Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

One Upmanship – Bernie Madoff vs Ramalinga Raju

Scene: Bernie Madoff and Ramalinga Raju are put in the same jail, for crimes of similar essence – defrauding shareholders/investors. Both wanted to prove that one was better than the other – in swindling. And so began the argument –

Madoff: You bloody brown fellow! How dare you steal thunder under/from me?

Raju: You racist cheater! How long do you want to be in the limelight? Forever?

Madoff: Why did they put you here after all? I mean, what greater crime did you commit than me?

Raju: I defrauded, actually made fun and fool of atleast a billion people into believing that I was building the next IT behemoth. What did you do?

Madoff: You are just talking about Indians and a bunch of Wall Street Americans who have invested in your ADRs. I have defrauded, again, made fun and fool of millions of people across continents – US, Europe, Asia to quote a few.

Raju: That is nothing! My company was one of the SWITCH of India (Satyam, Wipro, Infy, TCS, Cognizant and HCL). We were believed to take over the outsourcing world. Haha, I have left India Inc. with a WITCH now. That should settle it.

Madoff: Not so soon you brownie, although that’s an insult to the food item itself! I defrauded banks and other investors to the tune of $50 billion. What was the little amount that you cheated people with?

Raju: You can’t understand the Indian measuring system, do you, you imbecile?! I defrauded the investors with a much greater amount than you did. 8000 crore is the amount – translating to 80 billion – a much greater number than you.

Madoff: You moron, you can’t understand the simple conversion of Rupee to Dollar. How did you ever become the Chairman of a company?

Raju: You couldn’t pay up little money in a ponzi scheme. How come they made you NASDAQ chairman once? How come they all considered you to be one of the makers in Wall Street?

Madoff: That’s because I was cheating them for a little over 48 years dude and I became one of the most powerful people on Wallstreet! They had to watch their words very carefully. Between, how many years were you cheating a billion people, which I admit is quite a huge number?

Raju: Haha, thanks! Well, publicly, its been about 8 years but before that we hardly had any revenue to cheat. Between, I appreciate that you had the talent to cheat people for 48 years. Awesome!

Madoff: Now that we have mutual appreciation and admiration for each other, how did you get caught?

Raju: Well, I technically misstated the accounts, showing more revenue than what was coming in. You know, all that ‘doing business on a cost basis’ funda. However, I and my dear family members made a lot of money (wink, wink).

Madoff: And then?

Raju: Then, I had to cover the tracks of this cheating or give money to my sons in Maytas, I forget which. But all hell broke loose in the US simply because I was transferring 7000 crore of fictional money to my son’s company. And then, Merill Lynch pulled out citing some esoteric ‘material accounting irregularities’ which I never understood. I wrote a letter to my dear employees, who in fact, worked like dogs for me that I cheated them happily, actually, screwed them happily for close to 8 years. What happened in your case?

Madoff: Well, my conscience pricked. I confessed.

Raju: Haha, that’s a very good joke! I can’t stop laughing.

Madoff: Haha (high-five) The jury and the media couldn’t make this out at all (high-five). You are indeed very sharp.

Raju: Haha, thanks. What happened?

Madoff: Well, with this stupid sub-prime crisis, some morons in Europe asked for money which I didn’t have. And then, everything blew up.

Raju: Well, we both have one thing in common

Madoff: What is that?

Raju: We both had auditors who hadn’t done their homework or classwork.

Madoff: Bunch of idiots. What do they know anyway? Sarabanes-Oxley – WTF is that? Losers!

Raju: Haha, fun, fun, fun. Now, let’s just get a bail and get the hell out of here tomorrow.

Madoff: And cheat more people…hahahah!

Raju: (high-five) hahahah!

And so the saga ended. Madoff and Raju from a mode of one-upmanship had transformed into partners-for-the-next-fraud over a conversation in the jail.

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‘The Angrez’ on IM :)

Of all the multiple conversations on IM that I was a part of in the office till date, this conversation takes the cake. One of my very good friend, Harish was working from California on this particular day. The background essentially is that we both love the movie ‘The Angrez’ – a movie based on hyderabadi-hindi-urdu dialect. The following conversation is based on one of the scenes in the movie – it was spontaneous and hence even more hilarious. [Conversation copied verbatim]

Jayagopal, Harish [11:39 AM]:
Kal kya hua maloom..
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:39 AM]:
kya hua re?
Jayagopal, Harish [11:39 AM]:
Homestead main party thi
Jayagopal, Harish [11:39 AM]:
Andar jaate hee Manejaraan wanejaraan Hello Hai bole,

I didn’t get the drift yet…
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:39 AM]:
kyaa??

