Monthly Archives: August 2011

Five Amazing Online Avatars you can use:

Tired of being just the common man on Facebook? Tired of logging in and finding the usual posts from friends, and ‘liking’ and commenting on friends’ photos?

Presented below are five amazing online Avatars you can use.

Remember, Facebook is the place to be. What you are on Facebook determines what people think of you, as you hardly meet any of them anyway. So go ahead, and take your pick, from among these amazing Online avatars that are easy to adopt.

The Concerned Citizens: This is an amazing avatar to adopt. The Concerned Citizens are concerned about everything in the world, and make sure that everybody in their friends’ list knows about it. Everything from poor children starving to death, to the Haiti cause can be solved, just by a click from the Concerned Citizens.

Their walls are generally flooded with ’causes’ like ‘End Poverty with a Click’, ‘Plant Trees with a Click’, and ‘Be a Dick, Just Click’.

You not only have to be concerned about the cause, you also need to rub it on others’ faces to show them that they are not concerned. A typical status update would go like this:

“Children with mental disabilities are not mad. Kindly post this on your wall if you think we need to get rid of this thought. I know 95% of you will not post this, but if you are among the 5% who care about children, kindly post this on your wall”.

 

The Lover Boys: The Loverboys are all over Facebook, and they can usually be found winking and ‘:p’ ing all over girls’ Display Pictures. It’s very easy to be a Lover Boy on facebook. You just have to let your natural self take over. A Lover Boy can be found sympathising with girls when they have a headache, or celebrating when they are happy.

The purpose of a Lover Boy’s existence is to spread joy and happiness in the world. Only among girls, of course! If you are a guy and post an update about being diagnosed with testicular cancer, don’t expect much. Remember, Lover Boys are ‘Boys’ – they don’t give a rat’s ass about you.

A typical Lover Boy response would be like this:

Moronic Girl: is unhappy…. ย  ๐Ÿ™
Lover Boy 1: Why? What happened, dear?
Lover Boy 2: Don’t be sad. We only get one life to live. Enjoy!
Moronic Girl: @LB 1: ๐Ÿ™‚ @LB2: Thanks for the advice.
Lover Boy 1: ROFLMAO
Lover Boy 2: Anytime, sweety!
Moronic Girl: Thanks, guys. I feel better already ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’re a girl, it is advisable to have at least ten such Lover boys in your friends’ list, so that you have some standing in social networking circles.

 

The Peace Piligrims: The Peace Piligrims are ambassadors of peace, and make it a point to travel from one website to another, spreading the message of peace among us banal netizens who come online just to surf porn. You can find Peace Piligrims on youtube, commenting on videos of India-Pakistan matches or Coke Studio videos.

Remember, if you are a Peace Piligrim, you have to specify that you are one, otherwise you will come across as one those mundane, porn-surfers that you so detest. A typical Peace Piligrim reply to a comment would go like:

“I am from India. But I love Pakistan. We are all brothers from the same mother. Let us not fight. If our nations get together, we can become the largest Superpower in the world, and the best cricket team in the world”

Obviously, 26/11 and other incidents are minor hiccups. What’s important is that we become the No.1 cricket side in the world.

 

The ‘On The Go’ guys: The ‘On The Go’ guys are always, well, on the go. By becoming one of them, you automatically become someone who is terribly important to the world in general, and your friends in particular. You HAVE to let your friends know what is going in your life, all the time. If you are having idlis for breakfast, stopped in a traffic jam, or going to sleep, it is important that you should post it on your wall. After all, everyone else in the world has nothing to do.

A typical ‘On The Go’ status update would go like:

On The Go’ Guy:ย  is picking his nose.
(5 jobless buggers like this)

 

The Wikichutiyas: The Wikichutiyas are Chutiyas, of Wikipaedic proportions. Wikichutiyas know everything there is to be known, and a lot more of what need not be known. Like with the earlier Avatars, there is no point being a Wikichutiya if you don’t show it to the world. So Wikichutiyas post random stuff on their walls, and act as if there is a life-changing event happening everyday of their lives.

