Monday, January 31, 2011

2010 - The year that was

Yet another excellent email forward that had me in splits.

Jyoti Basu dies at 11.47 a.m., yet again almost making it to P.M.
UPSC increases civil services intake from 580 to 965. Ouch. 385 more bureaucrats each year. A real Babulation Explosion.
Kerala gets 3G services. Now they can call themselves “GGGods own country”.

Kishenji announces his phone number : 9734695789 . Now we don’t need the army to fight him. ICICI will finish him off.
Lok Sabha meets. Noise. Confusion. Lok Sabha adjourns. It’s time we rename our parliament the Joke Sabha.
India says no to Bt brinjal. An auberginity lost?

What’s common to Iceland & Abhishek? Both are wondering what to do with ash.
Sania Mirza announces that she’s going to marry Shoaib Malik
Thank God, Sania doesn’t have to do 7 pheras with Shoaib. She’ll never get past the first round.
Anagram of “Sania has a Malik” – “Asli aman ki asha”.

ND Tiwari may have to take DNA test. Ha. So far for him, a double-helix was just an interesting position in bed.
Sachin Tendulkar’s birthday today? Let’s celebrate it as "Runmashtami."
The good thing is that Sachin has turned 37. Which means, for the next 365 days, he will be in his prime.
IPL-3 happens with much glitz, glamour & goris.
Definite Punjab victory over Mumbai today. Mumbai may have the X-factor in Sachin. But Yuvi gives Punjab the XXL-factor.
Matthew Hayden to change his name to Matthew_Hayden. After all he is a chronic under-scorer.
If Vijay Mallya had his way, after the quarter-finals, IPL would have the half-finals & full-final.
And the post-IPL party starts.
Unfortunately, all the recent happenings only go to prove that an honest politician is the exception rather than Tharoor.
If an aquarium can have water and a planetarium, planets, why can’t a consortium have a consort?
Lalit Modi possessed drugs as a teenager. What?! No way we’ll let him run a cricket tournament. Let him go stand for parliament instead.
BJP, RJD & BSP want JPC probe into IPL so that NCP will get caught & UPA will be in trouble. Acronymous scenes in parliament.

If India were a gym, Delhi would be the sauna, Chennai, the steam-room & Bangalore, the a/c reception. Mumbai will be the pool in 2 months.
The IPL saga continues.
I’ve heard of “suspension of disbelief”, but LKM’s behavior suggests that he’s experiencing “disbelief of suspension”.
LKM gets threats from the underworld. Looks like organized crime doesn’t like competition.
Kasab gets sentenced
Like all sentences, Kasab’s too ends in a full stop.
If he’s sentenced to death, Kasab will be 51st in the queue. “Capital” punishment just means your file is stuck in Delhi.
Subhash Ghai was ahead of his times. He introduced 4G in 1989. A-G, oh-G, lo-G, suno-G.

FIFA World Cup provides a lot of kicks
Hope Greece is not given a penalty. They’ll say they have no money to pay it.
I don’t think Mexico will make any attempt at the Argentinian goal. A Mexican can’t take a shot without salt and lemon.
I think Italy should be allowed to have an extra player on the field. After all, Azzurri usually comprises 12 people.
The feeling of having heard a damn irritating noise before – Deja Vu-vuzela
On the offside, first there is God, then there is Ganguly. And then sometimes Argentina.
If India had qualified for the World Cup, Chetan Bhagat would have been goalie & Mamata the forward. He can block, she can strike.
Germany, Uruguay, Netherlands & Spain. So the big G.U.N.S. have made it to the semis.
TN may free 500 convicts to mark Tamil conference. Why, may I know? Did classical Tamil have shorter sentences?
Ahmedabad to celebrate World Blood Donation day. Hopefully, this time around, they’ll keep it voluntary.
Karunanidhi turns 87 today. He will henceforth be called Dravida Munnetra Kazhavan.

Bopanna & Qureshi to play tennis match with Wagah border as the net. Thereby showing that there are faults on both sides.
Petrol price increased again. An optimist will now look at his tank as half fuel.
Just realized that M.S. Dhoni’s wife will be called Ms. Dhoni.
CWG fun begins
Now I understand why the CWG mascot is called Shera. They want a Shera this, a Shera that, and a Shera everything that makes money.
New HR rating scheme- 5: Exceeds Expectations, 4: Meets Expectations, 3: Average, 2: Needs Improvement, 1: Kalmadi.
Suresh Kalmadi plans to give us the Common & the Games. The rest, he’ll keep.
The latest form of humour: Stand-up Kalmadi.
So Amit Shah is behind the Sohrabuddin fake encounter, uh? Makes sense. His name is, after all, an anagram of “a sham hit”.
If Sherlyn Chopra met Rakhi Sawant, would the CBI call it a fake encounter?

