Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Real Deal

Fair warning: It's a mix of sarcasm, satire, humour and exagerration (shaken, not stirred). And I am in no mood to be nice. So read the rest at your own risk.

My life has been fairly stable and not highly eventful. But in this 24… sorry, 25 years of my existence, I have discovered that certain categories of people exist; whether they are at your school, college, society or workplace. No, I am not talking of the good kinds. I am not talking of the bad kinds either. Get this straight; there is no black and white; it’s always grey. So this is just my observation of certain characters and characteristics of people, and my feelings about them. I am not here to judge them. But some things just have to be said!

Bootlickers (BL): Also known as ass-kissers. They have no qualms in licking or kissing those respective things that I just said. I just can’t stand their sycophancy, and you could just puke when they talk. It’s not too hard to locate them. In a gathering, these are the people moving to the powerful, influential people (could be your Principal, Director, Managers, Politicians…). They start off with a polite introduction, and then move onto a series of praises of the said target. They just don’t care for self-esteem and will go to any lengths to catch the attention and create an impression (what kind, I wonder) on them. I have seen so many of this breed, that when they start showering their praises, and I am within earshot of this, I am ready to jump off a cliff. They think they are being damn smart; but here’s the scoop: those who hear and those who say, both know what the real deal is. But still this charade of pleasing and being pleased goes on. This class thrives and thrives… I wonder how and why. Nevertheless, they bother me no end. Heights of this is seen when the BL is desperate: wants a transfer, a promotion, a job, a new loan…the list could go on!

Achievers: No, these people don’t really achieve anything. But will make sure it ‘seems’ they did. They might be a part of the project, the group work, the assignment, the discussion, the committee, the event. But ultimately, come presentation time, recognition time or meeting with the bosses, an unprecedented fervor develops in them and they start presenting/talking/taking the lead as if they did the whole work on their own! More like robbing all the accolades; they just want to be the seen as the ‘face’ of the successful initiative so that the good name gets associated with them. But be damn sure if something goes wrong, they will be the first to disown the whole thing.

There’s also another kind in this category. They turn anything they did into an achievement. And you will all get an e-mail with top honchos also in Cc, coz they have to let everyone know that they did a miniscule, worthless thing. Something like, “In continuance with the earlier meeting, I have decided to initiate a meeting tracker, which will ensure attendance, set reminders… blah blah blah.” You get the drift. They just have to hog the limelight. Did they contribute anything? No! Just dragged in their butts and acted as if they were the best things to happen since colour TV.

Social Networkers: ‘Social networking’ is a highly abused and misused term in this day and age. But needless to say, this phenomenon has changed the way people behave online. And with it brings a new-age breed of nuisance! Meet the social networker: He has 1 million people in his friends list, and he’s actively trying to extend his reach over half the globe. What we don’t know is how well he knows them and vice versa (that’s gonna be scarce, I suppose). If you accidentally look at his way or say a polite ‘hi’ on the train, he will add you as his ‘friend’…we made a contact, right? Isn’t that enough? He likes to believe all of them are his ‘best friends’, buddies, pals. And he takes it as his birthright to comment on every scrap, status update, photo, fortune cookie message and online tests his friends take. And to make things worse, he has his own million status updates on his favourite food, movies, songs, art forms, hangouts, the weather……oh boy. Spare me the details! It will keep him alive in public eyes (or so he believes)… ‘Out of sight, out of mind’, right? Out of politeness, we all grin and bear it. And yes, my cheeks are still smarting from that fake smile I gave.