A typical Wikichutiya’s Wall Post would be something like this:

“OMG!! Horrified to know about the use of DDT in South Eastern villages of Venezuela”

As a Wikichutiya, you need to tell everybody about obscure events happening in the world, so that you seem intelligent and updated on everything that is happening. Of course, nobody will comment on your post or ‘like’ it, because nobody actually gives a fuck. But that’s not important. Your mission is to spread knowledge in the world.

So there, readers. I have given you five amazing online avatars. Go ahead, go wild!

Mera Bharat Mahaan

My ass.

Since childhood, we have been asked to be proud of our country. We have grown up on patriotic songs, and the fact that Independence Day and Republic Day were both holidays, and that we were given laddoos and toffees after the flag hoisting, automatically meant that there was something to celebrate about.

We grew up with stories of ‘Sone ki chidiya’, and how India is the greatest country in the world. We cheered India in cricket matches and confused hating Pakistan, as patriotism. We were taught to revere and love our country, and be proud of it.

Every year, news papers and news channels bombard us with information about the growth of the country. Reports of India growing at 9% every year, the leading software exporter, and emerging superpower and all that.ย  India is the best cricketing nation in the entire world, among the nine other nations that play it full time. In patriotic fervor, we bled blue and shat green.

Deep within, we all know the truth.

In reality, the common man in India has to make do with shitty conditions. Shitty facilities, shitty governments, and shitty policies, implemented by shitty officers. We have gotten used to sub-standard services and learnt to look past it. We have gotten used to dirty roads, delayed trains, lazy babus, and a thousand other things. When poorly planned roads are flooded due to heavy rains, we praise the ‘undying spirit’ of Mumbai when everyone goes to work the next day. We have learnt to look at an alternative.

When was the last time you went to a government hospital for a check up? When was the last time you saw a public toilet that was clean, or a train that didn’t have messages like โ€œWant sex? Call meโ€ written on them? Why are basic amenities of a city, like public transport, roads, and offices dirty? We have gotten used to inefficient services, corruptions scandals and other things going on, on and on.

Basic services like education, sanitation, public transport are terrible. Those of us who can afford it, avoid it. Thanks to liberalisation, we can now depend on private companies for everything that the government has failed to give us. We all know there are people who are without the basic facilities.

But guys like us. You and me. We escaped the shithole. We studied, or worked hard, or were born into families that were well off. But we escaped the mess.

We went to private schools and learnt English. We take flights to avoid trains, and we go to private hospitals instead of government dispensaries. We have managed to survive in spite of the system, and not because of the system.

We urban lot are not just mindless greedy people running after money, mind you. We are concerned. We are moved by stories of poverty. We forward mails about poor children. We argue about it and debate about it. We take sides when Arundhati Roy writes an article or the govt enforces a new policy.

But then, we have our own issues, na? We are stuck with a government that can shut us up by announcing a Bharat Ratna for Sachin Tendulkar. A government where the largest scam in the history of the country has coincided with the largest scam in sports, coupled with the largest scam by a corporate house. But what are we to do? The opposition is busy talking about how homosexuality is harmful to our culture. The government smiles at us, and spanks our ass. We enjoy it, and scream for more.

We pride ourselves on our ‘Indian culture’, on our religions, and our Gods. So possessive are we about our culture, that we enter pubs, pull out women, and beat them up, screaming ‘Jai Sri Ram’. We are intolerant about an artist and can only analyse his paintings of Hindu goddesses when they are juxtaposed next to paintings of Muslim women. We beat up people of other states if they open a stall in our states. We are proud of our country, and our state, and our culture, and our ability to make do.

So this August 15th , don’t fool yourself. News channels will try their best and bring in interesting shows about the country. Telecom companies will put up hoardings and there will be a few speeches. Autorickshaws and cars will have India flags on them, TV channels will show a few patriotic films, and a few videos will be circulated. There will be a few other things that will go on that day, desperate efforts to make you feel proud. Don’t fall for it.

