May 22, 2011

Phony friends and their Cell Phones

Cell phones have penetrated so much into our lives that we hardly notice how much of a pain the ass they are. Mind you I am not ranting about mobile phones or technology. Technology is good but can we say the same about our friends?

Chapter 1: The "Guess who?" Routine

After having endured a reasonably excruciating shopping session (all shopping is excruciating) with a friend at a mall, I treated myself with a little scoop of Gelato. So now I have the Gelato in my right hand and a reasonably heavy shopping bag in my left. I was halfway through the slurping when my phone started ringing.

My hands were full, it was quite noisy around and it was definitely not the best place or time to have a phone conversation. What else could I have done? For it is a call from an unknown num!

Why why why do people do that? Forget people, why would a dude do that? To another dude? I just cannot imagine a social situation where I would enjoy the guess-who routine from a guy! If the sole intention is to display what a cool guy you are, you may be losing some audience here!

How to deal with these kind of people:

Did someone just call you from an unknown number and say “guess who"? Don't worry.

If it is a guy, all you have to do is say something like this in a very angry tone, "You? Oh you son of a bitch! The nerve on you to call me like this! You said you’ll give me back my twenty thousand by last week. You never called back; you don’t even return my calls. WHAT THE HELL MAN? WHERE’S MY MONEY?"

Feel free to use expletives to bring the required effect. If you fake your rage carefully on the phone... the other person will get a little worried and confess, "Hey… you must be confused. It’s me Rakesh" after which you say something like, “Oh Rakesh? Sorry yaar I thought it was someone else. He sounds just like you. He is such an asshole! Never mind... How are you?..."

Problem solved and you can be pretty sure wont attempt that with anyone any time soon! If it’s a girl, it is easier. If a girl calls you and says, “Guess who?” all you have to do is start guessing… “Wait a second, I know this voice. You must be Shalini. No, not Shalini. Is it Priya?… Hey Priya! Umm… May be not. Is it Sagarika? No, it can't be. Sagarika's voice is a lot sexier. Ah! Now I’m know. You must be Divya. Or may be Pooja… yes either Divya or Pooja… Hi Divya or Pooja, what’s up? Long time huh?

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a gtoosphere guarantee that the next thing she utters will reveal her identity. You’re welcome!

Chapter 2: A perspective on time

Some people are not born with a sense of perspective for time. Let me give you an example. I called this school friend of mine with whom I haven’t spoken in 6 years. It was around 11:30 on a Saturday morning and the conversation went like this:

Isn’t it great to have a friend like that? A friend who is only concerned only about your immediate past? Thank you Sandhya for sharing all the useful information! If anyone asks me, "How’s Sandhya", I can now confidently answer, "Yes, she had awesome Sambar for breakfast sometime last month!"

How to deal with these kind of people:

Well you don’t have to. You haven’t talked to her in six years and you were doing fine all along. Why disturb the equilibrium?

Chapter 3: The Guess-Your-Mood Mode:

This usually happens in long distance relationships. If you’re in different time zones, it is even more screwed up. Imagine you are in the US and your girlfriend is in India. She had a nice day, a satisfying dinner, cuddles up in bed at 10 in the night whereas you in America are late to work, just spilled cereal on your shirt, took the wrong exit and are stuck in traffic. Then the phone rings and it’s your girl who happens to be in the mood for some chit chat. There’s your disaster waiting to happen.

Or it could be the other way round. You had a great weekend and are ready to hit the sack on Sunday night and you want to talk about the awesome beach trip you just came back from while your girlfriend is having a bad day at office on the Monday morning.

You have no way of knowing that she is having a bad day at office. You call her up and fill in all the details with a lot of enthusiasm while all there is on the other side is relative silence. Finally she breaks the silence and says something like, "Can’t you see from my silence that I am in a bad mood?"

How the hell can one "see" bad mood from silence? If the girlfriend in question is talking, may be it is possible to guess something from her voice but from silence? What is this pressure of having to guess the mood of the other person while talking on the phone? Well excuse me for being human who gets over 80% of sensory information visually from facial expression and body language! I’m really sorry. I cannot think a more romantic way to put it. My left ear cannot fill the void left by my two eyes that cannot see you!