I just don’t know why people are obsessed about increasing their friends list and take it as an achievement. There are some individuals who are naturals when it comes to socializing and have lots of friends and acquaintances in the real world. But the kind I am talking about just keeps adding any stray person he’s vaguely familiar with and claims to be a ‘people’s person’ when he’s just a pain in the you-know-where for most. Enough said of this kind. I could go on and on…

Posers: This is an offshoot of the social networking era. Their life goal is to be immortalized through pictures. And not 1 or 100, but a million! They have this obsession with clicking a thousand random pics of themselves… no sifting and sorting to put up a select few…they will just transfer the whole bunch of it for our perusal! The funny part is, they will caption them – In Shimla, In Amritsar, In Red Fort, In Agra, In Dharamshala, In Jhumrithalaya… but it’s just them in the pic; no background scenery, no location. I could as well stand on the footpath of my hometown, click a pic and say In Dubai and no one would know the difference! Come any occasion, event, party, outing…they think, I should take pics, coz I need to upload it on FB or Orkut. And that’s how you get to see thousands of seemingly random yet perfectly co-ordinated smiles, formations, group pics, choreographed poses and funny pics. Some people are so desperate; they will also barge into other unsuspecting people who are getting their photos clicked. They just want to be in a pic! Who cares if their ugly faces (and presence) are not wanted by the others!

I hope I have enlightened you with a few categories of people. My mind seems to have calmed down now and my stock of humour, sarcasm and satire seems to have been depleted. You will hear more from me on this, in case I am inspired by more kinds of people. Get back to me with other kinds of people you can think of; if I find it interesting, I may as well spin another yarn on those!

As for those of you who think it’s YOU who I have written on… don’t ask me if I meant you; my response will be most probably me in the affirmative and you really don’t want to hear me confirm that, now do you? And if you are offended by this… I don’t care a damn!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Giving Up

The water dripped down his hair. His face. His body. The rains were lashing, but he couldn't care less. Even as people ran for cover, he braved the furore of the Rain Gods. For someone who lost his job, the love of his life and was kicked out of his rented home, getting drenched was the least of his concerns. He didn't know what to feel. He was angry, disappointed, depressed, scared, tortured... all at once. This is it. It's time.

He walked and walked, till he reached the hill top. It was lying bare. The monsoons meant that visitors were less.It was devoid of romantic couples, college kids and wearied employees sitting alone or in groups, worrying about tomorrow or chatting away to get over their boring work life. But it was empty now. Suited him just fine. It was better that way.

He sat down on a bench, and looked far ahead. The rains had stopped. The vast expanse of greenery before him was soaked. He wondered... why should I live? Life had defeated him in more ways than one. And it was amazing how all the bad things crash-landed into his life in the same week, at once. She got married; it broke his heart. Recession reared it's ugly face and his company gently 'let him go'. He was so upset by the turn of events, that he had a drunken brawl with his landlord. The next thing he knew, he was kicked out of his rented apartment. Well, all was not that bad. He thanked God he wasn't handed over to the police for causing a gash in his landlord's face.

But he had nothing to hope for. At that moment, his life appeared like a dark, bottomless pit with no future. I must leave, he decided. He stood up. He looked straight ahead. He kept walking, till he saw the danger zone. A lot of accidents had happened at that spot. People had fallen over. And that had prompted the officials to raise a huge board, "DANGER... do not cross this limit". He looked at the skull of the danger sign and laughed out loud. Like you can stop me, he thought.

Now's my turn to fall off and give up on life. He stood at the edge of the precipice and took one final look. Suddenly the scenic view enchanted him. He was overwhelmed by nature's beauty. The trees swaying in the breeze, the smell of wet soil, the birds creating a music of its kind.... the clear sky... and wait! A rainbow! This was what I was going to throw away? At that moment, a surge of optimism filled his heart. If he had hit rock bottom, then it meant that he couldn't go any lower; now the only way would be up for him. No matter what, he'd live to face the consequences. Tough times don't last; tough people do, he thought. It was his life... his precious life. And to give it up for something so petty? And he laughed at the foolishness of suicide. What was I thinking?

He heard a noise; startled, he turned around. His leg slipped, he rolled and fell down in to the abyss.

Perhaps Death had not realised his change of plans.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


His brows were knitted. He was worried. He couldn't stop pacing the floor. The time has come; or so it seems. It had been months since he had been hearing rumours of a newcomer. And he was insecure. What would happen to his world? A world he had so painstakingly built? The trust and love he had gained?

