Vishal Bharadwaj may possibly be the most low profile creative genius Bollywood may have, overshadowed only by the technical brilliance that A. R. Rahman displays. The quirkiness of Amit Trivedi. And maybe silenced by the nasal din of Himesh Reshammiya. While AR’s music has nuances in instrumentation and arrangement that makes you go wide-eyed in jaw dropping cerebral amazement, the former’s music tugs you at your innards. With a simplicity of melody that transports you into an unexplainable world of joy, anger, sadness or love – all combined, deep inside your heart. And you do not quite know which emotion to put your finger on, and go “yay, that is what I feel”. It is like a puzzle you are trying to decode by listening to the song over and over, finding little nooks and corners that seem to hold your hand and walk you through in a gentle sway. All the while telling you, ” it is alright, you can feel whatever you want to”. And this is exactly what makes me feel when I listen to Haider’s songs – possibly his best so far; skilfully adapting Kashmiri strains into the music of a very modern version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet that captures the brooding, dark, passionate and intensely complex backdrop there is. Having watched the movie after listening to the music gets you to place the emotions in a context. Although you do not see the “movie version” of the aggressive and angry Aao Na (sung by Vishal Dadlani), the heavy guitar riffs of the song during key moments in the movie are thrilling enough. While taming a beast of a play that is Hamlet, is itself a daunting and ambitious project, depicting the complexity of the main characters is something that requires a very strong heart and a sharp mind. As an audience, you feel the confusion, angst and love all rolled into one from the eyes of Haider, and that is ably supported by the background score that just haunts you long after you leave the movie hall – coupled with the brooding hues of the paradise, that isn’t – Kashmir. There is a horrifying insanity that prevails in the characters you see, in a place where you have always imagined the colours of spring and the waltzing blues of the lakes. In the midst of all that, you have a Khul Kabhi (Sung by Arijit Singh, and my personal favourite) that transports you into a lilting world of love, warm passion, and mystifyingly poignant. And then it harks back to Haider’s reality when he breaks into tears. And talks about his existential conundrums given his father’s disappearance and his own confusions of which truth to believe in – or the lie to disbelieve in – Hum Hain, Ke Hum Nahin Hain – Haider’s version of “To Be, or not to be”. And that confusion runs throughout the movie so much so, that every other character remains open to interpretation. Some of the other songs such as Bismil (sung by Sukhwinder Singh) weave right into the screenplay and strike a much harsher chord in the movie than when you just listen to it. Shahid Kapur’s acting and dramatic skills are on ample display in this song. The movie does seem a little disjointed in parts. It is slightly choppy, but one cannot fault Vishal Bharadwaj for taking on this intensely complicated plot and transform it into Haider that is powerful, brooding, thrilling and ambitious. At the heart of it all is the love between a passionate, complex woman who seeks just a sliver of heaven in her life, and her son whose love for her (displayed in quite daring sexual undertones) is consumed only by his hatred for her for betraying his father. And yet in the end, it is this woman who loves, longs and ultimately loses everything; leaving Haider to fight his own demons – exact revenge or liberate himself from consuming this poison. Go into the hall expecting a problematic movie to understand and analyse. But watch it for the same reason. And then switch on the music in your car on the way home.
Continuing from part I. If you have not read it yet, you have no right to be here.
Pune. Circa 2007. Fourth job. Sixth House.
What do you call something that is somewhere between a 2BHK and a 1BHK but actually is a 2BHK?
Buzzz. A stupid question.That is the wrong answer. You have another chance.
Oh, I know. A 1.2333 BHK with a loo that has no commode. That is again the wrong answer. You have one last chance, you jackass!
Ok, ok. 2BHK with one of the bedrooms locked. That is the correct answer!
So, there it was. An old, but nice 1BHK apartment. Found after a month of incessant searching. Not only of the Google types. And I was to get almost married by an old man and a middle-aged woman for me to move into this flat. The old man called himself the society broker and the middle-aged woman was a friend to the owner / caretaker.
The owner was cooling his heels in Dubai. I keep getting email forwards from him even now. He still does not know about the nail I drove into the kitchen wall, I guess!
So, we are in the woman’s apartment inside the society at around 7 in the evening after having taken a look at the flat. Under the watchful gaze of the woman, her not-so-watchful husband and the old man, I looked around, drank a glass of water and made some mental calculations of the amount I could spend for this flat. Satisfied with the numbers, I broadened my chest, brought a smile to my face and started to speak.
Me. “OK, Ma’am, how much…”
Old man who called himself the society broker. First, tell us. Are you married?
Me. “I am sorry? What..”
Old man who called himself. “Yes.Yes. please tell us, are you married?”
Me. “No, I am not. Could you please….”
Old man who called. “When do you plan to?”
Me. “Sir, this is a personal question.”
Old man who. “Yes. This is a decent society with decent people. We do not want any hanky-panky going on. So, when do you plan to?
I was indignant and amazed at this. Yes, both at the same time. And it is possible. You just need to raise one eyebrow and show a hand gesture which seems to say “what the??”.
No sir. This is a personal question which I do not need to answer. I am as decent as you people are. In fact, more decent than you all. At least I have manners. I do not need your house. This is against my principles and I do not need to get insulted like this.
Me. “Ah. Maybe this year. But yeah, I forgot to tell you. My mother will be coming over this month to stay with me. I am from Hyderabad sir. I have an elder brother and a sister-in-law who stay in Hyderabad. And my mother will come to stay with me. She says she needs a change, and wants to see Pune also. You see, she is getting old….
Old man. “Ok, ok. The rent is 7000 per month. And again, no hanky-panky. You seem to be a very nice boy”.
And that was how I did not get to do any hanky-panky for the 6 months I stayed in that house. Because I eventually had to call my mom to stay with me to prove to the old man / society broker / caretaker that I indeed am a nice boy. And my mom not only ensured they know the same, but she also went a step ahead and called the lady over for some nice Andhra snacks / coffee. Not to mention the smiles and small talk they eventually started to share like they were old buddies. smooth stuff.
And, remember I said I had fallen in love? Yeah, that also happened along with a big divine intervention. I got shipped off to Japan. The Japan Diaries has the dope on why I went there. For my Sumi.
- 18 months,
- 2 countries,
- innumerable calling cards,
- countless fights and make ups,
- lots of pasta, trips, insobriety,brooding, philosophizing,
- lots of 555s, and finally
- did not end with us living happily ever after.
