Sunday, October 30, 2005

Monkey Business

Nanguy alert! Long post alert.

Trackback to the summer of '99. Those were the days right? The Nanguys plan a trip to Matheran. For those who wouldnt know, Matheran is a hill station about 5 hours from Bombay. No cars allowed there and everything is red mud. Amazing place. And loads of horse shit. So its Abhi, Bird, Bakshi, Pals, Farro and me.

I'll leave the journey details for another day. Just that Bakshis huge bag fell from the top on some poor malnourished guys head in the train.

We get to the hotel, we have two attached rooms in a cottage kinda place for us. Neat I say. So all of us are sitting and enjoy the scene, red mud and fresh Matheran air. Suddenly there is this distinct pungent smell. The kinda smell which "grows stronger with time and eventually knocks you out" kinda smell. Everyone stared at Birds butt With pieces of cloth on our nose, we started hunting down the smell before it killed us. Eventually we zeroed down on Pals shoes. Off they went into the trash can. To make matters worse, Pals kept laughing for half an hour. I was so sure this trip was gonna be one helluva experience.

I'll skip the part where ghosts chased us and we had 20 plates of butter chicken. But the next day, we decided to explore the local attractions. One such attraction was a group of village kids playing cricketwiki. The typical maharastrian ghat types. As we walked towards them they all ran to us, looked at Bird and said "Our father has returned". What followed next was a cricket match between the nanguys and local ghats. Bird was a neutral umpire.

I should let you all know, Matheran is infested with Monkeys. Red and Black mouth baboons. They are all over. Following you all the time. There have been times when they have attacked humans and a monkey bite could be pretty dangerous. And as the norm goes, our ancestors hung around our cottage too. You could see them chase each other all the time and they did bear a striking resemblance to Pals.

One fine morning Bakshi decides to have tea in the Veranda. So we have Bakshi with tea and a room with an open door. In the room we have Farro and Abbs, half asleep and half naked, brushing each others teeth. Bird and Pals are in the other room. One of the monkeys decides to make it his morning business to check out our room. So he casually walks past a stunned Bakshi, who has forgotten about is tea and is too shocked by the mammal. Abbs and Farro turn around to hear Bakshi shouting "Sh**, Sh**" and see the visual of a monkey enter the room. Now, this monkey had to be a lady. She heads straight for a shopping bag, which contains Bakshi's valuables. A paranoid Bakshi closes the room door. So now we have Bakshi outside the room, a monkey with a shopping bag inside the room, with a half naked, but fully awake Abbs and farro, toothbrush in hand, toothpaste foam in mouth.

Miss Monkey jumps onto one bed, leaps to the next one and shows her teeth to Farro and Abbs. "Should we brush her teeth too?", asks Farro. Complete havoc breaks loose. Two half naked guys and a she-monkey with a shopping bag. Running all over the room. You think this could not get any funnier? Wrong. Bakshi is outside. Abbs and Farro are in this room with the monkey. Pals and Bird are in the other room. Realize who is missing? This is when I decide to walk out of the bathroom, all wrapped in a towel to be greeted by the sight of two toothpaste spitting homosapiens chased by a monkey with a Shoppers Stop bag. There is a momentary pause, where all three stop and stare at me. And the circus continues. Only this time, I am the clown.

The monkey settles itself on one bed while the three of us wonder what next. Bird and Pals are next. In walk the two cartoons, from the connecting door. All shocked to find three half naked guys and a monkey. Bird walks to the monkey, who drops the bag, and unzips his pants. The monkey decides to run into the open bathroom door and Pals in a split second locks the door.

While in there, she decided to make herself at home and pee all over the place. We did manage to shoo the monkey out and Bird managed to convince her to return Bakshi's valuables. The bathroom was a stinky mess (its debatable if that was due to the monkey or the one who used the bathroom last?)

Nevertheless, this is one Nanguy incident which ranks right up there. You know, the one we would talk about everytime we meet even when we are 80.

