Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai

A few weeks back,I read an article in TOI about China being a "soft" superpower capturing not just our markets with cheap electronic goods but also dictating how we think.. from Mumbai wanting to be the next Shanghai to martial arts movies , a number of examples were cited.Looking back , the writer missed the obvious ..the ubiquitous Chinese food centre.I returned a few hours back from my neighbourhood mobile restaurant..a little cart with a cook and a cooking gas somehow inserted into it with a big sign outside carrying the words" Vaibhav Chinese centre". I am sure after Panditji talked of Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai nobody took Indo-China brotherhood so seriously as the cook at this restaurant.With a name like " Vaibhav Chinese centre" the cook and staff at this mobile eating joint has left no stone unturned to ensure the customers that they trully believe in globalisation.Just an hour back I had a plate of Singapore triple-fried rice..now its a dish nobody in Singapore or whole of South-east Asia may have ever heard of..but here in India people will swear by it.From "Hong-Kong hakka noodles" to "Shaghai veg fried rice" they have ensured that all regions to the east of the country are well represented.Fried deep in oil with cheap sauces added on top , these dishes are bound to make a Chinese forget his Mandarin, but for the Indian palate they are just about perfect.My only worry is that they will soon run out of names of places to coin their new inventions of this Indo-Chinese fusion cuisine.Maybe " Bangkok noodle" and "Kualalampur egg rice" are next in the line.
My only request to the these Chinese food centres- Now that you have no dearth of afficanados for your hotch-potch cuisine , please return back to your roots and call the "Schezwan fried rice " as "Kolhapuri fried rice",else you are insulting two great civilizations at the same time.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Alternate career options

For the last three months , one routine that I have religiously followed is applying online to atleast 10 jobs every week. Not a person known for his diligence , I am surprised at my own level of persistence.Its the sort of dogged determination that is normally reserved for jail inmates who tirelessly chip away at their walls for years to dig out a trench leading to the jail's sewage disposal system.The very fact that my motivation level matches that of Tim Robins in Sawshank Redemption speaks volumes about my level of job satisfaction in my current job. So at desperate times like this my endlessly meandering thoughts moves towards some unexplored career options which I would love to pursue provided I get a little encouragement.I would discuss a few of them below:
1. A regular and avid reader of everything from page 3 onwards of my daily newspaper , I am absolutely in awe of most the of research findings that are reported in minute details by newspapers these days. Sample this “ staring at a women's breast for about 15 mins everyday brings down chances of heart disease by 30%”. This must be a milestone in the study of cardiovascular diseases..My mind goes into wild frenzied flights just to imagine how this research was carried out.Did they have a testing centre where a human subject was fitted with all sort of medical equipments fitted to his heart and made to stare at a picture of Pamela Anderson?Or was it a comparative study on heart conditions of the husbands of women who are not endowed in equal measure ( say between Tommy Lee Jones and Tom Cruise).I might sound like a sexist, but i would give up my left hand to be part of such pathbreaking research.
For a less scientific and more statistical one sample this one I read a few months ago “ while kissing , experts have found that the heads of 70% of humans tilt towards the right side.”Another breakthrough in social and behavioral sciences.Just for the sake of it , try kissing your dear ones with your head tilting left and you might end up spraining your neck.Now just think you are paid to study the kissing habits of couples..wonderful isn't it?If you are less scientifically inclined , there is still scope for lots of media-relevant research that is equally intellectually stimulating..like for example some 5-6 years ago a leading national news magazine conducted a survey and found that than on an average a lady in her 20s in a particular Indian metro sleeps with something like 3.47 men .I am still wondering how fortunate that .47 of a man must be. Bad news for Raymond suitings though..you don't always need to be a complete man.
So all young men and women with an inclination towards research , here is your chance for your 15 minutes of fame.Rack your brains and come up with a topic of public interest like the ones mentioned above and start off your research in earnest.For ideas about such research , I am brimming with ideas and would be more than happy to help you ( for a minimal consultancy fee).
2.The Indian Institute of Television Experts:With the mushrooming growth of news channels,the day is not too far when we will have more controversies and less experts to comment about them on television.So before we see the doomsday for Indian television industry , I propose to set up this academy for training television experts.The term expert here is used in the generic sense. A television expert should be able to speak non-stop on any topic with conviction and be able to boost the TRP of the news channel , should be able to take any stand on an issue depending on requirements and most importantly should be able to blabber non-stop for any specified period of time.Now for example take this serious panel discussion I saw last year “ Has Richard Gere insulted Indian culture by kissing Shilpa Shetty on-stage?” Now as a television expert , you should be able to speak articulately both in support and against the view.If you are against the view you can start with “ In the land of Khajuraho and Kamasutra , where sex is a spiritual journey to the inner self.........” or if you are in support you can prove that the lip-lock is a symbol of western cultural invasion and Indians in general don't kiss on the lips though we have a particular filmstar who calls himself the “ serial kisser”.Going back to that panel discussion , a lady activist felt it was Shilpa Shetty who insulted Indian culture because she was smiling after being kissed..so what should have been the ideal reaction “ nahiii.....mere izzat ke saath khilwad mat karo'? So the bottom line is you should be able to blabber anything no matter how inane your views are.
Although I am yet to deicide on the faculty members I plan to hire Nikhil Chopra and Atul Wassan as guest lecturers.While nobody remembers any of their cricketing exploits (when did they actually play for India?) they have carved a niche for themselves as cricket pundits who can give expert views on anything related to cricket and can occupy as much of screen time as Baba Ramdev does.
3.Living in a country where effigy-burning is a national obsession I am deeply distressed at the overall aesthetic levels of effigies that our concerned citizens choose to burn every time India loses a cricket series or LPG prices rises up or on any issue where they feel that putting things or themselves on fire is the solution.As i always believed i had the spirit of entrepreneurship I plan to set up a manufacturing plant which would produce eco-friendly effigies of any political leader or celebrity on demand which burns easily and moreover resembles the person you wish to immolate publicly.During Indias overseas tours we will have special editions of all the major players and the national coach which can be booked in advance.I also plan to introduce some special discounts for Mamta Banerjee and her supporters.I also have some ambitious plans for re-usable effigies which can burned over and over again.The first 2 re-usable models available for sale would be of George W Bush and Steve Bucknor for their consistency of blunders.
There are many more equally interesting ideas on the pipeline which i would would discuss in future blogs.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The monk for which i can sell my ferrari ( when I get one)

There are somethings which are a class of their own , they dont need to prove their class with a heavy price tag or by words of praise from connoisseurs.Old monx xxx rum would be among the few things in the world which falls in this category.Like all good things its value lies in its quality and not on the packaging.At Rs110 for half a bottle ( must be cheaper in other cities) , old monk is the cheapest and the surest route to nirvana.The poem below is a personal tribute to the "bura baba"

The Styx

In your dark waters,
I seek and find
Friends lost in time,
The friendly hills of childhood,
Laughter that echoes sometimes
In the labyrinths of my mind.
Grandma's silver hair,
Flying against the February wind
And fables of demons and kings
Buried deep inside.

I seek and find
A smile radiant like the sun
That shines through the mist
On a lazy winter morning
And the gentle touch of fingers,
Playing through my hair
Under a sky that was only mine.

Mix with my blood tonight,
You are my holy Styx,
Carry me to that distant land
Where dead memories are born again.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


More than a year after my first attempt at blogging , I have decided to give it another go.The whole and sole purpose of this blog would be to exercise my fingers during idle office hours .If any of my writings shows any hints of cerebral content I can assure its written under the influence of old monk XXX Rum and hence need not be taken seriously.Happy reading!