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Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Usual Suspects! 

A friend of mine from the fairer sex recently made this statement "It doesn't matter what you're wearing, as long as you have the right sunglasses to go with it." Another friend of mine spends fortunes on purses. 30% of the women I know have spent more time in shoe shops than in classrooms. All this made me take some time off to think abt these feminine extravagances and I even discussed it with a few other male friends. The result was unanimous - Women, you've got it all wrong. Agreed, Sex and the City was a cool show. Agreed Carey and her friends were trend setters. But allowing these Emmy winning fictional characters to perform magic tricks with your money - it's just insane!!!

Seriously. I think television has totally manipulated the female mind. Why else would they worry so much about shoes? Do you realize that of all the things you wear - that's the one item that has the highest probability of coming in contact with real sh!t (I'm assuming basic hygiene from you when I make that assumption) and still you spend a week's worth of food money on shoes? Shoo away! High heels, pencil heels, slip ons, hooker boots - why o why o why do you need one of each variety. And it's not just one of each variety - it's one of each color in each variety. And it's not just one of each color of each variety - it's one of each brand in each color of each variety. Now come on! I agree that variety is the spice of life but do you really want your food to be that spicy????

Now let's analyze the second culprit - purses. Please don't get "purse-onal" here ladies. Think rationally. The objective of a purse is to HOLD money and NOT blow it. If a small engraved label at the corner of your purse makes you shed a couple of big greens then I'd say go old school and keep your money close to your heart woman. My wise dad always told me that if you ever wear something that's more valuable than you are, then a thug won't think twice before attacking you for that thing. Now, let's be honest hear. Dad also thinks that Libido is a form of exotic dessert. So let's not over value every word he says. But in this case I think my old man does make sense. So keep your purses light, crappy and empty - will ya?

And now sunglasses. You know why they are so bloody dark? Coz the moment you spend a fortune buying one of them you are no longer in a position to make eye contact with anyone. You know you are ashamed and the shades just help you hide the shame. Seriously. One sunglass is fine. Two is cool too. But twelve freaking sunglasses to go with every dress you have???? All I can say is "I've shade enough on this topic" (note to self - Sagnik, your standard of puns is fast decreasing)!!!

Seriously. Look at us men. If we have a lot of money (I have no idea how that feeling is though) we buy cars. They take us from point A to point B. They move. They are big. They can hold a lot of purses. They can hold a lot of sunglasses. They can hold a lot of women with a lot of purses and sunglasses. That's what I call an investment. If we have even more money then we spend it on a house and we all know that these houses can hold many such cars!

I agree that occasionally we men have been known to spend a lot of money on alcohol but then if you're drunk enough, you reach a level so high where shoes, purses and all other things appear immaterial to you. That's us men. Ain't we deep?

P.S. Can some discerning female reader please explain to me the obsession with shoes, purses and sunglasses.

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

You gotta be kidding! 

A lot of traveling and driving has been taking place. Kind readers who offer free leg massages can contact me and I'll avail any deal they offer :) Strict instructions had been sent from parents to leave aside my (what they think is) snooty self and do all things touristy with my sister. My consent towards this act was lapped up by my sis, who made me stop in front of every thing worth taking a photograph next too, and made me go clickety click. By the end of the day my legs were aching and the heart was echoing a similar pain, while my sister was still all agog and going "Ok, now one photograph with King Kong!" But however bad I feel abt walking and driving around LA, I feel sadder for the little kids I saw. Walking around the studios I noticed a zillion little children, who could barely understand the difference between their fathers and Shrek, being pushed around endlessly by their parents. Some of them were crying, some just decided to doze off and others looked around haplessly. It's then that I thought of all the things that we as adults do to children and it amused me a fair bit.

We all love children. They are small, cute and blow split bubbles - what's not to like? But do you think they feel the same way about us adults? Have you ever wondered what two little ones discuss when they are left with each other by their respective parents?

NB1 (Newbie 1) - Wassup man?

NB2 - Don't even get me started man. I feel no one understands me. I'm so glad I found you.

NB1 - Seriously!! What's wrong with these adults. Why do they all forget that they were all like us once too.