Jayagopal, Harish [11:39 AM]:
Party mein jaake, ab main naach ra toh saare pottiyaan mereko lipat jaati,..
Jayagopal, Harish [11:39 AM]:
Toh main aisa hallu se table baita,
Jayagopal, Harish [11:39 AM]:
table pe baithe he Jolie aayi..
Jayagopal, Harish [11:40 AM]:
ab pooch Jolie kaun !!

My manager called me for some reason…so I had stepped out for about 5 minutes at this point…

Jayagopal, Harish [11:40 AM]:
kidhar mar gaya rey Iflaaz..

Ilflazz…I was LOL…and immediately got hooked up…

Dhanwada, Kiran [11:45 AM]:
kyaaaa baat kar raha hai be?

Jayagopal, Harish [11:45 AM]:
pooch Jolie kaun
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:45 AM]:
kaun Jolie re Harish?
Jayagopal, Harish [11:46 AM]:
Tomb Raider yaaroon
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:46 AM]:
LOL

Jayagopal, Harish [11:46 AM]:
aake.. Hi Harish.. where are you…how do u do.. now u do boli..
Jayagopal, Harish [11:46 AM]:
do teen peg kya pee vee lee une “Harish, mereko long drive main jaana” boli
Jayagopal, Harish [11:46 AM]:
Abhi LA main kahan leke jaaton..
Jayagopal, Harish [11:47 AM]:
Santa Monika se Sunset Blvd,
Jayagopal, Harish [11:47 AM]:
Sunset blvd se Hollywood st.,
Jayagopal, Harish [11:47 AM]:
Aisa Broadway ke bajoo se nikal rahe the toh
Jayagopal, Harish [11:47 AM]:
“Harish mereko Shrimp hona..” boli,
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:47 AM]:
LOLLL…shrimp.?!
Jayagopal, Harish [11:47 AM]:
Shrimp ke liye kidhar leke jaaton,..
Jayagopal, Harish [11:47 AM]:
pooch kidhar…
Dhanwada, Kiran  [11:47 AM]:
kidhar re Harish?
Jayagopal, Harish [11:48 AM]:
Bubba Gump yaaron
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:48 AM]:
abaa…
Jayagopal, Harish [11:48 AM]:
Bair filhaal hum log baithe to 5 5 plate khaayi
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:48 AM]:
paanch paanch?
Jayagopal, Harish [11:48 AM]:
itte itte toh plateaan they yaaron
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:48 AM]:
LOLL
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:49 AM]:
ah..uske baad?
Jayagopal, Harish [11:49 AM]:
kaafi der ho gayi… tum ghar jaao Jolie bola toh…
Jayagopal, Harish [11:49 AM]:
unho boli…Harish…Aisa kaise hota… uppar aao kuch baat karna boli
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:50 AM]:
abaa…gaye tum?
Jayagopal, Harish [11:50 AM]:
ab uppar jaa ke raat bhar kya kua poocho nakko..
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:50 AM]:
neend kab khuli yaaron?
Jayagopal, Harish [11:50 AM]:
subeh…
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:50 AM]:
LOLL!!
Jayagopal, Harish [11:50 AM]:
hahahhhaaa
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:50 AM]:
perfect!!
Dhanwada, Kiran [11:51 AM]:
you’ve mastered the art of Urdu-Hindi dialect.

For those who haven’t watched this movie, do watch it. It’s falling-off-the-chair-hilarious. The original scene relating to the IM conversation can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gM6QrKkMtk

Festival of India

Last weekend, ‘Festival of India’ was conducted in our city. Now, ‘Festival of India’ in any city in the US necessarily attracts lots of food caterers first, along with the usual unnecessary audience which doesn’t make noise at an event. There were many interesting events, most of them with tiny-toddlers dancing away to glory while their parents were basking in reflected glory. There is indeed some magic in those little kids below the age of 6 not dancing, yet dancing (if you know what I mean!) – most of our group were spellbound by their charm and innocence. That, I must say, was the best part.

