5.10.09

The Gay Extra-Marital Affairs of Langda Tyagi

Whoever did this, has a brilliant sense of humour.

3.10.09

What I'll Remember About Jaipur, 20 Years From Now...

...sitting around and laughing.

Laughing at good jokes. Laughing harder, at the bad ones. Laughing at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Over drinks. After drinks. In the car. In the room. At photographs. At each other. At other people. At the world. At old stories. And new ones.

As a holiday, it was a classic. The rare, old-fashioned kind.

Where what you come home with, is not what you bought. Or what you saw. Or what you photographed. Or just a bag-full of dirty laundry.

What you come home with, is the kind of well-being that only comes from good times spent with your favourite people.

Thank you bro, smritz and chica, for a truly brilliant holiday.

4.9.09

Of Saints And Singers

If you're one of those pseudo-intellectuals who don't just watch films, but decode them looking for the hidden message/joke/perspective that's being intimately shared between the director, the writer, you, and a few billion other people, don't watch The Boondock Saints.

If, like me, you enjoy the occasional bout of gratuitous violence, cussing and off-colour humour, please do.

If you're not sure, watch the flick up until the cat scene (you'll know what I mean). If you don't find yourself laughing helplessly, turn it off and watch The Boat That Rocked, instead.

Many of us wish we were living in the '60s, for many reasons. This film about a fictitious pirate radio station (although there were actually radio stations that operated just like this) just made that list of reasons a little longer. Plus it has a kick ass soundtrack and some seriously slick editing.

23.5.09

Green Eyed Monster

It took me an hour and a half, last week, to read One Life To Ride, by Ajit Harisinghani. It's taking me a hell of a lot longer, to get over it.

Not that the book is about to win the next Booker or Man or whatever, for the author. It's no literary heavyweight. And has no such pretensions. Matter of fact, this travelogue detours, every now and then, into metaphysical bylanes that you can easily skim (or skip) without missing out on too much of the flavour.

No, the reason I can't quite get this book out of my head, is simply that I'm suffering from a good, old fashioned envy. 

After all, here I am at 33, my liver at its prime, spending more time writing copy and riding my fucking desk, than in the saddle. And, in stark contrast, is this 50-something gent - Ajit - a practising speech pathologist, who manges to take his Bullet on month long ride from Pune to Ladakh. 

In this era of salad freaks and pg. 3 gymnasiums, I admire his acknowledgement of the restorative properties of rum. In these poIitically correct times, I admire his honesty about stopping for a coffin nail every now and the. And naturally, I admire the man's grit - it's not an easy ride for anyone, of any age. 

But what I'm envious of, is the fact that he has the wisdom to sort out work/life so he can make the ride in the first place. 

I mean he's a medical professional. Someone who actually contributes something worthwhile, to the human race. In comparison, given that all I'm doing with my life is something as pointless and inconsequential as advertising, I should have ridden up to Ladakh and back, 9 times, by now. 

Instead, all I ever manage to come up with, are excuses. Feeble ones at that. Shit like: There's a lot of work. I don't have enough money. I don't have enough leave. My colleagues are counting on me. I'm involved with a start-up. There's a recession. We've just got a new client. Blah-di-fucking-blah. 

One would think, given all the creative liberties with the truth that I take on behalf of assorted clients on a daily basis, I would at least be more imaginative with my excuses. But until such time as I begin successfully deluding myself, or muster up the cojones to take month off (come hell or high water) and make the ride to Ladakh, I suppose I'll have to console myself by at least emulating the man as far as the rum is concerned. 

10.5.09

Observations And Results Of Sustained Exposure To Steven Seagal Movies

Corrupt Cops: 0
Steven Seagal: 1

Corrupt Politicians: 0
Steven Seagal: 1


Corrupt CIA Types: 0
Steven Seagal: 1


Terrorists: 0
Steven Seagal: 1


The Mafia: 0
Steven Seagal: 1


Gangstas: 0
Steven Seagal: 1


The Posse: 0
Steven Seagal: 1


Assorted Thugs: 0
Steven Seagal: 1

Sadistic Henchmen: 0
Steven Seagal: 1


Criminal Masterminds: 0
Steven Seagal: 1

Conclusion: While it appears that even a low yield nuclear weapon will NOT stop him from kicking ass and taking names, this researcher still maintains that Steven Seagal runs like a PANSY.

