Sunday, November 29, 2009

Formatted aggression

I have this old acquaintance who used to work in the ad agency that takes care of our advertising work. He works for a publishing house now. He is a really innocent and simple Gult guy. Though he is married with a baby, he is like a schoolboy, very gullible and trusting. The other day he pings me with exciting news.

KK: Guess what?
Me: You did not win the lottery?
KK: No yaar! I formatted a Chinese document!!
Me: Yay!
KK: I know. Exciting isn’t it?
Me: Very! Bye.
KK: It was entirely in Chinese!!
Me: Wow! Super exciting dude!
KK: This is the first time we are doing it!
But I managed. I did not know what the headline was and what the sub title.
But I just guessed and put it.
Me: Fantastic! Now let me get back to work.
KK: Yes! The client was very happy.
Me: And who was the Client?
KK: ********
Me: Hmmm for all you know that might be the Chinese Plan to disintegrate India.
KK: Huh!!
Me: You know, it was all over the news some time back!
KK: Really?
Me: You just cleaned it up for them.
KK: What do you mean?
Me: I mean, now they can do it properly.
KK: Don’t joke yaar!
Me: I am just saying!
KK: *silence*
Me: I gotta go now.
KK: Wait!!
Do you think it could be some confidential document?
Me: Could be.
Who knows Chinese in India btw.
KK: You are joking right?
Me: hmm
KK: Right?
Me: Maybe it is not.
But if it is, then I got to hand it over to the Chinese.
KK: What do you mean?
Me: They are particular of their plan document formatting. I mean Heading 1, Paragraph, Bullets, Indentation, Line Spacing, and Page Breaks and then… ATTACK!!!
That’s why they are a Superpower!!
KK: Hey Anjali. Don’t scare me yaar.
Me: Forget it. I was just thinking aloud.
KK: But it can happen, cant it?
Me: Yes!!
KK: :-S
Me: Bye!

After the conversation K spent considerable time with Google translator with no luck I am told. But he is now well versed with the Chinese words for “India, Attack, War, Break-up, Chinese people want to dominate india, China army size, China Army Size vs India Army Size.” etc. You guessed right. Instead of pasting Chinese words from the document into the translator tool, he used the translator to create the above mentioned English words in Chinese and then looked for them in the document.

Now all I need to do is convince him to join the Chinese Army. Something tells me it won’t be that difficult a task. But if I do then I demand that I get the National Disaster Management Award 2009!!

This is my 300th post! Yay! Happy week folks!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A tale of two weddings

Time: 8 am.
Place: Moovattupuzha
Date: Never mind.

The bride groom is getting ready for the wedding. My amma and her entourage of sisters and cousin sisters, numbering a couple of hundred, are running around making sure that the hundred things that needs to be done in a wedding house is moving like clockwork. I have been told to 1. Freeze 2. Desist from giggling 3. Stop rolling my eyes.

Time: 8:15 am
Place: Ditto
Date: Who cares!

The Bride Groom (BG) enters the living room wearing his suit pants and the shirt. The phone rings. It is my punju friend from Chandigarh. She is at a wedding near Chandigarh she says. She is eager to know all about an achayan wedding she says. There is a sing song session going on at the venue of the wedding she is attending. She wants to know if we are also having a similar event. I look at the scenery before me and reply. “Yes there is a ballet which is going to start here. It is called Kaikottikali.” Friend is very impressed.

1. The brother in law of the BG takes the jacket and helps the BG into one sleeve smiling at the camera!
2. The sister in law of the BG holds the jacket behind him and helps him into the other sleeve, taking care to smile at the camera!
3. Friend 1 helps him button the jacket, smiling at the camera.
4. Friend 2 ties the tie for the BG, tying and untying till his jaws falls off due to the sheer fatigue of smiling at the camera.
5. A fully suited and booted BG looking like an over powdered handicapped moron who cannot put on a jacket himself is finally left alone…to smile at the camera!
6. I am seen rolling my eyes, by the camera.

