Saturday, August 25, 2007

Life Lessons

Let me tell you a story. I dont want to disparage the protagonist in any way. He is a good friend of mine. It is not his fault that this happened.

This friend (lets call him Ram) met a european girl. Lets call her Alice. And it so happened that they really liked each other and this ripened into a very close relationship. Ram at this time was living with two other guys. He had never lived with a woman before. He's had other girlfriends, but this is India - live-in relationships are rare.

Alice started spending a lot of time at Ram' house. Started living there. One night, around 12 pm, the inevitable happened. She asked Ram to get her some tampons. This has never happened to Ram before. He is quite unaware of the intricacies of the female plumbing. But, being the quintessential gentleman, he goes to the chemist. And comes back with diapers. Alice is thoroughly confused. "What is this ?" she says. She explains the situation to Ram. "Ah !" he quips! "These can serve the purpose!".

Needless to say, he is made to go to the shop again, and this time told very specifically what to ask for. And he does. All is good.

Just a reality check ! You can not assume things. It was not anyone's fault. But all said and done, it was a laugh. He will never live it down.

OKOKOK .. On popular demand

Here is Ruchi, D and me, at Buzz on wednesday

Now it is 12:30 AM on a friday night. D is in Varanasi right now. Time for a reality check. Will do that and post results

Friday, August 24, 2007

Email Thread

About 15 days ago, I receive this email :

Dear all
I am sharing my contact no. & email address for your kind information by hoping for regular communication.
Raj Kumar Kshetri

I have been receiving mail from this dude before, obviously a wrong email address, but i had ignored it till now. A safe thing to do would have been to block him. But I decided to be polite and inform him of his mistake.

Dear Raj Kumar in Nepalgunj

Thank you for the regular updates that I have been receiving
but I think that you have the wrong email address ..
I don't know you at all
as much as I appreciate the mails, please remove me from this update

I thought that this would be the end of the matter. No. Raj Kumar from Nepalgunj had other ideas :

Dear Manu
Sweet love.
I can't understand that why do i remove u from my update list.
Hoping regular communication.



Now I am laughing. I could have again blocked him again, but this was too tempting. In India, Manu can be a girl's nickname also.

You idiot !

I am a guy .. so stop calling me sweet love

now that you know that, can you remove me from your mailing list ?

plus I am really not interested in updates from Nepalgunj (wherever the
hell that is)


I am still awaiting his reply ! Will keep y'all posted

Night Riders

Buzzzzzzzz !
Went to Buzz in Saket. Ruchi had promised D some indian pop music, and Buzz is the place. D came with her brother Tebo (the eldest sister is back in France for a vacation). Niki, Swati, Ruchi, Walia, VK. AK and Nat.
I will give details of the party later (with pics, as promised). But suffice to say that a LOT of alcohol was consumed by all.
We started on our way back at around 2:30 AM. I was driving (safe drunk driving - only in India !!!). Niki, Ruchi, D and Tebo. Just as we leave, a car with 4 dudes starts following us. I think they noticed us because of the ruckus we were creating outside the club before leaving. In fact, I think everybody noticed us, including 2 cops :-)
I still have not understood why, but following cars with girls in it is a done thing. I have done it in my youth, I admit. Rarely, but yes. So these youths were just following time-honored traditions.
Anyway - they are driving behind us, overtaking us, slowing down, driving beside us .. the works. A little scary, if you are sober. But we were not, so that was not a issue. I am driving steadily (ask anyone). At this point of time, the roads are almost empty. We have to drop off D and Tebo first, so Niki start giving directions. Slight problem - she remembers where they used to live 2 weeks ago. At one point, D has enough sense to ask where the f*** we are headed. U -turn. The youths are following us still.
We miss an exit. No problem. We back up. Its India. We almost miss another exit. The only reason the car makes it is because we are 5 people, and the car is difficult to topple over now. A lot of screeching tyres and braking is happening.
Think from the "followers" perspective. It totally seems that we are trying to lose them. Exciting stuff for them. They are totally pumped now.
So we drop of D and Tebo finally. The youths are watching us all the time. Then start driving to Niki's place. This time, the car pulls of next to us, and the youths gesture to us to roll down our windows. Of course, I ignore them and keep driving. The gestures become even more urgent, but nothing doing from our side.
Finally we reach Niki's place. Now we have to stop to let Niki out. The youths pull up alongside again. One of them leans out and asks us, "How do you get to Karol Bagh ?"

