Monday, November 28, 2011

The unsung ungeniouses

We were having coffee with Genius at the cafeteria. We call him Genius for a reason. You will see why very soon. Sunitha, a manager was musing aloud that her male subordinates seemed to have some problems with her because she was a lady manager. Genius who overheard this remark interrupted her with a “No, no no!!!” accompanied by a violent shaking of his head from side to side in disagreement.

‘Well…” started Sunitha defensively, “I am just talking aloud here….”

“No, no, no!” said Genius shaking his head again. He looked like a toy that had jammed its internal mechanism causing it to rotate its head from shoulder to shoulder till the battery ran out. Finally he paused, to our relief and said “It is not like that Sunitha. They don’t have a problem with you being a lady. It is just your perception.”

“What do you mean?” asked Sunitha intrigued.

“See our country manager…what his name…” mused Genius scratching his head.

“Ramakrishnan!” I offered.

"Yes! Ramakrishnan!" he repeated needlessly.

"He is a guy isn’t he!” he asked animatedly. We nodded in affirmation.

“Is there any lady in this organization having problems with him because he is a male manager!”

And then he leaned back in his chair and watched us in bewilderment as we got up and banged our heads against the wall. Genius still hasn't figured out why people react this way after he has answered their queries with his astounding logic.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Salary woes

Secret diary of a first time employee in my company.

Dear Diary,

Today I got my first salary. I am now bankrupt. Amma said I must give my first salary to the temple. Now I have no money but it doesn’t matter as I have borrowed from my colleague to get through this month.

Dear Diary,

Today I got my second salary. I am bankrupt again. Amma says I must buy something for Grandma and Grandpa, Uncles, Aunts, Nephews, Nieces, and Cousins etc. Thank god Tea and Coffee is free in my office.

Dear Diary,

I got my third salary today. Today I had to treat my school friends, college friends, hostel friends, Cricket club friends etc. I will borrow again to get through this month.

Dear Diary,

Living on bananas and bread is tiring. But I cannot afford proper food yet. This month I have to go to our ancestral village and feed people at our ancestral temple. That will be my first proper meal in two months.

Dear Diary,

I got my fourth salary today. I have nothing left after paying for the money I borrowed for the first month. So I am applying for a Credit Card.

Dear Diary,

I am in hiding.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Creative dead ends

Take a look at this outdoor advertisement for a leading cement brand. What do you think the security guard is trying to say?

1. Look! I can lean sideways!
2. Look! My left hand is bigger than my right hand.
3. Look at me you stupid elephant!
4. Jazz hands!!!!
5. All of the above.

Now look at the elephant. What do you think it is thinking?

1. If I ignore him, maybe he will go away.
2. Hope he leans a little further and falls down hehehe
3. Moron!
4. I need to change my agent. This is the stupidest advertisement ever.
5. All of the above.

What do you think the adman was thinking when he made this ad?

1. *blank*
2. *blank*
3. *blank*
4. This has to be my worst work ever!
5. All of the above

Those of you who chose No 5, clap your hands, you just won yourself the reassurance that you are still sane. The rest I am sorry to inform, have successfully been brainwashed into drooling zombies by our advertising agencies. Have a nice day!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


In the beginning there was Fakebook.

And Fakebook became a rage and made its dwelling on every PC, Laptop and other such devices. Everyone saw its glory, the glory of the one and only, who came after Orkut, MySpace, Friendster and other such discardees.

The village idiots around the world rejoiced and then joined … en masse.

Then the village idiots began to clamor for privacy.

Fakebook gave them the option to block their wall.

The village idiots rejoiced. Now no one will be able to read what they were never reading anyway.

After some time the village idiots began to clamor for hiding their friends list. God forbid if someone saw their friend’s names. Nothing would happen! Horrors!

And Fakebook gave them the option to hide their friends list.

The village idiots rejoiced.

Then the village idiots realized that their friend’s friends could see their wall and photos. They gnashed their teeth and wailed in despair till Fakebook applied cotton to their ears and gave them the option to block their friend’s friends from seeing their status updates and photos.

The village idiots rejoiced… for some time. Then they began to clamor for more control over their accounts and Fakebook despaired. Their social networking tool was now a virtual network of tightly guarded fortress. It made them cry a little bit. But not for long as the wail of the village idiots were getting louder and louder for more privacy controls.

This time around, Fakebook gave them an additional option under their profile edit page. It was called “Deactivate account” and hoped for the best.