27.4.09

Be Prepared

The biggest problem with trying to get authorised service personnel to actually arrive at your door step, are the idiots in the call centre masquerading as customer care executives (or whatever the nomenclature is these days). After years of trial and tribulation, I've finally figured out an effective way to deal with these morons, and actually get things done: 

Step 1
Call in and log your complaint/request, politely. Make sure to write down the reference number assigned to your call. 

Step 2
Irrespective of whether you've been promised problem resolution in 4 hours, 24 hours, or 48 hours, call back precisely 5 minutes (or one beer) later, demanding resolution. Be firm, but polite.

Step 3
Repeat step 2, after 5 more minutes (or another beer) interval. Vary only in going from firm, to authoritative

Step 4
Repeat. (Cheers!) This time, loudly.

Step 5.
Repeat. Chug. Exercise your four, ten and 15 letter vocabulary.

Step 6
60 seconds later, call again. Increase volume. Demand technician's number. You will receive his boss's number.

Step 7
Call technician's boss. Humbly request his invaluable assistance, while roundly abusing those idiots at the call centre. Say thank you, when he gives you the technician's number.

Step 8
Call technician. Drop his boss's name. Explain your problem patiently, in detail. Fix a time for him to arrive. Take half a day off (account for 2 hours on either side of the appointment) and cool your heels. Grab a beer. Grab six. Put on some Stevie Ray Vaughn (or music of your choice). Ensure you're nice and mellow. When technician arrives, greet him with a smile, a handshake, and mild complaint about customer care call centre jerks. 

Step 9
Imitate a good nurse - be polite, attentive, but stay out of his way. Occupying yourself with a beer, is recommended.

Step 10
Bakhsish. Offer technician a beer too.

Step 11 (Optional)
Call and inform spouse (at spouse's office) that work has been done. The thingamajig or whatchamacallit has been fixed/replaced/beaten/threatened/cajoled into performing, again. This may irritate spouse, but you can claim the moral high ground, for having had to deal with all this inconvenience, so you're safe. Grab another beer. Put on some JJ Cale (or music of your choice).

11.3.09

Who am I supposed to be afraid of?

Hysterical Hindus?
Mad Mullahs?
Juvenile Jews?
Crazy Christians?


The moral police?
The fashion police?
The traffic police?
The good old police?

The L-e-T?
The LTTE?
The J-e-M?
The MNS?
The VHP?
The BJP?

Osama?
Obama?

Al-Quaida?
Al Gore?

The radical right?
The ludicrous left?
The crappy centre?

People with bombs?
People with guns?
People with halitosis?
Stateless terrorism?
State sponsored terrorism?
Terrorist states?
Terrified states?

If the end goal of terrorism is terror (as seems implicit in the word) then will someone please let me know precisely who I'm supposed to be in terror of?

Because the way things stand now, if someone blows up the building I inhabit, or the plane I'm on, or even the pot I piss in, nobody will ever know who the perpetrators are, and therefore no one will be one iota more terrified than they were before said event. (Except for the Bangalore sales managers of Bacardi and ITC - but then their terror is rooted more in recession, than explosions.)

Terrorism seems to be the only industry thriving despite the recession. There seems to be no lack of bullets, RDX, grenades, or collateral to damage. What terrorists lack, however, are clear cut corporate identities. Logos, that the public can identify and empathise with. Baselines that "just do it", for the man on the street. Signature visuals, that help them optimise media coverage.

Now, being a generous soul, I'm happy to give away this new biz. idea, absolutely free, to all the desperate suits out there in ad land. No thanks required.

11.2.09

Tata Steel - We Also Make Turtle Soup.

