Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Fat kid in the mirror

Speaking in officially cold terms , I attended the last class of my academic life recently . Of course , I hear Gandhi-ian phrases about learning continuing till the last breath . But the classroom thrill of watching the brown haired pretty girl sitting on the first bench and then noticing the dark mallu guy sitting dangerously close to you is unique . And the feeling of learning without a pot bellied professor as my personal sleep inducer shall not be the same.

After the last class ,we guys celebrated by doing some emotional stuff for the camera . Me and Himanshu felt it would be a complete insult to pass out of college without being involved in the filmy 'couple-in-the-lawn' situation . We searched for a quick girlfriend but with that not happening over the last 24 years, we had to do this ourselves for the camera . Damn the shiv sena members .

I am the guy lying down . The guy over me is himanshu. We were just grinning at each other behind the International marketing book and yelling to nishant 'jaldi photo kheench ,sacchi mein koi paap na ho jaye'.

Also , a couple of evenings ago , I attended the farewell party the juniors put up for the Dramatics cell . It was a nice evening . The girls pleasantly ignored me. When people got bored of looking at each other and saying "Party is nice na" and "Ice cream is nice na" , they asked me to do a little stand up thing . I did the telebrands thing . The thing where tall , blonde and well muscled guys dress up in underwears and say stuff like 'pehle mera wazan bahut jyada tha.Fir mere dost Tony ne mujhe iss machine ke baare mein bataya.Kamaal ki machine hai' to sell exercise equipment on TV. People say I can mimic that thing well , without being tall , blonde , well muscled and wearing more than an underwear . People laughed when I did that telebrands thing . So I think I could enact that , unlessthey were laughing because my fly was unzipped all the while.

In other news , due to some wonderfully terrible luck , I was inside a clothes store twice over the last week . My ma will have a eighty feel tall exclamation mark springing from her head if she gets to know this . She knows I hate shopping . And as if a gas chamber wasnt fun enough , I was in a gas chamber with a suicide bomber . In more direct terms , I was in the shopping thing with a lady . You give a thirsty woman dying in a desert a choice between a chilled coke and 40% discount sale on raamdulaari saaris , and she will take the latter gladly . So the only way I survived it was to plop on a cushioned seat and pretend I was brain dead while she went around the shop with the confidenceof a stoned Shahid Afridi.

Clothes stores are amazingly bad places for me to be in . First , my interest in clothes compares well with Sunny Deol's interest in the telecom industry of Jakarta . Not that I belong to mallika's say-no-to-clothes school of thought , I just don't like shopping for them . Secondly , I am very scared of that little cubicle in the corner called the 'Try room' where people get naked and try clothes without having to pay for it . Along with maths test results , Try rooms remain the worst memories of my childhood.

For the cause behind this psycological scarring by try rooms , I need to admit something . I was a short and fat kid .I am still short ( Four months ago , I went to a clothes showroom , and the polite sales girl told me the kids section was upstairs ) . But being a kid , I was shorter andbeing a very hungry kid , I was fat.

I used to hate the trips to clothes stores then . I dreaded the moment when my dad held out a little pair of trousers to me , pointed to the try room and growled 'try these trousers' . My dad can inspire a dozen nervous breakdowns by the sheer steel in his glares . It is said he once he strangulated one of his patients with his stethoscope because the guy asked if he should seek a second opinion . So I dragged myself to the try room when he told me to . My self confidence was blown into bacteria sized particles the moment I turned in there . Roof to floor mirrors surrounded me on all sides . To make sure I dint miss anything fat layers , lights bright enough to hold a one day match in the tropical forests shone on every part of my bloated body . For a fat kid to look at himself without trousers under bright lights is one of the most effective ways to develop an amazing inferiority complex . Somehow I huffed and puffed my way into the trousers which were loose enough to fit in an ethopian athlete . I defied all physics and textile engineering lessons to button up the trousers around my tummy . At the end of it all , I was left wincing wearing a trousers with atleast 5 inches of length sticking outside my feet like dolphin fins . I would open the door slightly and try to gesture to dad and call him to check out the agonising fit . To make sure no traces of self esteem remained , he gestured back to me . Which meant I had to walk all the way from the try room to my dad . So in a store where every kid was slim and smart and looked like Vandana Luthra's illicit child , a fat and short me flopped my way to my dad , who then touched me all over and declared I needed to try a size slightly larger . A large part of my low sense of self worth can be attributed to the time I spent without trousers in a little room.

