Thursday, October 23, 2008

I come from...........

Generally, when you talk to someone the first time and if the conversation is more than just a hi or hello, There are certain things that inevitably come into the topic conversation. The ones i'm referring to here are about the place..It could be about the place where we are or the place where they come from..Now, decorum of the conversation (or an uncomfortable pause, waiting for an reciprocation from my side in that topic) states that i tell them where i come from...Or, if the person is more direct, they'll just ask you where you are from ..Though i have to agree that for most, the answer would be fairly simple..They would just say one place..In my case,,That, is usually not such a simple affair...

The question that is framed wrong actually...What do you mean by "where are you from?" or "what is your native place". I don't think they realise what you are asking..According to the dictionary
Native or native land-->
1. Originating, growing, or produced in a certain place or region.
2. Of, belonging to, or characteristic of such inhabitants.
3.Archaic Closely related, as by birth or race.
This question has too many answers...
Place of originating ->In humans, i presume that would be birth.
Place of growing->Does it mean childhood?If so, what are the limits of childhood? Does it mean where you went to school? Where you went to junior college(intermediate/11th and 12th) or college? Because i think we keep growing atleast until we are in college. What if, these were all in different places, worse still, if half of schooling done in one place and half in another...and so on...
Closely related by birth to certain inhabitants-> So even if i wasn't born in a particular place and never even went there,, by virtue of my forefathers i become native to that place?
As you can see, It is a very vague question. I personally feel, "Home(town) is where the heart is"..

Coming to all the above questions..
Place of originating-->I was born in delhi.. Legend has it, that my excitement to come into this world was so great that i was out by the time my parents reached the hospital gate! But more on that later....
Place of growing--> Delhi, till 5th class, with an years stay outside India in middle...Then rest of schooling in Hyderabad..Keeping matters simple, i did EVEN my intermediate in Hyderabad..Then the college in Jaipur..
Closely Related by birth--> Another difficult question to answer..As the norm usually states in the Indian society, I am a part of my father's family..So that way, i would say i'm from a small town in Telangana (Andhra Pradesh) called Mahabubnagar..But i never went there till i was 6..I've always been around my mother's side of the family.. My mother facing the same (family history) dilemma with her parents who were from different places in Coastal Andhra..I never asked further,,but maybe the cycle continues..

So,,Coming back to the initial question,,Its not an easy to answer..But, to save the people who are asking some confusion, I say that i'm from hyderabad(That is where my heart is.)..And if (god forbid) they ask for further details about it the long story begins..Now another problem comes if they ask me when/how i'm going home..Because if the answer was simple there wouldn't be any fun..So, to top off all the confusion, my family lives in bangalore now...

I don't remember even one interview in which i reached the HR round and they didnt ask me where i was from..And so followed the long story..Now if even that wasn't enough, i did my internships in college in Goa(YES,,supposed to be work,,in goa!!) and in Bombay (Sorry,,Mumbai, for i may get beaten up for this by some political parties..)..In each of these places i lived for a couple of months..And, my second favourite city after Hyderabad would be Bombay..The place just WORKS!!! Everything moves like clockwork! and the people are helpful, and the place is safe! Not to mention, that i like the sound of marathi...

Well, now i work in gurgaon, which is pretty much Delhi..So life has come sort of full circle! And you might be thinking that this is nothing compared to military people's kids..This whole process is much simpler for military people, they just say, "i'm from a military background" and noone asks anymore questions!!

To sum it all up, i couldn't put it better than what an interviewer said at the end of the long explanation about "where i come from?", He said,with a smile,,that i am,, A TRUE INDIAN!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Continuing the vision stories from the last post..For those of you out there who used to identify me by my glasses,,I'm sorry to say, you won't recognise me anymore!!! Sorry to disappoint you guys, but i switched to contact lenses..As with pretty much everything around me, there's a story behind this too..

TimeLine-->August 2008
After i started working, within about a month, it seemed like my power was increasing again, after 3 years of remaining constant! !(By now i didn't need either star sports or the boring game of cricket to figure this out...Any channel on TV would do! :D)..The primary suspects being that i'm staring too much at the computer and not blinking enough and not taking breaks and blah blah blah...The normal reasons everyone gives in a similar scenario..So, i made a conscious effort to take breaks, and look at things far away, blink more etc etc..But still it didn't help...Then came the advice from my sis to change to lenses, on the pretext that the power doesn't increase if i wear them..Being a guy,, i dream of a time with more power for EVERYTHING, the power of my eyes is the one thing i DONT want to increase!!So, i decided to make the big switch...Soon I'd started taking of my glasses from time to time and looking in the mirror,,thinking how different i look!!(And NO,,,that wasnt cos i couldnt see well without my glasses!!!)

