Friday, December 30, 2005

Khiladi number (N)one

The campus placement season is coming towards me like a drunk and unbathed Gulshan Grover staggering towards a cowering and trembling girl who took refuge from the rain in one of his luxurious bedrooms. In the movies , the girl generally pulls out a seven inch knife from the apple basket lying on the side table , positions it right over her tummy and yells "Kutte , ek kadam bhee aage badaya to main khud ko khatm karr dungi". But I do not feel any amount of artillery positioned over any part of my anatomy can halt the oncoming placements . So I better gear up unless I want to go jobless and then end up as an anti social element , stealing eggs and bread to feed my kids and wife and girlfriends.

As a part of this "naukri pakdo" preparation , I sat down to work on my resume yesterday. I looked at a blank word document and typed down each and every achievement of mine , including being a class monitor in the fifth standard . But even after that , page space enough to fit in the entire voters list of Gurgaon remained. I felt so small at my extra minimised set of achievemnts and suddenly had a very 'sharminda karne wali' realisation - I do not have even a bacteria -sized achievement to show in the world of sports. Not even a third prize in one of those junior school frog races where they give Pencilboxes and Crayons as prizes .

When I was born , I was a baby with baby fat enough to make butter naans for half the colony. And that is all right , I guess babies are like pay cheques - they look good when they are fat. But hanuman jee kee leela dekho , I was born into a family with a grandmom who fed grains to sparrows in the morning and oily food to her grandson for the rest of the day. So at a tender age , when I had no nails or teeth to scratch and bite in self defence and could just murmer "nana..mamama...umm" ( No I am not hungry ) , she made me eat and eat to make sure I retained a major part of my precious baby fat even when I entered school .

So that made me as much "suitable-for-sports" as Nana Patekar is for the role of Leo Caprio in Titanic. Like any 'deshbhakt' little fat indian kid , cricket was my first love , with Sridevi coming a close second ( yeah , those were the 80s , when sridevi pranced around in frilly tops and danced violently ).

And cricket was fun , as long as I was watching it on TV. When I went out to play , tall and lean boys gave me that "Go play Ludo" look . My cricketing memories are majorly composed of standing near the little green row of plants which served as the boundary of our park-cum-field. Sacchi bolta hoon , batting and bowling ka to naam-o-nishaan nahi . I just had to retrieve the ball when it crossed the boundary . I felt like a golden retreiver without a tail . I was always the curly haired little kid who was pleading- "Ayye bunty , bat de na , mujhe batting karne de na" , "Ayye rahul , ball de na , mujhe spin balling aati hai acchi wali " , "Ayye Vikky , mere andar ke cricketer ka gala matt ghott. mujh par taras khaa zaalim. Mujhe batting open karrne de ".

But no bunty or Rahul or Vikky ever ate any taras on the budding and well hidden cricketer in me . So one day I decided ki bhaiyya , bott ho gaya public mein humiliation , boundary ke side mein fielding karte karte budaapa aa jayega .And I hung my bat and walked away into the sunset , never to return to cricket again .

Since then , I have had myself humiliated , laughed at , beaten and thrown away out of a lot of sporting careers. Kasam Michael Jackson ki , there seems to be something which makes me a loser at every sport I have played . I have run miles zigzagging the field without getting to place the fraction of a foot on the football . On the tennis court , my opponent's serves were always far enough from me , enough to drive a yellow sardarji driven school bus through the space between me and the tennis ball . The only hockey swipe I have taken led to the stick flying off my hands and hitting the instructor in his groin , almost ending his family plans and definitely ending my hockey plans .

Ok , it is six in the morning and I think I will go for a little jog around the campus now. No no no , do not get me wrong , athletics is not my next sporting passion .

Before I go , a very very Happy New year to you buddy .You be the good person you have always wanted to be , and if you see a little fat kid pleading before big and lean guys and saying "Mujhe batting karne do please" , walk over , slap the big kids unke respective kaan ke neeche and hand over the bat to the little fat kid with a smile , and lastly , maintain peace in the new year .

