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Today is a very important day !!  The man who is paying for the services of consultants like me, is back from his vacation. Now, when I say he is paying for our services, what I really mean is he is the Global Director, Project Sponsor ….Executive Board et al. He is the client !!

The timing of his “time off” could not have been better. We were in a critical phase as far as the project deliverables and decisions were concerned. Sort of along the same lines of when Arjun and Krishna were tweeting on Koffee with Kauravas. Now imagine, just before Krishna begins, Arjun decides to take a month-long vacation. You know to explore the hills of Gangtok I am sure that would sit really well in the Pandava camp – “dude just go….. have fun !! ….and bring us back some yak milk cheese.”.

History repeats itself is proof, when our Local Arjun brought back some candies from Zurich. Based on inputs from my intra office contacts I have established, that these are the ones which are always on sale in the Duty Free stores. And I digress. At this point, it would be rather insignificant for the reader to note that our Local Arjun is of Bengali descent. It would also be negligent of me, if I forgot to mention that Local Arjun believes – being a fellow Bengali, it is my moral duty to kiss his Bengali paachha (buttocks)…. especially since it has client written all over it !!

Now that is where things get a little hairy. Let me explain briefly with an example!!

So, Local Arjun cruised in this morning, sporting his Sree Leathers shoes and wearing his cheap cologneof the 80’s man who badly needs a wardrobe makeover”. And then he embarked on his Vijay Yatra (raucous walk through the cubicles). As the decibel on the periodic  “haoo are yoooo”’ s amplified –  I knew it was just a matter of time, before I would have to strike a subordinated posture and enquire  – “Boss kemon ghurlen?” (how was your trip, Boss ?).  

I have to admit, this was not the best question !! Local Arjun took the cue and promptly filled up the air with details on how “vaery beeootifull Vaeneece (Venice) was !!  He slurped on the memories of a “deeleeshush” duck in Paris. And almost mourned the loss of his lugg – age (including his wife) at the Munich airport. Four weeks of relaxations has its effects, and at that point he just wanted to get back home to some dal bhaat (lentil and rice). The “vaery” vocal travelogue continued,without any consideration for those that were on conference calls or any other business related activities.

As everywhere, there were some dedicated schmoozers who posed some challenging questions – “ how were the hotels ? “. Local Arjun believes in – always explain briefly with examples. (now you know why I am how I am). He did not disappoint the listener. “ Oh they were so vaery costtlee”  he said and concluded the ten minute monologue with – “I had to spend $40,000 just on hotels itself !! It was horr-aybell, you know !!

Like so many others, this is another bone dry IT project. One which is supported by a group of under paid technocrats. Those who have had a really rough June. The client sliced and diced us with inane accusations and rolled off some key resources without any specific reason (read : because someone needed to be blamed). One of the guys lost his father before he could reach India. He was not allowed to leave sooner. And yet our Local Arjun finds in himself the “right” to flaunt bleat about his pleasures pains to those that held fort during his totally deserving holiday.    

It is likely that working “14 hour” days has pushed my head, so far up my behind, that my thinking has got all muddy. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the part where I question the Gurus of the Service Industry. When they say “the client is always right !!”  how “always” is that ? ?

While you reflect on that, I shall now get back to comforting him with my sincere concerns – “You look tired Boss. I think you should take it easy for a couple of days !”.

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Ricky Gervais’s .gif courtesy: google images

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CoffeeBeanMusings is an extremely talented blogger, who for some reason found in her, enough reason to award me with The Versatile Blogger Award !! Thanks much for this award !! Now. the award has a legal binding. There is a formal hearing !!  And I have been proven guilty …… 41 counts of stupidity.

What follows is the original transcript of the deposition …. !!  