Quite an anti-thesis to the DDLJ type stuff we are fed on. Serendipity is the lifeline for a wanderer. I was still trying to unravel myself. But on retrospect, it was the best thing that happened to me.
I learned life’s sixth big lesson. “Love is not blind, deaf nor dumb and needs to have a good memory.”
Confucius is confused between shaadi.com or meetsinglesinyourlocalarea.com.
I hope you are enjoying the story. ‘Cause if you aren’t, then am sure you do not have much to do for you to reach this line. So read on.
Japan. Circa 2008. Same job. Seventh house.
What do you call a place that is somewhere between a 1BHK and a 1BHK?
Buzzzz. A 1BHK with H silent. That is the right answer! Man, are you on fire!
Arigato Gozaimasu! Yes, it was a 1-room-kitchen-bathroom-toilet-balcony. All rolled into one, beautifully cramped-up pigeon-hole and yet spacious enough to do a 2-minute sumo wrestling jaunt with your Japanese girlfriend before you let go of her and she falls over the balcony railing.
And this was the same room where I spent 18 months of fun, cooking, trying out Japanese cuisine, treks (Mount Fuji!) and more, including the points listed above.
Then I intervened – the only time when I did not let the divine come in. I regret that actually. And I shipped myself back to homeland.
Learned life’s seventh biggest lesson. “Love does know boundaries. When in Japan, stay in Japan and earn some more.”
Confucius is feeling better as I came closer to China.
Chennai. Circa 2009.Fifth job. Temporary.Seventh House.
What do you call a place which is between the ocean, some coconut trees, a wide stretch of road, is pink in color and is lovingly called the Playboy Mansion?
Buzzz. Wow! A hammock between the trees and some nude gays running around!
Wrong answer. And what is making you so excited?
“Err. Pink, Playboy. Hmm. Has to be one of the Best Homes I have ever seen.” Yep. That’s the right answer!
And so, “Best Homes”, the name of the apartments on OMR Road, Chennai became the backdrop for one of the strangest seven months in my life.
Fun, dark, poignant and in all that, made some friends for life. The Chennai Times. Says it all.
And then it happened.The happening that happens at the end before I happen to learn my lesson. Strange, it always happens that way.
Divine intervention and I went back to Pune to my previous company.
I learned life’s eighth biggest lesson. ” A pink colored apartment is not always a playboy mansion”.
Confucius is searching the dictionary and the phone directory for playboy.
Pune. Circa 2009. Sixth Job. Eighth House.
What do you call a place that looks like a run-down 1BHK from the Victorian era?
Buzzzz. A 1BHK in a cosy residential area behind ICT towers on SB Road. Yep! That is the right answer. Am surprised you understood the koschan.
This 1BHK from the Victorian era was a stone’s throwaway from a swanky gym, a Crossword to spend weekends at, nice looking chicks, some malls and which costed me a bomb.
But I did not complain because it was right next to where one of my very close friends from Chennai stayed. Hence, the prospect of continuing the Chennai Times seemed so inviting, money did not matter. And friendship prevailed.
Hmmm. I am so warm and mushy right now. Not so much though when the same guy abuses me these days for not calling him so frequently.
But for the few months I stayed there, before you-know-what-intervened (duh!), the wheels of fortune flipped, hopped, skipped and jumped in such a random and yet heart-warming manner, I started seeing dots everywhere. Yes, dots. Not stars.
Angst, frustration, dogged persistence with the mundane while expecting the turn of a corner, and finally harmony.
Got divorced. The word does not seem to have the strange twang it used to have earlier.
And got an MBA admit along with it. This neither. Of course, because I am an MBA now. Ah. There it is again. Damn!
It’s amazing how easy life’s hurdles seem, when you start believing in these rather insignificant elements of the universe – The dots. Steve Jobs has spoken about it. Rashmi Bansal has written about it. And I am blogging about it. Man! Too much that was!
The divine intervened and I left Pune yet again to head back to where I was born. Well, not exactly where I was born, but close enough. I learned life’s ninth big lesson. “A strange dot twangs and a strange blot swangs.”
Confucius is levitating. He is deeply moved by the depth of this saying. The playboy seemed to have worked.
Hyderabad. Circa 2011. Seventh Job. Ninth House. My Home.
And this is the moment I have been waiting. For almost 172 Hours, 54 minutes, 6 seconds. Since I started writing all this down. Including part I.
Trumpets, Bugles and Drum Rolls. I will take a dramatic pause and imagine myself standing atop the roof of my brother’s beaten down Hyundai with my hands stretched out, a la SRK while you answer this koschan. The last one, I promise.
What do you call a place that
- makes you walk and drive around in the sun like it was pleasant weather,
- surprises you by making 7-figure numbers dance on your fingertips,
- makes you negotiate like you were born to do that,
- makes terms such as “super built up area” look like you use it everyday
- makes you a financial planner, interior designer, carpenter, pujari, loan and real estate consultant, all rolled into one,
- makes you read the “Personal Finance” section of the ET with unprecedented enthu,
- makes you go on an all-night, mantra-chanting devotional trip, clad in only a dhoti and shrouded in smoke that would singe you down to your eye sockets, and preceded only by a day-long fast that’d get the rats in your stomach run everywhere inside of you, and
- gets you to pay almost half of your salary every month after all this, and yet
does not make you feel a wee bit uncomfortable?
Buzzzz. The comfort and warmth of your own home. Yeah, I know that is the right answer, and the only answer. Thank you and good luck!
The one thought that hit me right in the middle of my medula oblongata when I was going through all the bullet points listed above while searching, deciding and finalizing my own apartment in Hyderabad was just this – I guess I am growing up. I just smiled at myself.
And it has only started. The dots seemed to be lining up.
Meanwhile, I learned life’s tenth big lesson. “Don’t laugh when someone says “rubber wood”.”
Confucius is calling up playboy and is asking about it. I need to call him home once.
“Man who reads long post gets exhausted”
Sector 35, Noida. Circa 2004. My second job. My first house. 6 months.
What do you call a place to stay which is somewhere between a 1 room flat and an enclosed space with a thatched roof?
Buzzzzz. A servant’s quarter. That’s the right answer!! And I paid for it every month.
And if I threw a few more stones, I even had a “Waves” mall. For the Saturday night movies. And some eye balm too. Nutshell. Everything what a bachelor, still fresh from staying in a hostel for four years, needed.
Except that one thing. Which you need for the sweat and the heat. The swelter that can make you go crazy. That which can make you strip down to your bare skin in utter desperation. Yeah, a fan. What else did you think?? That rotating piece of machinery, which throws air around and lets you sleep in peace. Especially during power cuts in the middle of the hot summers’ night of Noida.
It was the first insight I had into life’s myriad lessons. “A fan rotates fast.” It was an eye-opener. A silver bullet. Confucius would have wanted to say this. And I moved on.
Andheri, Mumbai. Circa 2005. My third job. My second house. 6 months.
What do you call a place that is somewhere between a servant’s quarter and a 2BHK?
Buzzzzzz. A 1BHK!. That is the right answer!
I also had 3 housemates. One of them was my first running buddies. And the last also, I guess. We used to run every night post dinner after 10 PM. I never understood then. I do not understand now, either. But we ran after 10 PM.
Probably it was all part of the bonding process between housemates. Turned out we were the only ones to be bonding. ‘Cause the other two already had mates with whom they did more than just run. One of them was always on the phone. The other always returned at ungodly hours in the night.
And I always woke up with yellow wall paint peeled off from the ceiling.
This had nothing to do with the bonding process I am sure. A call to the house owner always ended up with
- him saying that he would fix it, BUT
- he would add that amount to the rent, BUT
- we always refused to do that, AND
I ended up waking up with the yellow paint peeled off from the ceiling.
I learned life’s second big lesson. “A ceiling paint never peels. And it never falls all over you during the night”.
Confucius wants to hug me right now.
I was on the verge of moving out. And at around the same time, like a divine intervention, I was shipped off to Bangalore.
I learned life’s third big lesson as well. “Ceiling paint and software services are not related”.
I can sense Confucius confused.
Bengaluru. Circa 2005-2006. Same job. Different place. Third house.
What do you call something that is between a 1BHK in a village type place and an IT park and is only 10 minutes to reach from?
Buzzzz. A road! Yes, but a little more specific? A road, tarred in places and not so much elsewhere! That is the right answer! This has nothing to do with the post, though.
Easily, one of the best times I have had. In fact, third house = 2 houses. And that includes a motley crew of my engineering buddies. Waking up to strange guys lying sprawled in the living room, French toast and beer for breakfast, night outs and “power cut” intoxicants, fighting, laughing, et al. It was called The Mansion. And we were called the Homies. We listened to everything that sounded like music, cooked anything that looked like food, partied anytime, cracked poor jokes, swore at each other and generally hung around with no hassles at all. Cool stuff, really.
Oh. And I even started to fall in something called love. Will talk about that later.
I learned life’s fourth big lesson. “A Homie always drinks on Mondays”. Yo, Confu bro! Wazzup!
And I moved on again.
Thane. Circa 2006. Same job. Fifth house.
What do you call a place that has a semblance to what you call a “house” and looks like a poor cousin to Hiranandani?
Buzzzz. A 1BHK apartment in Rutu Estate. That is the correct answer! By the way, Hiranandani has got nothing to do with Rutu.
This 1BHK was one of the places I could call my own. Well, technically it was mine because I was the only one who lived in it and paid the rent. And it had everything. My own bedroom. My own TV. My own loo. And a fully functional kitchen where I had one of my very first encounters, among many with an entity called Dosa.
It was my first tryst at staying alone. And strangely, it did not feel strange to me. I guess I had grown up, although I could never get that Dosa to look like one.
Oh. Talk about growing up. I also went on a date once. You know, the kinds where you do not know if it’s a real date? Or you’ve been made part of a romantic scene of a Hindi movie with cameras all around and you just don’t know it yet?
Going by the general definition of a “Date”, it was all smooth and copybook. Like the bullet points I have written below.
- I took a sweaty bus ride
- I waited outside her place for half an hour
- I took another sweaty auto ride. This time with her.
- I spent the evening sitting by the beach with coconut water and listening to her talk. Mostly about herself.
- Meanwhile, I held on to my drink, all the time wondering if watching a movie with pizza had been a better option. Do not get me wrong. She was a nice, pretty girl. But remember the point about the movie scene?
- I took a sweaty bus ride back
Copybook and nice. Really. Only thing, it happened only once. Because, between this one and the next one that was being thought of, by her, she said something about her parents looking out for her and something about me deciding soon. I do not remember the “something” because it was around 3 AM when she said this. But I distinctly remember me not going to office the next day.
Meanwhile, divine intervention happened. And I moved again.
I learned life’s fifth lesson. “A bad dosa or a bad date will cause a bad stomach” Confucius must be hungry.
I am hungry too. Will continue in part II. This is just to keep the curiosity alive. And kill the cat.
******** To be Continued********
******** Yes, will be Continued********
******** Quadrata Continuendum********
******** El Continu********
******** Continuum Mechanicos********
******** Your call is important to us. Please be in line.********
******** Your call is important to us. Please be in line.********
******** Your call is important to us. Please be in line.********
Disclaimer: Slightly longish. Read if you are bored. Read if you are not bored. You should care about who Tyler Durden and Jack are. At the least, get to know about them. Google or Wikipedia. Happy reading.
This is your laptop. And it is ending every minute. I am Jack’s virus in my system. Need to do something about this. PCTools? Kaspersky? Iobit Security? Will buy a new one when I join work. What kind of laptop defines me as a person? A really cool, gaming laptop? Sony Vaio – the professional types? Windows 7 with a Debian Linux – double boot? He was right. We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession. It’s all going down.
Legs start to shake. Involuntarily. As if to wake me up. Alright.
Windows Outlook, Mozilla Firefox. And? Ah, a computer scan as well.
Which one? Intelliscan, Deep Scan or Custom Scan. Hmm. Let me see. While I think about it, Turbo Boost On with Advanced System Care. Ha! Good. Reading Technology section of ET in the loo has its benefits.
Ok. Deep Scan it is.
Forgot. DC++ as well. Peer-to-peer movie downloading software. Leeches and seeders. Peer networking. Read it on B-school websites, right? Well, this is the actual stuff. Look for Mephisto, Burra. Damn, they are offline. Will download later. Close.
Windows Outlook 2010 loading up. Loading Add-ins 1-8. What the hell are these add-ins? I don’t ever use them.
Mozilla Firefox up. Facebook loaded. Gmail loaded. What else? LinkedIn loaded.
Windows Outlook 2010 loading up. Loading Add-ins 1-8.
Check Gmail Inbox.
- Cleartrip – Save Rs.2500 on flights and hotels.
- iimjobs.com – jobs posted today.
- Crossword bookstores – eWords for the month of March 2011.
- MakemyTrip Alert – Honk Kong’s buzz and Ladakh’s serenity. Take your pick!
- Exciting Lives – Naughty gift ideas!
- Simplymarry.com – Connect us with Facebook, talk to your partner in private and get 20% discount on premium membership!
Facebook. Forgot! No messages. No wall posts. Check “what’s on others minds”.
“Some lives are connected by the vast expanses of time and space and they will be embalmed in the callings of the ancient where the echoes of the ticking of a clock will reverberate throughout the ages…”
“I know my heart yearnssssssss for youuuuuuuuu. I am waiting my dearrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!”
Ugh! I think I just got a dose of diabetes. And sugar as well. I am Jack’s asinine Facebook update. Is that what they call Keyboard Stutter? Next.
“All Indians – dys is a must watch. Or else what! Next.
Ok. Gmail check again. Refresh…………………..Refresh again. Spam (3). Check Spam.
- C S Account Services – You are a weekly winner. Redeem your ticket now!
- Does your Mr. Winkie need upgrading? Our offer will interest you.
- Preethi – Your special one is waiting for you.
Okay. Delete Spam.
Windows Outlook 2010 loading up. Loading Add-ins 2-8.
Check Facebook again. Refresh, refresh. Nothing. Zilch.
Now what? My head again. A steady high pitch drone around me. Drowning every other silence. Numbing the senses. Numbing the mind. Comfortably. I know my eyes are open but my mind’s steadily drowning itself. In its own nothingness.
Blue sky. The vast expanse. A crow flies by. Alights on the window grill and cocks its head inside. Eyes lock for a brief moment. Recognition? Mockery? It looks away with a measured, dismissive nonchalance. Then flies off. My eyes rest on the grill. I know I am alive because I can sense my chest heaving. Slightly. The drone starts to fade away. Not too high. Not too low. Just there…………………legs start to shake again. Involuntarily.
And then a shrill harmonic interruption. Ground Zero.
Is there a class today? Don’t know man. I don’t think I’ll attend. Just the one anyways.
The sunlight beams on to my face. I look up with a glint in the eye. Something starts to hum in the head. Sunshine, on my shoulders, makes me happy. I am Jack’s irrelevant song in my head.
Windows Outlook 2010 loading up. Loading Add-ins 6-8.
Damn you Windows! Mozilla Thunderbird was much better. I had themes. I had colors. AND I was seen as different. Geeky. Cool. Good times.
Anyways. I always had a short shelf life for things that interested me. They called it a paradox.
Wow! Now that is a beauty. An original thought. Very Jack-Nicholson-in-The-Departed types. I think I should post that on Facebook. Oh yeah, can post it on Twitter. I have a Twitter to Facebook integration. Face beaming in self-pride and gloating. Who are “they”, by the way? Never mind.
1:00 PM. Yep. Lunch. Not much. Just a little to take care of the growing girth. Strange. Never heard of anyone putting on weight in a hostel! Well, it is not the food i guess.
Windows Outlook 2010 loading up. Loading Add-ins 8-8. Opening.……………………………………………………………………
No emails. Yeah. That figures.
2:30 PM. Yep. Sleep till 5:00 PM. Tea, snacks. Placement talk. Crap talk. MBA talk. Look bored.
What am I really doing? With my life, i.e. An earth-bound misfit. It is like a world I created and entered by chance. Not choice. Lost opportunities. Stumbled upon some. Misguided decisions. Half measures. Lost love. Cliched life.
Oh hell! Do not open that door.
Walk back to room. I need to blog. I am good at it. I think I can become a writer. I am good at photography too. I have so many likes on my Facebook album. I mean. That must count for something, right? I think I can become a journalist maybe. Yeah. I like traveling too. Yeah. It all fits in. This is more me.
That is what the good-looking lady in pants told me too. And all good-looking ladies in pants are right. Even if they are wrong, it is a question of choosing more of the wrong that is right. Right?
Well. That can go up on Facebook too. I mean, Twitter.
Reality Check. Please.
Just because some good people read your crap and say it is good, doesn’t mean you apply to Asian School of Journalism. Or dream about being Chetan Bhagat. With a good-looking wife. Well, good-looking wife, I can dream about. That is alright. A good-looking wife in pants. Yeah! I am Jack’s …. Ok Forget it.
And Facebook? Well, if the “Like” button were not there, you would be a nobody. So, rest it.
Alright. Back to the room.
A movie? “Whose Line is it Anyway”? A novel? D:/Term IV? Pending assignments? Look at shelf of books. Look at D:/Term IV/Project Management. Assuage guilt for a while.
“Whose Line is it Anyway” it is! Yay! I am Jack’s irreverent memory.
9:00 PM – Dinner. Placement talk. Crap talk. MBA talk. Look bored. Come back. Finish the rest of Season 2, Whose Line is it Anyway. It’s getting over man. Damn!
11:00 PM. Sleep. Wake up for a jog at 5. Wake up for a jog at 5. Wake up for a jog at. Wake up for a.Wake up fo. Wake up. Wake. Wa…
8:00 AM. Bright and sunny. Sun streaming through. Yet again. Damn! Ok. Get up. Breakfast will get over.
Boot laptop. Stare at it for 2 minutes. Sometimes 3. Till it cranks up. Unwilling. Unwitting. Like the “old hag” syndrome. Myriad “Tyler Durden-ish” thoughts…………………………………………………………………………………
The Chronicles of Boredom. Continues. Pretty much the same.
I am Jack’s bored blog. What’s that smell?
I know we’ve had a love-hate relationship. Since my school days when I used to study under a table lamp and you would sneak up to me from behind and sit on my table. When my dad would lovingly laugh at me for being so scared of you and would tell me not to bother about you. When I spent sleepless nights imagining where you were in my room and hide under my blanket. Waiting for the first break of dawn.
In fact, as far as I remember, it has been more hate than love, actually.
Probably, the only time I have had an iota of affection for you was when I was told by my mother that you bring a lot of luck. That if I saw through your eyes, and touched you on your forehead, you would bring me peace of mind. Of course, she also said a lot of other stuff about you being a form of god and how you are actually revered by so many people.
But you know what. I went through hell taking deep breaths and preparing myself to face you. You scare and creep me up so much. So, I agree I do not know a lot about you. But that is the way it has stayed. Even after so many years. And yeah, I did touch your forehead. Traveling miles away from home, and jostling through a sea of people. Just because my mother told me to.
