Monday, March 21, 2011

Smoke on the Water

I have noticed a peculiar-est thing at work of late. But before that, I need to tell you about a peculiar-er thing I noticed at work. There are only 2 washrooms on our floor, set a mile away from where our workstations are.

But within each of those 2 washrooms, there are 4 washbasins, 2 thrones, and enough space to let Shoaib Akhtar practice his run-ups. Very Peculiar. Considering the fact that people at work generally have not been witnessed practicing Shoaib Akhtar-ish run ups while taking a leak, especially with deadlines snapping away at their feet like a dysfunctional flush button.

I digress. The peculiar-est thing I noticed last week was the fact that every time I had the urge to let the river flow, and half-ran, half-walked a mile to the 2 washrooms, they happened to be occupied. Every time. EVERY FUCKING TIME.

After doing the needful, post a mini Kathhak Tap dance for 15 minutes outside the washrooms, I trudge back to my desk. And I instantly know it is some unholy nexus at work to keep me off the corporate success (B)ladder.

For every time I drag myself back from such emotional ordeals, I find 2 of my colleagues sniggering and looking at their respective watches.

This was what I could figure out with my intense psychoanalytical skills I have acquired, while trying to block out the psychoanalytical invasions of my Missuj after being late on a date.

Colleague 1: Haha, 20 minutes. I think we had Pal.
Colleague 2: LOLMAX. 5 more minutes, and we could have had an exPALosion at hand. 
Colleague 1: There’s always a next time.

More sniggering. 

Enough of that bitchezz. I have already hatched a counter-plan and put it to action.

Now each time Colleague 1/2 gets up to let the fairy out, I run and beat them to the washroom. Oh yeah! #FunFunFun

If I find the door unlocked, I walk straight in and slam it shut. Then I pull out my iPod, listen to ‘Smoke on the Water’ and execute the song. Yes. I am Da Man! And then walk out and snigger at my Tap-dancing Colleague.

If I find the door locked, I still win. I walk back, tap-dancing, and snigger at the Colleague. Piss off mate! Oh no, wait, you can’t. More sniggering. 

The plan is working.

And that, folks, is that.  

Friday, March 18, 2011

Chandrakanta ki Jawaani..

My name is Chandrakaantaaa. Chandrakaanta ki jawaaani. *Ahaa Ahaa/Cheap Indian Bhangra rap* I am too sexy for you. Mai tere haath na aani. *Ohoo Ohoo*.

That’s exactly what Chandrakaantaa sang to Doordarshan 15 years back in 1996, when after a bombastic run on the national TV channel for 3 years, DD did a Kalmadi on the show’s producers and pulled it off air – almost a year before the scheduled contract ended.

WAIT. If you are leaving because you think this is another shitty essay on how private channels & the corporate media have killed off a thriving DoorDarshan, come back. Because this post is not about that. At all!

We all know that DoorDarshan did not have the ‘door darshan’ to effectively counter the powerhouse packaging and CWG-scale marketing of cable TV. And as an obvious result, they were relegated to hosting boring quiz shows & singing competitions where the ladies dressed in salwar kameez or churidaars. Dude. Cable TV had Divya Dutta & Shikha Swaroop in mini-skirts. You could have had your women in a pair of jeans at least? Anyway point is, they effectively won the ‘Paidh pe Kulhadi’ award and fucked off into obscurity.

However, like an ice-cream trolleywalla who doesn’t come around the neighborhood anymore because of the ‘Mama Mia’ counter across the street, DD has left behind thousands of kids who still pine for Chandrakanta & co.

For what you knew but couldn’t confess for fear of being shunned in the age of MTV & FTV, a million kids grew up on DD – and built their lives around it too. And like they say, the child was the mirror to the man. For what DD will never apprehend, is that, in spite of their obnoxious production values & packaging skills, they had managed to inspire and engross today’s Indian youth when they were still teenagers.
DD. Facilitated Day-Dreaming
We learnt the art of geekdom from Captain Vyom, Knight Rider & Captain Samurai Cyber Squad. We shot imaginary AK-47s in the air & wanted to go Virender Sehwag on terrorists from Sea Hawks. We learnt the art of subtle, black comedy and satire from Dekh Bhai Dekh & Flop Show. We wanted to be globe-trekkers and go on world tours (on company reimbursement of course!) from Surabhi. We became fans of The Dark Knight from Shaktimaan. We knew how to track down the guy who stole stationary from our cubicles at work from Byomkesh Bakshi & Raja Aur Rancho. And we learnt about a lot of family-unsafe stuff from Chandrakanta & Chitrahaar!

