Sunday, August 30, 2009

Our Hero-Tuffy

When my friend asked me the question, I laughed. I laughed at the imaginary repercussions that might occur in case it really happened. I might be even banished from my own home for lying; deception, pretense and entertaining illegal activities (according to my dad) at home in the absence of the family members. Or probably ,my friends would never be allowed to come home again. Sad, they would be missing my mom’s cooking which they relish. I smiled at my little secrets, hidden forever from everyone only because it will never happen. Well my friend had asked me a simple question-“What will happen if in future your dog starts talking?”

Sounds very preposterous but I realized dogs can talk in their own unique style. I realized it the hard way. Whenever my mom goes out for the day leaving me alone with our dog, she would call me on my phone for almost 10 times to ask me the same questions again and again-Did you pour water for him? Did you feed him? Did you clean the bowl before feeding him? , Did you take him out for a walk? Etc. I really miss those beautiful days when mom used to call only for me. On one such lazy day, it so happened that my mom left for shopping and I was left with a huge to-do list. There are not many Homo sapiens around who can still beat me at laziness. After innumerous reminder calls from mom, I finally got down to feed my dog. I don’t know if he behaves this way with others but with me, he has to be coaxed, cuddled, hugged before ‘your majesty’ decides to eat. Well these are some of the things you have to put up when you are jobless. After all the hard work along with frantic calls from mom, I finally let out a sign of relief as he lapped up the last drop of milk. Signs of relief turned to a groan when I saw my next activity in my to-do list, to take the dog for a walk. I seriously hate taking my dog for a walk plainly because I am lazy to walk. After the initial conflict between duty and laziness, this time my laziness won and I decided to skip his walking. “Who can tell mom? There is no one else at home and my dog doesn’t talk”-I thought with a triumphant grin. I went back to my good old computer and eventually had my afternoon nap also when mom came home at evening. She was in a rage. She shouted at me, reminded me of my responsibilities and laziness, and promised to herself that she would never ask me to do anything (how I wish she keeps her promises), She asked me-Why, why did I not take him for a walk? It was a valid question but a far more important one was troubling me. I mustered all my courage, I even stood up so that I can run away in case mom’s temper erupts again and asked her innocently and earnestly-‘mom, how did you find out? ‘. She threw a floor mop at me and said-‘if you had cleaned this pool of piss at the gate before I came, I wouldn’t have found out. So my son, do the cleaning”. I looked at my dog and he raised his head for a while and went back to sleep.

Dogs are amazing creatures and as they say, man’s best friend. I and he share a very cordial relation. He would never come to me if he had other options. The other day, I was trying to impress my relatives on how my dog listens to me. While they were looking at me, I said “come here” and he came running to me wagging his tail and tongue. I said-“Sit down. Come on now, sit down” and he sat down obediently. They were impressed. I had a huge grin on my face and then said-“Give me a handshake.”And he lifted his right leg slowly and gracefully, and I shook hands with him smoothly giving a huge smile to everyone present in the room. It was this moment; he decided to prick my happy balloon. He caught my right hand and snatched the biscuit I had concealed beneath my palm in a flash and ran away-from the room, from the house and sat happily at the gate. One of my relative’s kids came up to me and asked me if he could also shake hands with the dog. I put up a brave face and tried calling him back. I called out to him with love, with compassion and even with desperation. He didn’t even look at me again and was busy looking out of the gate. I finally and reluctantly took out another biscuit and called out to him and lo, he came running to me wagging his tail and tongue. My uncle was quick to remark-‘Oh it’s the biscuit, isn’t it’. Damn!!!

All said and done, He is our hero. My mom had a proud smile on her face when our neighbor remarked-“your dog keeps watch for the whole colony”. It’s entirely different issue that he sleeps inside our bedroom exactly in front of the cooler at nights but neighbors are oblivious of that fact. But it’s also a fact that all through the day, he doesn’t let anyone come even to our street, leave alone our door step. Few weeks back, some hijras found their way into our colony, demanding money in the guise of begging and our hero drove them out ferociously. We all love our little pet and very proud of it. I just sometimes wish he shows me bit of respect but like among men, respect has to be earned. Damn, I should have taken him for that walk.