The second best part, was of course, the food – from chat to idli sambar, from rasmalai to falooda – we had it all. Not top-notch, but decent enough to carry the day.

The worst part (‘of course’ would be a cliché!), were the desi couples and the desi gang who congregated the place out of sheer boredom rather than to contribute anything significant – either in terms of performance or in terms of noise (which we specialized in).

Sample this conversation between the married guys –

Guy1: So, I took I-95 for about 70 miles and then hit the beltway, went round it and merged into 264. That took me about 90 minutes from X to Y.

Guy2: Ohh…that is a slightly longer route. What you should have done is taken Route 288 for about 40 miles, Exit 31B and then I-64 west. That way, you avoid the traffic and save about 15 minutes atleast.

Guy1: Ohh!!

(at this point, I am thinking…guys, get a life – buy a GPS)

The wife of Guy2 steps up to the challenge now

Wife of Guy2: You know Guy1, my husby is too good with all these routes. He remembers almost every exit and route we take – here or anywhere on a holiday. He just remembers every route. Call him up in case of any route discrepancies you may have.

Guy1: (doesn’t know whether to smile or cry) mumbles smthg to the extent of ‘Sure’

(I have already excused myself from the conversation, but couldn’t help laughing at first, Guy1’s expression, two, Guy2’s amazingly stupid memory capacity of seemingly nonsensical things and Guy2’s wife’s leadership initiative, propounding superiority! I don’t want to sound condescending…but then, can’t help but say – specimens, specimens!!!!)

Another excerpt conversation from friend of friends I overheard (with so much fun going around, you do want to overhear things and laugh about it very discreetly – that way, the cycle of fun grows exponentially)

The scene – The kid of A performed on stage. Kids being kids, always look cute on stage, irrespective of whether they dance or not. It is the parents who should be shot. Anyways, so, B walks in (enters the audi just then). B is a friend of A (or act as friends, you can never tell with these ladies). B suddenly realizes that A’s kid has finished his performance. She comes rushing towards A, with all the enthusiasm of a little gadfly – all buzz and no performance – ‘Ohh…your kid looked soo cute, no? Aiyyooo…what a performance, what a performance…you are very lucky I say’. I am totally stunned at the sudden turn of events (I, for all my innocence had thought that B was rushing towards A to apologize profusely for missing the event). My friend shakes me out of stupor and says ‘ye sab chalta hai, tension mat le’. As I pass out of the auditorium, I notice A and B hugging each other like best of friends, putting Caesar and Brutus to shame.

Such is life.

The ‘in’ things!

After 2 hours of deep thought process, I am as close to framing up a short story as India were to losing to Sri Lanka in the first test (losing by an innings and 239 runs should give you some idea) – the story neither had a beginning, nor an end or anything in between. As the great authors of the yore would say, ‘I am working on a short story’ and will publish it shortly.

That brings me to write about a topic which I am quite familiar with – talking about the ‘in’ things. In other words, I would be expounding on some of the fads (fashion for the ‘poignant’ folks) that beckon us today in ‘every sphere of the world’ (I have no clue what that phrase means!)

Social Media:

Today, everyone and his uncle’s grandfather are talking about Social Media. Simply put, conversations’ happening over the web is Social Media. However, just like the Communist parties of India talk about the Nuclear Deal without knowing the nitty-gritty’s of it (and neither do I) and raise a hue and cry about it, so do everyone I talk to nowadays is talking about the deep impact that Social media is having on the society today. On further enquiring what exactly is Social media, most of the people don’t seem to go beyond mentioning Facebook, Myspace, Orkut, Twitter and Friendfeed. Even if they know three out these five websites, they claim to be an authority in Social media. But as you can see, it is the ‘in’ thing to talk about – just like everyone in IT wants to work in a startup nowadays, and just like every Ramu and Pinky opened a company in the late 90s and just like every web enthusiast talks passionately about Web 2.0 in every forum they can gain entry to.

Being a Social media enthusiast myself (the ‘in’ thing to say you see!), I find it deeply disturbing (so much so that I can sleep over it for days) that people use and abuse the impact of Social media on organizations and community in general. Frankly, talking about Social media is great, but from a business point of view, monetizing the concept is extremely difficult. I would rather get down to numbers and business rather than jazzy presentations using Web 2.0 tools about Social media and its impacts that I seem to go through nowadays.