I just got my first (spendable) salary..Orders from higher athaurity said "first give to god,,then spend on everyone else". (Such Orders from higher athorities are non debatable, non questionable issues,,failing which ......NO,,,dont think about it...there is not question of failure.....)..So, the immediate saturday i got up early, took bath and went to a temple and made a sizeable contribution to the hundi..
Then, i proceeded to the next noble task..To get myself my new contacts!!!

Walking into the store, trying to look like a cool,fashionable contact lens user,spewing out the best english i could,,i said to the optician.."I want to get contacts. First, i'd like to get my eyes checked"..With the similar amount of style he goes and does a long range, 'shahi thuuk' of the guthka/pan he was chewing and says "wahaa pe baitho"...So i sat there feeling like a big goof thinking how times have changed..

Eye-checkup for change in power turned negative results..My power hadn't changed!!
Apparently my spects were too old and scratched,,and THATS why i couldn't see too well !! But once the descision was made, i decided to go ahead..To get lenses as precaution..

The next step was to learn how to wear them..I thought,,"How difficult can it be??,,my sis wears em in less than a minute everyday". So the optician told me the procedure..Pretty simple..What followed, was a series of attempts to put them in..(in approx order and numbering)
attempt 1-->Then he(optician) said he'll do the honours, and takes the lens, holds my eye open and starts poking his bloody finger in my eye!!!! My eyelid was stronger than his finger and instantly shut! Noone's going to poke my eye while i look at it..Its like watching a knife coming into your stomach and you just sitting there letting it happen...NO WAY!!!

attempt 2-->After some persuasion, i decided to hold my eyelid open and set my mind on not closing the eyelid..Then came the finger...closer..closer... now at the distance of the Tome cruise MI knife scene..but my eye knew that i'm no secret agent!!! eyelid SHUT!! lens fell on my cheek..

attempt 6 -->Lens touch eye for the first time!!! Smile of joy erupted ! in abt 3 nanoseconds it the solution on the lens burned my eye..eye close again, out goes the lens..

attempt 7-10-->Eye touching...Eye burning..Eye closing...water problem solving..Optician getting irritated..
attempt 10-15-->My finger poking lens in my eye...Eye thinking,,"homemade knife or outsiders,,doesnt matter!!".. Eye shut..lens fall...

attempt 15-20-->optician poking finger..assistant jacking my eye open..DAMN! My eye lid is even stronger than the assistant!!!

and so on...

After some zillion attempts (by the optician and me) and abt 1 hr,,and about me being about 2 litres of tears lighter from one eye...It goes in !! After that eye watering for about 5 min more.. i could finally see ! oh,,such clarity!! i could barely feel anything in my eyes!! The jubilation at seeing my face from 20 feet away in a mirror,,without glasses!!in one word.. AWESOME!!
The optician was happy at the result of his hard work and was packing all the stuff..Then i reminded him..He put it in ONLY ONE EYE!!!

At max possible speed and brutality, with all the force the assistant could muster,,they put in the other lens in only 10 min !! They gave me numerous looks of disgust and said that girls get it done faster!!!
I'm sorry,,but girls are used to putting and poking weird things around their face and eyes..Its called MAKE-UP!!
So i walked out, with eyes still burning but a clear view of the world..Waiting to hear people comments on the change!!

Over the next few days, me putting and taking off lenses became sort of a spectacle for my friends..And some took great pleasure in seeing me teary eyed..It arose from the fact that i had irritated them forever and they couldnt do anything,,but now they could see me cry!!

Since, i have become pretty good at wearing em..It doesnt burn while i'm wearing em and 'no more tears' while wearing or taking em off..Some stunts were done some stunts here too!...i have worn them in a moving car and ,,
in an INTERVIEW!!!! Yes,,in a running interview(btw,,I was one of the ppl taking the interview!),,,while i was sitting there,,i rubbed my eye and out came the lens in my hand!!!! before anyone noticed,,i put it back in and continued as if nothing happened!!!

Note-->People!!!Stop asking if a person wearing spects has sight..Obviously they do!! Ask them if they need the spects to see better or for headaches,,presuming thats what you want to ask..(though i never really understood what difference it makes why the person is wearing em!)

Tales of spects..

