Thursday, March 26, 2009


It really is fascinating to see the way people think. Some people think too much. Others just dont. A large number fall into the great gap inbetween. And when they do share the way they think I cant help but marvel at the brilliance of the human mind. These glimpses are rare to come by & often get missed in this hectic little chasing of happiness that we all indulge in. Some posts back I had written about the carrot & the train. Here are 2 more.
A recent conversation I had with a female friend of mine showed me once again why they say men are from mars & women are from venus. She was telling me about how she was putting on weight due to junk food (not true but experience has taught me not to argue with women on such matters) & how she desparately needed to reduce. Would've been fine but for the next sentence which went something like "Yeah I really need to reduce & then I want to eat so much that I put on weight."
Yesterday a friend of mine was told that he would have to stand in his business unit's stall for this event being conducted even though he didnt have any clue about anything related to it. When he explained to his boss his lack on knowledge on it he was told "Thats ok, when the marriage procession is moving you have to dance along with everyone else." Golden.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Now that I am on the other side ....

Its been the same ever since Yamaha launched its prohibitively expensive R15. I wait at one of Bangalore's never ending traffic lights, a lucky sod on his R15 happens to be near me & all I can do till the lights turn green is stare at the bike with fond eyes & think that the guy owning it is one super lucky & not to foret rich sod. And so all I could do is wait - wait till my bank balance grew to the levels where I could think of buying one for myself. There's a reason why Im not very fond of being patient ......
Anyways to cut a long story short (truly is one long story, but thats another tale for another day) I picked up my blue R15 today. Which has led me to the current state that I am in - flat broke. I used to & still do keep telling my friend, "dost, money will come today & go tomorrow"; all I can say is I hope tomorrow is the first of the month cause thats when my paycheck lands in my bank ......
Ive made a firm decision not to take the bike above 65 kmph (well I did 65 already today, so thats as far as I will go) for the first 1000 kms. Did around 20 of those patient 1000 kms today. Few thouhts - the bike has a really really sporty seating position. By really really sporty seating position I mean I have to lean forward with all my weight on my wrists, my neck hurts due to my heavy (but wonderful) helmet & my legs ache cause they are too rear set. The back brake is rubbish right now (need to get it bled during my first service) Plus theres a slight (I can barely hear it to be honest) hum from the visor which I need to get tightened. To top that, since the fairing & the mirrors are so wide in comparison to other bikes, wriggling through traffic is a strict no-no. After riding it for 15 minutes my body was in acute pain. Do I think its the biggest wrongest decision I have made ? Oh hell no !
I mean just look at it. The bike is super sexy from all angles (ok so the rear isnt all that smoking but thats nitpicking). The first time I sat on the bike started it up & stopped to admire the lovely sculpted tank & that gorgeous fairing my knees went week. I guess it is akin to the feeling that our Bollywood heroes try to portray when they see the heroine for the first time in the middle of a crowd. I dont even know what gear I ride the bike in, it just pulls and pulls and keeps pulling irrespective of what gear I am in. And as the speeds build my confidence in the bike grows exponentially. Trust me people, this is one value for money bike.

Finally the best part, there I was at a traffic signal when the guy driving a Korean sedan parked next to me looks at the bike with more emotion in his eyes than all the above mentioned Bollywod heroes can muster in all their films combined & turns his gaze to his car (causing the smile to be replaced by a slightly unhappy look) & then turns back to look at the bike like a little child looking at a gift in a toy store which he really really wants but cannot get. That one moment was in a word - Priceless.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dont ask !

Ask a woman, any woman, about marriage and you will get to hear a speech thats really long & usually contains phrases like a hall lined with countless roses & a holiday in Timbuktu & what not. Think its safe to say that that part is not a guy thing.
Now this is a nice way to get married, a classic Merc to take the groom to church. 2 wheels are more my style & a R1 preferably in black would be a swell way to land in church. Dont know if anyone will allow me to get away with it though. As long as noone asks me what my idea of marriage is, I should be safe ....

Stop to smell the roses

There comes a time when you realise that life isnt about waking up every morning & getting ready & heading to office to answer questions from Americans, Egyptians, Koreans and Scandanavians, not about shopping till you are ready to drop on a weekend, not about watching a movie at the fanciest of malls, not about sitting in a coffee shop sipping a cup of coffee which is less tasty than the home made cold coffee that my dad has made himself an expert of. Sometimes all it takes is a summer shower that brings the wonderful aroma of freshly moistened earth that has been bereft of rain for months or even something as simple as a moon on a clear sky. The old adage of stopping to smell the roses still does is something that we dont dont seem to do enough. Its just that we get caught up in the whole chasing careers thing that we dont realise what we are missing out on.
Heres a pic of the moon that I took one night, actually looks like it is smiling ....

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Bye bye billing counter !

Popped into Landmark today and ended up picking 2 more books to add to my seemingly forever growing collection of books which I never seem to have time to read. Thought I would get done with putting me name on those that I hadnt & I ended up taking out all my books. Which was when I realised how many unread books I have lying here. So thats it, until I finish reading all my books, Im done with buying more. Here's a list of what I have picked up in the last 10 months which I have to finish before I can add to my collection.

