Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Help kar do uncle

Gaon walo , I need a little help . I need to get a little , rajpal yadav sized questionnaire filled . Only 5 questions , no personal questions concerning your sly nose picking habits .If you have ever been near a keyboard , it wont take you more than three minutes and seventeen seconds to get over with it . So if you got three minutes and seventeen seconds , please mail me right now at abhinavj8008@gmail.com and I shall send it across . Harr help karne wale ko dee jayegi ..umm..abb I can't offer you a three days and two nights all paid trip to Mauritius ( Lunch included ) , so I will just offer you my thanks.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tanhayeeeeeeee Tanhayeeeeeeeee

Abhi iss foto ko dekh kar life mein tension mat lo , aage padne pe samajh ayega aapko ki iss foto ka iss post se kitna gehra taal-lukk hain melordddd

Abhi kuch der pehle , as I was practicing my moves to "Crazy Kiya Re" ( Arre shaadi aa rahee hai bhai , piraktice naahi karenge tho thumka kaise maarenge ) , one of my old friends buzzed me on Gtalk . Now , when I say old , it does not mean that he was born before the steam engine was invented , but I had not talked to him over the last atleast two years. So overcome by jazbaat and emotions , we talked about old school days , the teachers , the lady teachers , the kashmir mudda , undergarment industry of Japaaan and other such heart warming issues ( A lot of issues and topics have been beeped out . Bahu betiyan bhee padti hai na yeh blog.).

We talked for about forty minutes . I could have talked more but then his dad is not yet into smuggling charas/brown sugar/garam masala and he very clearly said "Chal saale.Ab fone rakhne de.Isse jyada baat kari tho pappa meri khaal utaar ke dubai mein bech denge." Not very pleased with the thought of my friend's skin being sold in some flea market in Dubai with a stallwaala yelling "Indian khaal Indian Khaal , sirf teen rupye per square metre , le jao le jao", I agreed .

But long after I kept down the phone , one question which he casually posed to me during the conversation kept goonjing in my ears -

" Yaar Abhi , tera jaisa banda akela reh kaise sakta hain ? Tujhe dekh kar tho lagta hai jaise tune paida hote hee nurse se gappe maarna shuru kar dia tha..tu akela rehta kaise hai kerala mein ?"

Now , the guy does have a point . Aaj main mika ke baalon ki kasam khaake admit karta hoon that it has not been an easy time for me in Kerala over the last nine months ( Ek tho yeh nine months bada hee khatarnaak time frame hota hain , sunte hee mind mein bacche ke rone ki awaaz aane lagtee hain ). The boy who landed in Kerala on the 20th of June 2006 was possesed of nothing more than seven minutes of cumulative experince in the kitchen , had ironed a total of three shirts , seven chaddis and one handkerchief in the 24 years 8 months of his life , had no sense of a biological clock and did not know how a man in a lungi looks like.

And today , on the kaali amaavas ki raat of 21st Farvareee 2007 , I can proudly smirk and claim to be a man who can prepare maggi , sandwiches , neembu paani and an occasional thick brown liquid which I call coffee . Mujhe pata hain aap mein se kuch kaafi shakki mizaaz ke hain , unke liye maggi ki foto bhee chipka bhee dee hain .bilaady disbelievers.And I have ironed enough baniyans , shirts ,trousers , chaddis and other chote chote kapde to get a wildcard entry into the All India Dhobi Association of Kerala . And now I know how a dark wiry malayali man looks wearing a lungi which is threateningly high and revealing . And trust me , that is one sight you don't want to know about .

I have been staying in all alone in an ajnabee shehar , in a land where I am thousands of miles away from a single soul who actually cares , in a place where I am no more than a north indian novelty who speaks gibberish . And if all this has taught me one thing , it is this - Do not take the 'saath' of your family for granted . Yeh jo aapke ma , daddy , bhai , behan hai na , inn logo ka saath ek saaye ki tarah hota hain , jiska ehsaas tabhi hota hai jab aap dhoop mein nikalte hain .For many of you , it would be so normal to hear your mother calling for you with a "Aao beta , khaana kha lo" . It would be so normal to watch a cricket game on the telly with your dad sitting besides you . It would be so normal to find your sister eating the last bar of chocolate in the fridge and attack her with a "drop that bar and put your hands in the air you vahshee bhooki !!! wo main khaaunga !!!".

