Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Points to be taken

It was literally a red letter day for me in the month of December. I got a personal letter with the Signature Red from Dr. Vijay Mallya. He expressed his gratitude gushingly for patronizing his airlines and has encouraged me to use it more for which I would get more points. If I collect enough of them, may be I would get a chance to become Atul Kasbekar’s assistant for shooting swim suit calendars.

Points have always been a great motivator. I have more than 20 point cards. Some of them are rare and is available only to manic point collectors. Like the one I have for collecting points for parking my car at Shoppers Stop.

The other day I wanted to earn brownie points from Radhika, my wife.
Me:- Did you notice something?
Radhika: What?
Me: I did not do something especially for you.
Radhika: Other husbands do something special and the lot I picked does “not do” something special. Anyway what is it?
Me (in the tone used by Amitabh when he sacrifices his life in Sholay): I did not go for badminton today.
Radhika: So?
Me: Ok, hand over the dusting cloth, my points are depleted and I need to replenish them.

Some of the points which have been collected by spending needlessly on credit cards have been converted to a small clinic at home. We have state of the art – BP Monitor, Thermometer and Weighing machine which conveniently lies. It asks you – “How much do you want to weigh today”

Some of the other points have been converted to Kitchen stuff. My wife is extremely possessive of Kitchen space.

She has had her full with multiple timers, coffee maker and a food processor with blades which have never been taken out of the cover. Unless it was to show off my gadget freakishness to unsuspecting guests – “This extension can not only crush juice out of dry pomegranates but can count the number of seeds in them”. Radhika has definitely reached the tipping point and has informed me that she will start charging rent on any new buys.

Point taken, especially in the recession times.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Gifting ideas: Oil cans always wins

I am flummoxed among other things is the process of buying gifts for Birthdays or for the matter Valentine Day. Others things also flummoxes me; Wild swings of the stock market and weather in Bangalore.

The only certain thing in today's life is traffic jam
and losses due to Satyam scam.

Not only I can write prose but rhyme too. We men like to compare among other things - Time stuck in traffic jam. Favorite being, "You know I was stuck for 3 hours near Trinity circle", "It takes me more time to come from Hyderabad then from Bangalore Airport to home". If you think only women compare figures, think again. We men also like compare the figures – Salary ones. We also buy bigger cars because size does matter.

However nothing flummoxes me more than the process of buying birthday gifts for "You know who" (I read too many Harry Potter books). The choices are endless
• Should it be a surprise or should you take her along. The only problem is that shopping induces involuntary yawning in me which leads to catastrophic consequences.
• Should it be a diamond or as only the thought matters that we can get away with a single rose. I have come to a conclusion, thoughts are ephemeral but diamonds are forever.
• If it is a dress then should we buy the right size or flatter her by buying small

I am amazed at the fact women can do this so easily. They look at a person and gifting portion of the brain starts whizzing and tells them in no uncertain voice. The most appropriate gift would be tall wine glasses which are marked as cut in Bohemia and are in sale which is unknown to other 3 billion women on this earth.
My wife used to buy gifts for relatives when returning home for vacation from Japan. The receiver will go in to raptures. One time she bought small plastic oil cans for my Mother and her friends. I was laughing along with the baggage scanner in the airport. However my wife had the last laugh when my mother whooped with joy and became the neighbor hood navarathri heroine, while the well chosen vacuum cleaner by me got a cursory glance.
PS: This is classic Jai. It means that it is a rehash of an earlier piece written by me.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Spice up your bedroom moves

I am a left brained person at least that is what I think. This has been found scientifically by taking a cosmopolitan quiz which went like this. Take a spoon and gently tap your left side of your head and then your right side. Rate the sound you hear on a scale of 1 to 10 and multiply with how many times you spoke with your husband in the last week. My score was zero as I do not have a husband. I had to call up the helpline after going through an interactive voice response system for 12 days, the helpline person told me that husband can be substituted for partner. It is then I remembered that I got one word side ways in the last six months with my partner. The result is that my right brain is non existent and my left brain is the size of a pea.

