Thursday, October 26, 2006

Screw-Ups V- Lemon Tea (The Beat Less)

When I prise myself from piles of rubble,
Neetu Bhenji comes to me,
Selling packs of fruit bun, lemon tea.
Though it was cold and tasteless,
It was no less than nectar to me,
Sipping it in hunger, lemon tea.

Lemon tea, lemon tea,
Lemon tea, lemon tea,
Dipping buns in cups of Lemon Tea.

From all the flattened houses people
Screaming in one voice for tea,
We're dying of hunger, lemon tea.
And though they may eat cream buns,
There is still a chant for pots of tea,
We'll starve till we get lemon tea.

Lemon tea, lemon tea,
Lemon tea, lemon tea,
We'll starve till we get lemon tea

Lemon tea, lemon tea,
Lemon tea, lemon tea,
Waiting for a cup of lemon tea.

And even if it's salty,
There is still a group that pines for tea,
Pine on till tomorrow, lemon tea.
They waited, waited on and fell sick,
Neetu Bhenji said sorry,
We're out of supplies, stay hungry.

Lemon tea, lemon tea,
Lemon tea, lemon tea,
Waiting for a cup of lemon tea.

Lemon tea, lemon tea,
Lemon tea, lemon tea,
We'll starve till we get lemon tea.

Original Song:

Title: Let it Be
Artiste: The Beatles
  • Sunday, October 22, 2006

    A Weekend, A Festival, And Loads Of Fun

    The only problem with strong winds in Varanasi is that they throw life out of gear and blow clothes out of the corridor and down on the grass below, which explains my fervent hunt for my Rupa Macroman. But all’s well that ends well, and I thank god for not giving me the good advice of buying spare clothes. Enough said about strong winds and underwears.

    It’s approximately 11:30 pm now. I just visited a website which promised free live F-1 action. Obviously, when the page opened, they asked me to register and pay a few hundred dollars for the service. Anyway, it marks the end of an eventful weekend.

    Diwali is the only time of the year when bombs don’t kill. I’m not fond of crackers, and certainly don’t like bombs. This shouldn’t be misconstrued as under aged aging (as people seeing my scantily clad head are wont to do)- I’ve always hated bombs. My last few Diwalis in Varanasi were not exactly fruitful. In the last 2 years I wasted time and money on Naach, Veer Zaara, and Garam Masala; redeemed that somewhat this time with Don.

    20th October, Friday
    The festivities began on Friday night with a trip to a Pizza joint. The last time I ordered a pizza in Varanasi, I remember staring down on a Tandoori roti with a topping of aloo and capsicum. What I thought was the hair of an old woman turned out to be grated cheese. The pizzas here though, were quite delicious. We sat in the balcony, facing the Ganga. Anand, Rahul, and I pigged on Vatica Special Pizza and a mouth-watering apple pie. We were the only Indians there. But a million insects hovering around the streetlight and a few thousand lazing at the puddle kept reminding us we were still in Varanasi. I’ve always held Anand Kashyap in high regard, and after advising me to try Bob Dylan, he’s done absolutely no harm to his image. I really love The Times They Are A-Changin and Tangled Up In Blue.

    21st October, Saturday
    The weekend started early with a Mock CAT at 8:30 am. Obviously, I didn’t bathe before the test. And when I later went to bathe, I realized 1) that for the 7th time in the last week I forgot to buy a new soap. The old one already looks like an ant’s shoe, and my body is a little bigger; 2) that for the 4th time in the last week I forgot to buy a new shampoo. I’ve been pumping the life out of that poor bottle, and given the unspeakable service it does, I deserve to treat it better; and finally 3) that the water was COLD.

    Abhinav, Dhishan, Sanjeev, and I proceeded to watch Don in Varanasi’s only Cineplex- called KCM; won’t be surprised if it expands to Kashi Cinema Mandir. We were there an hour early. We sat in an air-conditioned Café (it’s not easy to find an Air Conditioner and a Café in the same compound in Varanasi) and delighted at the prospect of spending an hour there without ordering a thing. An authoritative hand placed a menu on the table, one thing followed the other and before long, we were digging into 3 sundaes.

    The movie was quite entertaining. The locations were breathtaking, the background score was pulsating, and the storyline was more intriguing than Serena Williams’s hair. The acting was decent too, with Shahrukh Khan almost succeeding in breaking out of his mould. His dialogue-delivery was contrived at times, but on the whole, it was a refreshing break from his Hey-hey-hey (to be repeated 10 times with a gap of 0.1 seconds between every 2 recitals) roles. Priyanka Chopra was really hot, as was Kareena Kapoor. Isha Kopikkar played the role of not making her presence felt to perfection. There were too many songs and that marred an otherwise fast-paced film. I haven’t watched the original but a learned few said the story departed from the original in quite a few places.

    At the interval, it seemed the entire hall was emptied into the toilet. There was a long queue with men shuffling uncomfortably awaiting their turns. Being one of them, I must say I empathized with them. Also, given the oomph quotient in the movie, I can’t promise that all of them were waiting to just answer nature’s call.

    We dined at Kashi Chaat Bhandar and followed it up with paan. I’ve decided to eat paan more often, now that it’s time to say goodbye. On the way back I decided to buy a pair of shorts or run the risk of wearing the same pant day and night for one week straight. Upon our return, Abhinav and I went to attend a Diwali Puja in Vikalp’s room. The puja wound up at 9 but our gossip went well past midnight. It’s been long since Murali, Ravi, Vikalp, and the two of us gossiped, and we had a terrific time bitching and trying to check if alcohol had illicitly entered Abhinav’s system.

