Saturday, September 23, 2006

Know. Know More...

Knowledge Is Strength Supreme. So you should always know. Know more. And more. And more... about me! =)

In a way I am catering to Couch's tag of listing down 'weird things' about oneself. But I'll just put it down as things about myself. Am sure most of you will find them weird anyways. And yes, 13 is a lucky number.

1. "Like". I use this word a little too often. "I mean, its like...", "Like, you know...". As a matter of fact "You know" and "like" go hand in hand. But I have consciously got rid of the habit of saying "You Know", simply coz once I was interviewing a candidate and he kept saying, "You Know" while answering most questions. I mean, of course I know!! Or would I be asking you these questions? Which is when I realize I might end up looking the same way when I interview.

2. "Actually". Thats the next on my list. Used too often. I knew some people who fancied calling me "Actually". Now I consciously try to limit myself.

3. "Really". Thats my latest. I picked this one up from my boss. When I tell him any surprising news, he'll go - "Realleeeee???"
"I am going on one months vacation" - "Realleeee?"
"Maybe its a little late in the development cycle, but I found a glaring bug" - "Realleee?"
So now, even I go "Reallyyy?" when some surprising news comes by. Sometimes I'll say - "You's kidding me"

4. As a kid - 6th grade perhaps, I used to have these bright red colored pants which I used to love. And then I used to fancy wearing a particular shirt on it. One which had thick horizontal stripes of yellow, green, blue, violet, red, orange. Finally I used to look like a "Rainbow On The Move". I feel glad I outgrew those pants!! Altho right now my cooks son is running around in red pants with a horizontal striped multi-colored shirt.

5. Lightning amazes me and freaks me out. From a distance, I love to see it streak across the sky. But when its happening right over my head, I always feel its gonna hit me causing me to panic. The rumble of thunder does not scare me in any which way. The Gauls feared the sky shall fall on their heads and I fear I shall be hit by lightning (those who read Asterix will know what I am talking about).

6. I love dogs. But there are very few dogs who love me. If you ever see a dog running - look closer. I will be running in front of the dog. I however plan to have a dog one day. As a pet. As a matter of fact, when I was a kid, I picked up this street pup and got him home. My Mom said she could only handle one at a time, hence I was kicked out.

7. I can shop for hours, or just browse but at select places. For one, I could spend good time at IKEA, simply coz I love the way they style things up. The bedroom ideas, dining creations, etc which they model on display are absolutely brilliant and something to learn from. And it feels nice when after all that walking you finally reach their cafeteria. However I cannot roam around a mall without any purpose for more than an hour (besides the free Chinese food samplers being passes around). With, or without company. If I know what I have to buy, or what the person accompanying me has to buy, I'll spend time to come to a conscious decision. But once thats done, pay the cashier swing by a few stores and get outta there!

8. If I ever enter a mall in the US of A, I need to have an Aunt Annies Pretzel. Jalpeno, sour cream and onion or on a rare occasion, cinnamon and sugar.

9. I never have coffee or tea at work. Even when off work, I'll sometimes indulge in the Cafe Mocha at Starbucks or on a rare occasion Hazelnut at Dunkin. I will however soak in loads of water. All day long. Exceptions are you could probably find me having coffee many a time at Mocha or Barista/CCD when in Mumbai.

10. The first impression I convey many a time is that of an arrogant, rude, brat of a kid. At least thats how most of my close friends have described their first impression of me. And then admitted they were wrong. You just have to wait till you go out with me. Once I have conned you in to pay for the food, movies and ride back home, the opinion changes to "cheap, conniving, ass of a kid!"

11. I love problem solving. At work, home, anywhere. Some people crib when disaster strikes. I like to believe the inevitable has happened and figure out whats the best solution out of it. I love puzzles (not crosswords), more so the lateral thinking kinds. I need to feel challenged/mystified, or you wont get the best results from me.

12. As a kid, I wanted to be a bus conductor. My Mom wanted me to be a doctor. Now I work with doctors all day and take the bus to work as a compromise between my childhood ambition and my Moms dream.

13. I am going bald.

Friday, September 15, 2006


You sit with your buddy at work and are in midst of some serious code review. As you are stepping through the code and come across a loophole...

Me: "Abbe, vaat lag gaya"
He: "No, No!"
Me: "No?" (surprised but happy that this might not be as bad as it looks)
He: "Not Vaat Lag Gaya. Duurgati ho gaya. Duurgati!" (huge smile)

- after a few seconds of no change in my rather grim expression -

Me: "If I slap you HARD across your face, will you give me the other cheek?"
He: (sheepishly) "Ok, lets fix that bug."

Friday, September 08, 2006

Weird Things Do Happen

All one needs to do is travel to NYC.