Cosmopolitan is full of surprises. I told Radhika to read an article with a screaming headline “Spice up your bedroom with 12 moves which will floor him”. After a week our bedroom was spiced up with bright bed sheets, curtains and 12 other items and of course I was really floored by the credit card bill.

As a left brained person, my approach to all problems is sequential. It is proven fact that persons with sequential thinking can only cook one thing – Water. Folks who are little bit more parallel in their thinking can do Maggi Noodles. It becomes a challenge when Radhika goes away to her in-laws place during summer. Irrespective of the culture or the age of the women, they become epitome of compliance in the presence of in-laws. The good thing is that I can happily keep the coffee mug unattended and with out any support. They spring legs and carry themselves to the sink instead of me carrying them.

The only way to over come the challenge of cooking during Radhika’s absence is talking to her on the phone. It is the time, I finish my quota of talking to her for the year. Talking quotas are very important. Here is the proof.

Radhika: We do not talk any more.

Me: It is not true; remember we spoke for 15 whole minutes when I made Sambar the last June

Radhika: Ah, yes

We live happily till the next summer vacation.

My instructions on the phone call goes like this. Wash the potato with water and cut in to pieces roughly the sizes 2 cm by 2 cm. At this moment, I will drop every thing and raid my son’s cupboard for a scale. You can understand the reason that the potato curry gets made in roughly 3 days. I had to order industrial grade thermometer because I burnt our normal one making Sambar. The other things used are multiple watches. All items which are being cooked has a watch by its side. If my wife or the recipe book says, cook it for 7 minutes then 7 minutes it is.

If you know the editor of cosmopolitan, let her know that I have managed to spice up my kitchen with my moves by sprinkling turmeric and chilly powder on the floor and can write an article – Get your husband to spice up the kitchen floor.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Beat the Bangalore traffic - Use Nano Technology

Like everyone else in Bangalore, I love to talk about Traffic. My belief is that without traffic Bangalore will be a city where no body can carry a conversation for more than 5 seconds. Fortunately for the well being of so many Bangaloreans, I do not know to drive but employ a driver. His name is Bangarappa. He is seriously thinking of changing his name. It is not to appease the gods of luck with numerology. It is to salvage his pride after Bangarappa lost his election to Yeddyurappa.

If I could change my name, I would like to change it to Brad Pitt / Gregory Peck to match with the way I would want to look. I can also change it Shahrukh Khan to match with the 6 packs which I am planning to get by my next life.

My driver is extremely technology conscious. He can change his ring tone every other day while my wife cannot. It is also because he has a better mobile phone.

The simple funda in my life

Good drivers are hard to come by,

You can always find a new wife

The other reason I say that Bangarappa is on cutting edge of technology is because he is a Nano Technology researcher in disguise. He believes that he can squeeze an 1100 cc sedan in to space less than few millimeters including legs of cattle which passes our way.

He also shares the following beliefs that all the motorists in Bangalore have.

  1. He is always right even when going down on a one way street in the opposite way
  2. If you are involved in an accident then you broke a very important law. It is not the traffic ones but the law of nature. The law of nature which says that no two things can be at the same place at the same time
  3. All the other motorists are wrong
  4. Most of the others drive as they have address the call of nature this very second
  5. Traffic lights are optional
Optional is some thing all of us learn as students. All my course mates including me used to study only 50% of the syllabus. We did more important things like appreciating the art of movies for rest of the time. At a campus where we were doing interviews, one of the students was asked - Please tell the sequency for memory access in a computer. The student answered confidently "But sir, I left it as option during my exams". All of us nodded sympathetically and would have promptly hired him except that this student had left every thing out as optional.

As a very compliant employer, there are very few rules set by me for Bangarappa. He cannot honk unless it is national emergency like the Indo Pak cricket match will get over by the time we reach home. The other one is that he cannot use his mobile phone while driving. It is good that at least some of the other fellow motorists also follow the rule. They use a hand free while attending to phone calls while driving. They get used to it so much that they use it even they are sleeping. The other day I saw a guy who made to the toilet with his hands free blinking from the ear and then the phone rang. He went about doing the business while on the hand free; he exclaims “What boss, long time, no see".

So folks, overtake a cattle head at your own peril, for Bangarappa could be driving underneath.