Alas! Their hopes were dashed. The village idiot’s never got the message.

They grumbled and gnashed their teeth in despair and created hate statuses against Fakebook and clicked “like” on others ‘Hate Fakebook’ statuses.

Then they realized no one could read their hate statuses so they created Hate Pages. Then they realized that no one reads their hate pages and made it ‘public’.

Then they realized that they needed to show the people who all were showing solidarity to their “cause” and enabled for the world to see their friends, supporters , affiliate pages and nearly everything else.

And then the village idiots sat back in contentment. Something was missing. But they were not able to put their finger to it. And as long as they could not put a finger to it, they couldn’t ask Fakebook for such an option. Somewhere in Palo Alto, Bark Pucker Berg sighed in relief.

He realized that the monsters he had created had only one way to be assuaged. Give them the privacy to feel safe and the freedom to make idiots of themselves in public.

And after that, he rested... for some time.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

It's a mad mad biz world

There is a jinxed little shop near my house. It stands next to another shop that is used by some Christian prayer group for some activities which require a lot of jumping up and down and flailing arms shouting “Alleluia!! Alleluia!!” long Bible thumping sessions, and of course free food. The free food is served last due to tendency of people to vanish after the food.

These two rooms stand on a stretch of round bounded by a vineyard on one side and a private farm on the other side. It is the closest shop to our colony that is at the edge of a reserve forest. But instead of rolling in the big bucks the shop is jinxed with failure after failure.

The first occupants of this shop named it Extreme Freeze. Extreme Freeze had a freezer… and nothing else. It was started by a clueless Tamilian Christian couple from the Gulf who had retired and wanted to start a small business of their own with their savings. On retrospect it was wise to start small, for they never grew beyond small. In fact they grew smaller and smaller till one day they disappeared after downing the shutters. The trouble was with the freezer says the rumor mongers. It had nothing. Yes you heard me right. It had nothing. The clueless couple hoped to fill it someday but found that paying the rent and electricity bills ate up all their monies leaving them nothing to buy for the shop. After paying bills for six months they decided to close up. All that was found in the shop was evangelist literature predicting the end of the world while exhorting readers to convert err… save their souls by praying to the ‘living god’.

The next occupant was a slightly retarded brother in law of a big time Mangalorean trader in our area. He named the shop Pai and Co Industries. The shop opened with much fan fare and plywood shelves and after the initial stocking of Britannia biscuits it sort of fizzled out as the retarded brother in law was too retarded to buy new stock. He sat in the shop drooling over evangelist literature predicting the end of the world and exhorting readers to convert err… save their souls by praying to the ‘living god’ till the last biscuit packet was bought and was thrown out by the Mangalorean trader. The rumors of the jinx continued.

After Pai and Co. Industries we had Moonwalk Café. Moonwalk Café was the brainchild of a large hairy man with long curly tresses dressed in a black leather coat, black tee shirt, jeans and knee length leather boots. He looked like a black cowboy who had lost his marbles. He was actually the useless scion of a rich family who spent his share of the family wealth in the café. He had dreams of becoming an entrepreneur like his brothers and thought that Moonwalk café was the way to the mega bucks.

Now Moonwalk café was neither a café nor a Michael Jackson memorial as people first thought. It had a refrigerator and a tray of sandwiches, a cool beach umbrella on the porch under which some plastic chairs were scattered for people to lounge about. The chairs would be regularly strewn with evangelist literature predicting the end of the world exhorting readers to convert err… save their souls by praying to the ‘living god’. The place attracted his cronies by the dozen and when the sandwiches and sodas ran out, he sold the café and sneaked out of the neighborhood in the dead of the night in striped pajamas and a torn vest to avoid the creditors.

The rumors of the jinx grew stronger and stronger and no one in the neighborhood was willing to take up the shop.

After some time another bakra walked into the landlord’s parlor. This man’s luck in getting bakras was noteworthy. They just walked into his parlor and sneaked out when the business flopped. Landlord kept the rent advance and grew richer by the minute.

The last person to take up the shop was the local butcher. He set up shop one day just like that and started doing roaring business because – you won’t believe this - he knew how to run a business. People were waiting for the jinx to strike but nothing happened, for a year. Last week he shut shop and people looked ominously at each other and gathered in excited gaggles to discuss the jinx … till he opened up again, with a larger shop, after a hostile takeover of the alleluia joint from the evangelists. The poor suckers didn’t know what was coming.

