.. ha ha ha

oh you dont laugh Krish.. i am just gonna start with you...why should people have to shave their hair off.. women included.. is the hindu god some sick psychopath who will dispel his favours only to those who are uglier than him... why should they have to pierce their tongues.. walk on fire... roll on the ground.. do sit ups.. the list is endless...

well vinsamp... when they shave off their head.. .the roots become stronger.. look at my mane of hair... how lustrous they are.. and the rolling on the ground is physio therapy..and..

oh is it.. then what about all this ruckus made about some woman touching the idol at the sabarimala temple and causing it to become impure

hey dude.. thats because my bro ayyapa is the idol there and he is celibate..

so am i krish.. and i dont get any sex fantasy every time a girl touches me... and he is supposed to be god.. so he should have superior mind control.. if you ask me a true god is someone who can go to the playboy mansion and still not get an erection even if he has angelina jolie trying to give him a really hot blow.. if he can do that.. then he is really some god..


hey krish... woah boy.. you think she is hot too huh.. i heard you were some hot stuff in your time.. women used to go crazy over you na... now if i tried to stick a peacock feather in my hat and play the flute.. either they will call me gay... or they will set their dogs after me.. but coming back to that sabarimala thing... what kind of god is he if he loses his control to some local kannada actress.. and Pro-Mo what about all the women having to wear black from head to toe.. that too in the humid weather of chennai.. and krish...

Divine Blasphemy continued 3

Vinu wake up wake up...

oh hi mom... what is the matter...

could you please stop farting and get ready need to go to coll remember.. and why does your expulsions stink so much.. and dont forget to break coconuts at the temple before you go ok

oh ma.. you shouldnt make an agnostic do all this.. come on.. have you ever thought what money these temples will be making selling those coconuts to some hotel or restaurant...

what is this agnostic nonsense... you dont believe in god is it.. how can you say such a thing

no ma.. if i dont believe in god than i would be an atheist.. an agnostic is someone who believes in science and who thinks god will exist if he is proved by science to exist..

that means you are neither this nor that

ma, i am not this nor that.. i am an agnostic.. i like to think that rationality and pragmatism is what is necessary in this world

Vinu, Are you on drugs ???

How many coconuts should i break???

That Orkut is no good

This disclaimer has been added to this post since i have been bombarded with hate mail from a few christian groups, homosexual anonymous, UNILAPDA ( Universal Lap Dancers Association), St. Paedo's Brothel and a few Mary Magdalenes, Dan Brown, My Classmate and last but not the least many pissed off juniors who thought they were sweet

DISCLAIMER :- All names, places and characters mentioned in the following blog are purely pigments of my imagination.. any similarities to living or dead people, animals or trees is purely a matter of what we self proclaimed imaginative people call coincidence.. any attempt of taking me to court will only result in a detailed report of my bankruptcy

Bless me father for i have sinned.. i have broken a few commandments.. which number ?? i dunno father.. i am not too sure.. but i am absolutely certain that i broke some commandment.. and oh father i was the one who broke your window when we did that protest against the Da Vinci Code.. i threw the book away in protest when i realised that there was no sex in the book.. i mean considering Mary Magdalene was a prostitute.. there could have atleast been a lap dance as a last appetiser during the last supper..or sophie could have flashed her tits to distract 'the teacher' in that cathedral.. although it wouldn't have worked in the movie.. as the actor who played leah teabing is gay.. no i dont mean he is happy father.. although he is, what i am trying to say is..uh.. forget it..anyways.. thats not the sin i am here to confess about...

father.. i have invaded a person's privacy... but it didnt really strike me i was... no father.. i was not one of the paparazzis who took photos of the wives and girlfriends of the English footballers playing in a swimming pool in their hotel... but how did you come to know about something like that ?? oh.. divine knowledge huh... coming back to my sin father... i am a member of this online community called orkut.. no father thats not a protestant group... its not a christian community father.. it's online space where you can hang out... listen father i shall give you computer science lessons another day.. now could we please get back to my sin... listen i went through the profile of one of my juniors in college... and its like this... she is a sweet girl and all.. and the profile is open to anyone to read... and she knows that people read about it.. and she has mentioned about being committed in a relationship..that also is father i never had romantic feelings for this girl.. but one of my friends did.. no father i dont have romantic feelings for her boyfriend, I am not gay. Oh! for heaven's sake of course i am happy.. that's not what i meant by not being gay.. oh FATHER!! PLEASE !!! I just feel guilty thats all.. what.. her boyfriend is some sort of a writer... no no not the dan brown kind... just a writer with some big newspaper... what the hell.. i 'm sorry father.. but the boyfriend or that girl has nothing to do with the sin.. it's just that i feel like i have gone through some personal diary or something.. i feel guilty of invading someone's privacy... no father i dont have CD's of the Da Vinci Code movie... oh Padre i meant PRIVACY not PIRACY... God damnit...Sorry..but you really do push it father.