We also make steel.
Snappy line, that. Catchy. Memorable. And for those of us old enough to remember the first TATA Steel commercial it was used in, backed by stunning visuals and the subliminal promise of progress. All in all, a line that's carefully constructed to leave you with that warm, fuzzy feeling.

Unless, of course, you're an Olive Ridley sea turtle.

In which case, you're probably down on your flippers, hoping and praying that TATA Steel stay the hell out of (admittedly profitable) associated ventures like building a port in Dhamra, Orissa.

Why?

Because that just happens to be your favourite nesting site. For generations, you've headed there to raise your young. It's quiet. It's peaceful. The sand in the maternity ward, is scrubbed on a daily basis. And it's covered by your HMO.

The perfect place, in other words. Until now.

Now, TATA Steel also find it perfect. Perfect, for a port.

Ok. TATA. Bye Bye.
This is the ecological equivalent of living in low income housing projects that have been slated for "urban renewal".

If you're an Olive Ridley sea turtle, suddenly you have to say bye bye to all the familiar old landmarks. The little pool where you learned to swim, the playground for the kids, that romantic little beach where you first wooed the Mrs. - all gone. And in their place is this massive concrete edifice to progess .

And it's not like it happens overnight. No. The construction takes years. Your favourite sand piles are raided. The waters are choked with cement dust. Petrol and diesel fumes are all that's left to breathe. And all the other chemicals sitck to your shell with a sickening toxic shine.

So if you're an Olive Ridley sea turtle, you're seriously considering going ninja on these TATA Steel guys.

If you're not an Olive Ridley sea turtle, but just your average, ordinary, everyday biped, and don't like the sound of what's happening, click here.

4.2.09

Beer Is Thicker Than Blood.

A new study shows that our favourite brew is apparently thicker than the sticky red stuff that flows through our veins.

Sociologists can find no other explanation for the recent outburst of 'activism' surrounding the Sri Rama Sene annual pub bash last week.

One befuddled, bespectacled bean-head went so far as to label this a phenomenon, which, as we all know, is merely the official scientific label applied to anything that the men in white lab coats can't wrap their heads around.

A spokesperson for the Amalgamated Sociologist's Symposium had this to say "These are stirring (not shaken) times, for all of us here at A.S.S. For years now, we have been tracking instances of violent Hindu fundamentalism orchestrated by the minions of the VHP. But apart from a few khadi wearing, jhola toting, unshaven, leftist liberals, nobody gave a shit."

When asked how exactly this inverse correlation between the viscosity of lager and lahu was determined, he said "Just a few short years ago, we thought the blood on the streets of Gujarat would be the tipping point. We anticipated a huge groundswell of righteous anger and furious protest against the saffron brigade. Instead, our leading corporate criminals congratulated their brother from a political mother on being a great administrator."

"But just a few suds have fallen on the parched earth of Mangalore, and look at the reaction. Tipplers of every description have raised their glasses in unison. The hard working, hard drinking, urban crowd have staggered to their feet in inebriated indignation. Except for the poor women who were actually attacked, of course. They seem to have disappeared from the face of the party scene."

"What else can it all mean, except that beer is thicker than blood?"

When asked for a comment on the spreading wave of dipsomaniacal desi dissentfollowing this dastardly deed, the chairperson of the NCW said nothing of any consequence.

In the meantime, beer guzzlers and pub hoppers across the nation have taken to their bar stools in protest. A rally organised on Sunday had to be cancelled, as the principles had all made it a point to attend the pre-rally bash the night before, and were still recovering.

The question of why people have waited until this fundamentalist insanity has reached their doorsteps (or at least their local watering holes) before raising their voices in protest, remains to be answered to anyone's satisfaction.

8.1.09

Shameless plug.

Two fantastic blogs I've found quite recently. Funny. Addictive. And much, much better than this tripe.

They're both Australian. Which really doesn't mean anything much, unless you're a conspiracy theory nut, in which case I'll see you at the meeting, next Wednesday. 

Now stop wasting your fucking time here, and go read 27bslash6 and cricket with balls