  1. asked someone to marry you? guilty. …yep and she is living happily ever after…. with some smart a$$ from Geek University!!
  2. ever kissed someone of the same sex? guilty….do it all the time….wait ….same what?
  3. danced on a table in a bar? guilty….circa 2002…@ Z’s …and followed it up with a slurred version of Light my Fire on karaoke
  4. ever told a lie? guilty…..neva’ eva’ …and that is nothing but the hole truth!!
  5. kissed a picture? guilty…… and then washed the turpentine  off my lips…not pleasant !!
  6. slept in until 5 PM? guilty…….woke up exactly at 17:00 hours…to slam the alarm clock to death !!!
  7. fallen asleep at work/school? guilty….actually SOL (snored out loud) !!
  8. held a snake? guilty….and then made it sing Boom Boom Pow …backwards !!
  9. been suspended from school? guilty…..there were hooks and a crane involved …we were testing how gravity works …!!
  10. worked at a fast food restaurant? guilty…..worked on the fries at the speed of obesity !!
  11. stolen from a store? guilty ….balls…Rs1.25/- each …buy three and steal one for free !!
  12. been fired from a job? guilty ….from the job of changing diapers … for good !!
  13. done something you regret? guilty….wasting~ 120 minutes of my life – Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ….(yuck) !!
  14. laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? guilty ….yep, it was sweet corn soup and then we were confused …. and so we wiped the … !!
  15. caught a snowflake on your tongue? guilty….and then melted it to pour it on to a turbine ..and the lights turned on .. !!
  16. kissed in the rain? guilty…then it started  raining men… after which …not so much !!
  17. sat on a roof top? guilty…and then had to fix the dent…. the size of my butt !!
  18. kissed someone you shouldn’t? guilty ….with ramifications –  Size 6 !!
  19. sang in the shower? guilty …and then they turned off the water for the whole building !!
  20. been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? guilty…..only it was an open drain and my wandering eyes pushed me.. !!
  21. shaved your head? guilty ….yep and caught a huge chunk of gray matter in the process …!!
  22. had a boxing membership? guilty….small boxes, medium boxes, large boxes…etc !!
  23. made a girlfriend cry? guilty…..tears of joy ..when we broke up .. !!
  24. been in a band? guilty….rubber band….technically my wrist was in it ..(ouch) !!
  25. shot a gun? guilty….watch me in action …. Dead Gun Walking !!
  26. donated blood? guilty …sold it for a glass of milk …and Parle G !!
  27. eaten alligator meat? guilty…..in a few hours …..Father’s Day Menu ….Alligator Biriyani !!
  28. eaten cheesecake? guilty….and then broke the weighing scales !!
  29. still love someone you shouldn’t? guilty…..my son !!
  30. liked someone, but will never tell who? guilty…..Miss Jalebi  who is now Mrs. Blood Sugar !!  
  31. have/had a tattoo? guilty…thrice  and counting …..yaaa yaa yaaa !!
  32. been too honest? guilty…always… since I was a child…am not too proud about it though !!
  33. ruined a surprise? guilty …. walked out with an umbrella….the thunderstorms hated it !!
  34. ate in a restaurant and got really bloated that you couldn’t walk afterward?  guilty ….so they let me stay and clean the dishes !!
  35. erased someone in your friends list? guilty….CTRL X’ed them out ….never CTRL V’ed them….. suckers !!
  36. dressed in a woman’s clothes (if you’re a guy) or man’s clothes (if you’re a girl)? guilty…all the time …. matter of fact… am wearing my Paraag Sari for Father’s Day.
  37. joined a pageant? guilty ….”Fathers Who Like to Change Channels While Trying to Change Diapers” …. whew !!
  38. been told that you’re handsome or beautiful by someone who totally meant what they said? guilty….and then she lived happily ever after …. with … !!
  39. had communication with your ex? guilty ….. an ” I ” for an ” I “… with the ” X ” !!
  40. got totally drunk on the night before exam? guilty…..what exammmmmmmmm mamu !!
  41. got totally angry that you cried so hard? guilty …. after I finished watching Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi !!

Your Honor, I would now like to award the following bloggers who have caused chaos with their brilliance…not in any specific order of preference !!

  1. Purba
  2. CoffeeBeanMusings
  3. Shivani
  4. GyanBan
  5. UdtaHaathi
  6. Chotu’s World
  7. Dr.ROFL
  8. ZB
  9. Anirban
  10. Ramesh
  11.  Nish
  12. Raja
  13. Vinita
  14. Shilpa
  15. Judy

Congratulations !! You are now responsible for copying the image and using up all your free time to answer the 41 questions !!

It just so happens, that I never worked in India…that is for a living. I was on a full scholarship from the Parents Foundation !!  Things were going really well… no complains !! And then I took the GRE,TOEFL,ECLAIRS…etc etc. Before I knew it,  I had graduated from a phoren University. And then I joined the American workforce !! And that is where, I met Brutus…. every day ….at every job that I held.!!

Brutus shall lead; and we will grace his heels
With the most boldest and best hearts of Rome.

If you are as old as I am and if you soaked up on Julius Caesar (part of syllabus) as I did…..you might just remember this.There is also a possibility that you are not as old….. rather older !!  Either ways, if you know what ” to read between the lines” means, ……you probably do not wear glasses …(huh) !!

If  you love Brutus as much as I do … you will know what I am talking about !!

Ironic : around the same time last year, I was talking about something similar !! Here is a link to that vent !!

For more on how to talk the talk … here is a  link to what Anirban said …. !!