Father, my grey cells suddenly got this bulb shedding light on some dark areas..your deep dark secrets could get out on this orkut... what no father not literally yours father.. the yours is used more generally here... it could be anyone.. and some other person could read it... what... no father there are no bishops from boston in orkut... although i did spot a community called St.Paedo's Brothel.... dunno if they are related.. how the hell did Boston bishops come into the picture now.. sorry.. how does it matter now... i feel like i have sinned.. now.. what do i do ??

dont ever use orkut... that's your solution... ok father thank you... and please bless me, for i am about to sin

That crazy little thing

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... I was in this pastry shop.. having this delicious Black Forest.. it was really only ordinary.. but its status got raised to delicious because of the fact that i didnt have to pay for friend did.. and thats what made it the best of times and the worst of times.. cos now i needed to sit through a conversation with this guy... dont get me wrong.. this guy is a nice guy... who is working and i am not ( i am just trying to justify the free pastry here ).. but he has this annoying habit of complaining about his relationship to me.. and in all modesty I confess... I am the worst thing that has happened to relationships.. and the brave, noble girl(s) who have had to face the ignominy of being in a relationship with me will bear testimony to that... The moral of the story.. buy me all the pastries you want and i will be grateful to you for the rest of my life.. but please dont take me for a friend in need.. Indeed all i need is the Black Forest

If any budding film maker or ace director gets inspired to make a film based on this post.. please pay attention to details that i am adding in BOLD

Queen song :- "RADIO GA-GA" playing in the background

This guy starts asking me questions.. and i answer.. the pastry is brilliant, why wouldnt it be... my parents are fine.. college is ok, going on.....

The questions stop... he is waiting.. i am not going to ask you dude.. no way am i going to ask you...

After waiting for a minute ( it could have been longer.. cos i lost count of time trying to deftly maneuvre a cherry on to my spoon ) he started... She is really getting on my nerves..

As innocently as Oliver Twist asking for a little more gruel i ask The cherry ??

What cherry.. no you idiot BLANK

God damn it.. thats it i am no longer coming out for free cake.. i hate the conversation obligation.. thats what i am saying in my mind.. but my mouth choses to disobey my brain and out comes the words... What did BLANK do now ??

She is so irritating.. you wont believe what she did.. she went out swimming with her ex-boyfriend..

So what.. its only her ex na.. you are her present da.. and come on.. if she was doing anything hanky panky. why would she tell you she went swimming with her ex bf.. unless she wants you to be her ex and make the ex her present

"RADIO GA-GA" ends... "SOMEBODY TO LOVE" begins

She didnt tell me at first.. she only told me about it when i playfully teased her with that guy

Now you know what kind of a guy i am dealing with.. here is this idiot who teases his girlfriend with her ex.. Why would anyone want to do that... But my mouth as you must have guessed by now did not listen to my brain.. and instead asked.. Did you ask her why she didnt tell you before

Yes i did.. thats what is pissing me off the most.. the reason why she didnt tell me was 'because you never asked' thats what she says.. she says i never asked so she didnt tell me.. that female tells me about her friends when i dont ask.. tells me about her family when i dont ask... tells me about....

ok ok dude i get the point.. you are angry that she tells you all this.. you prefer she doesnt tell you anything is it.. i agree with you..

NO YOU IDIOT.. I want her to tell me everything. i cant believe i had to come and talk to you out of all the people... you relationship-challenged nincompoop.. Waiter get us chocolate truffle

Ok there is a limit to the insults i would take.. but thanks to the truffle he didnt yet reach the limit So you think she doesnt trust you enough is it ??

I just dont understand why she couldnt have told me then.. i mean i would have got angry but i am sure i wouldnt be as angry as i am now...

The lesser of two angers... why do i get myself into all this ??? the waiter brings the Chocolate Truffle to answer that question... Ok.. So you dont like getting news late.. you have this congenital aversion to news that are a week old..

There is nothing wrong with my genitals

No no.. what i was trying to say is... that you dont like old news..

Its not old news... I dunno what it is..

Ok you dont like the ex seeing BLANK in her swimming costume..

Hell i never even thought of that

OH OH Sriharikota we have a problem... Hey i was just joking dude.. come on every girl would have been in swim suits there And from what i have seen of BLANK... I HOPE THERE WERE OTHER GIRLS..

Ya i guess you are right... but i still feel like i have been wronged

Just break up with her dude...

I can't

Why did you lose a bet Why da ??

