Thursday, May 29, 2008

The one

Some time ago, I'd written about movies that made us cry, and was amazed to see the number of gems uncovered in the comments section. That led to the idea of this post - a fun mini-poll on Bollywood.

If you had to pick just one Bollywood movie and declare it the best ever, which one would you pick?

No rating, no ranking, no genre, no era, no long list, no top three, no "It depends", no "I can't decide between X and Y", nothing. Just name one, and only one.

Results in next post. Only entries with one movie name will be considered. :)

ps: I have enabled comment moderation to avoid influence.
pps: Bewdas, stop yelling 'GOLD!' Comment moderation is on. :P

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tiny Tapori turns two

It’s Baby Aish’s second birthday party. Her Mausi takes up a guitar a la Phoebe and starts some long-distance rapping.

Now listen up, young lady, I'm talkin' to you
You've reached the age that they call 'Terrible Two'.
An age that drives many a young mom mad
While helplessly looks on, the err... helpless Dad.

I see you've started on the path
of terrorising your parents already
There's a naughty twinkle in your eye
Your gait's no longer unsteady

Gone are the days when you only knew
how to pee, poo, eat, gurgle and crawl
Now you've discovered the power
Of the prolonged high-pitched bawl

You make so much noise, you drive ‘em neighbours insane
Every now and then they come-a-knocking to complain
But when I plead over the phone, "Sing for me, put on a show?"
You toss your tiny little head and say a flat "No".

You’ve learnt how to dial 911 and call the cops
You’ve already broken the keys of two laptops!
There’s a bunch of rented DVDs inside the DVD player
You’ve stuffed them in real nice, haven’t you - layer after layer!

You’ve spilled, broken, shrieked, and still refused to eat
You have thrown things out the window on to the street!
You’ve taken red crayons and scribbled on the white wall
When you grow up, here are some things for you to recall

Some day when you’re all grown up
And feel that your parents are driving you mad
"Mom doesn’t get me at all!” You'll rant.
“And don't even get me started on Dad!"

I'd like you to come back here
And read all the things you did
At Terrible Two, you drove ‘em mad too
But they still loved you, you naughty li’l kid.

Happy birthday, baby! >:D<

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Child's play

So last week, when my sister called, I completely ignored her. Just like how I do whenever she calls.

Sis - Hello?
Me - Hi! Where's Aish?
Sis - Arre, talk to me first!
Me - Yeah okay. Where's Aish?
Sis - Sheesh. She's here. Wait, let me put you on speaker.
Me - Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, Aish!
Me - Is she there?
Sis - Yeah, she's looking at the phone.
Me - Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, Aishu!
Me - Why isn't she talking? Aishu, say "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!"
Me - Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
Me (giving up) - So what were you saying?
Sis (sounding really proud) - Okay, guess what??
Me - What??
Sis - Aish can put DVDs in the DVD player!
Me - You're kidding me!
Sis - No, seriously! She takes the DVD cover, opens it, takes the DVD out and puts it inside the player!
Me - Hahahahaha! That is sooooooo cool!
Sis - And guess what else?
Me - What? What??
Sis - She actually blows at the DVD to get the dust off first. Just like how she's seen her Dad do when he's playing a DVD!
Me - Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

So yesterday, my sister called again.

Sis - Hello?
Aish - Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
Me - Hahahaha! She's saying it!! She's saying it!!
Sis - Yeah okay. So I was saying...
Me - Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, Aishu!
Sis - Hello?
Me - Hello?
Aish - Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
Me - Hahahahahaha!
Sis - Can you hear me??
Aish - Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
Me - I hear you, but I hear her more!
Sis - Of course you do. Well, guess what?
Me - What did she do now??
Aish - Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
Me - Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, baby!
Sis - Are you listening to me?
Me - Yeah, I am! Just that Aish keeps saying "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!"
Aish - Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
Sis - She's just trying to distract us. Guess what?
Me - What???
Sis - Remember how I told you she can put DVDs in the DVD player?
Me - Yeah yeah!
Aish - Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
Sis -Well guess what??
She didn't sound so proud this time.
Me - Will you tell me already??
Aish - Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
Me - Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, baby!
Sis - Aish, will you let me talk??
Me - Hahahahahaha!
Sis - She knows what I'm going to say, so she's trying to distract me. The naughty girl!
Aish - Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
Me - Okay, okay. What happened??
Sis - Well, five DVDs I borrowed from the library are missing.
Me - Missing??
Sis - Precisely.
Aish - Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
Me - Hahahaha! Oh! Well, you know where you'll find them!
Sis (distressed) - You think so too?
Me - Of course! Open up the damn DVD player, I'm sure they're all in there.
Sis (sounding more distressed) - Sigh...

