Thursday, December 17, 2009


LRU (Least Recently Used) is an algorithm in Computer Science used in many places. We were interviewing a candidate for a development position. My colleague quizzed the girl sitting across the table.

“Ok, what is the Least Recently Used algorithm?”

Immediately came the reply, “The algorithm which I have used least recently is … blah blah blah”

We didn’t know what to ask next.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Priyanka Chopra had a haircut and it made news. I kept a small beard on the chin. I thought I was looking super cool and wanted to exhibit myself to my girlfriend. I was scolded for being in hurry and not shaving properly. Girls think so differently. That’s why I respect them so much. Later, Amir Khan did the same and got free prime airtime on all the TV channels.

I was walking down an empty street. I know brother, it’s a song. But you don’t be scared. I won’t sing it all.

Moving ahead. I was walking down an empty street. What u said? I started again? Ab tu beech main mat bol, mujhe aage badhne de.

So, I walked down … okie, moving. Suddenly a ball dropped in-front of me. What you said? From where did it drop? Abbey failure, padha nahin kya about gravitational pull? Koi cheez kahan se girti hai? Upar se hi na?

I looked around above. A few kids were playing cricket on the terrace of their house (I don’t know about the house, it might have been their neighbor’s also. If you need exact details, then mail me on my personal email id). Before they have said anything, I started bending down to pick the ball and throw it back to them. But just before I could have touched the ball, someone from those kids shouted, “Uncle, ball de dena”.

I got straight again and walked down the empty street. I mean, man I had just joined college and was in my first year. I know that you know that a new joined will be in first year only and not in second year. Patience man, let me create a little suspense, melodrama and confusion. That time was a perfectly legal age for a more polite name. Who says things look smaller from above? They made uncle out of a brother.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bachpan ke Confusion

(Stay away from three things)

Teen cheezon se khud ko door rakho:

· Kaam

· Krodh

· … (I don’t remember this third one, and it is not significant for the purpose of this post)

The first time I have read this graffiti on the wall of a British Raj school, I was very glad. I need not have mentioned what was the age of that school; that’s not important, but who said I write any important things on this blog? Anyways, someone supported me in staying away from work. So the next time my uncle asked me to bring something from market I recited him my new learned mantra. He looked at me in a strange way as all those about to be assaulted women in Bollywood flicks looked at Shakti Kapoor and Ranjeet. I thought he was amazed at my profound knowledge. I grinned at him and immediately got a kick on my butt. He had behaved really weird. A saying on a school wall is as sacred as hymns written on temple walls. Why was I rebuked for saying it took a long time for me to grasp. (for angrezi people; work is kaam in hindi, and in english kaam means seduction).

Early episodes of epic serials have always roped in this belief that a certain God raises his hands and kids sprouted out of nothing. This was quite a simple process and it didn’t need any human effort. Later I heard of a certain story in which a lady traps a God into returning him her husband when the God had given her the blessing of a kid. Now my understanding was questioned and when I asked this question to the fellow pupils and friends, I was subjected to more confusion. It took a lot of time for all that confusion to wear off.

Finally, I came in high school and was introduced to the wonderful subject of biology. There I learned about reproduction and I remember it was the tenth chapter in the text book. I never read beyond it. I was not alone. The whole class refused to go any further. Even the most reticent students found themselves engaged in fierce discussion, debates and arguments. Everyone enjoyed the topic. One more thing; reproduction in botany was totally ignored. After all, we all were humans and to think about humans was our first duty. Although I have written the previous sentence in past tense, we still are humans and to think about humans is still our first priority, though today we have become a little gender biased. And yes, everyone has his own bias.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Yahan Wahan Ki

~ Nov 26, a news article in the sports section of a major south daily (I would have given the name of the news paper, but then I don’t want to be sued ;-)

India to fight for the ninth position

I mean, is it ? really? still FIGHTing ? for the NINTH position ? what an achievement would it be !! What a desperation to beat? If only there was this same enthusiasm towards a win …

~ I am desperately waiting for Himesh Reshamiya’s new movie – RADIO. After Ashutosh Gowarikar, one man is adamant after historic movies … in the times of LED, LCD, satellite TV, TATA Sky, Broadband, DISH TV, etc., Himesh’s RADIO feat! It is his tribute to the 10 something radio channels in Delhi and UP that kept blaring his songs since his appeareance.

