Sunday, October 29, 2006

Now Hiring...

Seaport, NYC.

Ani: I'll stay here till my H1 runs out and head back to India.
Me: Yeah, me too!
Ani: Really? Will go back and start some business.
Me: I want to start a school.
Ani: School? Are you nuts? School?
Me: Yeah. "Apoo Jo's Girls High School"
Ani: Mark my words, someday you are going to jail.

Telephone, Baltimore - Hyderabad.

Nishchal: I am bored of Infy. Its like school. Some new thing needs to be learnt everyday and then they give you a test on it.
Me: If you are bored, go back to Mumbai. Start your own venture.
Nishchal: Hmmmmm.... good idea. Lets start something of our own.
Me: I want to start a school.
Nishchal: School? Huh? School? Are you nuts?
Me: No man. Seriously. "Apoo Jo's Girls High School"
Nishchal: I will be teacher!

Telephone, Baltimore - Mumbai.

He: Man, come back. We'll get piss drunk!
Me: I can do that here!
He: Hmmm... no man, forget USA. Come here, loadsa opportunities here. Know what, we could start something....
Me: I have been wanting to start a school.
He: School?
Me: "Apoo Jo's Girls High School"
He: OK! I will take care of the publicity/marketing.
Me: Cool.... how?
He: I'll have an affair with one of the students. Once the media comes to know, we are famous.

Baltimore, MD.

She: Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! You want to start a school. Noble thought Apoo. But why?
Me: Coz I feel everyone has the right to a basic education, but there is something beyond that which needs to be taught as well and...
She: No, why Girls High School?
Me: Coz women in rural parts of India have difficulty getting a basic education. And once I start a Girls School, a Boys school will crop up next to it. Trust me!
She: OK! I shall teach dance.
Me: Very cool.
She: Salsa!
Me: I am not sure if Salsa would be appreciated in rural parts....
She: Why not? Salsa is Salsa. Everyone loves Salsa. I could teach my pug to Salsa.
Me: OK....
She: But if we need partners, I am gonna have to pull boys over from the neighboring school. And then I can imagine you swatting them with your cane as they flirt with the girls.
Me: Miss, I am not gonna be carrying any cane.
She: Oh you are. Striped pants, white shirt, suspenders, specs, cane and a wig.


I need sane people. "Apoo Jo's Girls High School" is now hiring. Any volunteers? Benefits include Life, Dental, Vision AD&D. Other perks like free stationary, bus rides, milk and 3 months summer vacation.

Student admission is simple. "Apoo Jo's Girls High School" doesnt believe in attracting the best talent. It believes in producing the best talent.

Classes begin in 2020.

Friday, October 20, 2006

4 A.M.

Its Diwali, its 4 A.M.

And I am wide awake.

Ask me why?

Coz it seems my neighbor is vacationing in some exotic place, but has conveniently forgotten to switch his alarm clock off. So guess who has woken up by the noise?

The fireworks back home have been replaced by alarm clocks in USA.

Have a Happy and Safe Diwali everyone!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

How I Love Pot Lucks

" would be awesome if she married John Doe"

Pot Lucks are always fun. I think the first pot luck I experienced was when as a kid we all gathered in my building playground and shared some food. Of course, the food was cooked by our Moms, and hence, edible.

In USA pot-lucks keep happening at the same rate Chase sends me credit card offers. The only difference between the two being I very much enjoy the potlucks, simply coz every pot luck I visit has a story and comes at 0% APR. Like there was one which I went for when I had no clue how to cook. So I made rice, mixed it with some salsa kinda sauce, added vegetables to it and it smelt awesome. Only, the rice was half cooked and I realized it when it was too late. So I named it "Half Baked Mexican Tequila Rice". Half Baked provided an excuse for the raw taste. Mexican provided an excuse for the use of Salsa. Tequila gave everyone a false hope that it had alcohol and Rice probably might be the only truth in that statement. Everyone ate the rice to the last remains. They might have shat bricks the next day, but they did finish it off.

The iPod might not have sold as much had they named it Apple Player and the rice would not have been eaten had it not been named "Half Baked Mexican Tequila Rice". This, by the way, is the closest I would ever get to emulating Steve Jobs.

Then there was another Pot-Luck where a guy got drunk and insisted he wanted to strip naked before everyone. When he was asked not to, he went abusing the host, picked a fight with everyone twice his size and eventually got tossed out.

Have I said this before - Pot-Lucks are always fun.

Last weekend a senior from my undergrad who also happens to be in Baltimore called me for a pot luck. Apart from awesome food, I came across awesome people. Most were PhD students from John Hopkins and from different nationalities. German, Irish, Chinese, Swedish, Indian, American etc. and by 1 AM I thought I had my share of an intellectual overdose (not really, we had fun!). There seemed to be a lot of interest in the Indian culture and there was a point when the discussion went to Indian names.

"If you want the best Indian names, you need to visit Mallus. Specially Mallu Christians."


"Oh, I know a family whose daughters are named Liby, Ciby and Diby. No meaning to it, just coz it rhymes."

"One of my colleagues daughters name is Algebra."

