Sunday, May 27, 2007

Road Show


I closed my eyes as my brother M hit an old but well kept Fiat from behind! The Fiat stopped and out came a greying gentleman to inspect the back of his car. The following is the exchange that happened soon afterward.

Ungle: You hit my car!
M: I am sorry but you braked suddenly uncle.
Ungle: I didn’t brake suddenly. You were speeding.
M: Absolutely not!
Ungle: And who is this girl?
M: That’s my sister.
Ungle (turning to me): Young lady please tell your parents that your brother is a menace on the roads!!!
Me: heh heh they already know errr... I mean ok Uncle.

The-menace-on-the-road goes out to inspect Ungles car. Upon inspection it is revealed that we will need to import a high resolution Megapixel Digital Microscope to detect the scratch Ungle is claiming to have been caused by our car. Now Aundy comes out of the car. Aundy is suitably incensed.

Aundy: You young people should have some manners on the road. You think you own the road!!!

(Spots the rosary hanging from the rear view mirror)

Aundy: Malayalee aano? ( are you Malayalees)
M: Adhe! (yes)
Ungle: What is your father’s name?
M: *tells the name*
Ungle to aundy: Idhu nammude Mathiachande alian aano? (isn’t this our Mathew's brother in law?)
Aundy: aayirkaam! (maybe)
Ungle: Are you Mathew Padamadan's nephew?
M: Never heard of him
Ungle (turning to Aundy): This must be some other people.
Ungle: From which part of Kerala are you from?
M: Kottayam
Ungle to Aundy: Do we know anyone there?
Aundy: Susande mole kettichidhu Kadanadil alle? ( Isn’t Susans daughter is married to someone in kadanadu)
Ungle: hmmm are you related to Fr Sebastian?
M: Which Fr Sebastian? We have many Priests in our family!
Ungle to Aundy: Achchande veetuperu endhanu? (What is the Priests surname?)
Aundy: Kinatukkara!
Uncle: Yes Fr Sebastian Kinatukkara!!
M: Never heard of him either! Err... We need to go Uncle. It is getting late and we have a function to attend.
Ungle: Oho! So that was the hurry yeah? You are going to a get drunk... and ram some more innocent vehicles?
M: I wasn't hurrying uncle besides we are going for a First Holy Communion!
Uncle: Don’t argue with me!! I am a retired army officer with grown up children you know! Give me your father’s number!
M: 123456789
Ungle: I am going to call the cops and then your father and .....
Aundy: Are you related to Paul Augustine from Kanjirappally?
M: Which Paul Augustine?
Aundy to Ungle: Paul Augustinede veetuperu endhanu? (What is Paul Augustine’s surname?)
Ungle: Marannu poyi! Eerurikkal annu ennu thonnunu! ( I forgot. I think it is Eerurikkal)
Aundy: I think it is Paul Augustine Eerurikkal!
M: Oh yes I know him.
Uncle (beaming): Then you must know his second cousin Jacob Alapatt’s son Ronald?
M: Yes!
Uncle: He is my son-in-law!
M: Oh wow! Great to meet you Uncle! How is Ronald?
Aunty: Maybe you haven’t heard but Ronald had an accident and is hospitalised. Mercy our daughter is in the US. He had just got his Visa!
M: How sad. Give me his number Uncle. Long time since I talked to him!
Ungle: Do that it will cheer him up! *beaming*
M: And how is Mercy?
Aundy: Mercy is fine. She will soon be moving to Chicago. You must know her brother in law Shibu.
M: Oh yes I do. He was my senior in REC I think!
Aundy: No he is from CET...
M: oh ok! Any ways we really gotta go now. Nice meeting you uncle and aunty! I am going to call Ronald today!
Uncle: Nice meeting you too heh heh. We will drop in home one day!
M: Sure Uncle!

In the car!

Me: Who is this Paul Augustine?
M: I have no idea!
Me: And Ronald?
M: No idea!
Me: And you don’t know Mercy and Shibu either I guess.
Me: *shrug* Never heard of them.
Me: But you gave him Dad’s phone number!
M: That was Bluebell Wine Shop's number.

(Meanwhile the only witness to the incident/accident is now enjoying freebies like some quality time with the accused's Thin 80GB External Portable Hard Disk Drive with over 4000 MP3 songs...tara rum pum pum. Currently listening to an all time favorite of mine Summer Wine )

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Mughal Conspiracy!

