Monday, February 28, 2005

Force-fitting titles for each blog post is getting to be a more tedious task with every post. So I’ve decided to do away with titles…unless I can think of an appropriate one.

Inder gave his birthday treat at Bombay Post, a restaurant in the vicinity of TGIF & IndiJoe’s – in terms of location. But thankfully not in terms of quality of food. Far far better. Of course, one needs to factor in my choice of non-onion, non-garlic dishes. It was still a highly satisfying lunch. And a very funny one as well. Ameya “Salman” Bhide was at the butt of all the jokes. The only people who did NOT rib him were The Devil & Pramod.

The Devil seemed to be in a world of his own, and I mean this literally. He held private conversations with the chef. He invited the waiters over for personalized instructions. Of course, he did laugh for all the jokes.

And Pramod is just too decent a guy to even pull another person’s leg. We guys have been a very bad influence on him. And the day when he sheds his “sorrys” and “thank yous” completely and joins the dark side isn’t too far off. (Just kidding! He will always be the nicest guy in our gang. It’s all about the law of averages.)

We shifted base from Bombay Post to coffee at Sadashivnagar Coffee Day. And this was a rank bad move. (For the others. Me? Well, I am not supposed to crib)
Akshai did try his best to lure us to a more “family crowd” place like Shanti Sagar. Unfortunately he didn’t have any one else supporting his noble cause (apart from me). But by the end of our coffees, I am sure most of the Gang were wishing the same.

Albert Pinto joined us for the second innings of the day at my place and then slept over at The Devil’s place.

The moment of the night had to be the time when Pinto said,” I heard this joke today morning…”.
We laughed. We laughed. And we laughed more. Our bellies ached. Our heads ached. This went on for five minutes.

Oh btw, Pinto never got past that sentence. We still do not know what the joke was.
And we do not want to know. It should enter the annals as the joke that evoked the most laughter without ever being spoken out loud.

The night was one long conversation on “where our lives are heading” (as Chakku puts it in his blog), where we would like to be, but where we most likely will be, etc. Interleaved with all this was the occasional pipipi piiiiii(to be hummed in Swades tune).

So that’s the end of another weekend. For the others.
For me the weekend continues and will hopefully do so happily for another 2 months. Hmm…

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Birthdays and geniuses

I used to be a fan of WWF wrestling from 8th standard till the end of 9th. And I enjoyed it despite knowing that it was all make-believe. I guess, growing up, I left this part of my life for good. But I am not suggesting that WWF was something that was tagged to kids alone. The subsequent seasons saw them “spicing” it up to attract the adults as well. Given my current vow of austere celibacy of thought as well, I shall refrain from posting further on this “spicing issue”.

But ever since then, the only question that used to rankle me was how stupid were the people who actually paid money to enter these arenas and watch the “fights” live?!

Well that question has been answered.
Albeit the answer isn’t one that I had expected.

A member of our gang, whose name I shall not mention, actually went to one of these WWE arenas on Monday! If further clues are needed on who Mr. X is – all I can reveal is this:

In the Mahabharatha, Karna was born with the kavacha and kundala. In our world, Mr. X was born with a beard on his face and a Gillette razor in his hand.

Oh btw, the people who do attend these fights may not be really stupid. Coz I know Mr. X isn’t one. He fits the genius category. I apologise for casting doubts on the sanity of the earlier audience of such fights.

Enough on WWE.

Last week saw Inder turning 26. More on the man in the spotlight:
A Bong bandhu whose knowledge of Bengali (or lack of it) is rivaled only by his “knowledge” of Kannada. Despite being short-tempered in his early years, he has mellowed down a lot since. Of course, he does pick up the odd fights with the auto drivers. (And trust me, these fights aren’t make-believe!) The fact that he is highly sentimental can be best exhibited by reading his blog. Very helpful and absolutely lousy as far as directions go.
That’s Indrashis for you.

Here’s wishing him a very happy birthday!

Monday, February 14, 2005


Well, today is Valentine’s Day and the title of this post couldn’t be more apt. In case you are wondering, Kaadhal means love in Tamil.
But fear not. Being a purebred member of “the company”, I do not intend to sermonize on this topic. Besides, anything I say would sound clichéd.

“But why the heck do you have Kaadhal as the title of your post?!” - You may wonder.