Above, you would find a photograph taken during the Matheran trip of '99. Top row is myself, trying to kill the man who will take over Wills factory one day and currently responsible for the "monkey-boom" in Matheran. Standing besides me is Farro, who would win Gladrags and go on to represent India for Mr. World (and make Nanguys proud). Abbs, trying to screw two imaginary light bulbs (rumours say he invented electricity in Matheran), and eventual co-founder of indiaCode, and Pals, rubbing Abbs thigh, and current spiritual guru, IBM consultant and apparently first Indian to float in the air. Its been a long journey. Cheers to the Summer of '99, Monkeys and Old Monk Rum.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Ok! So You Are Brad Pitt....

....that dont impress me much.

But how about our very own Desi (Indian) Brad Pitt?

Be sure to check him out. And ladies, from what I have heard, this one is not all hung up on Angelina. So if you wanna hook up with him, I say you hook up with him right now! NOW!!! Before its too late and he is taken....

Here is the link.

Note: Be sure to read the post carefully. Do not mistake the author of the blog I link to as Brad Pitt. By no means does he bear any resemblence to Brad Pitt. Angelina Jolie... perhaps... but not Brad Pitt!

Sing A Song

It really takes me a lot of convincing to attend a Kathak (traditional Indian dance) performance. Even when a Jamnabai friend lands up in USA for 5 days to perform at Newarks NJPAC, I am still not convinced. Even if she is Prachee Shah, from "Saas bhi kabhie Bahu" & "Koshish" & "Piyaa kaa Ghar" etc. fame, I am not convinced. The fact that she is performing with Sherya Ghosal singing some oldies does not convince me either. When Ajay says its not Kathak, but a dhamaal dance plus its his house-warming and we'll have good Indian food, I am convinced.

The weekend of 22nd Oct, I was in NJ, watching a Shreya Ghosal concert. The story goes back to this. Prachee was in the same class as moi in Jamnabai + Mithibai. More so, I was a complete brat in school and used to snatch her hairband (for that matter, any girls hairband) and toss it in the gents loo (I know, I know!). I continued tossing hairbands while she went ahead and became an actress and amazing classical dancer.

Back in India I have attended some of her shows (actually she is been kind enough to call me, being aware of the fact that I keep mocking her). Everytime I am in India, we surely meet up. Altho I am the brat she still hates, and she is the Prachee I mock all day round, we do manage to enjoy each others company for a few hours. And the tradition continued in USA. This time round, I had amazing company (Read: Kallu, Priya, Tandon, Kathy and Ani). It was a charity show of Share and Care organization. Since it was all Hindi nite, you could only find desis around. Since it was in New Jersey, all Indians were Gujjus. It started off with some old chap dishing out a speech which he could not read in proper English.

Kallu said: "Why doesnt he speak in Hindi? Why does he have to speak in English?"

I said: "Why does he have to speak at all?"

The show started with this chap called Ayub Patel belting out a couple of songs. I dont think he was all that great. Not so bad that I dozed off (but thats me), but not all that great. Next was a local hero called Parthiv Goyal. Just when I thought things are gonna get worse, he turned out to be the big surprise of the night. The dude was simply amazing. He doesnt do play back, just stage shows. And I think he got the biggest applause of the night. If you guys ever get to hear him, do so. He is all energy and amazing voice.

And then Shreya walked in. Sweet girl with an amazing voice for her age and she had everyone mesmerized. Altho the song selection I feel could have been better (specially when she picked songs sung by Lata & Asha, but I am no pro to decide that), but nevertheless I was awake and impressed. Next, exit Shreya, enter Prachi. And she started dancing to this medley of old hindi songs.... till.... the CD started skipping and she had to exit half way. This is when I stood up and screamed, "Prachee, I didnt do anything to that CD. It wasnt me!"

She started off again after the interval and finished her act. Good stuff. Then we had the singers back on stage for the finishing touch. Show done, Tandon did some hi-fi talk and got us till the backstage door, where we were stopped by a threatening Gujju uncle.

"We are here to meet Prachee", said Tandon.

"Oh yeah, she is expecting you", Uncle said.

"Uhh... really? Lets leave", said I. So everyone forcefully pulled me onto backstage.... and there we saw Prachee, storming towards me, CD in hand. I knew what was coming.....

But it was cool catching up with her. Then the Gujju Uncle said we join everyone backstage for dinner. Yeah! Free food! Worth the money! This is when Prachee intoduced us all to Shreya and rest of the crew. "Shreya, this is Apoorva, he is insignificant, lemme introduce you to the others" (ok, she didnt say that but she would have loved to)

Anyways, Medha had been blabbing a lot about Shreya being her best bud, so I actually mustered up the courage to ask her, "Do you know a Medha?"

