Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sounds like fun

The problem with you is that you are not me
A minor problem to be corrected immediately
You can still be salvaged in my expert view
I will just have to wring the life out of you

Your dressing sense (or lack of it) makes me shudder, as does your style
But I think with patience you can be moulded into something worthwhile
Those glasses will have to go, as will the soup strainer and the beard
And the way you mispronounce while speaking is nothing short of weird

But let us first start with developing  your mind
Your dense nature is a threat for mankind
Now just wipe that silly demented look off your face
A quest for intellect you must now undertake
I've decided my dear you shall love Schopenhauer
Be best friends with Nietzche, Spinoza and Schrodinger
You will wake up Jung and then  move on to Freud,
While I go about mending you with great sang froid.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Tool Time...

The pain of the entire process of shifting behind us,we finally get down to settling down in the new place.

Come to think about it, the mystery of the missing TV remote control coupled with the elopement of the comb with the nail-cutter has brought some excitement to our otherwise boring lives!

The painter did a shoddy job on the wall of the guest bed room ? Worry not. Inspired by television ads and movies, you decide to try your hand at it.  You pick up a brush, dip it in paint and splash it at the wall with reckless abandon, just the way you saw it on screen.

Just as you start thinking this is how Michelangelo might have felt as he started on the Sistine Chapel, you get rudely interrupted by hyperactive screams emanating from the wife. There seems to be some problem with the paint. Instead of the wall, it seems to have preferred sticking to the floor, the table fan, the cupboard, even the laughing buddha kept on the other end of the room. Bloody strange you think. This is certainly not how it is supposed to be. Dark forces at work to prevent the young genius from creating his masterpiece it seems.Several trials and errors later, the wall looks normal, your clothes do not, and the background music seems to have put a banshee to shame by its sheer intensity!

You try your hand at fixing the taps next. Have to make use of the newly bought wrench you think. A couple of turns here, a couple of turns there, a few solid taps and lo and behold....nothing happens! A drop of water sneaks out with a sarcastic grin and disappears in the basin. You decide that you will stick to Plum and leave the bing for lesser mortals.

I would have written more, but dictating a web log is not as much fun as typing it. Will someone please untie me if I promise not to try repairing the ceiling fan again?

Sunday, September 04, 2011

E maa...chi chi chi!

E maa..chi chi...shotti?
Tumi naa chokkobotti?
Sesh mesh goru aar beer
Bamuner pola nei kono fear?
Jaat ta to geloi..ebar jaabey libhar
Jaabi norokey with high feebar
Bhoga nei bolish..ram ram ram
Jai gonga joley korey aashi snan
Tor moto bitkel dekhlei paap
Chaya ta gaye porleo chaap

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Name-shake..

These are the times of miracle and wonder. A political activist with no apparent agenda other than bringing down the rule of an inefficient arrogant out-dated party manages to do just that,voted to power on the tide of frustration and resentment of a people who have been oppressed for so long that they were desperate for a change.any change. And what better change can you expect than renaming the state to Paschim Banga? Just imagine the "administrative advantages" one would derive out of this. I can't foresee any with my limited mental faculties, hence I use the word imagine.

Most of us still say 'Calcutta' while speaking in English and we always say 'Kolkata' while speaking in Bengali.Similarly it has always been 'West Bengal' in English and 'Paschim Banga' in Bengali. What will certainly be pissing off is hearing non Bengalis (who can't speak Bangla) trying to twist their tongues and faces in coming up with multiple bastardized versions of the name. A common error most non Calcuttans make is that they think by trying to roll their tongues and turning all alphabets into a O sound, they can speak Bengali. So you get to hear 'Accha...you are from 'Kolkota/Kolkotta/Kalkotta..invariably followed by 'Aami Bongoli...Maach Khaabo?' ....or some crap like that. And all you can do is smile back in your best Dalai Lama smile while actually thinking 'Why don't you go and copulate with a rabid dog you fucking moron?'

Is the name change of the state a precursor of the greater things ahead in the days to come ? Like Calcutta being transformed into London, the Hooghly turning into the Thames..and perhaps if I may be allowed my share of contribution to the pipe dream- Howrah becoming Paris?