All is peaceful on this stretch of road, except for the infrequent flash mobs that land up in front of the butcher shop predicting the end of the world exhorting customers to convert err… save their souls by praying to the ‘living god’ before scampering away like hysterical mice.

The landlord on the other hand is wondering why his once profitable shop has become jinxed, but has refused the services of umm certain people who volunteered to pray for his shop if he converted and saved his soul by praying to the ‘living god’.

Monday, August 01, 2011

The ugly business

Year 2075, Bengaluru, India

A young lady walks with her head bent down through the narrow steaming gullies between the tall buildings. It is dark and a mild rain spray-mists the air in billowy swathes. The tap tap of her stilettos echoes like tiny shots in the dark. She seems resolute as she heads downtown through the cold deserted alleys.

Through the murky darkness of the night, a figure looms up suddenly scaring her witless. It was the dealer. He had on a cheap leather jacket and a black Stetson. A thick gold chain glinted in the dark dully.

“Do you have it?” she whispered looking around fearfully.

“Do you have the money?” rasped the dealer staring at her face partially covered with the silk scarf. She was beautiful. Her fine cheek bones accentuated her oval face giving it an ethereal beauty. She took out a hand beaded purse that must have cost a fortune and removed a bundle of notes. He grabbed the money greedily counting it again and again. Satisfied, he pocketed the money and removed the precious commodity she was seeking. Her eyes glazed in anticipation and all thoughts of the grave danger and risk to her health and reputation vanished in a cloud of hope. She wet her lips nervously. This was her third day of cold turkey and she had finally managed to steal her mother’s pearl necklace to buy the stuff. Her father had cut her off funds a long time ago when he had gotten to know of her addiction. Selling pieces of jewelry was her only option. Her mother never knew. .. not with the vast collection of jewelry lying unused in her cupboard.

Grabbing the precious cargo from the dealer’s hand she raced home. The dealer stared at her receding back with some contempt. He had seen the worst cases of addiction in his days, but this was probably the worst. Tearing his eyes away from her, he shrugged and retreated to the dark corner of the street to wait for the next buyer.

She reached home and crept up the marble staircase like a wraith. The house seemed to be in deep slumber. Closing the bedroom door behind her, she opened the packet. In the crumpled piece of newspaper, lay the precious stuff. She raced to the toilet and switched on the lights. She looked at herself in the giant mirror and flinched. She looked quite horrible she felt.

She removed some of the white stuff from the container and wiped it gently on her face. Three days of going without Fair and Oh So Lovely cream had made her feel black and ugly and downright contemptible. Her self esteem had taken a beating. She felt useless.

Spreading the cream on her face she thought she would be fair and lovely soon and then she could step out of her home to resume normal life. She did not worry about her next stock up. The dealers were always there, lurking in the dark. It has been years since the government had banned fairness creams. But the underground factories and network of dealers evaded their quest to abolish its manufacture and trade. It’s devastating effects to self esteem and self worth nevertheless; millions of women bought it illegally fuelling the ugly business to dizzying heights.

She smiled at herself in the mirror. She looked radiant she felt. She dropped the tube into the flush tank and walked out of her bedroom her head held high. Fifty grand was worth it if it bought you happiness and a feeling of well being she thought before stepping out to face the world confidently.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Social cocktails

Overhead at the cafeteria today where some 40 something techies (seniors) were having a conversation with a 20 something techie (junior). One senior looked at the junior and said "I love your language Malayalam."

Junior: Thank you!
Senior: *speaks in pure classical Malayalam that only Lord Indra can decipher*
Junior: That was very literary Malayalam. I could not quite follow.
Senior: (Shocked): Bhat!!! Isn’t Malayalam your mother tongue!!
Junior: Err yes… in a way I guess...
Senior: Bhat do you mean 'in a way'. What way were you born heh heh heh.
Junior (nervously): Heh heh!
Senior (frowning): Heh?
Junior: I mean my parents were born and brought up in Mumbai. So was I. So ...
Senior (interrupting): Oh! So Malayalam is your grandmother tongue-aa!!
Junior: What!! :-O Err yes…I guess so… *whew*
Senior (airily): Then you are excused!
Junior: !!!!

Junior got up and ran for dear life.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Existential dilemmas

After Monday, Tuesday has to be the worst day of the week... followed by Wednesday then Thursday and then Friday. Not necessarily in that order akshually. But I must say that Friday is a little better than the other days. I mean Friday is close to Saturday so we should give it the benefit of the doubt.