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Wish me luck” he said as he snuggled his glasses into her soft hands. She obliged with a whisper – “luck” and he could almost hear his juvenile heart bounce around to the beats of Air Supply. He was near the penalty box, when a corner kick generated some irate dribbling and before he knew it, the ball was rolling coyly towards him. He leaned to his right and with a quick sweep of the left knee gifted the momentum to the white net. GOOOOAAALLLL !! 

His joy was boundless, as he waved through the dust, at what looked like her silhouette.”Few more minutes, and this trophy is ours “ – he thought. This was the first time he had scored a goal !! Actually,this was the first time, he had been picked to play at any match (that mattered). Thanks to the guy, who was carried out in the second half, due to an injury that had involved a shoe, the football and his groin. Pain !!

The match resumed, amidst cheers and boo’s.Usually, he never tried to use his head (no pun here) to direct the ball (again no pun). You see, it is not easy to do that and keep the glasses on your nose at the same time. But this was a different day.Sans glasses, this  could well have been a first time. Except for the small slip in coordination. His head found someone’s chin, a player from the other team. The referee was furious, used a lot of Kerala accented English and flashed a red card. Exit !!

As he pseudo shamefully  left the ground, he kept thinking – “how does this really affect my football career? I am banished from the next 2 matches …which I would not be picked to play anyways ? And ….no classes since technically. I am still part of the team. Also less time on the ground = Less sweat = Better impression (if you know what I mean). Totally awesome ! !” 

Minutes later. we had won the match and the tournament. I was a school hero. My life changed !! That goal scored me, what I would define as : irresponsibly flirtatious glances from many whose names I do not remember now… (or do I …wink wink). It also earned me pats of disbelief, from the Physical Education teacher, who on other days spent most of his time, coaxing me to walk from the classroom to the outdoors. Right on !!

Once, every so many days, (once every four years to be precise), I close my eyes and replay what transpired on that dusty afternoon. It is not every day that a non athletic nobody like me, gets to make room for a trophy in the principal’s offce. It re-fills my heart with teenage pride. That right there was my “golden boot” moment !! Literally !!  

Enough said  …..let’s “kick off” the celebrations already….. !!

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Ladies and gentlemen, today is a sad day for the “Rebublic” of Bubbles !! Yesterday four of our youngest and bravest, lost their lives, in what can be defined as notebook example of premeditated cold “bubble” murder !! What is most absorbing, is the amount of planning that went into this heinous crime. This photograph was taken, minutes before the fatal episode. What follows is a transcript of the note found at the “splash” site, moments after the bubbles’ “burst” !!

What’s her face, is the reason for our death ! You can see her hand and how she used it to “blow” us into our demise. There was not an ounce of remorse, as her  partner in crime jumped gleefully with his sadistic squeal  – “ bawel bawel” (damn kid did not even pronounce our names right). They even had a photographer, at the soon to be “scene of crime”. As gravity pulled us towards the prickly greens, we could hear the haunting chuckles of the shutter.

They say, moments before you are about to die, your whole life flashes in front of your eyes.Who these “they” are, ….is unknown to us !! What we do know, is – that is a load of crap !!  If you look closely, you fill find our eyes are filled with images of the white balcony where our killers were situated.

This summer has been really bad for all of  “bubblehood”. From the time, State of Wal-Mart came out with the Summer Clearance Act, “bubblcide” rates have multiplied. We request all “bubbles” to try and relocate to the overstock section.

Let us observe a moment of silence in honor of  “bubbles lost in air”. We have to be strong. There is no room for tears .. ..Bubbles Don’t Cry !!

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Photo Information: This photograph was taken by le embrouille blogueur. If you wish to use this, please acknowledge the source.

It was a Sunday morning when Arnold and I met  for the first time. We were in our own living rooms. His, was in the high rise on Manhattan while mine was in Salt Lake City, Calcutta. The most striking ingredient of that memory is his big smile which used to render a display of the most innocent and chocolate invaded set of pearls.

Arnold, was my best friend for several years to come. Our friendship grew stronger with each passing Sunday. If not for his accent (which I had to initially struggle to keep up with) , we had hit it off, almost immediately !! He would do most of the talking and I would be the one breaking out into loud hilarity. I loved everything about him . He was my childhood role model. I even begun dressing like him. There was the cowboy hat ( from the Book Fair) and bell bottom pants (green corduroy) that I had to be in, all the time.  I would  even cross my arms (like him) across my chest during all conversations. It did not matter who I was listening or talking to, I would always strike the “Arnold pose” with all my weight  on the right leg. Strangely Miss Biswas found that extremely annoying (during “drawing class”) and promptly sent me out to bake in the summer heat !! But that is a different story !!

