Friday, August 1, 2008

Be careful what you wish for cos you just might get it

My life is going nowhere. I'm falling through a bottomless pit. There is no end to this mundane routine, cycles of waking up, wasting time, going to sleep and waking up again. I was bored to death. So, I asked Bahavaan to spice up my life a tad and boy was he listening to me that day.

First, my flight gets canceled due to some crazy transportation strike in Frankfurt and I leave India a day later. The Lufthansa people were responsible enough and they planned to re-route us through Brussels in a Jet Airways flight.

The next day when I entered the airport, I found that there was no Baggage Screening for Jet Airways passengers and being the hard-to-please customer that I am, I wanted to know why they did not have this service.

Me (indignant): Why don't you have Baggage Screening here?

Official: Baggage Screening for Jet Airways is online Sir.

Me: How will you notify the person if he is carrying any malicious goods if you guys are screening it just before loading?

Official (face slightly serious/scared): We will call him up Sir (sheepish look). Why do you ask? (scared)

Me: No reason, was just concerned about my security, that's all. (victorious look)

And that's that.

There are several other ways that conversation could have ended. Am glad it ended the way it did and not somewhere in a dinghy interrogation room (I shall refer to this interrogation room several times in the course of my life as I'll never learn to keep my mouth shut).

Ok, so we leave India with the promise that everything is taken care by Lufthansa and all that we have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the flight (you know for sure something wrong is going to happen if somebody makes that statement).

2 movies later, we land at Brussels with the hope that Delta Airlines offers as good a service as Jet and things would go as smoothly as it went with Jet. Lufthansa promised us that the 3rd baggage allowance would be taken care of by them and we would'nt have to worry about that. The catch here is that they gave a promise by word which obviously did not hold good with the Delta guys and we ended up paying $200 each for the excess baggage. Rip off! Saddened by the loss of the weight in our pockets we took a resolution to get our money back (refer Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less - ofcourse here we're just planning to scan the receipt and get the money reimbursed, but nevertheless).

Atlanta! We reached the U.S of A and were whisked off to Immigration and Passport Control. I happened to have only a copy of my I20 and not the original (which was 'safe' in my check-in luggage. Ashwin (my room-mate) voiced out his singularly remarkable thought - "Macha, what if you had lost the luggage which had your I20 da. Hehe". I almost collapsed). I realized then that there are just 2 things that you require if you want to enter and stay in the U.S - your Passport and your I20. The Immigration Official promptly tore my copy and asked me to head over to Customs to get my I20 stamped. I got my bags from the Baggage Claim, took my I20 and typically went back to Passport Control (thinking it was the easy way out) and the Immigration Official was like "Whut did I jest tell you? I asked you to go to Customs and re-process your Immigration". Me (smiling): Saary, Saar. At Customs I was expecting to get detained for quite a while and started imagining the whole interrogation room scene. But I got off pretty easily and left the scene.

It just keeps getting better. We came out of the airport to find that it's a boiling 35 degrees Celsius and we were experiencing Madras weather. It shoots up to 45 C during summers. Lovely! A kind senior dropped us home and helped bring our luggage inside and told us that he's been mugged 4 times in a relatively safe part of town. We were in a highly unsafe zone compared to his but the reassuring part is even the safe part of town is unsafe :) so we kinda accepted our surroundings and did not consider moving.

On the whole, I know that I was pretty eager to get my life going and make it more eventful but next time I guess I should leave Bahavaan out of this because I think He has a soft corner for me and is quite generous to go out of his way to make my life 'happening'. Thank you Lord!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Slapgate - Sree's finest performance

Hi, it has been a while since I wrote anything in my blog but this mouth watering, juicy incident has given me more than enough reason to come out of my hiatus.

Ok, this is how it started:

Sree: We won!!! Yeah... In your face... Loser.. Loser (does a jig) (---> Vidyuth)

Bhajji : This is bat, that's your mouth, if you don't shut up, I'll shove it down your throat.

Sree (clenching his teeth like a 'maa ki' retorts) : O yeah? O yeah? (has the intellectual capacity of a peanut)

This continues for a while.

