Saturday, September 29, 2007

Breaking news!

I am going to be a TV news reporter!! Yes friends, I have just made up my mind and as soon as I find a News channel willing to hire me I will make the transition from my boring Communications job into the exciting world of TV news reporting. Besides getting to travel free to exciting places like Hyderabad flyovers I will also come on TV and my mom can say "How dare she wear such short tops!!"

TV reporting looks as easy as ABC. Anyone can do it. All it needs is an ability to ask probing intelligent questions that will elicit maximum information for the news hungry TV audience. I have been watching a lot of News Channels lately to pick up tips and tricks that will come in handy in my new job. For people who would like to follow in my footsteps, here are some pointers to becoming a good TV reporter.

1. When you see a badly battered bomb victim who is bleeding and is being carried on a stretcher his limbs being carried along in another stretcher, all you have to do is stuff the mike up his nose and ask "Aapko kaisa lag raha hai?" ( What do you think/feel?)

2. When you see people boating around a flood submerged street with their meager worldly possessions, stick the mike onto their face and ask "So you have become homeless because of the rains? Aapko kaisa lag raha hai?"

3. When you see people being inconvenienced by road blocks and bundhs like the recent BJP road blockade over the Ram Setu issue, stick the mike into the face of a 'inconvenienced person' and ask "What do you feel, now that you cannot go to office due to this road blockade?" For variety ask a school kid in uniform who has missed school like all other school children in the city “So you missed school because of the road blockade huh?" For more variety ask another 'inconvenienced member of the public' "What do you want to say to the people who blocked the road?"

4. Stick a long furry mike into the face of man whose wife has delivered their baby on the road due to the doctors strike and ask sympathetically “So your wife had to deliver the baby on the road uh?" "Aapko kaisa lag raha hai?"

5. In gentle tones ask a woman who has been raped “Aapka balaathkaar hua? Aapko kaisa lag raha hai?"

Expansion of course material welcome in the comments section. Due acknowledgment will be given to you in the book that I am bringing out called “TV News Reporting for Dummies"

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Every night when I am sitting at my comp, I can feel a steady gaze burning into my back from beyond the windows and the dark of the trees in the night. A shiver runs up my spine as I feel those eyes upon me….. I dare not look around. Because I know what is. I do not have to turn around to see who it is. It is Satan!

Satan is a chubby two year old Alsatian, who, according to the paperwork is my brother M’s dog. He is a highly obedient, intelligent and well trained dog.

M: Here Satan, come here boy!
Satan: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
M: Good boy Satan, come here Satan, $%$^#& I said come here right now you mangy critter or I will hand you over to the SPCA!!!!!

(I forgot to tell you that he was trained by his owner)

While he is not guarding our house he spends his free time trying to figure out the mysteries of his doggy life like why he is kept out of the house while the other two dogs enjoy the comforts of the house. Arguments like “you are a watchdog” doesn’t seem to hold water with him and he is currently pursuing advanced training in getting into the house without getting caught

Now you might wonder why a house that already has two dogs would need another one right? Well there is a story behind Satan’s arrival in our house. One dark stormy night as the stray dogs howled in the darkness, a robber scaled our walls and promptly fell down and broke my mother’s precious pots. The incident jolted all of us out of our reverie and reminded all of us how fragile pots were and we collectively decided to get a watchdog that would guard the house and warn us of approaching pot breakers.

After a frantic search in the Kennel section of all the newspaper we zeroed in on a jolly old Colonel whose dog had littered. Jolly ‘ol Col Sharma was a true dog lover. Not the money making, over breeding their dog kinda dog owners.

My dad: We want an Alsatian puppy.
Col Sharma: Sure, the males are Rs 50,000 each and the females 49,990/- each.
Dad: *swoon* *thud*
M: Thank you Mr Sharma. I afraid I cannot afford such prices.
Col Sharma: Ok ok 5000 and he is yours!! *Hindi swear words*

That Sunday Satan nee Veerappan all of six week old ball of fur came home to a rousing reception. And as is the practice in my house, every new puppy is greeted with great joy and affection after which everyone goes back to their routine leaving yours truly holding the baby dog. After everybody had left, Satan and I faced each other. Satan had a “groan so this is the stupid human who will look after me?!!” kinda expression on his face while I had a “I would like to do something painful to this dogs owner” kinda expression on my face. The dog’s owner had an “It is so hard to get a good maid to look after my dog” kinda expression. To which Satan had a “ I agree but I wish you could do better?” kinda expression. To which the dog’s owner sported a “ I know buddy, but something is better than nothing” expression. The “something is better than nothing” had an expression which cannot be printed here for obvious reasons.

