Tuesday, March 31, 2009

But, it is Emotional Attyachar

Emotions lead to questions. I am sure this is what researchers have found out and are prompting the producer to increase the emotional quotient of reality shows. The participant would have just sung his heart out and the host would ask “Do you think this performance would fulfill the dream of your neighbor’s dead great grandmother?” The participant then would discreetly wipe away the tear and say “Not only her dreams but her dog’s too”.

Personally I am wary of questions especially the ones asked by you know who (This is my Harry Potter hang over). There are 2 questions I actually dread; how do I look in this dress and how many drinks did you have. Of course, I do the great mumbling trick. I try mumbling in a very soothing manner looking for cues like “I think I will wear the green one, you did like it the last time”. This is the time to jump in and say “But babe, you look good in any dress”. Do not try this at home as I have been professionally trained on this one. It is dangerous to start any sentence with But especially when you are commenting on a dress.

For the second question on how many drinks did you have to drink. The tactic is to say two and immediately change the topic “Remember we used talk for at least two hours when we were going out”. Needless to say do not try this at home too. It has never worked.

The other kind of questions which I love is the TV presenter asking very insightful question such as “So you have won the Oscar, How do you feel?”

Obviously they are expecting an answer like this “The credit definitely goes to my Kindergarten teacher whose rendition of Ringa Ringa Roses was the inspiration. I feel awful winning the Oscar as I will have to share royalty with her. Is this being transmitted live?”

“Yes Sir”

“By the way when I did the song shut up and bounce, I did not expect the producer to take it very seriously. The payments have been bouncing. Bharat Bhai, please pick up my phone at least. It has been only ringa ringa”

As you can see I watch TV Shows under influence. However I love reality shows because of SMS voting. I own Bharti Airtel stocks and the only way the #@&* stock would go up is when you send multitude of SMS.

I am waiting to see the day when judges in reality show come to studio in their bath towel. It is not part of my adolescent fantasy but more of a recent one :-).

TV Host: Today, India has answered the most important question facing the nation today, what will the judge wear? Bharat Bhai for you India has decided that you will wear striped PJ and Vest.

Bharat Bhai: This is not fair. How many people have voted?

TV Host: Only one, and the SMS reads "this is for the bounces cheques".

So folks, please send those SMS using your Airtel moble, if you do not want me to end in a bath towel. I am not a pretty sight, my six packs are not yet ready. I need to go and put on the TV as my neigbours’ great grandmother is getting restless in the grave.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Marriage by listening

I got married the traditional way as they do in India – Arranged Marriage. We met at my house. She walked in and I was enamored. Only thing I could not show it because I had taken a deep breath and was afraid to let it out. My friends had told me that the best way to impress a girl is to have broad shoulders and chest. I forgot to stand in the line when God was distributing those.

She asked me “how are you” and I nodded. I thought I was giving the impression that I belong to the category of strong silent types. Radhika later told me that I looked like a constipated geek. As is the tradition in South Indian families the girl was requested to sing. I was wondering about the root of the tradition; which I am sure came from our movies. The guy looks at the girl and she bursts in song roughly indicating that she will be his soul mate and will allow him to hang out with his buddies at least once a week. The second part is not true but when you meet for the first time it is all music to ears. May be the female species also sing to ward off the males from flirting. I read this piece of news after reading the last page in a leading English daily; Wife of an English footballer settled in US is only going to hire male baby sitters only.

My Human resources experience has specifically trained me for instances such as this. I got in to the interview mode and asked a stupid question “Tell me about yourself”. When I am asked the question it puts me in a quandary and am tempted to answer; "I brush and floss my teeth regularly. I liked the movie Reader not for the steamy scenes but for the story. I dream of getting a six pack. The only way it comes true is when I buy a six pack of beer cans”.

So when I asked the question she acted coy and said something. I do not remember what she said because I was not listening. She then asked me to tell about myself. Tell me about yourself style of questioning is contagious. The flood gates opened....... I told her that one day I am going to write a book. She asked me the subject and nature of book. I looked at her with disdainful eyes and replied that that those are small petty things to worry about. The only thing we need to know that, it is going to be a best seller. I also mentioned about my dream of running a marathon (I did complete partially what I had promised by running half marathons)

I spoke for 30 minutes which was a mix of truth, fiction and dreams. Believe me that was the only 30 minute stretch ever I spoke to her. After that I have been only listening. It definitely lead me to become an effective HR person and got my colleagues to say “Jai is a great listener”. Marriage is not that bad at all.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

3 letter word with X in it

It is a three letter word which ends with X and I dread it a lot. As most of my readers are solid middle class citizens with strong family values, the first word which comes to their mind when they read the sentence is Tax. They are right. If you thought about some other word, Sorry dude, check out this Movie “Reader”.

In my (almost) forty years of existence, I am trying to figure out the utility of Taxes which is to provide jobs to tax consultants. I have a tax consultant even though I do not have any income at this moment. Let us call him Raghu because that is what his name is. I always check with him on tax related stuff.

Me: I keep listening to the ads which says bring all your junk and pick up a refrigerator at Big Bazaar. So do I have to pay any capital gains taxes for the exchange?

Raghu: You loser and you are late as usual. I went there and they gave me a nice earthen pot. They are out of it now.

