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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chp 273. Vacation in your city!

Ever had a relaxing weekend vacation… in the same city that you live in?


Oh my god… you are definitely not adventurous then.

Last Diwali weekend, I packed my belongings excitedly, went to office, and then moved my copywriter ass to South Mumbai after office hours!

Yeah… I’m sure you must be thinking, what’s so great about spending the weekend in South Mumbai if you live in the Mumbai suburbs anyway? People travel from one place to the other all the time.

You’re right. People do. But when we move around the city, we go for client meetings or meet friends at a restaurant or even to party or shop or for a sleepover. How many of us actually go to such places as if we are going on a vacation to Ooty, Shimla, Ladhakh, Munnar etc? Zilch would be my nearest guess.

I did. And boy it was fun. I went to South Mumbai not as a Mumbaikar, but as a tourist. I packed three bags. I even looked stupid when the taxi driver asked me if he should drive by Peddar road or Marine drive. The role playing was fun. And it was the first time I didn’t abuse the taxi driver when he actually took a longer route to get to my destination. I clicked photographs. I smiled and waved at bystanders.

Friday was cultural day in office due to Diwali. Last year, I dressed up in lungi and kurta for this very same occasion (and kick-started a very heated argument in the comment section of the above mentioned link, with one pro-Khalistan Sikh saying us “chinkies” from North East India should never wear “Indian attire” or try to assimilate with the rest of India as it is a disgrace since we don’t belong to mainstream India. Ah. Sweet memories.)

Anyhoo, my closest friend from office V said she’ll bring her husband’s long kurta for me to wear. Roy's long kurta was a little too big for me, but people said I look good in it

With my facial feature, friends said I looked more like an oriental Syrian catholic priest… or even the priest who carries that smoke emitting ritual pot in an Eastern Orthodox Church. Lolz.

After office hours, I went to my friend ST’s place at Worli. The vacation began.

Had a great time that night playing Dumb charades, among other things that cannot be mentioned in public

On Saturday we had a football match - Mizos (of Mumbai) versus Zomis (of Mumbai). When my two Mizo friends and I reached the venue, there were like 50+ Zomis at the football ground already – Azad maidan. We were the first Mizos to reach the place and it was already late. Pretty embarrassing if you ask me. But eventually, Mizos all over Mumbai arrived one by one, and by half time, there were as many Mizos as Zomis.

We were down 3-1 with just 10 minutes to go, and then my friend James was substituted - We eventually won 4-3.

This is James

After the football match, we had a volleyball match against the Zomis. I played V-ball again after more than 10 years! Fortunately for us, the Zomis weren’t pro, so we won that match too. I ended up with ache all over my body the next day.

We ended the day in a large huddle, Mizos and Zomis together, hand in hand, and said the Lord’s prayer in English.


Saturday night was at S’s place. She had this really cool place at Mahalaxmi and we played dumb charades again that night, among other things that cannot be mentioned in public. Great fun we all had overall. S was indeed a great host (which she proved again the next day too).

The next day, Sunday, was Church day, which was followed by the second service at G.

Monday was a holiday, and I went over to my ahermzzzz place.

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend. I didn’t check my mail or even went online. I didn’t look at my twitter updates, FB or orkut updates, blog updates, news feed and google alert updates, etc etc. My phone was switched off too. That was the most relaxing weekend I ever had. No clients calling me up to spoil this one vacation I really need.

The last time I ever switched my mobile phone off was during our Udvada trip to Gujarat. Maybe I’ll blog about that someday. But for now, this is to let you all know that sometimes we do need this kinda vacation – the destination doesn’t matter. Just switch off your freaking phone and abstain from going online. Believe me, you have no idea how relaxing that is.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Chp 272. Music Monday: Running up that Hill

How many of you have heard of the popular chart-buster back in the 80s called Wuthering heights, maybe from your sister, father, mother, uncle etc? Irritating music video, right? Yeah those were the good ’ol late 80s.

The singer, Kate Bush, was one famous babe back then.

Here is my favorite song of hers – Running up that Hill (Make a deal with God).


And if I only could,
I'd make a deal with God,
And I'd get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
Be running up that building.
Say, If I only could, oh...

Other versions of “Running up that hill (A deal with God)

Placebo - one band you definitely couldn’t ignore if you grew up with Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins fans… They did a cover of this song, which was truly awesome (and creepy to a certain degree) but with a very distinct Placebo signature all over it. Q-Magazine apparently said their version was more like a “pact with the Devil” rather than a “deal with God”.

Within Temptation, one of my all time favorite symphonic gothic bands (and who had featured many times on my blog) also came up with a cover of “Running up that hill”, and to me, this is the best version. But of course, I’m just saying this since I’m a hardcore symph-goth fanatic.

