Sunday, July 15, 2007

A More Relaxed Round-Up

Sunday, July 8th, 2007, 11 am

My previous round-up of the summer vacations was brief (those of you who enjoy the mother of all stale jokes can chuckle at ‘brief’) owing to my flight to Bangalore. Well, I’m now on board the aircraft and have an hour to kill. For people like me who don’t fly very often, airports are temples of stifling etiquette. To my relief, this time I saw a suited-booted gentleman executing a gigantic yawn and stretching like someone’s pulling him from all directions. Probably a nose-digger or ear-shaker would’ve made me feel more at home, but this was unacceptable enough. Anyway, apart from pacing up and down a hundred times and entering the ladies toilet once, my wait in the airport was without incident. As I now sit with the pen on my lips and my eyes on the airhostess, I try to cope with the turbulence at take off. You remember the post where I mentioned my stomach churning like someone had switched on a fan inside? Well, due to the accuracy of that description and my stunted imagination, I say it again. I have a very fragile stomach, but the plush interiors of the aircraft don’t give me the heart to puke.

July 10th, 12:30 am

I am now lying on my belly in my comfortable room in Bangalore. I moved in here yesterday, and though I’ve lived in hostel before, this stay away from home is a little different. This isn’t a college hostel where I can throw my stuff around and breed cobwebs. This is a place where the house-keeping guys call me sir and where we get parsley potato instead of aloo fry. It’s a wonderful room and a wonderful place to stay in. I’m loving it!

After unpacking, I decided to make myself a drink (a beverage, rather). I could choose between an Akshay-made tea and an Akshay-made coffee. Now that’s like choosing between a Sunny Deol pole dance and a Tusshar Kapoor strip tease- still, I stuck with coffee simply because it’s more difficult to screw up. How wrong I was! One cup of water, 2 minutes of heating, one packet of sugar, one of coffee, and one of the creamer gave me an excellent alternative to Harpic. By the time I hit the right proportions, the water had gone cold. Still, I gulped it down and dared my memory to forget the proportions.

As the day wore on, I decided to get my dress ready for the next day. I unfolded 2 shirts to check if they were crumpled, dirty, etc. I finally selected a shirt, one pant, a belt, kept all my documents in place, and finally changed into my bermudas. Done for the day huh? Not quite. What about the other shirt I unfolded? Mom had taught me the art of folding shirts the way we see them packed in showrooms. I rubbished her detailed, step-by-step instructions- after all, we engineers are born with the right to trivialize everything from gay pubs to the Big Bang. I paid the price this time though, and spent no less than 45 minutes in trying to fold the damn thing.*

July 14th, 2007, 9 pm

On the road today, I saw a leading telecom service company’s latest ad- “Newspaper, Rs.150 per month, Mobile Rs. 99 per month." Well, Mr. Ad-man, consider this: Your Hutch recharge lets me only talk and send smses. A newspaper lets me read it, solve the crossword and su doku, scribble phone numbers on it, wipe dusty seats with it, lay it on shelves, make aeroplanes out of it, and use it as a wrapper. The only thing you have worth offering is customer care voices (female), which we can hear even with a zero-balance.

July 15th, 2007, 3:03 pm

I’m sitting in a cyber café now, hammering out my next post, which incidentally you have been reading all this while. This is the only way I’ll update this page now- sitting in the cyber café on Sunday afternoons with random thoughts scribbled in a notebook. I’ve just read the comments on my previous post. I’m really grateful to all you guys for taking the trouble and reading my stuff. I want you to know that your comments are a real driving force for me to keep this page alive. And just to ensure that you guys remember me with fondness or bitterness till the next update, I’ll finish with the riddle of the day.

Q. Why did the Punjabi cop arrest Sachin Tendulkar for match-fixing?

Scroll down for the answer.

A. Because he said he loves batting for India.

*For the record, I finally succeeded.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A Quick Round-Up

I’m nearing the end of my vacation now, and much has transpired between my last appearance on this miserable page and today. I’ve been gripped by a dreadful writer’s block, and heck! I’m not even a writer. Anyway, I’ve successfully finished my engineering in four consecutive years without any major lapses save 5 missing kilos and a few million strands of a fibre that its possessors call hair. I have wonderful memories of my stay in Varanasi and hope to pen them one day.

My stay at home has been loaded with stereotypes- and I won’t bore you with the regular stuff like tv soaps, Indian Idol, good food, etc. Perhaps the most exciting activity at home this time was revamping my loo and ‘westernising’ it. For years my sister refused to step into that bathroom because it was frequented by he-who-must-be-thrown-into-a-washing-machine, and revamping it and making it less offensive to the strong-nosed has hardly changed her stance.

The honeymoon years have ended, and with it has ended the freedom to dress in rags, move around in a barbaric beard, and not change clothes till you forget when you last changed them. Resultantly, I’ve been shopping actively for good clothes. Every shopping trip follows the same pattern. We enter any shop that says “Up to 50% off” (with the “up to” a billion times smaller than “50%”) and my role in these trips is strictly Presidential. That is to say, my clothes are picked by the trio of mom, dad, and sis, and my job is just to shake my assenting head.

I watched 3 movies this time- Metro, Cheeni Kum, and Aap Ka Surroor. For the uninitiated, Aap Ka Surroor stars the-one-and-thankfully-the-only Himesh Reshammiya. I couldn’t believe I paid to watch that movie, and I literally paid for it! It took me a Coke, popcorn, and a bulls-eye (a large chunk of cake bathed generously in chocolate sauce and topped with vanilla ice-cream costing as princely as it sounds) to digest the movie. The movie lasted two hours and was punctuated by a few official songs and a few nasally rendered -uh…hmm…okay let’s give him the benefit of doubt- songs, peppered throughout the movie. In fact if you have the habit of going out for a smoke or to the loo during songs, you might as well carry an extra pack or a portable urinal with you respectively. The best dialogue of the movie was Hanssika Motwani saying, “Mein duniya ki sabse lucky ladki hoon kyonki mere paas aapki ek smiling tasveer hai.” or something to that effect. She then pulls the photograph and shows it to him. For the benefit of my readers, here’s the closest match I could find on the internet.

TV was a little more exciting this time, with French Open, Wimbledon, and the Future Cup being telecast. I’ve always been amazed by the dresses women tennis players wear. Anna Kournikova’s presence on the tennis court used to be so Serena and Venus Williams have always been the torchbearers of on-court absurdity. Their weird hair dos and weirder dresses have made them look like escapees of an African zoo. Particularly this time, Serena’s clothes looked like she had run away from the middle of a rape.

Well, I have a lot more to tell you guys but it’s 1 am and I’m leaving tomorrow (or today for sticklers who don’t believe that ‘tomorrow’ starts only after waking up). I’m off to Bangalore to begin a new phase of my life- so I need all the aashirwaads, pats on the back, and kicks on butt that you can give me. I’ve been very careless by not updating this page often enough, and I can’t promise that I will be any more regular. But if you have a good internet connection and time on your hands just stop by my page once in a while- I’ll try not to disappoint.