Becasuse I love her da.. I love BLANK

Freddie Mercury starts crooning "CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE"

P.S. - All names have been blanked to avoid legal haggles.. as i have this chronic fear of the words 'your' and 'honour' when they come in that order.

In an India far far away ???

You heard about the Congress's manifesto... they have announced a quota for left handers... left handers get 25% reservation in train tickets..

You have to be kidding.. but why left handers.. why not right handers..

Stupid fellow.. dont you know anything about Politics... Left handers are the minority.. and Politics is all about the minority... when they vote.. the parties get a majority

Oh ?? What have the other parties done to woo the minority who make the majority..

The BJP have announced some package for old people.. old people who are in their death bed get free medical treatment... Apparently this was one of their founding father's dreams... But he surprisingly lost the following election in the early part of the 21st century.. BJP claim that the ballot boxes were shining too much and this blinded the voters and hence they pressed the wrong buttons..

But this Medical sop will be very good for politicians na.. they all have such long lives... Even in the early twentieth century when the average life expectancy in our country was only in the 40's or so.. These guys lived to such ripe ages

Thats the only thing that these guys are above average in... Only the good die young.. you know the Left are still riding on their Anti-US stand.. Their main promise is to increase the number of states in India to 51... that way India will have more states then U.S.. and hence we will be better than them.. atleast thats what they think
Oh dont we already have more than 51 states...

No no.. we had only 48 states and 18 Union Territories... the Left just dont see things right... i tell you... I had always been a supporter of some of the ideals of Communism... Karl Marx must be tired of all the turning around he does in his grave thanks to the antics the Left parties pull... Did you know they actually opposed the introduction of computers in governance during the 1970's.. Saying that it will cause unemployment... It was only during the Emergency that computers could be introduced... That's what India needs... A dictatorship
Oh come on.. everyone knows that the emergency was a nightmare... And so was Hitler... Mussolini... Saddam....Idi Amin... the list is endless...No dictator has really done any good so far

You are right... Let me alter what i said... What India needs is me as her dictator.. Hey where you going ??

I am going to start learning to do things left handed... should make my family learn too... Who wants to be a part of the majority... when you can be a part of the minority.....

Thank you Srikanth Uncle

Srikanth Uncle was a fun guy... especially to kids below the age of twelve... like i was when i first met him.. He had this conveyor belt of jokes.. and to be fair to the man the jokes would only makes kid laugh... He could always make that boring party, that we ( my bro and i ) were forced to attend, really great fun.. by telling us jokes... funny stories and best of all...He sang The Army Song....

Oh, I don't wanna join the army life
Oh man i wanna go, Woman i wanna go
Show me the way to go home....

Chorus ends
The boots in the army they say are mighty fine.. if you ask for number seven they give you number nine

Oh, I don't wanna join the army life
Oh man i wanna go, Woman i wanna go
Show me the way to go home....

Chorus ends
The Coffee in the army they say are mighty fine... if you ask for a cuppa coffee they give you iodine

Oh, I don't wanna join the army life
Oh man i wanna go, Woman i wanna go
Show me the way to go home....

Chorus ends
The movies in the army they say are mighty fine... if you ask for Charlie Chaplin they give you Frankenstein

Oh, I don't wanna join the army life
Oh man i wanna go, Woman i wanna go
Show me the way to go home....

Song ends

I always sang the chorus... Actually there were more lines to the song... but my memory fails me.. It never fails to remember the good times we had though... Srikanth Uncle passed away a few years back.. he had had a lot of family problems and health problems... but we kids never knew that because he always had that joke to tell... or that story to narrate.. and when he didnt have the jokes or the story.. we always had our Army Song....

638 ways to kill Fidel Castro

The title of this post is also the title of a book that is to be published sometime soon..The author: none other than the man who was paid to keep Fidel alive.. Fabian Escalante..I aint too sure if the U.S.A actually tried to bump off the man 638 times... but i am sure no one doubts that the number is over twenty atleast... But Fidel still lives... and the man is Eighty... recovering from a surgery to his intestine..

Before i continue writing about Fidel and Cuba... i must confess... i do have Leftist sympathies.. but that dont make me a Communist.. and i am quoting a very wise man when i say this - " the very basis of communism is built around individuals not possessing more than what they need.. .this goes completely against human behaviour.. We all want more than what we have.." I second this opinion.. but i have always leaned towards the Left... Although i got really pissed when i found out that no fruit stall in Kolkata ( the capital of the state of West Bengal in India, which has a Communist Government for more than 3 decades) sold apples... Its not like i am overtly fond of apples.. just so happened that i needed one urgently at that point of time and couldnt find it anywhere.. reason the fruit sellers say - "NO ONE BUYS APPLES HERE".. i still blame the Communists for this.... For making me walk many kilometres in search of apples that were never there...

I wonder if the CIA ever poisoned Castro's apples.. but i guess they wouldnt have succeeded... but what amazedme and inspired me to write this post was one simple fact... The distance between Havana and Florida :- 90 miles... The distance between U.S.A and Afghanistan :- more than 6000 miles... Successive U.S governments have not been able to do anything to dislodge the Cuban Govenrnment under Fidel.. This small island led by a very big man has fought on.. and most importantly.. they have won...

The article that made me write this post ended with this joke which does the rounds in Cuba... A man once presented Fidel Castro a Galapagos Turtle ( or was it Tortoise) he said the turtle would live upto hundred years... and Fidel says..


Certainly not Dickens

May i come in, Mr. President ??

Hay Come on in Corndee... how ya doing

Mr. President, I need to discuss the Lebanon-Israel issue with you...

What is it Corndee ?

Well Mr. President.. its pretty serious

C'mon you can always tell me.. Wassup Corndee ??

Somehow I cant get myself to discuss something as grave and serious as the Lebanon-Israel war with a 50 year old jumping on a pogo stick...

Oh Corndee.. I am so sorry.. you wanna play too huh... ok.. wait i shall give it to you

No thats not what i meant Mr. President.. it would be better if you could put that away until i finish talking to you

Why are you so formal with me Corndee... Mr.President it seems... call me Georgey Porgey...

Oh hell... This is very serious Mr.President... Israel are alienating themselves from the rest of the world by continuing with the bombing and capturing of Lebanon.. Too many innocent people are dying and you want me to call you Georgey Porgey

What is this Lebanon thing... I thought they were at war with a country called Hisballah.. where did Lebanon come from ??

Didnt the vice-president brief you at all ?? how can you be so ignorant..

Its hereditary Corndee... I think i got it from my dad..

Oh hell Mr. President... What is the matter with you... Cant you atleast read the papers

Hey relax Corndee.. you seem to be really tense... Shall i give you a massage...I gave one to Angela Merkel recently..

Yeah.. and she grimaced.. and they splashed it all over the media...

I wonder why women don't like my massage... Dick seems to like it a lot... He once got so invigorated by my massage that he went out and shot someone

Ya and that ended up as a field day for the press...

Well.. it's not my fault... i thought he was going to shoot some animal

Anyway.. Mr.President.. I think we should give a stern warning to Israel...

You do.. well let me ask Dick...


Well Corndee... He has more brains than me.. My Pop always told me always do what the man with more brains tell ya... and he was my boss when i was working ...

He was Mr.President.. not is

Ok Corndee... but he still very smart

Great, now your english is getting screwed...

Corndee.. you are the one who is screwed up.. my english is in tune with the times... the worse your english is the more you get elected.. as the people look at you as being one among them

Ok Mr.President... now what about Israel

Well let me ask Dick..

Well your Dick happens to be fond of Jews

Hey even i like juice.. especially papaya...

Oh Christ.. Mr.President you really need to do something about your general knowledge..

Well let me ask Dick..

Mr.President you really need to do something about you English

Well let me ask Dick..

Mr.President you really should stop talking in public

Well let me ask Dick..

Mr.President you have to stop saying 'Well let me ask Dick'

Well let me ask Dick..

Mr.President.. I resign

Well let me ask Dick..

Dont Blacken Its Name

I happened to be running through the TV channels practising my remote control tricks.. when i happened to see a flash news about Amitabh Bachchan being a front-runner for the Best Actor Award for the movie Black... Ok.. i am no expert on acting... and i am not staking my claims to be one either.. but i consider myself to be a part of the viewing audience... admittedly a more discerning one perhaps... and this news came as a complete shock for many reasons..
Reason 1:- Black is a remake of an English movie, and i am pretty certain that there is a rule somewhere - if there isnt there should be one - that remakes should not be considered for any award

Reason 2:- Mr. Bachchan is super personality.. and a much better actor than many actors in India.. but in Black.. c'mon it was hamming.. not acting.. It comes as no surprise that the Jury Chairman is one Saroja Devi who acted opposite one of the 'greatest' actors and arguably the greatest over actor 'Shivaji' Ganesan

Ok the truth is I have not watched every movie that has been released in India in the past year... and i am not going to say who acted better than Mr.Bachchan.. but i just think its not good for those independent filmmakers and actors who strive to keep the legacy of great directors like Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak and Aravindan, if the awards go to Bollywood (a horrible term) movies.. the awards and the prize money that come with it are , in most cases, the only motivation these fimmakers have.. their movies dont get the distribution the Hindi movies get... and its only through these awards that they can get some meaning to their pursuit to create moments of magic through cinema...