He tried to calm himself down. The newcomer wouldn't be able to usurp what was rightfully his. He was over-reacting. Why should he feel threatened? Maybe I shouldn't worry too much, he thought. His friends had gone through a similar situation recently; they seemed happy about it. Maybe he was just worrying unnecessarily.

His worst fears came true when he had overheard them one day, "We have to prepare him, you know. He must understand what's coming." And of course, he was being re-assured every now and then.

There they were. Across the room.

"Come here Rohan.... meet your baby sister."

So, it is a girl, he thought. She's sleeping in my mom's arms....no, our mom's arms. As he gently touched her cheeks and kissed her face, he forgot what he was worrying about.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Day

She was worried. Why wouldn't she be? She hated public appearances and being in the limelight. But today, she cannot step back. She knew what she was getting into, when she signed up for this venture. Now, there was no backing out. The stage is set. People are ready. The show must begin.

But as always, indecisiveness plagued her. With every passing moment, her anxiety grew exponentially. Her mind galloped like a wild horse in all directions, as it conjured up all the possible things that could go wrong today. She was almost certain that it was another of her panic attacks. What would be in store for her ahead?

Relax! Let me take one day at a time. She took a deep breath. She took one long look at herself in the mirror. Contrary to her expectations, the make-up made her look prettier. She allowed herself a smile.

"Where is she? Isn't she ready yet?" She could hear someone calling for her across the hall.

She stood up and did a quick piroutte and checked herself out in the mirror. Perfect. She definitely looked the part. Now she had to act the part too.

"Will the bride please strike a pose and give a smile?" The cameraman had come.
She gave one big smile and wondered how long she could keep it up today. And ahead in her married life.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


You can't see the tears on my face,
You can't see the pain in my eyes.
I spend my days in a daze,
And to you it's no surprise.

The moments that were meant to last,
Have all dissolved into thin air.
Where are the days of the past?
I have my doubts...but, do you even care?

Nothing will ever last; you have proved it to me now.
You have taught me not to hope,
And so, I am learning to move on somehow.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


She liked to nestle her head on his neck. She would gently kiss him at the base of his neck, and he would feel tickled. As he tightly hugged her in bed, she would let her lips curiously explore. That's how it always was. Every time he held her in his arms, she felt it was the first time he ever had. It felt as if an invisible thread was tugging at their hearts, bringing them closer. As she lay on his chest, it was funny how her heart would settle to his heartbeat and their hearts would beat in unison.

He traced the mehendi design on her arm, with his finger. She laughed. The elaborate mehendi design which extended from the palms and half way to her arms, with their names hidden in the maze of the loops and curves, amused him.

Her hand was firmly clasping his wedding band. The tear stains on the pillow had all but dried. She smiled in her sleep. A smile that dared to appear a year after his death.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ain't No Mountain High Enough...

Listen Baby

Ain't no mountain high
Ain't no valley low
Ain't no river wide enough baby
If you need me, call me
No matter where you are
No matter how far,
Don't worry baby
Just call my name
I'll be there in a hurry
You don't have to worry
'Cause baby,
There aint no mountain high enough
Aint no valley low enough
Aint no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you, babe
Just an awesome song in my head! Absolutely lurrvvv this one...
I first heard this song in the movie Step Mom (*amazing movie*). This first appears in the movie when Julia Roberts is seen singing along with the radio, while driving her to-be husband's kids to their mom's place. The daughter, who just can't accept Julia Roberts, joins in and they sing away to glory; a moment in their relationship where they first connect. And she begins to think her step mom is actually cool and not a nightmare.
And then, this song reappears in the movie, when the daughter dances with her Mom (Susan Sarandon) and they have a li'l jig, which is their 'thing'.... a mother-daughter bond. And finally, the song again appears at the end.
I hadn't heard this song before (I don't listen much to English songs). But this song was damn too catchy to miss. I again heard this song being used in Remember the Titans; a movie I caught on Star Movies recently. And apparently, it's used in the movie, Sister Act 2 and some others too.

