Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Annual report - 2008

So here's all the gyaan the Bhai has attained this year.

  • If you dream something impossible and work towards it without telling a soul, it may just come true. (The not telling a soul bit is important.)

  • IDD calls are one of the most paisa-vasool uses of money.

  • Contrary to popular belief, when friends have a fallout, whether they will attempt to patch things up depends not on what caused the fallout, but what they had before the fallout.

  • It's human instinct for most people to dislike the boss even if they don't mean to. It's not personal. It's just the default setting.

  • There is only one way to get around office politics -- be bloody good at your job.

  • If you constantly badger your faraway friends for a year, they will eventually give up and move to the east where you live.

  • Life wouldn't be life without Bollywood.

  • It's possible to be 'home' and yet miss 'home'.

  • There is no need to be extra-emotional. Sometimes the 'bhaad mein jao' (go to hell) attitude is the most effective.

  • A Himesh Reshammiya movie doesn't kill you. It kills the desire to live.

  • What someone thinks of you is none of your business. Don't lose sleep over it.

  • Work is worship. Truly.

  • You are what you eat. And exercise.

  • On some days, the IT guy at work can be your God.

  • It is not easy to have a friend report to you at work and still remain friends. But with practice and professionalism, it's possible.

  • If you're having a bad day, everyone seems evil. It's not them. It's you.

  • Quoting something I wrote in a post long ago, something I tell myself over and over again -- Everyone has problems. The important thing is to make a bigger deal of the happy stuff.

Happy new year, bewdas! May the madness never end! :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Khan-ference

So Sayesha Smitten Showbiz Kitten (SSSK) finally bagged the interview that no one else ever had.

The three big Khans. In her treehouse.

Amjad Khan. Kader Khan. Saroj Khan.

Of course not, silly! Gotcha!

So Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir were seated on a 3-seater couch while SSSK was on her purple beanbag with her notepad and pencil.

SSSK - Before we start... I just want to say... It is such an honour to have all of you here. All of you had movies releasing this year, quite close to one another actually, and it's just so great to have the opportunity to interview you about them.

The three Khans smile politely.

Shah Rukh - Actually, everyone thinks we're competitors and hence enemies. But it's not like that. We're actually very good friends.

Aamir (inches away from Shah Rukh) - Yes yes, we're just friends.

SSSK - Before we start, would you like something? Coke? Pepsi?

The Khans - Sure! Thanks!

SSSK - Errr... Coke or Pepsi?

Aamir (to Salman) - Oh! Errr... Abbe tera wala kaun sa hai? I think I am allowed to drink what you don't endorse. What do you endorse?

Salman - You mean this year or next?

Aamir - Oh...

Shah Rukh - Hmmm... Akshay ka kaun sa hai?

Salman - Thums Up. The mardon wala drink.

Shah Rukh - Hmmm... then I don't know what we're allowed to drink.

SSSK - So what do I get then?

The Khan (consult among one another and then say in chorus) - Nimboo pani, please.

The Khans sit sipping nimboo pani while SSSK starts the interview.

SSSK - Salman, we will start with Yuvvraaj since it was the first to release.

Shah Rukh - Dabba.

Salman (displeased) - I know...

Shah Rukh - Kyun yaar??? What happened??

Salman - I don't know man... they said Katrina ko le lo. Aur kuchh nahin karna padega, aur picture hit ho jayegi.

Aamir (giggles) - Heh heh!

Salman (annoyed) - Why are you giggling?

Aamir - Because Subhash Ghai is a dhakkan. Arre if you take Katrina in a movie, you show her. You don't put a musical instrument the size of King Kong right in front of her.

Salman - Oye! Don't talk nonsense about her. She's not the showpiece anymore. She's the number one Bollywood actress right now.

Aamir - Haan... yeh din aa gaye hain Bollywood ke... Katrina Kaif is the number one actress...

Shah Rukh - Arre wait na... aaj Katrina hai, kal Anushka hogi. Have you seen how successful Deepika is? Sab meri wajah se...