~ day before yesterday – the day is really not that important, I just happen to remember – a friend wrote me a scrap. “Shilpa Shetty has not invited Akshay in her wedding”. I thanked that guy for providing me with such an important piece of information. So sad buddy, he is your favourite actor. Your heart must be aching on such an atrocity. I sympathize with you.

I realized - people really lend their ears to such gossip and then discuss it too.

~guess who has not felt recession? Bappi Lahiri – I still see him loaded with a bridefull of jewellery just around his neck. If he is to be kidnapped, they won’t ask for any ransom. His bridal garnishings would do just fine.

~a friend just asked me on chat – “offc main gals hai?”. Humne ek sher hi arz kar diya –

udasi ka sabab hi yahi hai
ki bandiyan nahin hain yahan ...
uspe saara din yahin rehna hai
jayein bhi to jayein kahan ...

~for the past whole week now I have been sleeping at 6:00 in the morning. Finally, I think, I can diagnose myself with insomnia. An imsomniac never gets any sleep. But did I mention that I keep pouring coffees inside my system to keep myself awake in the office. Why this whole cycle has went upside down? And it is also not that that whole night I keep awake to write blogs…

~feeling very very sleepy now … time for coffee with Karan … err … I mean Gaurav.

~ adding at 3:47min 20secs a.m. 10.5 milliseconds (how precise…)

At last I have find a society that can rescue my blogging career. Its true – there exists a bunch that call themselves – “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Blogs”. How nice of them to even exist. You don’t know guys how grateful I am to you. Half of the posts I have written are just to cajole people into writing some comments on this blog.

~How addicted are you to blogging? find out your blogging quotient

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Dilli ki jawaan sardiyon ki shaam ho,

Hamare haanthon main jaam ho,

Ho unka suroor,

Ishq main dono hi hon majboor …

Romantic verses. 1% mine. I mean hundred % mine. Zero key on my keyboard is not working.

That is how I have conjured my first date to be like. Pretty crazy though. Most of the girls look at me with suspicion when I suggest this. Candle light dinner, blue skies, deep blue ocean, far from the maddening crowd, on some weird island, a gentle breeze - is what they mostly expect. But I only expect her and expect that she will only expect me on a date. Amid a maze of expectations, love is lost.

What usually follows after a break-up? Apart from tears and pain, a few more important things, without which the once lovers won’t find it easy to move ahead in life -

~ first things first. All the sms are deleted from the mobile. In those non-techinal days, there were love letters which might had been brutally burnt during cold winter nights. The last warmth of the dying love!

And during the days of Akbar badshaah, the pigeons ferrying the love messages might had been cooked for dinner. Poor birds.

~ all the snaps are deleted. From email boxes, from mobile, from the computer. Would be in much trouble if it is found later by your next love interest. And yeah, you don’t forget to take the snaps out of your wallet, and to remove the ones hoarded between those thick books in which though there were no pictures, yet they had been treated as graphic novels.

~delete the phone numbers. This is solid confusion. Should delete or should not? Now this is the only connection left. What if you could not come out of this breakup shock and just want to hear her the last one time? Or you just feel that strong urge to message her. And along with her, there are 1, err ten more numbers of her girl friends. You find it hard to delete those numbers this easily. No way. You do one thing. You write them down in some sacred diary and hide it in some remote corner of your home. you can always look out for this diary later. and now you can easily delete the numbers from you phonebook.

~ she is added to your friends list on social networking sites. What are you going to do? Can’t delete even if you want to. Once in a while you would want to take a sneak peek into her life. The secret lover in you can’t let her go so easily.

~you tell all your friends that you had a break-up. No one should mention her again. Mention some other girl. You want to move ahead in life. Is it?

~anything else???

Bhot bakwaas likh di. An apple a day keeps doctor away. but a post a day, drives good thoughts away!

The use of drinks in those opening verse (opening verse !!, as if this is an Odyssey carrying many more compositions) is a perfect lie. The only alcohol I have tasted in my life is what comes in those cough syrups. I am 1% non-alcoholic. I mean hundred %.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Another post for post-production work

Midnight, night or early morning – 2:30 A.M. and salma aaga’s poignant voice filling up the room – ‘zindagi ek pyaas ban ke reh gayi …’ it’s a very depressing duo. I was on the verge of tears when someone gave me a ping on gtalk. - “bhai, free ho ke?”