"Coming back to this Liby, it would be awesome if she married John Doe"

- Apoorva rolls over with laughter. -

There was a point where the dicussion was on ships and then on women and then on a ship loaded with women, to which one one pointed out, "That would give the phrase - Pirates in search of booty - a whole new meaning."

The Irish lady went home convinced that 'Spicy Chicken' is dessert in India.

How I love pot-lucks! Anyone have weird pot-luck stories?

Saturday, October 14, 2006


There are few things which kinda spook you out. On a silent dark night, no moon in the sky, when you lie on your bed with all lights shut absorbing in the darkness, and someone knocks on your door. It makes your heart skip a beat! And then a very thin voice, like one which would struggle to find its fit into a masculine or a feminine says, "Apoo, you still awake Apoo?", it spooks you out!

So you walk upto the door, heart pounding and look through the peephole. And go, "What the #$@%$" and open the door wide for Michael Jackson to enter your living room.

"Whats up Michael, whats brings you at this hour?"

You dont get an answer. He just walks into your bedroom, then into your bathroom, in the kitchen, searching for something.

"Lose something Michael?"

Then he stops still and looks at you. That pale skin, deep eyes, false nose, straight nose. "Two", he says.

"What TWO Michael? I dont know what you are talking about, and I am sleepy, so could you come to the point?"

"I heard you have a two year old in this house?"

"I think you are mistaken"

"NO", he screams. "I am not. Whats his name? Bob? Yeah, I heard people say - Apoo's Bob turns two today. So where is this Bob? Two is such a ripe age. I dont know if you are being able to take proper care of Bob, so I thought I could help. You know, I love children."


Oh well, I have sent Michael to the nearest Clinic to get his hearing checked up. And yes, this BLOG is officially two years old. I know I have been a little lazy and not so routine at posting this year. In Michael's words, "I am not taking proper care of Bob". What can I say - I realized I have a life!

So go ahead, celebrate! Buy some cake, have a few drinks and send me the check. After that, wait for me to sign up on Google Adsense and then click on all the advertisements till you cough up enough revenue for me to pay you back!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Gujju Attacks And The Acid Test

After like a zillion years and realizing I have been making free monthly donations to my gym, I decided to make use of that multistoried complex where you get live-walking-talking examples of what obese would be and what well toned would be.

And like most of my gym stories, this one has to start in the locked room. As like most of my stories, it has to involve a slightly fat Gujju Uncle trying to hitch me up with his daughter.

So when I entered the locker room, I found myself face to face with this man who would be in his late 40's or early 50's. His English was somewhere between - I learnt it at the age of 40 - to - I learnt it yesterday. Yet his effort at speaking the language was recommendable. Altho at first he started off with the usual Gujju pair of words.

"Kem Chho?" (How are you?), with a smile so wide that it might have exposed all of his 32 teeth. At this time, I would like to remind everyone of a new policy incorporated by yours truly. He who shall assume I am Gujju will not get a word of Gujju out of me.

"Good. Yourself?", I said. The man was smart enough to get the hint and started conversing in English. We made small talk and as I was heading for my treadmill, he goes, "The good and healthy Indian in US, is good to see always."

I smiled, and walked away. As I was done with the treadmill, he walked up to me again, giving me the impression he had been spying on me and waiting for me to stop. "University you go to?" After letting him know what I work here and finished my schooling, with a slight hint of a frown, he says, "My daughter go to good university here" and after a pause says, "But you teach me how the dumbell do?"

From experience, the moment Gujju men start talking about their daughter(s), a huge alarm rings in my head. Its like my sixth sense pounding my eardrums warning me of an unseen danger.

"I cant lift weights for a while, so you'll have to excuse me."

"You have the problem? I help when you in need. My daughter goto good medical school. All medicine you come to me. She help. After all, the good and healthy Indian in US, is good to see always"

And so my first and last day (for a while) at the gym was as such.... (On a sidenote, I have been reading Gregory Roberts - Shantaram, and somehow this guy reminded me of Prabhaker the Guide)

On a different note, my ex-roomie did get married to his European Girlfriend. The wedding took place in Europe and then the bride stayed back for a month and joined him here. What she got with her was a dog. A miniature pinscher. I jokingly call the mutt as dowry. But apparently he is named 'Waffle' and is probably thrice the size of my palm. In all honesty, my neighbour has a cat which is bigger than him.

For reasons best known to everyone, I was avoiding Waffle, till one day the owner and the dog decide to visit my apartment.

"He wont do anything to you..."

"How do you know?", said I, as Waffle slowly walked up to me.

"Oh, he'll smell you and thats about it", and the mutt, a little taller than my ankles, did walk up and smell my toes, licked them and walked away.

Finally, I thought, there exists a dog who is crazy enough not to run after me. And in all happiness, I called out to him, "Waffle, Waffle, Waffle". And he turns around, growls, the growl turns into a bark and starts running at me. The look in his eyes said it all. "I am 1/50 th your size, but I'll rip you apart"

Fortunately for him, he was on a leash.

Thats Waffle, and the cutest part about him is his ears are too big for his body. And one ear is always uptight and the other is slack, resting down.

Also, going to a Pet Shop makes me realize dogs live a carefree life. They have these teeny weeny shirts made for them which says, "Wanna be my bitch?". I so wanted something like that since I was five, but had to think a thousand times if I had to wear it.