I know I’ve always shunned you away. Even though my friends welcomed you in their rooms. Saw you through their windows without a hint of disgust. Hell, they even let you into their bathrooms. I mean, the bathroom! For heaven’s sake! Where you spend the most private moments, immersed in thought, planning for the day or just preparing for that case study you are supposed to analyze in class. And there you are looking at them with that steely gaze of yours’.
Anyway. Peace. I have no intentions of knowing what it was exactly that you did in their bathrooms.
I have seen you stare at me. I don’t know what it is that you expect of me. I have tried to be patient with you. I have tried ignoring you. But you always seem to intrude in to my life. At the most important moments. Such as in the mornings, after that customary cup of tea and all I would want to do was read my morning newspaper and then rush for office. Or after a long day’s work, I just want to watch some good ol’ TV with a cup of tea, and there you are. Looking at me again. I mean. Seriously. What is with that look of yours’? Is it anger? Is it fear? Is it love? Or do I not matter to you at all? Not that I care, but what the hell is that look??
Anyways. Now, why would you want to interfere in my life like that? I have never hurt you, have I?
In fact, I have had to change my life because of you. During those days when you accidentally came into my room, I have had to re-orient my furniture! Just so you could live leave peacefully. Without any bad blood. And this, after a long day of classes, quizzes and all I wanted to do was plonk on my bed and crash to a dreamless sleep.
Dreamless, did I say?. I have had nightmares after that. But did I ever complain? No. Never.
Well. Now, I am leaving for a few weeks and would hopefully not see you in the foreign shores I am headed to. I might come across your friends, but I am sorry I cannot carry any message for them, because I have no intention of talking to or looking at them.
I would hope that when I come back, I do not find you in my life. In my room. Or in my bathroom. Or looking at me through the windows. Or anywhere in the vicinity of me.
Please do not get me wrong.
I know you find various ways to come back in to my life, and I have blocked you off it. With cello tape!
I have never meant to hurt you. I have never meant to spite you, and god knows, I have never wanted to hate you.
I know I don’t have a heart.
But it is the pain of seeing you that makes me heartless. Bye Bye Lizzy. So long.
The joy. The sweetness of it. Like honey dipped refrains gently flowing down the river. Like the cacophony of the world being washed ashore in it’s gentle notes. Like being buried in the beautiful arms of your beloved and listening to her murmur in your ears. Like the musical harmony of the yin and yang. Like the crescendo of Mozart.
The Nokia Ringtone. I hear it again.
It gives me
- immense pleasure,
- unspeakable happiness and
- an emotional high (Yes, all three!)
that after almost 1 month of patient waiting, dirty haggling over documentation issues, frustration at the world, raving and ranting at the evil that is around, denial, anger, prayer, resignment, resentment, and the occasional serendipitous bliss on account of being disconnected from the outside world, I have finally emerged victorious in my fight against the Goliaths of the telecom world and have got a new number!
Victorious trumpet and elephant sounds in the distance!! Please to imagine!
Although I trade calls with only a select few, however, I invite you all to be a part of my new number and share the ecstasy I now feel!
Those who need to know have already got it. So, please do not ask me for the number in the comments section, unless of course you are a pretty girl and are turned on by any or all of humor, sarcasm, bad jokes cracked in the garb of seemingly decent angreji and a handsome blogger such as yours’ sincerely. Seriously. Look at my profile picture.
Oh, and if you are a girl, please do not visit the first of my Whatitees Guide. I was just kidding.
Hello? Oh, hi baby! Yeah, finally got a new number..No, no of course I was not trying to avoid you darling…I did not have the number…yeah?…what?…you ditching me?!!…what?..why?…hey…hello?? Hello???
Damn you Tadaa DoDoMo!!!
P.S : All names have been changed. Of course. Any resemblance to any cell phone connectivity, activated or barred is purely coincidental. Please do not sue me and please do not deactivate my number again!
I am thinking I’ll turn it into a brand. Of the top of my head, it could be the next BIG thing on TED. I could probably make educational videos of all the wisdom and knowledge I have been doling out and make money out of it. Or I could hold talks ; I could write books; I could make business models out of it. Probably give it a fancy name too – “The Risky Forces” model or something. And then I could sell it to management schools! Phew! My head is spinning with excitement!
Yeah, I know you are confused. It is alright. Most people who come to this blog are one of those. And the ones who come repeatedly are, well, more confused.
I am referring to the Whatitees Guide series. I call it the series, because this is the second of the lot. The first one was about how you have 17 simple ways to get a date. If you have read that, chances are you probably are not coming back to this blog. But since I am on the way to becoming an MBA, and I have studied marketing, I know that the customer is a moron. And hence, I am counting on you coming back to this blog. There. I think I lost another one of my readership. Sigh. Nobody takes a joke seriously these days!
So, continuing with the “Whatitees Guide” series, I will be taking a wild leap into the dark and dinghy world of the B-school and it’s inhabitants. Yes, the B-schoolers. The “overhyped-doesnt-know-jackass-but-can-talk-crap-and-thinks-he-deserves-the-fat-pay” types. Yes, your average Joe who cracks an entrance exam, impresses the hell out of the interview panel with phrases such as ” leveraging domain knowledge”, “create value to society” and “peer learning”, gets an admit and then finally switches over to consulting because that’s the in-thing to do!
Alright. You get the drift.
But I think I run the risk of trivializing the conundrum that is the MBA. And hence, the B-schooler. I guess it is not that simple. And in the transition from the Average Joe (Read: A 2-bit technical/sales guy) to the Above-Average Joe (Read: A costly technical/sales guy, a.k.a, 20 lakhs P.A paycheck), Joe transcends through several forms of the B-schooler. And you do not need to read through countless volumes of HBR articles on human behavior to see these forms. They are right in front of your eyes – in the classroom!
I submit to you – The Whatitees guide to the Anatomy of a B-schooler!
From the eyes of another B-schooler, who runs the risk of falling in one of these categories very soon!
THE ROCK BANDS – They are everywhere. In every break of the game, inside the classroom, outside of it, in the canteen and even when you are drunk! They hunt their preys mostly alone, and many of them actually hunt on each other without knowing that they are of the same ilk. And then snigger about them on their backside! But they are the rock bands; the one’s who give you the highs and lows of being in a classroom! Here’s a smattering –
They are also known as the “Disclaimers Gang”. Usually, their questions or comments start with phrases such as ” Sir, I am not quite sure I have understood fully, but just to avoid any conflict or debate on this issue, in my humble opinion…”…..get on with the question, dude! Zzzzzzzz!
