Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Late night stories

And last Saturday I had to wait at a bus stop for two hours . Now we IIM pass outs are moulded to act busy . I mean , with problems such as global warming and extinction of the wild panda facing the world , how can we while away two precious hours at the bus stop shooing away dogs and watching people struggle with suitcases . So I decided to act sophisticated by continuing with Richard Branson's autobiography I had stuffed between shirts , tee shirts and other unmentionable things in my travel bag . At a very basic level , the decision taught me four things .One , never fish around in a travel bag without watching where your hand is going . Second , however lazy you are , don't just throw in an uncovered shaving razor in your travel bag . Third , if you grasp the blades of a shaving razor and for some reason it feels like the spine of a book to you , don't trust that feel . And fourth , Gillete Vector plus is a great product when it comes to shaving facial hair , or fingers . If you are the kind of guy who spent forty minutes trying to figure out how the atm machine works and have trouble comprehending things in general , here is what I just said - I cut my finger on an uncovered shaving razor lying around in my travel bag .

And finally , my parents got me a digital camera . Though an owner of a very unphotogenic personality myself ( I have been advised to cover my face with a piece of cloth whenever I go out unless I want to scare kids ) , I think a camera is always a good investment . It helps build memories and prove to your grandkids that you were not born with wrinkles and a bent spine . So here are some things I did with that camera earlier this day . I think I should be working with the national geographic with all this talent .

The skies have been this cloudy here over the last few days . You don't need to be on KBC to be rich now , just start selling umbrellas at Kochi .

This is the beach right opposite the hotel I stay in .Click on the pic to magnify and check out the guys in the white and orange shirt on the left . I am sure they were gays . They were holding hands till they walked behind a big rock .

Farhan Bhai , kya itna mehnga kar diya Don mein Shahrukh ko lekar . Main saste mein kar deta . Ekdum underworld look hain apun ka.( The cam was on auto click here .I think I did an electrifying job with creepy -glasses- darkness thing on myself here . I have never been so scared of myself .)

As I scrawl this lying on my bed , 'Anjani Rahon Mein' comes up on MTv . If there is anything which makes me forget everything , without a hit on the head with a flower vase , it's Lucky Ali's voice . And not just the voice , his songs are so reflective on life too . With whatever I have seen , his music videos usually show him travelling through the countryside and meeting people . Which I think is just like life . In the 24 years of my life , after having experienced whatever I have , from the pain of having cut my finger on a razor to the high of making it to IIM , from the excitement of having given someone a blank call to the terror of her dad finding out my number and calling me back , I have realised a thing . That I am just a traveller , who started this journey with nothing , and one day , will end it with nothing . As I travel , I will come across varied things . Thunderous applause , venomous comments , beautiful faces , luxurious objects , broken promises . But the echo of every applause will die down eventually , every hateful comment will lose its sting after a while , a beautiful face may reveal an ugly soul with time , no object of pleasure can lead to prolonged satisfaction , and it was only my own expectation which hurt me in the guise of a broken promise . So I need to realise the truth that without attaching myself to these mirages , I have to enjoy the journey . Life is not about clinging to these ever changing stations on the way . It's about understanding that it's all just a journey , to end in nothingness one day .Ok . I admit . All this sounds just like Sholay's Thakur trying to talk about arm wrestling techniques , so I will avoid public consumption of my personal ideas about life now .

It's 3:35 in the morning now and I am still awake enough to recite the entire multiplication table of 16 . So I guess I will take out Branson's autobiography and continue reading it . But this time , I better watch my hand when I fish around for the book in my bag . One more cut to the same hand , and I will be within an arm's length of Sholay's thakur's handicap .

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Life Nhaat equal tu moobie

I want to sue every single person who has ever been involved with the movie shooting of homecoming scenes at airports . The charge would be a 'inciting high expectations from family reunion scenes at airports' or something equally sickening . Arre raabert , trusting the cumulative knowledge of all movies I had watched till date , I was convinced my dad would hug me till my ribs turned to dust and mom would come up with a pooja ki thali or something on meeting me at the airport . So I landed at the airport , picked up my bags from the belt , pulled out my phone and called dad , all ready for the tears and hugs to unleash with all its fury.

