What is the Purpose of Here?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Bharat's Guest Blog..And the truth about meetings

After much nagging, the amazing bharat has been so kind as to send us this very interesting insight about the socio-cultural and economic implications of a corporate phenomena. Or basically talked about hair removal.

Meetings are a time for a company to regroup and take stock of the situation etc. etc. Or so we are led to believe. Unknown to most bachelors and women, the real reason behind meetings is simple - it is a device fashioned by our forefathers when they found they could not have time for peace and quiet after marriage.

Women have always had a place to go for peace and quiet - the beauty parlour. The tone with which the announcement is made: "I'm going to the parlour", is enough to shake even the bravest man to his knees. It was long rumoured that some means of unspeakable torture was practiced within those walls. Several men tried to invade this bastion, but each attempt ended in the same, ghastly fate: shaving! These poor souls were shaved alive! (It is rumoured that women practice shaving and other, even ghastlier means of torure within the walls of a parlour. They say that it is a form of torture unimaginable to man. Unfortunately, the survivors of the above attempts were left in no mental state to talk after seeing these tortures attempted before their very eyes. Curiously, all the survivors shunned shorts in favour of trousers till the day they died.)

It is a little known fact that Rodin's famous carving "The Gates of hell" actually represents the entrance to a beauty parlour. The statue of the "Thinker" is nothing but a man engaged in thought as to what tortures await him when he decides to walk through those dreaded gates.
Now one begins to understand the true import of the inscription on the gate - "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here!"

After several such abortive attempts at trying to invade this bastion, a few brave souls decided to have a conference to decide what to do regarding the hapless situation they found themselves in after the priest pronounced them and their wives -"roommates for life" (or, as some of you may know it - marriage). Uninterrupted (for it was customary to have councils of war) for days, they tried to brainstorm and come up with an idea. After a week, some bright spark realized that the very fact they had been undisturbed for that long might be something. (This delay may have been prompted due to the lack of hair dryers, but that we shall never know for sure). The idea survives to this day. Think about it. What is accomplished at meetings? Exactly! But how long do they go on for? There you have it - the simple, elegant beauty of the truth!

This astonishing revelation however, does not come easy. It has been refined to such an art form, that it takes a few minutes of uninterrupted "meditation" during a meeting to see the light. For, when one comes out of the "meditation", one finds that others around them have not.

Happily, the noble institution founded by our forefathers has been a roaring success. Today, the words, "Honey, I'm sorry, but I'm in a meeting" still continue to save many a man from mortal peril. Whenever the word is passed around the office - "He's called a meeting at 6:30 p.m. - sharp!", the blessed meeting caller comes a little closer to attaining salvation by virtue of the benediction he receives from his fellow man. (Of course, this is well disguised under the moans and groans that accompany such an announcement ). Predictably, this has prompted many a man to try and call meetings for the heck of it. Fortunately, to avoid overkill, certain rites of passage have been established before one can attain the right to call a meeting. Yes, you've probably guessed it by now, and are feeling rather foolish for not having recognized it when it has been staring you in the face all these years. The key is simple - Excel. You've known for ages that all it actually takes to become a manager is the Art of Knowing Excel, and the right to call meetings. Now you know that knowing this art is what gives one this inalienable right.

You may think that this bastion is under threat today, and this has prompted several men to restart attempts at invading the parlour in recent times. However, after several famously ill-fated attempts (notably, David Beckham and, not so notably - Yash Birla), there are fewer and fewer willing to try. Debate still rages on whether this is a good thing.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Attack of the Clone(ing Scientists)

I know..its too late in the day to discuss cloning, cos every one who has anything to say about it has said it. But, I just read this article a few days ago about increasing the interactions between aam junta and khaas scientists!

And I guess, these interactions must really really increase with the scientists involved in human cloning. Because it seems to me, that they are convinced that one of the key problems that humanity faces is that there are apparently just too few of us.

I am sure some bored scientist, looked around his lab, which must've looked empty to him, and he thought "Chal yaar, lets try and figure out how to make this place look more crowded!", and if the scientist was really as smart as we are made to beleive then who would know that music and free booze is the most effective way to make any place crowded.

From what I gather, cloning is basically a technology that allows us to have offsprings without the conventional means of reproduction, which is ironical, cos aam junta is trying to figure out ways of achieving just the opposite. Some one needs to go and tell these scientists, " Bhaiyya, aapne galat turn le liya, ap agle signal pe u-turn maar lijiye"

Or to better assess the possible commercial demand of cloning, lets try this simple exercise. Think of (A). Number of People in your life currently that you would want two of? (B). Number of people in your life that you cant even put up with one of? and (C). Number of people in your life that you would want none of?