Politics:

The ‘in’ thing to talk about is the Nuclear Deal treaty. Inflation can cross 12%, the common man on the street may suffer due to rising oil prices, there might be blasts in Bangalore, Ahmedabad or any other city in India but all the media and the politicians can talk about is the Nuclear deal. Heck, talking about this deal has brought the horse-trading tactics in the open – a seemingly closely-guarded secret we all knew about all along, threatened to bring down the government (not that the government was any better all these days) and advertisers are having a field day on TV channels focused on this deal where all they talk about is ‘hot air’.

But you see, the ‘in’ thing is Nuclear Deal – it gives us a chance to appear intellectual, morally superior and we come across as knowledgeable about day-to-day affairs. Never mind that this deal will result in actual power only in 2020-25 range, never mind that more than hundred things can go wrong in US elections, and never mind the inflation which has shot through the roof (and sadly, without the corresponding hikes in salary), we have to talk about the pros and cons of Nuclear deal.

Technology:

Specifically, the iPhone. iPhone or its younger brother, iPhone 3G. I can understand the excitement in possessing an iPhone – it’s aspirational. Credit to Apple that over the past 28 years, every product it has churned out, it has turned it into a cult. Brilliant marketing. But, I just can’t understand why people cannot be rational when buying such a high value product. Just because it is aspirational, doesn’t mean I shell out close to Rs. 25k and get it unlocked for another 2-3K.

As Apple would market it, an iPhone is a combination of a phone, iPod and Internet. What’s more, iPhone 3G has in-built GPS. What Apple will not tell you (or anyone for that matter) is that GPS drastically reduces the battery life, you can’t send applications via Bluetooth, there is no MMS feature, certain basic features like cut-copy-paste are not enabled and many more. But nope, flaunting an iPhone and talking about is the ‘in’ thing – how else would I prove to be technologically advanced and up-to-date to the society if I don’t posess it or don’t talk about it.

With the explosion of Internet in India (so says Comscore in their ridiculous report with numbers where the terms ‘average’ and ‘heaviest’ mean the same), there would a corresponding increase in talking about these ‘in’ things – sad, but true. Now, that was certainly an ‘in’ thing to talk about – philosophy plus concern without any data to backup 🙂

Couples working in the same company!

Heaven and Hell; Life and Near-death; Tolerable and Intolerable; Intelligence and Dumbness; Bearable and Unbearable;

The question for the day is ‘What is common among all these pairs of terms, other than opposites?’

My answer would be ‘Morons who got their better halves into the same company, or even worse, same project as theirs – did they actually think it would turn out to be the positive opposite? Really? What were they thinking?’

For the sake of simplicity, I use the male pronoun herein. The following is equally applicable to the female pronoun too [If only defeating sexism were as simple as throwing in an occasional he/she, her or hers. Kindly don’t look for sexism where none exists].

As has been the sad case over thousands of years now, people have been getting married. What is even more pathetic nowadays is that they are getting married to a person who is in the same profession! Even worse, same company and the most blinding wonder of wonders, same project. Seriously dude, what were you thinking? Has your IQ turned negative? Or, are you on a mission to reach unsurpassed stupidity? What exactly is your problem that you committed such a colossal blunder?

From an Indian perspective (and is equally applicable to almost all nations), the boom in IT industry has created major behemoths who employ close to a million people. This in turn has affected the marriage market in unimaginable proportions. Apart from creating various love-bird colonies in almost every campus, this IT boom has affected the arranged marriage market in a profound manner. A sample conversation between three parents –

Parent1: My daughter did her B.Com. She is now working in a call center

Parent2: Oh! B.Com aa…My son did his Engineering. Now he is in software. We are looking for a software girl who can understand his work too.

(software girl…wtf?!)

Parent3: True, just like platform-language compatibility, the kids should also be compatible in their own sectors…like software…hahahahh!

Parent1: Yes, yes…I am sending my daughter to computer coaching. She will also join a software company very soon…nowadays who wants to work in retail shop or manufacturing plant I say!

That being the case of parents, most of the marriages are happening between IT professionals. As far as I am concerned, since the majority market (and I use the term ‘market’ in the truest sense, no insult here!) is in IT now, I don’t see an issue why the couples shouldn’t be in the same profession. But imagine the conversations at home:

Guy: So, can we go to Gopal’s function now?