I have always been in love with the people of the city and more so, with the city itself. Insanity is the norm.

We spent the long weekend roaming the streets of NY and came upon some interesting findings. In the concrete mess shown above thrives a huge Desi population which commands the authority to take out a Ganesh procession, block traffic and do things - Desi Style.

Also, amongst this lot, lives a lady who should not be allowed anywhere close to the microphone (seriously, she is a hearing hazard)

Click this Link for Google Video on the lady.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a Ganesh procession walk through the streets of the city last Sunday. Got back many memories of the celebrations we had back in Nandanvan as kids (and adults).

- The most distinct memory being returning from school and heading straight into the buildings prayer room where they kept the idol for 5 days. Taking off your shoes, pulling up a few chairs (usually it was Bakshi and myself) and gobble down all the prasad.

- Climbing on top of the truck which came by for Visarjan and as it made its way thru crowded streets, shouting slogans. This used to be a collective effort which used to gain further momentum when a group of girls were spotted on the side streets. "Ganpati Bappa, Moriyaa..." used to tranform into "Babe, babe, babe, babe..." and we nudged each other in the direction of the feminine species - all unaware our parents were watching from behind.

- One fine year, when the truck driver dropped all of us at the beach, and happily drove off with our footwear.

- The society organized games. As a kid I remember losing the lemon in a spoon race. Also I remember winning the Table Tennis Tournament for a cash prize of ten bucks; which I proudly showed to my Grandmom; which she doubled to twenty and was quickly spent gulping down four bottles of Thumbs Up.

- Playing Housie. I used to love calling out the numbers. 88 was a personal favorite. I would stare at the fattest ladies in the crowd and go something like - "And next is the two famous fat ladies, hand in hand, 8 and 8, eighty eight". Lame, I agree!

- Decorating the prayer room. This was great fun coz I used to be the only guy turning up with some 50 women. Call it my tribute to Lord Krishna. The decorative paper used to originate from the ceiling fan and terminate on the side walls till some smart Aunty (or many a time Umm - Umm if you are reading this, we still remember), used to switch on the fan to see everything crash down.

Ganesh Chaturthi was surely a happening event around Nandanvan and the recent trip to NYC sure got back those memories.

But coming back to the city and its weirdness, did you guys hear about the Giraffe which escaped the zoo and made its way to Central Park? We happened to bump into him and he turned out to be quite a friendly animal looking for food.

Of course I am kidding. Thats a pic taken at Animal Kingdom by my friends. But many people would believe this could happen in the city.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Lage Raho, Munna Bhai....

The last long weekend of summer and pretty much a kickoff for Fall and I find myself in NY/NJ. Its been raining since the last 48 hours. Driving up in traffic has not been a pleasure. And this rain is making my every-ready-to-party friends all sleepy. Barbeque plans have been scrapped and its left me with not much to do but spend time updating my blog whilst others get a shut eye.

The awesome part so far has been watching "Lage Raho Munnabhai". Somehow I had hugh expectations from this movie and it pretty much went way beyond expectations. An amazing follow-up to the first part, altho the two dont have too much of a link, so if you havent seen Part 1, it doesnt stop you from watching this one. I am not going to go about talking much about the story, but its definitely worth a see.

I think Sanjay Dutt can play this goon kinda role to perfection. And he puts up a brilliant show in this comedy. His sense of comic timing, dialogue delivery and expressions are just perfect.

Vidya Balan never looked better. If you thought Gracy Singh was a fresh draft of air, this girls taken it to a higher level. I'll usually drool over Dia Mirza (who also happens to play a part in this story), but this time, Balan took the droolotrophy.

And just like the prequel, Warsi is the underdog who ends up with the best lines in this movie. Hats off to this guy. I dont think anyone would ever fit Circuits shoes more than Warsi.

Apart from being a laugh riot, this movie carries an awesome social message. And its put across very well. It'll make you laugh, it'll get you emotional and it'll make you ponder upon the present state of things.

A must see! Karan Johar, please take some clues!

Another plus point of coming to NJ is the desi food available in abundance. Since setting foot in US of A, I have always been keen with the idea of setting up a Merwans (the one close to Andheri Stn - West) kinda joint. Hot Breads is the American answer to Merwans. Ah! Chicken Tikka Puff. I could keep eating that! Dabeli, Vada-Pau, and Black Forest Pastry. It happens only in... NJ! Of course, I have had my fair share of Gujju Uncles acting weird with me by now....

Hopefully the rain is gonna slow down tomorrow and I can head into the city. The city is always happening so I should have some interesting stories unfolding over here. Keep checking back...

And now I am off to do another desi thingy.... play carrom.