I get a confused look.

Uh-Oh... this could end up being embarassing. "Medha Sengupta?"

More confused look.

Me thinking... okie, this is last try, and then I kill Medha!

"Medha Sengupta from Singapore"

Still confused look. Actually, a look which was changing to the "What a weirdo" look

By this time Prachee was giving me the "Is that your new pickup line?" angry look and all my friends were looking at me with a "What the hell is he doing?" look.

I was about to say, "Shreya, I was just testing you... such a person doesnt exist" and run out of the door when Shreya says, "Yeah of course!!!"


Shreya: "I know her so well. We are like damn close"

Me: "Cool. She said that too. I was wondering if she is pulling a fast one on me, I am glad I did trust her on this. She said a big Hi to ya BTW"

Shreya: "How do you know her?"

Me: "Aaaaaaahhh..... Aaaahhhhh.... She reads my blog and I read her blog Lets just say I know her... from like somewhere, somehow, someway"

Shreya: uhh... (even more confused look... and even more what a weirdo look).

Prachee: Its okay. He always knows girls someway, somehow, somewhere.

Me: Yeah, its best to ignore me (Prachi has mastered that)

Just then this person walks in and Prachee says, "Oh, meet him. This is Daljit uncle, the one who produced this show and got us here etc."

Me: (Shaking hands) Daljit, just to let you know, I too sing very well.

(got another "he is weird" look from Shreya and Prachee)

Dal: You have to sing like Shreya.

This is when my friend Kallu jumps in

"He can sing like Shreya and dance like Prachee"

So we kept harassing him to sign me up for a record deal till he called security and threw me out. OK, just kidding, but there is lots more, with a few pics. This post is getting too long for comfort (and am sure half of you have fallen flat on your keyboards by now). For those of you who survived, I'll put up a Part-II with some interesting Gujju conversation (I know, long time since I did some bashing) and pics.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Way To A Womans Heart...

"Honey I am home. Whats for dinner?"

Since ages all mothers have been preparing their daughters to deal with the above one liner. Learn to cook.

"Sasuraal waale kya kahengay?" (Translate: What will the in-laws say)

"Dear, the way to a mans heart is through his stomach."

Its been put down as a womans noble duty to cook. The more variety and better the taste, better the husband! As a matter of fact, I dont think the way to a mans heart is through his stomach anymore. It is but expected that the girl know how to cook and how to cook well. Its a fact, accepted. At face value. You better have some other talent than knowing how to make finger licking food if you wanna get to the mans heart (Read: If you want that diamond necklace).

Now wait dear. Keep that gun down. Before
she pulls the trigger let me explain. This post is not about the woman and the tradition of cooking being passed down from mother to daughter.

Lets backtrack. Into the past.

In my quest of being the ideal man, an all-rounder (yeah, literally - rolls hands over round belly), and the hunt for the ideal woman, I thought I should make myself more "marketable". So I thought of all the parameters. No doubt an attitude with an aptitude to match is a turn on to all women. Couple that with 0% body fat. And you have Kiera Knightley running after ya. But you know whats sexier?

For a woman, nothings sexier than a man (preferably with the abovementioned qualities) who can cook. Agreed?

Imagine you come home after a tiring day at work. Make it worse. You come home late due to overload of work, which you carry home with you. You are greeted by two kids (yeah, your spoilt brats) and hubby dear, asking you to cook since they are hungry. So there you start cutting the onions, peeling the potatoes..... and wondering why you entered marital bliss(?).

Cut back to the point where you come home late from a tiring day at work. You open your house door to the delicious aroma of basmati rice, chicken/paneer Makhani (Butter Chicken), onion pakodas and roti. And just when you are controlling your burp from over-eating, out comes the chocolate cake (I know, I know!) and Roshogulla.

Here. I'll let you in on a little secret. The way to a womans heart is through her stomach. Yup guys. The world has changed, open ya eyes.

