Thursday, December 8, 2011

What's in a name?

I had once noticed that "Shaitan" anagrams to "I, Anshat". And to think we had been calling him Prabhuji all along. A couple of days ago, Amol Patil had put up a picture of himself, sitting in the cockpit of a plane. I couldn’t help comment that "Amol Patil" anagrams to "Maal Pilot".

It was then that Gunjan gave me the idea of doing a blog post on anagrams. I just looked at my last few day’s activity at Facebook for inspiration. Found enough matter to do "a naughty junk on" my friends. After all, the expression was an anagrammatic (if ever such a word exists) way of saying, “Thank you, Gunjan”. So here goes:

I found "Rohit Chawla" had put a FB status message questioning the double-standards of the government in exercising control over Grade C & D bureaucrats and over the Internet. I wanted to warn him that speaking against the government could soon become illegal. But then I stopped myself. Maybe he’s destined to fall on the wrong side of the law. I mean, doesn’t his name anagram to "Lowcha -> Tihar"?

Then there was "Shruti Ordia" putting up pics from her New York trip. Before some <insert random Hindu God name here> Sena accuses her of wearing only Westerns and not promoting Indian culture abroad, let me point out that it was in the best interests of everyone. After all, her name anagrams to “A horrid suit”.

Then you see a picture of a chronic fracture victim who had torn a muscle. Again. I think she should stop introducing herself as, “I, Tanushree Podder” and instead use the exact same letters to say, “Hi. Dud on tear spree”.

And then you chance upon an awesome poem by Golchha. You just can’t help wonder how much talent this guy has. How does he manage all these things? “Hm. Kaise Bhai?”, you ask. He just needs to jumble the letters and answer, “I am Abhishek”. Enough said.

A few days ago Saurabh had posted about starting a band. "Ayan Deb" liked the post. The anagram of his name explains why. “A band? Ye”.

You see likes and comments by Jain "Aashish" and you tend to ask to your self, “Why this Kolaveri D?” “Why this extra A?”. But the answer is neatly hidden in his name. Ayn Rand would have shut us up with, “Shh. A is A.

"Manish Agrawal" had once shared his rendezvous with a random girl. Instead of going into the details, let me sum up what happened by using his anagram: "A gal saw him. Ran."

Post script: The title of this post also anagrams to something about this post: "New. Mast hai na?".

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

... Phir na palat ke dekha dobara

Please read the first part of this story [Link] in order for this to make sense. Note: The author is in no way responsible if this does not make sense even after reading the first part.

This is a continuation of the true story.

Over the past three days, I have been flooded by fan-mails, tweets, SMSes and comments telling me that they’re dying to read the rest of the story. So here goes.

Ok fine - everything beyond this point is true.

We had formulated a plan. Now we’ve always been firm believers and proponents of planning. We always plan everything right down to the most minute of details. We hate people who leave scope for last minute glitches. Rohit and Manish went to McDonald’s, while Poonam and I went to Mall 21 so that we could inspect everything from the windows up there. (For the uninitiated, Mall 21 is opposite McDonald’s in MI Road).

Poonam and I reached Mall 21 and discovered that it didn’t have a single window which overlooked McDonalds. Please ignore whatever I had said about planning. Uma called to inform she was already there. I asked her what was she wearing. “An orange top”, came the reply. We called up Manish immediately, who had spotted someone in an orange top with another girl in red top. “Was this going to end in an orgy?” was my immediate thought.

We asked the soldiers on the ground to monitor their every movement and report back anything suspicious. Rohit and Manish got down to ordering burgers. Uma called up again. I asked her if she was alone and she replied in the affirmative. I told her I didn’t see her in McDonald’s. She said she was waiting outside the joint.

Poonam and I stepped out of the mall and across the road saw a girl waiting outside McDonald’s wearing an orange top. No one seemed to be around her. We couldn’t chicken out at that moment, and crossed the road. We went to the hawker selling lemonade outside Raj Mandir (about 15 metres from where she was standing) and ordered ourselves two glasses. We had the target locked, and she had no clue about it. Jason Bourne, I hope you are taking notes.

We spotted a muscular man at the take-away counter a few meters behind her. He was wearing a sleeveless shirt which showed off his muscles and revealed a tattoo stretched across his biceps. He was eating the burger he had ordered. “Why would anyone order from a take-away if he had to eat there only”, screamed our brains (please recall that we were being coached on logical thinking in those days). He walked closer to her. I chewed on my straw. The tattoo became clearer now – it revealed a mermaid. Duh. He crossed her and went on the other side of the outlet. Our fears were baseless. She was alone.