I am guessing C would be leading the list.

Would cloning help us achieve that? I think not.

And for the small number of cases as response to (A),lets reconsider. Could two Mithun's posisble accompolish anything that one Mithun can not ?, Would the Total of double chins in two Bappi's be something that one Bappi can not achieve? Or as an Engineer would put it, is twice of infinity any less than infinity? I see the number of entries in A drop already.

What we really need is a scientist to help is solve the problem mentioned in (C). Any volunteers?

Monday, June 12, 2006

self immolation....Yeah Right!!!

To start with, sorry for the sudden AWOL, many many apologies to my regular readers...all of the two of you , I shall buy you a vada pav some day to compensate.

I have been busy of late, since I dont have a job and I am at home. I invest a lot of my time in watching a lot of TV and read some papers as well. And that takes up a lot of my time , cos a lot seems to be happening in the country. Soooo much news and sooooo many more newsmen/women. So it's completely understandable that some over-worked and underpaid journo skipped the essential bit of investigative journalism when this article was written. ( Which is also completely understandable because all investigative journalists in India are currently in Rahul Mahajan's Jacuzzi trying to recreate the exact course of events of that fateful night.)

However, coming back to the said article in dna, which talks about the tragic incident where a certain Pravin Gopaldas Joshi decides to immolate himself to oppose the screening of the film 'Fanaa' . "Pravin was heard shouting slogans against Aamir Khan when he came out burning from the ladies toilet."

Ok, bhai saab...as tragic as the consequence has been, some questions need to be answered, (1). Why did Pravinji prefer the ladies toilet of Amber Cinema for all acts of self immolation? (2).What makes the Men's loo of Amber cinema so unsuitable for all immolatory activities?(3).And how can we get Dev Anand to make a few Anti-Narmada Dam statements?

From my own personal experience of ladies bathrooms in most Mumbai cinema halls ( not multiplexes), the environment seems to become a tad crowded and hostile during the interval, and if a gentleman were to enter the bathroom there might just be an immolation , but the word "self" would not precede it. There might just be alot worse if he tries to cut the queue. Could this be a possible explanation?

However, what about the Men's bathroom at Amber Cinema? Or does Amber Cinema not have a men's loo at all? (Because as Shakespeare had once said of Indian men , "All the world's a urinal, And all the men are merely pee'ers ". )

But the last question still needs an answer and any one who contributes will get a share of the above mentioned vada pav.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Film Review : Julie

(the creative inputs for this review are courtesy Harshad, Nishad, Vivek,Yatin and Sameer)

Julie is an interesting story about the transition of a young girl’s life which moves from Goa’s easy pace to Mumbai’s frenetic chaos. Its stars Neha Dhupia in the title role and has many male stars such as the ever reliable Priyanshu (and not Sudhanshu or Himanshu) Chatterjee, Yash Tonk and veteran Sanjay Kapoor.

But the true star of the film is the dynamic duo of Sanjay Pawar ( Dialogue) and Nishikant Kamat ( Screenplay). It is their talent that makes this film move from just ordinary to hilariously ordinary.

The movie opens with an interview of a young tycoon and a very eligible bachelor, Mihir Shandilya ( ably portrayed by a very bored looking Priyanshu Chatterjee, he is justifiably bored, he was the only guy who didn’t get to make out with Julie in the film). In the interview he brings up the topic of his mystery mehbooba, who is but of course Julie, Julie gets up, leaves the house and goes to the TV studio and demands that her interview also be taken, because in her own words being a “Professional Callgirl, Prostitute, Dhandewaali, ek Vaishya” is qualification enough…well after all it is the idiot box, and on Zoom TV it is qualification enough (however in this case the channel is called C Tv).

Then using a path-breakingly non linear narrative technique, we have Julie flashback and tell us about all the lovers from her past.

Starting from her first love, Yash Tonk, who is a local fisherman with big dreams and small dialogues. In one very eloquent scene on the beach, Julie stares out at the sea and asks “Jab sooraj ki kiranein is samundar ki leheron par …blah blah blah..more blah blah blah…toh samundar ka rang kitna golden ho jaata hai na!”, to which Yash replies, “Huh?”, and in a very layered performance that one “Huh?” conveys a complex emotion such as “Please don’t ask me such difficult questions I am here just to rest my head on your butt”.