Maybe my son will grow up to be some star soccer player who is signed up by a fancy cclub and makes girls scream at super sonic levels when he steps out of his red sports car , or some champion boxer who chomps on ears and strips topless and beats dark and bald muscular men on TV. But you wont see me on ESPN or any sports channel in this lifetime of mine , unless I am picked up by some channel to dress into a noodle straps blouse and replace Mandira Bedi , which , I somehow feel , is slightly improbable .Have Fun.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Boyfriend /Girlfriend = Faltoo tension ?

A popular and slick and busy eating joint .Well lit. Big flat screen television playing in a corner. Round little shining tables with nice angular chairs around it . A guy and a girl seated around a table.

The guy reaches into a paper bag and pulls out a box of chocolates.

Scenario 1 -

Guy ( handing over the box to the girl ) – Hey , I got this for you , I guess you like chocolates.

Girl – Oh, Thank you ! I love them.

*Girl thinks – Ueee ma , it would be fun eating all of these chocolates .Ek ek ko chaba daalungi.Calorie consciousness gayi tel lene*

Scenario 2 -

Guy ( handing over the box to the girl ) – Hey , I got this for you , I guess you like chocolates.

Girl – Oh, Thank you ! I love them.

*Girl thinks – Ueee ma , I am again accepting gifts from him , but over the last three weeks , he has been a little cold . Since the time that new girl with the colored hair has joined our classes , he has not been his normal self .See , even the chocolates he has gifted are Cadburys , why could not he gift me those Swiss ones….maybe he hates me now that I have put on weight . Hell , I am so scared and anxious now , these chocolates look as tasty as a Dettol soap to me.*

And it makes me appreciate how much more delightful a simple guy-gal friendship , rather than a “coochie coochie –more than friendship-ishq vishq” , is .

I mean , kasam Bhawani ki , the “expectations/possession” ka funda that creeps when a girl is your girlfriend and not just a friend is one wierd issue , atleast with a ‘tension-nahi’ types insaan like me. I mean , I gifted her chocolates because she is a friend , and I wanted her to have fun gobbling them up , and that is that. And this kind of relation is so simple , natural and free of muddled feelings and assumed expectations.

But the moment a ‘proposal and acceptance’ takes place between a guy and a girl , things are transformed. Suddenly the girl, who was a friend till yesterday is a girlfriend . Till last Sunday , Rahul and Shruti were classmates in college . Rahul called Shruti his friend. Then Rahul proposed and Shruti accepted. Now Rahul calls Shruti “My girl”. I mean , yeh “My girl” kya hota hai Rahul Kaka , yeh koi cycle hai , ki “my cycle” ?

Then if Shruti decides goes out on a lunch with her ‘barso ka dost’ vineet , Rahul narrows his eyes and asks her “Tera koi chakkar hai kya uske saath?” and promises to throw export quality acid on her if the answer is in the affirmative.

If Rahul does not send Shruti a bunch of fresh roses on the anniversary of the day they first met in the physics lab , Shruti calls him up in the evening , says Hello , then coughs , sobs and breaks into a long wail which ends in “You are not the same , Rahul” or something to that effect followed by a violent slamming down of the phone.

And Hanuman Jee na kare , if Shruti goes out to shop and spots Rahul riding his bike with a pretty girl on the backseat , she will throw dangerously heavy things at Rahul till he shows her the birth certificate of that girl to prove that it was his sister he was going to drop at her maths tution classes.

I mean , dekho jee , I have minimal experience of having a girlfriend , and considering my state of existence , I don’t think I will have too much experience in this and the next few lifetimes. But to my underdeveloped dimaag , a simple friendship is a very direct , expressed and delightful relationship to have . Maybe all these complications between Rahul and Shruti would not happen , and they will trust each other come what may , and that is very comforting and kaleje ko thanda karne wali thought . But I guess it is cool to let feelings grow naturally without the thing of “having to do it” because he/she is your girlfriend/boyfriend. A true feeling needs no promise , and no promise can make an untrue feeling survive , so why promise and build expectations and lead to unfulfilled ones ?