Poonam paid for the lemonade. We approached her, and then I saw it clearly. Her eyes! Brown like the Vegan Shake of CCD. Calm, yet oozing out like the sauce in Chocolate Bomb of Little Italy. Mysterious yet comforting like the sight of mom-cooked food. After staring at her for a couple of seconds, I just had one question: Kya aapke toothpaste mein namak hai? Who put the stars in your eyes? Her eyes said so much.

We confirmed if she was Uma and I confessed I was the one who messaged her. She asked, “Tum Mahesh ho?”. She looked disappointed.

Her entire life must have played back in front of her eyes – memories of all the times when some guy (probably named Mahesh) used to call and bother her, memories of her past troubled relationships; and she looked disappointed because it could have all been avoided if only she had met me before. As I had already mentioned, her eyes said everything.

I didn’t want to build any relationship on the foundations of falsehood so told her how I got her number. She was confused, because she had gone to the institute just once to enquire. I told her that it was all a joke and that I was sorry. She, and her eyes, simultaneously said, “Ye sab ek mazaak tha?”. Before I could get myself to say anything, she walked away from us.

When Manish and Rohit arrived at the scene, I had one arm stretched and was chanting her name loudly trying to call her. I phoned her but she wouldn’t receive my call. She never replied to my messages.

End of story, but there are some points I would like to make:
1) The lemonade sucked.
2) Uma, if you ever read this, I am still sorry. Agar jaane anjaane mein maine tumhara dil dukhaya hai, toh ho sake to mujhe maaf kar dena.
3) She probably would have never joined the coaching institute, so I am sorry to them as well.
4) Since I am in the mood: to all the people, who, for some reasons read this - hahaha.
5) Her eyes were really special. I don’t think I remember anything about her face, but I’ll definitely recognize those eyes if ever I see them again.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Milte hi jisne Uma tha mujhko...

This is a true story.

I had just come out from a two-hour session in the gym. I was marveling at my six-packs when the phone rang. It was Uma again and she was begging me to meet her.

Ok fine - everything beyond this point is true.

The year was 2007 when I was a student in Jaipur. It was the year of romance and love. Err, it was also the year when Kareena and Shahid Kapoor broke up, and it was the year when Rizwanur Rahman was honour-killed by his in-laws. But it was the year when “Aap Ka Suroor - The Real Love Story” was released. So FTW.

I’ve digressed. We (the famous “Hum Baraah”) were sitting in our CAT coaching classes. We had already helped Deepak (name changed) figure out how many upward steps he needed to take if he wanted to reach a higher storey in an escalator going down, when he could have just taken the escalator going up; and were on our way to helping a dog catch a thief who for some awesome reason chose to run in strange patterns (disclaimer: no real dogs were hurt in the whole process). In short, we were developing our logical thinking skills. It was the time when the free SMS pack was unleashed on pre-paid customers. We were yet to reach an era of Idea 3G when our phones would help us forget sex, but at least free messaging helped us forget our classes.

I’ve digressed again. A sheet was circulated for us to enter our names. We had just been taught to approach a problem from all angles. So, the ideal student in me immediately flipped the page, to find other names and phone numbers there. One of the entries was Uma (name not changed for its sheer classiness and impact) (number withheld – I won’t do what the Amitabh of KBC did).

Just to show I have no hard feelings towards KBC, and also since this blog is getting a little one-sided, let me ask you a quiz question. You can leave your responses in the comments section. What sound does Uma represent most closely, when said properly with the right emphasis on certain syllables? Is it
A) A slapping sound.
B) The sound produced when bat hits ball.
C) Sound produced while kissing.
D) Sound produced when Manmohan Singh makes a speech.

Ok we have a story to complete, so getting back to it. We exchanged three SMSes (‘Wats up’, ‘Who’s this’, ‘You Forgot?’ types) and everything was going according to the ‘Hitchhiker's Guide to the Most Boring Conversations’, when she called. I could only evade her questions about my identity for a while. In most situations, the name Manish is enough to get you out of trouble, so I told her I was Manish, immediately regretting it, in case she approached the coaching institute. “Mahesh?” she asked, throwing a rope at me. “Bhatt, of course” I responded, accepting it with glee. Then she bombarded me with a series of questions, even giving me multiple options on a couple of counts (<sigh, insert another KBC joke here>).

It made me uncomfortable when she asked me if I was the same person who used to call her earlier. I had once read a story where a person makes crank calls to random people and tells them he knows their ‘secret’ (Abhay Deol style in ZNMD). Then one day he ends up calling a gangster who manages to trace him and kills him. Now, I was never the types who are sure what exactly they wanted to do with life, but ending it was never a consideration.

