Sunday, August 23, 2009

A shot gun wedding of the Goan kind!

Warning: Long post ahead!

I am back folks after a couple of days in the sun on Goa’s sandy beaches that I merely saw through the car windows as I rushed about getting things ready for a very dear friends wedding. Dear friend (henceforth referred to as DF) had suddenly decided that she would marry her long-time-boyfriend-whom-her-Dad-hated (hence forth referred to as LTBDH). To make things complicated, her mom too hated her boyfriend’s ponytail though she liked him as a person she said. DF is from one of those wealthy old rich families from Goa. While LTBDH’s ancestors had made it big quite recently like in the early 1800’s which was a clear 200 years after DF’s ancestors had become rich. This made LTBDH a new rich and hence unacceptable. No girl/boy from DF’s ancient family ever married a nouveau riche.

It all started one rainy morning at 3 am when I was asnooze under the warm blanket of knowledge that my phone is off the hook. I am jolted out of my warm security blanket by the strident ringing of the phone in the hallway.

Me: hellllloyawwwwwn!!
DF: You asleep?
Me: No, I was lying here with my eyes closed trying to the break the Guinness Book of World Record in keeping my eyelids closed for the maximum number of hours. It’s been 6 hours now and thanks to you I will not be able to break the world record.
DF: I am in trouble!
Me: That makes you my closest competitor in breaking the Guinness Book of World in getting into trouble.
DF: I think I will die if I don’t marry Brian.
Me: That is sad.
DF: What do you mean sad.
Me: I will never make it to the Guinness Book of World Record for sleeping one night without a call from you at some unearthly hour!
DF: I am going to get married to him tomorrow in Goa.
Me: What!!! Your poor Dad was so close to breaking the Guinness Book of World Record for missing Brian with his shotgun!! Brian is a sitting duck in the church!! Poor man you will spoil his chances too wont you???
DF: I will pick you up at 6 am sharp.
Me: Shall I bring my brain along or shall I leave it in the freezer? I am so close to breaking the Guinness Book of World Record in following your diktats blindly you know?
DF: Shut up and go to sleep!
Me: Ok master! Yipee I just made it to the Guinness Book of World Record by breaking my previous record of following your diktats blindly!
DF: Carry your driving license. You are driving from Davangere onwards.
Me: Why Davangere onwards?
DF: Because the road is really bad from there stupid!
Me: That makes me close to breaking the Guinness Book of World Record in …
DF: *Click*

That just broke the world record in the number of times DF hung up on me I guess!

Anyways after some frantic shopping for wedding clothes that were both elegant and bullet proof, we left for Goa. The journey was uneventful except for Sankey Tank sized craters and Ulsoor Lake sized ditches and Sarjapur Lake sized potholes besides several Lorries lying belly up shamelessly flashing their privates in various angles forcing us to take detours through villages that were perhaps getting visitors from the outside world for the first time.

Villager One: Look! A metal apparition with strange females inside!!!
Villager Two: Naah, that is just the annual clearance sale for elegant and bullet proof wedding clothes.
Villager One: My bad.

We reached Goa in good time, singing “Soni De Nakhre” and “Mind Blowing Mahia” from Cash in off key, severely shrill voices that could be one of the reasons why the lorry drivers gave way so hastily. As soon as we reached DF’s ancestral house err mansion, we were welcomed by a bevy of anxious looking relatives who were looking worried, scared and anxious (in that order).

Mom (anxiously): Your Dad is looking high and low for Brian!
DF: Tell him to clean his rifle scope ma!
Dad: Damn it!! I knew I was doing something wrong!!