As you can see from the above example, Satan was very good in verbalizing his feelings and we had frequent eye to eye chats.

Satan: I hate carrots in my food.
Me: Go tell your owner!!! grr
Me: ok! Ok! Stop howling. No more carrots %^$^#%@*
Satan: *satisfied smirk*

(We didn’t see eye to eye on most occasions.)

I am sure dog and dog owner did some high fives behind my back and celebrated every victory with a beer and a bone.

Satan however had a problem or more rightly a medically untreatable grave defect. "HE WAS THE WORLDS MOST FRIENDLIEST DOG!!” He couldn’t bark leave alone bite to save his own life or his masters life. He was just not programmed to be a dog. A bug in his creation ensured that he spent his life thinking that he was a Teddy bear. A large woolly Teddy Bear that liked to slobber everyone including cats. Many a cat in our neighborhood migrated to Canada due to the ignominy of a dog having lovingly slobbered all over them. Somewhere in Gods assembly unit a Test Engineer lost his job or got a really bad appraisal when Satan was born.

But a watchdog he was and like his illustrious Alsatian ancestors, Satan too won many awards in the Watchdog Category. Chief among them were:

1. Most Friendliest Watchdog Award, given by the Bengaluru Robbers Association
2. Most Harmless Large Dog Award, given by the Bengaluru Petty Thieves Association
3. Best Watchdog Award, given by the All Karnataka Dacoits Association

(The awards are too many to mention here)

Bathing Satan was as easy as ABC...multiplied by XYZ, divided by EFG. In other words it was not very easy. Satan knew the meaning of the word B.A.T.H in 27 different languages. If you were to carelessly remark that you were going to give Satan a 'bath', then you would have to apply for annual leave to go search for him. On the other hand if you were to remark that you were going to give Satan a “LIC Retirement Policy” he would not suspect a thing!!! And it is thanks to LIC Retirement Policy, Max New York Pension Fund, HDFC Mid-Cap Opportunities Fund etc that Satan manages to have a bath every Sunday. (Never underestimate the power of investments!!)

Though he is very friendly, he is a very good watch dog and has prevented many burglaries in my house.

Robber one: Let’s loot Silverine’s house tonight!
Robber two: Are you out of your mind??? That is next to impossible!!
Robber three: You are right! There is no way we can get in or out of that house without getting doggy drool over our face.
Robber one: ewwwww

( He is a mean one one alright!)

The purpose of this long winded post is to wish Satan a very happy 3rd birthday! According to good ‘ol Col Sharma, he was born in the last week of September, on the day the BMP garbage truck failed to arrive. Apparently Satan’s mommy gave birth while Col Sharma was out cruising the city in the night looking for a place to furtively dump his garbage.

I am not at home and I am missing him soooo much :(( Hope people at home give him a nice time and hope his owner for once in his lifetime takes Satan for a WALK!!

Happy Birthday you adorable naughty ball of fur! I love you so much! *muah*

Sunday, September 16, 2007

FAQ’s about Kerala

With the spread of IT after the overspill in Bangalore, we now find people heading out to places like Kochi, Mangalore, Pune and Jhumri Thalaiyya etc to work in the Technoparks that are mushrooming there rapidly. Therefore I am often confronted by questions about Kerala by people who are relocating there. I have compiled some of the questions that I am usually asked so that people can use this as a travel advisory.

Q. Where is Kerala?
A. It is in South India.

Q. Where is South India?
A. Near Chennai.

Q. What is Chennai?
A. Never mind.

Q. How do I reach Kerala?
A. Kerala is connected to the rest of the country by Rail, Air and Sea routes.
Q. Do I need to take a visa?
A. No, but a copy of “Das Kapital” will make your stay more comfortable.
Q. What is Das Kapital?
A. Never mind.