Then she said she wanted to meet me. Immediately Don came to my mind. “Mujhe do tarah ki ladki pasand nahi. Ek wo, jo mere pass aane mein waqt lagade, aur doosri jo bahut jaldi aa jae”. I did not tell her this, though. We hung up without having arrived at any conclusion.

I had just had a heavy dinner and was lying flat on my stomach in my hostel room. I had just burped when the phone rang. It was Uma again and she was ordering me to meet her.

Over the next twelve hours, (over SMS and phone) she repeatedly asked me to meet her. Her tone ranged from threat to order to plea. She called me again the next afternoon, asking me to meet her near McDonald’s in MI Road. I suggested alternatives. I couldn’t have allowed her to start dictating terms so early in our relationship. She didn’t listen. It was at that moment when I felt ‘the spark’ for the first time.

I told her I won’t be coming. She said she would still wait and expected me to come. My friends and I discussed the various endings that this story could possibly take. Not many were pleasant. But one of them ended with me celebrating the golden jubilee of my marriage with her, in the company of our children and grandchildren. Taking risks was another thing I was taught.

We set out well before the scheduled hour. Rohit and Manish went in one bike, while Poonam rode me in his scooty.

To be continued... [here]

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Open Facebook. Check if anybody has liked the status message I had set the last time. Sigh. No one. What’s wrong everyone’s sense of humour? Or is it something with me? Shrug. Scroll down.

Anshat is now friends with 6 more people. He already has more friends than the number of tigers in India.

Somebody has uploaded a pic. Jain Aashish likes it.

Somebody has put a status message. An obligatory comment by Amol.

Sriram K and 5 other people changed their profile pic.

The lyrics of some song by Shruti (and her later complaining that no one likes or comments on her updates – which to be frank, is worrying for a girl).

Shantanu comments about Manchester United. Sangit tries to draw Patel into the conversation. ‘Well left’ by Patel.

Somebody has put a good status message or posted a link on Sachin. Like it immediately. Ahh, somebody has something nasty to say about the legend. Give it back to him. I can’t be a neutral here. Ayn Rand had said there can only be a white or a black, all shades of grey are evil.

A cool status message by someone. Click on ‘like’ asap. Scroll further down. The same message by someone else. Ahh, should I now unlike the first one? A real-life ethical dilemma, this.

Some people seriously feel for a cause and have chosen to express their anger - using bad spelling or punctuation.

Some people commenting on corruption and India’s withering democracy, while others taking democracy to a whole new level by voting for (answering) everything, from their favourite handwash to the next president of the United States.

Someone randomly decides to celebrate <insert relation here>’s week, to announce that their <copy-paste the same relation> are the best. Some people spreading <enter disease here> awareness and have devoted their status to the patients for an hour.

Some people are curious as to what a father did to his daughter. Some want to know how Osama was dead, while others just want a peep into the future to see how they’ll look at old age. Some people want to untag themselves from videos. I wonder if they will fall for this.

Close tab.

Facebook is screwed up. It is addictive. You can waste any amount of time on it. There is an urge to upload every pic, share every link you visit, or update with every thought you have. People have broken up because of facebook; people have broken up on facebook. It makes everything else appear so trivial. You rely on facebook to keep in touch with close friends; you use it to stalk someone. WTF Facebook.

Facebook is good. It helps me be in touch with so many people I would have otherwise lost touch with. It keeps me aware of things happening in their lives. It has kept me company on many a nights when I had nothing better to do. I have visited many restaurants, read many books, seen many movies only because of facebook. Facebook FTW.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

We're World Champions, bitch!!!

Exactly a year ago, I shared a concern on Facebook. Well, the answer turned out to be an emphatic yes. Sachin did descend at Wankade, and although it wasn’t him who set the stage on fire today, he did have his moment of ascent when he was lifted by his team mates during the victory lap. Kohli was simple in his explanation – they were carrying a man who had carried the burden of the team for 21 years. And yes, Sachin did manage to get what he so badly wanted, the one thing that was missing from his cricketing resume – the World Cup.

This World Cup has been about the 15 players. It makes me shudder to think that Yuvraj had once entertained thoughts of quitting cricket, when he was going through that horrible phase in his career not too long ago. This World Cup has been about his fight back. You could sense the pain he has gone through when he let out the roar after thumping Australia, and the extended hug he gave Dhoni and Sachin post victory today. And people are saying there was no fairy tale ending in the finals.