You can yell “sour grapes , sour grapes” for me now. Infact , I am such a girlfriend-less guy , that even a forest of sour grapes may seem to be the reason behind my thinking . Maybe I am just too immature to handle all the responsibility and promises a commitment demands . But in my opinion , one can be more easy , be a lot more frank , and a lot more natural with a girl who is just happy to see a box of chocolates instead of worried over some new girl with the colored hair.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Gurgaon ke cafe se

Haan jee , so 15 minutes of my time at this cyber cafe remain.I am done with the mailing .I am done with checking the IIM C online board which says nothing to show that I have been kicked out of the Institute over the holidays.The classes have already started but then mommy said "Matt jaa beta ! Tu wapas Calcutta chala jayega to roz subah Mother Dairy se sabji kaun layega?".So I have extended my stay at home and would be getting back to Kolkata this weekend.I got carrots , potatoes and some fresh Dhaniya from the Mother dairy this morning.
In other news , Delhi is chilling when compared to Kolkata.The moment I stepped out the airplane when I came here , I shrieked "Ueee maaa , itni thandi" and almost ran back straight into the aircraft.
Also , I got a Hair cut after a long time.I went to Classic Hair Saloon.The guy there got hold of some young and innocent barbers from the neighbouring villages such as Jharsa and Kapashera and dressed them into white lab coats and now they ply their trade at Classic Hair Saloon.They even got little name tags pinned to their chest pockets.My barber was named Ram Narayan.As soon as I settled down in the chair , I told him "Bhaiyya , medium rakhna , jyada chote chote matt karr dena , meri shaadi hai agle hafte."
But he was so interested in "Chamatkaar" playing on the TV placed in the corner of the saloon that now my hair looks like those of some West Indian bowler of the 1980s.I just wish I had decided to follow my urge to stab him with one of the scissors he used on my hair.
And I have watched so many of these real life contest shows on the TV lately - Indian Idol , Agla Kaun , Nach Baliye , etc etc .I half expect to switch on the TV and catch my "Ludhiane wale Mamaji ka beta Bunty" on some TV show , excitedly yelling "Do me a favor , lets play Holi" while wierd judges hold up signboards declaring scores after every performance.
Ruk ja ...
Call from home , I am to buy a half bread and half a kg of Tomatoes on my way back and be at home in 15 minutes.The tomatoes have to be red , I got pretty sad greenish ones last time.I am going now.Bye.Classic Hair Saloon is on the way back too.Just hope no one is killed.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Home.Not Alone.

I think this picture captures the emotions my family must be going through right now.

Right guy - "Oh no.He is coming back.Did you hear ? He is coming back.Oh no.I knew this day will come."

Left guy - "Come on , it will be fine.I have got the aspirins ready.And we can always lock him in the bathroom.Keep the faith.Maybe he will miss the flight."

I am going home. To be honest , I plan to be a little more sane on this visit to home and not tease my sister too much and not irritate my dad too much and not trouble my mom too much .In short , not cause too many aspirin requiring antics .

After a term of submissions , assignments , movies , mess food and Bengali speaking shopkeepers , I am going home.Calcutta to Gurgaon.Where we say "Bhai , time kya hua hain" and not "Dada , time?". Where you can ridicule Ganguly without getting lynched. Where you can not be supporting any football club and still considered human.


Where no one judges me. No one judges if I am trying to woo/seduce/kidnap/eat girls by expressing things on my blog. No one judges if my exam scores would put a pack of drunk donkeys to shame . No one judges if I am shorter than his sister who is still in school. No one judges if my IQ matches that of an american supermodel . Where suddenly , on catching a glimpse of family at the airport's arrival lounge , I break into a grin and say to myself "Yeah , I am home".

Thursday, December 08, 2005

One night @ My room

9.53 p.m.

Tommorrow , I have my "Retail Management" exam.When I opted for this course , I wanted to learn about retail chains , franchise system , merchandise management ,retail communication mix and other such terms which are complex names for things which are common sense.I took this course so that I can pick up these complex terms and throw them around when I start working. That should make me look learned even if the number of meaningful suggestions I give are comparable to the number of Gandhi Peace awards in Osama Bin Laden's collection.