The next crisis was the Church. Apparently old Goa churches are not bullet proof nor do they allow guns inside. The latter has nothing to do with the eleventh commandment “Thou shall not kill thy son in law” but more to do with the fact that the Churches are very old and will crumble under the sonic boom of gunfire. To make things worse, DF put her foot down and said that she will get married in their parish Church only and nowhere else. Dad’s eyes glowed with pride. He would finally get to shoot Brian. After much hyperventilation and anxiety attacks we managed to (1) convince her to settle for the convent chapel for the wedding and (2) convince her Uncles to get her Dad sloshed enough to get the Nuptials* over and done with. We did not have much choice but a private chapel was the only way we could keep an eye on Daddy dearest and his rifle.

The wedding went fine.

Priest: Do you DF take LTBDH to be your lawfully wedded husband.
Dad: *hic*
Priest: Do you LTBDH take DF to be your lawfully wedded wife?
Dad: *burrrp*
Priest: I now pronounce you man and wife!
Congregation: *whew*
Dad: *snore*

The photo op went fine with Daddy dearest smiling blissfully, the newlyweds looking wary and the relations looking relieved.

The reception went even greater on the green lawns that skirt DF’s ancestral house adjoining the Mandovi river. We took turns dancing with Daddy dearest and keeping him in high spirits. Daddy was the life of the party. He even raised his glass to the newly weds before passing out.

Chicken Xacuti, Prawn Balchao, Pork Sorportel and Vindaloo and hundred other melt in the mouth morsels later, we whisked the newly weds away to their honey moon suite. We had booked two just in case Daddy dearest decided to crash the honeymoon night rifle in tow. We needn’t have bothered. He had passed out for the evening.

Next day when we were leaving for Bangalore, Daddy dearest gave us a present as a token of his appreciation for all the help. It was a highly polished brass bullet from the 19th century he said. Guaranteed to kill an elephant and highly volatile too he said. And a collector’s item to boot.

The journey back very eventful with everyone flinching and covering their ears when we hit a pothole wondering when the volatile gift would explode blowing us to pieces. Someone suggested we throw it out instead of being blown to smithereens. By the time we debated and argued over it, we were in Bangalore. I gingerly handed over the bullet to my dad asking him to be careful. Dad turned it up and down and around while I looked on nervously and declared the bullet... a blank.

No prizes for guessing who cussed the loudest and longest!

But lets look at the bright side here. Daddy dearest and us are even now. Thank god!

* the nuptials is the actual wedding ceremony where the couple exchange vows and are pronounced man and wife.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Much ado about nothing

Mumbai: News has just come in that Mah Rukh Kkkan, an Indian actor and superstar was held back for secondary investigations at an US airport. He was in transit to another US city. The immigration officer refused to buy the story that he was an Indian superstar. In a press statement the official said, “He looks nothing like a superstar. He is clearly lying!!”

Meanwhile news of his detention spread like wildfire and the film fraternity came out strongly in support of the actor.

Harinder Singh, who describes himself as “a very popular Indian actor” said “These Americans are such airheads!!! Any kid can give you the dirt on Mah Rukh. We need to make a big stink about this so that this is not repeated. What a bummer!”

Mr. Hail Kan another Indian actor who says that he will be the “next superstar” said “It’s not like Mah Rukh had any hardware on him! I do not think that officer had it all together!!”

“Pardon me if I am getting a little huffy” said Kriyanka Opra an Indian actress, “but Mah Rukh is an Indian superstar in India. Detaining him for questioning is ridiculous. GET REAL!!!!”

Reporters interviewing the stars were seen consulting the “The Complete Book of American Slang – Eighth Edition” before sending in their stories for publishing. They are hoping that the US authorities will not hold back prominent Indians in India in the US in future as it causes considerable delays in getting the story to the press. The Press Distrust of India met the US Ambassador in New Delhi and handed over a letter of protest in this regard in UK English. The Ambassador has promised to look into the matter as soon as he can get the letter translated into US English.

Meanwhile the Minister for Something Ms. Mookambika Tony has said that the situation calls for a ‘tit for tat’ treatment for Americans. The announcement has catapulted India into the 'Most Preferred Destination' for Americans in 2009. According to Brad Kelley, an American who is planning to visit India, “Tit for tat sounds great. But what is “tat’? Is it legal?”