Another band not to miss: Icon & the Black Roses. I discovered them on through friends’ connections and I really love their dark goth style, though very different from the more glamorous symphonic gothic. Couldn’t find the band on wiki but thankfully found their cover of “Running up that hill” on youtube.

So there you go, dear friends. Hope you enjoy these four different versions of a truly fantastic song. Cheers and happy Music Monday.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chp 271. The long and short of phone numbers

When I went home recently for my sister’s wedding, we cleaned up our house real good, including a couple of places that had been untouched for years. And guess what I found lying among the cobwebs behind an antique cupboard?

- My dad’s old designation card!

Lolz. Check out the phone numbers!

Man, those were the good ol days. Just four digits! Now all landlines are 7 digits in Aizawl and 8 digits in Mumbai, while mobile phone numbers are 10 digits. How many of us can actually remember a friend’s phone number when he tells us verbally for the first time? We always need a paper or mobile phone to take down the number, right?

Forget new numbers. It took a long time for me to remember my own mobile number (of course if people ask me why I don’t know my own number, out goes the classical retort: “Dude, I don’t call myself up”.)

But back in the days of 3 digit and 4 digit numbers, remembering a phone number was a piece of cake.

Our dads and grandpas were really fortunate. All they had to do was approach a girl and ask, “Hey babe, can I have your number?” and she’d be like, “heehee… its… 412.” And our stud with bellbottom pants and dirty comb sticking out of his back pocket didn’t lose his composure at all. He remained cool as ever because he needed neither pen nor paper to write down that number. 412. Memorized.

And can you imagine how dialing a wrong number must have been like back then?

“Hello, is this John?”
“I’m sorry, I think you have dialed the wrong number.”
“Oh! Isn’t this… 14?”
“No, this is 15.”
“Oh my apologies then. Wait a minute… 15? Albert?”
“Dude! This is Mikey. Phone number 12.”
“Whazzaaaa Mikey!”

Ah, the bliss of not having to memorize much.

The biggest pain about 10 digit mobile numbers is that, apart from the fact that it is already such a long number, there are certain species of people who keep changing their mobile numbers, as if it’s fashion or something that must be changed with every season. Yeah I can name a few regular visitors to my blog who are like that too, but I won’t, lest they change their numbers again

One fine day, you suddenly receive an sms from an unknown number that proudly says – “This is my new number”. And you’d be like, “Who the hell is this?” because many smart people smartly forget to mention who they are in such text messages. I’m sure you would have received such an sms too. I usually reply, “And this is my old number”, while many of my friends simply reply “ok” and then delete the sms.

There are a few phone numbers I have memorized, but most of them were during the days of expensive call rates. Remember those days you had to pay for incoming calls? Hehe… Those days, even though I had a mobile phone, I always dialed my friends from a PCO, and when we called certain numbers too many times, our fingers immediately followed the rhythm it is used to.

Yup, if you ask me what is A’s number I may not be able to tell you, but if you give me a phone, I will dial her number correctly. Force of habit indeed.

But now, we simply press our friend’s name on our handset, and voila - A call is made. Some of us even “say” the person’s name to make the call. Maybe in the future, all we'll have to do is think that person's name, who knows.

And before mobile phones entered the Indian market, we all carried that small diary, where we wrote down all the landline numbers of all our friends and cousins and crushes. Lolz. But unfortunately, technology has killed the little black book, because it is not necessary to have one anymore.

Now we no longer stand in front of an STD booth (sometimes in a long queue) waiting for our chance to call up our beloved long distance girlfriend/boyfriend. And yes it was extremely pissing off to stand in line for more than 30 minutes and when our chance finally came - the person we called was not at home!

Yes. Frustrating indeed, but hey, those are the memories we will never forget. Now we spend all our spare time, trying to memorize lots of 10 digit numbers that change frequently. I must say I prefer the good ol days in many ways. Days when only one house in a particular locality had telephone or TV. You can’t deny it; those days were extremely fun and memorable.

Cheers. This is me signing out before I get more nostalgic.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chp 270. The Fugly Truth

It’s not everyday that a guy can watch one of those romantic comedies and love it. Being a movie buff, I have seen my fair share of crappy romantic comedies that made me go - “That’s 2 hours of my life I’ll never get back” and the very rare “Hmmm… not bad” nonchalant monologue.

But “The Ugly Truth” was different. I’ve recommended it to all my friends after watching it, something that I rarely do. (Pssst… I’m not saying TUT is a great movie. But for a romantic comedy, its one flick guys will definitely enjoy watching)

The thing about TUT is that it was honest, straight forward and hard-hitting. And yes it had a happy ending but I could live with a romantic tragedy as well. The main point is that both Heigl and Butler played their role perfectly. The plot was predictable, but like I said, it’s a no brainer so you can just relax and enjoy the movie. The script was quite concise and the humor peculiar.

