Wednesday, 1 September 2010

One Day at Bus Stop...

He looked at his watch: 12:30. "Shit", he murmurred. Again he was late, Like the last fifteen days.

"What the hell" he thought, "I do not have any work anyway!" Thankfully iGoogle was not blocked at his office and he had installed a pretty cool braingames addon to his iGoogle homepage. He now could play battleship with the computer or someone as idle as him allday. But still, he was anxious to get on to the bus, because in his bachelor life, office also equated to "Lunch" or "Food".

Technology is a bliss! he thought.And he looked above to thank the person above. Only to face the searing sun directly above his head. the temparature in these parts of the world never goes down. And the money one earns never goes up. He was sweating like a pig. His shirt had already given up the deodorant and braced the smell of sweat. His hair was all wet. and He stood in the busstand (or so they claimed though it was practically just roadside) for a bus to go to office.

Today was friday. And the day to party, to hang out with girls at pubs after office. Well these things meant nothing when you are cornered to a city like this. He despised the city, its people, its life, its weather and its food. Not to mention its language. Everything about this city was directly from medieval age. He looked around and looked with pity on the few gents and ladies standing beside him for the bus.

One guy wearing a white shirt and a white dhoti which was folded in half and knotted near his waist. It looked like a miniskirt. He could draw analogy from the scottish national dress - the kilt. However the scotsmen looked nothing like these hideous creatures. There was a girl wih a assortment of flowers on her hair. She smelled pathetic. Moreover she had applied some face powder quite heavily on her face, making it look fairer from the other parts of her body. "These people are darker than the african americans!", he thought. At the same time he felt proud of his complexion and thanked the searing sun above for having his birth elsewhere, somewhere where still existed a season called winter and butter chicken was loved more than pepper chicken.

He's been thinking about leaving this place eversince he came here. He wanted to go back to his city, but alas there are no jobs here. He wanted to go to some other city which were cooler or what his friends usually call "happening". But his bloody project manager wouldn't let him go anywhere. He was stuck here. Parmanently.

He tried a number of stuff to get out of this shit hole. He tried to get into MBA. But all the good colleges wanted smarter people than he was. He tried to switch job, but looked like, someone in america screwed it up bigtime so there were no job for a developper with a 2 year experience.

When he went back to his city after spending one year here, he was astonished to see the city change. It had grown a lot more savvy. There were more coffee shops and pubs, more girls with fewer cloths, more tall flats everywhere. The small town was quite desperate to shed off its "small town" tag, and was galloping towards metropolis-dom. He loved it.

But that was almost one year back and was for only 7 days.
That was when a flight ticket could be bought for 1 rs if you plan appropriately. "Chance illa" now! He's been saving money to go home, to see his girlfriend - Shalini.

Time flies by and doesn't even gives a notice. After joining his job, he became so busy for the first one and half years he didn't notice where he was going. Now was the time to retrospect. He had worked hard in this city. This city was about working hard. Everyone from the porter in station to the tea kadai owner everyone is working hard here. His next door neighbour were a few 20 years odd youngmen. They studied engineering in the city, as was the norm with any medium intellect fellow over here in this region. Those guys start at 7, in unison, at a high pitch voice, to study and continue at that pace, without stopping till 12.

"OMG", he laughed in his mind, he had never studied like that in his whole life. Probably if he did, he would have landed a better job than this. But it didn't matter. He was where he was. And where he was, everything around him, gave rise to a sarcastic smile in his face.

"How long more", he muttered. One bald guy in gentlemanly suffary suit was standing beside him, almost shouting in his cellphone at someone in english. Understandably he was looking for an address and that fellow at the other side of the call, wasn't much helpful. The guy snapped his call, looked at him, and spoke sheepishly,"Execuse me, do you know this place well". For two years he had been doing just that, knowing this place. because everywhere he went, every road he put his footprint on, made him banter, made him sarcastic about the locality, the locals. The man, who was a bit elderly, around in his early fifties, asked him about an address, he didn't know where it was. But thankfully he was talking in hindi. What a bliss. None here speaks that. The man went away. He secretly was pleased at the tamilians bracing of hindi. It was a victory of somesort. The north will win someday, and these "darker-than-the-african-americans" will give way.

The bus was coming. Heavily crowded, it looked almost like a Mumbai local train. He started jostling for getting on. Finally he could place a foot on the last step and tried to hold one of the rods across the windows. His hand slipped.