This further irritated me. “abey free tu hoga. Main anmol hoon… :-X”

Oh. Why do they have to ask wrong questions in the most vulnerable mood. But how could he know? I tried to patch up. “just kidding buddy. I have written a new post. Why don’t u check it out?”

He again asked the wrong question, “okie, what’s the url?”.

Grrr … I have already given it to you three times man. Every time I have to plead and drag you to it. Get lost. Oh, but anyways no one visits this blog. I have to maintain some minimal readership, even if I have to bring them by the neck. Feels like after writing every post, I have to regularly do this post-production work they do when a movie is to be released. Writing up special invitaion cards and promotions.

I checked my temper, “ye leh … and add it to your bookmarks and visit it everyday”.

I have added a counter and I will keep a check on you, I thought. what a pity? This guy could not have ever read beyond those little horny 2 rs blue books which the back benchers bring to the school classes. I will mentor his reading habits. I pledged.

Ten minutes gone. No reply. Slept or what? I tried to dig him out of his slumber. “hey, what happened?”.

“Yeah, just read it. Good one”.

Even if I had asked this question five minutes back or an hour later, he would still had just managed to read it. Trying to avoid any bad thoughts, I immediately refreshed my browser to see if he has put some comments. None. Useless guys, free main padh lete hain … abey kuch padha to kuch likh bhi deta … %^@#^*

It was enough, I craned up salma aaga’s neck and was about to log out when he further annoyed me, “dude, what if someone reads your post?”

What do you mean? I am not coaching for civil services here on this blog so that someone will be benifitted reading it. Read humour and have a good laugh, what else? I echoed him my thoughts.

“no, I mean what do you get when your post is read?”

Aaahhhh…. Money minded morons. I know you must be thinking if I am making some money writing these posts. And even if I am, the rate at which you visit this blog, yeah sure, I will earn a dollar for charity in a year or two.

“If people leave comments, I feel connected. Criticism motiviates and appreciation pleases. You play guitar for yourself. But if someone appreciates your chord play, you feel good, right?”.

He nodded.

Time to sleep.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Beep …beep… a sms on my mobile. ‘shaadi ho rahi teri’.

me too was very glad to hear that I was getting married. I got up from my system, congratulated myself and broke the news to a few close friends. Badhai ka mausam came. And kisi ne unka naam poocha. I coyed a little, creating an atmosphere of suspense in which I would tell these mortals the name of that angel. But oye, even I don’t know the name. when suddenly the reality struck me. someone insisted, but abey naam to mujhe waqai nahin pata. Who knows before me that I am getting married.

Certainly, the message was not from my mom-dad. Shaadi ko leke am not so frustrated that they have to address me like that and have to break the news over sms. And definetly it was not God, I don’t know if Reliance has put a tower in heavens too or Nokia has setup shops there. Anyways, pehle to aakashwani hoti thi. Kalyug hai, but still, God has other stronger means to be heard.

I asked the wedding party that was fuming up around me (because I have told them so late about my marriage) to cool down and checked the message again. Then I understood that it was not an assertive statement. Indeed it was a question. People still behave like class two boys, fooling around with punctuation marks. Question mark missing. Don’t message on an empty stomach. I know, old joke, but universal truth hai. Needs to be keep reinforced. Ek to waise hi short message, usme bhi why do you have to miss the necessary ingridients? am I supposed to read the message or play Da Vinchi Code with it? Yeah yeah, I know you too use No Marks to rub the scars off your face, thought it is meant to wipe some other hangover, but bro spill some marks where they are needed.

Anyways, I didn’t put much attention into why this guys was so shocked hearing the news of my marriage as if I have broken his heart and have proposed someone else. And if he was, I am better a bit distanced from him. Though who might have spread this rumour about my marriage interested me a little. Ma pa, jaldi se shaadi kara do meri. If not me, then my friends are getting impatient of waiting for the good news. Look, they are having delusions and shocks!!

I too felt a little bad because of the false rumours on this sensitive issue, but consoled myself off the thought that, chalo babu, koi ni, you saved some bucks. Otherwise, these guys dancing around you were not discussing your wedding present, but were looking up that most princely restaurant in Gurgaon deciding the menu based on the reversed Big Bazaar motto that – sabse mehnga, sabse accha.

This sms guy caught me on chat a few days later. He was still furious.

Guy: ‘you didn’t told me you are getting married?’.

Me: ‘where did you got the news from?’.