My friend is excited. She wants to know what else happens at an achayan wedding. I tell her of the thousand years old ritual that will be performed at the house ….in not so many words. Friend is absolutely amazed. I cringe at the scene.

7. Mommy dearest comes forward and flicks off an imaginary speck of dust from the suit for the camera.
8. Mommy dearest then kisses BG on the forehead or cheek or hand for the camera!
9. Daddy dearest looking uncomfortable in the unusual formal clothes, checks hair and general get up of BG… for the camera.
10. He goes back to his easy chair a much relieved man in front of the camera.
11. Father is hauled up from easy chair and full family poses in front of camera.
12. BG then poses with parents for the camera.
13. BG then poses with parents and siblings for the camera.
14. BG then poses parents and siblings and Priest for the camera.
15. BG then poses parents and siblings and Priest and grandparents if alive for the camera.
16. BG then poses parents and siblings and Priest and grandparents if alive and sundry relatives for the camera.

Friend calls again. She is at the wedding hall she says. She is taking part in a dance competition she says. It is the groom’s family versus the brides. She wants to know if we have a similar tradition. I say “Of course” and suppress an insane urge to laugh like a maniac.

17. The whole group is now praying as a group in front of the camera.
18. Groom then takes blessings from each person present in the room for the camera.
19. Ladies surreptitiously wipe a non existent tear for the camera.
20. BG ceremoniously steps out of the house…in front of the camera.
21. Groom and his entourage wait while Photographer takes several shots of the bedecked car that will carry the BG to the Church…behind the camera.
22. The family stray dog looks on bewildered…away from the camera!
23. BG is photographed smiling from inside/outside/beside/ east west/south east/north east/ top of the car for the camera.
24. Some random male is photographed closing the door of the car for the camera.
25. I can be seen banging my head against the wall, in front of the camera.

Friend calls again. She is going to greet the bride she says. They will dance in front of the bride’s car till the wedding hall she says. What is happening at your place, she inquires. I tell her that I am doing a similar thing …but not in so many words.

26. The groom’s car is photographed leaving for church with a random cow looking on curiously on the road for the camera.
27. Car arrives at the Church after the camera.
28. Smiling and milling relatives are photographed smiling and milling at the camera.
29. BG/Bride enters the church after the camera.
30. People in the church are photographed from 9001 angles by the camera err photographer!
31. Special shots of little children looking sullen in suffocating clothes that make them look like miniature Charlie Chaplin’s, Cinderella’s and or Jokers, Abominable Snowman, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan and Bhappi Lahiri for the camera.
32. The pretty bridesmaids smile at the camera.
33. The pretty bridesmaids smile again at the camera.
34. The pretty bridesmaid smile yet again at the camera till the photographer is hauled away by the collar to resume work with the camera!
35. Uncomfortable looking men feeling uncomfortable in formal shirts look gravely away from the camera.
36. I am seen tearing out my hair in frustration, by the camera.

Friend calls again. She is leaving for the groom’s house she says. They will dance on the road in front of the groom atop a horse till the wedding halls she says. What is happening at your place, she inquires. I describe the scene…but not in so many words.

37. Priests arrive at the Altar giving a damn for the camera.
38. Wedding Mass is celebrated to full glory ignoring the camera!
39. The Mass is over and the group stand for photograph in front of the altar and the camera.
40. Newly married couple poses with parents for the camera.
41. Newly married couple poses with parents and siblings for the camera.
42. Newly married couple poses with parents and siblings and presiding Priests for the camera.
44. Newly married couple poses with parents and siblings and presiding Priests and grandparents if alive for the camera.
45. Newly married couple poses with parents and siblings and presiding Priests and grandparents if alive and sundry for the camera.
46. The newlyweds leave for the reception behind the camera.
47. My mother is seen hauling me up by the scruff of my kurti neck and dragging me kicking and screaming to the reception by the camera.