Oops, I forgot to introduce my dog to all of you-His name is Tuffy. Check out his pic at the start.
And before I sign off, I shall take this opportunity to pray; pray he never gets the power to talk.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Stroke Of Luck

Odd things happen to you every day?

You make meticulous plans and yet they crash like a pack of cards always?

You try travelling by bus and it breaks down almost every time?

You try travelling by your bike and it gets punctured twice in half an hr span?

You try browsing internet and power goes?

The power comes back the very second you shut down your computer only to go off again because you switched on your system again?

Then hey, you are in luck. You just found your long lost brother-ME. That’s my daily routine.

Talking about luck is much easier than defining it and with respect to me it’s even easier. For long I wondered, why I like talking about my luck or for that matter the lack of it. I don’t have an identity crisis to think everything in negative terms and whine all my life. I don’t even care for all the sympathy I might garner with my constant whimpering about my infamous ‘happenings of coincidence’. Then why, in the name of all good things in this life do I have to remind everyone all the time about this unique phenomenon? I have only one answer-because it’s funny. Every time when things don’t go your way, I am sure you get riled by the situation but have a good laugh at it the next day. That’s the way it should be and that’s the way this post is.

I don’t know when I realized I am special (not retarded). Probably too many coincidences gave me enough clues. I remember my family had shifted back to Hyderabad in 1996 after a five year stint at Chennai and I joined 8th standard at MIS. The same year, state government came up with a unique plan-to change the syllabus/textbooks/Exam paper patterns for one particular standard each year. And it started with us. That year, everything came out late. Textbooks were printed and distributed like food packets to drought hit areas-always inadequate and unavailable. Owing to excellent planning by the then state government, the plan was enforced the following year and the next. So our batch was the luckiest to face the problems all three years of our school. It doesn’t stop here-in my 11th, 12th they (intermediate board) also decided to change everything-right from the prescribed text books to the final exam model papers. But all this is nothing when compared to my engineering fiasco. When I joined engineering at Chennai, my college was under Madras University and after first year Anna University took over and ours was the first batch of B.E under Anna University. I along with my batch must be the first students on earth to study engineering under two universities. After my engineering, my twisted mind had then decided to pursue a management course to enhance my job prospects. And the saga continued there with even more devastating effects- Merely one month into my course, we were warned of the upcoming recession which by the end of my course grew into economic depression leading to the decline of recruitment's in IT industry in India. By the way my specialization in MBA is Information technology.

All this is very superficial and observed over the years. But there can be no second doubt when it comes to my special attraction to trivial yet regular occurrences like traveling. BUSES and me have this love-hate relation. I seriously lost count how many times the bus broke down every time I travel on it-be it local or Volvo AC buses. Once when I was traveling from Pune to Hyderabad and at three in the night the bus had to be stopped because people smelled something funny (I didn’t). I was still lying in my seat when people were getting down slowly. Finally I couldn’t hold myself and got down .I went behind the bus and what I saw made me freeze with shock. Fire was emanating from the engines, spreading towards the sides and the driver was trying to put it out with a goddamn Aquafina water bottle. I was dumbstruck and was scratching my ass. Come on, my seat was right above the engine for god’s sake. I was left wondering about the consequences of sleeping in my seat without getting down. Well the fire was finally put out and from 3 AM to morning 6, we all spent our time on that deserted road before another bus was arranged. It being a chilly December night made things even more complicated.