    22nd October, Sunday
    Sunday was a lot lazier. Dad’s call woke me up, lunch put me to sleep, and corridor-cricket woke me up again. I bowled with a lot of vigour and little success.

    With expenditure rocketing in the last 2 days, I decided to make it a hat-trick and we proceeded to Rahil for dinner. We followed that with ice-cream and a round of meetha paans. I don’t spend too often, but when I spend it’s like a running nose- flows till it drains out.

    Speaking of draining out, I’m exhausted. I’m supposed to study for tests beginning on 26th. Kind well-wishers remind me that CAT is on 19th November and that it takes more than 97 percentile to get calls from the IIMs. I agree, but please leave me alone till tomorrow. Let me spend the night with Bob Dylan playing in Winamp and mosquitoes playing closer to the ear. If I find time, I’ll post a review of Don, but if I don’t, you can go watch the movie.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2006


    Hello India

    I love beginning the day by bringing my palms together in the namaskaram style, but with a mosquito in between. There’s no better way to start the day than by clapping your hands and killing the infernal things. I include this activity among other hobbies like solving crosswords and listening to music. But over the last few days a realisation dawned on me. With dengue spreading like cancerous cells, I’m not just killing time and mosquitoes, but am also doing a great service to mankind. May be it isn’t fully deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize, but something to that effect will be a nice way to honour my selfless service to humanity. Sheila Dikshit should consider forming some mosquito-slapping squads. If we dedicate ourselves to the cause, we can double-handedly rid the capital and AIIMS of the menace.

    The respect mosquitoes command is rivalled probably only by Amitabh Bachchan. No longer do people just itch when a mosquito bites. They wait with bated breath to see if they contract a fever and develop body pains. They do all kinds of tests and get admitted in hospitals. Mosquitoes have a better chance of toppling the UPA than the NDA does. Major news channels need these pests for their bread and butter, and the opposition needs them to assault the government. It’s funny that in a land where open heart surgeries are done and Siamese twins separated, a mosquito should wreak such havoc. My friends have purchased tubes of Odomos and I may follow suit soon. Dhishan has some homoeopathic dengue preventives and is going to be second only to Pamela Anderson in terms of popularity in the lobby. The whole dengue episode reminded me of Nana Patekar’s classic 'Ek machchhar saala aadmi ko hijra bana deta hai.'

    I read this amazing thing about dengue-causing mosquitoes (sorry, I wasn’t interested in mugging up the scientific name of the bloody pest) biting us only during the day. Good Knight and All Out must rework their night-oriented marketing strategies and may be come up with a “45 Days chalne wala Dengue Naashak”.

    I wasn’t very interested in the Champions Trophy till I heard about Mohammad Asif’s and Shoaib’s drug controversy. Without them, Pakistan’s pace attack is as effective as Venkatesh Prasad’s batting. Pakistani cricket is in doldrums; with Hair-raising issues, captaincy quibbles, and now this doping case really hitting them below the belt and above the thighs. Pakistan is, in general, and because of General, not exactly in rosy terms with the rest of the world, especially the West. Cricket is one thing that binds the nation and makes people believe there’s more to their country than pseudo-democratic politicians and terrorist training camps. There’s nothing like a right time for a controversy, but there sure is a wrong time; and for many Pakistanis this is the worst time. Batsmen won’t complain though- they can now walk to the middle without fearing broken bones and shattered groins.

    India’s batting performance against England was very disappointing. We’ve filled the squad with too many ‘exciting’ players. And then there’s the endorsement problem. It just takes two sixes or a 5-wicket haul or a ball bowled at 150 kmph to get Pepsi, Coca Cola, AirTel, and the like chasing you like a bull after red hot property. Dhoni, with just over a year’s international experience, makes an astounding 12 crore rupees a year. The inconsistencies of Indian cricket don’t need a Greg Chappel for rectification. Cricketers shouldn’t be allowed to endorse brands till they score 2000 runs or pick up 50 wickets.
    I saw an old Pepsi ad the other day, and was trying to recognize a particular face. Then it struck me. Ajay Ratra! The wicketkeeper who has walked to the middle with a bottle more often than a bat! But I guess that’s Indian Cricket Industry’s way of going about its business. They make celebrities out of one-match wonders, rocket them to cloud nine and then bury them in Ranji soil.

    While flipping through the pages of a magazine, I noticed Sania’s skirts getting shorter to keep pace with her shorter serves. I envisage a new Club HP (endorsed by Sania) ad with Sania playing tennis. Sania will hit the net (As usual. It won’t need a retake) and the uniformed Club HP guys will march in, saying, “Sania Mirza ko Tennis khelna nahi aata.
    Hame bhi nahi aata. Lekin hame aata hai petrol…” She’s another victim of excessive media adulation. She’s been made an icon before achieving anything of significance.

    I’m not writing in class today. I was kind of sick of writing in class and then typing it out. I’ve finished with my ramblings and must now attend to stomach’s rumblings. It’s time for that lovely cup of tea. Sad that I’ll have it only for another 7 months. Now please let me leave. I see a mosquito- must kill it before it reads this and calls its friends for a gang rape.