They also share one night of passion, after which Yash Tonk becomes amazingly committed towards his career and leave for Mangalore to catch bigger fish. (This should make the jobs of many career counselors more demanding than ever before.) However, Yash returns only to marry some rich guy’s daughter, and not Julie. Julie, disillusioned and heartbroken moves to Mumbai, to live with her air hostess best friend, Dinky (yes that’s her name, so we have Dinky and Julie in Bombay now).

In Bombay, she walks into the offices of Shah Builders, who sees her file, and gives her a job (quite similar to the recruitment policy of my current employers). Julie sees a sample flat and tells Shah Builder that the walls need to be colored sky blue, Shah is impressed, and great profits are made over blue walled flats, but she does not get promoted ( once again, very similar to my current employers).

But in these offices she meets Sanjay Kapoor, Lover #2. In an innovative scene where Sanjay expresses his love for her, he writes "I love you" all over Julie's body, however now that the ink in the Magic Marker is over, Julie cant do the same and decides to get even by singing a song. Sanjay is an Indoors designer, and coupled with Julie’s wall paint color deciding talent there is nothing that can stop them, except of course Wadhwa a builder who wants to spend a night with Julie, before he can confirm a contract. Sanjay advises Julie to go ahead, “And wadhwa ke saath ek raat chandni mein nahane ka mauka” is not something one should give up. Julie gets angry and replies with “Tum toh ek aise insaan ho jo Birthday pe arthi ke phool leke jaate ho, aur arthi ko janmadin ke phoolon se sajaate ho”, and stomps out, leaving poor Sanjay much confused and seriously missing his much simpler “aati-nahi” days.

After this Julie, heartbroken again and brainwashed by a pimp decides to become a prostitute full time, and with great professional commitment. Life seems to come a full circle for her, when she runs in to Lover #1 Yash Tonk who has to make the payment for some client. But Julie is no defeated, wallowing in self pity kind of a gal, she hits back at Yash with Sanjay Pawar’s best dialogue to date “ Aaj mere Jism ki bakery tumhare kaam aa rahi.” And the truly priceless “Aag mere badan mein lagi hai, aur Biscuit tum kha rahe ho” (which if rumors are to be believed will soon be replacing Britannia’s “Eat Healthy Think Better” line).

How will Julie’s interview exposing her profession effect her relationship with Mihir Shandilya ( whom every one insists on calling Mihir Chandelier)? Mihir’s large and loving family is very ably portrayed by actors who were last seen as the third row of by-standers in Mithun’s action/dance sequence from ‘Classic - Dance of Love”, but will they accept Julie now? To find out, you must watch this classic.

Truly, such movies are made rarely, where the audience can revel in a consistently intriguing duel between Sanjay Pawar’s very original ( and I do mean that) dialogue and Neha Dhupia’s minimalistic approach to emoting ( and even clothing).

(In other key, but unrelated, observations, few things can beat spending an evening with a few very funny friends and enjoying a piece of cinema par excellence that is Julie)

Why Engineering Drawing is such a must!

I see these questions being asked a lot in tv interviews, every pretty young starlet is asked what was the corniest pick-up line she ever received or even the most romantic compliment.

In my case tragically, my parents' genes didn’t really mix to my advantage, and I have received the worst from both sides (dark circles, a lot of extra-weight-that-refuses-to-go from my dad and an incurable sweet tooth from my mom). So I really don’t have many proud tales of great proposals or romantic lines to share, though that’s not a great cause of worry, cos courtesy these genes I don’t see myself becoming a pretty young starlet ever.

But I did spend four years in an Engineering College, and there, I came across so many amazing lines (and by 'so many' I mean one of the greater single digits) that I think I must share them.

So here goes, first and the most memorable would be the one in my sem 1 drawing class, at some ungodly hour (8:45 a.m.) in our drawing hall. A certain gentlemen walks up to me while I am trying to figure out who came up with the concept of a drafter and the drawing board, and with all due sincerity and a very strong gujju accent asks "Arati, do you want to get laid?" I like his approach, a direct, straight forward, simple question with a very simple yes or no answer....but me being me , I mumble “ What?? Excuse me?”. My inability to understand doesn’t seem to discourage him, and he asks again “Arati, do you need to get laid?” , I think about this shift from ‘want’ to ‘need’ and I reply, “Can we talk about this after class??”. Now he seems to be getting exasperated, but like any true salesman, he re-asserts, “Arrey Arati, you need to get laid now!!”. From questions to affirmatives, I am truly impressed…! And then he continues…”We must get laid now, Rane sir is not letting HB-Laid to be used, so are you also needing H-Laid ?”…

Oh, pencil lead…I smiled and being the super co-operative person that I am (Adi, Joy don’t faint) I replied “Don’t worry, I got laid today, extra long that too, H-Laid only, here take.”.