(I could be very argumentative at times. A simple NO, AM NOT would have ended the chat then and there, but as I said before, I too was keen on knowing the sources.)

That question from me raised more doubts in him about my marriage. He might had been a little skeptic, now he would completely disbelieve me whatever I tell. Either a yes/no would count as a wrong answer. I am in a predicament now.

Guy: ‘tell me, is it true?’.

Me: ‘No you tell me, who gave you the news?’

Guy: ‘its someone I cant reveal, but you must have told me.’

Me: ‘I would, but who is that someone whom you can not reveal, but he certainly knows a lot about me’

Guy: ‘I have promised, I wont tell you about him’

This is now getting cheaper than a melodramatic scene from a bollywood movie. Nahin, kabhi mat batana, kasam mat todna, chahe dosti toot jaye …

Me: ‘ok, if he knows so much about me, trust him only.’

Guy: ‘I want to hear it from you.’

Emotional blackmail ab, sounds like the heroine who has just heard that the hero is dating some other hot chic. Am enjoying it now.

Me: ‘nahi bhai, you cant tell me who is discussing my life, I cant tell you anything now’

(some more dhan te nan goes on …. )


Guy: ‘okie, live your life, you don’t care for good friends. You have not told me. still I am wishing you a happy married life’.

Bang … this guy logged out.

Final break up. Climax. Girl and boy seperated. Not a happy cool ending. But emotionally paisa vasool …!

Monday, November 23, 2009

On Marriage and Love

This is a very good mail I recently received. Its worth reading and following ...


During one of our seminars, a woman asked a common question. She said, " How do I know if I married the right person ?"

I noticed that there was a large man sitting next to her so I said, "It Depends. Is that your husband?"

In all seriousness, she answered " How do you know?"

Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it's weighing on your mind.

Here's the answer.

EVERY relationship has a cycle. In the beginning, you fell in love with Your spouse. You anticipated their call, wanted their touch, and liked Their idiosyncrasies.

Falling in love with your spouse wasn't hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn't have to DO anything. That's why it's called "falling" in love... Because it's happening TO YOU.

People in love sometimes say, " I was swept of my feet." Think about the Imagery of that _expression. It implies that you were just standing There; doing nothing, and then something came along and happened TO YOU.

Falling in love is easy. It's a passive and spontaneous experience.

But after a few years of marriage, the euphoria of love fades. It's the Natural cycle of EVERY relationship. Slowly but surely, phone calls Become a bother ( if they come at all), touch is not always welcome ( when it happens), and your spouse's idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts.

The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship, but if you Think about your marriage, you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

At this point, you and/or your spouse might start asking, " Did I marry The right person?" And as you and your spouse reflect on the euphoria of The love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else.

This is when marriages breakdown. People blame their spouse for their Unhappiness and look outside their marriage for fulfillment.

Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes. Infidelity is The most obvious. But sometimes people turn to work, church, a hobby, a friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances.

But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your marriage. It lies within it.

I'm not saying that you couldn't fall in love with someone else. You Could.

And TEMPORARILY you'd feel better. But you'd be in the same situation a few years later. Because ( listen carefully to this):


SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. It'll NEVER just happen to you. You can't "find " LASTING love. You have to "make" it day in and day out. That's why we have the _expression " the labor of love."

Because it takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it Takes WISDOM. You have to know WHAT TO DO to make your marriage work.

Make no mistake about it. Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific Things you can do ( with or without your spouse ) to succeed with your marriage.

Just as there are physical laws of the universe ( such as gravity),

There are also laws for relationships. Just as the right diet and exercise Program makes you physically stronger, certain habits in your Relationship WILL make your marriage stronger. It's a direct cause and effect. If you know and apply the laws, the results are predictable... You can " make" love.

Love in marriage is indeed a " decision"... Not just a feeling.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Amitabhs latest movie ...