He was terrified, and the bus had just picked up speed.

suddenly a darker than dark hand came out of the crowd and caught his company ID tag. The bus pushed ahead.

[Disclaimer: This is not my point of view but that of the protagonist.]

Friday, 7 May 2010


I am a born drunkard. Yet I am losing the charm of drinking day by day.

I mean I can't drink by myself. With most of my intoxicated friends away, there is no company to drink with. In between I had developed a few online friendships with like minded people, with whom I used to drink while chatting on virtual forums. (i know that sounds like a loser but that is the best i could manage)

Now all those guys are either married or dead.

I think I need a few rounds of Vodka to kick myself up. But you don't get vodka in Chennai. All you can manage is a nice overpriced bottle of Black Dog. But office doesn't allow me to reach the liquor shop (in local words: TASMAC) before 10.

Oh my life is so fucked up! :-(

Thursday, 6 May 2010


Censorship of media has always been a topic of major debate. While many countries have adopted no censorship policy and have reduced control of government

over media, there are many countries which still today continue to uphold strict control over contents of media. Its tough to take a stand on either side as

there are strong arguments and counter arguments. However I feel that censorship should be on the part of the people or consumers rather than at the part of

producers or the government who may try to control production.

A censored media means, you get to see what you are being shown. The choice for the people reduces drastically. Moreover such a control by government over a

media may harm the quality of content that will be available. let's take an example of china, where the media is fully controlled by Chinese government. This

means the Chinese people will be limited to the view point of chinese government only and would not be able to see/listen to any program that criticises the

government or provides a counter argument to a government policy. This is harmful for the society.

A censorship of content also demeans the congizance of the viewers. It has to be understood that a bad program or an offensive program will be summarily

rejected by the viewer sooner or later. Although this has implication on the traditions and cultures of the soceity but censorship should not be the answer

to that. Many countries like india censor TV programs to avoid, nudity, religiously offensive programs. This trend is evident in middle eastern islamic

countries as well. This has to do with the culture of the region. Nudity, blasphemy etc contents which generally offends viewers are often termed as normal

in europe while it is not so in Asia. Also we need to ask ourselves, have the society matured enough to depend upon the cognizance of the viewers and let

them choose what to see and what not to? This may be a very difficult choice. A religiously abusive tv program has the potential to cause huge social unrest

and disharmony among large multicultural countries.

Often a program is supposedly an offensive one whenever it ridicules a section of the community, or shows a counter philosophy or shows the dark side of a

particular faction. This may be done as a constructive criticism as well, which is good for the community. This may have been done as a brilliant work of

satire. But not everyone has the apetite for this, and the government may choose to censor such a program which otherwise would have become a brilliant piece

of work. Thus the government devoids the soceity in such cases.

Censorship in my view causes two major issues. One is to completely devoid the user from a counter view point which the government may block if it doesn't

agree to it, thus cropping the viewers spectrum. Secondly it undermines the viewers intelligence in judging between a good and a bad program. Government

simply has no role to play in it and should stay away from censoring anything. A viewer has a right to watch what he likes to watch and listen to what he

likes to listen to.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

What Do You Do at Office?

Ten things you do at Office:

1. Read google news.
2. Read some more google news.
3. Read Cricinfo.
4. Look up for useful stuff in Wikipedia like: Cannibals of India, Megapodes of Andaman, Financial turmoil of the mid 1920s etc.
5. Pick up the headphone (connected to your phone and not IPOD) put it on your head like you are doing some very useful talk.
6. Don't forget to put the phone on mute. Do speak up a few times in between of course while on mute.
7. Go for 3 coffee breaks.
8. Go for 3+3 Cig breaks.
9. One lunch and two breakfast and two tiffin breaks.
10. If someone asks you something about the area of your expertise, respond: "Yah, I will look into it and get back"
11. Don't ever get back. That will be asking for trouble.
12. Check the date thrice in a day (especially in the last week of a month).
13. Read and re-read the salary check 5 times to ensure your company is not looting you (on the first week).

Many more to come...offices are after all supposed to be hectic!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Fate, Chicken & a Sunday Evening!

[Long post warning....]

How bad a day can be? Or rather how bad your two hours can be? I bet you can’t beat me, and forget beating you can’t even match me in bad luck.

Here’s how it unfolded. I sold my cupboard to one colleague. She requested me to get a truck or tempo and send it over to her place. I couldn’t find any reason to disagree.