Few weeks after this incident, I told this story to my friend when we were traveling together in a local bus. He was rolling with laughter and tried to be rational in his opinions.
“Come on man, I am sure you don’t believe it. Do you?”-he said with a sneer. I replied-“no” with a smile. I knew where he was hinting at. “Let’s see, if anything happens to this bus this time, I shall take your word” he retorted. I sighed-when the hell did I say I control fate and destiny in this world?-I thought. Some people don’t get the joke-these are coincidences with just alarming regularity. Anyways the bus didn’t break down that day but a little while after he said that, a woman suddenly slapped some guy because she felt him trying to get close and a fight broke out. It was all chaos for full 20 minutes until those guys were finally thrown out and all this time, my friend looked at me and I glanced out of the window-whistling.

Such weird occurrences have become a part and parcel of my life. Now neither do I wonder why my scooty gets punctured always nor do I question why IMAX canceled its show for the day. I don’t get surprised when the printer in a net centre suddenly stops working. I find it perfectly natural when there is a power cut exactly when Sachin comes to bat and it comes back the moment he gets out. I also don’t swear at anyone when my internet gets disconnected exactly when my downloads are 98% completed and re-connects instantly as if to mock me. Seriously I have fallen in love with such situations that I can’t live without them. They provide the comic relief to my mundane boring life but I can’t help all those people who get affected by my presence. I would advise them to take it very easily. I believe in smiling today because I expect tomorrow to be even worse. It would be very unfair on my part if I don't acknowledge the good days I had /will have. In fact, I appreciate them even more for the reasons stated above. I have no complains with my life and I love it this way.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ganju and his Cop story

I decided to take things a bit further from my previous post before I am actually crucified for washing other’s dirty linen in public. I know its heinous crime to write about other’s personals in my own personal blog but I don’t give two hoots about it. It’s about the experiences of my very close friend Ganju on a fateful night last year. This post is one of those ‘incidents’ which normally happen to the junta of HC tribe. The reason I am digging graves here is because I am nostalgic, too attached or probably some emotional fool who remembers his past and keeps smiling to himself. So here it goes-

It was not a windy night. It probably was the most boring night with no wind at all, with rains hiding just behind the clouds threatening to unleash but merely thundering silently. Ganju came out of his house taking his bike keys to meet a friend. Now how far does this friend live? To be precise, his friend lives across the street, say some 400 meters from his house. But Ganju took out his brand new bike for the same. May be he is blissfully ignorant of the merits of walking. So after he met his friend, he was soon joined by few other friends (his colony gang) and all of sudden new plans were made and they all had to go to the airport (for what purpose is none of our business). So Ganju did the obvious thing-he parked his bike in front of his friend’s house and all of them left for the airport in a car. But as luck would have its own way, the so called purpose of going to airport was not fulfilled and they had to return back (total journey-almost 50 kms). They returned back to the same place by night 1:30 AM. If they had gone back to their homes after this, I wouldn’t have got this opportunity in the first place. But guess he got up on the wrong side of his bed that morning. Yes, he along with his friends felt-the road is theirs, their own home turf, their own area where each one of them lived for years and started gossiping right there on the road fully aware their act amounts to civil disobedience. Peals of laughter rang through the windless night with all of them having the time of their lives when the cops chose to give a stylish entry. When time gets bad, a fish in the sea becomes a dish in a star hotel. The cops always reserve their most menacing looks to normal public. I wonder if they give the same aggressive looks to a real criminal. With an ‘I-will-book-you-for-terrorist-activities’ look, the cops quizzed them. After the initial explanations, their eyes fell on the yellow steel shining with droplets of rain sliding down its smooth surface. I am sure he found that erotic enough to question about it. He asked-“Whose bike is this?” Ganju meekly raised his hand and declared his ownership of that super sexy new bike. “Put your hand down and show me the papers” said the patrolling inspector showing all his teeth. Now logically, to meet a friend across the street, why would someone take the papers? (It’s another issue that no one would take the bike out for this distance). Our hero Ganju also thought the same and had no bike papers on him. But this being his own area (his home turf as he calls it), he replied confidently “I don’t have papers. I live just across the street”. It’s like saying I only smoke healthy cigarettes. The cop gave another menacing smile and simply said “… then go home and sleep kid” and smoothly took the keys from his hand and gave it to one of the constable behind and lo even before any argument took place, the constable started the bike and vanished in the night.