The wedding in Chandigarh and Moovattupuzha is now over. My friend is now taking part in the vidayee ceremony of the bride. The bride is saying good bye to her parents and parental home amidst much tears and sobbing. Friend wants to know if we have a similar tradition in Kerala. I look at the well stocked bar at the Reception Hall and lie.

48. Reception is a blur for most of us and the camera.
49. Ladies can be seen dragging the men away from the bar in front of the camera.
50. Men can seen going right back to the bar in front of the camera.
51. Ladies can be seen dragging the men away again … in front of the camera.
52. Men can seen going right back again in front of the camera.
53. Everyone is seen laughing and talking and making much noise by the camera.
54. I can be seen pumping my fist in sheer ecstasy that it is over…by the camera.

Friend calls again and tells me about the pall of gloom that has descended on the bridal house after her departure. She wants to know if the bridal home in Moovattupuzha is facing as similar situation! I think of the Picasa Album link with the 4000 photos (upgraded account) that will be sent to me for compulsory viewing and I break down. Friend is sympathetic and understanding but mostly astonished at the similarity of traditions amongst punjus and mallus.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Recruiting for dummies

Dear HR Manager of my company,

While we appreciate your untiring work in recruiting the best talents for the company, we feel that you are falling short in a critical area of assessment of prospective employees. We i.e. me and my team members have put together, for your benefit (and ours) an extension of tests that you must use before finalizing any candidate.

Test No 1:

Invite the candidates to a hearty meal to the 8th floor cafeteria. Meal expenses will be paid for by my team. After the meal, please examine the dining table. Give spot offer letter to those who ate without spilling most of their food in the table and around the table and on neighbor’s laps, shirts, wall and the neighboring buildings. For people who spilled food all over the place, tear up their resume, laugh at them derisively and throw them off the cafeteria terrace. Preferably from the side above the pool.

Test No 2:

Give each candidate a phone and give them an hour free time to talk to anyone they want. People who talk with their voices lowered should be given their offer letters immediately. The ones who talk loud, specially to equally jobless friends about their pimples, BF/GF, Landlord, Cousins marriage/divorce/pregnancy, in laws, pregnancy stretch marks, lack of hair on head, excess hair on body, pedicure, manicure and liposuction they did or did not etc. should be hit on the head with the handset till they run out of the door. Do instruct the Security people to give them a final ass whooping before they are let out of the main gate.

Test No 3:

Make the prospective candidates use the toilet and evaluate the toilet after usage. Give offer letters to people who leave the toilet clean. Those who leave the toilet unclean must be slapped about and hosed down with the Fire Hose and then pushed out of the nearest exhaust fan window.

There is no need to thank us. It is understood that you are now over whelmed and eternally grateful for our suggestions. Please note that failure to comply with these tests will results in grievous bodily injury to your new joinees. Thank you for your cooperation.


Silverine and others.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


We have a new internal medical emergency hot line number. It is a pretty number though not very helpful I feel. I mean if you really want to reach someone in the office in an emergency quickly, then the number should be ideally one digit and if that is not possible due to some highly complex telephonic engineering challenge, then it should be a three digit number. But do our Facility people listen? No. So now we have a standard 8 digit emergency “hotline” which should ideally be called a “coldline” because by the time the person in distress dials all the numbers this is what will happen...

*Gasp* My chest is paining. I need to call the emergency number. *pant* what was the number again? Let me *gasp* read it!!! 4 *gasp* 8 *gasp* 1 *gasp* aarrggh my chest is exploding!!! I cannot make out anything *gasp* wait a minute I think the next number is 4, then we have a 6... I think…*clutching chest* then I think it is a 7…no I think that was a 1 or maybe a 9? *groan* I cannot see anything. The last numbers look like 333 or is it 888? Let me dial the nu…..

*swoon *


*drops down dead*

I am putting it on speed dial.

Have a cracking week dear friends!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Mobile Entertainment

Now that the Big 10 bus services have been introduced in Bangalore, I find my self using the service to go to town...quite literally. During weekdays we car pool, so during weekends I use this service to give me a break from driving. During my travels from home to Brigade Road I find myself seated next to a lot of people who use the travel time to catch up with friends, relations, parents, BF/GF etc. Of these, the mallus are the most voluble.

