Saturday, April 29, 2006

Bone of contention! 

Please explain this to me - what's so cute abt dogs???? I don't dislike dogs (even though they seem to bear some dislike towards me and have expressed it in terms of emotions ranging from barking to using me as a lamp post). However, I do turn a mild shade of envious green every now and then courtesy the barking specie. Today, on my way back from lunch, I noticed a little crowd around a pillar. A little brown dog was tied to it and a wide range of people had gathered around the pillar to exchange "Wow!", "Ooooooooh!", "Awwwwwee! Shoooooo shueeet!" and the likes. This is not the first time that I saw such a scene but it was probably the first time that I took time out to evaluate the whole situation ... and, well, I failed to fathom any bit of it. I tried to imagine myself tied to a pillar, on all four limbs, with a leash around my neck, maybe even with very little clothing on, and also imagined the kind of reaction that I'd evoke in all likelihood.

"Oh! finally they chained him. Good!" I can imagine bystanders saying.
"They should have done it a lot earlier." Another one would add in.
"He looks a lot thinner with his shirt on!!"

Seriously. I can't imagine anybody stopping and offering me food. I can't imagine anybody using sugary superlatives for me. I can't imagine anybody asking the person standing next to me how old I was or whether they owned me. (On a separate note, have you noticed how everybody assumes that the person standing closest to the dog is the owner? I've often contemplated just standing next to a tied dog and claiming its ownership, just to strike random conversations.) Bottomline, I don't have an iota of doubt that a tied and underfed me would evoke very little sympathy and love from people.

So what else could it be? Is it the fact that they are furry?? Do people like to see naked furry creatures. I instantly imagined Anil Kapoor, all naked, tied to a lamp post. Naaaaaa! I wouldn't be very thrilled to see that and correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think too many others would either. For that matter, I'll pay NOT to see that.

So what else could it be? Do we find their wet nose endearing? Then how come when I have a cold, people shy away from me? How come no one that I know of would find me cute if I tried to smell my own buttock? Dogs (and almost all other pets) never brush their teeth and one of the first things that women do when they spot a dog, is go right in front of their mouth and do the whole "Uuuuuju bujjjuuuu" garble act. These are the same women who ask you early in the morning when you sweetly offer them breakfast - "Have you brushed your teeth? Have you brushed your teeth? Have you ..."

And to make matters really bad, the other day I saw two dog owners taking their dogs out on a walk. While the two men exchanged pleasantries abt how the weekend was going to be spent, the two canines vigorously tried to engage in acts of sexual pleasure. Acts that would scandalize any man, woman, child or Samit Basu's Eric Seagull. And yet, the two men were highly amused by this and commented on how this was soo funny. Correct me if I'm wrong here. Many Indian kids are a lot more sexually frustrated compared to domesticated dogs. Have you ever seen two such kids on the road with their respective parents, trying to grope each other, with their parents saying - "Oh! Mrs. Kapur, it's so funny to see them kiss and fondle. We should do this every more often!"

I give up!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Shield! 

Aha! I recently spotted one more of these. The specie that I like to call "the Protectors". A fairly large and prevalent group that we've all seen but just didn't categorize. So let me do the honors, will you?

There are men who can get a particular woman instantly; so they pursue her pronto. There are men who most definitely cannot get a certain woman; so they give up pronto. And then there are men who think that they have almost no chance with a woman BUT take the "almost" part of the statement very seriously; these people refuse to give up and often become the ... tan tana naaa (my fake reproduction of honking trumpets) ... the Protectors.

The Protectors don't try to woo women with their charm (they often don't have it to start with). The Protectors don't take the lavish exorbitant route either. Surprisingly they aren't romantic fools either. They, quite contrary to popular romantic abilities, are gifted with the rare talent of the triple Ps - Patience, Perseverance and Protectiveness.

Haven't you often seen that one guy who always hang out with the hot girl and wondered how this bloke got a girl like that? You asked your friend and realized that "they are not dating". She openly acknowledges that "he is just a good friend". So you try your moves ... BUT there's one Big problem. Whenever you try and whatever you try - the protector is always there. He has pretty much booked every day of the girl's week. "Hey, you wanna catch some dinner tonight?" "Sure, but my friend Raj will join us too. You know Raj, right? He said he'll come by and borrow some books. It'll look odd if we leave without him." Be it borrowing books, returning them, forgetting an important file in the girl's house, "accidentally" being in the same area, feeling very depressed for some "personal family reasons" - the protector is always there. Their strategy is to shield away all men from the girl's life. Then, one day when she is old(er) and less bold(er) and all the wooing men start trickling in numbers, she would realize that the protector has always been there for her and then they will indeed sing a dream song with background dancers sprinkled in aplenty. It doesn't always happen, but is commonplace enough for the protectors to keep trying.

In the past I've had to battle it out with protectors myself. This one guy in college was like glue to the girl I dated. I'd even started questioning whether I was trying to see the girl or him. I learnt so much abt the Protector specie from him. The following are some golden rules that protectors should follow:

* Show initial romantic disinterest towards the girl. This makes her feel comfortable and safe in your presence and allows you to spend a great amount of time with the girl.

* Be of some use to the girl. This is a must as it will (a) earn you the much needed "very helpful" and "really cares for me" tags and (b) will also allow to be around the woman a lot more. Homework and "let's exchange notes" seems to do wonders. It used to amaze me in college how the "Protector" that I'm alluding to would study our subjects with us even though he was a BATCH SENIOR TO ME!!!!

* Be shameless! Yup! If you want to win a girl by being her protector - you've gotta be shameless. You can't do the math that the "couple types" do. "I called her the last three times, she should call me now!" Naaah! You can't afford to harbor such sentiments. You should call her everyday. Even if she never calls you. You should meet her everyday. Even if she never wants to meet you. The trick is to make yourself completely invisible to her so that she doesn't mind your presence any more. Coz trust me, even if she doesn't realize you are there, the men who are trying to woo her will and soon they will disappear, giving you a clean field to play in.

As a parting note, I oft wonder abt these two questions - (i) Why is it that women never realize that someone is trying to be a protector? Confront them with these allegations and they'll always tell you how "there is nothing between us. He just likes me as a friend." There is something super brilliant abt these guys that convince the women of their "non romantic aspirations" and I can't seem to fathom what that is. (ii) Why don't we have women protectors? Seriously, I've seen tons and tons of male protectors but NOT ONE of the other sex. Why? Why? Zed!


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Anger Management 

Ok! So I think I've cleared my name from being someone who just writes abt men and women. I've touched upon food (and made it dirty), discussed desis and discussed desis discussing me discussing desis (say that aloud will ya) and have even spoken abt sports. So now, having redeemed myself, lemme talk abt the man-woman relationship thing again. Get your books out and turn it to page 137. Today we'll study the rare phenomenon of male anger and also how it backfires instantly.

If you are in a relationship and if you are a man then you pretty much completely sacrifice your anger. It's almost like they have an "anger detector" that they inspect you with before you enter the hallowed doors of a relationship. "Excuse me Sir. Do I sense a little hidden rage in your heart? I'm sorry but you'll have to leave it here before you can enter. You can take it back (and most definitely use it) on your way out, when we let go off you."

However, once in a while, onceeeee in a rare while, we men too get to be angry. Amidst all the "You don't care for me", "You don't love me anymore", "You have changed", "You were looking at that girl", "You were looking at that guy" etc. we men too occasionally get the chance show our anger. The moment is so special to us that we almost lose our anger in joy. Yes, it's that overwhelming. Men reading this post will know what I'm talking abt. One fine day suddenly you realize that you too can actually afford to get angry and not get shouted at for it. It can be one of those rare days when she has made you wait for three hours. You sense a veryyyyyy tiny bit of remorse in her face and you know that you might just actually pull off an "anger display" here. But then again, anger is an emotion that we men have seldom used in relationships. So we don't even know how to express it. In the past I've tried using the silent treatment but given the fact that I talk a lot, women don't seem to mind it much and lemme just be that way. You can choose between the "crazy hysterical shouting", "clenching the fist and biting your lips" or "vigorously wiping your face with a handkerchief" moves. Each one of them might work based on how well you do it at that point. A little extra emotion can help you too. "I was supposed to pick my Mom up today." Yeah! Trump it with the Mom card. That always helps.