Stock up on booze, take a trip somewhere for the extended weekend. Make this the best Monday of the year.

But don’t be proud. There’s nothing to be proud of.

Rakhi ka Insaaf

Growing up, Raksha Bandhan wasn’t such a big deal, more so in a boarding school. You were told stories of Krishna and Subhadra, and when you got rakhis from home, the teachers would tie them to your hands. If the rakhis came off sometime during the day, you’d approach a friend to tie it back on, and he’d promise to protect and take care of you.

It was only later that I realised that Raksha Bandhan is actually quite a big deal. Especially after Dairy Milk made those ads for Raksha Bandhan. I never understood why those Dairy Milk ads are considered go great. And now they have ads for every occasion – childbirth, passing an exam, Diwali, and Raksha Bandhan. And once Dairy Milk makes an ad, you’re not Indian enough if you don’t do it.

So Raksha Bandhan has become an event to buy some chocolates and fleece some money, depending on your gender. But a rakhi is not just a symbol for protection. If used judiciously, it is the greatest weapon in the hands of a girl.

In India, a girl is subjected to cheesy lines, eveteasing, and ‘fraandship’ requests throughout the year. After all this, Raksha Bandhan is retribution day for girls.

Is a guy hitting on you? Want to get rid of him once and for all?

Buy a rakhi and tie it to his wrist. Preferably in front of other people, and you’ve sealed the deal. Even if the guy forgets it and starts hitting on you back again, his friends will remind him that he is your brother!

I know guys on whom rakhis have worked wonders. The guy would hit shamelessly on the girl, and then on that fateful day, the girl would tie a rakhi to him. Bas. The guy would stop hitting on her with immediate effect. Not only would he stop looking at the girl “us nazar se”, he’d stop others from doing so.

“Abey kya kar raha yaar? Behen hai woh, meri” With one swipe, you have wiped off an entire group of perverts.

This transformation from hounddog to protective brother, just by tieing a thread, has always amazed me.

However, there is no guarantee that you can go and tie a rakhi to all the perverts in the world. The internet has a fix for that too. You need to follow three simple steps to achieve the desired result:

1. Log in to Facebook.

2. Download an image of a nice, big, shiny rakhi from the internet

3. Tag all the morons hitting on you.

Every year on Raksha Bandhan, there is one custom I follow. Log in to facebook, check who all have tagged you on rakhis, and “remove tag” from all the online rakhis. There is no shame in admitting to it, we all go through it. Statistics have revealed that at any given point of time, there are at least seven people in the world who think you are hitting on them.

The trick is not to panic, stay calm, and untag yourself. Unless of course, you have received a rakhi from Rakhi herself. Then, you need help.

But if you are a girl, and know how to use it judiciously, a rakhi can ward off evil eyes from evil guys. Happy Raksha Bandhan!

The Ultimate Dhoka Song

If one has a walk down memory lane through Indian films, one of the most interesting aspects, is the usage of alcohol. As anyone who comes from a ‘good’ family would know, alcohol is bad for a person, his wife, his children, his village, the society, and mankind in general.

Even though alcohol was established as the cause of all evil, every film used it, because drinking could have strange effects, which would move the story forward. Some of the standard usages of alcohol would be:

The Seduction drink: The heroine drinks, her one eye on the hero, and to make him ‘burn’, she would gobble it and then sing a song and dance in a skimpy dress. At the end of the song, the hero slaps the heroine, and she ‘regains’ her consciousness and her culture, and all’s good. Sometimes, it would be the vamp who does it. Dancing seductively, she would draw the hero to commit the ‘ek hi bhool’ of his life.

The Rape drink: The villan eyes the heroine. He thenpursues her, while there is lightning and thunder outside, after taking a few gulps from the black, evil drink. However, this turns to be his bane, as the hero jumps in at the last minute to save the heroine, or
swears to take revenge for his sister’s izzat, which ultimately proves to be the demise of the villain.

