Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Travelogue ... or the closest I can come to writing one 

I'm not saying that "YOU ARE" or "YOU HAVE TO BE". All I'm saying is that there is a very (VERY) high chance that you are an Indian traveler flying abroad if you do any of the following things:

1. Carry home cooked food with you on the flight.

2. Wear a suit even if you are not going for any business or business related work.

3. Ask the person sitting next to you in the flight where they are going (pleaseeeeee people, it's a flight and not a bus. The chances are very very very high that you are all going to the same place!!!)

4. Have a hand written gigantic sticker on top of your hand bag and carry on luggage that discloses your name, age, email id, phone number and hobbies.

5. Introduce your better half as your "Vife" and then add that even she is "Wary excited"!

6. Sit next to random foreigners in airports and start telling them why you are going abroad.

7. Ask the air hostess if you can get an extra meal.

8. Spend the time in an airport clicking photographs next to every possible shop and then outdo yourself by posing next to the restroom.

9. Explain everything in great detail to your wife even though it's the first trip abroad for BOTH of you. If the wife actually nodds her head in agreement and awe then you don't even have to think twice before you make the conclusion :)

Feel free to add more to the list or accept the ones that you have done yourself. I have been guilty of 1 but I had a very good reason behind it :D

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Random Thoughts from a Jet-lagged Mind 

Apologies to all those who don't speak Hindi and to those who actually speak the language and will hence have to tolerate this self made PJ. I have finally come up with the names and tag lines of my trilogy for path breaking movies:

1. Kamseen - the story of the girl who was rarely seen.

2. Kamseen Tu - now the story of the girl who was rarely seen with you.

3. Kamseen Teen - our baby is no longer a baby.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Blogservations ... a blogger's guide for the layman! 

So, I've been blogging for a while. I've been reading blogs for an even longer time. I have even attended a few blog meets. I'm also friends with some "blog celebrities". So it's OK to say that I'm qualified enough to make a few blogservations now. There are rules in the desi blogging world. Rules that are not spelled out but are well established nevertheless and this post is a compilation of some of these rules ... take them with a pinch of salt and tobasco sauce if you may please.

* If I link to your blog then you'll link back to my mine. I remember how one of my close friends "punished" someone from his blogroll when this rule was not enforced within two weeks. Another phenomenon that once existed (thankfully, it's fading now) is two random ppl, who hardly know each other or their blogs, cross linking each other to increase link counts. Very amusing.

* If I leave a comment on your blog, you too will read my blog (and maybe even pay me back with a comment). A comment in the blog-world is like a stamp of your presence. And if you take the troubles (read "typing url OR clicking on a link") to visit my blog, you will expect me to do the same.

* If you are a regular then you'll assert your regularity by leaving occasional (even if they are meaningless) comments. I had earlier touched the topic of "present madam bloggers" where you have to leave occasional "lovely post" ad "I agree" comments to show that you have been there.

* You shall reply to comments. Come on this is a matter of social decency. However, some times you will see comments that are highly generic and you should not be deterred by the difficulty they pose when you reply to them. In occasions such as these emoticons come handy as they combat generality with obscurity.

* Regulars will be treated with additional warmth and so will newbies. He he. Yes, if hot_baby is a regular on my comment list, I am expected to make my fondness for her more visible. I will greet her with extra smileys and even ensure that all her comments are answered. An occasional term of endearment might help :) Similar treatment should also be given to the first time visitors. "Hello madam, hello sir. Welcome. Please come again. What will you have? Such a wonderful observation ..." These sweet nothings are like good wine and crisply fried wantons for a first time visitor ... or so we will say.

Wanna add to the list ... old timers, newbies and the sporadic visitors, please leave a comment :)

Monday, March 20, 2006

One more to the flowing cheese 

Ok, please read the comments of the previous post made by the likes of Devyani, Kusum, Brown Magic and the lot - they've pretty much touched upon all the points that I wanted to make in the planned second post. So much so that they've successfully reminded me of moments from my cheesy past and made me shy away in guilty embarrassment. Hmmmmm! Yanyway, there's still one aspect that remains untouched and I shall reproduce the advice I gave toddler and her man love the other day on this matter. Kind and bored reader, I present to you the concept of the "giggling friends".

An integral part of any cheesy romance is the validation of the girl's choice by the giggling friends. The giggling friends are normal people. They too, like us, eat, sleep, drink and love Ektaa Kapoor's night-time soaps. They too, like most of us, have an element of apprehension in them when they switch on a music channel, fearing that it'll be Himesh Reshammiya in action again. However, it's the first few weeks post the blossoming of a cheesy romance, that these gigglers assume additional importance and inspire insipid writers like me to write abt them.