NB2 - Seriously. I've been crying all day and they have no freakin idea what I'm saying. Can you believe what my mom did to me? She has started putting make up on me. I'm eight months man!! Why would anybody put some black charcoal like thing on my eyes that I'll smear up in two minutes. It's freakin insane.

NB1 - What? Make up? And that too you are a boy man. You are so going to be confused when you grow up. *Chuckle chuckle*

NB2 - No kidding. I guess my mom misses dressing up a girl. That doesn't mean she makes a Boy George out of me buy making me wear little pink dresses. Whatevah!

NB1 - And what's this with the diaper crap dude? Which moron invented that?? A pant that ensures that you remain in a puddle of your own sh!t? It was so much easier when I would just crawl to the mom's part of the bed and take a dump there. Now it's like carrying a back pack on your a!s@ ... and to top it, the backpack is full of sh!t.

NB2 - Oh the diaper I can still deal with but it's the cheek pressing that drives me nuts man. I hear that people get jailed when they do that without consent once you grow up. Why can't they have the same law for us? Do you think I enjoy rough hands pulling my cheeks.

NB1 - Seriously. And what's with the whole cooochie poochie crap they say when they pull your cheek. Come on man, I am the one who is one and can't speak - not you!!!

NB2 - Hey cheek pulling is still harmless but one of my uncles think it's very cool to throw me in mid air and catch. If he's that interested in catching live human beings he should do the same with his fat wife, not a tender eight month old. They should have a law against that ... and against tickling. I don't want people tickling me on my baby fat. It's just not done man.

NB1 - Yeah! These adults seriously have no idea about safety. My dad makes me sit on his neck as he walks me around. I suffer from vertigo already.

NB2 - Hey hey. Shhhhhh! I hear them coming. Sounds like your dad. They will probably take us to the other room and have people press our cheeks again. Pretend to sleep. Shhhhhh!

NB1 - I hate pretending to sleep for fifteen hours a day man. It is boring. But I see your point. It was nice talking to you man.

NB2 - Same here. We should do this more often *wink wink*

Sounds possible???

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Worth the Wait! 

The sister is here and will be here for the next three weeks. The brother being the doting brother he is, went to pick her up from the airport. The sister being the sister she is, was the last one to arrive, after making the brother wait for more than half an hour at the arrival section. The brother didn't mind though. It was wonderful to observe the multitudes walk out of those gates ... wonderful and varied enough to deserve a blog post he thought.

There's something magical about the arrival section in airports. You see all kinds of people. Different ages, languages, relationships all crowd around a small gate, that, like the womb of the mother, lets out a face that cheers up several anticipating faces outside. I was reminded of the last scene from Love Actually, but Denise Richards's cameo was distracting the material for this post and hence I shook my head a few times and got back to enjoying the sights.

It is interesting to see how different waits can be. The kid next to me was waiting for his dad and the mother next to him was waiting for her husband. She kept glancing at her watch. She had dressed up more than usual. Clearly she wanted to look special for her man. The son was less interested about the arriving dad. "When will daddy arrive?" he asked a few times. But when his slightly tense mother gave the same "The plane has arrived. He'll come out any moment" answer for three consecutive times, he focused his curiosity on other things. "What's that man wearing mom?" he asked abt a kilted gentleman. "What does that sign mean?" "Can I go to the bathroom?" and the likes followed.

The young man on my other side, however, had a very different look on his face. Clearly he was waiting for a woman. His woman. The flowers in his hand left little room for questioning my conjecture. With every single passenger that came out of that door, the frequency with which he unknowingly hit the flowers by his side increased. His lips started making worried gestures and his finger followed the tune too.

An old Chinese couple just walked out of the gates and a huge group of people ran up to greet them. The crowd comprised of a good mix of children and grand children. They all took turn to exchange hugs. Sitting at least twenty feet away, I could still feel the warmth of the moment.

The Sardarji couple came out next. They looked like they were in their seventies. You would think that in their age they must have seen it all. But the moment they saw the three men who were diligently waiting just next to the railing (I'm assuming they were their sons) they echoed the same smile that the Chinese couple had let out.