Finally, Bhajji loses his cool and begs Sree to shut up cos frankly, he'd rather rootuvitufy Preity (---> Vidyuth). But Sree, the 6th standard bully that he is, refuses to relent. Now realizing that this is Bhajji's weak point, he starts sledging over and over again, and starts singing his favorite Tamil song, the T. Rajendar hit,

"Vaada yen machi,
Vaazhaika Bhajji,
Un odamba pichchu,
Potuduvein Bhajji.

E dandanaka danakunaka diyaan diyaan dish."

Bhajji complains to the umpire, Amish Saheba (the Sharad Powar look-alike) that Sree is abusing him by calling him vegetable names. Amish promptly asks Sree to behave himself else he'll report him to the Press (the BCCI is just a dummy organization, the Press runs everything). Sree does not understand big words like 'behave', 'report' and 'the', so he didn't give a damn what Amish said to him. He continued in his quest to cry like a cute little girl and Bhajji had no choice but to give him what he wanted in order to stop the madness. 'Phatak' - one slap on the cheek of Sreesanth (though none of the news agencies were allowed to telecast it, what gives??). Sree was quick enough to realize that he could use this as a platform to vault himself into Bollywood for his masterful performance as 'the macho man with a sensitive heart'. I'm assuming that Bhajji slapped him on his cheek cos Sree was clutching it like as though he was trying to cover a zit. The irritating part was how he made it a point to cry on every team member's shoulder before Sangakkara asked him to make a move cos Preity Zinta felt that his acting might become a serious threat to her career and the roles that she might bag. Sree finally left the scene (he wasn't sobbing so much now cos he knew that camera was not focusing on him anymore).

However, the madness does not end here. Sree gave some interviews post the incident and this is what he had to say to the news channels.

Sree speaking to

Asianet: I don't know why he slapped me the way he did. It was totally uncalled for, I don't deserve such treatment. It was a slugfest.

Times Now: Bhajji had every right to do what he did. It wasn't even a slap. It was just a shove in the wrong place (God alone knows what he meant, I'm sure he doesn't)

Asianet: He is like my elder brother. I'm just so heartbroken. I wish proper punishment is meted out to him.

Times Now: He is like my elder brother. I have absolutely no problem with the way he behaved. I do not wish to press charges. I probably deserved it.

Sree's behavior has completely erased any possible feeling of remorse I might have felt for him because of Bhajji's actions. On the other hand, it was utterly foolish of Bhajji to let his emotions get the better of him under circumstances where other people (barring Zinedine Zidane) would have just left it at that.

All in all, 'Slapgate - Sree's Gateway to Bollywood'.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Do you know Bubba??

Well, here's another joke that I came across recently... Laugh OK??

So there's this guy called Bubba who keeps blowing his own trumpet. According to him, almost everyone in the world knows who he is. One day, his Boss got fed up with his boasts and thought that he should put Bubba in his place. So, he took him to the US to disprove his empty claims. First they went to Hollywood where Tom Cruise was filming in the studio. Cruise immediately recognised Bubba and greeted him. The Boss was stunned. But he was still skeptic about Bubba's popularity. So, they went to the White House to see if George Bush even acknowledges Bubba and to his disbelief Bush embraced Bubba and asked him why he did not inform him earlier of his visit. As a final test, the Boss took Bubba to the Vatican and challenged him that if you can somehow pass through the strict security and stand up on the balcony along with the Pope, he would accept the fact that Bubba is world-renowned. And lo and behold, a few minutes later, Bubba was standing next to the Pope waving to the crowds below. When Bubba came back, he found that his Boss had had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. In the hospital, Bubba asked his Boss how this happened, the Boss replies, "Look, I can accept the fact that Tom Cruise knows you, I can even accept the fact that George Bush embraced you. I was shocked when you went up to the balcony where the Pope was standing but even that didn't affect me too much. But when the man standing next to me asked, "Hey, I know Bubba but who's that white-haired short bloke standing next to him?", and that's when I got the heart-attack."

Hehehehaha :)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Second Class Train Ride

Ok, I may have missed passing through the Fire of Baptism when I entered Bombay, but it's never late to experience the city in all its glory. I am talking about THE experience that can give me a taste of Bombay - THE SECOND CLASS TRAIN RIDE.

