Sunday, August 08, 2010

From the razors edge

"Dude, again youve got some sort of a beard growing" said my colleague as he noticed the outcome of the previous day’s careful half an hour session in front of the mirror. Of course I did, now that I have settled into my new role in office I didnt see the need to conform to corporate India's highly questionable dictum that only clean shaven guys are professionals.

As I sit back and think I realize that in the since January 2006 there have only been 4 points in time when I have been completely clean shaven and hence deemed acceptable / presentable.

1. While appearing for my MBA interviews in early 2006 : With not a hair out of place and cheeks as bare as a new born baby’s I attended all my MBA interviews. Thank heavens I meekly followed the accepted route cause I would’ve stuck out like a sore thumb if I hadn’t. The interviews actually looked like some sort of cloning factory with all the guys wearing crisp blue shirts and black pants and all the women wearing white / pink shirts coupled with trousers. Things haven’t changed, a couple of months ago I was on the other side of the table for MBA interviews and I noticed that all the applicants were clean shaven with combed hair and nice blue shirts with black pants. Sigh !

2. Placement season - December 2007 : This wasn’t easy because it meant giving up my glorious year long ponytail and indicator sideburns. My professor actually remarked in class that my hair was long enough for me to pull it over my face and use it to ensure that he didn’t know whether I was sleeping or awake. Shamelessly, from his next session onwards that is exactly what I did. I remember what a tough time I had when we it was time to take our photos for the placement brochure. With a heavy heart I had finally shaven off my indicators but my medusa like locks still posed a big problem. But a tub of gel, a mug of water and hair clips from my helpful classmates ensured that the photographer was finally satisfied and agreed to take my picture.

3. 1st day of my 1st job (May 2008) : I suppose I cant complain about having to have gone clean shaven for this. The 1st day of the 1st job is a big day for most people and I was no different. A five day induction meant being part of yet another cloning factory, much to my rather apparent displeasure. It didn’t take me too long to get my little square under the lip back (which for the record I had years before Dil Chahta Hai and Aamir Khan made cool, I’m just saying).

4. Switching profiles (June 2010) : The toughest of them all. Over 4 months of having ignored any sort of contact with a razor blade left me with a gloriously long and super sexy 300-esque beard. Plus there were the lovely little perks (scroll back a few pages to find a post on that). Of course everyone had the same set of questions for me
a. Are you depressed ? Is it some love failure of sorts ? Its ok, time is the great healer.
b. Have you switched faiths ?
c. Have you lost a nut or two ?
d. Are you deliberately trying to make your already not too attractive self even more unattractive to the opposite sex ? And why ?
e. Are you planning on wearing a turban and masquerading as a Sardar ?

The time was ripe for me to switch profiles and I doubted any boss would hire me looking like that. Unless the potential boss happens to be a woman. Anyways, I finally put new razor to hard to find skin and what followed was the most painful 70 minutes in my limited history. Note to self : skin that has been prevented from exposure to the natural elements for an extended period of time does not take kindly to a razor plowing away at its shield. Frankly, It was a battle I thought the razor would lose. But centimeter by centimeter (I’m not exaggerating) I slowly managed to get rid of my prized possession but unfortunately bereft of any facial hair I looked like a kid fresh out of school. The saving grace was that I got the job.

And here I am, back to the good old days of carefully looking at myself from all angles to make sure that there’s not a hair out of place. On my beard that is. The most fitting tribute of all ? My football crazy Manipal roomie Hemant often saying (with just a tinge of exasperation, ok more than a tinge) “Fawlker, you spend more time in the bathroom for shaving than you do for having a bath. Get out !"

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Silsila my arse-ah !

The recent World Cup has proven one thing - its impossible for a bunch of people to agree that they all like one single team or player. They might all work in the same office or hang out together or be related but at the end of the day one persons favourite team will find its way to the despised list of the next. Watching best friends cheering opposing teams while sharing a beer wasnt an unusual sight during the WC.

However one thing that they will all unanimously agree on is that they detest this video - . Not just regular detest. Detest as in straight from the bottom of the heart detest. It has to be by far the most hated music video in all of Kerala's history. Its so terrible that its reached truly iconic status in no time and makes for entertaining Mallu discussions the world over.

Ill save you the trouble of scratching your head and wondering what so special about it. Well its got such amazing dance steps that I wouldnt be surprised if I saw Usher pulling off those same moves in his next video. Copycat ! The wardrobe team has done a splendid job & the people appearing in the video look like they have walked staight off the ramp. Truth is, if our Indian fashion designers were to see the video they would undoubtedly make the wardrobe team walk the plank. God bless the casting crew, they really have gone where no casting crew has gone before by hiring smoking hot firangs (foreigners). More like they were smoking something when they hired those ladies.