But alas!! Since we men rarely get the chance to be angry, we soon lose control over the situation. We either underplay it or we completely overdo it. We're not skilled like women in the art of anger display. How many stories have you heard of your dad buying your mom some gifts because he messed up? Recall any stories where dad actually got anything??? Nope, that doesn't happen. Coz women know the art of getting angry. ART - yes. They know how to raise their eyebrows just right. They know how to bring a drop of tear in their eyes - enough to melt your heart but not enough to spoil the eyeliner's magic." Face it people. Even if we men get the chance to be angry we don't know how to continue with it. It's just a matter of time before we give the women a chance to be even more angrier than we were and they take charge of the game from there. For me the blow always was shouting. Before I knew it, the woman would shout back at me with twice the gusto saying "No one has ever EVER EVER shouted at me and you did it. I hate you. I feel so humiliated." I would try to remind her at that point that she was shouting at twice the decibel level but NO - by then the balance had tilted. That is what I love about women. They always have the skills to turn the tables in their favor. If you are shouting, they'll tell you that they've never been shouted at. If you are cocky they'll tell you that no man has ever treated them that badly. If you make facial expressions they can ignore you long enough to make you shout - so that they can revert back to using the "No one has ever shouted at me" technique. And before we know, we men are brought back to doing what we do best - asking for forgiveness. Yeah! That's our forte. Gifts! Cards and more gifts, sprinkled with a promises of never repeating the fault. Yes. We men have taken the act of asking for forgiveness to the level of art. ART - yes! But that's another story.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Are you game for this? 

I don't like sports much. Much of my dislike (maybe apathy is a better term) can be traced back to my inability to play any form of organized sport. I pretty much tried playing everything (starting from cricket which every Indian tries, to golf that very few Indians do) and have successfully been unsuccessful in almost everything. Not that I didn't try. When I was five or six, I cried like a baby (because at five or six I WAS a baby) when my friend Jojo was enrolled in a cricket academy and my parents didn't follow suit. Years later my father justified his actions by saying that it was this act of his that led to me becoming an engineer - but I never bought that baloney. My parents killed my cricketing career before it was even born. Like a thin robot in the Star Wars movies, my cricketing career was destroyed even before it made it to the limelight. Sadly, with soccer, I killed the career myself. I realized that my skinny legs were not conducive for kicking bloated pieces of leather. Hockey was a no no too. It appeared like organized violence to me. Why else will they equip twenty two people with sticks and let them loose in a small ground? My parents convinced me that I could not make a living out of tennis unless I was a hot girl. I tried showing them the same skinny legs that ruined my soccer career but they pointed out my thin shadow of a moustache instead. So I couldn't be the next Sabatini. Chaaah! Then I wanted to learn karate. I wanted to learn how to break bricks with my bare hands and teach all my detractors a lesson. Then one day, while accidentally chasing my sister, I punched a wall. My fist turned red in pain; my cheeks turned red with shame and my eyes turned red with some form of saline liquid in them. Nope! I couldn't imagine taking weekly classes to inflict the exact same pain upon myself. Then my father suggested that I play chess. And I did. I was actually pretty good at it. Till I realized that you could never impress a girl with the fact that you play chess. While friends boasted to their girl friends abt how they single handedly vanquished seven opposition batsmen, I tried to woo the women with my knowledge of Sicilian Defense.

"Don't go! Don't go. It gets interesting after this," I would shout out, trying to stop disappearing women who would sulk and leave with the sturdy rugby players of my school. I tried telling them that no other game uses the phrase "Check Mate". "That's got to mean something," I screamed. But alas! Like a man trying to sell me "Cheap Rollex watches for $10" via spam, my efforts would get no replies either.

Every year I made it a point to try something new. Something that gave me the feeling that "this was gonna be my forte". I can be an ace swimmer I convinced myself once, but when I soon needed the help of an actual swimmer to prevent myself from drowning in knee deep water I knew the proof was wrong. For years my friend Abhik and I visited the same swimming club in Kolkata. We were there in the "beginner's pool" for soooo many years that mothers of toddlers had started saying "Hold on to uncle, hold on to uncle" pointing at me (people from Anderson Swimming Club in Kolkata from a junior generation can tell you about Sagnik Mama *affectionate term meaning uncle*).

Years later, I found someone at work yesterday, who shared a similar disgust and apathy towards sports. He pointed out that most games are a result of failed conversations. Seriously, all sporting events should be replaced with bilateral talks. We don't want countries to fight. We avoid those situations by getting their leaders to talk it out. I feel that we should do the exact same thing with sports too. Leaders of Australia and India should meet in a room and come out all happy for the photographers. "We have decided that this year Australia has won the Test Series," they should say. "In return our rugby team will be given two extra victories during their next trip to the continent." How cool will that be. Won't it?