This World Cup has been about Mahindra Singh Dhoni. The media has always found enough fodder to hang him; today he ensured that they shut up – at least for the next few days.

This World Cup has been India’s support staff led by Gary Kirsten, the unsung heroes. Spare a thought for Praveen Kumar too. He deserved to be there - at the podium - living what would undoubtedly have been the best moments of his life. May be his time will come later.

And last but not the least, this World Cup has been about us, the fans - the “undefined fans”, according to Sharad Pawar, who can safely be ignored while distributing tickets. We are the ones who sit in the same positions so that the momentum of the players who are thousands of miles away is not lost. We are the ones who delay nature’s call just so that any movement does not affect proceedings in any way. We are the ones who miss offices or schools to watch a match because we are lucky for the team. We are the ones who give up watching an important game so that we do not jinx the team. Yes, this is our World Cup.

And for the advocates of the theory that it was fixed - Yes, it was. It is called destiny.

The latest chapter of my trysts with World Cups has a happy ending. I wouldn't care less if the World comes to an end in 2012. For all the romantics, who have been coming up with pieces of trivia to link this victory with the one in 1983, here’s one from my side. If the World comes to an end in 2012, I (and many others who would be reading this) was a World Champion when I was born and will be a World Champion when I die.

I will end with a quote by the late Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter (Literature, 2005), “I tend to think that cricket is the greatest thing that God ever created on earth – certainly greater than sex, although sex isn’t too bad either”.

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mixed bag

This is just one of those times, when you don’t feel like sleeping and have nothing better to do, so start writing a blog, ignoring other things which are in your plate. By the way, I just made a startling discovery - the ‘secret’ behind writing a good CV is neatly hidden in its name. It’s Ctrl-C + Ctrl-V. Yay, I unearthed it before Dan Brown could write a book on it.

So the World Cup is less than a fortnight away and the buzz surrounding it is growing. And thanks TOI for bringing to us in your special segment, what the likes of Bipasha Basu, Deepika, Katrina and Kangana Ranaut think of our cricketers. You guys have really made my life complete. In the meantime, the number of possible contenders who could be holding the World Cup on April 2nd have halved (from 28 to 14) after Pakistan finally decided to name a captain. 30 26 22 18 year old Shahid Afridi will be at the helm of the Pakistan team. Also, in a style characteristic of only him, Sehwag tweeted this. If I were the opposition, I would be scared. Very scared. What a cameo already!

While all this is going on, 4 cricketers (Sachin, Yuvi, Bhajji and Nehra – the last 3 travelling to Mumbai especially for this) met with BCCI officials today to discuss their IPL payments. If all this is done, can the cricketers concentrate on the World Cup, please? Moving on to Egypt, I see lots of ‘virtual marches’ being organized on facebook and other social media sites. I am a bit cynical of its purpose. For starters, the people there will have no way of finding out what’s happening – they don’t even have internet. And if a million people on the streets cannot put pressure on the government, a few million more on the internet, who only heard Mubarak’s name a week ago, RSVPed to an event, won’t either. Anyways maybe it’s just me.

Shifting focus from Egypt (er.. almost), Sidharth got a kick-ass offer from ICICI. Well Sid, Mubarak Ho!!

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Friday, January 28, 2011

The family just got bigger

Ladies and gentlemen, he has finally arrived. Roshni Di and Shekher Jiju were blessed with a baby boy this morning, thus making me a proud ‘mamu’. It means having to part with the tag of being the youngest in the family. With a weight of 3.35 kgs, he is reportedly shorter than me (at the time of composing this blog post).

The family is facing a dilemma whether to follow the new Zodiac Signs or the old ones. The old one lists him as an Aquarian, whereas according to the new one, he is a Capricorn. If anyone knows whether the news of the earth wobbling is true or not, please get back so that we can decide whether he will be shy, sensitive, gentle and patient (Aquarian) or steady, cautious, confident and hard-working (Capricorn). [Info courtesy - Bejan Daruwala].

And please also suggest names for the kid starting with L, N or M. Leave them in the comments section. My suggestion of 'Jammie' as his pet name found no takers :(.

In other news, a mention of Daruwala reminds me that I just came from a trip to Goa - my last trip before the new generation would take over. It was my third trip to the place, and trust me it's definitely not going to be the last. Without getting into too much details, I’ll just say that the trip was legendary (despite some absentees). Had all the absentees made it, it would have become legend-wait-for-it-ary.

This much for now. Got my stuff to unpack and my cabinet to reshuffle. Happy weekend.

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