And talking of Step Mom, caught the promos of its desi version, We are Family. I have my hopes set real low; coz it's a Bollywood rip-off after all!

  • The movie has an additional kid (it has 3 kids in lieu of the 2 in the original),
  • It has Arjun Rampal pairing up with Kajol AND Kareena (a first time, any which pair you take)
  • A 'tribute' to Elvis Presley's hit song Jailhouse Rock (yes, it's like Pretty Woman reloaded... talk about a Julia Roberts Fixation!) and ...
  • Not to forget, a cheesy title! (Seriously? "We are Family"? Didn't like that one bit.)
And I am sure all the Bollywood spices will be thrown in to make a true-to-style K Jo Bollywood masala (although he's not directing it). The movie will be terribly long, will have a number of songs injected at all odd places, atleast 2 song-and-dance routines, tear-jerking scenes (glycerine version 2.0 reloaded), lots of drama and very less of Arjun Rampal (heck, who else would want such an insignificant role? He just has to look good and the gals will take care of the rest!)

I seriously doubt if the movie will make as much impact as Step Mom. Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts had perfectly nailed the roles. Their restrained, powerful performances are a tough act to follow, I dare say. Kajol might match up to her role... but Kareena? Will she or won't she? I will be happy to be surprised.

The best thing would be to induce amnesia before you go to watch this movie, NEVER compare it with the original, and try to enjoy the show.
So here's a movie review even before it has been released! And you read it here first!

Monday, August 09, 2010

When I went Shopping!

Just yesterday, I had gone to City Centre (for the first time). I was busy shopping at Lifestyle. I was rummaging through all the clothes and trying to find myself a decent kurti. I was happy I was finding a couple to my liking. And then... as I left the trial room with one or two I liked, it hit me...

Where's my purse?!

However hard I tried to rack my brains, I couldn't remember when I had it last, or where I had left it. It was Sale time at Lifestyle, coupled with the weekend crowd, and things were going haywire; clothes all strewn across and people everywhere! And I was, like an idiot, trying to find my purse. It was nothing short of finding a needle in a haystack!

First I try to calm down and (logically) try to trace back my steps; the sections I visited, the paths I took and so on. It wasn't helping (duh!). And breathing down my back was my sister, who like all sisters and mothers (I believe) go into the 'I told you so' mode. Here I was, with my purse lost (with cash, debit card and mobile) and all she could do was give me a lecture on my carelessness, absent-mindedness and negligence! Phew! She finally suggests that we need to report a missing purse. I decide to do that.... since I had already evoked all the Gods, bribed lord Ganesh with a coconut and had panicked like hell! I approach one of the salespersons and report that I've lost my purse. She asks me to go to a counter and report it.

I (looking foolish, scared and idiotic all at the same time) approach the counter and tell them of my woe. They ask me to describe the purse. I say it's blue and start to describe it.... having not much faith that they can find it in that crowd... and suddenly they produce my purse! What a miracle! They ask me the amount of money in it, other items enclosed, etc and I finally get it. Some customer or a salesperson who had found it was kind enough to return and report it. I was so relieved, I can't explain! What if some jerk who was a kleptomaniac had got my purse? I even dread to think of the possibility. And to think I lost and found it, all in a matter of a few minutes....
So my weekend, which was at the verge of becoming a disaster, was rescued from such a plight by a kind person (God bless that soul!). I wish I could meet that person and thank him/her.

So what did I learn from this incident?

Take care of your things.... or you will have to hear your sister nag! Lol!

Monday, August 02, 2010

The weekend that was...

Most weekends, I end up washing, cooking, watching TV and catching movies, sleeping and whiling away time. This time, it was no different. But there were a few interesting things along the way.