Hello friends! I am right now in the fair city of New Delhi. New Delhi to the uninitiated, is the capital city of our country and is approximately 2 kilometres away from the Sun. It is a city that is singularly responsible for the woes of millions of school students. Yes dear people our collective misery called Indian History has a lot to do with this city. I mean if the Mughals had not woken up one morning and said "Lets conquer Delhi and make monuments for people to pee and scribble on", you and me would have been spared the hours we spent byhearting dates and names of the people with unpronounceable names like Illtmush and Alauddin Khilji.

The Mughals who invaded India were a highly cultured race:

Mughal King: Mantriji please start the construction of the finest monuments known to man across my kingdom!
Mantriji: You are such an art connoisseur alampanah. Generations will remember you for your contribution to the art and culture of this great country.
Mughal King: Art connoisseur? Wots that? I am merely adding to the History syllabus of the NCERT duh!

Just imagine if the Mughals had not conquered India! We would be a land of uncultured History Text bookless people. What bliss!!

Places I have visited in Delhi so far:

Lal Quila (Red Fort): So called because it is "red" and it is a "fort". Besides Shahjahan did not want the uncultured Indians to look at it and say “See a large building, let’s go pee and scribble our names on the walls”. Shahjahan in keeping the grand Mughal tradition of making Silverine study as many dates as possible in her History class, made sure that this fort was started in 1638 and completed in 1648. ( He wanted to construct some extra dates err...wings in 1650, 1653 and 1678 but much to the disappointment of History teachers he ran short of funds. He however made up for it by starting work on the Taj Mahal in 1632 and finishing it in 1648. )

Qutub Minar: This monument was made by an unpronounceable Mughal King called Qutb-ud-Din Aybak. (Warning: Please do not attempt to pronounce his name at home. Only professionals trained in Urdu should attempt pronouncing this name. Complications in the form of twisted and knotted tongues have been reported from History students.). Qutub Minar was a favourite place for people seeking H1 Visa to Heaven. The authorities have now strictly limited Visa applicants to heaven. Qutb-ud-din died accidentally in 1210. But before he died he spent many an agonizing hour wondering why he made the Qutub Minar.

Old Fort (Purana Qila): This was constructed by Mughal emperors Humayun and Sher Shah under a joint funding agreement. Due to a loophole in the contract the two squabbled over its name for many years. It was variously called "dilpanah" and "shergarh" and “Jhumri Thalaiyya” . Peace was restored when Humayun slipped from a steep staircase and died.

Tughluqabad: This monument is an History teachers delight. And why you may ask....just read on and see if you can guess why?

Tughluqabad is about 8 km from Qutub Minar. It is the 3rd city of Delhi and was Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq's capital in 1320. This fort has 13 gateways and has a circuit of 4 miles.

Humayun's Tomb: This was built in anticipation of Humayun's death by, you guessed correctly Humayuns wife.

Safdarjang's Tomb: I know what you are thinking and you are absolutely right! The Mughals were not very original in naming monuments. Safdarjang's Tomb is one of the last examples of Mughal architecture. Thank god!

The Mughal empire fell during the mid-18th century due to the extreme heat of Delhi, cutting short History text books by at least 5678 pages. As a last act of defiance the Mughals handed over their monuments to The Indian Archaeological Society. The Indian Archaeological Society recently released a book to fund its restoration projects called “How to preserve monuments from the ravages of Time and Uric Acid.” The book is not selling very well.

As you can see by the post above I did not do very well in History in school.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

For God so loved me that he made my mom...

Happy Mothers Day to my Amma and all the Mothers of the World today...including me. Well... I am mommy to three dogs and one baby squirrel too.

I don’t think many mothers know of the existence of this day like mine. But she does like the fuss she gets like the flowers given by all of us!

So let me without getting senti wish the most special person in my life today.

Happy Mother’s Day Amma. Hope we made you feel special today. Hope you are happy that you made me peel those irritatingly tiny chakkakurus (jackfruit seeds) for making my favourite chakkakuru maanga curry.
(and this dear people is the reason this post was delayed hmmph)

Thank you God for giving Mademoiselle Leelamma as my mom. I would call this the height of customisation :p

Thank you ma for being such a perfect mom. There is so little of you that irritates me :p

I hope you will be my ma forever cos no one understands me the way you do. Any other mother would have given me up for adoption or left home by now!

Thanks for being such a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, godmother and local guardian to lots of bachchas of the family studying in Bangalore. Maybe you should start a consultancy on being the perfect woman.

Thanks for being a housewife with so much dignity and without losing your individuality and keeping the three men in your life in their places (muahahaha)

I admire you for not being a typical Indian mother by making your sons grate coconut, cut vegetables, water the garden, shop ,clean their rooms and do a hazaar household chores that a lot of Indian guys won’t even dream of doing.