We have become cynics,all of us. No one really believes things will improve drastically.. No one has an idea of to what extent the core has rotted,no one really knows how retrograde the evolution has been. no one is willing to bet that he/she can return from exile as a result of a turnaround of the state, with ample opportunities for a livelihood.Having lived outside my home state for more than a decade now,its hard not to wish that I had the same opportunities back home as I do in this alien land living an alien life. But I guess till such time that I do get to go back, it will be just you,me and a wave of nostalgia from time to time in the sea of whining.





Sunday, June 27, 2010

Keeping in touch,,,

The get together was a great success in my opinion. Old friends, plenty of liquor, a good sprinkling of nostalgia..what else did you need? We were meeting after a long time, a couple of years at the least. We had a vague knowledge what was going on in each other's lives thanks to the menace of the social networking sites but none of us were really in touch with each other.Let me rephrase that...none of us were in touch with each other. We had no idea what was going on in each others lives except for the fact that X was married to a girl who looked like the offspring of Red Riding Hood's grand mom and the wolf(serves the uptight bastard right... I still remember flunking Class XI maths first term because the bugger wouldn't let me cheat from him!) , Y was the proud father of a gargoyle who (going by first impressions) definitely would grow up to become a pimp, Z had had his second divorce and was heartbroken (and by the time this post goes live would have told us for the one thousand three hundred and fifth time how much he missed his woobly poobly poo..or whatever he called his ex wife). As the party came to an end, and we got about trying to figure out which shoe went in which foot, someone remarked "Keep in touch... scrap at times!"

This is what "Keeping in touch" has become off late. A customary "scrap" once or twice a year,more likely or not on someone's birthday. A desperate attempt to hold on to a feeling you knew once could be described as friendship. Maybe in remembrance of a time both of you sat on a hillock watching the old couples do the the rounds of an evening walk while you hummed "Bookends" and your best pal told you that he was seriously considering investing in Bees for a lifetime. The sudden recollection of a fight you had with the kid who sat next to you in class II about something you just can't remember now. The thought of the dreamer in college who famously lead a bunk classes movement to protest against capitalism and later went on to become a hot shot investment banker. Hazy images from the past goading us to try and preserve the memories locked up in random cabinets of the mind.

Do you remember the last time you wrote a proper mail to a friend instead of clinically forwarding job leads and chain mails ? Does it even register in your mind that the more technologically advanced we get, the further we are drifting away from each other ? For all the Orkuts and Facebooks and Twitters of the world, nothing can replace the worth of a letter discovered between the folds of old sweaters smelling of moth balls, written a decade ago by a friend,with whom you used to share everything with at one point of time, now since relegated to the customary scrap on his birthday.

Times change. People change. The excuses for not keeping in touch get better and better with each day till a time comes when we just don't care any more. Don't let that time come. Get in touch... NOW !!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wowbagger speak...

Now this is something Calvin would love to know.They say that chickens came from dinosaurs.So what you get on your plate roasted to perfection from the grill could have eaten you millions of years ago,had you been alive.No cause for worry..In all probability you were just an insignificant speck of an amoeba then.Not that you are too significant even now,but thats besides the point.If you want to feel happy about yourself thinking you are the coolest of all beings,think again.Of all the species on this planet,we are perhaps the most vulnerable to elimination.That cockroach you killed yesterday has been there since the time of dinosaurs,and will be there long after a nuclear explosion wipes us all out.Most probably in a trillion years evolution would have played the same trick it did on the dinos,and we would we the size of chickens scurrying to save our lives from giant cockroaches.Or worse giant chickens!Maybe this is already happening in some planet in some universe.I certainly don't buy the story that earth is the only life supporting planet in the universe.Our technology and intelligence is just too primitive at this moment to find out or detect other life forms elsewhere. I don't know if the U.F.O sightings that have been reported are true or not.I myself saw a lion's face emerge from a nescafe cup once.O.K...It happened under the influence of some excellent herbs from manali...But it did happen.Or did it?As primitively developed as our brain is,it can play awesome tricks on you causing all sorts of hallucinations...Auditory and visual.What if someone told you that your entire life is a figment of your imagination? Yes,i do sympathise with you that your imagination is pretty fucked up if your life still sucks so much,but still..What do you? How do you know whats real and what's not? That cute girl next door who finally agreed to go out on a date with you just doesnt exist my friend.Neither does your ex girlfriend,your best buddy,your dog,the school teacher you had a big,big crush on. I am not saying you are the only one who is imagining things.I am not talking about schizophrenia out here.It's not so simple for that to set in,plus your knowledge of the subject would be from seeing a couple of badly researched films,so basically you understand crap about the subject!What i am saying is that not only you,but everyone around you see what you see,hear what you hear. With due apologies to Mr.Dawkins,lets call it the god delusion. Think abt it...Millions of ppl thnkng wht u thnk,feeling wht u feel.Just tht it doesnt exist. I'm sorry my friend..You've just been had. Or have been for the last whatever miserable years of your existance! Now if you had some sense you would be feeling more like a loser than usual,but that's your problem.  You know what Arthur..You're a jerk,a complete asshole.  