So here is me tagging all my visitors to take part in this. Give me five ugly truths that you know of (even one will do). Stuff that people are oblivious of, or know about but try to convince themselves that it doesn’t happen.

Of course let’s stick only to relationships. For example, “The ugly truth: All of us are racist” is something I’ve learnt along the way. Notable psychologists have proven that all of us are racists deep inside but the difference lies in whether we let our actions act upon our thoughts or not. But let’s deviate from such serious topics and stick only to ugly truths regarding relationships. Are you with me?

Here are my five ugly truths:

1. Most people go for moolah rather than true love.

As crude as it may sound, it is a fact. And women are always at the receiving end of such brutal denouncement. But why single out women? I’m sure many men would love to have a sugar-momma too. We live in a materialistic world, and at the end of the day, we need somebody to take care of our every needs. Eagles’ “Love will keep us alive” may make you melt like butter but that’s not reality. If it was a novel, I would place it under “fiction” genre.

Security is the keyword here. One needs to eat, put their children in a good school, go on a family vacation etc. Some guys may make it sound bad like branding somebody a gold-digger, but hey, believe me, it’s just jealousy. Had the tables turned, the same guys would be ready to jump into the same boat before you can say “Dude, WTF???”. Face the music. If you’re in love with a girl and afraid you might lose her to somebody more successful, then work your ass off trying to be that person who is successful. Simple as that.

2. Are you girl-friend material or wife material?

Ugly truth number two: A guy’s definition of a wife and a girlfriend is different. Most of us have different criteria regarding what constitute a good girlfriend and a good wife. Remember when Archie proposed to Veronica a couple of months ago? Yeah most of us were shell-shocked, because Veronica may be the perfect GF type but Betty is the perfect wife model.

That’s how we guys think. If you’re hot and ready to put out anytime, you’re the perfect girlfriend a guy can wish for. But if you’re prudish and abstain from parties and orgies? Then you’re the perfect girl every guy wants to marry. Ugly truth? Oh yeah. Only a few women who are a bit of both (or smart enough to play the role of both) manage to find what they’re looking for. For those who belong to these two extremes, this condition very much applies.

3. Attractive and sexy women have big BUTS.

The hotter you are, the bigger is your “but”. A typical guy conversation usually goes like this: “She’s got the perfect long legs and figure, but…”, “She may look just like Angelina Jolie, but…” and “Yeah she won the beauty pageant and is now a showstopper for YSL, but…” See, the but is always there. And the but is always followed by adjectives and nouns that aren’t so nice, like… control freak, flirt, stupid, dominating, short-tempered etc

The funny thing about nature is that the less attractive women (or men) have fewer buts. Well, at least that’s from my experience and I am not one to boast of such vast experiences but feel free to prove me wrong. How many of you actually exclaim “wowwww!” when you meet an extremely attractive woman who also happens to be a lawyer? My point exactly. I rest my case, your honor.

4. His-story may be history, but the past keeps haunting…

So we keep telling ourselves – the past is the past, what matters is the future. Congratulations, you now qualify to write the next series of novels for M&B. But unfortunately, life is not that simple. Meet ugly truth no.4 – There is no such thing as letting bygones be bygones.

You may move past your past, but you cannot hide from it. Meet Guy X who used to “shoot up” with his homies. After sometime, he gave up and turned over a new leaf. He met Girl Y, and they tied the knot. But after a few months, whenever Guy X wanted to hang out with his homies for the night, a fight with his wife ensured. She accused him of still shooting up and he blasted her for not trusting him. Likewise, meet Girl A who once had a hot steamy relationship with Guy A for years. Then they broke up and she met Guy B. Even though Guy B knew about her ex-lover, he loved her and they both said “I do” eventually. But after the marriage, one brief phone call from Guy A to Girl A was enough to make Guy B go all ballistic and nuclear.

So in the midst of such reality, is there any such thing as “the past”? Maybe if we don’t keep running back to it or run into it unintentionally, then it really doesn’t matter. But are we really capable of that? That my friends, is for you to ponder.

5. Relationships stink.

That’s my last ugly truth. Relationships stink. You might consider me to be a cynic with some of my revelations above, but yes, relationships really do stink. Literally, that is.

If you are truly in love with somebody, one sure way of knowing if what you have going on is for real or not, is to let one rip off when you’re with her (or him). When you’re with your loved one all alone, all cozy and warm, just hold that person close and tight, and then fart your way to glory. The reaction that follows after that will determine if your relationship is truly genuine or not. Trust me on this. And if she answers will a giggle and a cute little cushy fart of her own, marry her.