To most people, my spects have been my identity as far back as they can remember me. I'm sorry to break it to you, it wasn't always so. Right up till 7th class, i had 20/20 vision..
When we used to play cricket in the apartments, and the ball used to land in the under construction apartments beside ours frequently. I used to take great pride in the fact that my "Eagle Eyes" used to be able to spot the ball in night or day, at any distance, in any tiny hidden place. The irony is that soon after i called myself that, while watching cricket on TV and i wasnt able to clearly read the 'Star Sports' sign. Maybe it was the world's way of telling me the eagles weren't ready to give away the title of their famed eyes so easily!! Well, i then had to swallow my words when i realised that my vision wasnt perfect, I had to get spects, and soon people might start reffering to me with names the likes of "chashmish" and "soda-buddi","four eyes" etc etc..But all the same, i was excited at the prospect of seeing everyone's surprised faces when i went back to school after the holidays!

My first pair of glasses, were inherited from my sis. She got a new pair, and i got her old brown rectangular spects. Though, at that time, I was looking forward to going to school with them too much to mind it! The first few weeks of 8th class, everyone used to comment only on my glasses and most conversations revolved around how i 'realised' that i needed them! The old frame soon gave way cos i used to play around with my new 'toy' too much..
Then came the "Gandhi spectacles". Yes, i chose them! No, i didnt think they were so big that my face was barely visible behind them! The 'actual' reason i bought them was that i wanted a silver frame, but my mom flatly refused to spend much on the glasses, so i got the cheapest silver frame there!! The general reaction of everyone around was on the lines of "What is that?? Gandhi spects or what? Who chose them?" and i had to come up with some or the other lame excuse to cover up for the whimsical choice!!

The first thing i did when i was about to enter junior college, was to get the spects changed.(the fact that my power was increasing and i had to change the glass every year helped!)..So i proudly entered my coaching cum college with my new glasses, and well,dozed off in the first class and got picked up for it too! Talk about publicity for me in my new avatar!!!!
(Though i got famous for sleeping, not my spects..But a little Fame is never bad!! And more sleeping in class episodes later..)

Somewhere in the start of 11th, i met one of my school friends(Sharan). He saw me and just passed by without stopping. When i called out, he looks back and says "bharre??its you or what?? i didnt recognise u be!"..
"MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!", i thought and smiled to myself, knowing that i left behind the tag of the "gandhi spects"!

Well,,the new spects lasted me through intermediate, in college through the tough times of ragging, and lot more times while playing, with footballs whacked straight at my face close range quite a few times(me being the goalkeeper)..

Though halfway through college(2nd year),,i shifted to a more dignified half-framed spects, which i'm still wearing till today!
Though, these glasses are not without their own story, and give me the look of "you displease me and i will smite u in a flash!!" in all passport size photos..Some cant believe that a person like me who's smiling most of the time can actually get angry,,and after seeing that pic,,noone wants to even try getting on my nerves!!

The passport pic...

To be continued,, with more vision aids....

"abe joker" being his favourite dialogue..In one word, Sharan can be summarized as mad!!
There will be specific blog posts describing his madness..with us being parts of it quite a few no more here...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

10 Movie Marathon!!

As everyone knows,, I'M A MOVIE BUFF..and i love being one..
I can watch pretty much any movie, over and over again..If there is any resistance to watch it, it would be one of the following reasons...
1. Cash --> yes, i would watch pretty much any movie,, but i won't spend money on it.. A waste of time is fine,,but a waste of money AND time, is a total nonsense!!
2. Much more interesting things to do..Eg-> playing either comp games or sports, BUGGING people, watching other stuff(anime, series etc), watching a good movie,,(even its for the 100th time)...
3.The sky falling on our heads..though in such a scenario,,i could still watch the movie till the sky fell on my head...I mean,,if you're gonna die anyways,,why worry? you might as well die doing something you love!
And NO!
the fact that the movie is plain BAD only sends it down the priority of things to never has taken it out of things to do!! I can safely say that after sitting through unquestionably the worst movie ever
Mr. ya Miss..(for more on this and the worst movies of all time,,refer to trivia below..)
The only exception to this rule is sadistic movies...i may watch them eventually,,but as it stands i cant stand the idea of showing brutality just for the bloody heck of showing fountains of blood and people relishing fondling bloody entrails of others living beings,,(whats left of em or what used to resemble one before the sadist started)...This is the reason i've never got down to watching movies like 'Saw' or 'Hostel' and their sequels..Though i liked the idea behind Saw, the sadism put me off..
(Give me a nonsense, stupidly funny movie without any logic any day,.Hail Adam Sandler!!!)
Coming back to the point...