In fact the only thing better than watching the videos is reading the comments my fellow Mallu bretheren have shared. Most of them are in malayalam so you probably wont understand it. Sufficient to say these comments wont just make a sailor blush, they will turn him beetroot red (similar to the people who keep coming & asking me for shoe sizes). Given the chance, Im sure everyone would just love to kick the makers of video as hard as they can just to ensure that we are spared the pain of watching a possible sequel !

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Colour blind

Like most other guys, the colour pink somehow just doesn’t seem to be right to me. Im fine with all shades and hues of greens, blues, reds, oranges etc: but almost anything in pink seems to be plain wrong. You’re not likely to find guys having pink bedrooms nor are you likely to find them flaunting a pink phone. And unless they still find being termed metro-sexual fashionable, youre not likely to spot them wearing pink shirts either.

In fact, to guys the colour pink is a lot like the rat in the intriguing conversation between Colonel Hans Landa and Pierre LaPadite in Inglorious Basterds (fantastic movie by the way). It hasn’t done anything to harm us but we still loathe it.

However, there is one redeeming thing about the colour pink. Its given the world what is one of my all time favourite cartoon characters. There really is nothing quite like coming back from a really crappy day at work and watching an episode of Pink Panther as he does his best to drive The Man crazy. I can watch the Pink Panther and The Man paint the same house pink and blue all day long and still enjoy it. Add to it the simple but catchy theme music and you have the perfect recepie to drive your blues away.

Now that I think about it, a green or a blue panther wouldve been atrocious. Watch the poor Aardvark in the Ant & the Aardvark to see what I mean. Which begs the question, have we men have been wrong about pink all along ?

Rules for women during the FIFA World Cup

A little late but here's a hilarious set of rules for women thats doing the rounds on the email forwarding scene.

1. From 11 June to 11 July 2010, you should read the sport pages so you are aware of what's going on regarding the World Cup and will be able to join in conversations.
If you fail to do this, you'll be looked at in a bad way or be totally ignored. DO NOT complain about not receiving any attention.

2. During the World Cup the television is mine, mine, mine at all times without any exceptions.

3. I don't mind if you have to pass by in front of the TV during a game as long as you do it crawling on the floor and without distracting me.
If you decide to stand naked in front of the TV, make sure you put clothes on right after because if you catch a cold, I won't have time to take you to the doctor or look after you during the World Cup month.

4. During the games I will be blind, deaf and mute - unless I require a refill of my drink or something to eat.
You are out of your mind if you expect me to listen to you, open the door, answer the telephone, or pick up the baby that just fell from the second won't happen.

5. It would be a good idea for you to keep at least two six packs in the fridge at all times, as well as plenty of things to nibble on.
And please do not make any funny faces to my friends when they come over to watch the games. In return, you will be allowed to use the TV between 12am and 6am, unless they replay a good game that I missed during the day.

6. Please, please, please if you see me upset because one of my teams is losing, DO NOT say "get over it, it's only a game" or "don't worry, they'll win next time".
If you say these things, you will only make me angrier and I will love you less. Remember, you will never ever know more about football than me and your so called "words of encouragement" will only lead to a break-up or divorce.

7. You are welcome to sit with me to watch one game and you can talk to me during half-time but only when the adverts are on, and only if the score is pleasing me.
In addition, please note I am saying "one" game, hence do not use the World Cup as a nice cheesy excuse to "spend time together".

8. Most importantly, making love is out of the question during the entire month. It has to be a 'quickie' and that has to be during half-time as well.

9. The replays of the goals are very important. I don't care if I have seen them or I haven't seen them, I want to see them again. Many times.

10. Tell your friends NOT to have any babies, or any other child related parties or gatherings that requires my attendance because:
a) I will not go,

b) I will not go, and

c) I will not go.

11. But, if a friend of mine invites us to his house on a Sunday to watch a game, we will be there in a flash.

12. The daily World Cup highlights show on TV every night is just as important as the games themselves. Do not even think about saying "but you have already seen this...why don't you change the channel to something we can all watch?" The reply will be: "Refer to Rule #2 of this list".

13. And finally, please save your expressions such as "Thank God the World Cup is only every 4 years".
I am immune to these words, because after this comes the Champions League, Italian League, Spanish League, English Premier League, etc.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Men of the World

Monday, August 02, 2010

Funny story from yesterdays sermon

A man found a corked bottle on a beach and out of curiosity opened it. Out popped a genie who was so happy to be free that he granted the guy 3 wishes (side note: how come this never happens in real life ?). The guy wishes for a whole load of money in a Swiss bank account and poof! its done. For his second wish the guy asks for a fancy red car with all the bells and whistles (I think the priest was talking about a Ferrari here) and poof! he finds the keys to his car in his hand.

Finally the guy asks the genie to make him so irresistible that no woman can keep herself away. And poof! the genie turns him into a box of chocolates !!!