Girl: Ahh, I think I can’t make it…I have a problem with this Oracle database…can you help me out here?

Guy: Oh sure sweetheart! So, what exactly is the problem…is there a problem with the Extract process, the Transform process or the Load process!

Isn’t that sad to say the least?

What is even more depressing is if they are working for the same company. ‘Ahh, they go in the same car, they go-together, come to-gether – they save on petrol as well as they spend more time to-gether, how nice!’ and ‘Awww, chooo chweet, no?’ are statements we tend to hear. Firstly, No, it is not sweet…what’s more, the guy is probably going through the worst torture in his life. Don’t get me wrong here – I think a couple working in the same company is absolutely fantastic…as a concept. Practically, it would drive most guys insane.

When Einstein spoke about the infiniteness of human stupidity, I am sure he was referring to guys who have their spouses in the same project as theirs. Imagine a jail – same thing; in fact, even worse. Imagine a noose around you 24×7, office and home – like heaven and hell being one and the same. Absolutely no privacy, and every move being monitored, analyzed and feedback duly passed. The better thing to do here would be to choke themselves rather than get into this afflictment. As Shakespeare says in the Twelfth Night, ‘Observe these guys, for the love of mockery’. Actually, ‘whole-hearted sympathy; is the phrase to used for such people – I like their approach, but definitely would love to see their departure from my sight.

P.S: This blog’s topic was a random idea my supervisor had come up with. All credit to her 🙂

Inflation – it’s such a mess

A man explained inflation to his wife thus:
‘When we married, you measured 36-24-36. Now you’re 42-42-42. There’s more of you, but you are not worth as much.’
– Lord Barnett

That my dear friends, is the essence of the devil called inflation. In more complex terms, and hence economically speaking, Inflation is a rise in general level of prices of goods and services over time. There are many measures of inflation – the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) and then there is the GDP deflator and then there is Excess of money supply – in short, economic and finance newspapers make every effort to confuse the common man using such jargon, thereby making money, instead of explaining it through a simple Lord Barnett’s joke which everyone would have understood. [Feminists who can’t see the joke in it can go take a hike, and probably buy The Economic Times or The Wallstreet journal]

I like Zimbabwe. No, not the cricket team – they suck big time. I love their penchant for huge numbers. Nowadays, they only talk in millions, billions and trillions. Rich country perhaps. For example, their inflation is just 2 million percent according to the latest figures. Look at that number, isn’t that music for any Finance minister of the country? Or for instance, look at this bill for one dinner – isn’t this fantastic? How rich must the people be to write a 1.2 billion Z$ cheque? And how much would you tip the waiter on this bill? Wow, the calculation in itself is mind-boggling. Wonder how the Zimbabweans do this day in and day out? They certainly love huge numbers – the bill and the inflation are living proof of it. We should all seriously consider moving to Zimbabwe if we ever want to grow rich…or atleast feel rich.

And what is the inflation in India as per latest figures? A paltry 11.42%. How much does this 11 and some change percentage measure up against 2 million percent? Our inflation pales in comparison. No wonder that still 40% of our population is below poverty line. Tchah! And can we even dream of writing a million rupee cheque for one dinner, forget a 1.2 billion rupee cheque? Nope, not in my lifetime atleast. Such sad state of affairs. On top of that, the media goes gung-ho about inflation over-shooting, food prices rising beyond our means and all that crap – ah, the media is so dumb! Why doesn’t someone direct them towards the map of Zimbabwe I say! [And not to speak of the country I currently live in – USA – inflation is a trivial 4% and the whole country is almost in tears and tatters! Uh!]

The government proves my assumption time and again – they are just a bunch of jokers. I sincerely wish for some meritocracy instead of this bizarre bureaucracy.

Let me not even start speaking of the effects of inflation on Zimbabwe. If everything was set right today, the country would take atleast 10-15 years to recover – and I don’t see that happening in the near future atleast. 2 million percent of inflation is something like – the robber asking the passenger in the train: “Hurry, give me the money, before it loses more value” or the realistic situation of giving two gunny bags of money to buy one loaf of bread.