So today was the day when I was supposed to send it out. Once the sun died out, I went to catch a tempo from the nearest market. There are always a host of them standing there waiting for a customer. So it is normally a few minutes job really. Just the bargaining part was something I was worried about.

Suddenly I found that there are numerous trucks there, but none of them have got any driver in it. It was a curious scene. There were like 5-10 tempos standing in the stand none of them had a driver. I asked a nariel pani wala about the whereabouts of the drivers. He gave me a strange look and said 15 rs. So I understood, that he needs me to buy a nariel pani in exchange of the valuable information. I bought one, even though heavy from a late lunch in the afternoon, still I took a huge Chennai DAAB (raw nariel or green coconut in Bengali).

Then I asked, “anda truck driver inge irike?”

he said, “teri la”!!

I astonished and indignant: “enna teri la? Nee soldra daab tanni kurunga to truck driver irike soldra”

Nariel pani wala (bewildered): “enna something something…illa terila…something something…” points to his head makes a gesture of loose screw!!

I in plain and crude Bengali: “sala boka****** ityadi ityadi”….

Angry but helpless, that’s how I have felt a numerous time in Chennai, today was such a day.

After waiting in the stand for an odd 40 minutes and when a single
Truck driver failed to appear I gave up. I thought I better enquire in the near by petrol pump where they would know someone at least.

Went to the petrol pump and asked for trucks, they showed the next car service, I went there and asked for a contact and they showed me a brochure that they provide only privet car like indica, ambassador etc!!!

I decided to give up and was coming back towards the truck stand, suddenly found a truck driver appear and get into his truck. I started running towards him, frantically throwing my hands above my head to stop him. He just whizzed past me, without bearing a thought or any compassion towards me. Big city people, how ruthless they are!!

I after this incident waited for ten more minutes to find out if any conspiring truck driver my appear here or there and the canny policeman I am, I might be able to get hold of him. But nothing dramatic happened after this, and I gave up finally.

The second mission on the go was to buy chicken. Normally I get chicken from spencers daily and never bother about the local chicken shops. Yes, I know I am not filthy rich but I don’t usually mind the extra 15 bucks the spencers guy charges for the clean environment etc.

So here I was busily speaking to a friend whom I was asking to come over for dinner (the chicken was by the way the main course). I busily crossed the local chicken shops but never noticed a deep conspiracy taking shape around me.

I walked and went to the spencers, and to much of my dismay, there was no chicken. The guy was apologetic and told that today the demand was exceptionally high and hence he was helpless.

I kind of didn’t mind. I was still unaware of what was to come. I traced my way back to the local chicken shops.

And to my utter dismay, found all the shops were closed.

I thought for a little while on how to approach this problem. Then I thought that I still had two course of action to be taken. Two backup plans really.

Backup 1 – there was still a shop left in one of the inner lanes nearby. I had bought chicken from there on a Sunday before, so was pretty damn sure it would be open.

Backup 2 – I could buy fish as the fish shop was open. There was a certain unhygeinix selling fish to my utmost liking.

Backup 3 – there was this Godrej real cut chicken which you can buy in many of the local supermarkets. That is the last option, though I don’t really like that chicken, but I thought once in a while it’s not too bad.

So I took backup 1 and walked for another 7-8 minutes to the shop in one of the inner lanes only to find the shop open but no chicken left!

I took backup 2, and rushed to the fish shop, to find out none of the fish they are selling we normally eat. I could have still bought those, but got a strict red signal from home.

At this point of time I was a bit unnerved. That famous suggestion by Paul Coelho, that if you really want something, then the entire kayanaat (whatever that means…. may mean heavenly bodies) tries to get you that seemed to be totally nonsense at this point of time.

Rather if someone has already suggested the opposite, he seemed to be quite right.

But I was not to give up so easily. I walked back to spencers to see if I can get to backup 3. And godrej chicken’s freezer was there in the super market, but no chicken again.

I went to the next supermarket and no chicken again.

I thought damn with these flashy supermarkets. There is one just near my house; I would rather check that one. Being situated at a relatively quieter place, chances of getting chicken there was more.

I took a bus, came back. Ran and crossed the shop. Glared at the man suspiciously who suddenly tried to dodge me to enter the shop before me and kept my hand on the freeze. There it was. One piece. The last of the Mohican chickens!

Frozen yet fresh.

Meaty and magnetic.

I bought that. Finally, I was happy. I had beaten them all. I had beaten the kayanaat and got the food of my choice. Take that bugger, told my fist which I pumped in the babynagar 1st main road walking back alone.