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Maktub...

We were sitting in a dimly lit pub at Alibaug,laughing at the jokes that Ajay was cracking. We had met him at the induction programme for our first job, and most of us had taken an instant liking to him.Without fail he would come in exactly 10 minutes late to every class,look at his watch and shake his head as if he couldnt believe he was late,then wink at us as he occupied a seat in the last row.From time to time he would pass an outrageously witty remark while class was going on and maintain an innocent face while the rest of us struggled to hold back our laughter.Outside class he was always interacting with someone or the other,spreading his good humour.

It was our last evening at Alibaug,the following day we would be going back to Mumbai to start our careers.The conversation turned to what we had done previous to joining a B School.There were a few stories passed to and fro,none vaguely interesting in any manner, then Ajay told us his story.

Ajay grew up in a small town in eastern Uttar Pradesh,the eldest of four siblings.His father worked in a small post in a government job and spent most of his time worrying how he would raise enough dowry to marry off Ajay's sisters.Ajay was written off as a no gooder a long time back by his family and relatives.He had flunked his board exams in the 12th standard,somehow cleared it the following year, and managed to complete his 3 year B.A degree in a span of 4 years. His friends comprised of mostly local hooligans and by the time Ajay scraped through his graduation,he knew more about country made revolvers and the intricacies of booth rigging than the subject he had graduated in.

One day as he was recuperating from a bad hangover brought over by the excesses of the country liquor of the previous night and his father's shouting the same day,Ajay chanced upon an article in the local newspaper which mentioned about the salaries drawn in by freshly recruited MBA graduates. Ajay thought that the figures were mind boggling. He began to imagine himself doing a MBA, earning a lot of money,helping out his father financially,redeeming himself in front of his family and relatives.The article had mentioned of some coaching instutes in Delhi which prepared you for MBA entrance examinations, and Ajay made up his mind to go to Delhi and join one of these institutes.

Ajay's father burst out laughing when Ajay informed him about his plan. A bad egg is always a bad egg, he said.A person who found it difficult to pass college would never get into a MBA college, and he was not willing to spend several lakhs on the whims and fancies of a son who had never done any good in his life. The money would be needed for finding a suitable groom for his daughters, Ajay could as well forget about this silly notion of doing a MBA for all he cared. He advised Ajay to apply for a government job as a clerk somewhere.

Ajay ran away from home the next day. He was carrying two thousand rupees in his pocket which a friend had lent him and set off for Delhi in an unreserved compartment. He had the phone number of a friend in Delhi who had promised in the past to help him in case he needed anything. Ajay reached Delhi and called up the number his friend had given him. It was that of a PCO.Ajay asked for his friend,and when he came on the line, informed him about his situation. His friend said that he busy and asked Ajay to call back in a few hours time. When Ajay called up again, his friend did not receive the call. Ajay kept trying for the next few hours, but didnt manage to get through his friend. Slowly realisation struck that he was standed in an alien city where he knew no one and had nowhere to go . For a brief moment Ajay thought about returning back home,but the thought of the sneers and the caustic comments of his relatives was enough to make him drop that idea.