Aish - Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
Aish - Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
Aish - Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The high flyer

At the company's end-of-financial-year party yesterday, one of the bosses told the story of how the decision to have the party in the Singapore flyer aka the world's highest observation wheel was made.

When the coordinator of the event proposed the venue for the party, this is how she described it.

"It's a bit expensive, very slow, everything goes round and round, but it doesn't really get anywhere." She said to him.

"Oh!! So we're having the party at corporate headquarters???" was his response.

As we burst into laughter at his dig at corporate headquarters, I couldn't help but think - that description couldn't have been more accurate for the Singapore Flyer. It is unbelievably slow. If you've been on the London eye and found that slow, welcome to the new definition of slowness.

At least I got some nice pictures from the world's highest boredom chamber. :/

Monday, May 12, 2008

The eggs-traordinary duo

Now everyone knows how serious Viv and I are about our pictionary (heck, we even bought a whiteboard last week so we can draw bigger and better!).

Ironically, the atmosphere when Viv is drawing, is far from serious. Sometimes it gets very difficult to verbalise your guesses because you're laughing so hard at his lateral (read convoluted) thinking.

So we were playing pictionary with the usual suspects Shub and Pizzadude. Now we don't really follow any rules when we play. In fact, we don't even have teams. We just pick a category and each of us just draws what he/she feels like, and the rest try to guess.

So the category is Hindi movies. Viv draws a guy with a basket. Four round things materialise in the basket. Then there's one more guy with a basket of five round things. Third guy has seven round things in his basket. We're wondering what the heck is happening.

"So these round things keep growing in number..." I say wisely.

He shakes his head impatiently.

"They don't grow in number?"

He shakes his head.

"But the numbers are in increasing order!"

"It's got nothing to do with the numbers." I guess he's frustrated by now because he has forgotten that in pictionary, you shouldn't be saying things out loud.

"What are these round things anyway?"

He looks away to think for a while, and then starts drawing a hen with a dotted line leading to the round things.

"Ah! So they are eggs!"

Viv nods emphatically to say they are.

"Don't put all your eggs in one basket?" We wonder.

"Ghar ki murgi daal baraabar??"

"Meri jaan meri jaan murgi ke ande??"

Viv shakes his head at the suggestions and then at us, as if we have let him down. Next, he starts to draw lines from Basket A to the other guys and then puts a cross on the lines. He does the same for all baskets.

"They're giving one another their eggs?"

Viv shakes his head and emphatically points to the crosses.

"They're not giving one another their eggs?"

He nods vigorously.

"Aati kya khandala? Anda la?" By now, I am already rambling nonsense.

Viv is sick of shaking his head.

"I give up." I finally say. Usually I'm able to guess whatever crap he draws because I kind of know how his thought process works (as is evident here and here) but this had me stumped.

"Knowing Viv's style, I don't even know if this is actually about hens and eggs, and people who don't want to share their eggs with one another." I say.

Shub has also given up by now.

But there is one man who is relentlessly guessing still. The Pizzadude hasn't given up.

"Eggs... anda... hmmmm...." He's still thinking. Viv is nodding vigorously. Shub and I lean back in the couch to watch the drama. This should get interesting.

"Hmmm... Is it anda?" Pizzadude asks.

Viv nods.

"It's anda??"

Viv nods more.

"OH. MY. GAWD." says Pizzadude.

"WHAT? WHAT?? WHAT???" Like the eggs in the baskets, the question marks in my question also increase in number.

"I cannot believe this!!!! Is it 'Andaaz apna apna'????" asks Pizzadude.

Viv grins like mad, while Shub and I look at each other not knowing whether to laugh or cry.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Words from a wise guy

So last night baby Aish recited 'Twinkle Twinkle little star' to me over the phone from halfway across the world.

Listening to her sing (in tune!) was totally thrilling. But later I wondered to myself, "What nonsense is this - Twinkle Twinkle? What is there to learn in Twinkle Twinkle? If anything, the kid is learning unscientific things - "little" stars it seems."

I guess at this point it's okay for her to learn whatever children all over the world are learning. Also, it's a good performance song for a 2-year-old because the song is universally known. But when she grows a little older, her self-appointed godmother will teach her something more meaningful, something hindustani - my favourite poet Kabir's dohe which have some amazingly simple but deep wisdom in them. I am a huge fan of Kabir (the dude was way ahead of his time), but sadly have not been able to implement a lot of his teachings. Casting aside visions of a hapless Aish strapped to her baby chair while her annoying mausi recites Kabir's dohas, perhaps she would actually be interested. But of course, by the time she grows up to an age where she can understand them, she won't have the patience to sit and listen to me ramble on and on about a guy who existed some 500-600 years ago. Like Anupam Kher says in Rang De Basanti, "SMS generation hai. Char line se zyada bol do toh lecture lagta hai." (I know I quote this line a lot in my blog, but it's so totally true for our generation.)