Who is this funny looking, distorted little old chap? This is the new avatar of Amitabh Bacchan in his upcoming movie Paa. Amitabh is playing the role of a kid ( ??? :-) ) suffering from progeria, a rare disease in which the child ages rapidly. And Guess who is playing the father of this kid? Junior Bacchan. Check out more at the official website of the movie, and here at rediff.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My New Buddy

Thoughts can go pretty wayward at times. What I wanted to tell in the previous post when I started with I was alone in Chennai kind of stuff was that I was lonely until this guy Gaurav joined my team. Though I wished he was a girl, my desires sometimes call him gaurvi or gauri, who in these alien circumstances would have let herself drift towards me, he is anyways doing a great job as a guy. He has brought all the charm and humor that comes so naturally to Delhiets as the need to go to loo on a bad stomach. I have showed these few lines to him and he has laughed so much, most people don’t laugh that much during their life. I wondered how one can laugh so much on something funny intended to oneself. But I guess before people can laugh on you, you better laugh on yourself. You would be out of the inferiority complex that very moment. Try that! Before anyone can discomfit you, embarrass them.
He has a tummy coming out and with that ever present pleasant smile on his face I don’t feel the need to put an idol of laughing Buddha on my desk. Chennai has increased his grin many folds as he starves, err, I mean on a diet, and there are no food options to fascinate his appetite. I have to drag him down to the cafeteria in the name of few girls he is watching these days.

The ways he dresses up and his accessories made everyone wonder actually what company he belongs to. A typical day he comes attired in one company’s t-shirt, carrying another company’s bag, wearing a badge from a third company and since we are working at client side, he walks into the office of a fourth company. The security was bewildered to see representatives from so many companies in one man only, but he won them over with his timeless and timely one liners.

Until I had met him, I knew only few options in MS-Outlook, how to check new mails and to reply and forward one. But he seems to be playing with mails all the time. He sits right next to me and every time I look at him, he is busy sending mails. Personal mails, private mails, official mails, all sorts of them. But one thing I like about him, he is very meticulous about keeping his inbox clean, free of any spams. So thrice a day, he checks all his mail accounts, around a dozen, and toils hard to delete all junk mails from his inbox and then from his junk mail folder.

Here I have tried to sketch his face which reflects the beauty of his soul. The sketch resembles him quite a bit and even if it doesn’t exactly accentuate the contortions and distortions on his face still you would get the feeling behind who I am trying to describe.

Friday, November 6, 2009

time pass

September, I was alone in Chennai. No, the Chennaites have not abandoned the city but I mean that my ears starved for some Hindi. I was left virtually alone at my room. Television is there but you can’t talk to the television. My roommate is there. A college friend, but he prefers talking to his girlfriend now. Believe me, the major network operators in India who cut such huge revenues are running healthy because sleep deprived, socially nonexistent people like him never feel sick of talking for hours on phone. Office was also at the same side of the coin. A team of all Tamil speaking people, who I guess must have proved a miserable failure in their Hindi classes.

It’s very natural that when people from the same community collide they resort to speaking in their mother tongue. Ideas always float more efficiently and succinctly in the natural language of the people. So in boardroom meetings, it was always Tamil that took the upper hand over English, and I was just left clueless. Finally, I came up with a suggestion. I told them that before starting a discussion or argument, however they might want to phrase it, just inform me on the topic. Then they can continue brainstorming on it in any language they want. If I would have something to contribute I would do so. And after they are done, just read me what was the conclusion. This proposition proved to be a breather in the coming meetings.

The only positive thought that made me survive among these people was that I am polishing my communication skills in English. Whenever I had to say something, I had to tell it in English. I have discovered in the process that I have a very weird problem speaking English. Whenever two consecutive words start with an s, my tongue falters. As an example, if I have to say ‘she sits’, it always comes out of my mouth as ‘she shits’. I hope I do not ever have to tell anyone about the movements of a lady!

Going for lunch and evening snacks with these guys is always amusing. The team here is super cool, and I would have enjoyed it a lot but only if I knew Tamil or they knew Hindi. So even if I enjoy their company, sharing laughs always turns out to be an exercise. By their gestures and context I have to make out the joke and have to match my facial movements with theirs. I have to follow their eyes which are busy following a girl, and though their glance return to each other after a while, mine continues to stick with her, following her all over the place till she disappears inside a lift. But then another one comes out of the lift and she is stalked, and the cycle continues until my reverie is broken by their guffaws and I become conscious that I am not part of the group anymore and need to concentrate again.

Join a software company and the first few months are a little light. The expectations of your manager hover around your getting acquainted with the product, your learning of the system and ice breaking with the team. Unless you are not of the types who want to do it all, you can stretch yourself a bit and enjoy the work and learn at a leisurely pace. Many people call this honeymoon period. But once this honeymoon period (typically lasts for 3-4 months or so) gets over, the pain of pregnancy and delivery is also very unbearable. Like a girlfriend turned wife changes within a few days, your boss no longer remains the same person. The demands grow and you wonder whether that honeymoon could have lasted a few more days. Social life comes to an abrupt ends and rest of your evenings are confined in office. Very tough time, it is like a triplet is born and you have to toggle yourself between all of them efficiently unless you do not want yourself under a load of piss and shit.

