From rags to riches. Well, almost.

What i post: Having a lavish dinner at the Taj Mahal hotel.

What i actually do: Just have a cup of tea at the hotel and then head out to Bade Miyan’s later.

 

What i post: Telling my juniors at work how awesome their work has been and how much i appreciate their contribution to the company.

What i actually do: Give them a raise which doesn’t even beat the inflation rate.

 

what i post: My brand new Apple gizmo.

What i actually do: Buy an apple (the fruit), take a bite off and then put a photo-shopped picture of that apple.

 

What i post: Enjoying the good life in the business class lounge at the airport.

What i actually do: Buy an economy ticket and then shamelessly ask for an upgrade at check-in.

 

What i post: A critique of the airline food and blame the airline for cutting costs and serving horrible food in flight.

What i actually do: Order a vada pav from the tapri nearby during lunch time.

 

What i post: Partying hard with friends to celebrate my 30th birthday.

What i actually do: Take my friends for a walk on the beach and treat them to street food.

 

What i post: Pictures of awesome recipes that I make getting inspired by Master-chef.

What i actually do: Make insta-noodles in the microwave and order those recipes from nearby restaurants.

 

What i post: a gym-selfie showing what a gym-rat i am.

What i actually do: 10 minute warm-up on the treadmill and then a 30 minute break.

 

What i post:  Riding down a mountain road on a sports bike tagging it with some cocky punch line like “me and the open road”.

What i actually do: Get off the bike, return it to the real rider and then get back on to the bus.

 

What i post: Picture of the new guitar bought to impress girls in college during camp/beach trips.

What i actually do: Never pay for a tutor to learn how to even play the guitar and lock it up in the attic.

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The HAIR Supremacy: A CLOSE Shave.

A distant dream sometimes comes along,

to remind me of a glorious past.

When the winds blew playfully through my thick mane,

And the admiration would so forever last.

 

But now is an era of blades & creams,

An arduous task, boring as hell it seems….

Staring at my reflection in the mirror i wonder,

What if I don’t shave today, would it be a blunder?

 

Conditioned by society, driven by rules,

A corporate junkie must shave, a stubble is for fools…

As I reach out to my Mach-5 (oh yes, i go for the very best!),

My cheeks silently scream, but to no avail, the razor is in full zest!

 

Lo behold, the swords come down like a lightning strike,

A bloodshed ensues, as the mighty warriors put up a fight,

Their fate sealed, they wither away in the silent oblivion,

Their future generations awaiting the same fate, come morning sun.

 

As I forego those days of bouncing scalp hair,

A tragedy unfolds to a new regime of skin care,

This new reality worries me non-stop…

Now I use more shampoo on the side than on top!!

 

Creative Inputs by: Vije Vijendranath

 

The prequel –

The HAIR Identity: MELTDOWN Begins

 

Coming soon –  The HAIR Ultimatum: The BALD Truth.

Baaki sab theek hai.

I woke up to a bright sunny morning. Only to find out it was late afternoon!!

Baaki sab theek hai.

The office is around 10km from my house. But it took over 1.5 hours in traffic!!

Baaki sab theek hai.

The cook skipped work , as the building lift was out of order & she couldn’t climb 7 floors. (True Story!!)

Baaki sab theek hai.

The Indian stock markets keep crashing to new lows. My investments erode faster than Earth’s Escape Velocity.

Baaki sab theek hai.

The laundry shop called. They “accidentally” burnt my shirt as the new guy forgot to take the iron off while talking on his mobile.

Baaki sab theek hai.

I spent 4 hours last weekend downloading a movie. Tried opening it today only to find out it was the wrong movie!

Baaki sab theek hai.

The Mumbai city administration plans to provide access to car-makers for testing on Mumbai’s roads. Their way to justify the need for pot-holes.

Baaki sab theek hai.

We give “Most Favored Nation” status to our neighbor. They reciprocate by killing our soldiers.

Baaki sab theek hai.

In short, today is in a total mess. Yet, I shall be hopeful for a better tomorrow.

Baaki sab theek hai!!

A night in the waiting lounge of the I.C.U.

10 anxious relatives. Waiting. Some for the last several days. Some are new-joiners tonight (like myself). But the mood is already set. The night is going to be long. Really long.

Each time the door opens & a “bed number” is called out, all 10 of us tune in to the announcement. With eager ears trying hard to discern the meaning of that number. Is that our relative on that bed? Oh dear lord…. what could have happened?

The first such announcement is for the relative perched on a couch next to me. His wife (in her late 70’s) is admitted for acute breathlessness. The poor husband seems more restless than a first-time-father pacing up & down outside the maternity room. The doctor calls him over. Hurriedly, the old man pushes off the couch & into a quick dash towards the doctor. What follows next are a few tense moments of conversation. From the distance, I can see clearly that the doctor is trying to re-assure the husband. After a night in the ICU, she is going to be shifted to the general ward. Nothing to worry at all.

A wry & tired smile breaks on the man’s face. With creases accentuating it, gently hinting of his age, the feeling behind it is beyond my humble means to describe.

Now then, there are 9 others in the room. The routine kicks in. Each hoping, praying, literally beholden to God that their bed number hasn’t been called out yet. But, the night is still long.

There is an eerie silence in the lounge. It’s been over an hour since the last announcement from the I.C.U. Apart from the occasional humming of a generator in the distance, there is no other sound.

I shoot a quick glance at my clock. Its 2 am. There is a lady on the couch opposite mine. She has been in this lounge each night past entire week. Her father-in-law is in the ICU. She is reading a book. I can’t clearly make out which one. But I am sure, this is one book she is not going to remember all that well. Her mind & thoughts lie elsewhere.

2:20 am. The nurse re-appears. “Bed no. 410″ it is this time around. As is the unspoken protocol now, all heads turn towards the nurse. Albeit  this late in the night, the speed of comprehension slows down. Little surprise of course, given that we all have come here from a long & tiring day. It then occurs to me. That’s MY sister on Bed no. 410! Why on earth is my sister asking for me at 2:20 am in the night? My heart sinks.

With a lump in my throat, I limp out of my couch and take a few big strides towards the nurse. My mind is running in infinite different directions. Speculating. Analyzing. Hoping for the best. Fearful of the worst. Those few strides have just caused a whirlpool of emotions within. None which help to soothe my over-stressed nerves.

As I reach within the nurse’s earshot, all my senses are only tuned in to her. It’s almost as if the rest of the world has just faded out. I ask her if my sister is ok. She says: Oh yes. nothing to worry. I called for you as your sister is asking for her toothpaste & face wash when she wakes up in the morning”.

What????? For a few seconds, my mind refuses to accept what my ears have just heard. It can’t be. Can it? Well, my sister is known to have such crazy demands at totally inappropriate times! But right now? While in the ICU? At 2:20 am? Unbelievable!

But everything said & done, I am surely glad that she is doing fine. The doctor in shift has assured me that she will be shifted to the general ward in the morning. But, being the skeptic that I am, I want evidence. So I go up to the monitor next to my sister’s bed & stare at it intently. Trying to make sense of the curve floating across like a wave. The occasional beep is reassuring. But i still track the wire coming out from the back of the monitor all the way to my sister. There is so much corruption in India nowadays, you just can’t trust anybody or anything!

After spending a few anxious minutes trying to pacify myself, I return back to the lounge. Convinced that, come tomorrow morning, I will not have to come back for another night at the lounge. Weird as it does sound, I kinda hate this place. Not because of the constant vigil you need to put up for your loved one, but also to grapple with a constant, although feeble, fear of losing them.

It’s 4 am now. My tired eyes are telling me to stop worrying & get some rest. In a matter of few hours, dawn will be upon us. And I shall have no further reason to be here. In that hope, I put my mind at ease and finally call it a night.

Eternal Brain Dumps of the Spotless Minds!!!

Disclaimer: The following is a result of 2 out-of-whack, idiosyncratic & downright sanity-deprived friends from different hemispheres sharing a common love for procrastination-inspired, joblessness-led & a mutual liking for convoluted thoughts. Please do read without any serious expectation of a worthy prose of intellectual underpinnings. Good luck!!

Professionals that SHOULD NOT have a sense of humour while working:

1. A surgeon
2. A Lift operator
3. A fashion photographer giving final touches to a client’s pics
4. Gynaecologists: jokers who were ex-cons
5. Psychologists
6. Undertakers
‎7. Boob-reduction plastic surgeon. (I don’t see any humour in this one!)
‎8. Negotiators for Israel and Palestine
‎9. The janitor at the American President’s office
‎10. Waitress at a comedy show

The top 12 places/situations when you should NOT smile –
1. At a funeral
2. Right before entering a court room in a tense situation
‎3. When you hear your wife is having twins but only one of them is yours!
‎4. When a girl you like says “I love you…” and ends with saying “…your brother”
‎5. When you use a pick-up line on a girl right before her Arnold-sized boyfriend walks in
‎6. When you haven’t met your sales targets and your boss calls you in his cabin
‎7. When the pilot suddenly announces May-Day and he is trying to do an Emergency landing
‎8. When the pool-boy comes over and you know you don’t have a pool
9. When your wife is in labor and you are rushing her to the hospital only to have the car go out of gas!!!
10. It’s a Friday afternoon, you plan to leave office but the rest of the colleagues still have to stay back to finish your half-done work
‎11.You see a pic of urself when you were a child tagged by your mom, and you smile, only then to realize you were forced to wear what looks like a dress!

12. WHEN IN A MALL WITH THE MISSUS & SHE REMINDS YOU ABOUT FORGETTING TO WISH ON HER B’DAY & YOU ARE JUST CROSSING THE LOUIS VUITTON STORE!!

Title courtesy & other contributions: Vije Vijendranath.

The HAIR Identity: MELTDOWN Begins.

Circa the 80’s. An era of abundant hair…
Of thick manes, oh what a love affair
Stroking fingers, you stayed firmly rooted
Must have been an angel’s gift, feeling abluted!

In the wonder years, what an asset you were,
Working as my accomplice, together to persevere…
To win attention, oh you made it so easy,
Just a toss here, a flick there, bingo! she had to see!!