Manmohan becomes third PM to hoist flag at Red Fort for 7th time. Sigh. So many hoisters, so few pearls.
If life gives you lemons, be very happy. They’re now Rs.100 per kg.
I’d like to start a paper factory that supplies clean chits to the CBI. Big business potential.
Congress to have elections to decide its President. Ha. That’s like Robinson Crusoe conducting interviews to select his assistant.
It’s a great day for our planet. All the top places in Miss Universe are bagged by earthlings.
Spot-fixing controversy hits Pakistan cricket. Pakistan is the world champion in book cricket.
There’s actually a website that does nothing but spot-fixing. It’s called Foursquare.
I’m looking forward to Arnab on spot-fixing tonight. I bet that he’ll interrupt his first guest on the third word of his second sentence.

CWG action continues
Finally some positive news about the CWG – 5 athletes test positive for dope.
1.6 million meals to be served during CWG. Oh. No wonder they have created such a big mess.
Delhi gets hit by Dengue.
What Delhi needs is some Ram Sene folks. They won’t let the mosquitoes breed till they get married.
I propose that we make mosquitoes our national insect. Then the government will try to protect them and they’ll become extinct.
Kasab case drags on
Sentenced terrorists have a good time in india – They are footloose and phaansi free.
UID launched. The first person gets an aadhar number. The second gets anaadhar number. And so on.
I guess, in Jalandhar, people will soon be bidding lakhs of rupees for a premium UID number.
Ayodhya verdict happens. Seems to be on the basis of Share-ya law.
This Ayodhya issue is quite complex. Hindus want a temple, Muslims want a mosque, while Mayawati actually wants a statue.
Off to Google Maps to mark Nungambakkam as Rameshjanmabhoomi so that there’s no confusion in 5510AD.
Raymonds wants to sponsor the Ayodhya verdict, because it turned out to be a 3-piece suit.

Obama’s goal seems to be to see as much of India and as little of Indians as possible.
In TN, a million more TV sets will be distributed. Our whole country seems to be in an alms race.
Advice to Arundhati Roy: if at first you don’t secede, cry, cry, cry again.
Mukesh Ambani is not the first to stay in Antilla. Centuries back, Valmiki used to hang out in one.

Today is the day Krishna slays Narakusara, Rama returns to Ayodhya, Mahavira attains moksha, and Airtel makes a killing. Happy Diwali.
The more the number of Diwali sweets in your house, the faster they get spoilt: Burfi’s law.
Raja scam explodes
A. Raja is living proof that there is a pot of gold at the end of the spectrum.
In India, scams have an alarming frequency. And now, with Raja, frequencies have an alarming scam.
Dear Manmohan Singh, it would be apt if you could sack our telecom minister using radio language: Raja. Over and out.
Manmohan Singh continues to do nothing about anything
Manmohan Singh’s First Law of Motion: Everybody stays in a state of rest unless
acted upon by Soniaji.
Manmohan Singh’s Third Law of Motion: Every action has an equal and opposite inaction.
One day there will be a movie made about Manmohan Singh. And the director will go, “Lights. Camera. Inaction.”
Manmohan Singh’s personal integrity is unquestionable. Mostly because he never attends question hour.
Yeddy allots land to his children:
My name is Yeddy.
I’m a great father, a cool deddy.
Politics has been bleddy,
but be happy I am steddy.
Cos else you’ll be stuck with Reddy.
The nation finds out that Radia : Government :: Sonia : Manmohan
Q : How do you fit 1000 media people in a hotel? A: 998 in 499 double rooms. And Barkha & Sanghvi in the lobby.
Why does phone-tapping make India a banana republic? Isn’t tapioca republic better?
There was a lady, Radia.
Whose contacts could fill stadia.
But to get stuff done,
She’d trust no one,
Except the helpful media.