The ‘Dhoka Song‘ drink: This is by far the most interesting one of the lot. The heroine is with another man (mostly the villain). The hero is at the party, and an old
man says “We have Rakesh here, who is a brilliant singer. Mr. Rakesh, why don’t you sing us a song?” The man gulps a few drinks (neat, always!) and then begins to sing the song. The song is about indifelity, and why one should never fall in love.

It must be noted here that the hero being a man of good honour and conduct, drinks only when there is a problem of some sort, not on a regular basis. It must also be noted that the hero does not like to mix Thums Up, add some water, and then order for peanuts. The hero only has his drink neat, thank you.

"Soda is for pussies"

"Heroes have it neat"

Dhoka songs have always been safe territories for filmmakers. In a country with a population of one billion and a sex ratio of 850/1000, there are bound to be some frustrated men around. With people like Himesh Reshammiya making it a different genre altogether, these songs are immensely popular among the youth. I find it strange
that many of us find it easier to think of girls as unfaithful creatures, rather than as loving people (Girls who are reading this, kindly give me the required brownie points for this remark!)

I have my favourite Dhoka songs as well.

Then there is ‘Aaj rapat jaaye’ from Namak Halal, and Preity Zinta’s act in Koi Mil Gaya which makes your mind wander ‘idhar-udhar’. Then there is Kajol running around drunk in Switzerland in DDLJ, among the few that I can recollect now.

There is ‘Ae kaash kahin aisa hota’ from Mohra, which was my reigning favourite till a few days back. The meaningful lyrics (a rough translation of which is given below)

“Oh how I wish that the human body had two hearts in the chest
Even if one broke in love, there would be no problem in living”

The lyrics made the song easy to relate to. Then there was Raveena Tandon, who puts the ‘oooo’ in ooomph, with her looks. There is Kumar Sanu, pouring out emotions straight from his heart, and through his nose. The song was the ultimate Dhoka song.

But a few days back, a friend brought to my attention another song. This one by Babbu Mann.

Those of you who do not know who Babbu Mann is, may kindly visit his website, where it is clearly mentioned that “Now he is entrenched Punjabi pop singer, composer, lyricist, playback singer and actor as well.” (Mind you, he is not just ‘established’, but ‘entrenched’.)

Mann acquired cult status for his work in the devotional album ‘Singh better than King‘, and the the hush-hush love story, aptly titled ‘Hashar: A love story‘. Lest he be stereotyped into a romantic singer, the website reminds us that “The song “Ek Raat/One Night Stand” shocked many listeners, but nevertheless, the song has a very catchy beat.”

So that was about Babbu Mann. Now about the song, “Dil Ta Pagal Hai.”

The song is the ultimate ‘Dhoka song’ in the universe. It’s difficult to point out just one reason why the song is a chartbuster.

Is it because of the costume, which adds an element of ‘blues’ into the bhangra? Is it the Peter Pettigrew style of covering the girl with flowers (00:46)? Or is it the way the hero comes out of his fantasies? (1:04, 3:42) Or is it the way he grabs the heroine with power, and turns her around, sending her into circles of tizziness (2:23)? The sheer power of the man makes you wonder if the girl is playing ‘Ringa Ringa Roses’ with herself.

But then, there is also pain. There is sadness, and there is alcohol. There is the evil bitch of a heroine, who has ditched our man, there is the melancholic depression, the happy moments in the past, and the hapless bridegroom who has no idea how many ‘guls’ the girl had earlier ‘khilaoed’ with Babbu Mann. He’s the man!

Watch the video, and you have yourself a wonderful week of work!

Remember, if things get bad, there is always the bottle.

Gaylords

It’s said that in the days of kings and mafia warlords, the barber was appointed after careful scrutiny. Understandable, considering that the barber was the only person who was allowed to hold a knife to the king’s neck. The barbers were the most trustworthy and skilled persons.