And that's when I realized that there's something universal about these moments. No one teaches the child to run up to his dad when he walks out of those gates. No one taught me. No one taught the boy sitting next to me either. He forgot all abt his questions the moment he saw his dad walk out and ran up to him. The mother looked relieved too. She got up and started smiling.

Similarly, the moment someone comes out of those gates, and there's someone waiting for them, the first thing they do is to offer to take care of the luggage. It's universal. An act that crosses all cultural barriers. The first thing the three Sardarjis did was take the hand bag away from the old man. The first thing the eagerly waiting guy next to me did when he saw his lady love walk out (she was worth the wait and flowers btw :P) was to tell her "I'll take care of that".

These moments make me very happy. They make me realize that it's wonderful to be have someone who waits for you. It's wonderful to feel jaded and tired but to know that there's someone you'll soon see that'll wipe off all your lethargy with the blink of an eye. It's wonderful to return to those who missed you. Which is why you don't see people getting angry if they have to wait for three hours in an airport but see the same people get ragingly agitated when they can't locate their luggage in the carousel. Because by then the wait has reached its peak. Familiar faces are only a few steps away and every second matters. Which is also why you'll never see people who travel to new places and have no one waiting for them waste any time after they come out. You'll never see someone, who's all by himself, come out and take a little rest before carrying on. They all leave the airport asap. They know they are the minority there and they clearly don't like that.

It's wonderful to wait for those you miss. Waiting for my sister out there, I forgot abt the terrible traffic; I forgot abt the mess in my room; I forgot abt a lot of stuff that had occupied my mind. Seeing her walk out of that door (FINALLLY) just made things feel so right and it felt nice. Hmmmm! It's that time of the month when I get emotional I guess. Or as I like to say - man problems :D

p.s. Check this spam I received. Yeah baby. I have arrived!!!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Have I seen you before? 

So I rant a lot abt lot of things. Earlier I used to feel bad abt inflicting my complaints on kind readers. Now some of the kinder ones actually expect me to rant. And to all these kind readers, I have my famous bedroom line that I plan to use on my wife during her labour - "Baby when you are expecting, I will try to deliver"!

So what is it that is bugging me right now. To understand this irritation you have to be a member of some social networking site - which for most of the readers of this web log will be Orkut I am guessing. Is it just me or are other people bugged by people who put up photographs of celebrities as their profile snap???

My sister received a message (aka scrap) from someone who thought they had similar interests. Now once you get past the twelve spelling mistakes in the fifteen word scrap this guy left, there's something else that'll catch your attention - it is the picture of this guy. Standing shirtless with his sunglasses on, the dimple in the cheek looked almost uncannily familiar. Hmmm! Who is it? What?? Ohhhhhhhhh! Wow!!!! My sister just got a scrap from none other than John Abraham. Wow!!

So what do we all learn from this scrap and a quick visit to John's profile? a) John Abraham likes my sister, which is not very surprising given his fondness for Bong babes (Ria Sen, Bipasha Basu ...) b) John Abraham can't spell too well and hey that shouldn't matter - coz when you can bike ur spellings can take a hike c) John Abraham likes to make extensive use of bright jarring colors when he writes scraps (hey what's showbiz without a lil sparkle) AND d) John Abraham studied commerce in some college in Gujarat and now works in the BPO industry in Calcutta (ahem, have nothing smartass to write for this one)

And it's not just John Abraham. A quick scanning of Orkut will reveal that Aishwarya Rai, Bipasha Basu, Celina Jaitly, Shahrukh Khan and the Junior B is on it too. And these publicity hungry public figures are not just happy with one profile. They have multiple profiles - I for one have seen 10-15 Aishwarya Rai profiles. Celebrities, I tell you! They will do anything for a little screen time (even it is a laptop screen).

Jokes apart, what the F letter word are these users thinking? Do they seriously expect readers to fall for them thinking that it is their photograph? Yeah sure. I can completely understand when reticent users go for scenic photographs to hide their true identities. A small house is fine. A set of clouds matching your name does justice too. Flowers ... excellento. But Angelina Jolie???? Who are you kidding babes?