I had planned to go to Bandra, the hangout location for the Big Shots in the film fraternity and home to several Businessmen. One might also be able to identify it with Linking Road (part of my ever so memorable trip to Bombay in the 11th Std). After work yesterday, I walked about a kilometre to the Railway Station, on some of the dirtiest roads ever tread on. Ironically, all the signs that said 'Keep your City Clean' were the main hotspots for garbage disposal and betel spit. When I finally reached the station, I was in a dilemma whether to buy a First Class ticket or not. My uncle advised me to go First Class as according to him, I would not survive a Second Class trip. This was reason enough to buy a Second Class ticket (I love to prove other people wrong :)

I was waiting for the train along with hundreds of other people and after a while the train pulled in at my platform. And this is when everything began. It all happened in about 5 to 10 seconds. Chaos. Hordes of people struggling to get into the train while hordes of passengers were struggling to get out. No concern for old or young. Every man for himself. All one has to do if he wants to get in or out is to stand in the middle of the crowd. The crowd is like a water current that pulls you wherever it wants to. Without any effort except for trying to stay afloat, I was sucked in with the crowd. I was banged and bruised by the time I got into the train.

Once inside the train, the lack of free space was pretty painful. People were all over eachother as though they were cushions (research shows that on average about 3 to 4 persons can stand comfortably in a sq.m, the density of people during the Haj Pilgrimage is 10 per sq.m whereas in the Bombay trains it is about 12 persons per sq.m; this sort of density is also seen in the case of rats). I didn't worry too much about pickpockets because everyone was busy trying to catch on to some bar or railing to keep themselves from falling when the train stops. All my senses were going through an endurance test. The smell was overpowering (number and proximity of people around didn't stop these guys from farting!!). Nausea sets in in a little while due to want of space to move and pure air to breathe. The sights were appalling. I got a taste of the actual Bombay, not the make-believe one that Bollywood Stars and Businessmen portray and sell to the world. And then, there was the noise of passengers shouting at eachother for room and at the incoming people to allow them to exit decently (the incoming people don't understand the simple logic that if they let people out of the train, they will have more room for themselves), but no, these guys are so fond of the passengers in the train that they don't want them to leave.

I noticed one thing in the ruckus though: not one indignant passenger swore... A fight could not ensue anyway because there was no space and this would be an added incentive to swear but no one did. I was amazed at their spirit of taking things in their stride. There was another incident in the train which clearly illustrates this attitude. A father (who I struck up a conversation with earlier) with his small son were bound to get off at a particular station. But when the train stopped there, the incoming crowd pushed back the duo and the son was visibly shaken by the force. My eyes met the father's and though he was indignant at first, he just seemed to shrug it off, check if his son was ok and move on without any further thoughts. This is the typical Mumbaikar. Bombay has got pockets of richness in a land mainly comprising of people of the lower income group. The houses are dilapidated and a sad sight to see. But even in this setting, I got the feeling that people were content with what they have and are leading a happy if not prosperous life.

On the whole, I was able to see the nuances of the city and understand its people and their attitudes. I took back something positive from the whole journey and obviously I survived. However, the smell still stinks and the crowd still sucks (but only physically :) Later...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Bishop + God = 1 Good Golf Joke

I came across this joke yesterday. Thought I'd share with everyone...

There was this Bishop who was not true to his position. He was a mean guy who always harrassed the nuns. So one day, the nuns pleaded to God to punish the Bishop for all his misdeeds. God said He'll try to do something about this.

The next day, the Bishop went for a round of Golf on the course. He happened to be the only person there at that time. On the first hole, he hit the ball hard and the ball swung off course but miraculously, the ball ricocheted off several rocks and trees and leapt out of bunkers and to his amazement rolled onto the green for a Hole in One.

The nuns were aghast at God's action after listening to their request and they confronted Him asking how He could allow the Bishop get a Hole in One. God simply replied, "Yes, he got a Hole in One but there was no one to watch it. I don't think he can endure any more pain."

:) Till next time with a horrible joke, this is Vishnu, signing out...