Cinema represents the culture of a country... As much as Bollywood represents India to the world.. how many Indians can really relate to the trash that is produced from the extremely fecund dream-factory that resides at Mumbai.. Of course, Black is an exception in most ways... but its not an original story.. the only thing original about the movie is the cinematography apart form the things that make it Bollywood worthy....

Last year Saif Ali... this year could be AB... oh hell.... to look at the positives at least getting it for Black is better than the one he was gifted by Rajiv Gandhi ( for Agnipath i think)... When will normality resume.. or was there ever any normality in the National Awards ?

The Art of Living vis-a-vis The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Tathvam #1 - Make the most of Opportunities and Seize the moment :- Best exemplified when Eli Wallach remarks "When you wanna shoot, shoot ! Dont' talk !". If the man he kills had just shot Eli Wallach's character instead of making a speech about his struggles in life, he might have had more screen time.

Tathvam #2 - Life goes around in circles :- Eli Wallach's character screaming "One B*****d goes in and another one comes out" shows us how you could end up experiencing the same things at different stages of your life.

Tathvam #3 - Always strive to gain the most out of any situation :- Best understood in the way Clint Eastwood keeps saving Eli Wallach from the hangman's noose... only to return him back to the Sheriff one Eli Wallach's monetary value increases.. best exemplified by Clint's dialogue with Eli.. when he says "How much do you think you are worth now"

Tathvam #4 - A man becomes the man he is by the choices he makes :- To fully understand this tip.. just pay more attention to the scene between Eli Wallach (the outlaw) and his brother (the priest).. Movie line to take note of - Eli tells his bro "In our town you either became a priest or an outlaw" or something to that effect

Aint no song by Sister Sledge

I have not missed my brother too much in the past one and half odd years. He has been studying law at a college in a city in a state that does not happen to be the state nor the city nor the college that i happen to be in. And i am sure the feeling of 'not missing' is mutual. As we arent too close considering how close brothers tend to be. But i must admit. I really missed my bro last saturday night. I really should mail him more often
I was at a wedding reception. The 'lucky' groom was my cousin. A concoction of so-called lack of time mixed with a lot of selfishness and a seasoning of nuclear family pressure has left me a 'funeral and wedding' relative. The kind of vermin who happens to show up in weddings and funerals with a toothy smile plastered on my face. I even managed to skip the last funeral in my family. But believe me I was not too happy about it.

I was not too happy about going for the reception either. Hey dont get me wrong. I really like the cousin in whose honour the reception was. The prob was the only people of my generation happened to be the groom and his sister. But she was all busy being the groom's sister to pay attention to little old me.

What that left me doing was answering questions like 'Hey how did you grow so fast ?' from people who last saw me fifteen years back. But all good things must come to an end and after an initial ten minutes or so, the questions stopped and the different sections of my family took to their respective corners of the hall.

Please do understand that my family are a bunch of wonderful, talented, intelligent and sometimes funny people. But my basic lack of communication skills and a big lack of communication skills in their language of choice and last but not the least the dreaded generation gap ensured that i would not be getting a look at all the talent, intelligence and humour that i had mentioned at the start of this para. Atleast not on that day.

After the initial starting problem i had taken my seat. And i had taken up the 'I am too arrogant to give a damn about what you think of me - but i am a really sweet guy' pose for about ten minutes and then the devil's workshop started spewing out commands which the idle body had no choice but to obey. The first command was to overhear nearby conversations. "Isnt the girl wearing a nice saree". Hell. "The guy has put on weight" Yawn. "How times have changed, the invitation says to avoid gifts". Hmmm this could be interesting.

The invitation for the reception had this nice one-liner at the bottom. "Kindly avoid bringing gifts". But whats so 'how times have changed' about that. I turned around to find out whose conversation i was listening to and i see two angelic old ladies enjoying the company of their own generation. The old lady who had made the earlier comment went on to say -"In my wedding the invitation said 'Please bring your ration card' "

It turns out that in the early years of our independence. The country was suffering from a drastic shortage in rice and the central government had banned parties of more than 15 odd people because they felt there could be a wastage of rice. To circumvent this law, guests to weddings were asked to bring their ration cards along so that if the police dropped in, the guests would show their ration cards and then lie saying that they had all brought rice from their rations and given for the party.