But all this seems as precious as RBI locker ka password once you move away from home. Beta door yahan lungiyon aur sambar ke desh mein jab office se wapas ek 'kabristaan sa sunsaan' kamre mein aaoge , when no one will be around to care if you are seven minutes away from dying a maut due to starvation , when you have to watch every cricket game alone and when Dhoni hits a six , even do the little bhangra alone , then you realise what a family means .So while you are with your family , relish every moment , walk into the kitchen and try to pick up a hot aloo ka pakoda while your mommy scolds "Uff ! Thanda tho hone de ! Yeh ladka bhee na bass !" . Watch every match with your dad and argue if sachin should have left that ball outside off stump alone . Fight with your sister over every chocolate she eats . Because kya pata , kal ho na ho .( Uee ma , karan johar mujhe sue karne aa raha hain , bachao ).

But some good things have also popped out of this tanhayi tanhayi ki mp3 which has been playing in my life over the last nine months . Umm..like I have read more books than I ever had . The most intelligent piece of literature I had read before coming to Kerala was "Super Commando Dhruv aur Pratishod ki Jwala" . ( It was the one where "Grandmaster Robo" kills Dhruv's mom and dad when they strayed in Robo's garden playing chupan chupai , which in turn , forced Dhruv to turn into a "Super Commando" from a nanha munna boy who used to watch Pogo all day ).But now I have read books which involve more than parental murders and revengeful kids . Also , I have learnt to be comfortable with myself . I can spend 120 years in a dark dungeon locked up all alone now , although the company of Sushmita Sen would not be a problem . And I have learnt to eat stuff which is called "Mutter Paneer" but looks more like Fried Ostrich balls ( Eyeballs , you insensitive animal hater ) floating in the blood of Jackie Shroff . ( You dont believe me ? Theek hai , iss mutter paneer ki bhi foto chipkaaunga agle blog mein ).

Anyway , chalo mere gol matol desh wasiyon , main ab apna pallu tuck in karke wapas "Crazy Kiya Re" ki dance moves practice karta hoon . Yeh blog tho maine apne personal "Nach Baliye" ke commerical break mein hee likh diya . So all righttttt..3..2..1....Crazy kiya re aha aha..:p

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Of wedding plans and head banging music

This little girl was in the train I took last week ( Haan Haan IIM ke ladke train mein bhee ghoomte hain . Gareeb hoon main.). Due to some reason , she kept looking at my face and laughing at pretty regular intervals . Abb bacche bhee mera mazzak udaane lage .

Last week , as I sat at my desk , tapping away on the keyboard and trying to look as involved as if I was three keystrokes away from finding the cure to Limfusarcoma of the intestine , a colleague walked by.

Noticing me , he exclaimed in a rather cheerful tone generally reserved for pretty secretaries..

"Hey Abhi , I hear you are getting married !"

Now as people with inadequate exposure to this blog would have noticed , I am a very shy boy , steeped in tradition and "samaajik maryada". Hence I merely let out a coy smile , lowered my eyes till my eyelashes brushed the keyboard and nodded a delicate yes .
At this point of time , I was expecting a little congratulatory pat or something . But the colleague shook his pumpkin head sideways , murmured a "Yakeen nahi hota" and walked on.

Now , people would believe it if I said I ordered a tomato soup last night and found Himesh's cap floating in it , but nobody has been ready to believe the fact that I am getting married . My underdeveloped brain , which has helped me flunk many maths exams , offers possible reasons:

1.I look too young to be a married man . I just ambled past 25 , and to make things rosier , I have been told by perfectly sane people that I still retain a bit of the boyish charm which deserts a normal indian male in the early twenties . Some have mentioned that I am a male version of the santoor girl , who captured our imaginations with "meri twacha se meri umra ka pata nahi chalta".

2. The second , and a very real reason , is this .It defies all common sense and laws of intellect that some girl has actually agreed to marry a guy like me. Deviod of any "dude"-ish qualities , and as boring as a wooden chair , sometimes even I find it hard to digest that I got someone to say a yes. But then , to err is human , and she has erred big time.