Anyways , all that is history now. I am trying to build my life anew , changing clothes in dark and mirror free rooms.

And I am loving this song . I found this lovely track called 'Aankhon ke sagar' by Fuzon . The voice , the words , the music come together to create a dreamy and almost trance like state . If you have ever liked a two eyed girl for reasons other than her rich dad , this song may evoke some memories . And they would be a lot better than those stirred up by Try rooms .

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Wo dundhli see tasveer...

Chalo Baccho , Photo Photo time ! Yeh hai mere hostel wing - 'azad pankh' ke kabootar . Can you guess main kaun hun inme se ?

My bed . Kaun kambaqth kehta hai ki I sleep alone ?

Yeh dekho mujhe JAM se cheque mila ! Abb main babu ji ke liye kurta pajama , ma ke liye saari , and behan ke liye dahej ka jugaad kar sakta hoon.

Jumman miyan , yeh hai hamara kampooter. Yehi hai saari musibat ki root. Pichle 6 saal se hamare saath hain.Sochte hai 2-3 saal aur rakh lete hain , uske baad museum wale khareed hee lenge yeh bharat ki darohar.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Single bells

I think I got fever.My parents gave me medicines and capsules enough to cure Somalia but forgot the thermometer.Also , I am in the process of reducing clutter from life these days.It's been like three days since I have watched a movie and am beginning to forget how Angelina Jolie looks.Instead , I am reading books.I am the guy who grew up reading phantom , mandrake , chacha chaudhary , mahabali shaaka , super commando dhruv and till last year thought Sidney Sheldon was a lady writer who lives in Sydney.So me reading books is like Manmohan Singh being an MTV VJ.But I am liking it .And I found 35 mb of more than 3000 dilbert strips.A guy ten minutes away from a suicide can laugh his diaphragms out reading that stuff.And here is the stuff I typed for Jam.Looks like I am getting into a huge despo single guy stereotype here.


I feel like typing more.But I want to sleep.I feel feverish.I think I will type more tonight.And I did not meet that crossword lady on the 14th.The desperate single guy thing moves on.Aapki bahu betiyan abhi bhee safe nahi hain.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Of orange shorts , pav bhaaji and V day plans

I am starting this post because I don't feel sleepy . I will just type out stuff about my evening. I hope to fall asleep on the keyboard doing it . I hope you too fall asleep reading it . Make sure you don't drool in your sleep . The saliva may screw up your keyboard.

This evening , N came to my room . He had to go shopping for some clothes . He asked me to accompany him . I think he asked me because I am short . It's a simple relative theory . A guy is
alone . He looks ok . A guy is with a short guy . He looks tall . I refused N and told him I had to work on an assignment of top priority. He promised to pay for my pizza if I went with him . It took me seven seconds to get ready.

So we went to crossword . It's a nice bright bookstore with a lot of books . Middle aged women in khadi kurtas sit around on low stools and pore over books discussing ways to rekindle the fire in married lives . Little kids noisily run around book racks and their mothers threaten to burn their toys if they don't shut up . Young girls are around the fiction racks . I think most people found in a bookstore are fat . Maybe it's because they spend a lot of time sitting and reading books on weight reduction . I picked up 'Tuesdays with Morrie' and went to the billing counter .

The billing girl at the counter looked at the big flaming red ferrari logo on the front of my black sweatshirt and gave me a smile . I think she liked my sober taste in clothes . And as I went away , she again smiled at me . I could feel it . It wasn't the 'please visit again' smile every customer gets . I think she liked me in a cute way . If you work at Crossword next to INOX kolkata and met that short cute guy in the black sweatshirt with a red ferrari logo , just know that I still think about you.

We got out and we went into a reebok store . N kept checking out the price tags of all the stuff there . He made a peculiar whooshing sound with his breath every time he did that . I think it translates into 'Why dont I have a rich dad who is into smuggling ?' . I did not have to buy anything . So I was pretty relaxed and tried on all the caps while he went around looking for something which had the price of a matchbox . He bought a pair of orange shorts finally . Reebok people don't have the right marketing guys . It is a blunder to have that dark bengali guy at the billing counter . I felt a strange creepy chill the way he smiled at me . I know short cute guys are the prime targets for these kinda men. I will never go to that store again.