But what is wrong with the Indian and US media? Isn’t the increase or decrease of inflation a normal part of every country’s economic cycle? Shouldn’t the media analyse what are the causes of inflation? Is the artificial price of Oil (currently at $142 a barrel – inspite of major supplies being held up in Persian Gulf due to political reasons) a cause for worry? Isn’t the sudden increase of food prices a direct effect on some of the insane economic policies undertaken (like the one to produce Ethanol through corn, a staple food) or due to large-scale hoarding by merchants in India? And seriously, any inflation above 6-8% is not worth reporting. Unless a country is in deep economic problems, the rate of inflation is always going to come down very soon from these double-digit percentages – sensationalizing issues when there are none has become a habit, leading to dire consequences.

I suggest the media take a chill pill, rest for a month or so and then comment on inflation. Experts say this inflation is a bubble and there is only a requirement for a prick for the bubble to burst. I sincerely hope this prick, whoever he/she is arrives soon enough and douses this mindless fear and fire for good.

Back after a loonngg hiatus!

1) Back after the longest gap in my blogging history of 3 years. There was really no reason nor excuse why I didn’t or couldn’t blog. I was working my back off for the past 3 weeks, including weekends; my online life of Orkut, Twitter, Gtalk and others have been dormant to say the least – but heck, I had time to talk to my friends, read a book etc., but didn’t have time to blog. It was not really the issue of I didn’t want to blog – rather, it was this notion of coming up with a blog every Sunday evening, every week – and I just couldn’t resist looking away from my laptop on every Sunday evening for the past 3 weeks. Heart of hearts, probably didn’t want to blog – but most probably too lazy to blog.

2) Interesting things happened over the past 3 weeks. The first of the lot is that I got hooked to ‘Leave it to Psmith’ by PG Wodehouse. I have read PGW before, but this book was something else. The sheer hilarity, brilliant use of metaphors and the twisted situations in the book was immensely enjoyable. Definitely recommend it to anyone who has an inclination for PGW’s style of humor. Awesome.

3) Bloopers on chat conversations are hilarious. What makes it even more enjoyable is that you can only imagine the other person’s reactions – and imagination, for what it is, is wild. I have committed as well as faced many bloopers, but since this blog is restricted to the past 3 weeks, I had this wonderful encounter with a lady friend of mine (I digress, but I am having immense difficulty coining a word for a girl who is in her late 20s but unmarried – teen is stupid, girl sounds young, lady sounds old, woman sounds insulting and female sounds degrading…any thoughts?) on the office communicator. She is based out of India, in the same assignment as mine and the following conversation ensued –

Her: Hey! Wassup?

Me: Hey! How u doing? Nothing much, same as usual.

Her: Ahh…it’s so boring here ya!

Me: Come here (as in..to the US)…and I’ll have atleast someone interesting to go out with.

Her: I’d love you

Me: 😀 really?? 😛 wah!

Her (hurriedly): I’d love to, I’d love to…sorry sorry!

Me: naah, you don’t have to correct yourself, I didn’t get offended 😉

Her: ya ya ya 😉 these bloopers I tell ya…dangerous!! 😛

Me: ahh…damnnn! For a moment, I was the happiest guy in the world! 🙂

Her: Heheh!

Me: 😀

4) The past weekend, my organization set up a leadership training programme for the entire 2 days, 8:30 – 6:00. I am one of the millions in the world, who tend to believe that waking up before 8 on weekends is a crime, if not an offence. However, I dragged my feet along to this training, and expected myself to laze around in the programme, wake up on Monday morning and turn out to be the biggest and most influential leader my organization has ever seen. Fortunately, that was not to be and I ended up listening to most of the programme, which was conducted by one Mr. A. However, A had an interesting word he would throw more often than not. Some samples –

– I am going to give you a fantastic case study, which offers some fantastic insights and which will lead you to fantastic solutions.

– I am about to tell you a fantastic example about this fantastic guy who did this fantastic thing.

Not to mention his most commonly used word, the entire programme was fantastic..err…great, thanks to Mr. A! 😀

5) I have observed for the past three years that my blog undergoes some sort of rejuvenation once in a while, especially when I take such a long break. Hopefully, this break will steer the blog in a slightly different direction, making the reading experience more enjoyable than before. (too much funda, no? 😛 )

IPL Out, Boredom In!

Now that the seemingly-never-ending IPL tournament has ended, albeit with lot of brouhaha during the closing ceremony and a fantastic final match (by some quirky turn of fate, every IPL tournament’s final is a very close contest – IPL World Cup final, ICL final and now this!) – it is time we take stock of how different sets of people would react to the end of what has been the most exciting tournament in a long long time.