Thanks for giving meaning to the word unselfish, selfless and gullible. I must confess I like the last trait of yours very much :p

And thanks for understanding that I will never be your clone.

I must confess that I have a role model in you. With the necessary changes of course to accommodate the difference in the times we live in.

Thanks for being such a dignified woman. I will always look upto to you for that though I will NEVER be like you because I so love the gossiping and bitching sessions with my friends. And no it does not matter if half the stuff we discuss may not have happened at all. Cut me some slack ma. It is harmless gal talk.

Thanks for being proud of me. People who know you will understand that this is no mean feat to achieve.

I feel so proud that you were voted "Best Mom" by my friends. Coming from teenage girls that has to be the "ultimate" compliment!

And I am sorry that I was/am not plump. And putting up with all those jibes from relations that I was underfed hinting at your mothering skills. I know my ‘weight problems’ were/is the bane of your life.

Thanks for never feeling hurt no matter what I say in irritation. It is really nice to have that one person in my life who will never misunderstand me or sulk on me.

And thanks for bearing up with all my bear hugs and being such a cuddly mom. I love you plump. (egads I can’t imagine having a pencil thin mom!!!)

And since this post will be printed and given to you by chetan, I want you to know that it is high time you made some payasam :p

This is my 150th post here. What a coincidence that it is Mothers Day too! And so bring out your handkerchief ma for this post is dedicated to you :)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Night shift!

Recently the Karnataka Government mulled over banning women from working in night shifts. This move aims to protect the modesty of women from the advances of male colleagues according to the government. If I read the governement communique right, this means that men metamorphosise into rapists and molesters like Werewolves as the sun sinks over the horizon.

4 pm in an office

Female Colleague: Rajeev would you know who our most profitable customers are?
Rajiv: I will mail you details right away ma'am.

11 pm in the night in the same office

Female Colleague: Rajeev lets go over the list you have sent ahead of Q4 planning.
Rajeev ( with a lecherous look): heh heh why don’t you come and sit on my lap and I will give you a detailed description of all 56 of them? *makes a grab for her*
Female Colleague: *shriek*

According to the government the hormones of men starts raging as the sun goes down.

5 pm in an office

Female Colleague: Joseph I would like a review meeting with you in the conference room please.
Joseph : Sure ma'am. I will be there with the Q4 details.

1 am in the same office

Female Colleague: Joseph let’s start the meeting with a review of your work in the past three months.
Joseph (salivating and advancing menacingly towards her): heh heh sure babes. Why don't we get a little cosier first hmm? And don’t try to run out. I have locked the conference room door *loud evil laughter*
Female Colleague: *shriek*

Last we heard, the government has dropped the idea. Talking to reporters a minister said “It was all a joke!! I know that women can get molested during daytime too! My own record is an example. I was charge sheeted for molesting 14 women in the day time vis vis only 7 in the night.”

Let’s cut him some slack folks. This guy was being sincere in trying to curb his inclinations err I mean men’s inclinations.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Say it right!

How I miss the good ole days of Interviews when you could lie through your teeth and get the job. Nowadays Interviews have been replaced by coffee and pastry chats in five star coffee shops.

Interviewer: Would you like some coffee or tea?
Interviewee: A glass of water please!
Interviewer: You are not very ambitious are you?
Interviewee: err Coffee please.
Interviewer: ...and rather indecisive too!
Interviewee (sweating): Can I have some juice instead?
Interviewer: *sneer* What a loser!
( you can never win I tell you)

During first year college when we English Interns were quite in demand to do the menial work of Communication people in IT companies, Interviews were 'Interviews'. Good ole "Tell me something about yourself" kinda Interviews.

My first Interview for a summer interns job was a couple of years ago. We had numerous Corporate Communication Managers and executives (mostly ex students) making a beeline to our college armed with HR executives who were in turn armed with an attitude fortified with really bad English, to shortlist potential candidates. Now the term 'potential candidates' had a lot of connotations. Potential could mean, the person with the highest marks in communicative English who got surpassed for the person who had spent the whole day at the beauty parlour prior to the Interview or it could mean someone who was on Sister Principals hit list for writing a blasphemous but highly popular article in the college newsletter titled "Dress Codes are for Nuns and Losers!" (now don’t be judgmental folks. I spent a good one week researching and writing that article. It was supported by solid facts and figures from the college canteen).

