Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Simple Life

I put up a forum post recently in this bloggers forum called A Blog Post Written By You... That You Love the Most. The idea was to find some good blogs to follow.

The post got some 25 odd responses and I discovered a number of great blogs. But the one that stood out and simply blew me away is a blog called "A Simple Life" written by this chap called Ravi Lobo.

The writing, in my opinion, is outstanding, simple, lucid and fresh.

The reason I put this up is because I have a feeling that the number of people who don't know about this excellent little blog far outnumber the ones who do...

Give it a read... I promise you will not regret...

Monday, May 25, 2009

I have been tagged... 10 "tings" about me... why am I doing this

Ten things about me…. Now that’s tough… I don’t even know if there are three things about me… so I might stop at 8, 5, 3 or even 1… Lets see how it goes… And I hate R for doing this to me… this link is the reason for this post... how I hate this woman...

1. I am human ( ha ha… one done… nine to go)
2. I love travelling… and luckily, my job requires me to travel lots…
3. My first name starts with an A
4. I really dig good food … favourite places to eat… 1) Fried Chicken, Baghdadi roti and beef chilly onion fry… Baghdadi… Mumbai 2) Barah Handi at Vallibhai Payawalla, Bohri Mohalla 3) a) Skylawn, Royal Festival Hall, Embankment, London 4) Zitadelle Spandau, Berlin and 5) Longuinhos and Martins in Goa 6) Street food in Thailand and 7) any good roadside dosa-idlli wala. I am hungry now.
5. I never wrote anything (apart from official communication) before starting the blog
6. I am lazy and tend to procrastinate… in my personal life… i.e. it could take me 30 years to change a light-bulb at home, if I had my way… Therefore I fear that the blog might not last long…
7. People think I am commitment phobic… bottom-line… women dump me as soon as they get to know the real me… Although I disagree vehemently and strongly believe that the reason I can’t commit is because I haven’t found the right woman yet… I also think that it is vey unlikely that I will find the right woman soon…
8. I like the sea more than the hills… I love reading… my idea of a good weekend is a beach…. Most likely to be Kashid…. a good book… hammock… coconut water (with Bacardi)… read… read… read… siesta… get up (shit…what is that cow doing near my foot… f@$# it wants my chappals...harrr… harrr)... back to the book… coconut water (with Bacardi)… sun sets… sleep again…
9. I love the hills during the rains… and I can trek all day…as long as it rains… and I get wet...
10. I love electronic gaming…. Especially sport related games… Can play on a console, mobile… on anything… anywhere… anytime… all night… and then all day…. then all night…

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mother loves Jeremy

Jeremy was worried. The man was sitting right across him. The man had been looking right at him for the last half an hour. Every time Jeremy looked up, the man scowled at him. Jeremy glared back. He was at this swanky nightclub with friends. It was a friend’s birthday. It was his first time at a nightclub and he did not want to spoil it by getting into a fight. The friends were new. Jeremy was just two months into his first year in college. Everyone around him was new.

The music throbbed. Jeremy could hear it thud through his chest. He felt his heart pounding to the music. This was fun. Jeremy could never afford to get into a place like this by himself.

The man was scowling at him again. The man was running his fingers through his sideburns. Jeremy could feel the sweat on his sideburns. He was sweating but yet he felt cold. The smell of alcohol and cigarette smoke mixed with the odor of sweat, room freshener, cheap perfume and stale food. An assault to the senses. Yet exhilarating. Strange places, these nightclubs.

Mother had told him not to go. No wonder.

Jeremy had lost his father when he was thirteen. Jeremy’s father had married late. His mother much too young for his father. Much too young to become a widow.

She brought him up teaching kindergarten at a local school. They never had much. They had each other. They had enough. Jeremy had to do well. He was his mother’s last hope. Jeremy excelled at school. Jeremy got a scholarship. Jeremy got admission into the swanky college.

Jeremy looked at him again. The man was glaring now. Jeremy glared back. The man looked familiar. He looked like his father. No. He thought he looked like his father. Very peculiar similarities. But then the bastard was dead. The old bastard was dead.

“I will kill the bastard if he looks at me again” thought Jeremy and looked up again. The man was still scowling, a strange look on his face. Jeremy thought he saw a half smile. A sinister, sarcastic half smile.