My canine instincts warn me a lot of readers would like to raise their left eyebrows , smile a slanted smile and pose the "Who is She" question to me now . But I would like to refer to the second paragraph where I mentioned me being immersed in the bucket of "saamajik maryada" and hence would like to save the story for a later date. All I can say is , that to know the person with whom I am going to grow old , to know the person who is gonna be a witness to my life , to know the person who forms one of the reasons for my existence now , is humbling and satisfying and pleasing in a very calm and fulfilling way.And pampered she will be .
Infact , if you have a memory which is anything better than simply unbelievably pathetic , you will recall that at the top of this post , there is a picture of a little girl who giggled at me all through out a train journey as if I was wearing a red nose and singing Baa Baa Black Sheep . So during the journey , a 'hi-society-well-dressed-confident' types old lady with a head full of white hair and numerous questions was sitting besides me . She had noticed me boarding the train with a lot of luggage ( A travel bag , a backpack , and a cardboard carton carrying the V day gifts I had bought for the lady who is going to tolerate me in this life ) .So some fifteen minutes into the journey , the old woman asks me ..
Old woman : lot of luggage..eh ?
Me : Uh..yeah..a lot of stuff stolen from the hotels..he he..
Old woman : Really ?
Me : gasp..oh no..I was trying to be a little amusing..never mind
Old woman : What's in that cardboard box ?
Me : Oh that ? Well..actually it contains all the gifts I bought for my fiancee..
Old woman : I see..that's sweet..
Me : Blush . Blush .
Old woman : So , you are going to buy her things next valentines day too ?
Me ( proud as a soldier ): Of course ! I am quite a handful when it comes to out-of-the-box surprises for the people I love !
Old woman : Trust me , son . Next V day , you wont do it .
Me ( with a simmering rage in my eyes ) : Oh no maam , I wont change !
Old woman : No . Its not about you . Next V day , after an year of taking her out for shopping and eating out and movies , you wont have any money with you to buy all this.
It was then when I realised that she was in the process of doing great damage to the confidence of a dreamy to-be-married young guy. I did not encourage any conversation with her for the rest of the journey and quietly watched that little girl in the picture laugh at me.

Moving on to other issues ailing the society , I have been as busy as mother of nine lately . I keep my cell in the bathroom when I take the shower , I exchange around 35 official mails everyday and after office , I tune the telly to MTV and work on office stuff well after midnight .Sometimes , I wish I was back to college , when I had the time to watch three movies in a day (Sometimes four.Dont tell mommy), the time to sleep till my tummy growled for lunch , the time to reply to all the comments you leave on this blog.

And as a direct result of watching MTV after office , I am particularly concerned by the behaviour of Asha Bhonsle . I mean , problem kya hai inn aunty ko ? It seems like she is on a spree of making music videos with anyone who is free after lunch and can sing slightly better than a monkey with a penguin stuck in his throat . If her videos with Sunjay Dutt and Brett Lee made me feel like banging my head on the nearest wall just once , her latest video with Urmila Taang-tod-kar makes me feel like banging my head on the nearest wall till I lose all memory of the video , Asha Bhonsle , Urmila and the entire production unit of any movie with Urmila in it . Now Asha Ji is coming up with a video of something she did with Robbie Williams ( I mean a music video , you sicko ) , and watching Asha butt in on Rock DJ is going to leave me with suicidal tendencies , I am afraid.
But one song I got playing all day is "Sun re Sajaniya" by a pakistani guy called Ali Zafar . A light , peppy song , it leaves me feeling like "Yeah.life is good.in spite of Asha Bhonsle , that old woman in the train , and kids who laugh at me."

This reminds me , if someone out there can mail me INXS's Afterglow with a scaringly big eyed Indian singer called Sona in it , I would be grateful and would promptly courier him/her a copy of Asha Bhonsle's album as a mark of gratitude. Also , I need "You are beautiful" by James Blunt and "bad day" by daniel powter . In fact any good music is always welcome .So there. No , seriously , send me the songs at abhinavj8008@gmail.com if you can , I wont send you anything as dangerous as the Asha thing.