Going back to Aish and Kabir, I guess I will probably have to do up the executive summary of each of the dohas for her. What better time to do it than now? After all, it was the very Kabir who said:

Kaal karey so aaj kar, aaj karey so ab
Pal mein pralaya hoyegi, bahuri karega kab?

Rough translation: Do today what's due tomorrow. Do now what's due today. If the moment is lost, when will you do it?

Executive summary: Just do it.

Dheere dheere re mana, dheere sab kuch hoye
Mali seenche sau ghada, ritu aaye phal hoye

Rough translation: Everything happens in its own time. The gardener may water the plant with a hundred pots, but it will bear fruit only when the season comes.

Executive summary: Give it time - everything will sort itself out.

Kabira khada bazaar mein, maange sabki khair
Na kahu se dosti, na kahu se bair

Rough translation: Kabir stands in the marketplace, and wishes for everyone's well-being. He doesn't seek anyone's friendship, nor anyone's enmity.

Executive summary: Wish everyone well, but be your own best friend.

Aisi vaani boliye, mann ka aapa khoye
Apna tan seetal karey, auran ko sukh hoye

Translation: Say your words sans your ego. You will stay composed and others will be happy too.

Executive summary: Say it in your head first.

Bada hua toh kya hua, jaise ped khajoor
Panthi ko chhaya nahin, phal laage ati door

Rough translation: Eminence is wasted if it's like a date tree that provides no shade to travellers and the fruit is beyond reach.

Executive summary: Attitude determines altitude.

Jaise til mein tel hai, jyon chakmak mein aag
Tera saain tujhmein hai, tu jaag sakey toh jaag

Rough translation: Like sesame seeds that contain oil, like flintstone contains fire, your master is within you, find Him if you can.

Executive summary: You have it in you. Discover it.
(Like in many of Kabir's dohas, you do not have to necessarily look at only the religious angle of this one. It can mean many things.)

Keson kahan bigadia, je moonde sau baar
Mann ko kaahe na moondiye, jaamein vish hai vikaar

Rough translation: What harm have the hair done, that you shave them a hundred times?
Why not shave your mind, which is filled with poisonous thoughts?

Executive summary: Think positive. Keep a clear mind.

Chinta aisi daakini, kaat kaleja khaaye
Vaid bichara kya karey, kahan tak dawa lagaye

Worry is like a bandit that eats into you. The doctor has no cure for it, and no medicines can heal it.

Executive summary: Don't worry, be happy.

Jab tu aaya jagat mein, log hanse tu roye
Aisi karni na kari, pachhe hanse sab koye

Rough translation: When you came to this world, everyone was happy while you cried. Don't do deeds that will make everyone happy that you're gone.

Executive summary: Think - how do you want to be remembered?

Kabir so dhan sanchiye, jo aage ko hoye
Sar chadhaaye potli, le jaat na dekhya koye

Rough translation: Kabir says – preserve the kind of wealth that will be with you in the road ahead. No one has ever taken a bundle of material wealth with them.

Executive summary: Cherish what will last forever.

Mala pherat jug bhaya, mita na mann ka pher
Kar ka manka chhod de, mann ka manka pher

Rough translation: Eons have passed rotating the beads of the rosary, but the mind remains restless. Give up the beads in the hand, and rotate the beads of your mind.

Executive summary: Your peace of mind is indeed, in your mind.

And finally... my favourite:

Bura jo dekhan main chala, bura na milya koi
Jo mann khoja apnaa, toh mujhse bura na koi

Rough translation: I went in search of vice, but I did not find anything. When I looked within myself, I found that there was no one as vile as me.

Executive summary: Don't judge others. You suck too.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Hawk talk

Yesterday Viv was Youtube-ing when he suddenly yelled out, "Remember this???" Holy cow, that sounded amazingly familiar. Sounds that I had last heard almost two decades ago.

Ladies and gentlemen... rather bewdis and bewdas, presenting the video of the week at the bar - the definition of "cool" back when I was a kid.

Were you there?

Video courtesy floydivision

"This is Jesse Mach, an ex-motorcycle cop, injured in the line of duty. Now a police troubleshooter, he's been recruited for a top secret government mission to ride Street Hawk, an all-terrain attack motorcycle, designed to fight urban crime, capable of incredible speeds up to 300 miles an hour and immense fire power. Only one man, federal agent Normal Tuttle knows Jesse Mach's true identity."

The Man... The Machine... Street Hawk.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A warm reception

Shub and I have been told on numerous occasions that we look (and behave, especially if under the influence of mango margarita) like twins. You know how some people have evil twins? In our case, however, we are both evil. You can say that we are each other's evil twins. It only depends on who is more evil in a particular situation.