Jeremy’s blood boiled. Jeremy stood up. The man stood up as well. This was going to be a fight. A full blown bloody fight. Jeremy had never fought before. Mother had told him not to. Jeremy was his mothers only hope. Mother was protective. Mother loved him. Jeremy could never afford to get into a fight. Jeremy never got into a fight. Until now.

The bastard looked like his father. His fucking father. His old fucking father who fucked his mother’s life. Jeremy had enough of his father. Jeremy had enough of his mother‘s wailing about how her family destroyed her life by getting her married to an old man. “Lets get this done and dusted with, you fucking son of a bitch. I want to fuck you motherfucker. I want to fuck you till you die motherfucker. Come get me motherfucker”.

This was it. The man rushed at Jeremy. Jeremy had never been in a fight before. There was something in the mans hand. Something rolled up. “Fight back” Jeremy told himself. “Fight the bastard and finish him. Do it for mother”

But Jeremy felt weak. He felt the music pounding inside his rib cage. The lights were blinding him. “I am scared” thought Jeremy. “I don’t want to die”.

The man was nearly upon Jeremy. Jeremy found himself frozen. His legs wouldn’t move. He raised his hands to cover his face. The man was now upon him. He shoved the thing from his hand into Jeremy’s nose. It felt like paper. The man’s face an inch away from Jeremy’s. Jeremy pushed the man away but it was too late. He felt something run up his nasal cavity. He felt it in his head. He felt his brain explode into many different colors.

Beautiful colors. Beautiful colors in formation. Beautiful colors forming shapes he never knew before. Beautiful colors never seen before. Beautiful colors running riot. Beautiful colors alight. Beautiful colors in the sky. Beautiful colors making love. Beautiful colors… orgasmic passion. Beautiful colors of God. Beautiful colors are God.

Something. Something happened. Something happened again. His brain coming together. His colorful brain coming together. Another explosion. His brain exploded. No stupid. The colors exploded. No. Wasn’t the colors. Something else. FUCK

Jeremy could see again. He could see the man’s face now. The man was looking at him. He wasn’t scowling. He wasn’t glaring. He wasn’t smiling. Was he crying? Jeremy’s vision was getting clearer. The man was crying. Blood dripping from his nose, forming a little stream from the nose to the lips and then dropping to the floor in the form of little red raindrops. Jeremy could hear the sound of the little red raindrops hit the floor. Pitter Patter rain drops. Sound amplified.

Jeremy’s vision was getting clearer. The man looked so much like his father. No. Wait. The man did not look like his father. The man was not his father. He realized. He finally knew. It was him. It was him all along. He had done it. It was him all along. He knew now. He realized. Mother was right. Mother loved me. He wanted to cry. He tried to cry. He couldn’t cry

He couldn’t cry. Something exploded in his brain again. He could see all the colours exploding again. This time exploding outside in and forming a rotating blob of red. The blob was moving. It was moving down his brain. No. It was not moving. It was spreading. He could feel the blob move into his eyes blocking his vision. The blob changed color. The blob was black. It moved into his nose. Christ… He can’t breathe…. It’s in his mouth now… turning his tongue down his throat. His tongue is in his throat…choking him. Its moving again… the blob is in his vertebral column…. he is numb now. Shit… it’s in his chest too… moving faster… gushing in… Oh… this is soothing… calming… he likes the blob in his chest… he can feel the throbbing of the music slow down…. he is getting better…. The throbbing is really slow now… slower… slower…. It’s so peaceful…. Its gonna be fine… he wants to sing… black is a beautiful color… slower… Jesus… Jesus is black… Jesus is slow…

The throbbing is slower…Jesus is slower…slower…slower… slow… slo… sl… s.. ss… sss… ssss…. sssss…. sssssss…. sssssss.. sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

Silence. Peace

Mother walked in silence. She walked up the stairs. This was the second time she walked up those stairs.

She walked up the stairs the first time to collect the body of her husband. This time..... She broke down. Jeremy loved mother. Mother loved Jeremy. He was her only hope.

And he was lost. Lost Forever. To drugs. His first time….. his own choice…and his last breath.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Effective and Efficient Processes to make Swine Fly

Last week I happened to visit three countries. The UK has over a 100 cases of swine flu, Dubai does not have one yet (I think) and India has one detected case of swine flu.