Then we went to food court to eat something . Never trust anyone . Just do not . People promise to pay for your pizza and back out then . And you can't do a thing because they have already bought the obscenely orange shorts and got your company while doing it . It is a hard world . And then you realise you it is harder . I was not even carrying much money and had to settle for pav bhaji . I wanted to empty the ketchup sachet in N's nose . But a short cute guy can't just fill someone's nostrils with ketchup and not be beaten thereafter . I controlled my anger.

On our way back in the cab , N's girlfriend called up . I screamed 'Don't touch me N !' followed by 'Leave me N !' in the most girly voice I can put on . He spent the rest of the call explaining to his girlfriend there was no girl around him . You don't give me a pizza . I tear apart your love life .Fair and simple.

It's past five in the morning now . But I still dont feel sleepy. I think I will start reading 'Tuesdays with Morrie' now . The book reminds me of the billing counter girl . I think I should visit crossword on the 14th .

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Lily , be thoda sa silly

Hello. The time is 5.36 am . I am just done with Bluffmaster and I feel as sleepy as my three year old cousion who never sleeps . And I am thinking how much I like silly things . There is this messaging utility called 'ip messenger' on all the systems at IIM C . It is like a chat system using which we can broadcast messages all over the computers at the hostels as well as send one to one messages to each other . So around ten minutes back , there was a broadcast by a girl , called ABC for privacy . Liberated woman ka zamana hai , kahin usse objection ho gayi to poora girls hostel escort karega meri 'around the campus on a donkey' yatra ko .

All the messages mentioned below were broadcast to all the students.

ABC : Anybody awake in the campus ?
Guy 1 : Me one
Guy 2 : Me two

( So champak laal , aise ho gayi jaagi aatmao ki counting start)
Guy X : Me X.
GG : Oye poore 18 log jaag rahe hain.
Tayal : GG kitna vella hain , count kar raha hain , isko max vella award .
Me : Subah 5 baje GG jaage hue organisms ki counting kar raha hain , and tayal award baant raha hain. Dono hee export quality ke velle hain .
GG : Hum to fir bhee export quality velle hain , tu to seconds ka maal hain . Discount Sale lagakar hum tujhe flood affected logo ko bechenge
Me : Abe wo log flood se jitne peedit hue hain , usse triple peedit ho jayenge mujhe pakar.
Tayal : Accha hum tujhe free mein de denge .
Me : Oye main kya pocket calendar kun ki atlas cycle ke saath free de diya . Kabhi to mujhpar bhee price tag chikpao .
Chirag : Chikpao ? oye yeh abb chinese japanese bhee bolne laga .

This is like a classical case of stupid boys blabber . I really think we guys should have our pictures pasted under the definition of 'silly' in the dictionary . IIM C has produced a lot of big guys . Some of us are going to pass out and go on to be CEOs and presidents and Managing Directors of companies as big as big whales . And we guys were talking like our cellphones got more grey cells than our skulls . But it is moments like these when I realise that how many exams we may crack , how many jobs we may get and how many companies we may bring down , every person has a child within himself , and this child is free and silly . And when we allow this child to come out and act , we cease to care about the logic we have been taught since the time we used to carry water bottles and pencil boxes to school . We forget about the expectations of our parents and neighbours . We forget to be 24 year olds who are about to get working for big companies with firang bosses and air conditioned offices and free coffee and perfumed washrooms. We just be silly .

And yeah , there is this blog written by phoenix . I have never interacted with phoenix and know
her as much as Saddam Hussein knows your doodhwala . I visit her blog regularly , but I suffer from the "khao piyo khisko" mentality . I read her blogs , and enjoy reading them and then think "Yaar comment likhne se India world cup thode hee jeet jayegi". So I usually go away without putting down a comment . Yesterday , I read her post , which ended like this -

"Coffee to anybody who understands one word. Bravery award if you have reached so far."

So I was automatically switching into my "Khao piyo khisko" mode and going away without commenting when I thought "yaar har cheez India ko world cup jitaane ke liye thode hee karnee
chahiye" . So I shifted over to "Khao piyo and comment karo" mode and wrote this comment -

"A very honest and hitting post. And I cant really come over to collect the paramveer chakra. Just scan it and email."