I’m afraid I can’t say the same about the barbers I’ve met in my life. I’ve met them all – from the old ones to the new, from the modern ones to the ones who sit under a tree with an umbrella and a mirror. And I’ve never had good luck with them. Not once.

Since my ‘Cap Style’ days, to my ‘Spikes’ days, to the dark and tragic ‘Tere Naam’ days, my hair has been subjected to numerous experiments, and I was always on the losing side.

So frustrated was I with barbers that I had stopped shaving or getting a haircut for a few months. Then, a few weeks back, Mr. P. Sainath was to come down to our department and I was to interview him. Lest he should think I was a suicide bomber, I was politely asked to shave and get a haircut.

In our campus, there is a saloon where students are entitled to hair cuts at subsidised rates. Now, there is a reason why Habib’s charges 500 bucks and our campus saloon wala charges 20 rupees. The equipment used is much simpler here – the razor looks like it was invented a week after man invented the wheel. Hygiene is not top priority either, and for the finicky ones, a blade is split in half and inserted into the blade, which will be used to scrape off hair from the sides.

So anyway I had half an hour in hand, and I quickly explained to the anna sitting that I wanted a haircut urgently. This is one aspect of getting a haircut that I am yet to master – giving instructions. Barbers are creative guys, and careful instructions will ensure you don’t look like the reigning mass hero of the time.

“Cut the sides, leave some hair in the front”, I said.

Since the two main barbers were busy, I was sent to the third guy. This guy was a lot younger, and looked like an apprentice. He made me sit on the chair, and covered me with the white shawl. He took off my specs, and placed them on the table in front. Now, this is the second reason why my haircuts are always screwed up.

Remember the Alif Laila stories where the evil Vizar’s life was in a parrot? My vision, similarly, is in my specs. Once you take them off, I am pretty much at the mercy of the barber.

The young guy sprayed some water on my hair, and began talking. He told me that he always wanted to have long hair, but his grandfather wouldn’t let him. He told me that he had let his hair grow long thrice, and all the three times his grandfather had threatened to chop them off while he was sleeping.

“Hair style hona toh Allu Arjun jaisa hona, bhaiyya”

Lesson 1: Never go to a barber who has film aspirations.

Since I was in a hurry, I didn’t respond to any of his questions. The guy had all the time in the world to do his thing. Behind me, there was a TV, in which there was a film playing. Nagarjuna had this hot secretary called Anu and she was really hard working and stuff. This guy was watching the movie, and smiling when the jokes came on, and humming when the songs came on, and generally concentrating more on the film than on my hair.

Lesson 2: Never go to a barber who has film aspirations, and is watching a film while cutting your hair.

I kept looking at my watch, and he at the TV. After about fifteen minutes, he took out the blade and asked me if he could scrape off the edges. Now, I am no mafia don, but I am not very comfortable with the scraping off bit. I asked him to skip that procedure. He cut off a little of my hair, and left some hair on the top.

Proudly, he took off the shawl, as if he was unveiling the Mona Lisa. I immediately reached for my specs, and looked at the mirror, and my heart sank. It was another bad haircut.

Now, my head looks strangely rectangular and stretched. There is no hair on the sides, and some hair right on top of my head. To add to the misery, since I was in a hurry, the guy forgot to cut any hair on the back, which has led to tufts of hair on the back of my head. The kind last seen on Anil Kapoor in the early 90s, and in Mahabharat.

As I walked out of the saloon, I remembered that I had forgotten a vital fact.

Lesson 3: Never go to a barber who has film aspirations, is watching a film while cutting your hair, and works in a saloon called ‘Gaylords’.

So here I am, after years of bitching about barbers, still walking around with a lousy haircut, and while people come up to me and smile, I don’t know if they are friends, or merely amused by my stupid hairstyle.

You know all these wise people who have these smart quotations to their name – like Plato, Aristotle, the Buddha, Christ, Confucius, Socrates, etc?

They all either had long flowing hair, or were completely bald. They forgot one key fact: True contentment lies in finding the right barber. I am still in pursuit.