Rice shortage was so bad that people used to boil wheat grains like the way they boiled rice. It was like chewing gum without the spearmint flavour. Rice shortage was so bad, that the communist government in Kerala imported Macaroni. Imagine the poor Malayalis who would most likely have added coconut milk, coconut oil, and grated coconuts with the macaroni and had it with coconut chutney. Yech. I dont need to tell ya that the measure was not really a popular one. And the communist government soon stopped governing
Ha whats that smell. The devil's workshop has been distracted by the heavenly smell of Pulao and Chicken Manchurian and Mutton Rogan Josth (or Gosth) and Gobi Manchurian and Paneer Butter Masala. Ha dinner is served. Wah. What lovely food. My brother nust be gnawing on his hostel roti served to help develop the muscles of the lower jaw. He will be really pissed when he finds out about the menu.

I really should mail him more often

From Goldenlocks to Papa Bear

Been wanting to write this post for a long time. Actually only for two weeks or so. A tribute to Andre Agassi. But a sudden rumour forced me to postpone. The rumour grew into a fact on sunday night and that means i get to go ahead with my tribute. The rumour i refer to - Michael Schumacher retiring.

Now how the hell is that related to Andre Agassi. They are both legendary sportsmen. True, but thats not it. They were supremely fit sportsmen who reached many summits when they were among the oldest practitioners in their respective sports. True, but thats not it. They were two of the most marketed sportsmen. True, but thats not it. They are maried to Germans. True, but thats not it.

The reason.......I hated them both. I used to curse Andre everytime he slapped a forehand return winner to a 130 mph first serve from Sampras. Abused Michael when he clinically pulled out one fastest lap over another in bloody wet conditions, making times that would put to shame the timings that some backmarkers used to make in dry conditons. I would love to add more on Michael but that can wait till Interlagos. Me shall stick to Andre for now.

Its only after the 1999 Wimbledon Finals, that i started liking Andre. More specifically it was after his comment of "Pete could have walked on water today" after losing that made me see the character of the man. He had just won the French. Oh, how i hated him for that. He had a French Open which Pete will never own. I didnt even care for how he won the French. Made no difference to me that he came back from two sets to nil down against Andrei Medvedev.

At the end of the French Open everyone was talking about how the love of Anke Huber had brought back the best of Medvedev, when at the same time Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi were busy falling in love. They had met many times before (including the Champions ball at Wimbledon in 1992) but they really noticed each other at the dinner after the French Open in 1999. Graf had beaten Hingis in three sets the previous day and i guess it easy to fall in love with each other when you both happen to be multiple Grand Slam champions. They seem perfect for each other. Steffi never cried after winning, she hardly smiled. Steffi retired the day after she lost the Wimbledon finals in 1999 to Davenport. No tears, no smiles. Just a brief press statement.

Andre certainly couldnt do that could he. He was from Las Vegas for crying out loud and crying out loud is what he did. He also made one heck of a speech. It was in another post match speech that I started to like him. Like i said before - "Pete could have walked on water today" and with that one statement he had one more person cheering him on. If Pete loses cheer for Andre, unless Pete loses to Andre. If that happens abuse every single member of the Agassi clan from Las Vegas to Teheran.

But now, Andre has made his teary farewell and it hits me straight in the gut, like a tennis ball annihilated by Roddick's serve, that i am really gonna miss Andre. Pete could never be Pete without Andre. So much so, i now feel Pete needed Andre more than Andre needed Pete. When Andre first started playing McEnroe had won his eight slams, Wilander had none, Becker had two, Pete wasnt a pro and a 5 year old kid named Roger must have been dreaming of milking cows in Switzerland.

When Andre retires - Becker has long gone, so has Edberg, Pete retired with 14, Federer has won 9. My point is Andre seems to have been through 3 generations of tennis players. Pete was a brilliant player but Andre had more fans and more people to cheer him because of the fact that he was not perfect. He was a brash teenager who boycotted Wimbledon because of the London club's all-white dress code. He was a flashy young twenty year old who had a hollywood wife and three slams. Then, best of all, he was the man who lost it all - his hollywood wife, his fitness-he became really fat (for a tennis player), his hair and most importantly- his game. So much so he played in challenger tournaments.

But comeback he did. His career has been a kind of beacon for everyone of us. A true example of how one can make it back to the top with sincerity and hard work. He got back all - a legendary wife and two kids, super fitness and most important, his game - 5 slams. Of course, he didnt get his hair back.

When Pete retired, we got Roger. Who do we have for Andre ??

Not likely to enter The O.E.D

Ever so often i find the English vocabulary inadequate.. so here's my attempt to fill up the void.

1. Nes - a word that is used to say yes when you really want to say No !!! Useful in answering questions like - So you agree with me ? Isn't she lovely ? Do you like it ?

2. Yno (pronounced - yino)- a word used to say no when you really want to say Yes !!! Useful in answering questions like - Am i fat ? Did you drink ?

3. Seabowing - a verb that is used to describe the action of jostling with elbows, for the common armrest, with the person sitting next to you in theatres and buses etc.