“I am deeply hurt by this incident” said Dolly Dimple, a B grade actress “they should have not treated whatshisname the way they did!!” Rajesh Gumnaam another B Grade actor said that “My new movie Junglee Bhoot will be released soon and oh yes...I hope what happened to Hrithik Roshan does not happen again.”

Flop actor Jaani Singh said “I want to voice my protest over this incident and reassure my fans that I will make my 65th comeback soon” He was then seen chasing the reporter who refused to film his interview. Reporters were seen running helter-skelter in Mumbai as swarms of B Grade, C Grade and flop actors descended on them to give their quotes on the subject.

In the meantime, Ms Mookambika announced at a Press Conference today, that all Americans coming into India will now be questioned for two hours and then given one phone call before being released. As per government rules the phone connection used will be BSNL. As an after thought she said that the number of phone calls will be raised to 250 considering certain factors which she refused to elaborate on.

Meanwhile the minister has asked the immigration department to compile 120 objective questions of one minute duration for detention purposes. The questionnaire will be prepared by the Government Services Recruitment Board (GSRB) to detain Americans coming into India. Before this news went to press it has been reliably learned that the questionnaire is now available for Rs 2000 to Rs. 3000/- from your neighborhood LEQPP (R) (Leaked Examination Question Paper provider).

Meanwhile press and TV reporters covering the story have gone into hiding as every Indian actor and actress worth their salt have been haranguing them for airtime. Mr Zubin Newswallah, a harried reporter said that the Actorazzi were stalking him 24 hours of the day and he was being followed by helicopter borne actors if he stepped out of his house. Some Actorazzi are camping outside his house and some have even taken up positions on the tress outside his house. Another reporter on vacation had Actorazzi troubling him as he sunbathed with his family on the Kovalam beach. He was forced to cut short his vacation and get back to his now secured apartment in Mumbai. The reporters complain that it is highly stressful to live under the constant vigil of the stars. Some reporters, who just do not want to be harassed, found creative ways to hide their faces from the Actorazzi. Mr. Srinivas Srinivasan, a reporter with The Indian Mail, dressed up as the HINI flu virus to hoodwink the Actorazzi. According to him “The actors are now wary of me and keep their distance from me heh heh.” He plans to bring out a book on the subject soon.

As this news goes to press, this reporter has realized that she has wandered away from the main topic of this news release. Since she cannot remember what it was that she was writing about to begin with, she will go ahead and publish it anyway. Speaking to no one in particular she said “I hate Mondays!”

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Gross connections

Mr. K.P.M.G. Nair (KPMGN in short), the contractor was an agitated man. Employees were not using the phones correctly he said and he was justifiably agitated.

“This is imbowssible” he fumed. ‘How difficult is it to masder a simble telephone!” he thundered.

Wiping the spittle spray from my face, I replied timidly “It is very simble indeed”

“Are you maging fun of me?” he asked belligerently.

Imbossible” I exclaimed. “I would never do such a think

“ mind it!!! I know awl about you. You are the jawker of this ofis I know.”

“That was a hurtful thing to say…sob” I said with a pseudo heart broken look that works all the time.

Ogay! Ogay! I yam sowree. But these peobles are getting on my nurves

“Maybe I gan helb you err I mean, maybe I can help you” I said acting like I was thinging err thinking hard.

Haow?” queried Nair

“I will make some posters exblaining err explaining the use of the phone in clear illustrations!”

“You dawnt know these peoble!” said Nair shaking his head. “They will gum and asg me to esplane the posters.”

“Trust me! I will ensure that it doesn’t happen!”

"Trust and you?? Lasd dime I trusted you I yended up in the pawleece station”

“Ahem…that was an accident”

Widh you there are no accidents. Only incidents!”

“Mr. Nair, how about the posters!” I asked interjecting quickly.

“Very well. Bud if dey gum asging esplanations, I yam sending them to you!”