Now coming back to my narrative, I had checked the credentials of most of the companies coming for campus interviews that summer and found them lacking on many fronts. Number one – they were too far away from the nearest mall, Number two – they were too far away from the nearest movie theatre and Number three – they were too far away from anywhere.In short...I didn't want to work that summer :(

I had many plans that summer like going to Ooty and bird watching and taking part in the protest by Environmentalists in the Nilgiri's. Now these protests are very important social movements that teach you to walk in single file on Nilgiri roads without getting crushed by speeding tourist buses. (You also learn a very important lesson from peaceful protests... that no one cares till you turn violent. )

Once we even had a top forest official come out and address our rally. A very stupid move indeed he realised later on. I mean here we are standing outside the collectorate surrounded by some exotic fauna when we espy some exotic birds decorating the trees. As we were happily snapping pictures the forest official booms on the mike "Ladies and Gentlemen!!" If looks were darts, the forest official would have been a very highly populated pin cushion indeed!

The birds flew away with a squawk and the official had to face the wrath of the teeming multitudes!! That is 5 pair of very angry eyes indeed!! (err...Well 4 pairs to be precise as I was halfway up a tree chasing a Verditer Flycatcher). We were later told that the official meant no harm and all that he wanted to say was "Ladies and Gentlemen, please get off the lawn!!" ( in our defence I have to say we cannot read sign boards in Tamil especially when we are standing on it.)

Anyways I am deviating...again! Back to our narrative... one fine day I was handed a notice signed by Sister Principal that said that I had to attend an Interview for an Internship under Ms Hotair, the Corporate Communication Manager of Dotbust Corporation and before I could say "but I didn’t apply for this Internship” I found myself standing in the cold Reception of Dotbust Corporation. (it is here I learnt the origin of the term “Cold Reception”).

The cold reception was manned by a cold Receptionist with a smile so frosty that it would have Father Frost very hot under the collar indeed. College girls are dime a dozen besides they ask silly questions like “Can I come tomorrow? I have something urgent to take care of today”. So it was no wonder I was treated like a disease vermin. Soon I was called for my very first Interview.

Interviewer (absent mindedly): Tell me something about yourself.
Me: Hi! My name is Silverine. I am 19 years old, AB very +ve *wink* Cancerian …but I can be a Taurean or a Gemini or an Arian if you want me to be baby *slow wink *. I love life in the fast lane …hire me and watch me burn your Exit door. And *purrrr* do you know how to apply suntan lotion? *suggestive look*

Well…I didn’t say all that but I don’t think he would have blinked an eyelid or stopped snoring if I had. I gave him the usual ‘Introduction’ a.k.a. “tell me something about yourself” that the college counsellor had made all of us Xerox. During those days the interviewers could guess the educational institution by the ‘Introduction’.

HR Exec: How many of you here are from MCC College?
A few hands go up.
HR Exec: Girls please omit the last five lines of your “Introduction” when you go in. It is kinda tedious if you know what I mean. No offence though. And how many of you from JNC college?”
Another set of hands goes up.
HR Exec: You girls can omit the introduction altogether. No offense but it sucks!”

The Introduction exercise was just a tactic to keep you occupied while the interviewer decided whether he would date a Tina or a Tony that night.

Interviewer: hmmm so why do you want to get into communications?
Me: What a thought provoking question Sir…when there is Rocket Science and Palaeontology and Neurosurgery and Software Architecture to choose from, why would an English major like me opt for Communications indeed. You are a genius!!!

Of course I didn’t say that too. We had liberally borrowed whole passages from “1001 methods to keep your Interviewer awake!” and prepared the answer to this so very-anticipated question. These types of questions were a tactic to keep you occupied while the Interviewer decided if Tina would be a more economical date than Tony.

Interviewer: So why do you want to join our organization?
Me: Because you are the only one who called me for an interview you dimwit!!

Well…I didn’t say that too. I had made sure that I knew all there is to know about the company from their website and this included the Vision statement, Mission statement , About Us, Products Solutions and Copyrights, Disclaimers, Contact numbers of all their worldwide offices and the Site Map ( I could even draw the site map blind folded). These kind of questions were a tactic to give the Interviewer time to decide if he should skip the date and go home to the wife instead.

Interviewer: Where you do you see yourself five years from now?
Me: With Microsoft!!

Well...I actually said that! What happened next was horrible. You would think that people would appreciate you for being honest!!!! But no!!! Apparently honesty is not the best policy during Interviews! The result of my honesty was that I was hired! And that was the end of my summer holidays *sniff*

I know I know you will all say that honesty pays. I admit it does....but not very well peoples :(
( I had to hide my first pay check or people would have thought I was on dole!!!)

What I was trying to say in a rather long winded way (purely intentional) is that Interviews suck! I dream of the day when I will give my blog URL to the person who says “Tell me something about yourself”. But that ain't gonna happen we all know till Hell freezes over and Heaven becomes the new hot and happening zone.