Example no 1: The Mallu gal in Bangalore for higher studies.

This type generally chats up people back home in Kerala during the bus ride. The conversation is held in Malayalam. I have used the liberty to use English for non mallu readers. Typical conversations are like this:

Hellooo! Idhu njaana! Aa! Pinne…avide endha vishesham? Is it raining there aa? Aa! What about at Babuchayans place? Please be careful near the well. You will slip and fall due to the moss. Tell that Vareed to come and clean it no! Has achchan repaired the wall on the other side of the parambu? That Mathukutty's cows will have a hay-day if you don’t. Pinne… tell me what else is new there? Aiyyo jose chetande kada pootiyo? Eppo? So where do you buy vegetables from now? Teresa chechi is gone home for delivery? I hope I can get home by then. Pakshe test undu. Pinne businde ticketinde prashanam undo. Last minute ticket kitoola. Njaan innu onnum kazhichilla amme. Breakfastinnu breadum butterum ayirnnu. Maduthu! Pinne…vere endha vishesham? Aiyyo ende stop vittu poyi. Njaan vekkate? Illa, adutha stopil irangi nadannolam. Sheri! Amme vekkate? Aiyyo stop vannu. Koda eduthatundu. Vayiguneram vilikaam tow? Aiyyo conductor saare stop maadi. Eranganam.

All this is delivered at supersonic jaw crunching speed and by the time we reach the next stop I and other mallu passengers in the bus can write the biography of the entire Kandath family from Thodupuzha!!

Next specimen will be mallu gal from Kerala married to techie guy and now employed in some office. She will talk to her friend also married and living in Calicut.

Hiiiii! How are you? I am fine. Etan is also fine. Ende father in law sick aa! Ariyulla endha problem. Vayis ayille. Pinne enna visheshams? Ivide oru vishesham illa. *gasp* Really??? Aiyyo! I did not hear that! When? Where? How? Ende daivamme!! Did her parents bring her back? I knew it! I told her also. But she was madly in love with him! Pinne what else? Anyone else in our batch getting married? Job is boring yaar. Etan comes home only by 9. I watch TV what else! My neighbor is some Tamilian. Kandooda aa sthreeye! Ende stop vannu. Njaan orkuttil scrap chaiyyam. Balance illa. Bye!

To me: Is this Lal Baugh stop?
Me: No. This bus doesn’t go that way!
Gal: Aiyyo!
Me: Where are you going?
Gal: Majestic!
Me: You are in the wrong bus.
Gal: !!!!
Me: Never mind. Get down at Brigade Road. You will lots of buses from there.
Gal: Hello? Nasreen? I am in the wrong bus *giggle* hahahahahahahaha
And more ahahahaha

After that I and the rest of the passengers who can understand Malayalam can write the entire biography of the Krishnan Menon and Abu Backer Family from Calicut.

Unfortunately no guys will sit next to me as I sit in the ladies section. But like the other Bangalore guys, mallu guys are also not discriminatory and do not mind sitting on ladies seats. Their conversations will go like this after looking around and ascertaining that his neighbors are non mallus.

Hey da I met Sushmita, Renju and Baby yesterday. They are all here. Ramesh IBM’ill annu. Rejoyum, babyum Accentureil annu. Pinne Joemone kandu. Avan Bilkehalliyill aanu thamasam. Navin has gone to the US for his MS. I am in training now. Boring da. After that I will go to Pune. Yesterday was team lunch. Stupid food. Everybody wanted Andhra food. You don’t get malayalam movies here. So Sunday we spend roaming around malls. Jijo is in TCS. Harish is in Infosys. Srinivasan is in Mindtree. Abraham is in CTS and …..!

By the time this conversation is over, me and the other passengers who know Malayalam feel like picking him up and heaving him out of the bus.