Ajay called up another friend back home and managed to get the number of someone his friend knew who lived in Delhi. After another phone call and a bumpy bus ride to the outskirts of Delhi, Ajay landed up in the place where this person lived. The gentleman gave Ajay dinner and promised to help him out,but told him that since he lived in a one room flat with his wife, Ajay could not stay there. However,there was a godown next door, where Ajay could take shelter for a few days.Borrowing a bedsheet to put on the dusty floor, Ajay set off to make the godown his new home.Ajay spent the next two weeks roaming the streets of Delhi knocking from door to door at the offices looking for a job during the day and listening to the rats scurrying all over the godown at night.

After getting bit by the rats one night,he moved in with an acquaintance of the person who had helped him to stay in the godown.Ajay stayed in a small room with three other people,who made their displeasure very evident at the fact that he was staying there as a free lodger. They would order him around at will. He was told that he would have to sweep the floor,wash their clothes,do the dishes in return for staying in the flat. Ajay bore all this silently. He had no choice till he found a job.

A couple of months passed before Ajay finally managed to get a job as a salesman in the direct sales agency of a credit card company.His office wardrobe consisted of two shirts , two pants and a pair of shoes, all bought second hand from a pavement in Delhi. He would stand in the hot sun whole day pleading with passerbyes to sign up for a credit card. Ajay lived on a budget of 30 rupees a day for a couple of months. He would have puri-vegetables from a roadside stall for breakfast,lunch and dinner.At other times when he felt hungry ,he would have water.

Slowly Ajay saved up some money and moved into another room on his own. He was doing well at work, and got a promotion shortly.He allowed himself the luxury of buying a Reliance mobile phone to keep in touch with his family.The first time he made a call from the phone to tell his parents that he had bought a mobile phone with his own money, there were tears in his eyes.

The MBA dream still on his mind, Ajay went to a coaching institute and enquired about enrolment.He was told that he would have to pay an amount of twenty five thousand rupees for the course. Ajay was heartbroken. There was no way he could gather so much money to prepare in time for the MBA entrance examinations. Ajay went to another lesser known institute the next day and explained his position to the manager there. He asked for a discount and after a lot of haggling was allowed to join at a fee of ten thousand rupees.Ajay paid this in four instalments.

After attending a few classes at the coaching institute, Ajay realised that he would have to put in enermous effort to even come to par with the weakest of his fellow students. His major problem was that his education had been primarily in the Hindi medium, and communicating in English was a pre-requisite for getting into a MBA college.The teachers at the institute used to openly riddicule his accent and his shabby appearance,a few even wondered why he was wasting his time trying to become a MBA. Ajay fought on inspite of all the discouragement. He started reading english newspapers and magazines,underlining any word he did not undertand to look up in the dictionary later,kept on pestering his teachers to help out with any problem he was facing. He would wake up early in the morning to attend the coaching classes,then head off to work.At night he would stay up till late working on mathematics,data interpretation and english.

Ajay sat for the entrance examinations that year.The application forms itself cost close to a thousand rupees per institute, so Ajay just filled the form for the Common Aptitude Test conducted by the IIMs. He gave in his best effort, but was not able to make the grade that year.

He decided to give the examinations another shot the following year. He re enrolled at his coaching institute paying the same fees he had in the first year, and set off working harder than ever before.He started skipping meals in order to save up money to buy books for MBA preparations. He used to walk several kilometers a day in order to save the bus fare.That year he filled in applications for two more institutes apart from the IIMs.

Ajay got into one of those two institutes that year.When he gave the interview for the company which had recruited us, the interviewer commented on his English accent. Ajay replied that he could carry on giving the interview in chaste hindi without using a single word of English, and challenged the interviewer to do the same. He got the job. The years of struggle were over at last.

As Ajay finished his story, there was a silence in the table.As we went back to our hotel that night, we felt humbled thinking about his story.None of us had had to struggle even one hundreth of what Ajay had to in our lives.We felt happy that he had the courage to fight it out in order to realise his dream. Maybe it was written.