When I first got to USA, I remember living off rice, boiled daal and salad. Couldnt last too long, could I? So I did the next obvious thing. Befriend a girl who knows how to cook. But eventually I did learn. I remember the first time I went on to cook chicken. I messed it all up. Last moment heriocs by her set things right. Practice makes a man perfect. Slow but steady, I got better. First I experimented on my roomies. They survived. Then my neighbours. And now I am ready to open my own restaurant.

Last week I decided to take up the final frontier. Kebabs. People eat chicken and lamb and paneer kebabs. I was walking around the supermarket and saw salmon (fish). I wondered, "Has anyone ever had a Salmon Kebab?"

The rest, as we can see, is history.

Now I just need to work towards that attitude, aptitude and 0% body fat!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Desi Bonding

There is something about us desis, aint it? We come across as perfectly normal people. But we are not. Inside us, there is that one entity, which puts paranormal to shame. The entity which runs outta control when we see a fellow Indian in the most unexpected place.

I had been shifted to a new office (moving offices is such a pain). And it so happens, this Indian female lands up right next to my office. Now normally, if I meet you in the mall, or market, or movies, and I dont know you, I would still say HI, or look your way and smile. If you are a sardarjee, I would shout "Oyeeee Paape" and give you a hug and do the Bhangra (All this if I see a surd in USA). Basically, do the desi bonding bit. But at work, you set certain boundaries. You can be all pally and crack jokes, but always knock when you enter the other persons room. Leave him alone when he is eating in office. Asking a question when the other person is on the phone is BAD!

O, where was I? So, I had just moved and said Hello to my neighbour, who somehow seemed delighted to see a Desi.

Next, I was eating a banana. In the private confines of my room. Till suddenly Madame Desi (MD) decides to walk in. Actually, almost run in. With no warning. It almost made me think of clawing up a Speed Limit sign on my door... and dreaming of a prospective gold for India in the olympics. Errr... how about knocking dear? So I am eating a banana and I suddenly find this person in front of me.

MD: "Got another banana?"

Me: "Uhhh... sorry, this is the only one I have"

MD: "Ok"

She walks out.

As I repeatedly go over this conversation, I keep praying someone passing by did not hear us.

But let me get back to the crux of the matter. Why walk into a fellow desis room, who you hardly know, and ask for a banana? And then walk out. You mean, you came in to ask for a banana? How did you know I had a banana?

Next. Madame Desi walks runs into my room. Once again no knocking. I am all into working on some stuff when a loud "excuse me" startles me.

MD: Can you take out my ring?

Shows me her hands which are all black from the whiteboard marker stains.

MD: If I remove it, the diamonds will get the black color and then its difficult to wash it out.

Uhhh... ok. So I very uncomfortably remove the ring.

Weird weird weird!

And the last one takes the cake.

MD: I am feeling scared (I wont repeat here that she walked ran in without knocking and shouted in my ears).
Me: Huh...?
MD: I went to the bathroom. And there is someone standing there.
Me: Huh...?
MD: The bathroom. You know how the ladies room is right? I went in and the compartment next to mine, I could see the legs of this person. And the person was just standing. No noise, nothing. Just standing.
Me: Huh...?
MD: So I just came out like that only. I am scared.

Ok lady, I mean, seriously. What do you expect? I go into the ladies room and ask some person why the eff is s/he standing and not making any noise or doing anything?

Me: Yeah, the ladies room is haunted by a ghost who died trying to pee. Well, you could call security, or there is a restroom on the third floor. You could use that.
MD: I donno, I am scared.

Okay, so now what? I accompany you to the loo and hold your hand?
Also, as per my childhood theory, if you are scared, it'll make you pee. So please move out of my room.

Me: Well............
MD: I'll go to the third floor.

There Abbs, you wanna compete on who knows more psychos?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Its The Comments, Not The Blog

Over the last few months I have heard this from many a friend.

"Dude, I have been reading your blog. Its fun. But the comments are the best part man!"

HeartCurry hit one year about a week ago. Wow! One year. The baby is a year old. I wont go about blabbing how I have evolved as a blogger and how my posts are more mature now and that the female audience find me all irresistible after reading the posts. No, I promise I wont say all that.

Its a year now and I dont know why I am blogging. It aint no purpose, it aint no passion. I aint no writer. And then someone drops a comment saying, "Haha, that was hilarious. Made my day." And that in turn makes my day! Perhaps, at the end of a stressful day I provided comic relief to someone, somewhere, with the dog bit my arse and I wore my shirt inside-out story.