So tomorrow is my exam.I plan to jot down general observations as the night progresses. My hostel stay shall end in four months from now. So I want to record random moments from my hostel life. I have downloaded the course presentations and chapter slides our professor uploaded on the Institute online board.So now I am going to minimise this notepad window and study.Wish me luck.

Between , isn't this "wish me luck" a stupid thing to ask ? I do not think you will fold your fingers into a fist , pump the air thrice , clench your teeth and mutter "Go blast the exams.Best of luck". It is strange why people say such things .Now I am going to study.

11.27 p.m.

Imagine an Ambassador car.1985 model. Red colored. Dusty. Old. Imagine a fat and dark guy with a grumpy face in the driver's seat. Imagine a fat lady with bright red lipstick on her pouty lips and her hair tied in a big bun , sitting in the seat besides him. Imagine their three kids quarelling in the back seat. Imagine yourself pushing this car for the length of a football field. Imagine how tired you will feel after doing that.Right now , I feel that tired.

Because I spent the last half trying to let out a baby bat that had found its way into my room.The dense vegetation and all the lakes in the campus makes it an attractive place for fish , ducks , snakes , bats and criminals looking to dump deadbodies. So at around 10.50 , I noticed a little baby bat flying in vicious circles just below the roof of my room. I got up and opened the door and the windows. But the little bat had learnt no other shape except the circle in his geometry class.

I folded a copy of businessworld in a makeshift baton and
waved it at him. I yelled "Hoosh Hoosh" ,"Bhaag ja" ,"get lost" , "its my exam" ,"please leave" , "wo dekh window" and "saale kutte" at it . I played 'Dholna extended -Ila Arun remixed' , a song I find disturbing enough to make a lion vacate his cage , but the little bat kept at showing me his circular flying skills. Five minutes ago , he realised that I was not going to give him any Air Force medal or even a 'nice flying' remark , so he shot out of the window. Between , studies are ok.

1.05 am

Just found the album "aadat" on the LAN. It is by the pakistani group "Jal". My tastes suck. I choose maroon trousers at a clothes store and always pick the cheapest flavor at an ice cream parlor. But trust me on this , the track "Aadat si hain" , "Dil Haray" , "Panchhi" ,"Woh Lamhey" , infact all the tracks in this album are beautiful. Their numbers evoke a sense of nostalgia and dig up all the black and white memories about that pretty girl you could never talk to without stammering , about dried rose petals placed between yellowed pages , about all that sentimental memories which earns big bucks for mushy mushy movie directors and wrecks the 'retail management' exams of business school students.

3.42 am

This is a snapshot of my desktop a couple of minutes back. You see this music video playing , I swear on Sharmila Tagore's dimples , I found it in the folder containing the chapter slides uploaded by our professor. I thought it was the "Trading area analysis" chapter , but it turned out to be this. Do not believe this . Chill, just taking a 15 minute break and watching random music videos.Can you identify the one playing ?

3.52 am

I feel very tired now.I think I will go downstairs with P and have a cup of tea.P usually makes
me pay for his tea too.But that is all right , much better than asking a baby bat to leave my room. Between , studies are on track. I learnt a few things.Picked up some retail jargon . And it makes me feel good. Imagine this :

*Six months from now*

Me in a business meeting.Polished Round table.Me and other team members sitting around it.

Lily ( my imagined boss ) - I am so confused . I am so troubled. I do not know how to boost profits for our product ! Someone help me !

John ( my imagined colleague ) - Err..ummm...

Michael (my other imagined colleague ) - Cough Cough Cough..ahem..cough cough..ahem...

Julie ( my another imagined colleague ) - Err..I think...I think...

Me :

*flashes a superior smirk* *flicks back a lock of hair falling over the forehead*

Piece of
cake guys.We just need to implement dollar control which involves planning and monitoring a retailer’s financial investment in merchandise over a stated period .I could have suggested unit control , which relates to the quantities of merchandise a retailer handles during a stated period , but then according to the George Keller framework of analysis ,valuation errors are reduced when conducting a physical inventory since merchandise value is recorded at retail and costs do not have to be decoded.So it is clear , L Hospital rule is the way to boosted profits .

