Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Dabbler

Ma:'Dieting is an art.'me:'Alright..alright..I agree but chuk it for now mom..''me:'okay???'me:'Baby I will call u later'I had to go to MG road to conduct a consumer research survey.Gosh!I hate this b2c research thingie.Its such an ordeal,walking in the sun and pleading unknown people if they can spend(read waste)some 3 minutes of their life with you.Apparently,those 3 minutes turn out to be the most important 3 minutes of their lives and they walk pass you..and there you are waiting outside some store for that one shopper who can render some delightful insight about shopping and bring about a breakthrough transformation in your career as a summer intern.It was already three when I reached MG Road.Of all the places that fascinate me in Banalore..MG Road is defnitely on of them.Though people would'nt second me on this but I find this place very serene.I like the idea of getting lost in the crowd.I like window shopping alone.I like picking up random stuffs from shops.I like haggling over things that I would never use in life.I like observing couples cuchi-cooing in coffee shops.I like being alone.........So this particular day was no different.I was in MG road and obviously heading towards my shop for market research was not the first thing on my mind.I realized that I had'nt eaten the whole day.Ma's advice was working.But c'mon not eating at all is not a good idea.And there was my chance to grab a bite in some restaurant.well..I was really sick of those zillion fastfood joints that have mushroomed all over Brigade and MG Road.Empty calories' corner.........as hitu calls them.So I wanted to try out some new place.As I started walking I saw some decent restaurant called 'SOUL'.It seemed like some sleek place.'Alright..lets try out...'The ambience was good.And since I was the only customer in the restaurant,I had the chance to be the centre of attraction of the staff.The waiter got the menu.I always read the menu with extreme apprehension.These posh places have their own arithmetic fundas.You cannot essentially establish a logic between the dishes and their prices.But this place was even more wierd.Aerated drinks were priced at Rs.90.and Expresso lunch at Rs.125.Vow...I almost start imagining the supply-demand curve for aerated drinks.#$%@#$%@#$%@Chuk it...there is no point tormenting the brain for no reason.me:'Well I want to have salad...do you have it??'waiter;'Yes ma'am we have this special caesar salad'me:'ok...where is it in the menu??'waiter(pointing towards the salad section):'Here ma'am'me:'Ok ...well Rs.165 for a salad. Your other salads are priced at a lesser price'waiter:'Yes ma'am but this one is really good'me(no way..I am not gonna shell out that much):'ok get me this vegetable salad'waiter:'Ma'am this just contains cucumber and tomato,its not a proper salad..salad'me:'oh!!!well..........'waiter:'Ma'am you just try this caesar salad...it is very good...It has cheese,bread crums,cabage,cucumber dressed in our special mayonese suace'me:'oh!!!!!!well.........'waiter:'It is really really good'me:'okhaaayyyy well then get me that one'waiter:'sure ma'am...anything else'me:'no no ...that is it'...................................THE SALAD ARRIVES.................................It was indeed quite a salad.I was completely stupefied.All I could clearly see in the salad were huge uncut pieces of cabbage dresses in some bland white suace and here there were pieces of bread crums and some cheese slices.My only resort was to eat away those cheese slices and bread crums.And once it was done,I was left with a heap of cabbage leaves lying listless on my plate.One...two...three...four...was all I could swallow.but 165 bucks...no way I am not gonna waste all of it..Lemme add some pepper and salt..One...two...... yuck!!C'mon...one more try.........One............that's it...I cannot do this to myself.NO NO NOI felt like calling the waiter and ask him to eat it all.But then I was reminded of my 'Mannerism & Etiquette' class held in the college.Its okay...it happens...But I am not gonna leave like this.Lemme order some coffee.I asked for the menu again.me:'Get me one hot coffee'waiter:'ma'am try out our cappucino...its really nice'me:'No...no...not this time...jus get me one plain simple coffee'waiter:'Sure'..................................THE COFFEE ARRIVES...............................me:'waiter..........'waiter:'yes ma'am!'me:'where is the milk??'waiter:'There is no milk'me:'but this is black coffee...I wanted 'normal coffee'...'waiter:'ma'am...but you said 'only plain coffee'me:'What the #$@%' me:'but................................'me:'ok..........well..........' I gulped the coffee in two seconds...paid a bill of 220 bucks.....and stormed out of the restaurant.I promised myself to eat anything in the whole world but not think of dieting when eating in a restaurant.you see....dieting is an art.And I ai'nt no artist...

Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le...

Who said phosphorescence was typically the intrinsic property of certain elements?
My brain in all its ingenuity is a respectable example of PHOSPHORESCENCE.
It all starts like this:
I wake up in the morning & think that its gonna be a great day(Well I have been doing exactly that for the past so many years of my life.The mantra being:'TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF MY LIFE')And while I brush my teeth,I enter into an arugument with the self.'How can I motivate myself saying that 'Each day is the first day of my life'''I mean I am just trying to find an excuse to do all the 'vellapanti' each day and then forget it saying that tomorrow is anyways gonna be anothar day''My mantra for life is not taking me anywhere.A suitable restructuring of all the mantras is required.'The brain being in the 'stable singlet state' is grinning at me with a sarcastic smile:Two more minutes of thinking & lady u will get on my nerves.Accha okay fine.But tell me where is my life going?What am I doing?What about my perfect job?And what about my perfect life?Forget all that.....but temme where is my Mr.Right?God I just want two things in life:First is a perfect job in the most amazing firm of the world.And second is the most lovely,supportive guy who would tell me each day how great & out-of-the-world I am.And everything else is a subset of these two things.Viz:when I get my perfect job,I will buy a persian cat & will call him 'Garry'.I will buy a sony LCD television and put it in my living room.I will get a lovely double-bed from HomeStop and fill it with cushions from Maspar.The mattress would be the most amazing one in the entire world & when its dark I will light the room with scented-candles.I will put my black & white pictures in the room & laminate them like its done in the movie 'A lot like Love'.But just a second,for putting the pics in my room like its done in the movie,I will essentially have to get a guy.I mean I cannot put self-clicked self-indulging pictures of mine all over the place.It does not go with the theme of the room(though I do not know what the theme is).So the guy in the pictures has to be u know, one of those 'dhinchak' kinds.Extremely intelligent,vivacious,successful,great looks & hopelessly in love with me.We would go for long drives every night & I would tell him how great he looks in that black shirt.He would cook me breakfast on weekends & I would try his favourite recipes from Tarla Dalal.We would watch movies every weekend & go on a holiday once every six monthsVow......Life would be so perfect!!hell...wecolme back to reality.The house & the guy are no where to be found.& the mind which was in the stable singlet state is already in the 'excited singlet state'.Man there is so much tension.(Actually sometimes I start contemplating what is more horrible:Dying of tension or Dying of Boredom?)& my friend calls.'Hey you know I am working for this wonderful company.''man its so awesome'' I am just loving it'What the beeeeeeeeeppppppppp.I hate the conept of comparative deprivation & always thought that I would never let that happen to me.I hate being jealous.I really really hate being jealous.But I dunno why the mind which was in singlet excited state is spinning so hard.Excuse me I think you did not not realize,but five seconds back I landed in the obnoxious 'excited triplet state'.Its horrible.Nothing much happens in the state but you just enter a phase of lassitude.And you lie listless on the bed...thinking...thinking...thinking nothing.& then suddenly a girl enters the room:'Hey have you done that assignment?''Which one?''Arrey that extra long one which had to be handwritten in some strange tense''oh no!!u mean the khadoos prof's assignment...man..how could I forget?'Have you??''No yaar...I am freaking out''How much time is left?''Three hours''Shucks....open the internet....fast'& while the next three hours are spent in doing assignment...some side of the brain peacefully relaxes & enters the 'metastable triplet state'You see the condition is improving.& some kind of chemical locha is actually working for good.'Thank god the assignment is done''Accha BTW did you see your picture in the newsletter??''No yaar...has it come?''yeah...its really nice...Profs are going gaga''No man nothing of that sort...usual thing'hmmm...so eventually the phosphorescence does take place & my face lits up.You see sometimes to become happy, you have to live 'the not so lovely things' too.Some say its natural,I say maybe.

Ye Hain Meri Kahani..