How to deal with these kind of people:

You can’t. You’re screwed. I’m Sorry.

May 4, 2011

Babies, Kids and their Parents!

I was out one fine Sunday evening having dinner at Subway. There was this family at the next table having their Sunday dinner. I wondered what a family is doing at Subway because Subway is the sort of a place where bachelors go to eat when they are not in the mood to eat anything! Their choice, let’s not judge that. The Small family consisted of Mom, Dad and two kids – a baby and her five year old brother. Dad went to place the order; the five-year old was visibly excited; the Baby was crying and Mom did nothing to stop the crying!

For crying out loud!

First of all, why do babies cry? What are these babies crying about? They don’t have deadlines to meet. They don’t have financial problems or any relationship issues. In fact, their lives are so awesome that they don’t even have to move to poop and they’re still crying! They are living through what they would look back as the best period of their lives and still they cry all the time. Something is wrong with humans! You don’t see kittens crying do you?

I have come to accept that we can never completely do away with babies. But the parents – parents who board flights and trains with their babies; parents whose families cause mild-to-medium inconvenience to strangers like me; parents who take their babies to the movies or other places where I might be – they ought to be blamed.

Parents, we know you act all embarrassed, sport a guilty smile and wear an expression that says, “I have no idea why babies cry” but the thing is 90% of the time you are the reason the baby is crying. You take babies to dark loud claustrophobic movie halls and to bright noisy restaurants, to crowded trains and bumpy planes. You take babies to places they don’t belong to and then you wonder why they are crying. Your game is up – we know that you are the reason your baby is crying!

Mum's the tongue

Okay back to the story. The five year old brother of the crying baby was all excited about his meal. He was animatedly yelling instructions to his Dad on how he prefers his Sub knocking out a few things on the table in the process. Mom obviously irritated with his enthusiasm barks out simple instructions like “Chintu sit – Chintu no… Chintu don’t be a bad boy… CHINTU I SAID NO!” in a loud but hushed tone.

I don’t know how it is for you people but I find parents talking to their kids in English a little weird. Especially if the kid is 4 years old and the parent is not very comfortable in English! A conversation in English is totally fine but communicating with a four-year old involves barking a lot of mono-syllabic instructions and it always reminds me of puppies being trained! No offense but where I’m from, that’s the only time people use English! What can I do? I can’t change my past!

Finding it weird is my problem not the parents’ fault. But I don’t understand is why English is forced on little children as their first language – as their language of thought! I understand fluency in English is important but just because you work in a software company where you have to do the documentation in English doesn’t mean that your mother tongue has outlived its purpose! There is tons of inherent cultural knowledge your kids are missing because you are denying them their mother tongue. So young parents, you’re basically screwing it up for your kids in a big way!

Sanitize this!

Where were we? Yeah, Dad has now brought the sandwich along with some Lays chips and bottled water. Mom takes the hand sanitizer from her purse and instantly sanitizes everyone’s hands. Are washbasins “ssooo last century” now? What’s the logic in giving only tissues in a humid place like Bombay? We always end up leaving leave the place with sticky hands don't we?

I agree that as part of an “international chain” franchisees have to maintain some sort of consistency in the way the place looks but if stuffing paneer into a sandwich is allowed I don't see why putting a couple of washbasins is difficult. May be there is a bigger reason for the absence of washbasins. May be the only reason KFC is finger licking good is because they do not have enough washbasins!

Disclosure: I personally don’t have a problem with babies crying next to me in a train because it takes much more than a tiny baby with a shrill voice to disturb me from my sleep! After all I do have over 85000 hours of experience!

P.S: Have you seen lately?

May 1, 2011

My latest project -- Gultrage

For quite sometime now, (for reasons I shall elaborate in a series of posts sometime in the future) I have been mad at Telugu people and then came Tambrahmrage which opened a wonderful opportunity for me to use the rage meme as a cathartic tool and thus gultrage is born!

Yenjaay -- and remember, I am most serious when I am joking!