Aamir - Oh puh-leez. You and the schoolgirls you pick every year. Sheesh. I'm telling you, Asin is the next big thing in Bollywood.

Shah Rukh (poking Aamir in the ribs) - Aha! Yeh baat hai... someone's having sinful thoughts about a-sin, eh?

Aamir (offended) - Shah Rukh!

Salman - Achha is it really true? I saw her interviews. Her name is really supposed to be like that? "A" from Sanskrit (meaning "without") and "Sin" from English, meaning "without sin" meaning "pure"?

Aamir (sheepishly) - Yeah... something like that...

Salman (grinning) - Seriously?? Ha ha ha!

Aamir (irritated) - Yeah... what's your problem?

Salman - Naah... nothing... I think I'm gonna name my kid "Agreed".

Shah Rukh (delighted at Salman) - Duuude.... burrrrnnnnn!!!!

Shah Rukh and Salman high-five each other, while Aamir sulks.

SSSK - Err... shall we move on to 'Rab ne bana di jodi'?

Shah Rukh (proudly) - With pleasure.

Salman - Aila! Hit ho gayi yaar...

Shah Rukh (more proudly) - Totally.

Salman - This is not fair yaar... teri har movie hit ho jaati hai... aise hi! What's your secret, bol na?

Shah Rukh (leans forward and whispers) - Me. New girl half my age. Long movie title. Bingo!

Aamir (very annoyed) - Please. The length of the title doesn't matter. Ghajini bhi hit hai. Gha-ji-ni. One word.

Salman - Actually I always found that title a little weird. What does it mean anyway?

Shah Rukh (nonchalantly) - Female elephant.

Aamir - WHAT?!

Shah Rukh (loudly) - FEMALE ELEPHANT.

Aamir - Female eleph... what the..?! No, it's not.

Shah Rukh - Yes, it is. You know how elephants are supposed to have very good memory? Well, Aamir's movie is about a female elephant who suffers from short-term memory loss.

Aamir - WHAT?! That's nonsense. And Ghajini does not mean 'female elephant'.

Shah Rukh - Really? How do you know?

Aamir - I know.

Shah Rukh - How? Kya aap paanchvi pass se tez hain?

Aamir glares at Shah Rukh.

Shah Rukh - Ooh I have an idea. Why don't you phone a "friend"? Let's ask the one with the part-Sanskrit name.

Aamir - Stop it, Shah Rukh! You're treading dangerous ground here.

Shah Rukh - So is she... a-sin-gle gal? Bwahahaha!

Aamir - I'm warning you, Shah Rukh...

Shah Rukh - Actually, if her character's name in the movie had been Asin instead of Kalpanaaa, your character's tattoos would have been a little less painful. What say?

Aamir (snarling a la his character in Ghajini) - Grrrr...

Shah Rukh - Asin. Asin. Asin.

Aamir - Shah Rukh!

Shah Rukh - Oye, chilla mat!

Aamir (rolling up his sleeves and showing his bulging biceps) - Kyun, kya kar lega?

Shah Rukh - Asin ke baare mein Kiran ko bataaun?

Aamir - Gauri ke baare mein Karan ko bataaun?

*stony silence in the room*

SSSK - Erm... This is not going too well...

The Khans - But we are going... Sorry SSSK, looks like this interview won't work.

SSSK - Please please. One last question. Last year, there was a lot of hulla-gulla on who gets to release his movie first. How did you decide the order of releasing your movies this year? Surely it must have been tough?

Salman (smiling) - Ah! Good question. We agreed to release the movies in the order of seniority. The most senior got to release his movie first.

SSSK - Seniority?! Seniority in what??

Salman (grinning) - Toplessness, what else?

SSSK - Huh?

Shah Rukh (winking) - Abs...olutely!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A phony tale

So Viv had been raving about this mobile phone he wanted to get.

I have never really cared much about mobile phones so I didn't quite get it. I use my phone only for calls and sms, so I am not fascinated by the ultra-cool features he claimed this phone had. So I said to him, "Arre I will win the iPhone in my company's year-end party for you, and you won't need to buy your E71." He agreed as apparently the iPhone is also a cool phone (actually I have no idea).