Wikileaks threatens national security, or rather politicians’ security
What with wikileaks & payback, the governments of the world will now unite to face their common enemy – the public.
TIME had a difficult choice for Person of the Year. Assange, who attacked governments’ privacy. Or Zuckerberg, who went after people’s.
Sarkozy is a VIP Frenchie, right?
To protect against hacking, DRDO instructs all government officials to change their password from sonia123.
India has got an old, rich and glorious tradition in hacking. It started with Parashurama.
MMS & team are busy blowing balloons for Sonia’s birthday. They’ve told their staff that they’re tackling inflation.
Many bills were passed in the parliament session: Travel bills, food bills, etc.
We should also fix China by issuing visas that are attached by mere gem-clips.
Obama, Sarkozy, Jiabao & now Medvedev. If india can’t get to the Security Council, at least the Security Council is coming to india.
There was this guy called Manian.
Very very fond of onion.
He ate ‘em till it hurt.
So he lost his shirt.
Now he roams around in a chaddi & banian.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Honeymoon and James Bond (stop getting ideas ! )

To all my devoted readers (yes, all two of you) I ask, is there anyone out there who doesn't like James Bond ? The truth is we all love James Bond. The guys all wish they had the charm, voice and the looks of a James Bond (Sean Connery not Pierce Brosnan) while the women wish they met a guy like James Bond to errr play chess. Im sure everyone has at some point or the other wondered what it would be like to be a super spy with voice recorders disguised as everyday objects and cars loaded with missiles and machine guns with a back seat to errr play chess with the women.

Unfortunately life doesn't give us the chance to play super spy for real. (Well actually it does give me the chance but if I tell you about it I will have to kill you). That was until the advent of Facebook. Now Facebook for all intents and purposes is a marketers unadulterated dream with millions of people (including myself) putting up all their personal details out there for the FB guys to sell to marketers and get rich. Ill informed people (99% of FB users) think that it is a social networking site. But the beauty of FB was that up until recently it allowed people to snoop on just about everyone else and find out what they were hiding in the closet. Then people started making a hue and cry about privacy settings and they fixed it.

But by some strange unwritten code people have apparently started feeling bad for their fellow spies and have now started putting up pictures of their honeymoon (the politically correct term is 'holiday') on FB so that everyone can talk about it. Probably in the hope that the fellow spies would in term put up their pics when their wedding comes along. Or maybe they just want to show off that they could afford to go to a fancy place after an extravagant wedding.

Which of course, we as friends wouldn't know about since people have stopped inviting their friends to their weddings. Strictly family only these days. Cant blame them, if they have to afford a honeymoon to a fancy unpronounceable place then they have to cut costs. And what better way to cut costs than to invite less people for your wedding ?

But seriously, of all the things you have to put up on FB, does it have to be your honeymoon? Why not more pictures of your wedding? Why not the pretty bridesmaids who I would've tried to woo had I been invited to your wedding? Why not your dog? Or the plants in your garden? Or your underwear on your clothesline? Not that I'm complaining, it gives me and the rest of the world more than enough to talk about in our idle time.

Come to think of it, being James Bond isn't really going to be too difficult. All he has to do is follow the baddies on FB or Twitter. Imagine the scene, the bad guy slips into a back alley & Mr Bond runs past unsuspectingly. Meanwhile the baddie takes out his mobile & tweets "Slpd into back alley. JB is a fool. Hahahaha". And 2 seconds later Mr Bond shoots him in the head. A super spy beating the bad guys with technology. How could you not like James Bond ?

Happy birthday !

Im not much of a birthday person but this is by far the best birthday song of all time. Adam Sandler is credited with the song, though I dont know how true that is. Its up on youtube. The next time you have a friend's birthday coming up you know what song to sing !

Once a year we celebrate with stupid hats and plastic plates,
the fact that you were able to make another trip around the sun.
And the whole plan gathers round' gifts and laughter do will bound,
we let out a joyful sound and sing that stupid song.
Happy Birthday, now your one year older.
Happy Birthday, your life still isn't over.
Happy Birthday, you did not accomplish much.
But you didn't die this year i guess that's good enough.

So lets drink to your fading health, and hope you don't remind yourself
your chance of finding fame and wealth decrease with every year.
Does it feel like your doing laps, and eating food and taking naps,
and hoping that some day, perhaps, your life will hold some cheer.

Happy Birthday, your starting to get fatter.
Happy Birthday, it's downhill from now on.
Try not to remind yourself your best years are all gone.

If cryogenics were all free then you could live like Walt Disney and live
for all eternity inside a block of ice.
But instead your time is set this is the only life you get,
and though it hasen't ended yet some times you wish it MIGHT!

Happy Birthday, you wish you had more money.
Happy Birthday, your lifes so sad it's funny.
Happy Birthday, how much more can you take?
But your friends are hungry so just cut the stupid cake.

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Dear ...

Magic drawer, show me your power !

"Dude I read your blog & saw that you wanted to start cooking. Stop having junk food all the time. Why don’t you come over to my place & I'll show you how to cook home made food". An innocuous enough statement from a call made by a long lost friend resulted in even more cullinary misadventures (much better word than mishaps) that I must share with the world.