Monday, November 2, 2009

M@rketing $kills

I remember one Filmfare Awards. Radio Mirchi, the spiciest (it has mirchi in it) FM, was covering the felicitations for the bollywood aficionados. After listening to the monotonous chant on the technical awards for half-an-hour, I wished had my geography lessons been aired so repeatedly, I might had got better ranks.

Anyways, the thoughts turned me nostalgic of my school days, so I tuned into another channel which had went on air recently. This RJ exhibited some real marketing skills. She amusingly said, "Filmfare is going on somewhere. But you've got nothing to do with it. So be with me and listen to ...” The channel sold whatever it had (or didn't have?).

Gr8, isn’t?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A little discontented with life...

Sometimes when I look at life,

I see there is so much strife.

Have I made it myself so complicated?

Or is it something that fate decides.

I am not satisfied, but then no one is.

I don’t want to accept and justify mine with this.

But then how long should I put up a fight,

With the battle that is life.

Life is all about taking the right decisions

But how can I know wrong from right.

Advices pour in from everywhere,

But all I end up with is taking a chance with life.

When things go wrong we say the decision was not right,

And while deciding we had said the future is bright.

What happened to all the hard work I had put in?

When will be the payback time?

The fruit of patience is always sweet,

I agree, but then it should not be too late.

What’s the use of getting the food,

When you have lost all the appetite.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Reached Chennai

As I came out of the aircraft, a sudden gush of very humid wind touched my face. Welcome to Chennai, I told myself. While we were waiting for the ground staff to pick us from the airstrip, I looked around. A few of the gentlemen who have boarded the aircraft with me from Delhi were in their very traditional dresses; meticulously white kurtas and lungis. The white of their dress glowed against their dusky complexion. Their uncovered body parts were hidden in the dark of the night. Women were wearing embroidered saris heavily ornamented with the work of gold. Even if the whole airport was to fall under a sudden black out, the luminous dresses could easily make out for the lack of electricity. I don’t know if some people are so dark in this part of India or are burnt and reduced to charcoal by the sun. No idea.

I had asked the person sitting next to me in the airplane about how to go to Guindy. He could not tell but he advised that I should refrain from asking the same question to an autowallah and better should not think of taking an auto. One of my friends had recently visited a girl friend in Chennai – I mean his girlfriend from Delhi studying medicine in Chennai – and I remembered his experience. He asked his girlfriend to a movie. She suggested taking the local train. He insisted on hiring an auto. Of course, every boy would have. How can you agree to take your girlfriend on a cheap local train, when you have flown from Delhi, staying in a hotel minus stars, and sporting all branded accessories? Isn’t all this spending is what makes a girl feel pretty cool? But I guess before Chennai auto’s one should better heed to a girl friends modest advise because these guys make you feel like you are earning nothing. All his enthusiasm evaporated when the autowallah sounded costlier than the whole movie trip. Imagine paying 600 bucks for a 10 km ride to the City Center Mall. He had to revert back to the local train.

I took a prepaid taxi to Guindy. It was so humid like I was sailing in sea. The weather was very different from the dry heat of north India. I stopped by at my friend’s office in Guindy to get the keys to the room and from there I took an auto to Perungudi. It charged me another 170 bucks. This auto driver was, I am sure, had been expelled from an F1 race for driving too fast. My room was nearby one Life Line Hospital in Perungudi and I had to emphasize this fact to the driver that I only have to go to some place near to the hospital and not into the hospital. He drove like maniacs, flying over flyovers as if skaters in adventure sports. He justified the speed telling me that if he was not to drive so fast someone will hit the bum of the auto from behind. I watched the traffic and saw everyone driving in frenzy. I don’t think there were any lanes for regulating speed.

To appear a little friendly or honestly to regain my own composure after having landed in a very alien state , while taking the auto I had told him to tell me all the places that we will drive through. Now I regretted saying that. I just wanted him to keep his eyes on the road and concentrate on driving. But he was like solely interested in telling me about the city and its places. As we drove past a local train station, he took up the task of making me acquainted with all the stations that this line connects. He mentioned several unpronounceable places, two or three I tried to repeat after him but then I gave up. He continued with his rant while I was lost in thoughts of how I would ever ask anyone for directions in Chennai when I can’t even pronounce the names. In between he told me that he has been driving auto for the past twenty years and has never met with an accident. I don’t know if I was relaxed to hear this or was apprehensive to think that the counter would not start today.