Most important, its helped me build a little community. Some of them I knew before, some I came to know over the last year, and surprisingly most of them, I have never met. Its the few people whose blogs I visit, whose comments I reply to, everyday.

Thank You for reading and thank you for commenting on HeartCurry. And I promise more torture coming your way.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Laziness Takes Over

There was a time when I used to pride myself on the rate at which I reply to e-mails. Send me an e-mail and I'll gaurantee a response in a couple of hours. Sometimes, couple of minutes. There was a point when some of my friends never called, but mailed in, saying I reply to mails faster than I pick up the phone. How true!

How times have changed over the last few months. I have like a thousand e-mails to reply to (this is all personal and not work related). Some recruiters had mailed me a month back and even if I am not interested, I reply with a thank you and I will consider this when I am actively looking etc. This time, I did not. Then I have some people who probably read this blog, dont comment but mail in. So any of you who have mailed me and I have not replied, I hope to get back to ya in a few days. Your patience = My appreciation. And then there is Dad, who has mailed in asking when I plan to get married. THAT, GETS NO REPLY!!!! And then there was Bird, who mailed in asking if he gets invited to the marriage.

Also, I have spent a good five minutes this weekend thinking why this adverse reaction to hitting the reply button.

  • Laziness (But when was replying to e-mails considered work?)
  • My job. Ever since they have moved me into a PM kinda role, all I do is reply to emails and talk about playing Golf. So perhaps I am sick and tired of emails.
  • My job. Its so crazy at work right now, I am too tired by the time I get home.
  • My job.

Perhaps I am getting somewhere....

But there was one e-mail that I did send out. On a lazy Friday morning, I did an ego search for Pals name. And came upon a brilliant link. So I sent that to Adit, Iyer and Abbs. This is equivalent to throwing Pals amidst hungry lions.

Here is the link. Its a forum for JAVA developers, where Pals (Paryul Mehta) has asked a few questions. Scroll somewhere near to the bottom. Adit alias "Noah Davidson" has replied to his queries. Poor confused Pals. We love taking his case on that spirituality topic, dont we?

Pals, I know you are reading this. Adit begs forgiveness. I plead not guilty. Abbs doesnt care and Iyer says he can actually build that piece of code for you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Tag O' War

Life cant be simple, can it? First there were e-mail forwards. Now there are blog tags. Fortunately they dont come with "If you dont write this on your blog you will turn into a frog in the next 5 days." So I have been tagged. And since Mahi had begged, pleaded and gone down on her knees for me to type this up, I wouldnt wanna break her heart (ok, she threatened me!).

This is my first time (ahem!) so if I dont get things right, kindly excuse.

And your time starts now:

1. Seven Things That Scare Me

* Looking in the Mirror
* Looking in the Mirror
* Looking in the Mirror
Errr... u get the drift.

2. Seven Things I Like

* Karina
* Making out with Karina
* Not knowing who the hell is Karina.
* Stacey
* Making out with Stacey
Errr... u get the drift.

3. Seven Important Things In My Room

* Me
* My laptop
* My Passport
* My underwear (hey, its important, imagine getting up one day and all your underwear vanishes! What? Did I hear everyone say - "So what?". Pervs!) OK, I need my shirt and pant too.
* Air
* Wireless Internet
(not necessarily in that order)
* I think I could do without whatever I left out!

4. Seven Random Facts About Me

* When I was a kid, I had an imaginary friend.
* My parents liked him more than me.
* My ambition as a kid was to become a bus (double decker) driver.
* I am a sexy cook!
* I hate noise. This includes loud television noise. I can do with loud music tho'. But I prefer silence.
* As a kid, I loved tomato soup. Now I dont!
* I am left handed, but write with my right hand. I also play chess with my right hand.

5. Seven Things I Plan on Doing Before I Die

* Find out who is Karina and Stacey and....
* Travel. Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa.... u name it!
* Watch a Formula 1 GP, live!
* Have a dog as a pet
* Figure out rest of the 3 things.

6. Seven Things That I Can Do, or Have Done

* Karina
* Stacey
* Manisha
* Kelly
* Gina
* Geisha
* Alice
Why is this list only for seven?