It is the name of a Tamil movie I saw last week. Thanks to the moratorium imposed by the Kannada film industry, I had to wait a long time before I finally got my chance to see it…but the wait was extra special. Of course, I could have taken the easier and more popular option of catching it on a VCD. But the chances of that happening are as rare as that of Tendulkar scoring a match-winning Test hundred. :)

Varath and me caught this much-awaited, super-hit, low-budget movie last Wednseday night at PVR. Apparently, the story is based on the incident of a person the director was traveling with in a train. He made the movie taking the consent of that person. Apart from the hero Bharath and his friend Sukumar, all the other artists are new faces. Most of the technicians (editor, music director) are new as well. In fact, the most high profile name associated with this movie is the producer – Shankar – the guy who directed classics such as Gentleman, Indian, Mudhalvan.

The best thing to come out of this movie has to be the heroine – Sandhya, an incredible talent with a gamut of expressions, clear voice with beautiful modulation. I can see her becoming the next Sneha. And she is just in her 10th still!!!

The performances by all the co-artistes were splendid, leaving one with the question whether Shankar chose these new faces because they cost less or did he just see the “spark”!

Some scenes and dialogues that linger in the mind:

* The opening sequence where the camera pans across the board “Royal Court Lodging here” and ends up showing a guy sleeping on the pavement right at the foot of the sign!

* “Unga bodhaikku naanga urgaaiya?” by the heroine’s friend as she is lugged around to the mechanic shop.

* “Horn irundha adichirpomla!” during the first meeting scene between the protagonists.

* “Direct herova? First annan role, thambi role, US maapillai role…indha maadhri edhum vendama? Direct hero..hmm!” the wannabe director in the mansion to a wannabe actor/chief minister/prime minister.

I am hooked onto the songs completely. Here’s wishing a bright future ahead for the composer – Joshua Sridhar.

I guess that ends my post.

Or wait. It does seem odd to end a post on this day without a mention of something related to it. So here is a mail that I received in the morning from a member of our gang (name withheld). It kept me in splits throughout the day.

Lets hope our pals in Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena , HJM etc live up to their reputation today. This is the only day of the year when i completely agree with their ideology....;-)


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Morning Traffic

Is there any law in Bangalore that states that no traffic rule need to be followed before 8 AM? I leave my house at 7 in the morning on Mondays and Tuesdays to get to my campus, and each time I can barely manage to keep my temper in check.

Today was an especially painful day. And these 40 days are when I am supposed to lose my temper NOT at all!

Lets begin with the early-morning joggers/walkers. I appreciate their fitness regime, and their desire to stay as healthy as possible. But does that mean that they can take up the entire road for their walking? As I turn into Banyan Tree road (aka Monkey Park road) there is this sea of humans just coasting along the road. It doesn’t matter whether they are in the direction of my car or the opposite; they seem to be totally obvlivious of the actual purpose of a tarred road and a footpath. I am sure you realize that there were just 2 options ahead of me – and I took pity on the public and honked them off the road!
(Before you begin to wonder, let me clarify that this option is more merciful than the other one – mowing them down!)

After I leave all the fitness freaks and enter the main roads I am faced with another problem – traffic signals. Before 8 AM, the rule seems to be that Green means Go. Amber means Go. Red means Honk loudly & Go. And there I am sitting in my car, with the engine switched off as the Devagowda Petrol Bunk signal slowly winds its way down from 171 seconds. Lorries, buses, jeeps, cars, motorbikes, scooters and even cycles just blare their horns and whiz past me. If there is some “unfortunate” driver who is stuck right behind me and is forced to follow the traffic rules, he begins to shout the sweetest of swear words from his vernacular tongue. I stick my index finger out and point towards the red light. At which point, he resumes his honking and swearing…

To add to this confusion is the occasional driver who wishes to enter the road from the wrong direction, but still thinks it is birthright as long as it is before 8! All I can do is glare at him while the rest of the traffic continues to flow on both sides through the red light.

The sad part is that I imagine myself to be creating an impression like the guy does in the Kawasaki Bajaj Calibre ad and all that the people around seem to think of me is that of a joker who doesn’t know what being streetsmart is.

I do not know the origin of the word “streetsmart”, but I can trace its roots to such traffic situations on the streets.
Being streetsmart is to skip all the people waiting at the signal by going on the right side of the divider. Ah…the smile of pride in their faces as they condescendingly look at the “losers” waiting!
Being streetsmart is to begin honking as soon as the digital timer at the signals reaches 20 seconds.

I don’t see any improvement in the mindset of the people to correct their attitude. I don’t see any decrease in the number of people flocking into Bangalore. As a result, I don’t harbour any hope of living in the Bangalore of old.