There you have it. My five ugly truths. Now it’s your turn. Feel free to disagree with my views or give me your opinion. Cheers.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Chp 269. Pee or Poo, swing all you want!

Just like “Mr/Mrs” in English, in our Mizo culture we address senior citizens with the prefix “Pu” or “Pi” depending on the gender. This is like the prefix “Shri/Shrimati” in Hindi or “Thiru/Thirumati” in Tamil. Our
English guests took a long time to get used to this and tried their best not to laugh because the two prefixes Pi and Pu are pronounced “Pee” and “Poo”.

(At this point, I’m glad I didn’t introduce them to Pu Mafaka)

Speaking of pee and poo, has it ever occurred to you that some of the greatest ideas and innovations were conceived while the person is sitting on “the throne”?

Maybe that is why Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker” strangely resembles a man deep in thought, sitting on what looks like a medieval European toilet.

Newton discovered gravity because of the apple, but ask yourself this: What was he doing under the apple tree in the first place? Remember those days the lavatory system at home wasn’t that modern? So sometimes people would just go outside their house and do “it” behind the bushes or under the tree.

Little Newton just happened to be doing his thing under the tree when the apple fell near him. At first he was like, “Cool, something to chew while I do” and he assumed the apple would ease his motion inside when suddenly he realized there’s a different kinda motion involved and voila - Gravitational force was born!

Likewise, Archimedes was happily taking a bath… and you know how much we guys love to pee during a shower And so there he was just peeing inside the tub and whistling an old Greek pop song while air-harping with this right fingers when suddenly… splashhh! The water overflowed and he discovered density!

One of my favorite episodes of SCRUBS is Season 3, Episode 13 entitled “My Porcelain God”, which also features Michael J Fox as the guest actor.

In this particular episode, the casts get an epiphany while sitting on the roof toilet! Hilarious, especially with the sound effects of an epiphany building up. Lolz.

The free online dictionary defines Epiphany as:

  1. A sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something.
  2. A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization

Basically, it means something that will make a light bulb suddenly appear over your head. Tingggg

And this is indeed true for many of us, especially those of us in the creative field. Some of the most profound concepts we came up with were generated in the loo. We sat. We shat. We conceptualized.

That’s the beauty about the loo. If we are not reading any book or newspaper, there is nothing else to do except just sit. Sit and think. That is when those of us with restless minds spring into action and come up with really crazy mind-blowing ideas. Our mental frame swings wildly in all directions.

And there’s nothing more irritating than somebody disturbing that moment of tranquility. It’s like somebody rudely awakening you just when you’re on a speedboat and Pamela Anderson calls you “Tommy”… That’s when you wish you had a shotgun inside and blasted the mofo to Kingdom come.

Now comes another brilliant act of creativity. In order to prevent such interruptions, our Creative Director came up with this totally rad idea – Install three different bulbs as indicators so that people outside will know what exactly you’re doing inside!

The restroom is free.

Somebody’s doing No. 1.

Somebody’s doing No. 2.

(Isn’t it funny how we call them politely as no.1 and no.2 ? I wonder who came up with such names! Quite funny if you really think about it.)

Read our Agency blog about these bulbs: Creative Sanitation, Webchutney Style

This made life soooo much better for us. We no longer need to wait outside without knowing how long the person inside is going to take, and we are not disturbed either once we’re inside. This idea is the kind that makes you go, “Why didn’t I think of this first???”

But in spite of such a cool innovation, I must point out that it is still one bulb short. After all, peeing and pooing aren’t the only things guys do in the loo, right? Maybe we need a white bulb indicator for that.

Errr… hold on, I was talking about changing clothes inside the loo as the fourth indicator. What were you thinking?

Moving on, this is to show you all that crappy situations need not necessarily give rise to crappy ideas. In fact, if an attractive (and often seductive) woman from an Advertisement agency presents you a concept, do remember that there is a high chance she came up with that idea while she was… in a “position” that’s not so attractive nor seductive, if you know what I mean. Of course don’t try to picture her in your head. I said stop. Still doing it? Goddd…

So to end this post, I must get back to my opening paragraph. Pi is pronounced Pee and Pu is Poo in Mizo. But no matter how much crap you get, explore all possible horizons, angles and perspectives. SWING your thoughts in every direction. After all, if you join “pi” and “pu” together, you will get “Pipu” which means SWING in Mizo!!!!

Ah! Lame, but at least I managed to connect my points. Lolz. And yes, pipu really does mean “swing” in Mizo. Maybe this shows that creativity is universal and is not bound to any specific language. Or maybe this shows that a crappy blog post is universal and can swing any ways. Hehe. Good night.