P.S. On discussing this issue with my dad last night, he mentioned a true story he heard from my grandfather. My grandfather had taken someone to watch football and the man asked him "Why do they give so many people just one ball to play with? Can't they just give them a few more balls so that everyone is happy?" Veyr true I must say!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Food for thought when you are not thinking 

No more talking abt desis in this post. No relationship advice to offer either (though I'm open to receiving some myself). Nor am I going to talk abt blogging rules or my dad. Lest I sound trite and hackneyed, I decided to write abt something I've never dealt with before. Something which is alien territory for me. Something fresh. Something that is ... hmmm, say straight out of the oven. Oven? Did I just say that? Great. Let's talk abt cooking. Yeaaah! Don't worry - this isn't a new blogging subject. People like her, her, her and her have done it with great dexterity. So why should I be left behind? So let me teach you how to cook. Seriously. Just a post abt culinary skills ... with a little extra zzzing!!

Chorus (best enjoyed when imagined to be sung by three scantily dressed lissome lasses)
Hola hola! We have some oil in the pan
Ladies and gentleman, you see I'm ur man
Hola hola! We have some sauce in the tray
Hush hush! Hoosh hoosh! I've got somethin to say

Main song begins. Imagine a bevy of hot women wearing kitchen aprons and hats dancing around trees. Why trees you say? Coz we are gonna use fresh stuff for our dish.

Put your cooking hats on, so we can make a hot dish
It's called Chicken egg kebab, Any questions? Capiche?
Now take a bowl of minced chicken, and two eggs to go
Some tomatoes, chillies, mashed potatoes and some more
A lil cilantro to garnish, and some oil to varnish
Some salt to taste, and soy sauce that we'll waste
We'll take half of an hour, and the dish will serve two
So if you are feeling lonely, Baby I can join youuuuuuu

Hola hola! We have some oil in the pan
Ladies and gentleman, you see I'm ur man
Hola hola! We have some sauce in the tray
Hush hush! Hoosh hoosh! I've got somethin to say

Now put that oven to preheat, and the egg whites to batter
And some butter on the tray, if you don't mind gettin fatter
Now mince the red tomies and add them to the chicken
Slowly add the eggs, and the mashed potatoes to thicken
Add a sprinkle of soya to the mixture and then you just knead
But make sure you wash ur hands girl, coz you'll use them to feed

Hola hola! We have some oil in the pan
Ladies and gentleman, you see I'm ur man
Hola hola! We have some sauce in the tray
Hush hush! Hoosh hoosh! I've got somethin to say

Now make balls with the mixture, coz dough and dough makes chaar
And if you've got it right till now, girl you'll surely reach far
Now put the stuff on the tray and don't forget that silver foil
And bake it for 20 minutes, coz any more and the dish will spoil
Then take out the dish when it's brown and let it just cool
And sprinkle it with chillies and your guests will baby drool

Hola hola! We have some oil in the pan
Ladies and gentleman, you see I'm ur man
Hola hola! We have some sauce in the tray
Hush hush! Hoosh hoosh! I've got somethin to say!!!!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

/*It's all about this*/ 

This is a post that I've been planning to write for a loooong time but some how didn't get around to doing it. So here it goes ...

All of us who blog, probably like comments. One can even say that some of us luuurve them. A steadily growing number below your post body, indicating the number of people who had an opinion to share abt what you wrote, almost always makes you glee like a twenty one year old girl in a clothing store on Thanksgiving Day. Sometimes replying to a comment is great fun too; maybe even more fun than writing the post itself. I've seen comment spaces being used as chatting services with innumerable replies and counter replies ending in a state where neither party has anything more to add to the conversation but are afraid of being impolite and continue exchanging mandatory (";)"s and "ha ha"s). Sometimes commenters leave annoying messages. There is this one commenter called "anonymous", who is especially notorious for his/her antics in the blog World. I've often read his irked out comments below posts, not just on my own blog but on several other blogs as well. Bottomline, comments are always fun ... comments are always reassuring ... comments are always cool!