The 10 Movie Marathon
Timeline-->11th and 12th October 2008 (Weekend)
What started out as an overly lazy saturday, with me getting up at around 11 and not brushing till 2, the day where i had many plans ,,among many,,one was going to my cousins at Faridabad ( which is in NCR itself, which is usually a pretty adventerous one way trip of 2-3 hrs in numerous modes of transport of all kinds).A pre-condtition to this was me gettin a haircut for obvious reasons...So i finally kicked myself out of the lazyness,,cos i was damn hungry,,and proceeded to the other guest house for lunch...As luck would have it, lunch was served only in office that day..So came to office,,in shorts and a shirt,,,barely presentable....But what the heck,,its an informal place,,so i didnt care...

Once in office,,after lunch,,the lure of the unseen movies wanting to be seen and unchecked mail was too much to handle..As usual,,not many mails..Not to be outdone,,i sat down to start what shall go down in history as another nonsensical achievement i'll proudly wear on my sleeve...

At the back of my head since a few days,, was the movie,'A Wednesday', which lots of ppl recommended, some who i never thought will be up to date with movies had also told me to watch it..This movie had to be watched...Little things like hygiene, haircut etc could wait for later..From start to end, it was a fast no-nonsense movie...Got me into a nice movie mood watching..

And by then,, it was 5:30..Was thinking whether to go to the barber or not...Now came the part where i had to get a haircut...What better time to remember your grandmother's words..
"You shouldn't get your hair cut on saturdays or tuesdays"..
Also the other rule--
"You should not cut your hair or shave at night"..
Now i had facing me not one,,but two rules laid down by a higher athaurity!!

No (Conveniently timed)good boy like me could oppose that much order! So down the drain went the plan to get a hair cut..
Off i headed to Maurya's house to salvage the day on my new not-so-mean machine..its a bike alright, which runs on the power of the likes of Hercules himself,,and whats more its got front and back shockers and 18 gears too!! beat that u filthy smoke spewing, earth wrecking, fossil fuel guzzling 'auto'mobiles!!!
For the people who don't know who maurya is,,(obviously you are not from my college),,a further intro shall be given below..

Though i didnt go to his house to watch movies,, there lay the movie “Speed racer”,,just begging to be watched..So out went other plans,,the moods was set in an instant..”Go Speed Racer” was all i could say!!The movie wasn't as nice as i wanted it to be,,but it was speed racer,,it cannot not be nice!!!
Then,in such a nice mood, after watching 2 good movies, there i lay amongst a glorious collection of unseen movies...And thus arose the unstoppable juggernaut within me, from the ashes that were left behind way back in college...I had to watch more movies,,,MORE!! And so,, i came upon,,the next movie that i graced by watching....It had a name no man had ever heard of,, it was christened,,”The Onion Movie”!!!
One nonsense spoof that was!!
A brief intermission was made to perform one of the most important tasks given to man, “Eating”!!
Living up to my reputation even there,,i finished everything left (which could easily have fed a person or 2 more..) ..

The last show of the night then began...after complete nonsense,,so absolute no-nonsense gang movie about the Russian syndicate in London,,called “Eastern promises”..As it is known,,the day ends early in the east,,and so as a sign of respect,,i too slept !

Then next day echoed the same eating,,no was just Movie after movie after movie...”Rendition”(serious), “Wanted”(could give rajnikanth a complex),”YPF”(young people fucking!!!),”what happens in Vegas, stays in vegas”(general timepass)..Came home unsuspectingly,,to see “Mumbai meri jaan”, had just started...Oh well,,,after 8 movies,,it doesnt really matter if i watch one i sat there watching..The same sentiment continued when “Enemy of the State” started at 10:30..

And the best part was,,,that only 'Enemy of the state' was a movie i had watched before...the rest were all new...(I mean,,i could watch 'gladiator' 10 times in a row any time..but then,,lets not bring the awesomest movies of all times to into the picture...They'll just belittle these movies more..)

Thus ended the legendary 10 movie marathon!!
and another one of those days that i'll remember and talk about for a long time to come!

Characters i referred to-->
Maurya--> This gentle giant, is another famous character from college..The only person in college who managed to have an account with the canteen guy..Sometimes irritating, always asking for money, not doing much work, but then,,good at heart..
He's never refused me any help,,EVER! Another claim to fame was that his weight is only 3,,less than hundred..