Every girl, post two to three weeks of finding the man of her then dreams, seeks validation from a close (group of) friend(s). Every guy on the other side of the court has to be prepared for this judgment. The gigglers (I'll soon explain why they are so called) will be invited to meet the unsuspecting hero in a venue where much money can be spent and banter can be indulged in. The hero has to be in his best behavior. He has to be on time (maybe even arrive early and wait), greet all jury members with a smile, offer to buy all of them lunch and compliment each one of them in a special manner. Safe lines like "I've heard soooo much abt you", "You look very different from your photograph", "Ooops! I think I fell for the wrong friend" always helps. Then you have to show your special talents by nonchalantly mentioning "how you might have met the friend when you were working with the local shelter for protecting stray dogs". After 20-30 minutes of his performance, the girl friend will subtly ask him to leave and give her and her friends some lone time. "Vijay, can you get us another lassi," she'll say. The guy has to understand that the girls need lone time and leave immediately and not hurry back (this might be a good time to make that much needed loo trip).

The next ten minutes are of paramount importance to the relationship. The women will judge the man in instant decisions. "I dunno, I think you can do better." "He is OK! But you two don't have too much in common". "I like him. He looks cute." Lines like these will flow across the table. A big joy of a cheesy romance is acceptance from the friends and if this lacks then the woman in question will raise a few questions herself.

However, if things do work out well, then the next few weeks will be of immense entertainment. The friends will then develop their own little language and exchange mysterious smirks, giggles and eye-rolls across crowded class rooms to find out excruciating details abt the new relationship. The girl has to bring new news every second day. "A small raised eyebrow movement with an air kiss will ask if the first kiss has happened. The girl will smile coyly and the remaining friends will giggle and make her blush. The following week will see more eyebrows raised in order to question what happened over the weekend. The girl will have to work extra hard to keep up her friend's interest in her relationship. Kisses have to be followed by a little more coochie cooing and if she smilingly shows the new pendant on her necklace, then the friends will open their mouths in carefully enacted awe. That's always a good sign. Everyone will be happy this way.

Sadly, the importance of these friends only remains for the first few weeks. Thereafter the relationship becomes boring to follow and the friends and their nudges, giggles and winks fade away. But till then - ahh! it's some well made cheese.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Are you in Lau? 

I was advising a toddler the other day on a definitive set of things she and her man love should do to conform to all the cheesy love norms. Come on. It doesn't matter how mature you are or how often you pass snide remarks abt those gooey couples on the road - at some point you have to be a part of the system yourself. You HAVE TO do all the acts of love that'll embarrass you on a reminiscing spree five years later and make you squirm in saccharine disgust. So I looked back into my own past and that of several other lovey couples that I've known closely and assembled this list of MUST-DOs that every cheesy couple should do at least once:

1. Have nick names for each other: That's a must. You might be gifted with names as gallant and smooth as Vikram and Sneha, but to each other you have to be Toto and Tuti. The names have to be so imbecilely in content that you'll feel coy to even mention it to any adult beyond the age of five. A simple rule of thumb always helps - the closer your name comes to resembling a pet dog, the closer to that red spot in the target sheet you are. Remember!

2. Hanging up the phone should be a pain: Never just say "Bye, love you ..." and put down the telephone. Prolong the conversation for ages. Add in "I'll miss you ... Come to my dreams ... Naaah! I don't want to hang up ... You first ... Ok! Now you say it again ..." Continue this routine till the telephone company informs your dad of potential bankruptcy and then you know that you've done it right.

3. Hand made gifts: Ok! There are people who specialize in making good gifts that can be put to good use. Most of these gifts are affordable and useful. So what? Forget the expertise of all these gift makers and plunge into the bandwagon yourself. Every cheesy couple has to gift each other hand made gifts at some point. Forget the Hallmark cards that are well made, funny, affordable and worth treasuring - make one yourself. Smear your brown lipstick on a piece of paper and draw perverted cartoons and chip in a badly written love ballad where you searched three hours for a word that rhymed with "darling" and finally ended with "Your love's more precious than two hundred and fifty sterling". Yeah! That's what I'm talkin abt!

I can think of many more examples but right now mom is pampering me with a back massage and I shall therefore stop and probably make this a two part post.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Let's meet over meat mate! 