Finally, I reached my destination safely. The auto driver gave me his mobile number and left off with a smile. And I retired to my room and slept.

Anyways, despite being presenting a very dull picture of Chennai, I have found after a few days stay that Chennai is not so bad after all. I am not saying this to placate the chennaites, but this is what I have felt. Yeah there still are language problems; a lot of people don’t understand a word of Hindi despite it being the National Language. But since most of the public can understand bits and pieces of English, I guess literacy rate here is better than north. It’s very warm and humid out here, but so is Delhi. It’s just that Delhi has very dry heat. Crime I have not much heard of here. Petty thefts, daylight robberies; nothing so far – touch wood! In Delhi, these are as common as breathing. Delhites have learned to live with this misfortune. Then some say Chennai is too traditional. But then what is wrong with it? On national platforms we say we need to conserve our cultural values. And when some culture tries to preserve itself, we term them as backwards and outcast them. Why this double standards? Though a few things look real amusing; like someone walking in the office of a multinational company wearing a lungi. But if it’s on the eve of a festival, it should be perfectly ok. Don’t in north India we observe traditional days during festivals? But only here I have seen women with shaven heads. No fun intended though, may be some religious or cultural thing. I have not prodded. Now I don’t want to put off my Delhi friends, so the comparison will end here.

This place is best suited for people who

· Don’t enjoy or are averse to the chilling Delhi winters (anyways, winters in Delhi don’t prolong now.)

· Don’t drink; do not look out for a pub and disco, or indulge in other similar activities in the weekend.

· People who are silent and reticent types, having a very reserved nature, who like to take long silent stroll along a beach, keep to themselves, can thrive on a book and can sleep off their weekends. Such people are not always boring, though however boring the previous statement might have sounded.

· You grow up a family, you can stay anywhere. A few of my friend’s friends have bought houses here and have settled here. And yes, they were from Kanpur and Delhi.

· You love south Indian food. Punjabi food is a rarity here, though in the dinner I have an arrangement for a north Indian Tiffin service, but then you know outside food even in Gurgaon can be disaster at times.

· You love the smell of sea. Mariana beach, they say probably the biggest publics beach in Asia and a lot others, though they are not very clean or serene. But a few miles out of Chennai and you will find vast amount of clean water and sand with no foot marks.

Just as an aside, since I have come to Chennai, four people have asked me for directions. And in gym, I met a guy and he told me that I resemble a Tamilian. And it has been only a month here. At this rate, a few more days and soon people will start finding a family in me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My First Day @gym

My first day in gym

I felt like a frail stick in an iron and steel mill

Everywhere muscles flexed and shone

On my scrawny body even the basic ones are gone.

I felt really ridiculous standing amid Arnolds

Until I saw one puny body taking stroll

He came around and looked at me

I felt at some ease and I bet he was as glad to see me.

He was doing warm-up

Sit-up and sit-down

I joined him in push-ups

After I did five, I went down.

He urged me to get up, and run on the tread mill

I asked him why to cut unnecessary electricity bill

I tried explaining I will famish, running

He insisted I should stop begging.

I perched myself on that floor in motion

While everyone stopped and stared at me with varied emotions

Probably they were thinking what I was doing

As I ignored their glances and took off like a Boeing.

I ran for a few minutes before getting down

While they disbursed with a little frown

They were waiting for some magic, for my thin frame to fade

But I stood there like a swine, sweating heavily, and swayed.

My little friend asked me to sit down and relax

I wanted to tell him it was enough for the day, thanks

But as if reading my mind he picked up a weight

It gave me instant motivation to stay and wait.

After I relaxed for more time than the earth took to revolve round its orbit

He shouted, “Come on, work out and don’t just sit!”

I dragged myself by the collar and stood up

There I was again amid bulldogs, terrified like a pup.

He brought me near the bench press

And asked me to stretch myself on the recline

He helped me to hold the rod above my head at a certain line

I was cautioned to breathe correctly or I myself would pay the fine.

I was breathless as I counted ten

My chest was heaving like those of women

A two minute rest was suggested by my little friend

Only if those two minutes I could have extend!