Short review of the movies if u ever decide to watch em-->
1.A wednesday--> Must watch. One of the best actors in India, Nazeerudin Shah, in a great movie and great role. About what a normal citizen is capable of in this bomb-laden country...
2.Speed Racer-->Go speed racer,,Gooooooooooooo!!
Cartoon feel,,interestingly made,,though quite disorienting..If you're not a fan,,,(if u were a kid who watched cartoons in the 1990's,and still not a fan,why are u still alive??),,then u most probably wont like it..
3.The onion movie--> Spoof ,,spoof spoof spoof spoof...The central theme being the news industry in US, not the it matters in a spoof...Watch ½ hr,,then chuck out of window..
4.Eastern Promises--> nice movie..Great performance by Viggo Mortenson(Aragon in lord of the rings). All about how russian gangs families operate in London.
5.Rendition-->About a how muslim american is jailed and tortured just beacause there was a bomb blast in egypt in which an american was killed and he was a suspect. The law is Sort of like the PoTA was in India.
6.Wanted-->watch if you're an anjelina jolie fan..Else its only if u want to see stunts that even rajnikanth would not think of..Though i must add,,,they are done in awesome style..AVOID IF POSSIBLE..
7.YPF-->Young ppl fucking...As the name suggests, its an american pie type movie, all about the “stages” of sex...General timepass..
8.What happens in Vegas, stays in vegas--> Not exactly a traditional love story..A no brainer,,very light movie..can watch for fun even a few scenes here and there..
9.Mumbai meri jaan--> nicely made movie about bomb blasts in bombay..The people perspective.
10.Enemy of the state--> Think you control your life,,that you have privacy?? Think again!! Will Smith Movie..nothing else to say...

Movie Trivia-->
Mr. ya Miss- A Factory product..Probably their worst ever..Dont even know why it was called a factory product..RGV didnt even direct it..Written,directed,screenplay etc etc etc..all had one name..Antara Mali..By the end of the titles,,we were scared..Not to mention the fact that first day 6'o'clock show there were 7 ppl in the theatre..5 of us friends and a couple in the corner!!

Worst movie of all time according to me!!
View at your own risk....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

So it begins.....

My Funda in life is to try everything once(atleast)...And if i like it, or its mad enough, i'll do it many more times..Looking back, i feel most of the things i remember are all stories worth telling, worth talking and laughing about,,and that are usually surprising or even to raise an eye of disbelief among listeners...So, here is an attempt to chronicle some of 'Those great incidents, on those great days'!!

Talking , doing mad things,cracking stupid jokes,having weird/stupid accomplishments,telling stories etc etc are some things people see me doing more often than not...So many many people have been telling me to start writing a blog, to keep track of all the weird achievements and mad things that keep happening around me..And so that they can read about them in detail..After one of the most intelligent friends of mine told me to,,and even suggested a name,,I finally decided to give it a shot..

I know the Title of the blog makes me sound like a grandfather,,but i like talking in retrospect,,and thus the name..The idea is to write lots of stories here..Any story has a central theme, or sometimes many!
In the same way, each story here is an actual incident, when i was in them or the way i saw them or was told by sometimes reliable, sometimes unreliable sources..
Though showered with liberal doses of sarcasm and exaggeration and fantastical ideas, no matter how far-fetched, weird or made-up they might seem, i assure you, the general idea is completely true..

And unlike what you might be thinking by this point,, this blog is not for 'adi the great' to blow his horn so that it can be heard from all the way from the moon...(Although with such a great personality,it can't be helped if it does happen...)..I don't mind making fun of myself..And though i won't be using too many common names here(nicknames are much more FUN),,those of you who are scared that some old stories will be kicked up again to make fun of you,,RUN AND HIDE FOR COVER...

This is actually for all my friends..telling/recollecting some of the great,and usually funny stories or happenings in life..As all of you are now scattered around the globe, i cant keep calling you guys and talking nonsense for hours together,, and telling you all kinds of stories.. Also, writing separate mails to AAAAAAAAAAALLL the people is sort of a pain..I don't really mind it, but its really sad when there's no reply to them..So this is the alternative..

The timeline of the stories is random..I might jump from the now to the time i was 4 back to college and then to school and pick any story and read whenever you feel like...and comments or additions, more details are more than welcome!! If you remember any interesting event,,then drop in a mail...i'll write about it when i feel the time and the mood are right !!