They are the cool dudes! The one’s who use long sentences, and cool words/phrases such as “perspective”, “paradigm change” and “core competencies” anywhere and everywhere! Just like that. Sometimes they are full of wisdom and at other times, full of s**t. But they dole out either with equal gusto and passion!
The Last Minuters
These are the rock stars. Who care a rat’s ass what the professor just said, about the class being over and that he would discuss the Porter’s Model in the next session. They just need to get that bug (Read : The question) out of their backsides which more often than not, becomes a bug in the backsides of the rest of the classroom too.
THE STARS – They are everywhere too. But they are implicit. They are subtle. You would easily mistake them for a common B-schooler. But you’d be terribly mistaken. They are the backbone of the Rock Bands. You know that ” You look good, so we look good” phrase right? Yeah, without the Stars we cannot have the Rock Bands!
He is the quintessential B-schooler. You’d probably be thrown off-track by the Malayali surname, but he is the Clint Eastwood of the classroom – Kozhikode, Kovalam and 2 smoking Coconuts! Et al.
The “shoot first, think later” guy who considers asking questions as a major ingredient in deriving the ROI he so diligently calculated while applying for an MBA. He probably has never heard the phrase “an intelligent question” and thinks it is a non-existent entity. He is the one who raises his hands to ask a question first thing in the class, when the professor says a “good morning”! Or so you think. Maybe he had his hand raised all the time. And he just does not know that. And neither did you!
Koschan “Allota” Nair
A close relative of Mr.Koschan Nayar. Some might say a brother. A close one at that. He is also known as “Allota”. It is not a reference to any accessories he might be carrying for his early morning ablutions. But you’d know why he is called “Allota” if you saw him in class.
He is the “shoot first, keep shooting, will think later if I get the time” kind of a guy who considers questions as THE ROI he had calculated earlier! “Follow up” is second nature to him. His alter ego. Or maybe the schizophrenic dual personality the interview panel never had the time to identify because they were busy answering his questions!
He is the dude. He comes out with amazing phrases such as “repeatability and reproducibility of strategy”, worthy of being published in a paper and maybe being quoted by the professor in another class! He does not flinch from coming out with his own trademark “insights” and very often runs the risk of overrunning all the band members of “The Insighters”. He is the next MBA Guru (after you-know-who), the hardcore Financial wiz, and the Strategist – all rolled into one potent combination!
Claus Partha Seshan
As the name suggests, he is probably of Indo-German origin. With a distinct South Indian touch I might add. As a South Indian, I can say this with adequate amount of confidence, that we, by dint of not finishing our lunch/dinner without curd rice, are quite inquisitive by nature. We get our curious genes from there. And if curd or curd rice is not available, rest assured, you shall be riddled with doubts, questions and comments of an incessant nature!
“Aavtar” Claus Partha Seshan
He is a close Indian relative to Claus Partha Seshan. For some curious and yet obvious reason, his middle name is actually the first. He of course does not bother about curd rice for lunch. All he wants to do is catch up with the professor when he wishes to have a quiet smoke and a tea by the tree, and talk to him about why Accounting cannot be neither art nor science. He is the evolved avtar of his mellowed down brother.
Well, I guess I have pretty much summed up the B-schooler. It is really amazing how this anatomy has not seen any change over the years. Even when my brother did his MBA from another premier B-school, he had similar characters there as well. And 10 years down, we see the lineage being carried over generations.
However, on a more serious note, these are also the stars who come out with the most innovative and insightful solutions to the most difficult problems. And that is an ode to the quirkiness that they demonstrate. It is what makes them unique. And hence a part of the elite B-schools they are in.
In some circles here, I am already a part of “The Disclaimers” band and let me justify that by saying that all the characters above are totally real with fictitious names. Most of them are good friends of mine and amazing personalities. A few of the lines and instances quoted are real, and much more than that, funny as hell! However, this was intended to be as part of my efforts to try and tickle the funny bone. And I would expect and hope the reader to have one. More so, if the reader happens to be one of the above!
P.S : While all my efforts in the last few lines above have been to make some amends, however, I get the distinct feeling, at 1:54 AM in the night that I would be questioned severly by Mr. Koschan Nair tomorrow!
Why did they have Salsa and not a Kuchipudi or a Bharatnatyam dance event?
No, contrary to what you might think, Google does not have the answer. Neither does Yahoo! Search, or Bing or Ask Jeeves. But this has to be one of the most insightful questions / thoughts I have came across so far in my XLRI stint.
And where else could it have occurred except during one of our nightly jaunts to Bishu-Da’s “Tea-coffee-nimbu paani-gobi/anda/aalu paratha-general bakar” joint. Yep. You have general bakar as well to consume. That is free of cost, of course. We also call it Consulting, once in a while. By we, I mean the MBA types – the groggy eyed, laptop carrying, jeans and T-shirt clad “cool dood” who can talk about Indo-China Economic relations with as much ease as he would talk about why girlfriends behave the way they do.
Ever heard the phrase “Ignorance is bliss” ?
Of course, the same applies to the groggy-eyed-with-mascara (?)and-eye-liner, Jeans and T-shirt clad “cool doodettes” as well. But then when they talk about why boyfriends behave the way they do, well, they are usually right. Yeah! The phrase applies here as well.
Anyways, so we had just returned from the library after a grueling 2 hour session of
- walking up to the library,
- doing some arbit fundebaaji with some batch mates,
- opening laptops and checking for some blog comment updates / Facebook updates,
- cribbing about the food, assignments and our present conditions,
- doing some more arbit PJ-cracking,
- getting all the relevant reading material, and then
- copying in abstracts as part of an assignment for one of the courses.
Well, I still do not know why we did the last bit, but suffice it to say that they are the “occupational hazards” of doing an MBA. Once we were done with all this, we found ourselves naturally walking over to Bishu-da for a cuppa tea and some more of the above.
And naturally again, there we see some pretty looking ladies and some pretty, good looking, well-dressed guys all gathered around, obviously for some kind of a party. Which is when we realized it was Salsa night for the 2-year MBA crowd. We, the 1-year MBA junta were also invited. But I guess when we have people doing the tango everyday with their wives, a few others nursing broken backs and aching legs, and the rest reeling under the effects of quizzes-assignments-projects induced insomnia, Salsa does not figure too high on the to-do list.