The Complete Yes Minister & Yes Prime Minister
By Jonathan Lynn & Anthony Jay

Hart's War
By John Katzenbach

Obama - From Promise To Power
By David Mendell

It Happened In India
By Kishore Biyani

A Second Scarpetta Omnibus - Cruel & Unusual , The Body Farm , From Potter's Field
By Patricia Cornwell

The Chronicles Of Narnia
By C.S.Lewis

My Autobiography
By Nigel Mansell

The Truth About Aids
By Dr Patrick Dixon

Redrum The Innocent
By Kirk Makin

To Play The King
By Michael Dobbs

By Anthony Grey

Balance Of Power
By Richard North Patterson

The Silence Of The Lambs
By Thomas Harris

Cosa Nostra - A History Of The Sicilian Mafia
By John Dickie

The Autobiography Of Malcolm X
By Alex Haley

By Irvine Welsh

Feel Robbie Williams
By Chris Heath

House Of Cards
By Michael Dobbs

The Final Cut
By Michael Dobbs

India After Gandhi
By Ramachandra Guha

Women's Day in India

Im not one who believes in having a separate day for a separate occasion - valentines day, childrens day (which coincidentally happens to be exactly 9 months after valentines day nudge nudge wink wink, ok time for me to grow up) but today I can make an exception. Women’s Day is being celebrated today. I was reading a couple of articles in todays paper by women who have been molested by Indian men. Its true that it does happen in this great nation of ours & we have to be ashamed if this doesnt strike our souls. I mean what the hell is happening to our country ? I remember being in college for my get-together as a result of which I missed seeing the absolutely disgusting attack on women in a pub in Mangalore. I mean I have been to Mangalore so many times in the last 2 years & not once did I think that the city was capable of stooping to such lows. This is even lower than the attacks on the nuns (look elsewhere in my blog for more on that) and vandalising of churches that took place there. God bless that guy who stood up to those lowlifes. In fact he was formerly a member of a right wing Hindu group & left them a year back when he realised they were too violent and preaching hatred. I listen to the radio & I hear a woman telling the RJ that her friends were discussing whether it was or not to wear a combo of tee shirt & jeans. When did they have to start thinking like that ?

Of course the country is not all bad. Its just that there are elements who would like us to live in the 'Middle Ages' (some time back everyone was accusing the Taliban of doing this in Afghanistan, now right wing Hindu groups are doing this in India....) The encouraging sign is that people are starting to saying enough of this shit already. Only when everyone stands up together will a bunch of goons think twice about harassing young women for wearing 'western attire' in a city like Bangalore. That and a responsible media.

Which brings me to the one question that I havent seen answered anywhere. According to the guy who helped the Mangalore girls escape, the camera crews for all the leading news channels came and positioned themselves outside the pub 15 minutes in advance. Which means that those idiots knew in advance that this was about to happen. Sure, rule #1 of journalism and reporting is you dont get involved. The media has been playing the clips over and over again and yet they failed to mention how all of them got their cameras there at the right time. Oh wait, an attack on young middle class women in a city like Mangalore is sure to draw in a ton of viewership which in turn brings in a ton of money. And unfortunately thats the way the media world is.


Was reading my friend's post on dowry (an ancient Indian tradition that is unfortunately accepted as part of our culture) that was rather painful to read. Quote "women need to pay dowry to men so that men may oblige to marry them.. n they have to keep on giving as and when men ask for more and more money.. i am talking of the "husband" of course.. " unquote. Ouch again. It is true in more cases than not. We are decades past the time when families should realise - waitacottonpickingminute, our daughter is a smart young woman & deserves someone who will treat her well for the rest of her life for who she is rather than for the money that he expects from us at the time of marriage. What makes me feel sad is that even well educated families blindly accept the 'fact' that they have to shelve out a pot load of money to get the daughter married. Which doesnt include the cost of the wedding (getting grander and grander as the years go by) or the honeymoon or setting up the house or .... Last I heard the going rate for educated well to do guys was a cool 1 crore.

My friends from Andhra Pradesh told me years ago that the reason why you find so many Andhra boys going abroad for their M.S (even after paying quite a few lakhs) is that its an investment for them as the dowry that they get is exponentially linked to their education. They will get the money back in multiple multiples at the time of their weddings so they werent bothered about the expense. And here we are thinking that we are a great nation on the verge of becoming a developed nation.

I dont really know who is reading this (if anyone is at all) but if you are, think about it. It will take more than a generation to change the mindset of our nation. Unless we start putting an end to this now, this menace will never go away. Maybe it never will go away completely but at least we can start making a difference.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire vs American Pie

Just yesterday we were having a late night discussion in office when my boss was telling us about the time she was in the Philippines & a lady (a localite) whom she met at the beach who was asking her whether we have beaches in India ..... We had a good laugh over this but we weren’t really happy about the fact that a lot of the world still thinks that India is about snake charmers sitting at every corner and tigers snatching children away from their mothers in cities & buffaloes equalling motorcyclists on the roads and a bunch of English speaking Bangaloreans who steal American jobs. Of course this is the image that we & they portray to the outside world. And to make matters worse, the multi Oscar winning media darling Slumdog Millionaire highlights the rise of a kid from well a slum to winning India's version of Who ants to be a millionaire? (The last well known 'Indian' movie was Bend it like Beckham, which did present an admittedly rather cute glimpse of the Indian diaspora). Food for thought.

And so there we were flicking between Star Movies & HBO on a Saturday night. One had Omen IV and the other a movie called Sydney White. No prizes for guessing that we went with the latter. And it was the perfect timepass movie depicting college life in America - lots of youngsters roaming around campus all day doing nothing, the different frat groups and their idiosyncrasies, parties with a lot of music and dancing & a lot more beer drinking & not to forget absolutely no studies. Ok blame it on the American Pie series (which also adds to the above formula a lot of desperate college boys)(come to think of it, they should do a TV show on that - Desperate College Guys. Why not I ask? Desperate Housewives became a global phenomenon) & a number of other similar college movies that fall under the broad category of timepass and which are good enough to forget in a few days time. All we do remember is that we Indians studying here in India certainly are missing out on a lot of fun in life. Oh wait (going by their thinking) it looks like Americans are missing out on the education part .....

Thursday, March 05, 2009


This would be funny to many of us if we werent worried that it could actually happen ...