Well, it didn’t last long though. Returned home and my wife found out that chicken pack had got expired 3 days back.

It was a sinking feeling when I heard that news. The same sinking feeling that Gibbs might have got after getting beaten by a legbreak from Warney (according to cricinfo he did get a sinking feeling!! And I realized what kind of feeling that is at this very moment).

My wife suggested fro the guests lets make something with egg. Not ideal to treat your guests, but then we had no option at all. We walked back (this time I took her along to see if this has any effect on my ill starred luck) to the shop. Returned the chicken bought eggs and came home.

Then I sat back to watch IPL, and as soon as I switched the TV on, the master got out. I was almost kicking myself when the Bhajji blizzard gave the mumbaikars quite a formidable total to look at. I am never a Bhajji fan but it somewhat made up for the lost entertainment that I was expecting from the master.

And suddenly my wife came from the kitchen and notified, the gas is over so no cooking tonight!! Need I say more?

Thursday, 25 March 2010

around me..

This post will be to the point like a design document. This will also be quite brazen and blunt. So here we go:

1. This post is all about life around me from the last few be specific last 10 months.

2. Deers in chennai seem to be a common affair. How cool is that? The other day while walking home at around 10:30 in the night, i suddenly saw two glowing eyes. First look and I thought this was some mischievous cow grazing around even after its happy hours were over. Then the second look revealed it was not a cow when it started running. what a beauty it was. A full grown deer with full set of horns - a chital(spotted deer) as we call it in bengali. I last saw one in Jaldapara National Park. Alas i didn't have my camera with me that day!! today I spotted three more near my house, and boy i was delighted!

3. Pallikaranai is the place where i go to work. This is a reserved forest area. can you imagine? A marshland which is within the city limits and just next to the biggest dumping ground of chennai is a reserve forest! (No, I do not work in the reserve forest, my office is just beside it). Come winter and ahoy, a host of migratory birds are roaming around the marshland! large herons, cranes, pelicans and what not!! I have been planning to get them on my camera ever since, but again, i am too lazy!

4. Offices are normally a sick place. Its even more so, when everything is process driven and those processes mean actually having to pass through a hell lot of red tape. My project is one such place. And we create more red tape as a part of my job! :|

5. My parents are here, so I am having a fun time. I ate bhangon fish yesterday, which I never knew is available in chennai, and oh boy, what a delicacy it was! Thanks Mom.

6. My parents are here, so I am having a dry time as well. :|

7. IPL has been irritating. mainly because of the poor form of my hometeam KKR (whoever thought of that name!!) and their ugly jersey. Although its still feels good to see Sachin blasting away in IPL at this age. Dunno why he's not playing the WT20. :(

8. Like everyone else in the planet, i am annoyed at maxmobile timeouts, DLF maximums, city moment of successes. I think Lalit Modi should be hanged for doing this to cricket commentry!

9. Its quite disgusting to see how the indian bowlers use the MC BC wordss with so much idiosyncrasies. Even if you can't hear 'em, you can clearly read their lips! Guys, you have just got the wicket of Rahul Dravid, no need to swear so much!! its just a domestic tourney!! Someone should spank thse young bunch of buggers, that swearing is not agression!! and your 5 yr old brother is also watching ur antiques.

10. Cricbuzz cricket forums have been a revelation during IPL matches. Never knew there is so much hatred for a southie hidden in a mumbaikar! marathi manoos is finally waking up!Sincerely hope, this is only a small faction of cricket fanatics and not the general trend!

11. MF Hussain has left the country to avoid law suits against him. Govt right after he left started clamouring that they were all for him to stay. Stop this nonsense. If you haven't acted earlier, no need to make a seen later, as it shows your moral poverty.

12. TMC is on the verge of doing a clean sweep at Bengal. I wonder, will it heal all the diseases that the state have acquired under the rule of 30 years by the left? Will TMC not be leftier than left option for Bengal? I just hope its not. and Aal izz well when that finally happens.

13. Kishenjee seems to be the next Prabhakaran in the making. Wonder why police can't find him even though the journos always can contact him to get a quote or two. Does this comprehensively prove our police is stupid? or there was never any need of a proof!! :P

That's it from me as of now.

Oh, p.s: I have watched Up in the Air, was OK. Waiting to see Hurt Locker. None of the other Oscar nominees had any interesting theme/story line, hence oscar was quite a let down actually.