However, a little birdie did tell us that some dance enthusiasts from our batch took part in the same Salsa event on an earlier occasion. I know it is sightly unbelievable, but you should have come to GMP’s first party of the academic year – Amnesia. Although a lot of us were doing the Big B/Nakka Mukka/Dhagala lagli version of the Salsa, but the talent was evident.
Speaking of talent, can you imagine of a better event than mad-ads to let out that constipation occurring in that top story of yours’, time and again?I cannot, and I’ve been taking therapy!
If you want to check out an original brain fart, you can enjoy it here. Three of us took part in an Ad event conducted by the MAXI, called LegaliZe.
Do not ask me why they had a ‘Z’ in the name and not a ‘z’. You can come up with a brain fart of yours’ and not let me know.
Anyways, here goes – the first Ad I took part in – creating a surrogate advertisement for “Guns”.
Must say – it stinks, but it was the best feeling ever! I do have Eno, if you need one!
P.S : Credit needs to go where it is due. Also, another way to say – the question was not mine. So, do not kill me. Hence, the P.S is in Bold – Italics! It was asked by one of my good friends who is a batch mate here at XLRI.
Warning/Disclaimer/Escape Routes : Long post. Really long. Read at your own risk. I claim no relation to any loss of hair, bodily harm caused by the reader to him/herself, loss of any sense of sanity or getting shot at. And yeah , please do let me know if you are alive at the end of it.
I know you can buy them off the fruit shop. No, I am not talking about that. You can let me know (via the comments section, i.e) if you did actually think I was referring to the fruit (eyes rolling), but it is alright.
I will not hold you to that – most of us have been there. Yeah, in that place where we thought a date was that sticky dark colored fruit meant to be eaten, post which the fingers were meant to be licked dry.
By the way, did you know that the fruit’s English name as well as the Latin species name dactylifera, originates from the Greek word for Finger, “daktulos”? So, next time your boss asks you to stay back in office, while he goes gallivanting with his new wife, you can just show him a date! Add a crooked smile to that as well. And while he scratches his hair to decipher this, just put that date into your mouth for good measure – just to seal the point – You showed him the date and ate it too!
Devilish Chuckle! I cannot control the excitement inside me. Too much.
Lot of throat clearing.
I submit to you – The Whatitees guide to getting yourself a date.
Victorious trumpets sounding in the distance!
Date noun, verb,dat·ed, dat·ing
– a partner, companion, girlfriend/ boyfriend who you need to woo, hem and haw!
– Wooing, hemming and hawing with the partner, companion, girlfriend/boyfriend!
Follow the following rules and you would never have to eat those dates alone by yourself! Note the wrong play on words? Ha! I am brilliant!
1. Get online
Facebook, Orkut, Twitter, Hi5, MySpace,YourSpace, HisSpace, HerSpace – Ahem. Sorry, got carried away. Basically, any social networking site where you can scrap, ping or pong with members of the opposite sex – get on it. And be on it! Just imagine yourself hanging on to the last bit of rope while dangling from a cliff with not a soul in sight. And then, out of the blue, a Stanford drop-out passes by, looks at you and offers to help if you create a profile on one of his millionth sites which needs you to rate somebody Hot or Not. What would you do? Think how offensive the idea is and discuss morality with him? NOO! Just use the most imaginative user name you have and create that god-damned profile! And get 10 others as well who are dangling along with you!
As an example, create a witty profile and hook them with a decent photo, like mine. This will help you stand out from the crowd. Literally.
2. Get out there
Yeah. Roadies, Splitsvilla, Truth Love Cash, Love.net. Reality shows with hot babes and cool hunks. Testosterone and other hormones – they have spoiled it all. All you do now is get back from office, order a pizza, and ogle at the mini-skirt clad chick mouth obscenities. And then discuss on who would be voted out. Pathetic. The chick is hot, though. Do not get me wrong.
Dude (or, as the new-age kids say, Gal), no-one gets dates by sitting at home with the Idiot Box. You’ve got to go to that local fruit shop and bargain hard. Or better buy one of those boxes from Big Bazaar. What? Yeah, am talking about dates. Oh, sorry.
What I mean is – you need to “get out there”. Be visible. Be the man. Or the Girl. Accept invitations, or better just gate-crash into a party! Look up old friends (read : unmarried and still single) and go to local events – again, step 1 will help you out here. If you are the intellectual type, go to Crossword. If you aren’t, go anyways. Stroll alongside the Romance or the Cookery sections. Pretend to peer into Sanjeev Khanna’s recipes and take a look around. You’re bound to come across someone who likes Palak Paneer as well. And then the rest is, as they say, dinner!
3. Sign up to learn something new
You’ve already signed up in Step 1. That was online. Now, it’s the turn for the offline ones.
Guys – sign up for an evening class on how to cut onions without getting tears into your eyes. This will impress the lady to no bounds – I hear ladies do not like cooking these days and expect their partners to know a thing or two as well. Also it will give you a good alibi to stroll around the cookery section at Crossword. Eh? Brilliant, aint it?
Girls – sign up for an evening class on how to smilingly say, “sure, would love to go out for a coffee with you” when the cute guy looks at you with a “Easy recipes for the Bachelor” book in his hand, and innocently asks you how to make poha! Please do not be harsh on him – it would be his first time, you see. And wouldn’t you love to wake up to a nice plate of tasty poha served hot along with coffee, on your bed?
4. Don’t be a slave to your job
All work and no play made Venkatamurthy and UmaMaheswari a dull boy and a dull girl with no chance to participate in Splitsvilla! While we are on these Southie names, have you ever wondered why we do not see any South Indians in these programs? All we have are the Siddharths (lovingly called Sid) and the Sakshis (Loving called Sak or Saks) from Saddi Dilli. Well, this Southie cowboy is all set to change that! Just mind it!
Anyways, if you’re overworked, underslept, or overslept you won’t feel like going out on dates. Come to think of it, if you overslept, you might not even be able to make it on time for the date! HeHe! Smart, that one, no? So, do not work too much – in fact, by the current mindset I am in, I am inclined to say, do not work at all! But well, it is the question of the criminal stomach – so, keep the work to limits, leave office early so you are not stuck in office and sleep well, so you do not fall asleep riding or driving!
5. Talk to more people
Some lucky people are natural flirts. Like me. Yeah! Which is why I am writing this guide you see – to help the less talented ones out there. If you think I should not be gloating at this point, well you are wrong and you can go to hell.