7. Seven Things That I Cannot Or Will Not Do

* Bird
* Not help when asked for help (and the person genuinely needs help + other conditions apply)
* Cuddle up with any random dog on the street
* Offer my finger to Sunny
* Make a fortune by cheating others
* Give up on any of my close friends
* Finish this list.

8. Seven Things I Say The Most

* Heck
* Bombaiyaa eshtyle gaalis (expletives). Wont type them here.
* Havoc
* Hell
* Screw It
* Damn It
* Heck, I cant remember more stuff.

9. Seven Celebs on Whom I Have/Had A Crush

* Lets see, when I was a kid, I loved Madhuri Dixit.
* Adriana Lima
* Jessica Alba
* Rani Mukherjee
* Halle Berry (U mite have figured, am a sucker for the wheatish/dark skin)
* Scarlett Johansson (hey, dont wanna be called a racist)
* Princess Diana
Alessandra Ambrosio
* Hell, all celebs are hot!! Once again, why stop at 7? Did I get 8?

10. And Finally, Seven Souls I Have Ruined By Tagging Them

* Nah, I am too good for that. Anyone can grab it. But I'd like to hear what Bird would have to say to these questions if he was tagged (if his net access is back). I just did it coz I cant see a woman on her knees, begging before me.... (ok, I was threatened).

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Oops! I Bally'd Again

Pyscho man. Yes. There is a Psycho man in Bally's (No, its not me that I am talking about!!). Indian guy, looks in the 40's. Walks with a hunch, has a moustache and eyes which keep darting left - right all the time. And he zeroes in on me.

I have probably come across him some five times in all. Following are random parts of his talks with me. And trust me, he speaks just as random as it sounds here. He'll ask you questions outta nowhere.

"Where are you from? I am from Chandigarh, Block D58."

"So are you married?"

"I feel like having some idli and dosa today"

"You need a shave"

"I can give you a hair-cut"

"So are you married?"

"Is this girl your girlfriend?"

"I am an Engineer"

"So are you married?"

"Look, Superman"

Ok, I made that last one up.

Once (P)sycho man happened to meet my equally psycho (R)oomie and (M)e in the locker room.

It started off with him walking towards us and then darting his eyes left to right and back, looped into infinity.

R: Hey man, how are you?
P: Mujhe Angrezi nahi Aati. (Translate: I dont know english)
R: Oh, even I dont know English.
M: (laughing) *thinking this is gonna be fun*
P: Mai tujhe suee (injection) lagaoo? (Translate: Can I give u an injection?)
R: Huh?
P: Repeats above, then says something in Punjabi.
R: Replies something in Punjabi, psycho man is shocked.
P: Something more in Punjabi.
R: (Looks at me) Is he mad?

Psycho man walks away.

R: I think he must be a doctor in around John Hopkins.

Few months later. I am working out checking out girls when psycho man walks to me.

P: U need to shave.
M: Uh, yeah. (and u need to be hospitalized!!)
P: You married?
M: No. (just for the record, that was the sixth time)
P: How old are you?
M: 26.
P: So you are not married?
M: No. (Unless something happened to my bachelor status in the last five seconds)

Just then this Indian (G)irl, looked like in early twenties, walks up to us. And she makes me go all ga-ga. Its difficult to descibe her, but call her a cross breed between Adriana Lima and Preity Zinta (I know, I know, its hard to imagine. Its hard to describe too).

P: Hi
G: Hello
M: (thinking: Yes... it all connects now. He makes sure I am not married and wants to hook me up with his daughter. He could be Mr. Dane. Its finally paid off. Talking to psycho man has paid off!)

P: Meet my wife.
M: No(open mouth, thinking, no cant be. Mistake. Its Daughter. Has to be)
P: Huh?
M: No no... I thought you are asking me again if I am married. (looking at his wife) Why does he keep asking me if I am married?
P: Ha ha! Funny man!
G: *Giggles*

So me and this girl have a very sane and sensible conversation. She was very normal, not psycho at all. And I was very tempted to ask in the end, "Was that wife or daughter?"

Life sucks! And I am loving it! Also, I am growing a moustache, practicing the "dart my eyes left to right into infinity", asking random questions to strangers and waiting till I turn 40.