Dubai and the UK are not screening anyone for the flu. India is. If you can call it screening, that is. As usual, we are the best at designing processes and most awful at implementation.

Swine flu screening, according to our babus, is a process of making tired and jet lagged travelers fill up a declaration form stating that they are in the pink of health, stand in yet another mile long queue to have the aforementioned form stamped by a babu in a face mask and finally have jet lagged and now queue phobic traveller submit the form to a bored looking chap in immigration.

Why can’t just bored babu stamp the swine form??? Well, he obviously can’t. How can bored babu have the same skill sets as face mask babu??? Face mask babu is obviously a doctor or nurse or something like that. And one needs all that education to stamp a swine flu form with the power and the passion of a blacksmith, doesn’t one???

Also face-mask babus are gifted face readers. The man looked at my face and through my hair when he stamped the form. For all that matters, even if I had cancelled out everything on the form and instead written in bold that “I AM AFFLICTED BY SWINE FLU”, the man would in all probability, have stamped the form with all his passion and vigour, said “Ookay, theeeeenk you siiiir” and let me go on to bored babu.

Maybe, just maybe, face-mask babus are actually voodoo doctors. Maybe the harder they hammer the form with the stamp, the further swine flu flies from the person whose name is on the form. Maybe “Ookay, theeeeenk you siiiir” is a voodoo charm. Maybe its swine flu that is making me write this...

Finally, I am sure the screening process aims to achieve more than just screening. It aims to make the country immune to swine flu. An old grandmother remedy for disaster says “Feed a fever and starve a cold” and so therefore only old grandmother babu could have conceptualized this brilliant process. After all, only when you throw in a few thousand people in twisted serpentine queues, with a potential swine flu victim on all four sides of every passenger, can you ensure that we have the maximum potential traveling population exposed to swine flu.

And how well the process works…One swine flu over the babu’s nest...And landed in Hyderabad…

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Saala... Kyun Vote Karun Yaar...

I cant get over the elections. I have been looking over the internet to find some other opinions on incentives for people to vote. I am sharing a few opinions...

The first link is from Hemal's blog and he has some interesting information and opinions on the voter turnout during the current elections. Hemal had commented on my last post on Mumbai's voter turnout.

This link from CNN IBN has Anurag Kashyap's take on voting... It's an interesting read...

The last link from Tim Harford's blog offers an economist's perspective on whether it is rational to vote. Tim Harford writes about economics in everyday life. He has written two brilliant, well received and much debated books called "The Undercover Economist" and "The Logic of Life".

Friday, May 1, 2009

Change the Name... Mumbai to Dumbbai

The next time I hear a Mumbaikar complain.... I will hit the looser... all of us from Mumbai are loosers... we are back at being the city that "bounces back from the depths of despair"... some spin doctor coined that... and coined that to eclipse that distasteful fact that what we really are is "apathetic"... Worst of all... we fucking believe the spin doctors... we believe that we are indomitable... bring it on... natural disasters, terrorists... we the brave Mumbaikars will prevail... bull shit... the only thing that gets us cowards out of our houses is the stomachs that we have to feed.

Were was the other 60% of "brave" Mumbai when they were needed to make one little contribution that could potentially drive major change. When all one had to do was stand in line and vote. Hello...Where did everyone vanish... the lot of them...

Brave Indeed! the fuck worths could not even brave the sun!!

But wait... for the fuck worths... there is still hope... the spin doctors are at it again... look at the excuses...

1) It was too hot (its fucking Mumbai... its hot and humid all through the fucking year)

2) Summer Holidays - the north Indians went back home (who the fuck thought this up???... the chap is a talent... find him... honor him... kill him!!!)

3) Extended weekend - everyone is out of town (Ya... the streets of Mumbai were empty indeed... who thought of this one???)

4) All politicians are corrupt (and if you don't vote.. you fucking looser... you bet the most corrupt is also the most likely to win... and you share responsibility... fuck worth)

I am ashamed of being a Mumbaikar... I am ashamed of being a part of an indifferent dumb people... I am ashamed of being a Dumbbaikar.. I hate me...