*again flicks back a lock of hair falling over the forehead and flashes the smirk*

John ( with his mouth open so wide so as to allow a Tata Sumo in it )- Holy cow !!!

Michael ( cowering in shame ) - Someone flush me down some toilet.I dont want to live when we have such genius people roaming the planet.

Julie - Man !! You are a genius !!! Will you marry me ?!

Lily - Guruji !!! You are promoted to the CEO position !!!

8.48 am

Shucks.I slept off.Just got up five minutes back.Exam in few hours.I must forget
all about toothbrush , newspaper , breakfast and other morning activities and just study now. Over and out. And now if I flunk , you know you have to blame a baby bat , a dream about an office meeting ,and a pakistani music band.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Random Insights

I feel very disorganised right now.So expecting me to put down something organised would be like expecting Udham Singh from District Jharsa , Haryana to win the International Crossword Championship held at Los Angeles .So it is tough to expect something sensible from me , more so right now .But I just want to blabber.I can chat with some of my friends here.But they are in the class and I am the only one on my hostel floor to bunk the class.So I am alone.So I will just put down random things in my head -

~~I have exams in three days.And I do not care.The grades for the first four terms matter for the placements.This is term 5. So I do not care about these exams.I will study a little .But at a broad level , the only thing I am taking to the exam hall is myself , and a pen.Or maybe I will borrow the latter in the hall itself.

~~I feel tired of all these submissions and deadlines and reports.Here in IIM , a deadline is never like 12 am.It is 11:59:59 pm.And over the last week , I have submitted papers on Co-branding , launch strategy for a hair oil , a analysis of the Indian Film Industry , a case about some gujarat gas company , a 'detailed look' at the Indian pharmaceutical industry , and a lot of other perfectly uselss and yet graded assignments I do not even want to remember.But yeah , FMS , Delhi organised a contest where we had to design a strategy for selling a "mosquito attractor".I submitted that a couple of days ago and that was fun.Even if we do not win , me and my pals had a great time laughing our intestines out working over this one.Meanwhile , you got any ideas on how to sell it ? As a snippet , our proposed strategy included launching the Mosquito attractor in three variants - Dengue Deluxe , Malaria Masti and A No-Frills variant.

~~I am changing the look of this blog and my blog identity because I feel bored of the black color of this blog and I feel bored of same old name I have had for 24 years .And I get to pick the name of my most favorite character , who is almost an idol - Jughead.I love and respect Jughead.When I was a kid , I forced my mom to stitch a 'Jughead Hat' , if you know what it is.I even wore it to school a couple of times .All the kids pointed at my head and laughed.But I love Jughead.

~~My movie watching frequency is dipping .It scares me.A movie is to me what a bone is to a doggie and what google is to an engineering student - indispensable.I was an engineering student too , and I used google for all the C codes.In my opinion , a major part of the education system is supported by Google. Anyway , I want to get my movie watching ways back to their vintage and glorious standards.Two nights back , I watched "The Terminal".With Tom Hanks in it and the entire movie shot in an airport terminal , I found it delightful. Finding Nemo and Crash lined up for tonight. I just hope no deadlines come up tonight.

~~I talked to my sister a couple of days ago.I asked her how she was.She said she was feeling a little upset.I told her not to feel that way , and told her that I would be coming home soon.She said that she felt very very upset on knowing that.

~~The european students who studied here for some months as part of a exchange program , are about to go back to their universities in a few days.I have become friends with a french guy .I taught him a little hindi over his stay here .When he came out of the hall after a class test , he is reported to have uttered "Man , this test was Ullu ka Pattha".I am proud of him.The Indian heritage of its foul words shall travel to France soon.

~~There is some problem with my Yahoo Messenger .So I am chatting to this friend at 2 in the morning.He is telling me about some girl who rejected his proposal and almost slapped him in a crowded mall.He is upset and down and heart broken.My YM gets stuck.The friend thinks I have went away without even telling him.I go to sleep and wake up and login to YM to find these offliners from him-

"Do you IIM snobs want a fat salary for saying a simple goodbye too?"

Perfect start to my day , I think.

~~I think I should study now.After all , I have these Ullu ka Pattha tests in three days.