I got the posters done and they were put up in prominent places around the floor and conference rooms. That evening I got a call from Nair.

Anjalee what have you gone and wridden in the poster?
Nothing! We have used only illustrations!
We are getting full gross connections!!
That is what I yam asging you!

That night I tossed and turned in my bed. Horrible images of getting the illustrations mixed up and the resultant chaos and the accusing eyes of my colleagues haunted me. Next day I went early to the office and saw that the posters were perfectly done. I sat down wearily at my chair and picked up the phone to call home. My weariness vanished when I heard Mr. Nair’s recorded voice.

To talk – lifd phone up
To dial an Yes T D number, dial sero followed by your Phone Identity Number (PIN) followed by the Yes T D code of the city followed by the number.
To dial an ISD number, dial sero followed by your PIN followed by the coundry code followed by the phone number.
When you hear dial tone, say “Allo??”

Phone lines have jammed in the office with everyone very keen on learning to say “Allo??” Some people have even recorded the “Allo??” as their caller tune.

But the lines of communication are open again. All thangs to K.P.M.G.N!!

No offense meand err meant to anyone please!!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Slide Shows..and how!

So we were having this Power Point presentation by a Big Shot in one of the conference rooms today. Moiself, the Boss, Foxy and a couple of other Marketing types (MT) were present. Towards the end of the fourth slide I saw Foxy frowning. Then he leaned forward and leaned back immediately as though he had had seen something horrible on the slide. The two Marketing types who were yawning and fighting sleep and snoring (in that order) were quick to follow Foxy’s gaze. Suddenly the two lost all traces of sleep and started peering intently at the slides.

MT: Sir, could you please repeat Slide number 5?
Big Shot (pleased): Sure!!!
MT: Interesting!
Big Shot (beaming): Thank you!
MT No 2: Now could you please show us Slide no 2 again?
Big Shot (beside himself with joy): Here you are!
MT : And can we see Slide No 7 once again!
Big Boss: Tell you what! I will mail this ppt to you all. I am not supposed to share this but hey, you guys have a keen interest in BTL activities I see! *BEAM*
Boss (hissing): What’s wrong with you both!!!
MT (whispering): Look at the Print Screen Image on Slide Three!!

We peered and saw that the Big Shot had taken the entire print screen image of his desktop to show our competitors webpage on the slide. On tab one, he was on the competitor’s website. On tab two he was on tarladalaldotcom. On tab three he was on herniadotcom. On Slide Two, the tabs were on pilesandfissuresdotcom, colonoscopydotcom and naughtygirldotcom. On slide four the tabs were….never mind….I do not want you all losing your dinner.

Foxy was looking very disapproving. Boss was going blue in the face trying not to laugh while I looked like I was going to puke! The two MM’s on the other hand were near the screen peering at the screen shots on Slide 6, 7 and 8. Big Shot looked absolutely thrilled and self important. As I write this post, the PPT is winging its way to stardom and fame.

Poor Big Shot.

Anyways here’s what I learned from this episode.

1. While it is a very good idea to use Print Screen shots to illustrate a web page during presentations, it would be even better if you did not take the entire print screen image for your presentation.

2. If you insist on keeping the full image, make sure you are using only one browser tab.

3. And if you insist on using multiple tabs, please ensure it is parked on Family Audience kinda pages.

4. If you see people peering with great interest at the slides, do not think you have written the Harry Potter of corporate presentations. It is really hard to see from a distance what the content of the chat window is. And who is that hot gal is who wants to spank you.

5. Please hide your Taskbar. It is a dead give away. And hotdaddy@yahoodotcom is niiiice! We like it!

6. Please close pop ups instead of minimizing them. It downright embarrassing sometimes and a dead give away to the sites you visit.

7. And lastly…Websense makes web sense.

Mind it!!

Please do not forward this to the big bosses. Their ppts with print screen images are the only source of entertainment in our dull corporate lives.Thank you!