All this happened so soon that he was caught off guard. The situation being so silly and yet so disturbing only because it involved his brand new bike greatly disturbed Ganju. After the remaining cops also left, Ganju seething with anger ran to his house (It was close to 2 AM) and knocked on the door, he went in-took the papers-walked out of the house in 2 minutes leaving his mom shell shocked (What she actually thought is again none of our business). Still surprised at the audacity of the cops, he met up with his friends and planned their next move. As fate would have it, they were 3 of them and just one bike was available. Ganju simply said ‘Uski maa ki’ and all three of them went on that hapless bike to the station. I must really admire his pompous stupidity but again that’s Ganju for you. When these 3 guys stopped at the police station, the cops were poker-faced to see them. They just gave another reason on a silver platter-three of them travelling on a single bike. Ignoring that, Ganju started his explanations (begging) and that went on for some time with the cops as usual not paying any attention to what he got to say. Now any random logic would tell you that they would have given back the bike if you pay them the usual baksheesh. But sadly this was the moment his friend chose to lose his composure. Well it happens-he got to go home and it’s getting late. He started shouting at the cops, pointing out how stupid they are to seize the bike of such respectable people. That’s done beautifully, the cops got their reason. From frying pan to the fire, the cops took all of them into the police station and threatened to detain them all night for.

Seething with anger, blood boiling, pride hurt and with renewed zeal to show the cop his right place, Ganju took out his phone. He first called his friend-some street smart guy who has the right contacts at right places. Now at this late hour, why would he be waiting for this hero’s call? Obviously he was sleeping. Undeterred by this, he called up some inspector he knew and ended up with same result. Anger levels lowered, blood cooled down, pride swallowed and with drooping shoulders, he called up his brother (finally some sense). His brother was fast. He is ‘he came-he saw-he conquered’ type and convinced the cops that they would pay the fine at the court tomorrow but would take the bike now. The cops relented, thanks to his excellent talking skills. So finally everyone went back home and you must be thinking, all is well that ends well but you are mistaken.

Next day begins on a positive note. His ‘street smart’ friend whom he tried to contact last night called him up in the morning. After learning the story, he offered to accompany Ganju to the court and brought his car. He is a typical character who thinks very high of himself when he wears high sole shoes. They along with couple of other friends went to the court, as usual in high spirits listening to the radio and cracking jokes (Some people never learn, do they?). After completing the formalities there, they went to the nearby shop and started having refreshments. Yes the final nail in the coffin was hammered here. One of them closed the car door leaving the keys inside. Now I have heard that it’s possible to open the car door without the keys using a scale but I don’t know how. Even they didn’t know how to and had to try for FOUR hours in that hot sun to open the door. Finally they had to break the window glass and open the door. The friend who is no way connected to the story came, got his car window broken and went home. Such people exist only in the world of Ganju.

This is one small episode of his life and with him around, funny things might happen to you also. Having bad luck is normal and being arrogant is also agreed. But arrogance with bad luck is deadly combination and that’s the reason why I and he are considered a lethal combo. Oh, When I say I have all the bad luck in this world, it sounds funny to you right? Well, probably my next post shall convince you of my power in that field. Till then See you.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Last Saturday was special for many reasons.
It’s been 10 years since I passed my 10th class. I never knew, time has this uncanny ability to go faster than you can ever imagine. And 10 years went by like a breeze. So technically speaking, my gang which started taking form in my 8th class completed 13 years. Even more practically speaking- we are getting old. My dad was of the opinion that friends are like relatives- ‘they show up when they need you’ and always comes up with his famous line with stretched arms- ‘look around me- none of my friends are with me now at this age’. He is probably true when 80 % of the relations in life get affected by Life. But I knew he already ate his own words long ago when he spoke about my friends to my relatives 2-3 years back. And no, I am not going to discuss any of my friends in this post.