First of all, I caught Inception. With so much being said about this movie, I had to give it a shot. Well, the movie is technically brilliant and a concept which is bizarre to think, but executed to perfection. If someone were to tell you that someone can extract thoughts from your sub-conscious through your dreams; that a bunch of people all wired at one go can go to sleep and enter the same dream created by an 'architect'; that you can have dreams within dreams...you might pooh-pooh it immediately as someone's sci-fi imagination gone wild. But that's where this movie scores big time. It was truly a case of 'willing suspension of disbelief' (as Coleridge put it). You never for once feel that it's implausible; unlike scores of B-grade movies which is shot so crappily that you can easily make through the fake world they try to create. Here, the pace and style of the movie grips you immediately.
Having said that, I felt that technical brilliance was what kept the audience in awe; followed by the concept. Or both in no particular order. I somehow didn't feel that I could connect with Di Caprio or the other characters. When his story unravels in parts, I didn't feel for him. It would have been better if the audience could be emotionally involved. Or so I felt. Now please don't tear me down for not having said that it's the BEST movie ever made! That's my opinion. I'd say everyone should watch it atleast once. And maybe more times, to get the whole movie. And you might still not get it.

I then caught a show on TV, for the first time: 'Moment of Truth' (Season 2). For those who haven't watched it, this game show is one where a person has to answer a series of 21 progressively personal and embarassing questions. With each step, the question gets worse; but you get money for being 'truthful'; i.e. you win a cash amount if the answer is right. How this works is, prior to the show, a contestant is hooked up to a polygraph and asked more than 50 questions; there is no polygraph testing conducted during the actual show. Without knowing the results of the polygraph, he or she is asked 21 of those same questions again on the program, each becoming progressively more personal in nature. If the contestant answers honestly, according to the polygraph results, he or she moves on to the next question; however, should a contestant lie in his or her answer (as determined by the polygraph) or simply refuse to answer a question after it has been asked, the game ends.
Now, you must sample the questions asked on the show. The episode I watched had an engaged couple, Jeff and Denise. Some of the questions asked on the show:
  • "Have you stolen money from Jeff's wallet without him knowing?" (To the girl, Denise)
  • "Do you have a secret stash of cash you haven't told your fiance about?" (To the guy, Jeff)
  • "Do you like Jeff's mother?" (To Denise)
  • "Do you love Denise more than your own mother?" (To Jeff)
  • "Have you had sexual relationship with Denise's girlfriends?" (To Jeff)
  • "Did you have unprotected sex with your ex-boyfriend during the time both of you had separated?" (To Denise)
It was outrageous to see the kind of questions being asked. And needless to say, everything from money, personal relationships, sex and love was covered. There was a whole dramatic sequence in which the sister-in-law- and mother-in-law-to be first blame Denise for not behaving well with them, which later culminates in forgiveness, hugs, kisses and tears! Oh boy, and here I thought we Indians alone thrived on saas-bahu melodrama!
And after all the unsavoury questions, a final bonus question was: "Do you still want to get married?" To which Denise said, "Yes". Jeff said "No". And you get the picture. It's anybody's guess if the marriage is still on!
I am really amused by this show. First of all, it suggests that you would do anything to get money. I mean, you'd own up to your secrets or feelings for a wad of cash? No matter how much it would hurt your future or your relationships? What you wouldn't dare admit to your fiance in private, you'd own up to it on national television? What about that!
Secondly, I think some things are better not brought out in the open. Let's face it. Mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationships are a bit tricky, with neither party openly admitting feelings which are 'mutual'. What good does it do by stating it point-blank? As for all the sexual (mis)adventures being brought out into the open; I have no comments. The less said, the better. It's nothing short of shaking a bee-hive!
I haven't had a chance to watch it's Indian version 'Sach ka Saamna'. And I even don't know if they are still airing it. Anyway, I am sure that husbands and wives, siblings,friends, parents and children, etc who come on the show will return more confused, sad, depressed and dejected. But that's what people choose to give up in return for some money. It's their lives; so be it.

So... what have you folks been upto?

Thought for the day: "The best angle from which to approach a problem is the try-angle."


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