A typical day in my MBA life starts at 8:30 AM & I make ardent attempts on my part to postpone the start till 8:40 AM,until my shilly-shallying conscious mind gets definite signals from the subconscious reminding it of the dire consequences. In the past 6 years of my UG+PG life I have mastered the ingenious art of getting ready in 10 minutes(remember the Parkinson's law) & still manage to have my first cup of tea in the mess as I rush for the first class. The first class can catapult or completely plummett ones interest to live the entire day.Though I do not exactly remember when did I attend a class to learn something new.I guess I attend classes to pacify my vicarious feelings.I attend classes so that I could see some 60 other mortals struggling to survive in this 'zaalim duniya'.I attend classes to sit peacefully on the last bench & observe the rest of the universe(which in this case is the classroom).I attend classes to judge the sartorial skills of the teacher.I attend classes to contribute to the chorus pleadings of the students to end the lecture 10 minutes in advance.I attend classes to read newspaper or a book or to gaze at some book-cover for some 20 odd minutes, only to realize that I still do not remember the author's name.I attend classes so that I could wait for it to get over,so that I could go out & drink tea at Reddys. Well Reddys is our favorite college hangout place.A kinda shack which caters to our obsessive compulsive disorder of drinking tea after every lecture .Tea at Reddys is a proven stress buster & sometimes if we get lucky we get Hot Bondas too. So after the hectic,extra-long classes I head towards my room & now I do something that invariably transforms my life for the rest of the day. I switch on my LAPTOP & become slave to this breakthrough invention in technology.I open my inbox and casually start going through the new mails.O well you know so many mails,so less time.But my hope starts dawdling when I reach the last mail.No new significant mails today also.What the heck!!Is the rest of the world hibernating ?? Now the next few hours are spent in doing what we all know as TIME PASS. I listen to all the great songs in the world. I surf all the useless websites in the world.I bug everyone I can afford to bug. I run on the treadmill & pity myself at the distant dream of becoming very thin,so I start consuming all that is palatable. I make future plans. I watch 'that'one movie for the nth time.And now since I have nothing else to do,I worry & worry about everything that the future beholds & also about the things that the future does not behold. And when I am about to be categorised as 'aida',I revist my list of achievments which I have religiously pasted on my Almirah.Accha awlright!!C'mon lemme give it one more try. Lemme live one more day. Afterall tomorrow is anothar day & who knows may be tomorrow my inbox would be full of important mails;-)

Tum Mile...

Life is random & ' ishq mein sab Bewajah hi hota hain'..
I have no clue what I am saying but if Sonia was around she would have crtically analyzed the statements,created a hypothesis & come to a valid conclusion which on earth would not make sense to anybody except me.
Ever since I met this chic she sends my body electrons jump from the ground state to the excited state & I become a limited edition of my very own self.So be it folding skirts to make them look shorter or sitting in the library for hours & doing a PHD on love quotes,we were game for everything.But the definite showstopper was the 'Mission Impossible' episodes where we almost decided to swap test papers.
My relationship with her has transformed so much over years that I can almost allocate stages to them:
The Desperate Philosophical Stage:-- This stage lasted from standard 9th-10th,where she would give me gyan about humans & their dark/grey sides & that we all are selfish beasts & whatever we give or whatever we do is only to satisfy our own selfish needs.Consequentially I became a 'personal diary' freak & wrote some three diaries describing & decoding life and other things.
The Mentor Stage:--This lasted from class 11th to 12th where we apparently became worried about future & how girls ought to have an indentity & a stance in this world.It is a different thing that before arriving at this stage we had to live the meta-stable stage where we became completely reckless,spoilt & out-of-control.
'Oh!! You are so cute':--This was when we moved out of school into college & while my life amused her,her life mystified me & we just end up believing that we are so cute in our own ways.Our phone calls where not just conversations but an account of Freedom,Happiness & Verve.
The Role Reversal Stage:--This was during the last few years of college where I became the mentor & she became the taught.And as I had become a 'Control Freak' by this time, she started believing that eventually I have managed to grow up.
The 'I have not grown up' satge:--Ths is the currently running stage & while she had believed that I have eventually carved out my niche & become independent and all the contemporary blah,I decided to prove the contrary & each time we talk,she just knows.
Few people in life make you pompous,arrogant,self-centered & quirky,Sons is one of those people because every time I talk to her,I realize how beautiful & good I am:-)
Thanks for spoiling me!!!