It altered the way the class would think about Engineering Drawing for that year, tragically, in the subsequent admission rounds, this gentleman moved to RAIT. The whole class still misses him.

But this incident was a pretty accurate indicator of what was in store for me for the next four years. Most of us can recall incidents of “Lets do friendship”, “I want to make friendship with you” and many more.

What I remember so clearly was the day of our B.E farewell, final year in college when this guy from another stream in college, came over and said, “Long time I have been wanting to say this to you Arati”, I try to respond with my sweetest smile ( its not very sweet, but I try anyways),”Long time, Arati, I have been wanting to do your friends”.

Sweet smile gets replaced superfast by look of genuine curiosity, and I ask “ What level of involvement do you expect from me?”, Now it’s his turn to laugh and he replies “Hehehe, Funny you are, that’s what I like, that’s why I want to do your friends”.

You see, this is why I miss college. So much.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Holographic Lipsticks

( this is derived from a guest blog I wrote for Shaunak)

Here is something that worries me, yesterday I spotted this store next to Ozone in Aundh...its called Bonsaii or something...apprently its a lifestyle/luxury store for... hold your breath...KIDS!!!....aged between 6 n 13!!!!

I doubt if I could spell luxury correctly till I was 12 . The point I am trying to make is that I have started feeling a generation gap with kids barely six years younger than me. I think for many many reasons their lives are getting totally devoid of any imagination what so ever. I remember us as kids, when seven stones, a rubber ball and some open ground could keep us entertained for hours. When we barely had to bother with books after school hours ( I barely bothered with school books even during school hours), lessons of life were learnt over numerous rounds of hopskotch,dodgeball, tree climbing, gola eating and jumping into puddles of rain. Basically anything that made you go home with a bleeding knee/elbow, a new pet , an interesting rock or even Diarrhoea was an evening well spent...ok I pushed it with the Diarrhoea but i guess you get my point.

From another point of view, I think this is the coolest marketing gimmick ever...I am sure most of the young 12 yr old guys shopping at Bonsaii right now will grow up to be...ahem ahem ...metrosexual men!!! I am quite certain all of this comes out from the same factory and is a part of a larger conspiracy thats aimed at enlarging the consumer base for cosmetics ( eg. 'Fair and Handsome', the hoardings for which read " Hey Man, do you wear bangles?" ,"Then why do use a girls Fairness Cream?". I can now visualise Sunny paji in his next flick scream out " Maine bhi koi choodiyan nahi peheni hai, mai toh fair and handsome lagaanewalon mein hu!!")

But the word 'metrosexual' was the greatest tragedy of our times, initially I never understood why such hype was created around men who were having sex in(or maybe with) trains, the 'mile high club' I think might just deserve some of the hype...but trains!?!??!....Hell no. I am quite sure that this trend hardly spread beyond a square kilometer area in cuffe parade and square meter areas in Andheri and Bandra, but you see, these metrosexual men were changing their haircuts/haircolors, clothes n noses so fast, and being photographed so frequently, we thought there were a lot more of them than the actual number.

Though I do believe in grooming, I have studied in an engineering college, where the concept of a deodarant ( or even a bath) hadnt quite caught on, but there needs to be a line drawn between deo and lip balm! And we need to draw this line asap before life becomes more difficult for a lot of pretty young things who will now have to compete with men when it comes to (previously women dominated domains such as) fairness, glossy lips and cleavage display.

But the word metrosexual is a little outmoded now, we now even have ubersexual men, retrosexual men and I am hoping a few heterosexual men have survived as well. Although, one very interesting question does remain unanswered, why do advertisers need such fancy new terms for only men, why dont we have any terms like "metrosexual women" so to speak?

I guess its because they dont need to be very imaginitive to convince a woman to pay an amount equal to her rent to buy a new lipstick, she might just pay double for the new L'oreal Glam Shine Holographic Lipstick ( kindly do not ask what a holographic lipstick is).

Monday, April 03, 2006

What’s so funny about the Boy Bands?