And in this particular situation - also known as our friend Pizzadude returning to Singapore after a month in India - she went up a notch higher on the evil-o-meter.

"Hey, Pizzadude is coming back to Singapore on Saturday morning. Shall we go and embarrass him at the airport?" She said to me during duty at the restaurant last saturday.

"Of course!" I jumped. Of course, jumping while you're in a sari is not advisable - not only does a jumping waitress present an un-elegant picture, it is also a highly dangerous activity for your general well-being and sense of balance. This particular jump was executed by a trained expert and should not, under any circumstances, be attempted at home.

"All right, let's do it! We'll make a banner, and possibly a garland!"

"A garland! I LOVE the idea!"

We were so excited by the idea we were not bothered by the fact that we would have to get up at 6 am on a Saturday to execute the plan. She roped in his flatmates and I roped in Viv. Yesterday, I created a draft on Word with the text for the banner "WHERE IS THE PIZZA, DUDE?" in font size 120, bold, red, and sent it to Shub. I'd also added a picture of a pizza just in case. She said she could not view the word "is" (it was a .docx document) but said she'd print it and do up a collage.

Incidentally, Shub lives in a part of Singapore which is also known as Malaysia by some (ahem!) and so we decided she should come over to my place the night before and we could all leave for the airport together in the morning. Travelling from Malaysia to Singapore can take quite some time, and by the time she got to my place, I was already in dreamland. Viv and she put together the collage which I saw only when I woke up this morning.
It said "WHERE IZ THE [picture of pizza] DUDE?" Now usually I try not to put my editor self to work outside work, but my first reaction to the "IZ" was "What the...?!" She explained later that because there was no "is" they had decided to take the "IZ" from the word "PIZZA" since they had used the picture of the pizza instead of the word. Also, the question mark had also gone missing from the document so they used the "P" of the pizza and whatever remaining letters to make a "question mark".

One of Pizzadude's flatmates backed out at the last minute. I'm sure he thought the drama at the airport could get more embarrassing for the embarrasors than the embarrasee. The other turned up just in time, armed with what can only be referred to as The Ghastliest Garland In The World. It had fake plastic flowers of more colours than you could count, and was plain BLEARGH. Yup, that's the word. We were delighted with it!

So Pizzadude comes out of his gate and screeches to a halt. We are holding the banner high up, ignoring the pointing and staring by the people in the airport. His jaw falls and eyes pop out. "Oh my god!!!!" He says. He looks at the banner, then at Shub, Viv, his flatmate and me, and then at the banner again.

"We came to embarrass you." We admit.

Well, he is embarrassed all right. He takes a while to calm his senses and find his words.

"Thank god you didn't get like a garland or something." He says finally.

We burst out laughing as Viv takes the garland out.

Pizzadude cannot believe his eyes. "Oh noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" He goes.

His protests are ignored and he is duly garlanded. More people turn and stare at this bunch of loony-bins.

He immediately takes the garland off and we go, "Oh no no no! Put it back put it back! We have to take pictures!"

"There are pictures?" By now you can actually feel the bloke's agony. You can even see the thought bubble floating above his head with a playlist - "Dost dost na raha..." followed by "Dushman na karey dost ne woh kaam kiya hai..."

So his flatmate places the camera on the ledge near the waterfall, puts it on timer, we garland the guy again, hold up the banner and smile. More staring. The flatmate is also evil, as he has put the timer on the maximum time possible so we look totally silly holding up all the stuff and grinning for the longest time at apparently nobody. The first shot is not that great, so we do the whole routine again - TWICE! Kudos to Pizzadude for taking it in such good spirit. Bhagwaan hum jaise dost kisi ko na de.

Fortunately, Shub had bought him a slice of cheesecake to sweeten the blow. Later, as we helped ourselves to all the goodies he had got for us (and still shared with us, in spite of what we had done to him), we decided that this had been a major success and that we should probably start a business on this. This is the business plan: we embarrass your friends by receiving them at the airport with moronic banners and you pay us for it. Agarbatti, teeka and ghanti are thrown in for free but there's a 5-dollar extra charge for the garland. Ten more if you want the show to include singing. Clients can choose from our extensive and exhaustive playlist of "Aao huzoor tumko" and "Aaiye meherbaan". You can also avail of our extra services - photography and video-recording of the 'spectacle'. And finally, 10 dollars more if you want the whole thing to go up on Youtube for further embarrassment of your (ex?)friend. Finally, the special services of our truly global company include having our "overseas partners" to "receive" your friends in a similar manner, no matter where your friends fly to escape from you.

As for Pizzadude, well, he has sworn off flying.

We are all still friends though.

Errr... I think.