Stages Of Mind

Two words that never cease to amuse me are ‘bloody’ & ‘muaah’ while ‘bloody’ expresses pure disgust, repulsion & antipathy, ‘muaah’ is more of a utopic remark used to describe how superbly out-of-the-world life, people & things are in general. However for me they are not just words but stages between which my life vacillates.
The ‘bloody’ stage is one which sedulously obeys the AND function of binary programming, so some good & some bad becomes ALL bad & life dwells on the boomerang probability of the next important(read complicated)thing in life. This stage works on a complicated algorithm fed in the lobes of the brain which makes the ‘feel-good centre’ amnesic to the last good thing that happened in life & automatically brings the difficult-to-handle things to forefront …phew!
The ‘muaah’ stage however is more relaxing & comforting & the chemical locha makes everything seem worthwhile. The reverse evolutionary process starts operating by default & all that is ‘simple’ starts appearing ‘beautiful’. So a ‘chai’ at the nearby ‘thela’ or a drive at one in the night with blasting bollywood music or a random walk in the rain or a coffee with choco-brownie at CCD or an old movie at eleven in the night or a surprise beautiful song on the local radio can be the ‘muaah’est moments of the day.
while on ordinary days things are either ‘bloody’ or ‘muaah’ sometimes they fall out of the regular vacillation & become what was never thought—‘the end of the world’. Generally in life I am indifferent to things that I do not desire. So even if the person is vacating in Hawaii or has brought a sleek Honda Accord or is living in a penthouse, it will all be weak stimuli which will not generate sufficient action potential but the moment it is something that I desire the firing stimuli will shoot from the surface leading to an exaggerated polarized state of the neuron & in short I will go nuts. The definite reflex response in this case is information dissipation & I go around telling everyone from NewDelhi to NewYork about it. All the permutation & combination of the event turning in my favor are worked out & my obsessive compulsive disorder eventually finds refuge in GOD. So here I would be reminding God of all the good things I did in life & his moral responsibility to make it happen for me. The song that would constantly lurk in the background is ‘Kaisa Khuda hain Tu,bas naam ka hain Tu,Rabba jo teri itni si bhi na chali..’.And in the end God would renounce ‘Take It & Get lost’ & here I would be rejoicing in the Super-Muaah state. The last ‘end of the world’ event was during my MBA placements when recession had changed the situation of economy by 360 degrees & firms were contemplating between hiring or no-hiring & our professional careers were fluttering between taking off & sudden crash.
So while I make every possible efforts to reduce the number of ‘bloody’ & ‘the end of the world’ situations, I realize that the ‘muaah’est events are those that come immediately when a ‘bloody’ or ‘the end of world’ situation suddenly turns in my favor.Well God's way of underscoring that he is still the BOSS.

Coffee n Cream

And while someone said ‘It Ain’t no Life without madness’, so be it lying awake till 4 in the morning & watching ‘A Beautiful Mind’ for the 100th time or doing a research on Hacking with Financial Services examination the other day or walking 6 kilometers to reach HajiAli in Mumbai or putting the song ‘Tune Jo Na Kaha’ from New York on repeat mode & playing continuously for 3 days or making CCD the actual second place & making it a duty to visit it almost every day-Its all sheer madness dwelling on the belief that humans by nature are quirky, whimsical & difficult to understand.
CafĂ© Coffee Day for me is the culmination of brand loyalty; a definite place to retrospect, unwind & relax. So when my 3 year old niece drinks Pepsi only from Pepsi Can or eats Maggi only when she sees the Maggi Outer-Packet, I restore my belief in branding that all the hullabaloo over product development and management is not entirely useless .So while my roomie could only drink Nescafe not because she liked it more than Bru but coz Nescafe had stood her test of time-examinations et al & had become more than ‘just a product’ & my dad who is a brand addict when it comes to hair oil so he would use only Cantheridine which is not just a product but a legacy carried over the generations-I realize how brands break free from the realm of mere products & become actual companions. For a friend in New York ParleG is not just biscuit but means to maintain the Indian way, so all desi products from India become ‘Ghar Ki Yaad’ in USA & a means to maintain the same consideration set even after moving to a foreign land.
Taking a leap from the non-living, the quirk of being mad after something finds refuge in the more alive Shahrukh Khan. I can still live, eat, drink and sleep over DDLJ, but moreover it is the affirmation that someone like him exists in the world that gives me the nirvana kick. But liking for someone does not end at it. Since I like Shahrukh, I have to hate Salman & since I go to CCD, Barista is forbidden land. You see it is all very complicated & you can blame it on the ‘Namak Ka Karz’.