Sadly, it isn't always so. There are those posts that stand barren. Like a solo-hero movie of Jackie Shroff, they keep expecting a hit, but never get it. You check your site, hoping that someone will praise you for your thoughts or maybe agree with you ... or maybe even oppose your views. But alas! No! I don't know abt other bloggers, but often while writing a post I have felt that it would be a great hit with the readers, only to find only the stray comment abt "check out cool dating services on my site" appended the post. Seriously, I've stopped trying to guess the reader's mind. There have been times I have suspected that I'm churning out a masterpiece; a post that'll adorn the pages of all the Pundits in its true Uncut state. And nothing, zilch, nada happened. On the other hand I've also written, what I thought was fairly mediocre material, and surprised myself with a fast growing two digit number between those magical braces. What is it I wonder that appeals to the average commenter? Seriously! Otherwise, how in the World do you explain this weird post getting more comments than this post that I really liked or even this one that I am very proud of. Maybe people comment heavily abt something that they can relate to. At least that's what I do. But then how do you explain this???? I don't think anybody relates to my dad's dreams - not even him. So what is it then? What do I do to lure you kind readers to writing something too? I thought for a while, scanned through some of my "popular posts" and even visited the blogs of some superstars. Naaah! There seems to be no rule but these pointers might just help.

* Write abt something that will get a "Choo Chueet" reaction.
- e.g. posts titled "My Forgetful Wife and how I find her so cute", "My little niece pooped in her pants", "My boyfriend bought be a thousand roses"

* Write abt things that will surely get a "Boooooo!"
- e.g. posts titled "My Forgetful Wife and why I will divorce her", "Let me describe my little niece's poop", "How I am repenting sending my girlfriend a thousand roses"

* Put some photographs
- e.g. posts titled "Here is a snap of my Forgetful Wife forgetting her husband and running away with another man", "Here is a snap of my little niece's poop stained bed", "Here are the thousand roses that I just received"

* Pose a question to the discerning reader (helps if you are a woman)
- e.g. posts titled "Do you want to marry my Forgetful Wife?", "The poop stains on my dress aren't going. What do I do?" "I found my boyfriend with another woman. What should I do with the thousand roses that he sent me?"

I am not saying these posts will get you a lot of hits. But for all you know, they might just :) Lemme know what you think.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

It ain't funny no more ... 

Wow! Quite a few comments for the last post and quite a few of them from irked out readers who are disgusted by the fact that I dared to make a post abt the traveling habits of fellow Indians.

"He is a rascal. Very big rascal. I will never visit his blog again," a gentleman was heard saying.

"He had the audacity to make fun of Indians. We Indians. Hasn't he seen Sohail Khan's I-Proud to be an Indian?" the slightly overweight aunty screamed into the microphone.

Two guys in lungis were seen jumping and howling "Saale ka no-url ko actual no url status de dengey baap!" Their better halfs were seen standing next to them, equally interested in jumping, but in an age of fashion fiascos, that is a Big NO NO.

A few kind ones seemed unfettered. "I found it quite funny," Megha was heard saying. "Same here," said Tele, but asked us not to quote her in public. Gamemaster was busy with the women, but he did say that he'll get back to us with something positive.

Hmmmmm! I sighed on a slightly gloomy weekend evening. What do I say to all these people. What can I say to prevent the glares of fellow Indian travelers (in suits) from now? How do I express to the World how sorry I am for what I have done? Hmmmmm! I sighed on a slightly gloomy weekend evening again. "Let me blog abt my reaction to some of the comments," I finally said.

* "c'mon tis not that bad....these are too cliched!" ... Well, great then! At least now, no one can claim that I'm the first one to have observed these things. My hackneyed state but does reflect how many others have seen what I claim to have seen. So, they should be blamed for passing on the baton.

* "Insufferable Jerk!! This is called confirmation bias." ... Nope. I call it ConfOrmation bias :)

* "let me get one up on you mentally..I am superior because I am wearing such and such... I am superior because I don't ask for an extra drink,...I am superior because I contain my excitement..I am superior because I listen to such and such music...I am superior because..." ... you got all of them wrong. I am superior for just one plain simple reason - mere paas maa ka diya hua ashirvad aur papaji diya hua radio hai! So deal with it.

* "... now are we going to make fun of people's english?? feeling very proud of being able to speak a borrowed language?" I would have responded to your accusation ... if only you had made it in Hindi my friend.

* "Thought it was pretty cheap and cliched myself. The fact that it is humorless too makes it not worth responding to on the blog." (This one was made on Desipundit) ... As you can see that all the points that you have raised have been raised by others already. So I find your comment pretty cliched. The fact that it is humorless too, makes it not worth responding :)

So, to all those who found the previous post unfunny, trite or a personal reflection - please do not stop reading my blog. In the weeks to come I'll give you equally unfunny and offensive material again. And then ... AGAIN. You'll be given ample chances to express your angst again. Your acerbic comments will be given a chance to decorate my blog again. So please, oh disgruntled commenter, don't give up on me ... again!

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