Q. That was very rude.
A. I know. Next question please!!!!!

Q. I have heard that Kerala is full of mosquitoes.
A. %$^#& who told you so?
Q. errr…never mind.

Q. What do people in Kerala eat?
A. Rice and vegetables and some meat. But mostly they drink.
Q. Really???
A. What did you $%#& think?
Q. err…nothing!

Q. What do people in Kerala drink?
A. Water….sometimes neat but mostly diluted with Whisky, Brandy, Rum etc.
Q. Oh!
A: What did you mean by “oh”?
Q: *gulp* I swear I wasn’t thinking anything!!!

Q. And what do people of Kerala wear?
A. Clothes!
Q. Really? Err… I mean that sounds great.

Q. What kind of people are Keralites?
A. Most of them are human, the rest are communists.

Q. Who is the Chief Minister of Kerala?
Q. Wait let me try and answer that!
A. Ok!
Q. Ratnasiri Wickremanayake
A. hmm close
Q. Lawrence Gonzi!!!!
A. You are getting hot!
Q. Mohan Lal!!
A. Bravo!!!!
Q. You are making fun of me aren’t you?
A. Yes!

Q. I am not talking to you!
A. Great. See ya!

Q. I have one last question
A. Shoot!!
Q. Are all Keralites like you?
A. What do you mean, “like you”.
Q. I mean rude and sarcastic!
A. No, I am an exception.
Q. Thank god!!

Q. One last favor.
A: hmmm!
Q. Will you teach me some Malayalam?
Q: *GRIN* But of course!!! It will be my pleasure totally.

Please note: Kerala can be replaced with Maharashtra, West Bengal, Nagaland etc for morons like these who cannot see beyond their hometown and the main metropolises.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

If you pay more peanuts you get better monkeys!

Have you ever bargained for fruits from the cart vendor? I guess all of us have at some point or the other. No one in their right mind would go to the apple seller and buy the fruit at the quoted price. We all tend to bargain because the seller expects it and hence hikes the price and you the buyer knows that the price is hiked and hence you try to bring it down…besides you are a sucker if you buy the apples at the hiked up price. The vendor will probably stick his tongue out at you when you walk away with the apples at the quoted price. And you will be labeled a loser in the Apple Vendor circles.

Vendor 1: Look!! There comes Arjun. He bought a kilo of apples for Rs100/- from me yesterday.

Other vendors (laughing derisively) : HAHAHAHAHAAAH!!!

Arjun: *sob*

Bargaining is an art.

You: How much for the apples?

Vendor: 70 rupees a kg saar.

You: My god what prices!!!!! I will give you 35 rupees

Vendor: heh heh get me a kilo of apples for 35 rupees and I will give you this whole cart free.

You walk away…

Vendor: Ok Saar take it for 65 rupees

You: 40

Vendor: 60

You: 45

Vendor: 55 last price Saar

You: Make it 50 and we have a deal

Vendor: Make it 54 saar poor man saar...

You: 50 is my last price

Vendor: Deal!

Something similar happens when you tender your resignation. It has happened with me before when I put in my papers. The last time I was really serious. I had to quit. I knew all that was to be done in that job and had achieved as much as I could in that organization besides I was being given a higher post in the new job. I thought I would have a talk with my HR and then put in my papers.

HR: okay Miss if salary is the reason you are leaving then we can always do something about it.

Me: This is not about salary. I can do my current job with my eyes shut and need a fresh challenge or I will stagnate.

HR (looking at me straight in the eye) : How about 10 more peanuts than what you are getting now.

Me: Mr MM, please try and understand…

HR: 15 peanuts!!

Me: This really isn’t about money!

HR: *sigh* you drive a hard bargain…ok my last offer 30 peanuts plus a peanut toaster thrown in absolutely FREE. Think about it girl…take your time. This is very good offer and you know it!!!