I wrote this comment and then logged out and spent the day in perfect uselessness as I do on my busy days . Now the next day I get up . Log onto the institute online board to see that my professor wanted to buy a gas chamber and push everyone in it . But gas chambers are very costly and rare commodities these days . So he had used a cheaper alternative and announced a quiz in the class starting in half an hour . Then as I was drinking water , the bottle slipped and spilled over the keyboard . Thankfully the keyboard did not explode in my face . Though I don't think an explosion can make my face any worse than it is . Life turned more rosy. One of my friends called me up and informed me that she thinks I am a pig because I did not wish her on her birthday yesterday . I apologised to her and yelled a cheery 'Happy birthday' . She called me a pig again . So I was ten minutes away from a suicide when I logged in to yahoomail . And I had got this mail from phoenix :

A person I hardly know had mailed me a bravery award . For a moment , I was so delighted I could have chuckled at being diagnosed with lung cancer. Sometimes , silly-panti is good.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Billy kee jaan khatre mein hain

The next time Bill gates is addressing a press conference , a guy wrapped in a smelly old brown shawl may just spring up from the crowd , run up , jump over the stage while the security personnel run in , and plunge a gleaming knife in Mr.Gates’s heart followed by a cry of ‘Microsoft Word murdabaad’. Of course , then the security guys are going to capture me and mommy can see me on CNN and Punjab kesri . Infact , till last week , my class 8 history teacher topped my '50 people to kill before I am 40' list , closely followed by Kareena Kapoor. And I thought Bill Gates was a good guy . But after I spent a good part of my weekend creating my CV on Microsoft word , Mr.Gates has climbed to the third spot and is sniffing the back of Kareena’s neck . Page setup. Margins. Headers . Footers . Indents . Tabs . Yaar yeh line lambi kaise ho gayi ? Ohteri , yeh extra currics wale section ki bullets kahan gayi ? Hey raam , why dint I save itbefore the computer crashed ? I swear on your left leg , it was pure torture working on MS Word .

But on the better side of life , I caught some great movies over the last few days – 15 Park Avenue , 'main meri patni aur woh' and ' Sookhi nadi mein behti laash'. You need to be a miss india to fall for the last one . And Mrs .Rashmi Bansal was kind enough to publish something I wrote for Jam . But as the placements come nearer , I realize I am gonna make the leap from a sweatshirt –ketchup stain – uncombed –dad’s atm card guy to an ironed shirt – surf safedi – combed – 'beta kamaata hai' guy so soon , it makes me scared and excited at the same time .

It’s like a chapter of my life is coming to an end . The chapter which started when my ma walked away from me on my first day of school while I checked out the little girls sitting in the class . School . Ahluwalia maam whose name still reminds me of potatoes . The terrible school choir which justified the invention of ear plugs . The weirdly strict Clive maam , who used to slap me so much , she almost made a fingerprint album of my cheek . The Board exams which were great till the results came out . My computer engineering which made me realise how much I hate it . My bike which was my first true love . The beautiful microprocessors teacher who was again my first true love . The makkhan marofying to the lab assistants . The entire student thing is going to end in less than two months from now . People look at me and say ‘Munna mere laal , the day you report to work , this ‘tension kya hain yaar’ smirk you got on your face is gonna vanish like Anil ‘Hairy’ Kapoor in Mr.India . Add to that the fact I am not even applying to the plush investment banks and consults where employees drive eight feet long cars and own sweater clad french poodles . I did my summers in financial consulting at Ernst & Young , and the only thing I enjoyed there were the lunch breaks. So after introspecting on what I want , I am aiming for a marketing job which though considered almost as glamorous as the hair on Laloo’s ears , is my kind of hair.

All in all , I look back at my student life as a time well lived , having its share of achievements , disasters , fun , tears , cheating , determination , laziness and laughs. The work life calls out to me , but the echoes of this life I am leaving behind shall remain.

When I was a kid , I wanted to grow up so that I don't have to write exams . But now , when just a couple of exams seperate me from getting the last degree of my life and then going out to work
and steal mouse pads and permanent markers at some office , I pause , and think , and realise that I should not think but just quote Aamir in rang de basanti -

“College ke andar hum zindagi ko nachaate hain , aur college ke bahar zindagi hum ko nachaati hai … tim-lak-a-lak-tim-tim-lak-a-lak!”

Dance or no dance , only time can tell . But Bill gates shall pay for his sins . Someone get me a smelly old brown shawl.