A week after the call was made, I dropped into my friend's place and after talking about the good old days we got down to the cooking lessons. Now I am sure some of you men out there must be thinking - 'What sort of guy learns cooking? That is a woman's job. So what if it is 2011?' Apparently women like men who cook and seeing as women definitely don’t find guys like me funny, good looking or charming, cooking seems to be the last resort (on second thoughts, that sentence kind of makes me sound like a desperate man which I assure you I am not).

Back to the story. My friend was always known to be a little absent minded & I was pleased to see that time had not changed him one bit. 'What we are going to do today, is to create a feast. One that the contestants of Master chef Australia, America and Tunisia would be proud of.' I was a little hesitant when I heard this because I was assuming I would learn to swim by trying out the kids pond but this was like throwing me into shark infested waters. 'What we need is a dash of this, a sprinkling of that, 2 tea spoons of this and a generous dose of that to make the perfect dish (I must apologise for the prodigious use of the words this and that when it comes to the ingredients, I had no clue what my friend was talking about and have inserted the words this and that for each ingredient). He opened the main drawer below the stove and looked carefully at it for a few minutes. All I could see were a few bottles of common spices and a few pots and pans.

'Never mind, we can use this and that instead' he said cheerfully as he tossed in a handful of spices into the boiling water. 'You know what would make this perfect? A dash of this'. He opened the shelf above the stove this time and looked at it intensely. Since my friend was ummm adequately heighted (apparently short is such a mean word to use these days) I offered to help him take out the items which were just out of reach of his hands 'Do you want me to get the salt or pepper or the sugar?'. I wondered why he was looking at the shelf when the item he had mentioned was clearly not in it but I decided to keep my mouth shut.

'It appears that I don’t have it, will use that instead' he said as he opened the drawer below the stove and looked at it with perfect concentration once again. I’m no chef but I knew for a fact that the drawer did not contain the above mentioned spice. And yet my friend moved about a few items in the drawer and finally convinced that it was not there he said that we might have to ramp down the scale of our extravagant cullinary experiment for the evening (how can you not love the way an Indian MBA speaks?). With my visions of pork roast being dashed, I resigned myself to a slightly less satisfying dinner when my friend said "How would you like a vegetarian dish?" I’m no full blooded carnivore but vegetables aren’t exactly my idea of a sumptuous meal. I looked around and noticed that there weren’t any vegetables. In fact there wasn’t any chicken or pork or any other four legged animal either.

Sensing my unease my friend suggested that I go to the hall and watch football instead. I feebly protested, more from not wanting to see what he was making given the extremely limited resources than anything else. I occasionally peeped into the kitchen and each time I saw him standing there staring intently at the open drawer almost as if he was trying to conjure up some spices or herbs or even complete dishes by magic. A half an hour later he walked in triumphantly with 2 plates laden with food that smelled delicious.

As he placed it in front of me my smile vanished as I realised that he had prepared rice and daal! Yes, just rice and daal. To give the devil his due, it was tasty but seriously, rice and daal without any vegetables / curries? 'Isn’t this a lovely meal?' he asked and I replied that I hadn’t had a meal like this in years. Which brought a huge smile to his face. Well I didn’t lie, the last time I had only rice and daal was several years back when I was so sick that the only food which would go down my throat was (you guessed it) rice and daal.

On my way home that night, I recollected the events of evening with a smile until I spotted the sign outside the nearby midnight meal preparing roadside vendor, which said 'Budget meals - Rice, daal & potato Rs 10 only'. 2 seconds later, my far from being a chef friend called me up saying "Dude I just got off the phone with this really pretty girl from my office & I’ve offered to cook her dinner. Yay! (I never understood why he does the Yay!) Can you come and help ....". I didn’t get to hear the rest because I had switched off my phone & was walking home to snack on noodles & chips.

Monday, January 10, 2011

How Do You Enjoy a New Years Eve Without Company

"So Neil, what big plans for New Years (eve)?". I was rapidly getting sick and tired of the blasted question as the new year approached. Everyone was either heading out of town, arranging small get-togethers for their family or going out with the better halves. The problem with not making plans in advance is that you suddenly reach that day (usually halfway between Christmas & Jan 1st) where everyone has made plans without you and you don’t want to shamelessly invite yourself and spoil their plans.

The highlight of this as yet unnamed day is that for all the days prior to that, just about everyone would be in a constant state of confusion - 'I’ve not made plans, have you? Let me know if something comes up' etc: And then out of the blue everyone assumed you would be making plans with your other friends and you are left high and dry.