Men in India: For one and half months, they were not short of entertainment between 8PM-11PM. On some days, there were two matches on the same day. It was ‘more the merrier’ for this particular set of people. They used to come back from work/colege, take some rest and watch the entire match till they dozed off to sleep. Getting used to T20 cricket is like getting used to marijuana – the more you have, the more you want. From today, these men would have no entertainment, nothing to look forward to at night. Their evenings would once again turn into a dull-drab affair. They would begin to ask questions about how unfair the tournament was, in that it ended only after one and half months. As with all other issues in life, they would lament themselves in the men-only group at work/college.

Women in India: This set is the most excited of all that this tournament has finally ended. They were the biggest opposition of IPL since it was slotted in prime-time and hence not allowing women to watch their serials – serials which usually continue for approximately 4 years with infinite number of saas and bahus, 257 relatives and 100 children, all in a gigantic house where almost every other day there is a festival/death. Women had to bear the brunt of cricket being discussed all day all night at home – driving them close to insanity. How could they miss their daily dose of tears from Tulsi and evil shenanigans from various other stupid bahuraanis? Alas, they found out at the end of IPL that producers of these serials did not take the story forward by much during the past one and half month (as they did for the past one and half years) – they rub their hands in glee at the prospect of watching all serials all night till another cricket tournament takes over.

Desis in the US: IPL was a topic of much elation, with heated arguments and discussions – taking place during the most productive hours at work – from 1030 to 1330. Battlelines were drawn between states and the respective teams. Completion of deadlines was secondary to discussing the latest goofup in team selections or the brilliance of a new strategy. Each one pitched in with their own theories and best practices in T20 cricket, unmindful of the frenzied atmosphere of NCAA/NBA championships around in the US. Weekends were a breeze – with two matches on every day of the weekend (and with benevolent softwares like Sopcast and TVUplayer), it was one big party for one and half month.

Politicians: (Yes, they are usually neither Men nor Women!) Last heard they were bickering about reservations in the IPL teams. Karunanidhi was especially upset that Chennai Super Kings lost to an unknown desert team Rajasthan Royals, and decided to take up the matter with the unMan-mohan singh, calling in for reservations and progress of the Tamizh state. Vasundhara Raje for her part has declared that Royals win has been a befitting reply to the wily terrorists who dare to blow bombs in Jaipur to cause impact to maximum number of people. Rahul Gandhi has called for a greater cohesion in the Congress party much like Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super kings but not like Deccan Chargers and Bangalore Royal Challengers. Prathibha tai (in case you forgot, she is our Honorable President) has decided to talk with ghosts and spirits to help Delhi Daredevils win next time.

As the IPL drew to a close, much like the primaries in the US – President Bush sat smiling in the White House watching IPL and the primaries on two different television sets asking himself, ‘Now, how and where should I seek fun? Maybe I will bomb another country before November’ and proceeded to call his Generals to the White house!

Converstaion with ‘They’…Err…’She’…no…’They’!

Of the many stupid moments and conversations I have been involved in over the past 25 years, some stupid moments stand out – for the sheer ingenuity and willingness to be ‘bakraofied’, some decisions I have taken to be involved in these stupid moments can be classified as stupefyingly stupid, if not downright insane. (Four ‘stupids’ in one paragraph – my English ma’am would never forgive me 😉 )

Now that some of my guy friends have got married, I get a chance to meet them only with their wives (don’t ask me whether that’s fortunate or unfortunate), say for lunch/dinner at some restaurants. I tend to avoid meeting them if some other friend is not joining me; that is, I try as hard as I can to make the number of people at the table to be 4, rather than 3. Being human, I am incapacitated sometimes, and inspite of my best efforts, such hard work proves futile. I have to end up being the sole 3rd member – which unfortunately at a lunch party sometime back I ended up being one, with a friend of mine (R) whom I have known for 7 years. They were married for a month now, and deciding to meet them as the 3rd member was well…..Anyways, proceeding to the conversation:

The couple is referred to as ‘They’ (although… it was ‘she’ most of the time – typical family I guess – I have a saying, Two bodies, one voice – hers -> and this couple was a personification of that!)

Me: Heyyy, how are you guys doing?!

They: Very well, how are you?