Dad : Hello ?
Me : Hey ! I have landed ! ( I know that sounded like I am the Eagle , but that's what I said )
Dad : Oh ok .
Me : Where are you ?
Dad : There is a huge traffic jam here . Just sit around the airport and do something . Another half an hour atleast.
I understand this . Traffic jams happen . But then Yash chopra and his ruthless colleagues should be realistic enough to include traffic jams in movies too . In a movie , when shahrukh khan returns home after completing his masters from duke university , there should not be the smiling family with perfectly formed teeth waiting for him as soon as hops down from the plane . Instead , he should hop down from the plane , look around , say a 'kkkkk..kahan hai sab?" to himself , and then receive an sms which goes like "Traffic Jam.Another forty minutes.Wait near the coffee machine at the arrival lounge. And don't drink pepsi." That would help keep down real life expectations and make the world and the airports a better place for sons coming home.
But to much relief , my family has accepted the gifts I have got them without resorting to much physical violence . The 'ghar ka chirag' coming home for the first time since starting the first job of his life had to get something for the family unless he wanted to be given up for adoption , so I got a cellphone for dad , a watch for sister and a saree for ma . The last one was particularly tricky . I find saree shopping excrutiangly boring , just marginally better than watching the kabaddi match between indian railways and ONGC employees . (Yeah . Doordarshan still beams such things .Sacchi .) Add this attitude problem of mine to the fact that my solo shopping experience before this saree buying thing amounted to a total of seven minutes , and I had a huge task at hand . Accepting my limitations , I asked a friend at office to help me out with buying a saree for ma . Now this dude has an equally terrible taste in clothes ( Last monday , he came to office wearing a black jeans and yellow shirt . He complained about people on the streets trying to wave him down and shout 'taxi' as he walked to office) . But then when you need a haircut and a scissors isn't available , you gotta compromise with the axe .
So me and this friend walk into the biggest silk saree store in cochin . As soon as we walked into the store , a salesgirl draped in a light creamish saree approached us politely and asked what we wanted . My friend , who had promised to help me out with every saree related problem over the next couple of hours , rose to the occasion gallantly ...
Friend : We are looking for a saree . Silk saree . ( I have always told him to stop watching reruns of those bond movies every weekend )
She led us to a huge counter with all kinds of sarees gleaming behind it in the yellow light of the showroom. She spread out a couple of sarees on the counter , and my friend started fiddling with the border and let out a very learned "Hmmmmm."
By now , a huge clump of inferiority complex had begun to form someplace between my pancreas and diaphragm and I had to display some saree- knowledge urgently . So I looked up at the salesgirl and said
"What other sizes do you have in sarees ?".
It was like those hushing moments during the founders day when you suddenly clap thinking the school principal's speech is over and it's just a pause . My friend looked at the salesgirl with eyes which said "Please forgive him . He is retarded . We are getting him treated in the US soon." She nodded back at the friend with eyes that said "It's all right.We can call him a special child . Take good care of him."
( Since that day , I have asked a lot of innocent passers-by if sarees come in different sizes . Responses have been varied . If I get a majority saying there are varied sizes , my friend , and that salesgirl , both are in for a major emotional assault by me )
Anyway , the only thing I said during my entire time in the showroom after that was "Cash" when the lady at the billing counter asked "Cash or credit card ?". Ma says the saree is great but I think she is just acting out of motherly love and the entire "Atleast he tried" school of thought.
And in a startling display of anti virus updation , my dad wiped out all data from the disk of the computer I had at home . The news of the demise of all my college photographs , market reports , music collections and certain hidden files wasn't even communicated to me on phone when this happened some one and a half months back . I guess my family has a slightly different concept of a 'pleasant surprise'.
Anyway , I will close down now . I have to pack my bags for my trip back to my mallu sasuraal. To chalta hoon bhai . And the next time you expect a waiting family at the airport , just remember , life is not a movie . These movie people sell traffic free dreams . Sue kar dooonga ek ek ko .