I am one of the several thousands, whose earliest memories cherish loving hues from Diff’rent Strokes. It was my introduction to anything American. I was too young to see beyond the innocent wit  that the show contained. Today, as I look back at those times and the show, I realize that it was so much more !!  All the years that Diff’rent Strokes was on air, it carried a banner of love, of acceptance and happiness. And Arnold,was the star of that show !! Everyone loved him !

Arnold (Gary Coleman). passed away on Friday, May 28th 2010  This is a farewell note from that little boy  sitting on the cold mosaic floor with his eyes glued to the black and white of the television screen, as Arnold slides down the wooden railings. Adieu !!

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Bengalis (by birth) like me do not like to admit that they have a sweet tooth. They land up at a Bengali get together(read : loud exchange of  opinioned ideas on everything and anything) and when offered, push their open palms in the air, like that on an invisible bench press and noisily decline “mishti khaabo naa …sugar achhe“(no sweets for me, I have blood sugar)”. And then after the party, on the way back, ask the wife “do we still have any of that key lime pie you made? “.

And then some days, during the coffee machine chit chat when I am asked . “you are Bengali right … you must love rosogolla?” And the sarcastic genes inside me scream “thanks for the stereotype, again!”. But on the outside, I say ” I love sandesh as much “, totally forgetting the part where I am supposed to go …”actually I do not like sweets at al. I have blood sugar .Instead; I love to use jalapeno seeds as mouth freshener“. But that never happens!!

What I am attempting to draw from the above, is how you could be immensely fulfilled with two completely disparate experiences from the same source. Another example  – when on a perfect day  your wife is giving you the silent treatment, and making spicy onion masala uttapam ,both at the same time!!  As for the female readers, I do not have an example … since men usually are not good with multi tasking!!

So when I watched Kaminey, (something which I have wanted to do since its release last year) it was that whole different kind of happiness feeling. “This is a complete movie” I told myself . Just like ..The Blue Umbrella.  And yet completely, unlike. The source – the creative genius of  Vishal Bharadwaj !! The man who has been proven guilty of being in my list of favorite directors, composers and all of that jazz since his Maachis days!! He started of as a composer and of late made some really good movies.

Now about these two movies. Why did I pick just these two?  Purely because of the experience as a viewer, watching two of his creations which have no one common point that they meet at, be it theme, design or any of those elements that work towards graduating a good story into an awesome movie and yet inspire me to write a post about them. Whether anyone is reading or not!! Wait, I did not mean that. I do care about who is reading. I digress. Let’s get back shall we, to my duo- analysis, or whatever this may be called.

The Blue Umbrella touches you,  for the simple story (courtesy: the esteemed Ruskin Bond). Pankaj Kapoor (side note: I am his fan since his Karamchand days) as usual is brilliant in the role of an aged shopkeeper who desires to own something which does not belong to him. The Blue Umbrella – the prized possession of a little girl. The movie was shot in Himachal Pradesh and just like me, as you watch the film, you will want to be part of that rustic ambience. There is innocence, love, deceit and finally utter kindness that make this a masterpiece. To me that is the sign of a great conversation – one that happens between the characters and the audience. Thank you Vishal !!

About Kaminey, let me start with the music. It will blow you away!! That is, if you are open to the idea of being blown away by music, I mean. Since the time the music released (last year), whenever we are in our small blue car, I have made myself, Onga and his mom listen to Dhan Te Nan as the overture to any journey, be it as insignificant as a quick run for diapers. And I digress again.

And I am back. Kaminey’s story is one which cannot be called unpredictable. But sometimes  cliché, when served nicely tastes good, kinda like how karela (bitter melon) would taste like honey, if Priyanka Chopra were to serve it to me. Talking of her, she did pretty good in her “not so glamorous” role in Kaminey. As for Shahid – job well done, times two (he plays twins in the movie)!! All the actors who acted as crooks, including the Bengali trio did very well, proof being I was rooting for them when they set the house(s) on fire. You see, it is not every day, that you see Bengali men who have an established career as kingpin(s) in Mumbai!! Good story with beautiful songs (which fit in perfectly even in this Satya style story) makes Kaminey one of my all time favorites. Thank you Vishal !!

In essence, this is my personal message to all movie makers – “I have some news for you. If one of your hits was a thriller, guess what, your next one need not be one, unless you are Shyamalan , and even he made some bad mistakes for e.g. The Happening.  So, ..please explore, and make us feel…. what good movie making (no matter what the story) is all about. Kinda like what I heard in the men’s room of Lighthouse cinema (Calcutta) so many years ago – “ khel khatam, paisa hajam” (the show is over, it was worth every penny)!!” The End!!

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