Me: Am doing very good

Me: So, how was the honeymoon n all? And what is this small party ya?!

They: Honeymoon was fantastic…and dude, you didn’t come to the reception – it isn’t our problem exactly you know.

(and that’s probably the last time I heard the guy, my friend…really speak, except for a few nods and some ya’s here and there!)

Me: Haha…true! Caught up with some office work and blah and blah dude – typical stuff you know. Anyways, how was the wedding?

They (yeah…to be fair, it is just ‘she’ from now on): Ohh…wedding was fantastic…with all the jewelery and food and lots of relatives! You should have come – it was just awesome…it’s a incredible experience you know!

Me: (silently, nope…I don’t know) Jewelry, food and RELATIVES…dude, was it that good? (with a wink here!)

They: (she again…my friend has resigned himself to fate) – ohhh yeahh, 3 day function with Sangeet, dance n all…we have captured everything on the video, you gotta see it once!

Me: (whoaa! Save me O Lord! if you had know this, you surely wouldn’t have said that!) Sure thing…absolutely, I will make it to your house to watch the video as soon as I am vexed with my work (or rather life I should have said! 😉 )

They: Yeah, sure! That would be a good break…You know what, your friend S accompanied us to this trip to Essel World – he was great fun!

Me: Yeah…sounds great! What did you guys do?

They: Ohh..we boarded many rides…and we as a couple have photographs of almost every ride!

Me: Ohh, I see…so basically, S was your photographer! (added) heheh (so that they don’t feel bad!…and I was thinking I was the bigger fool…S…I tell ya!! 🙂 )

They: Hahah! (and their smiles turned weird…and my friend got the hint…but too late, he was totally powerless in this slugfest)

Me: (Ah! She understood the sarcasm. Now, we can talk about American politics, Global warming and exhaust the remaining 30 min and then rush out of here!)

They (don’t you forget, its only ‘she’ – ‘They’ is just a misnomer): You know, your friend likes North Indian and Chinese a lot.

Me: Oh really! News to me…dude, I hope you haven’t changed suddenly 😉 (He was my friend for 7 years, it’s just been a month with you dear! Ah! I forget, wives are supposed to know more about their husbands than their husband’s long time friends! Apologies!)

They: Yeah! We have been to almost every Chinese and North Indian restaurant in the area – We are just learning cooking, you know!

Me: Hahah…yeah, I agree (and I stare at my friend – he is just giggling out of helplessness rather than anything else!)

They: And your friend is an avid orkutter, and he really likes the sitcom ‘Friends’

Me: Ohhh, really! R, you never told me that (and me winks again – and he is like, dekhlungaa betaa, tujhe dekhlungaa!)

They: And he really seems to know things about dresses – I mean, his selection of my sarees, and other dresses exactly matched my preferences!

Me: (Holy crap! Where is my dessert?!) Ohh, that’s fantastic! You guys are just made for each other from birth I guess.

They: (both giggle off to glory, their eyes locking with each other, seemingly lost in trance of the ethereal world)

Me: Er…umm! Sorry to disturb your privacy…but the bill has arrived (ufff!!)

They: You naughty!! (and R proceeds to pay the bill)

Me: Naughty?!! Wtf!!?

And then, I exit gracefully thanking the host and the hostess for a wonderful and fruitful time spent to-gether, knowing many things about my friend that I already knew and knowing some more things about him (like his silence, for one) that I never knew!

Aarrgghh!!

P.S: How easy it is to think ‘that poor R, he has got such a dominating wife?!’ – Nope, she was just too talkative, and compared to R…wayyy too talkative. And mind you, most of the couples I encounter nowadays are like this only (that is, ‘they’ and ‘she’ are interchangeable) (except for the fact that I ensure there is a 4th guy/girl around) – So, nope, all you couples out there – don’t you take a higher moral plane 😀

Priceless Info for H1!

Whenever I am in grave doubt, I turn to ‘the one’ source. Whenever I need to make an important decision, I turn to ‘the one’ source. In this age where there is an acute shortage for real spiritual gurus, my only respite is this online spiritual guru of mine – the mind-bogglingly intelligent, outrageously hilarious..err..poignant rediff message boards.

In the near future, I shall dedicate a complete post to this Master of mine, but for now, peruse this priceless information to secure a H1 (working visa for the USA) –

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