4. Seabower - someone who is sitting next to you and jostles for the common armrest with elbow.

5. Hair-plucker - a person who causes you to feel the same emotion that you get when a single hair is plucked from a sensitive part of your body... cannot, i repeat, CANNOT be used with person who work in salons or beauty parlours...for eg, it can be used with bus conductors who force you to get off the bus as he does not have change for a ten rupee note when you urgently need to get to college to write a test, there is a bus conductor in route 23 C who is a real hair-plucker.

6. Extrahair-plucker - a person who works in a salon or a beauty parlour who causes you to feel the same emotion that you get when a single hair is plucked from a sensitive part of your body.

7. Nessie - illusion of a super sexy and hot babe that you imagine your ugly girlfriend to be. (origin from the Lochness Monster)

8. Abo - illusion of a super sexy and hot hunk that you imagine your fat boyfriend to be. (origin from the Abominable Snowman)

9. Deja who - when you think or dream of something and it happens later on but its not fully same.. eg, you dream of getting a blind date with Gisele Bundchen..and the next day you actually go on a blind date and everthing happens the same way as the dream but a woman with a mousch and bad teeth comes and joins you.

Dr. Freud's Interpretations

Dr. Freud, I have this problem, and i heard that you are the father of psychiatry so i thought i shall come to you for help. You see the prob is that its not really something i detest, its just that it can be really distracting sometimes. The problem is that, ever since last friday, i keep thinking that every girl i see is wearing a bikini.

No doc, i am not a follower of Mussolini. No doc, i dont detest Prodi. No doc, i didnt eat italian food. What's that got to do with my problem ?

No doctor i dont think every girl i see is Silvio Berlusconi. I said i keep seeing girls wearing Bikinis. You know girls who are clothed in perfectly acceptable everyday formal and casual wear end up in colourful beach wear when i converse with them. Oh you dont know what a bikini is ? Its a sexy costume that girls wear doc. Its looks like undergarment but just that its not worn under. Now how can i explain to you. Ah, Have you seen Dr. No, you know the scene were Ursula Andress comes out of the sea wearing a Bikini ?

No Ursula does not undress doc. A-N-D-R-E-S-S. thats the lady's surname. No doc. Dr. No is not a prequel to Doctor No ! No ! - the illicit adventures of a nubile nurse. Dr. No is a james bond flick. In fact, its the first James Bond flick. Listen doctor, I cant be giving you the lowdown about James Bond now ok. Let's get back to my problem here. I see every girl in a bikini !!!!

I remind you of who ? Oedipus ? Woah doc, wait a minute. Before you even think about going there. I see only young women in bikini. You know under 30 years of age. I am 22. So that rules out Oedipus and Electra and all the other perverse stuff you have a fetish for.

Ya. that's right, I see young women in minimal clothing. What, no i dont get turned on. Its very embarassing i cant even look at the girls when i talk to them. Ok i shall close my eyes. Ok i shall think i am in a beach. Ok, its a nudist beach. What the hell a nudist beach with seventy year old men. Oh come one thats gross. This is crazy. What ok, i shouldnt open my eyes till you call your hot sexy young nurse into the room. Ok Penelope is her name huh. Nice. Ok i can open my eyes now. Wow, Penelope is wearing a nurse's gown, an ordinary white nursing gown.

Thanks doc you are a genius. OH NO ! DOC WHY ARE YOU WEARING A THONG ???

Conversations buried in the sands of time.

Ga ga, goo goo, aaah peee, da da...


I want my lollipop. Give me back the G.I. Joe. I hate school. I dont want to go to school..

Poda, You can play only if your bring a bat. I have better shoes than you. Hey you put kusu.. ( kusu = fart )

Girls are stupid. They are idiotic. They are snobs. They are pig headed. She is fat and ugly..

Woah, girls are too good da. She is sexy na. what a figure she has da. Talk about curves being dangerous. Machan, did you fart ?

F**K da. 12th is bloody tough. Why do the teachers need to screw our happiness like this. Can't wait to get out of school and join college.

I hate college. School was too good. Cha the lecturers are horrible, classmates are sad..

Ha lets bunk that stupid class da, its a bloody useless subject, lets go catch a movie dude, 10 Rupee ticket at Studio 5, ok..

Let's get some beer and some smokes da.. some porn and we got a party on.

Damn da. Can't come with you guys. Need to go out with my girl, she wants me to come with her to choose dresses. Shall surely come next time da.
Dude, what are we going to do da ? College is going to end. We need to get jobs da. Need to pay off the bank loans na.

Ha, got placed dude. Wonder where we will be 5 years from now. Gonna miss college da
Hell, work sucks da. Bloody tiring. Planning to start my own business soon. You getting married. Wow, thats great da. My parents are fine da.

Business is fine da. My wife's fine, and the baby is doing great. How is your wife and son doing ?

It was bloody close. Got my first attack. Doc says i need to quit smoking and the drink. Yep, I guess i have joined your club. Doctor says its the stress. He told me to try and reduce the tension. I told him i need to drink and smoke for that. He asked me to read more books instead. My daughter is doing fine. Going to leave college soon. How are your sons doing ? Hey how much did your angioplasty cost ?

I have become a grandfather. Can you believe it ?

Bye, I am going to miss you. Hope i shall join you in heaven soon..

So this is what heaven looks like huh.

Scenes that got cut ?!?

The Sound Of Music :- Maria (Julie Andrews) and Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) embrace passionately and rip off each other's clothes and start singing the original version of Marvin Gaye's "Let's get it on" when they fornicate in the greenhouse, next scene they get married.

Titanic :- Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) draws Rose's (Kate Winslet) assets a little small, and the old Rose sees the portrait and curses and abuses Jack and paints Jack with a small penis

Pather Panchali :- Durga does a sensuous item number in the rain with Apu watching, next scene well..she falls ill and...dies. Ok really bad one.. considering what this film is to Indian cinema.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly :- The man with one hand rubs soap on Ugly's (Eli Wallach) back and gives him an oil massage while narrating to him how he lost his hand, next scene Ugly shoots and kills the man with one hand as he is not fond of men who rub soap on him with their left hand.

When Harry met Sally :- Billy Crystal has sex with Meg Ryan.. ok.. that didnt get cut.. but it should have.. I know cinema is suspension of disbelief and all but this scene is pushing it a little too far.

Scooting around in Pondicherry

"Peaceful Pondicherry - Give time a break" was the best slogan that the Pondicherry tourism department could come up with. When i visited Pondi, it had become Puducherry, the last thing on my mind was peace and relaxation. It was Deepavali (or Diwali ) and with my hosts - Sendil and Balaji - around, i was sure to have a blast.

Enjoyment is good only if it is 'Omaaale' enjoyment.. Omaaale is a term which is metaphysical (?!?) and it represents a state of being that can be matched only by an orgasm.. the beauty of 'Omaaale' enjoyment, like an orgasm, is that it feels the same no matter where you get it or with whom you get it or when you get it. Its secular, ominpresent and blah blah blah

S. and B. were waiting for us at the bus stop and S. gave us ( me and my friend Vishnu) a 12 roll cap salute, we were on our way to attain 'Omaaale'ment. S. already had the plan of action ready.. we burst crackers on friday (today), saturday is deepavali, so we burst crackers tmr as well..and we catch a movie in the night.. the rest we decide as time goes..

Aye Aye S., Now B. cut in, guys today we have dinner out, tmr breakfast at S. home and lunch at my home. I realised that we had to coin another metaphysical term that exceeded 'Omaaale' in the ecstacy factor. So now, we walk to S. joint to drop off our bags and then we move onto Harsha's (S. homey) house where he has 'night-outs' ready. 'Night-outs' is a term used to describe fireworks that have been designed for 'after dark activities'. They mainly consist of rockets, flower pot varieties and chakras.

And as we were the guests, we got to most of the bursting..and after all the culinary exercises we got to do in Puducherry over the weekend even the toilet got its share of BOOMS...

It was not the crackers that made the weekend Omaaale...the food was one factor...Idli, Vada, Adhirasam, Dosas for breakfast....Chicken, Mutton, Halwa, sumptous vegetables, super pickles for lunch..and brilliant dinner in a couple of waist jumped from 30 to 32 in two days i swear....and all the hogging really did up the ante towards 'Omaaale'ment...and also the places we visited. Be it Auroville (on sunday), or the lovely nights at the lovely beach, or the Ashram, or the swimming pool...they all really did add to the 'Omaaale'ment. Especially the beach, the tourism dept of Pondi have done some good things and one of them is the landscaping of the beach...of course, the slogan and ad campaign could do with a bit of a change.

But looking back, a month or so, at the wekend we spent at Deepavali..what really made the trip - 'OHHMAAAAALLLE' was the way we commuted to the various places... four hetereosexual guys on two scooters from the 1980's, the scooters were no relics mind you. They were in super condition and it was fun to just 'phat-phat' around in those things..initially sitting on a scooter was painful as i got muscle catch.But once i got used to it, or rather once i was shown how to sit properly on the scooter..commuting became super fun...

My tips to the Puducherry Tourism Agency is - 1.Put up scooter rentals for tourists and 2. Change the slogan to OHMAAALLEMENT and 3. Take tips from Balaji and Sendil on hospitality..