I dont know at what point they had decided to give up the chase and go home, but whatever that point was, they had been driven round half of Delhi, and were hopelessly lost ! Their home (Karol Bagh) is at the opposite end of Delhi. They probably did not know this part of Delhi at all. At that point, all they wanted were directions to go home.
So we gave them directions (hopefully right ones), they politely thanked us and went home.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Image Randomness ..

This is on my way back from Chandigarh. From the train. The problem with these A/C trains is that there is nowhere you can take a picture of the countryside except through the dirty windows.

I broke my (?) old badminton racket last week.

Whoever doubts badminton's authenticity as a sport should try playing 30 minutes.  I have started again after coming here, and am rediscovering why i used to love it.
This breakage was the result of a really hard smash. It did have a crack before, and my mom was using it regularly with no ill effects. I guess i play harder than my mom !
This belonged to my classmate in IIT : Puneed Dalmia. I forgot to return this to him when we graduated. I have met him only twice since that. He was a founder of JobsAhead, which hotjobs bought at a hefty price a couple of years back.

And finally some eye candy. She is Ruchi's anchor. In her TV show. I think i really need to go into TV production.

The Gang !

Here are some pics ..  let me introduce some folks from Last Week.

I have known Richa all my life. All my conscious life. She used to live 50 m from my house. We hung out almost every day since we were kids. Same class (different schools though). One of the coolest people i know.

Niki knows probably half of Delhi. The half worth knowing. If I go to party in Delhi, Niki is there with me. She is a partner is a law firm. One of the leaders in IP law practice in India. But when she parties .. she rocks! NIKKA SINGH is .. KING !!

I am working on D's picture too .. patience !

Bull Shit ? Not at all !

This dude was on the road on my way back from work today.
Obviously, this is rush hour. But no one dare disturb this the most untouchable of animals. Not only is it of the cow family, but it is also a "Sarkari Saand". (literally : government bull).
Those who have heard me talk about it will remember this. A bull is a cost center. It does no work (like an ox, which is a castrated bull) because it is too rowdy. But it is necessary to fertilize all the cows. So the government (yeah .. the benign ruler) gives each village/community one bull. It is community property. It is the whole communities' responsibility to feed it and take care of it. And the bulls responsibility : FERTILIZE ! It gets into high gear in the rainy season, when it sniffs out the cows that are in heat, and services them. What a life !
Me Jealous ? Hell yeah !

Here is a closeup, if you really want to admire him

Monday, August 20, 2007


So let me introduce you to the 2 ancients in our family.
The first one has existed for 93 years, and is indirectly responsible for me. My Dadi ! She is my only living grandparent.
She is a little (well .. more actually) senile (in a very practical way). Cool thing is, she is living in a parallel world. In her mind, she has gone to trips to the US (where she did not visit me because she was too busy). I sometimes am jealous at her bliss.

She had lived in Lahore, where she was a teacher. She has raised 1 son (my dad) and married off 7 daughters. She had an iron-fisted control over all of them till about 10 years back. I have resented her at times for it .. specially some of her beliefs that used to be thrust on us kids all the time. Now she cannot even remember my name sometimes. Old age is very unforgiving.

The second one has been with the family since 1987. It is my dad's first car. In those times (yeah .. those times), poeple waited till they saved enough money to pay cash for a car. Well, the government chipped in with a really low interest rate loan (the perks of govt service .. god know the pay there is not the best !).

This is a Maruti 800 (yeah .. it really has a 800 cc engine). It was the first modern car in India, meant to be affordable for the common folk. My dad paid Rs 90,000 for it at the time. It was the first car in the block where we lived, and i was quite proud of it. But not as much as my dad, who still loves it.
We have had family trips where we have loaded 9 people (and luggage) in this car. To really appreciate this, you should know that the car was meant for a family of 4.
My sister has had it for a while (which was a big trial for the car, if you know my sister, but it came through with flying colors). It has been stolen once (which finally convinced my parents to buy a new car). It has NEVER given any problems (touchwood) in the 20 years that we have had it. It is celebrating its 20th birthday this August. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ..