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Posts Tagged ‘Random thoughts’

Australian Open is over and so are my days of vegetating in front of the telly. *sigh* No more excuses. Now I have my butt down to work. I make a half-heated move to slide my butt off the bed. Okay, but before I go, I really should figure out what else happened while I was away. So I randomly switch channels and discover:

A) Man U won their match against Arsenal 3-1. I try to get excited but find I’m unable to care. I do follow the Premier League but only because several friends are football fanatics (read Manchester United) and it is impossible to have a conversation with them unless you know who’s where in the premier league points table. In fact, I currently support Chelsea only to piss them off. Chelsea vs ManU should be cracker. Meanwhile I’m more curious about the Russian Billionaire and owner of Chelsea. I wonder if wasshisname is on his yacht with a bevy of models. But since the boat comes with an anti-paparazzi photo shield, there’s no way anyone is gonna find out is there? BTW, there’s Abramovich owning Chelsea, Usmanov part owning Arsenal…what’s with Russian billionaires owning English FCs?

B) There’s some furore going on over some BT Brinjals. Everyone is screaming at a beleaguered Jairam Ramesh and I ask myself if I want to find out what fuss is about. The answer is an emphatic no. I mean I do like the occasional baingan bharta but not enough to try and make sense of the din. I move on.

C) A nine year old girl has been raped in Goa. Hold on there’s something that puzzles me. As I listen further, I find the girl is Russian. And suddenly it’s all very clear. Ah, so that’s how she escaped the first eight years and nine months unscathed.

D) The stock market is down but not enough to interest me. Yet.

E) Some Nooria Yusuf or Haveli chick went on a demolition derby after consuming…hold on, one can of beer??!!!! Come on, you can lie better than that. I am the worst drinker around and get buzzed when I’m merely down half a glass, but even I can’t get drunk enough to ram a taxi and run over traffic constables on one can of beer. Pop a date rape drug and pretend amnesia. When you ‘come to’ say someone spiked your drink while you were looking elsewhere. Shout rape and become the victim instead. Deflect suspicion from your homicidal jaunt.

*Sigh* Time to get a move on. Truly. But hey, what’s that? I’ve got a message from a friend. It’s Margaritas in the afternoon today. I guess work can wait another day.

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People say the weirdest things, don’t they? You walk into a clinic and the receptionist asks, “You here to see the doctor?” Now why would she say that? Why would I go to a clinic at five in the evening if I wanted to see the doctor? I’d walk across to the pub next door. I’m there to see the hot young intern.

“Hungover? Drank too much last night, eh?” How stupid is that? I’m hungover ’cos I didn’t drink enough. If I’d drank too much I’d still be happily drunk, now wouldn’t I?

Oh, and here’s one I got from some random guy on FB. “Hi, I’m interested in secret, safe sex.” Why would he write me that? What does he expect me to say? Well, good for ya. Let me know if you find out what that is? Interested in secret, safe sex, indeed. I’m interested in the toilet habits of ancient Romans but you don’t find me boring strangers with it, do you?

Well, creepy as it is, it is better than people who send you friend requests and won’t add a message. Then, just to be perverse, they won’t even have a photo on their profile. Or have a photo of their kid or the family pet. What do they expect me to do? Dude, your name sounds familiar, and the bulldog look is about right, but I just can’t be sure if you’re the guy who showed me his wee-wee when we were five?

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I’ve had it with TV. It is stupid, mind-numbing, stupid. I can’t bear the thought of doing this for the rest of my life. For a moment I fantasize about sitting on a beach with a laptop, working on my novel leisurely and sipping umbrella drinks. Although, it does get very hot on the beach. So I visualize an unobstructed view of snow-clad mountains, a laptop and umbrella drinks. I get so carried away that it actually seems doable.

I come out of my reverie, fully charged. Okay, I figure, before I can throw in the towel, I need adequate cash to:

 a) travel b) keep me in booze c) buy food d) medical emergency

Although in the case of a terminal disease like cancer the money goes to a, b, and c in the ratio of 40:30:30. Although, if I’m ill I can’t eat too much, right? And medical emergency has already happened . So I revise the allocation to 50:50 between travel and booze. Crap! I forgot about rent. 30, 30, 40. And what if my illness drags on for years and years? I junk my calculations and sit back and think.

It would be better to have a house in Bombay so I don’t have to worry about rent (I’m realistic enough to realize that beach/mountain periodic retreats to recharge my batteries). So I figure I ought to make some calls.

Some years ago I used to routinely make rounds of available real estate every weekend. That was when I was attacked by similar doubts and the housing rates still gave the illusion of being affordable. They weren’t. Still…

Then the prices shot through the roof and I stopped altogether.

It was time to revive the routine. I mean there’s a crisis worldwide. So prices of real estate should have come down, right?

I call Sajid. He’s a friend, an erstwhile advertising guy who’s gone the religious way.

“What’s the plan, Noor Jehan?” his voice booms over the wire. He may have gone the cleric way but he retains his penchant for stupid rhymes. He once greeted me with “What’s the scene James Dean?” ( He didn’t know it was me) I wonder what he’ll greet me with next? “What’s the plot, you harlot?” I think with a giggle.

I tell him what I want.

He asks me where I wanted to live. I’m about to say Andheri when I stop. I mean Andheri makes sense when I’m in the TV industry, but if I’m not writing for TV then I’m free to live anywhere, right?

“Town,” I say, surprising myself. And then I think, why not? I’ve always wanted to live in town. The roads are better, the drains are better, plus it has Chetana and Golden Star Thali (what to do? Veggie and all that.)

Silence.

“What’s your budget, you…?” he asks with a claustrophobic quality to his voice. I guess he wanted to add midget or something but stopped himself. After all, it won’t do to joke when you want to censure.

I tell him.

You know how I had this entire logic of a worldwide housing crisis? Apparently not so in Bombay where the housing crisis outstrips the real estate one.

“With that you can get a one room shanty at the end of the Backbay slum. Interested?” he asks frostily.

“Okay,” I say reconsidering, “in that case, maybe…Bandra or…Andheri?

“That’s better,” he says approvingly. “Now the rates are 4500000 lakhs (4.5 mil) for a one BHK, 60-70 for a 2 BHK and anywhere upwards of a crore (10 mil) for a 3 BHK”

I learn that with mu budget I can get a poky 1 BHK in Andheri or a poky 3 BHK in New Bombay. Neither of the scenarios meets with my fantasy. Of course, I do realize that a sea facing bungalow with manicured lawns and liveried servants is a little far-fetched. Even SRK had to hawk himself at weddings to pay for his bungalow. And it doesn’t even have a pool I’m told. But still, a plush 3,000 sq foot sea facing flat with marble flooring, controlled lighting, masterpieces on walls, and a landscaped terrace shouldn’t be so hard.

I call up my creative director. “So when do you want the next batch of screenplays?”

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MTNL Zindabad

I’ve had enough. My Internet’s still not up but I’m not going to let that stop me from writing my blog. Well, every other day at any rate.  Although to be fair, the forced hiatus did me a bit of good. For the first time in six months I could concentrate, as in really concentrate, on my book.  

Earlier, whenever I hit the teeniest-tiniest roadblock, the first thing I usually did was click on the Explorer button. You know, just till the juices started flowing again. Not that I was a net junkie. Not by a long shot. I mean, there were times that I could go by for up to four hours without going onto the Internet. Still, the temptation was always there.

With the temptation removed, I had no option but to hack away at it till I got it right. And I was able to get a lot accomplished. I think I may even finish my book by mid-October. Isn’t it awesome? It’s almost good enough for me to wish for no Internet for just a little while more. No, I didn’t say that! I take that back.

Of course, it wasn’t so in the beginning. I almost went out of my mind thinking Omigod! I’m not connected! No email! I must be missing out on thousands of business opportunities. But gradually I began to relax and realised I wasn’t doing much business through the Internet in the first place. My TV guys were obliging enough to send and get stuff picked on a pen drive. That taken care of, none of the emails I received were pressing in any way. 

So, in a way, I have to thank the Tata Indicom guys. Or the Onicra guys ’cos it wasn’t actually the Tata Indicom people who screwed up, but one of their vendors in charge of delivery and installation of devices. Still it is Tata Indicom’s responsibility. It’s like in Singapore. The pet poops and the owner scoops.

Someone wrote that Tata Indicom must get their act right if they don’t want to get trashed on my blog. But I’m not going to indulge in any Tata Indicom bashing.

Yes, they’ve been lax but, truth be told, there is no service company which has a hundred percent customer satisfaction record. I’ve had problems with Reliance and vodafone. I have friends who’ve had problems with Bharti. So who do you go to? MTNL? Actually, now that I mention it, maybe MTNL is the answer. For one, their broadband is actually broadband and I’m told you can get speeds up to 2 mbps (even though you applied for the 512 kbps plan)! Two, strange as it may sound, the only company I haven’t had a problem with is our good old sarkari MTNL. Can you imagine?

Meanwhile, my time on the Internet is limited so I can’t reply to individual comments personally yet. But I assure you I’m reading them and appreciate your feedback. So please keep visiting and commenting and I will get back soon.

 

 

 

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Well, the next few are going to be erratic, blogging wise and the reason is that I’m out of town for a wedding in the family, no less. So when I do post, it’s all going to be The Wedding Kronicles. (You know I’m hopelessly addicted to the letter K:)

I’m in Ranchi. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s the capital of Jharkhand, I think. And Here I thought I might go through my life without having to set foot in Jharkhand and Bihar. But then never say never. In any case, I spoke too soon. Ranchi isn’t all that bad. It’s a quaint, lovely little place and the weather is way better than Bombay.

But getting here, well now that’s a story in itself. I decided to take the train. Well, I didn’t quite decide, OPEC decided for me. I was availing the services of Indian Railways after almost three years and was quite excited. For one, I love eating train food. Then I figured it would be good relaxation. Of late I have developed a restless nature and figured that the forced rest would do me good. And boy, who can resist the lure of using railway loos.

And I wasn’t disappointed on any of the counts. The food was good and there was lots of it – pakodas, aloo bondas, dosas, chow mein, you name it they had it. And this is apart from regular meals. I sampled everything and ended up with a serious case of indigestion.

I got more than my fair share of relaxation and then some. Seriously, the journey is looooong – 27 hours officially which means anywhere between 30 and 35 hours. It turned out to be the former, 30 hours to be precise.

And the loos ran out of water by about 10 in the morning. Thrilling!

Then of course, there was the human drama. A gentleman wished to lodge a compliant against the coach attendant. He made quite a to do about not having been given a blanket and sheets immediately upon arrival. He sounded quite aggrieved as he complained to the TT that even after 25 minutes of boarding the train no one came to cater to him. The coach attendant whined that he was busy catering to the other passengers.

The TT, knew that the poor coach attendant would be penalised if the guest lodged a complaint. So what does he do? He soothes the ruffled feathers of the guest by alternately murmuring apologies and shouting at the coach attendant. This immediately makes the guest feel much better.  I can’t believe people still fall for the good cop bad cop routine. I suppose it’s more to do with the fact that officials must be seen to be doing something. It’s classic consumer psychology.

Anyway, after an eventful train journey, I’m in Ranchi. And I’ve already gorged on yummy jalebis and sattu filled kachoris and aloo ki sabzi, all accompanied by endless cups of steaming tea and juicy gossip. So, If you can overlook the accompanying chaos, big fat Indian Weddings totally rock!

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