As age beckoned, so did stress…
Tried every treatment no more, no less
You hung on, like a faithful friend
Fighting back, till the very end

And then when I touched you,
It felt you were still there,
But upon taking a closer look,
On the ground, you appeared somewhere

Gone are the days now,
When the barber down the lane
Would know I would visit him
Only to show-off my glorious mane

As the world debate rages on,
for who’s responsible for the global meltdown
I resign to my bed, silently at night…
With my sadistic scalp reflecting the moonlight…


Coming soon –

The HAIR Supremacy: A CLOSE Shave.

The HAIR Ultimatum: The BALD Truth!

SMILE UNLIMITED!!

My Dentist. Well, not the real one ofcourse…

I have never seen a needle that big. Or maybe it appears so given the background flood light shining right on my face, exposing every expression, every crease on my forehead signalling the increasing levels of stress. Oh and blinding too! But wait. That’s not all. There is one more light source. A small, but powerful beam, emanating from a bulb, right at the centre of his reading glasses perched dangerously on the ridge of his nose. I am confused. Should I worry more about that bulb sliding down & into my gaping mouth? Or that needle which seems to be the size of a rhino horn drawing menacingly closer. As a timid kid shying away from the bully at school, I just close my eyes, ready for that rush of swarming pain, hoping it gets over soon.

Not Yet. The doctor pauses. I am waiting for my destiny. But nothing happens. I slowly open my eyes to see what’s going on. And there they are. 2 huge eyeballs! Magnified 10 times by the spectacles in front of them. And that blinding light beam. Looking intently towards me. Trying to look through my soul and absolve me of my sins. But not really. The doctor is merely marking his territory. He wants to get it right the first time. Appreciate that. Afterall, no one wants to be injected in the mouth… twice!!!

And then it happens. Almost taking me by surprise. With my eyes still open :(. That giant needle just appears out of nowhere! Marches straight inside my mouth. My heart skips a beat as the needle draws first blood! What starts off as a prick soon transforms into a tsunami of pain as I feel the pressure. But thankfully, it lasts but a few seconds. As the needle withdraws, I can see a certain sense of pride on it’s tip, almost mocking me. Making me feel helpless & vulnerable towards accepting it’s supremacy. Soon, the anaesthesia kicks in as I lose sensation on my lower lip. I slip into my cocoon. Hoping I won’t feel a thing of whats gonna happen next…

What happened next!!

With eyes firmly shut, I still see a halo around me. And occasionally a few shadows of objects floating past. The doctor keeps murmuring to his assistant. Who seems to be rather quiet with a somewhat serene demeanour. And then it begins. The moment that I have been dreading for weeks now. As one instrument after another marches in my mouth looking to conquer all. I keep my eyes closed, my prayers soft, my screams inaudible…

Oh wait!! I can feel that tooth… My nemesis!! Falling in this epic battle of mind over matter. Where it leaves no stone unturned to cause pain & misery for weeks. Finally, yields in front of the army of instruments. It stands no chance :). But it sure puts up a brave fight! Respect… It does not go down quietly. On its way out, it pops the cap of the tooth in front!! Damn. And it leaves a gaping hole behind. Like the blitzkrieg of German soldiers in WW2 retreating from their forward positions & burning everything behind them. Ok. Maybe not that bad. But then getting stitches inside of the mouth ain’t an everyday affair. Not for me!! Hell NO!

Asta la Vista… Toothsie!!

The doctor, all this while, working incessantly towards conquering my enemy, now appears less hostile. I realize his contribution in this war. He keeps talking to me. Giving me updates like a faithful general to his king. Telling me how much progress he has made against the enemy. With the occasional murmur to his assistant. And all his weapons of enamel destruction!! Oh how I love them. Scary as they sound (There was a drill machine involved too!!). Some even laid down their lives for this noble cause. (Apparently, one of the mirrors broke during this epic war!!). A few seconds of silence observed in it’s honor.

In what seems to be a struggle going on for eternity, after around an hour, the doctor proclaims victory. He proudly holds the carcass of my enemy in his forceps, showing off his bravado & unparalleled combat skills. I slowly open my eyes. For the first time in weeks, I open my eyes with hope. That the worst is over. That the enemy is defeated. That the decayed tooth has finally come out. Time now to salvage the situation. The doctor quickly gets back to attend the wounded gums. Ah yes, the poor gums. Who stood silently watching the horror unfold. The doctor quickly stitches them up. Conceals the wound. With a re-assuring dab of cotton soaked in beta-dine to nurture their wounds. My heart goes out to you – O mighty gums of the lower left jaw!

Its celebration time! But not so soon. As the saying goes- every cloud has a silver lining. Well, the converse is true just the same 😦 . Time to pay up. A whopping sum! (Actual sum undisclosed to protect the doctor from Income Tax issues). Its after seeing the bill, that I realize, perhaps, it would have been better to have followed Tom Hank’s footsteps from the movie Cast Away. It may not have resulted in a SMILE all the same, but at least I would be happy knowing that it’s not the doctor SMILING all the way to the bank…