There are few things that keep a group of guys from an engineering college together, and one of them happens to be this almost religious preference for Rock over good old boy bands. For four years I have seen the guys laugh, smirk and makes jokes about these very pansy groups of boys/men/or-whatever-you chose-to-call-them. Alright, so you engineering smartasses, here’s a little fact that should come as no surprise. N Sync made $ 42 million in the year 2004. 42 million to be split between 5 guys, or was it 6. Say 6 , that’s still 7 million bucks!!! That’s a lot of money.

And of that whole 6 piece group, only one or two do any of the singing/mooing/humming/lip synching/whatever-ing. The remaining, just wear very bright clothes, stand in the back ground, and grab their crotches( on stage their own, but back-stage… ?). So there are people who make $ 7 million in a year doing that.

I assume they lead very happy comfortable lives. In fact, one of the N Sync-ers, a few years ago was even planning a trip to space (seriously, and if those rocket-scientists aren’t smart enough to leave him in space, the word ‘rocket-scientist’ will find a whole new application in popular language).

Around a few years ago, the boy band phenomenon peaked! In fact, in one award show I saw this band give its debut performance, it was called the MeatCheese Boys. And for all of 5 minutes, they jumped about the stage singing, “You say Meat, we say Cheese, We are the Meat Cheese boys, the Meet Cheese Boys!”. Not too sure about how much money they made, never heard of them since…

But the point is, all of you engineers, who would laugh so condescendingly at Mr. NSyncers, what are your chances of ever getting paid 7 million dollars for on-stage crotch-grabbing? Or even off-stage crotch-grabbing?

Is Beige the new Fuchsia?

My Dad is a very open minded tolerant kind of a guy, and very rarely does he lose his patience. ( Well, he lives with Pooja, Ma and Me….he has to be patient !!!). But there was one moment when he totally lost his cool, and was seen fuming at the TV screen. The TV was tuned to the MTV Style Awards, and no my dad was not angry at the open attack to bharatiya sanskriti, it was a harmless little statement made by designer Narender Kumar: “ Well, pink is the new black anusha!”.

Well, dad being the typical male doesn’t have a very sophisticated color palette, he can barely distinguish one color from the other, so imagine his worry when he was informed that these colors were now swapping places!....Didi and I have over time explained the concept of many different shades to him, but now…now that pink is black, where does that leave gray my dad would like to know?...

But is is this range of colors that keeps mars and venus so distant. And my dad should know. Mummy can spot 5-6 different shades of White!

But Joy and Pradeep, worry not…Beige could never be the new Fuchsia!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The OutSourcing Miracle, explained at Dadar Station

It is very difficult nowadays to read any Sunday Paper that doesn’t have some random expert telling us why IT has become such a success story in India (as debatable as this may be in itself). And to that growing list of random experts you can always add my High School teachers who insist it is The Great Indian Education System that has helped, our great proficiency at learning a lot of data by rote, such as History Dates, Chemical Formulae, the Principal’s School time Sleeping hours and even Multiplication Tables.( I do see how that helps, you see, familiarity with tables leads to familiarity with MS Excel, and that as we all know is the fast track to PM-Ship in any IT company.)

But I believe, the reason why we provide software/it’s maintenance/whatever so sasta, sundar and tikau has more to do with The Great Indian Community Shitting system and not The Great Indian Education System (though quite often it is tough to spot any difference).

Case in point , try this link :- http://www.moonamtrak.org/.Yes ladies and gentlemen, they need a website to co-ordinate Mooning Timings so that they can collect in one place and moon amtrak trains.

But with great pride I inform you that our very own, desi early morning Mooners near the Dadar Station need no such tech support. For my four years of commuting from Colaba to Andheri, they were their, every morning, with clockwork precision, as precise as the 8:23 Virar fast itself. And no, there seems to be no MoonVirarFast.org or even a MoonWesternRailwaysInGeneral.org. The only co-ordination they needed was their own Bio-Clocks. For those whose Alimentary Canals had outputs ready early there was the 8:23 Virar, for those with slower metabolism there was the 8:38 Bhayander and for the even slower there was the 8:53 Borivili.

I would honestly, not be surprised if the Maintenance of this website soon gets outsourced to our dear friends from Dadar Station, who will be outsourcing not just their software skills but will also leverage their mooning expertise. And very soon in those pics on that site you will see many Indian faces (and behinds as well), of the engineers who will get sent onsite from this project to be where the action is. However, I will feel very hurt and insulted if we do subvert The Great Indian Community Shitting to new technology, and come up with a MoonWesternRailways.org. Some traditions are not to be messed with.