The other utility of taxes which I read in my Son’s book is that Government uses it build roads, bridges and underpasses. I am glad that my tax money is working real hard in Bangalore. The roads and underpasses are perpetually under construction. I look at the pothole near my home and feel really guilty about not studying during my school days. I would have then paid my taxes in time and the Government would have filled the pothole.

Ideally speaking the Government should have incentive schemes; either to get folks to read their civic books during their school days or get them to pay taxes in time. The scheme would go like this. The citizens get to choose their favorite pothole and indicate it in their tax returns. When they fill the pothole, we can go and leave our hand imprint, like they do in Hollywood.

I have figured out that that the best way to make money is become a tax and life counselor myself. I have added the life part because I do not know anything about taxes. I do not know anything about life either, but hopefully I can hoodwink my clients. So I hung up a board and was in business and this is what happened.
Me: How often do you pay tax?

Client: Once a week

Me: Why it is not more often?

Client: I am getting old and cannot do it anymore. It is also all the Cess which we undergo in technology industry.

Me: How do you know that you are undergoing Cess?

Client: Times of India says so. Don’t you read the paper?

Me: As a responsible tax counselor, I go directly to the last page to check out whether Pamela is happy with her current asset situation. Have you discussed this with your Partner?

Client: The priest said that we were joined in holy matrimony but did not talk about joint accounts. By the way why it is called tax returns?

Me: Beats me, my tax has never returned.

Client: That is a nice small pot out there. How did you get it?

Me: They give it exchange at Big Bazaar for all the used tooth paste tubes.

Client: Really, but why is there a hole in it?

Me: The Government is yet to fill it.

So if you want to be immortal, send some money to me. On second thoughts, you can send lots of money too. I will fill the pothole on your behalf and name it after you. I will do it sometime during the next 3 financial years which would be faster than the Government. Now I need to go and brush my teeth as Radhika wanted one more pot at home.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My ice tray would walk one day

I had to blink hard and rub my eyes when I read the news article “ Shoes that works as Mobile Phone” . It made me think that I am not abnormal. I always wanted a printer which would make my photos look muscular, a clock to take the dog for a walk and a washing machine which throws away clothes which are never worn more than once and sale signs which would disappear when one walks by. I seem to be having lots of these, not ideas but clothes which are worn only once - in shop's trial room. It will be save me lots of money or otherwise I need to buy a separate house to store the clothes.
Going back to the shoes that think is that it would lead to better flexibity among the users. Currently in Bangalore, India whenever the mobile rings while driving a bike, the rider just shoves the phone between the ear and the shoulder in to a popular yogic pose called Mobile aasan. The picture below shows a variation of the pose it is called one hand phone pose.

Now imagine if the person wears the shoe mobile. It would definitely not only increase flexibility of the wearer but also of the reflexes of the folks who wants to get off way of the rider.
I always recollect that we have run out of ice, only after pouring the drinks in to the glass. The invention which I am definitely waiting; Ice cube trays which will automatically walk and fill themselves when they are empty. I would like to see the look on the face of the guests when the fridge door opens and the ice tray stepping out to fill itself.
The other invention I would like to have is memory reset counter. My wife keeps a keen watch on the number of drinks I have. She will also forget the year when I forgot her Birthday. Here is awful non prose to end this blog with
I can cancel the appointment with my shrink
I am normal, which is different from what my friends think
My wife keeps on saying “Have one more drink”
I keep talking to my shoes when the phone rings

Monday, March 2, 2009

G-gap is widening: Rd dis nw

It was required for people to be born at least 30 years apart from each other to have a generation gap. Apparently they have changed the rule and that too without telling me. I was busy attacking the Samosa in the party when my friend sidled up to me and said “I want people like you from the next generation to take over from us”. I almost choked on Samosa with couple of peas stuck in my trachea. My friend is 6 months older than me. It made me conclude that, generation gap can not only be contentious but also be deadly. If you are a regular reader then you would not have failed to notice the “Not only but also” combination.

In keeping with the times, the forces that decides all these things – the folks who run Facebook and Youtube are running out of letters to describe the generation. My generation was called Generation W. It has to be, as the current one is called Generation X. Only thing is that nobody told us we are Generation W.

My proposal is that we can come up with a very simple system which is a combination of letters and numbers. Instead of generalizing and saying that I belong to Gen X, one can say I belong to Gen X.205 version 3.2. It would be make life easier for us folks who were born on the older side of 20th century.

So if receive an email which reads – “Hw’s ur gf? Orkut 4 dt. Mt me @ 5. Gr8. LOL”
All you have to do is run it through the dictionary for finding out the translation in to Generation W Language. If you belong to Generation V then Ha, ha, ha or LOL 2 U.

It is amazing to see that need for vowels are completely eliminated. This is because most or all of the communications happen over phones and everybody is strapped for time; ILU, U R fired, U R dmpd Lsr or Cme 2 da tble 4 dnr. I am sure there is some body smart in Nokia who is proposing a cost saving solution of removing the vowels from the number pad on the phone.
If we type the vowels then it would be impossible to keep up with the messages. It also means that you would get around to sending your New Year greetings by SMS in July only.

I am sure that time is not very far away when my son Aditya would have the perfect excuse for not coming for dinner – “Pop, but you did not send me a calendar request”