Well not having company (unless I wanted to sit at home with a bunch of guys and watch yet another mindless fashion show on TV that treats women like commodities) was not the end of the world and I decided to do my bit to push the Indian economy and splurge a little by attending some party at a good place. After getting ready and dressing up (a not too frequent occurrence) I made my way to a fancy joint where I was told in no uncertain terms that stags were not allowed. I argued that I had seen the advertisement for the party in the papers only yesterday & that they were selling passes for stags at a not altogether reasonable rate. The rather stupid reply which I got was that stags were allowed entry only if they were in a group that included women. Flabbergasted for the first time.

Not one to waste time trying to understand the lack of logic of their reply I decided to make my way to a nearby pub that was renowned for the rock music it played. My friends and I occasionally visit the place and bringing in the new year in the company of AC/DC, Led Zep and Collective Soul among others seemed to be a good bet. Outside the pub, the otherwise friendly bouncer and manager suddenly seemed to have developed a serious case of amnesia. The pub is full, there no place to stand, its really crowded were the standard excuses that they bandied about. I explained to them that I don’t drink & that if they were worried I would create trouble in my drunken stupor they were sadly mistaken. Pat came the reply "But if you don’t drink, why do you want to enter a pub after paying the cover charge?". If they had any sense they would have realised that they would have made maximum profit on a person like me who wouldn’t drink & use up the cover charges but I decided against explaining it to them. Flabbergasted for the second time.

Checking my watch I realised that if I rushed home I could still catch the end of the mindless aimless pointless fashion show with half clothed (sounds so much better than half naked) women walking around. 200 meters away from the pub I had to stop because the police had setup a roadblock and were checking everyone with breath analyzers. 2 policemen came rushing to me only to be disappointed by the zero reading on the machine.

Meanwhile a large queue of vehicles had formed behind me and the cars that had pulled over and people were impatiently honking. As I got dressed (fear not, dressed involved zipping back my jacket, putting on my helmet and strapping on my gloves, activities that take a combined 3 minutes 15 seconds) the cops came back angrily asking me "Where do you think you are going?" (at least that’s what I think they asked me seeing as I don’t speak Kannada). "But the reading showed zero" I said in all innocence. "License, registration, pollution under control certificate and all other papers". Meanwhile the honking was getting louder as the line had grown longer. "Aren’t you guys checking only for drunken driving? Here are all my papers, can I go now?" I asked. "Sir, 100 rupees" said the junior cop. I gave him a blank look. "Sir after all its the new year and you ride a nice bike and can afford to pay us this small amount .....". Flabbergasted for the third time.

Tired and annoyed I landed at home just before 12 and switched on the tele to catch the end of Victoria's Secret Fashion show which featured some very attractive women (with the collective IQ of my 5 year old nephew) walking down the ramp. Who is Victoria? What is her secret? Why does it involve half clothed women? Why in the world are Akon & Katy Perry performing on the same show? Mercifully sleep overtook me before I could get flabbergasted for the 4th time.


Ive learnt my lesson the hard way. I have resolved to start making plans for Dec 31st starting now itself. If you have something interesting lined up let me know. We will plan early and finalize. At least that way I will have an answer whenever someone asks me "So Neil, what big plans for New Years (eve)?"

Saturday, January 08, 2011

The 2011 look

Its 2011. Pardon me for not celebrating like a madman and bringing the roof down (for starters, my landlord would not approve) because like most other people I too have realised that yet another year has gone by and not much has changed. I will spare you the incredibly boring and long speech on how fate conspired against me over the last year and the other 101 reasons as to why status quo has been maintained. What has changed though is the design of this blog. After 4 1/2 years of that prehistoric green theme, I finally decided that it was time for a change. Fear not dear readers (yes, all 2 of you, don’t worry I know who you are, its very sweet that you 2 to occasionally keep reading this blog and ensure that I’m not the only one reading my own posts) I will continue to be funny, insightful, thought provoking blah blah in my posts and will ensure that I don’t get into the writers block too often.

My hope is that I do enough of good blogging (questionable to say the least) throughout the year so that it will provide the necessary kick up the proverbial arse to get me started on my book which currently resides between my ears. Sell a few million copies, quit my job, buy Fiat Puntos in all the colours I like, donate a bit to charity, pick up a LED TV so big that I need to sit in the next room to be able to see both ends of the TV along with a microwave to make popcorn, kick back and relax is what should happen after that. Sounds good to me.

Plus the world is supposed to end next year. Technically it was supposed to end in 2000 but people have rather conveniently forgotten about that. Maybe there is a lot to look forward to after all, in 2011.