Anyway , now that it is out there in the open under the blue sky , I believe you guys will have stories of more challenge and pain to hear . The adventures of a guy with limited social ettiquettes , rudimentary dance moves , and a whacky attitude when faced with the giant called the Great North Indian Wedding and the seven ( or were they eight ?) ceremonies before it , sure sounds as full as a Yash Chopra movie .
In fact , the first symptoms have already started to show , with me gradually limiting my presence on orkut ( Note - I just found Yaari.com , which has been started by a friend . Much neater .) , learning to use a spoon and fork and planning to brush up my dance moves . And no , I dont want "afterglow" for that reason .

Oops , I got to jump off this bed urgently , leap across the table and bang my head on the wall opposite me now . MTV is again playing the Asha Bhonsle - Urmila thing .
Be good . Work hard . And believe me when I say I am getting married .

Thursday, February 01, 2007

First Abhishek , now me

A wall painting of MohanLaal in Kottayam which growled "Meri foto mat kheench"
So finally , I decide to switch off the telly and spend some time tapping down on the blog . Star movies is anyways playing ‘The Waterboy' , and I have watched the movie thrice already , so I watch it again , and I can tell you the names of all the extras which worked in it . Also , now that I have a laptop with internet access with me all the time , I think it’s the cry of the hour to pull this blog out of the elite “guy-got-internet-still-no-post-for-23-days” blog club . Coming back to the sleepy little life of mine , over the last two months work took me on a traveling spree which has reportedly doubled the revenues of Kingfisher Airlines . Air hostesses recognize me and some of them give me the disgruntled “Aap ? Fir se ?” look when I amble into a plane these days . It is also heard that to honour me for this contribution , these guys are planning to name one of the aeroplane toilets after me ( Shri Abhinav memorial Hawai Shauchalaya .Pisses me off. ) . Anyway ,after zippings bags , unzipping bags , stealing hotel towels and shaving kits through Bangalore , Ooty , Bombay and Calcutta , I find myself back in the land of semi naked white tourists and moustached film heroes – Kerala.

It was almost seven months ago that I first landed in Kerala to start my first job . As you might have known if you watch TV (I am told I feature pretty regularly on Animal Planet ) , I grew up in Delhi and Haryana , so it was like a Rocket Launcher had been shoved in the bony hands of Mahatma Gandhi . However, since then a lot of water and sewage has flown under the bridge.( For hamare Hindustani Bhai who are wondering “yeh bridge kahan hai bhai?” , English mein figure of speech hain ). I have learnt to iron shirts , cook maggi and my malayalam vocabulary has grown to a healthy four words now ( One of them is an abusive word . Self defence ke liye collection mein rakha hain ) . So things are not so bad now , I can actually hold a conversation with a mallu for a minimum of seven seconds using my highly developed sign language skills and leg movements .

But it is only two more months in Kerala for me now , so I better soak in all the beauty this place has to offer before I get posted to some city which is as pretty as L K Advani’s legs . As a part of the same “Kerala-dekh-lo-bhai” philosophy , I also went to some backwaters a couple of weeks back .

I hired a wooden canoe type boat which looked like it was ten minutes away from doing a titanic and set out in the waters with a skinny mallu oarsman who seemed to ooze the ‘no fear’ school of thought . To make things more interesting , it was soon noticed that his knowledge of Hindi or English was as developed as a gorilla’s knowledge of the vedas . Effectively , what it meant for me was that even if I was down in the water till my ears , throwing my hands like a penguin on fire and shouting “Bachao” , he would not understand what I was screaming and just stand there wondering what this gibberish speaking north Indian guy is fussing about .

Mar jaawa Khatta kha ke , I just remembered I need to submit a report at work tomorrow . Considering that the guy I need to submit this report is as not exactly a believer in the power of forgiveness , I better end this and start that now . I know this post is ending as soon as it started , and I have done the proverbial "Bachpan mein hee gala ghot diya" to this post , but then , work is worship .

Oh , and before I go . I want to say this , I think this blog which has seen me on my journey from a lazy and casual student at an engineering college to a lazier and casual-er ( angrezi mein problem hain yar ) manager at a big marketing company deserves to be a party to one of the biggest and prettiest things that has happened to me . But my lips are sealed , my fingers are tied , and all I can say is what the title to this post says – Sorry ladies , first Abhishek , now me . And for me , she is way better than Aishwarya .