Oh. We did learn about politicians and the Parliament too. From Duck Tales & The Disney Comedy Show (ft. Mickey, Goofey & Donald).

You see, it was not the cable TV that killed DD. It was us. We loved it and learnt from it. But like the neighborhood ice-cream trolleywallah, we left it when better stuff came along. We did not go out to buy Boroline as advised by DD anymore, for SRK’s snarky comments about DishTV's superiority seemed more important to tend to now. 

Not fair at all. But that’s life.

Chandrakantaa is turning in her grave now because of this shit Blog post that did not do justice to her awezomeness. Not fair, she says.

But that’s life.

P.S.: A big shout-out to Didi, who inspired this post.

Image courtesy –

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Get Off Your High Horse Lady….

Lava . Lava flowing down the streets.. No one can survive that dude!”

What.The.Fuck? I was laughing at these retards sitting in a hurdle, hollering at each other over issues. Issues that ranged from lighting a half-smoked beedi to the Triple Knockout Punch to Japan from Mother Nature.

I was travelling in a local train back home from a colleague’s wedding, in a compartment that had triple the number of people it could carry. And it seemed that the epicenter of everything stupid – from being oblivious of the “Smoking Prohibited” sign in the train compartments to the fact that Tsunamis involve water and not lava (Looking back, this might not be their fault after all. This is what you get when you watch too much of NDTV & Sagarika Ghose). 

A sudden comment from a well-dressed lady that questioned the parentage of the men broke all hell loose. A fight broke out. Not a fistfight. Bengalis never wield fists. Their tongues are better at the art than their maach-bhaat muscles. Two ladies had objected to the loud hollering and the beedi-jalayile-fog in the compartment. Hence the commotion.

Yo dawwg! Local train iz da thang yo!!
Correction – the local trains in Bengal do not carry ladies. Ladies who like chocolate and like their bunnies close by while asleep or ladies who smiley-SMS their boyfriends 10 times/second that is. The women (most of them, I apologize to generalize) here are Mamata-fangirls. And therefore, to say that the ladies have the upper hand in a tongue-wagging, fist-swirling, eye-rolling debate here is a massive under-statement. 

And caught in the crossfire was me. I knew that taking sides was meaningless, as both parties were wrong. Men – to smoke beedis, and the ladies – to use words that would make Army jawans wet their pants.

I was desperately trying to lose myself in my iPod, but to no avail. I started cursing myself for taking a train back home, at a time when offishers and claarks ruled the locomotive routes.

After my initial struggle, I gave in and switched the gadget off. And just stood there. The fight had receded. The ladies were still grumbling. And the jokes kept being pounded on each other till kingdom come.

But there was a subtle difference. Some of the jokes and the meaningless, crude leg-pulling actually were making me laugh, now that I was paying more attention (though forced). And laughing with me were passengers who belonged to every damn class that India held in its bold but scarred economy. The laborers, the hawkers, the peons, the clerks, the office assistants, the team-leaders, the assistant managers, et al. If BJP would have been in my place, “India Shining” would have been baptized “India Smirking” for sure.

And then they came. Random, unexpected incidents. Two guys who had been swearing the most and who I had labeled ‘pigs’ for the first half-hour of travel, gave up their seats to two elderly ladies – and were the most modest, loving examples of men you could imagine. A guy who had smuggled beedis into the compartment gave away his lunch to 2 little kids at a station. An impromptu donation campaign was worked up inside the compartment for a co-passenger some barely knew – who had confessed to his kids’ school fees going unpaid because of fat medical bills back home.

Did they feel Jesus-y for a day? Maybe. Was it just an off day for Satan? Maybe.

I am not justifying the wrongs. All I want to say is – You need to get off your high horse, lady, to appreciate what is good around you.

For I was wrenched off the high pedestal I had placed myself on, by the collar, by these very men who I thought were repulsive and sick. Sure they still were, but that didn’t stop them from having shades of good too, innit?

It only took me an hour’s train ride to realize it. What will it take of you?