Ok coming back to the point - from the time we left school until we all graduated 4 yrs back, it was all a dream run. From then onwards, there was just one instance since last 4 years where all the members of the group are present and even then it IS a dream run all along. And that’s what makes the last Saturday very special. It was a reunion of 6 of us-close friends with just one missing (now he can’t just hop on a flight and come here from US). So after the party, I sat down to think about the various memorable incidents of our journey and ended up smiling to myself. The funniest one was probably the 1999 New Year party- I would probably be killed for even mentioning this but I prefer washing this particular dirty linen in public. It was those good old days when New Year party means watching TV till the countdown to midnight and then followed by usual cake cutting. (I know it sounds boring but hell we were in 10th class). But when did things go normally for us? The so called ‘decent party’ ended up with all ‘playing’ with the cake inviting the wrath of the family members of the party host and then cleaning the house for the rest of the night with water and broom sticks. Hilarious and ridiculous!

May be this experience gave us some food for thought and our future parties were better organized. It’s practically impossible to talk about every single party, because every time we all met amidst the frolicking fun we have, there is always another different controversial layer behind it that brings out the unexpected from the most mundane situations and made them a tale to tell for our children. One such example was the infamous kallu-Ganju spat. There were rumors that this spat was inspired from the movie Dil Chahta hai and looking at the proceedings back then, it was fairly a good act. Extremely unnecessary and aesthetically wrong, this fight brought out those simmering fires every time we all met. Eventually (say 1 year) things cooled down to normalcy but the spat triggered many discussions and debates-all of them sarcastic.

There were scores of other wonderful memories but I guess GOA trip(2007) was the best. No question about it. 6 guys on bikes wearing shorts, roaming on beaches was inspiring. So what made all of us tick? Remember I said, I won’t discuss my friends here? (in the first paragraph). Well I lied. A sneak preview of each guy is right here. And you will know this is why we are all together-we are all different.

1)Kallu :He is the living example of Rakhi Ka Swayamvar with a small change and trust me he always gets the maximum TRP ratings. The change here being his girls-every time they get committed to him, they get married to someone else. Interesting right? We have suggested him to start a bureau to help unmarried girls around the globe.

2)Ganju (the centre of attraction): It sounds like a Telugu movie caption but holds true for this guy in every negative sense. He is our butt of all jokes. We are contemplating to release ganju jokes in the lines of sardar jokes and make him immortal in this stinking world.

3)Potti: He is our official ‘India tv’-the head of our news department. News from every corner should and will pass through this guy. He also holds the credit of starting an online news piece called ‘gaama news’ and provides ample entertainment to all of us with his latest stale news.

4)Manik (Russell Peters of HC-kings): His sense of humor caused people to cry rather than just laugh. Well it’s good to laugh till you cry than simply cry and he ensures it with aplomb & with an air of easiness. By the way he has the most common face in this world and yet you would fail to recognize him the 2nd time you see him , thanks to his alarmingly close proximities to Michael Jackson.

5)Chandu (The youngest big daddy): Caption sounds ridiculous I know but there lies the irony. Being the youngest and also the most mature is probably the biggest challenge of his life and to deal with 6 other crazy nuts is no easy job. It’s also widely believed that when Chandu and Manik meet, even the gods take a break to watch the rare scene. ( What they take break from is not yet known to mankind)

6)M.L- Offer him beer-biryani and he would sell Charminar to you. At least he would give you some logic (understood by only him) which would make you feel you already own Charminar. Talk to him if you don’t believe me. Period.

7)Kodi- that’s me. The driving force of our gang. No, not the way you guys think. I am the official luck charm for everyone ( Kismat Konnection anyone?) and responsible for every twist & turn in their lives with just my presence. No wonder M.L gave me the title- “There are 100 crore types of badlucks in this world and you are the sole heir to all of them”. Sigh , so true because the moment I was about to publish this post, I expected the internet to get dc and instead I had a power cut.

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