But then good fortune doesn't strike twice, and someone else won the iPhone (apun dekh lega usko baad mein). I was in the 'top ten costumes' though (the theme was retro) and won myself a $50 voucher, showing thenga to those who had rented their costumes. You see, the rental was $50, so while they only broke even, I made money. Muahahaha. :D

So when Viv heard that I didn't win the iphone, he pretended to be all sympathetic, but of course he had laddoos exploding in his mann (sorry, there is no English phrase that can truly represent this) because now he could get his beloved E71. Hmmmph!

So yesterday, he got his phone, and introduced me to its 'cool features'. I couldn't care less. Hmmph. Phony phone!

"Give me your business card!" He said, all excited.


"I'll show you something ultra-cool."

I grudgingly gave him my card. He placed it on his palm and took a picture of it with his E71.

"Oh puh-leez. My phone can also take pictures of things." I said, rolling my eyes.

Then he showed me the screen.

Holy cow.


I was beginning to get impressed, but didn't want to admit it.

But wait a minute... what was that under my name on the screen? I peered to take a closer look at how it had recorded my designation.

Sheesh. According to that stupid E71, I work in a 200-year-old publishing company as... a "Monnger".


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The ten-year itch

So I returned to the crime scene to pick up my new passport. Pushing my way through the crowd, I eavesdropped on more instances of "Agar yahan aisa hai toh socho India mein kaisa hoga?" and "Excuse me, my name is Ramamurthy Balakrishnan but my passport says Balakrishnan Ramamurthy!"

Finally I had my passport. As I flipped through it to ensure that there would be no reason for me to have to go back to the embassy and stand in the queue that extends to the road, it suddenly struck me why divorce rates in India are (still) lower than some other countries.

They put your spouse's name on your passport.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Words from another wise guy

I have been meaning to write the sequel to the words from my favourite poet for the longest time, but somehow never got around to doing it. This one's for baby Aish, Asha and her son, and Sudeep and his mom (who I'm told likes dohas).

So here they are, some of another great poet Rahim's pearls of wisdom:

Rahiman dhaga prem ka, mat todo chatkaaye
Toote se phir na jude, jude gaanth pad jaaye

Rough translation: Rahim says, don’t break the delicate thread of love. Once it breaks, it can’t be joined. Even if you join it, there will be a knot.

Executive summary: Don't break it when you know you can't fix it.


Rahiman badan ko dekh ke, laghu na deeje daar
Jahan kaam aaye sui, kya karey talwar?

Rough translation: Rahim says, don’t ignore the humble when introduced to the big/important. When you’re in need of a needle, of what use is a sword?

Exective summary: Don't underestimate the humble.


Kheera mukh te kaatiye, maliyat laun lagaaye
Rahiman karwe mukh ko chahiyat eehi sazaye

Rough translation: Rahim says, to cure a bitter cucumber, we cut its head off and rub salt over it. A bitter mouth deserves the same treatment.

Executive summary: Bitterness will never get you anywhere.


Je Rahim uttam prakrati, ka kari sakat kusung
Chandan vish vyapat nahi, liptat rahat bhujang

Rough translation: Rahim says, how will evil corrupt the one who has an excellent character? Sandalwood does not become poisonous even though snakes cling around its trunk.

Executive summary: Build yourself a Teflon character.


Kahe Rahim sampati sage, banat bahu bahu reet
Bipati kasoti je kase, te hi saanche meet

Rough translation: Rahim says, where there is fortune, people will find many ways to form relations. But your true friend are those who stand by you in misfortune.

Executive summary: Fairweather friends are worse than enemies.


Rahiman ya tan soop hai, leejeeye jagat pachhor
harikan ko udijan dey, garuay rakhee bator

Rough translation: Rahim says, be like a winnow and sort the world (people) through it. Let the light (bad) ones fly away and carefully preserve the heavy (good) ones.

Executive summary: Cherish the good stuff. Throw the bad. Don't look back.


Rahim ve nar mar chuke, je kahu mangan chaee
Unte pahel ve mue, jin mukh niksat nahi

Rough translation: Rahim says, men who choose to beg are as good as dead. But those who say 'No' were never men to begin with.

Executive summary: Help yourself. Help others.


Meetha sab se boliye, phailey sukh chahu oar
Vashikaran hai mantra yehi, taj de wachan kathor

Rough translation: Rahim says, speak sweetly with everyone, and spread joy everywhere. Giving up harsh words is the true vashikaran mantra (the mantra to win everyone over).

Executive summary: How to win friends and influence people: watch your words.


Bade badai na kare bade na bole bol
Rahiman heera kab kahe lakh taka mero mol

Rough translation: The great never praise themselves or reveal their worth. Rahim says, have you ever heard a diamond say "I'm worth one lakh rupees"?

Executive summary: Don't praise yourself. Let others do it.


Rahiman ahee sansaar mein, sab saun miliye dhay
Na jaane kahi roop mein, Narayan Mil jaaye

Rough translation: Rahim says, meet everyone with love. You never know when you may bump into a form of Narayan (God) Himself.

Executive summary: Play it safe. You never know.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Embassy tales

Overheard at the Indian Embassy during my recent visit:

Scary lady in sari (to no one and yet everyone) - Passport this way, others that way. And no inquiries.

Frustrated man at counter - Excuse me, I applied for my son's passport last week. But when I got it, his sex had changed to female.

*pause to suppress my howls of laughter at the poor guy's predicament*

Scary lady in sari (to no one and yet everyone) - I SAID NO INQUIRIES!

Girl (on her mobile phone) - This is like a fish market! There is a token number system, but there are 5 people at each counter still!

Guy standing near counter (to me) - Madam, can you please sit? My number is before you.
Me - Arre if I sit, I can't see if my token number appears on screen. There's too many people standing in front.
Guy gives me dirty 'so-you-think-this-token-number-system-works?' look.

Lady (on her mobile phone) - Achha suno... there are some people here who are also applying for their kid's visa... and guess what? They have all got their kids with them! Ab main kya karoon?

Man (looking at the crowd and shaking his head) - This will never change...

Mom (to kid) - Come here, hold my hand! Don't get lost. It's too crowded.

Man (muttering to himself) - Kitna claustrophic hai yaar...

Same lady as before (on mobile phone) - Haan... it does say applicant must apply in person... but kids also??

Yelling man (at counter) - No, but you tell me, what can I do now??

Scary lady in sari (to no one and yet everyone) - I SAID NO INQUIRIES!

Same lady as before (on mobile phone) - Mere paas toh stapler bhi nahin hai... what if they reject me because my forms aren't stapled?

Excited kid (to Mom) - Mummy, is that my passport?
Mom - Nahin beta, this is just the token number. Passport mein time lagega.
Kid - Kitna time?
Mom - Sigh... Pata nahin...

Same girl as before (on mobile phone) - Arre the queue went all the way from the gates through Grange road on to the main road... almost into a construction site! The workers started yelling at us saying they will complain to MOM.
(For the uninitiated, no, the worker wasn't threatening to run to his Mama; MOM = Ministry of Manpower)

Guy (surveying the room and shaking his head) - This is not Singapore... this is... this is India!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Odd and ends

The results of the last poll are out. The clear winner is Rang De Basanti, whose end was disliked for various reasons, ranging from "What? Everyone just dies???" to "What?! That's not a solution!"

My vote goes to Dostana. They shouldn't have shown John and Abhishek with girls in the first scene, and the end should have had both of them coming out of the closet and living happily ever after. Now that would have been a good movie. :D

Monday, December 01, 2008

Dead end

This month's Bollywood poll -- name one movie that should not have ended the way it did.

Do provide your ideal ending if possible. :)

PS: Comment moderation has been enabled so there is no point yelling 'Gold!'. I guess there is no point in me saying this either, as from experience, bewdas will be bewdas and will yell Gold anyway. :P