This guy was unbelievable! I did not know how to make him understand that taking 30 peanuts and the free toaster would not give me the new exposure and challenges that I am looking for! He just couldn’t understand that I needed to expand my skill-set and knowledge base through a change in job title, wider responsibilities and greater role dimensions. It was getting very obvious that he was selfish and not bothered about my career at all. I had to look out for myself. There was no other choice. So I put my feet down firmly!

Me: Make it 40 peanuts, plus the peanuts toaster, plus a peanut container and a bottle of beer.

HR (without batting an eyelid) : Deal.

It is not easy to achieve 100% job satisfaction, but 40 % is achievable if you bargain well. Don’t you think so? ;)

( p.s Off late a lot of legitimate mails have ended up in my Spam box and were deleted. So if you didn't get a reply, then please accept my apologies and resend the mail)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Rising above the ordinary...people

On August 25th, SK was abducted by the dreaded terrorist outfit TIS. SK like any other ordinary Indian citizen was on his way to work when the incident happened. The news sent shock waves amongst his friends and family members. A pall of gloom fell over his village.

SK was a well liked man and had numerous friends. His family had every reason to be proud of SK. He had done well in life and had bought a name for his family. Which is why it was hard for his friends and family to digest his abduction and detention. The abductors in a letter released to the press said that he was a threat to their cause.

With his abduction and detention on August 25th began a long ordeal that plunged the family into a state of turmoil. Eventually a crack team of expert “Negotiators” won SK freedom from the terrorist outfit. Unverified reports say that he had to pay a huge ransom in return for freedom. The TIS has however threatened to abduct him again if they think that he is acting against their interests. It is very evident that the TIS is beginning to flex its muscles and enforce their dikats.

Wearing a white shirt, jeans and a grey cap and carrying a bag, SK walked out of the abductors jeep and waved at his friends who clapped and shouted slogans in his support. The henchmen of the militia outfit had a tough time controlling them. The local media gave wide coverage of the incident. People watched in stunned silence as SK walked to freedom. Nobody thought that he would come back.

Earlier, the local unit of the TIS, the TRP which released SK said “I hope this serves as a warning to everyone not to mess with our laws”

'We had full faith in the negotiator and finally we have been proven right.” SK’s cousin said.

Ecstatic scenes were witnessed after SK’s release. His family though moved by the release maintained a dignified silence in public. He was greeted with joy by his numerous friends. Crowds thronged his residence in his village and celebrated the triumph of good over evil. He was given a hero's welcome

SK (Salman Khan) in the meantime is still haunted by the specter of TIS (The Indian State). But he told reporters that he has decided to live a normal life despite the continued threat to his freedom by TIS. “It is better to die once than always be afraid of death” said SK quoting Julius Caesar. “And it was inspired by this quote that I put an end to the misery of that poor Gazelle. It was on the endangered list you know!?” he exclaimed.

The vociferous support of his friends was a show of strength to the TIS (The Indian State) and its local unit the TRG (The Rajasthan Government) and it’s militant arm TRP (The Rajasthan Police) that people like SK are above their law.

In an unrelated incident actor Sanjay Dutt said that he will soon be joining politics. When queried by reporters on his sudden decision to join politics, he said “The move was not sudden. I have only recently obtained the required qualification to become a politician.” He was of course referring to his recent conviction and imprisonment in a criminal case.

p.s Noted film maker Dubash Bhai declared in a Press Conference today, that he will soon be making a movie on SK’s capture and ordeal at the hands of the TIS. The film is tentatively titled “101 ways to cook Venison

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Feasting and fasting...

Hola peoples, hope you all had a nice festive time with Rakshabandhan and Onam (Malayalam translation -“the festival of putting on much weight”) And now after the festivities and merry making lets get back to business i.e. working out the calories that you have put on due to the Onasadhya. So all of you get off your backside and get moving in the general direction of a gym or read this post. Of course moiself have no worries in the weight department and, so I will with great sadistic pleasure advice people who have to lose their Onam hangovers...especially around the waist. This can be done swiftly and painfully by Liposuction or slowly and painfully by starvation. Either you way you will have a tough time tra la la la la

I do not know much about Rakshabandhan. But I was persuaded by my North Indian colleagues to tie Rakhi on my brother’s hands. My eldest bro gave me a thousand rupees with the rider that I "invest” it. I did invest it…in a couple of Madeleine Lipsticks :) (and that in girl terms is a very good investment indeed hummph!!).