But the difference between you and me is I don’t think it as flirting, per se. You see? I can chat happily with the girl I met via Orkut, on Gtalk and even let out amazing smiles – all part of the charm I put out, you know. So what if she has a “busy” status – ping her! Busy, smushy, my foot! Be confident and friendly. Even if she asks you not to disturb her, let out that wonderful smile (Gtalk has many – use one of the best ones!) and be approachable – that is the key my friend! The more you chat with people, the better you’ll spend your time in office and the better you’ll feel about yourself!
6. Meet people’s eyes
Oh! This means the previous point was about chatting in real??!! Not on Gtalk??!! Well, ok. Make a nice joke or a limerick or something which would throw the reader off-guard. Or better, just throw him or her off their seats! Say something! Anything!
Yes! So..meet people and ask them their eye power. You’ll seem interested and confident – two sure shot qualities that win more dates than ever!
Phew! Saved by the date!
7. Dress for success
Your clothes make a statement about you! And your bodily odors make even bigger ones! And I cannot over-emphasize this. Wrinkled or ironed, gun-shot jeans or plain denim, low-waist ones or the really low-waist ones, Polo T-shirts or Sweatshirts, Bermudas or Jockey shorts, Mini-skirts or plain Jeans, halter-tops or spaghetti straps (if they are the same, I ask for pardon), Axe Deodorants or Park Avenue Perfumes – well, I cannot tell you what statement each of them make – all you can do is clean up well, take a good bath, wear any dress you like and let your date pass a comment at you! Or better, let your date give you that incredulous look! THAT would be the statement you are looking for!
8. Be as vain as you like
Gym and work-outs. Aamir-type 6-packs. Cucumber packs on your eyes to make them look fresh. Face packs at Kaya Skin Clinic to make you look younger. Mascara and lipsticks. Garnier For Men. Spot reductions and so on.
Do all of the above and more. Vanity may be one of the seven deadly sins, but do not overdo it by getting up at 5:30 AM in the morning to make that short trip to the gym – Just because you have a mental block against going in the evening and you need to cook lunch for office! It tells people that you are being a hard-a** or getting old or both, and are thinking too much about saving up money!
9. Shake up your social circle
When was the last time you attended a wedding? Last month? Your friends’ wedding ? Ok, all your friends are couples now and hence you do not have partners in crime? Seems a familiar problem? Well, if that is so, well your chances of meeting a potential date through your friends and/or their spouses are not exactly next to zero, but are in the negative. Unless you get married too. Yeah, sad but true.
Broaden your social circle to include more such charming, happy singletons who would be more than willing to take you to their friends’ weddings – I hear marriages are a good source of potential dates.
10. Make the first move
But take cover as soon as you do. Being proactive and all that is fine, my friend, but if you take help of such cheesy lines such as “Hey, I hear your dad’s a terrorist, cause you look like a bomb”, be prepared to get blown to bits!
Everyone likes being flattered by attention. And by that, I do not mean the wide-eyed stare at the hot-looking girl riding her bike in the opposite direction to you. You might end up crashing into the car ahead of yours’. And the attention you’d get then, is not exactly flattering!
Take a look at your surroundings, make sure there are no bouncers or such kinds around, more importantly keep in mind the location of the exit doors – much like how Sachin Tendulkar takes a look at his field before he adjusts his abdomen guard and then unleashes his cover drives! Silly point it may be, but it wouldn’t harm to keep one of ’em guards with yourself. Just in case.
Keep the opening comment brief and casual, perhaps something on the weather, and then put the focus on them (with one eye on the exit, as I mentioned before). The more interesting you find them, the more interesting they’ll find you. And then you can make all the moves you want to! Much like Austin Powers! Groovy baby!
11. Learn to survive a brush-off
If you approach someone who turns out not to be interested, don’t go away thinking that your world has ended. Be sure of it.
To the most successful pick-up artists, rejection is like alcohol off the bartender’s rack. They don’t run away crying, they try again with a different drink. Learn to survive the brush-off. Or better still, get married. Yeah, sad but true. With due respect to all my married friends.
12. Forget about playing hard to get
Just become the most desperate, lonesome creep they ever knew! The only real way to a man or a woman’s heart is to let them know that you like them. Better – that you are deeply, utterly, hopelessly in love with them!
If you’ve enjoyed chatting, ask where they stay – forget numbers and phones. If you met online today, take an off from work tomorrow, get up early in the morning, don’t take a bath and wait for them to get online. And then ping them, till heaven comes to glory! Till your machine crashes! Take it to the kill!
13. … But leave them wanting more
Ah! Who’s gonna be wanting more after you’ve let them know your love, eh? Seriously, who? Especially after you’ve played so hard?
14. Brag less, listen more
If the first comment was about how beautifully clouded the evening is, do not go about reciting the weather forecast, including the number of inches of rain it is going to fall for your city and ten others!
Listen. Listen carefully to how your date describes the weather for you. Then make a beautiful, romantic poem out of it. Like, “Rain, Rain go away, little Johnny wants to play”. Or something to that effect. Do not worry – just flow with the moment.
15. Forget your ex
Yeah, and concentrate on the P. Not that, you fool! I mean, the present. Do not look for a xerox of your last partner. Do not even mention about your ex, until there are signs that your date and your ex were actually good friends back in college. Then forget your present as well. And you might as well concentrate on the other P.
16. Keep your options open
Yeah! Just use your imagination! hehehe!
17. Stop looking
If nothing else works (including the “open options” – if you know what I mean), well, this is the final straw, unfortunately. On a different note, I am sure, if you have actually reached this point, you would have stopped looking pretty much everywhere else – even your mails and that hot chick you were chatting up around an hour ago!
I know. I am guilty of that. I write so well, that it is captivating! But if you actually thought this was a guide to help you find a date, well, I have just re-christened this as “The Whatitees Guide to getting shot!”
Get a couple of those Big Bazaar dates and Happy Hunting!
P.S : All characters here are fictional and bear no resemblance to anyone living or dead. Venkatamurthy and UmaMaheswari – I am sure you are wonderful, loving people. UmaMaheswari – wait for that Gtalk ping!
P.P.S : Adapted from an article by Jane Hoskyn on Yahoo! Personals. On the lizard that is currently crawling up on the walls of my kitchen, I swear I came across this article by accident. Credit needs to be given where it is due, right? I swear. Damn! My credit-card bill!