The kind Teleute and romantic Gamemaster have agreed to a blogmeet this Saturday afternoon where lunch will be had and people attending will be subjected to new levels of boredom. So don't miss out and suggest possible venues please!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Ok, children now write an essay abt your trip to the zoo 

A trip was made to the Kolkata Zoo - after almost a decade. Now the present generation with all their malls, multiplexes, fast food joints and game parlors don't know what the zoo meant for us. I grew up at a time when every city of India had 1-2 major sight seeing spots and the Zoo was the definitive weekend hangout spot in Kolkata. Sunday mornings would see loooong unending queues of determined visitors outside the swiveling doors of Alipore where peanut sellers and straw hat salesmen lured waiting visitors. A half an hour wait was commonplace. And then we would enter. Uncles, aunts, cousins, friends ... We young ones would carry a truckload of cricketing gear; the colorfully dressed up moms would bring a truckload of mouth watering edibles; and the dad's would come prepared with a truckload of their childhood stories along with well chalked out plans for the day.

The trip to the tiger enclosure was a must. That was usually followed by a visit to the two cute elephants who loved being fed peanuts. There was also the highly popular Children's Zoo that boasted of a baby elephant. There was a time when I actually knew the names of the animals in the zoo (Rangini the Tiger, was a favorite); it was also a time when I boasted of knowing the difference between the tigon and the litigon and could rattle the scientific name of the red butted baboon.

Ten years have passed by. The zoo, now, is a distant reflection of what it used to be. The children's zoo is gone and so are the children. The place looks battered. Poor couples who cannot afford the lofty prices of multiplex darkness make out in obscure corners. The tigers looked underfed - so much so that I even volunteered to offer my sister as meal (but it turned out that the hungry beasts had good taste) :) The BJP had a rally in the city and many of the volunteers who had landed up in the city for the first time were brought to the zoo as part of their welcome political package. Maybe some of them will stay back and return next week as part of another party's rally. A tea seller followed us for a while, reading out fresh delicacies that hadn't been touched in weeks. Even the Himachal State Apple Juice stall, a childhood favorite of mine, was gone. The hoarding was there, but the fascinating spherical juice maker and the huge crowd in front of it was gone.

We left soon to play a game of pool, a relatively newer pastime for the City Of Joy. As I reminisced abt the countless knocks of sheer cricketing brilliance that I've played in those premises, my sister expressed her apathy towards the projection of the zoo as a city heritage. Her boy friend regaled at the result of our game of pool. My father kept calling up to find out if we were safe. It was very different from those childhood trips to the zoo. One generations delight is another generations boredom. Hmmmm!

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Number Paradox 

Sorry for the sudden uninformed disappearing act and thanks for all the concern. A sudden emergency brought me back to India for an unplanned trip. Anyway, thanks to GOD, the complications seem to have been mostly resolved. So now I can hopefully get back to blogging. And in case any of you still care to read this part of the web ... welcome back!!


Over the past few days I've been privy to some very amusing relationship tit bits and it has reaffirmed a long held opinion of mine - before marriage men have lots of relationships and women mostly have none ... or so they say.

Seriously, ask ANY unmarried man if he's had any relationships in the past. To us it's a vanity number. Ages back it was the moustache that defined the man, but now it's the number of women they can call their "girl friend". I've seen friends of mine mention "relationships" that lasted two group dinners and a refused telephone number exchange :) It's not too far fetched to imagine this conversation for a man:

Man: Will you be my lover?
Woman: Nah!
Man: Will you at least sleep with me?
Woman: Nah!
Man: Can we be just friends?
Woman: Nah!
Man: *I think she secretly likes me and is playing hard to get. Good. One more to my list. Now I have dated ten women.*

Hence men (and I've been accused of this too) flash back to stories abt their exes. Number One did this, Number Two didn't do this, Number Three might have done this ... :) That's us. Virility is no longer abt sperm count ... it's the ex count that puts the ex in sex for us :)

HOWEVER, women are very different. Chastity is the order of the day for the ladies. Ask a girl, "Were you and X dating?" "Dating? We barely knew each other *for ten years*" In my limited experience, women adopt a much milder tone when it comes to classifying past paramours. "Friends" takes the cake most of the times, often appended with a "good" to give a slightly elevated value; sometimes they say "we almost dated" and occasionally they'll gush out a "yeah! We dated briefly BUT IT WAS NOTHING SERIOUS".

To sum it up, I propose the number paradox - if every single man has dated ten single women and every single woman has never dated a single man then something is wrong ... hmmm!

P.S. I'm gonna be in Kol for two more weeks and if any of you readers are here drop in a comment and we can meet up.

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