My second bro absolutely refused to let me tie anything on his hand that will have an adverse effect on his purse. He did let me tie the Rakhi finally after I threatened him with dire consequences ( shudhdh vegetarian food on Sundays). He gave me a perfume that even my maid refused to touch (and this is the lady who thinks ‘pine scented phenyl’ is sexy!! brrr). I have now put it up for sale. Buy the perfume and get a perfume remover absolutely FREE!!! So far no takers :(

Any ways I realized that Rakhi tying is fun and profitable. I wanted to tie Rakhi to my Dad too, but the gentleman declined politely. According to him “Fatherhood is killing enough!” hmm I wonder what he meant by that.

Anyway Onam a.k.a “long queues outside Kerala State Beverages Corporation Limited”, is our harvest festival. It is the day we give thanks to the Gods and Goddesses that despite great odds facing our agriculturists like "trade unions" the farmers managed to deliver the crops to the market and to your table without giving too much "nokku koolie".

Legend has it that King Mahabali who ruled over Kerala was a highly popular King. There were many rave parties and drinking binges during his time. Earth had become a happening place and there were no takers for the heavens. "Let the good times roll" was the official State motto. This made the residents of heaven a bit uptight (constant diet of milk and honey does that) and they decided to put the lid on the partying and merry making by banishing Mahabali to the Netherworld a.k.a. the land of no booze. Mahabali was however allowed one day respite from an eternity of prohibition and allowed to return to Kerala and it is on the day that he returns to the land of the coconuts a.k.a. Kerala, that we celebrate Onam. As you can see, we the Malayalees were a 24/7 partying crowd in the good 'ol days.

Anyways we are digressing again folks. The real purpose of this post is to get all you people back into shape after the countless Onasadhya helpings that you people indulged in. Given below is the easy to follow Silverine Miracle Diet ®. Seven steps to a healthier and slimmer you in just a few hours!!! Don’t believe me? Try it out

1. Water: Water is very good for your body. It fills you up, revs up your metabolism and washes away all the impurities in your body. So as of today you shall drink a lot of water till you are running, sprinting, dashing in the general direction of the toilet. (Warning: People with weak bladders should not attempt this exercise) Please don’t cheat by shifting your workstation to the toilet.

2. Fibre: Fibre is essential while dieting and one needs to include plenty of fibre as the body needs a lot of calories to digest fibre. On an empty stomach, go to your nearest vegetable shop and buy 10 kilos of Cucumber. Wash, peel, and chop into 1cm by 1 cm cubes, and throw it away. Do this six times a day.

3. Sensible eating: Eat simple and nutritious meals like a glass of water in the morning, two in the afternoon and another two in the night. If you still feel hungry, buy yourself a large slice of Black Forest cake, a hot cup of Cappuccino and a plate of Mutton Biryani and throw it into the dustbin. You deserve it for putting on weight.

4. Total body Cleansing: Cut off a 1’x 1’ piece of your blanket. Now boil it in approximately two cups of Dettol for two hours till tender and eat while it is still hot. You will puke till your guts are on the floor. Guaranteed weight loss of at least two kilos in a day. I will not be responsible for the Intravenous that may cause you to put back all that you have lost. So go to a hospital at your own risk.

5. Exercise: Get yourself a snazzy exercise gear and get up early in the morning at say 4:30 am. Now take a bath and get into the snazzy exercise gear and go back to sleep. You will be so tired because you got up a 4:30 am that you would keep dozing at work and swear never to overeat again. Repeat everyday till I tell you to stop.

6. Walking: Walking is an effective way of exercise. Walking away from the cafeteria till you can walk no more will help you lose more weight than a good one hour in the gym. So start walking.

7. Eat lite: Low calorie meals are the order of the day. So clear out the Chocolates, Ice Creams, Sweets, and Pastries etc from the fridge. Now pack them in neat containers and send them over to my house.

Remember the key to success in dieting is following the above formula without skipping a day. Happy dieting!!

p.s Guru Dakshina in the form of self control ( by my students) while commenting will be highly appreciated.