But time runs away when you want it to be with you

And soon my buddy returned and whew!

He brought two weights and gave them to me

Since my school bags I had never felt so much mass on me.

I did one complete set, which was some achievement

But he decided to be hard on me, “Do two sets more”, and went

Like intermittent torrential rains I somehow did the job in parts

Instead of two sets I did many albeit with a few farts.

Music was loud and no one heard my ass

But my buddy was relentlessly watching me and he won’t let me pass

As I tried to sneak out to the door, he came running

Chided me for being such a lethargic being!

I was put to inaction again, a two minute rest

He showed me around the machines for building biceps, triceps and chest

As we moved to the shoulder press, I saw it coming

He asked me to take position and pull the string.

In light of my need of some stimulation, music was not right

So I pulled the weight down with all my poetic might

Swiftly and slowly I pulled it against gravitation

But the other way, it took me up with a sudden motion

Body-builders around me burst into laugh while I was grim

Grins, sneers and cheers filled up the gym

Music stopped and everyone rushed in to devour the scene

And the public went hysterical and more mean.

Gradually the assembly melted away

And I saw myself walking out clearing the way

It had been enough of a day at kill

That was my first experience at the muscle minting mill.

By the way, I guess GYM stands for 'Get Yourself Muscles'

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It hurts to say but

I said so many beautiful things to you

But they all turned out to be far from true

Believe me; I had never wanted to hurt you

But only if I had seen it coming and had got the cue

I would have never brought myself so close to you

Monday, October 5, 2009

Just read your name ...

Books are my best friend,

But why have they turned aloof.

How much I love you, can’t they give you any proof.

I have read so many pages,

But have understood none of them.

Just read your name in every sentence, and in every word.

The smooth pages and the glossy covers,

Dear, they mirror your face.

Often you come out of them, dancing with that suave grace.

The sweet scent in the new books,

Hint the fresh aroma of your hairs as they sway and unfold

I breathe it, I feel it, and it melts in my soul.

The soft murmur as I flip through the leaf,

Is it the swift echo of your voice?

Or is it you talking to me, across time and space.

How to buy books?

I bought Richard Branson’s autobiography Losing My Virginity. Then I remembered I already had that book on my shelf in Delhi. Before you ask me how can I be so forgetful, I queried myself why? The last time I had seen this book in the Sunday book market in Daryaganj, Delhi, I was tantalized by the title itself. I bought the book without haggling over the price. But since the title was so bold I couldn’t gather enough courage to read it at home. The book is also very thick that I can’t read it hidden within another book. So I shoved that book at the back of a swelling bookshelf and gradually the memories worn out.

This time I found it again in Higginbotham, Chennai, albeit under a different cover. For a second time, the title appealed the virgin inside me and I bought it instantly without any second thought. But as I came to my desk, I was in doubts. The thought of spending money on something I already had and had again and that I haven’t read it the first time and probably might not read it the second time too made me restless until I fished Amazon for the book. The book appeared in its old cover and left me doubtless.

So I went to the bookstore downstairs and took this chap with me. There I got to know about a whole new perspective on buying books. I have told him that to replace the book would be a difficult chore as books appeal my mood and I never go to a bookshop with a book in my mind. He gave me a discourse on how to get value for my money as we roamed around the book store, checking each and every book. Here are the pearls of wisdom:

  • Cover should be attractive. First impression is the last impression – this is what he believes in.
  • Books should have a lot of pictures. Probably a comic book would be just fine. If you can’t understand the language, you can probably get the story watching pictures.
  • Pages should be smooth and glossy. Should not be wooden and rough.
  • Buy a thick book, and not a thin one. This saves money in two ways. First it is cost effective. Like each page should cost less than one Re per page. Cheaper is good. Secondly, a thick enough book would take more time to read and finish. Thus in a span of time in which two or three books would be bought, you end up consuming only one thus saving further bucks.
  • Book should be by a prominent author. Even if you don’t get intelligent by reading the book, it will make others feel that you are intelligent by occupying a prominent place on your books shelf.
  • You can go for a heavy book or a light one. Heavy ones will serve to press envelopes and light ones you can carry around while travelling. People with books often get respect in social circles.

Thankfully, I was in no mood to pay any heed to his suggestions, and another long search brought me to this book – Go Kiss the World by Subroto Bagchi. I had the book in my possession now, but the titles I have bought today made me smile. Check them, aren’t you amused?