And you know what is even funnier? These users seem to attract each other. If you visit their profiles - you'll see three sets of friends who are there on their friend list - a) South American women who have added everyone who sent them a friend request b) some girl called Nidhi or Rita or Nidhi (what's happening to my collection of standard Indian women names) who have seven thousand (oops it just became seven thousand and one) friends - all of whom leave her a scrap saying "Though I haven't met her in person she is a wonderful woman and great friend and very intelligent etc ..." AND c) OTHER CELEBRITIES. Now that sums it up. Our Indian celebrities are anyway known for their snobbishness. So it is understandable that they will only be friends with foreign beauties and other desi celebrities. I mean, come one, isn't it but obvious that Bipasha Basu will have Johny papa on her friend list too (his desires for my sister not withstanding).

So to all readers of this blog, puhleeeeze spend some time on these profiles dear readers. It can be your dose of afternoon mirth. The joy you'll get when you see Salman Khan scrapping Kareena, asking her "Want to make frandship with me beautifool?" is worth the effort.

Peace!

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Under-stand 

So every year India produces some very bright managers. Graduating classes from the top notch B schools are almost equally divided amongst the would be financial gurus and the marketing whiz kids. The best marketing talents are lapped up by companies that make them weave dreams out of thin air. The second tier marketing folks try their hand at mediocre branding initiatives where they try to put a 'Z' at the end of names (or is it namez) to make things sound cooler (ala DreamZ and GetZ). However, there is a group of marketing graduates who are recruited by the bottom rung of branding initiatives and this is the group where Indian Men's Underwear feature. Yeah, no kidding! Moi is convinced that the worst minds of the World try their hand(!) in naming Indian Men's Underwear. Wanna read more? Proceed at your own risk ...

"Hey babes, what's playing peekaboo through your T shirt?" you playfully ask your girl friend here.
"That's a Secret. A Victorian Secret if I may say so," she smartly answers.

Now imagine this same conversation, the other way round in India.

"Hey hunneee what do you have behind that pair of torn jeans?" the girl asks.
Her lover, the moustached hero, answers coyly, "I have Raju inside my pants"!!!!!

GROSSSSSSS! Yup! Grosssssss! Why, why, why - did somebody name an underwear brand that gets placed directly on the arse with the same name that belongs to a quarter of our country's male population? What was the rationale? What were they thinking? No man can anymore tell his lady love during a moment of flirtatious seduction, "Baby, what say tonight we have nothing between us. Not even a Secret ... and definitely not Raju" :O

And it doesn't end with Raju. My kin, the Bengalis, took it one notch higher. The most common Bengali brand of underwear for men is called Bapi, which, hold your breath, means FATHER!!!!! Seriously, this one marketing disaster is enough to send an entire generation running to the shrinks. For the select few who still haven't got shocked enough, imagine this - You are sitting in a restaurant having food and the guy in the table in front of you bends down. For starters, men should seriously never (NEVER EVER) assume/presume that their hairy butt crack is a sight worth watching. So puhleeeeeze, keep your ifs and butts well hidden. But, just in case you ever happen to catch a glimpse of this horrific shot, the last thing you want is to have your dad's name on an elastic next to it. Aaaaaarrrrghhh!!!!

And it's not just Raju and Bapi. There are countless other examples of shoddy marketing disasters in this area. How abt VIP Bonus. "Baby, be good to me and you can have a peak at the Bonus??" Is it just me or does Bonus, in context of an underwear, sound like a combination of Bone and Ass. Yikes, yikes. Or how abt our Frenchie?? For all the people who've asked me why I don't grow a French beard (affectionately called a Frenchie in my homeland) - go figure now. Then there is Amul. Now come on. Amul used to be my favorite breakfast spread. I could eat any volume of Amul with my bread. Did you have to spoil it for me by launching Amul briefs. Toast was never the same for me after that :(

Now compare this with "Babes, I think I have some Gap left for you inside?" Which one sounds better?? I rest my case.

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

headLINES from the weekend 

The farmer boy had strong objections against me converting weekend conversations into cartoons. "Why don't you just get lost?" I snubbed him. He left quietly and returned two hours later with this!!!


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