But I can never ever forgive Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and Thursday for what do they do to me over and over again!! It is criminal folks. Such brutalization should not be permitted in a civilized society. This is serial slave driving and what is worse!! It is legal. *groan*

If you are wondering what happened to Silverine. Well... Tuesday happened, when I hopefully looked at the calendar thinking that today was Thursday *sob*

Goodbye cruel world. I shall see you when I see you.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Creature 2

Warning: This post is a horror story. Parts of this story may be disturbing to young readers. Reader discretion advised.

I crouched in fear under the cot in the pitch blackness of the night that lay like a silent shroud around the house. There was no movement for miles. The air was damp and heavy and still. Somewhere in the distance a wolf howled. It was a low mournful howl. I had heard the howl before, but today it seemed to herald something… or someone. I tried not to shiver. Any movement could give my presence away. The predator had an acute sense of smell and movement. I had seen its devastating effect on the people who lived in the house. They were all gone now. Taken down with the precision that had left no imprint of the struggle or the carnage.

The flapping sound could be heard again. Like a giant winged creature that was struggling to stretch its wings in a confined space of the rooms it was going through with a fine toothed comb. The sound could be heard again. It seemed to come from the first floor of the house. I stifled a sob of pure fear. I was in the ground floor of the house and fear had me petrified to the floor. From under the cot I could see the front door. But making a break for it could be suicidal because the first floor landing overlooked the front door. I wanted to run but I was frozen to the spot. My mind seemed to have had lost control of my body. I closed my eyes. I knew it would be over soon. Pretty soon it would be on the ground floor and it would be seconds before it found me.
I wondered if it would be painful or quick. My thoughts were churning at fever pitch. I hoped it would be quick. I wondered if I could bargain with the creature. Perhaps I would promise not to scream in return for a quick death. I wondered if it would understand my language. A hysterical laugh escaped my lips.

The house seemed to tense.

I had given myself away.

After a moment of a devastating silence I heard the awful flapping sound again as the creature glided down to the ground floor in a giant arc. A soft thud was all that heralded its landing on the ground floor. There was deathly silence and then, the sound of clawed feet moving towards my room. It paused at the entrance sniffing the air like a gourmand. Its keen eyes seemed to be slicing the thick darkness looking for its prey. Then I heard the awful thump of its feet moving towards my bed. The steps were unhurried but purposeful like a predator moving towards its prey. I closed my eyes and my mind blanked out.

“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!” screeched the creature swooping on me.

“Anjaleeeeeeeeeeeee.” It screamed again.

“Oh shut up!” I snapped.

“Are you getting up or not!!” snapped the creature err… my mom.

“You know the answer to that!” I yawned pulling the blanket over my face.

“But of course!” she said yanking the blanket and pouring a glass of water on my face. I got up gasping for air. The cold water had me wide awake.

“Is that water from the tap or Aquaguard?” I asked disconsolately. I didn’t want to catch Cholera on my birthday. Or Dysentery for that matter.

“It’s from the bucket in your bathroom.” She said walking out of the door.

That information gave me the necessary incentive to jump out of bed in a flash and dash to the toilet screaming “ewwwww”. The wolves err... dogs always drank from that bucket when I was not looking.

I was ready in a trice smelly heavily of Dettol and some other cleaning liquid. The other victims err... family members were dressed for Mass and passed out on the living room couches in various stages of sleep like 'fast asleep', 'snoring' and 'out cold'. The Dettol fumes took care of that. They got up gasping and choking for air and kept their head out of the window all the way to the church. I felt mighty pleased with myself. I was turning out to just like my mom, only more effective. Tee hee.

The Creature 2. Hmm... I quite like the sound of that.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

All in a day's work

Omm Bubba Chaturrvedi looked deep into the astrological charts laid out in front of him and frowned. A hush fell into the jam packed room. The devotees sat tensely silent with bated breaths and blue faces in a room laid with pristine white mattresses.

"Guruji!” whispered a client. “I ask you again, will Aishwarya and Abhishek’s child be a boy or girl?”

Guruji looked deep in thought. He scratched his chin thoughtfully, looked at the charts and scratched some more.

“I can say with great certainty…” he began.

“Yes????” interrupted the crowd in unison, blue in the face with expectation.

“…. that …”

“Yes????” cried the crowd again getting on their feet.

“…that it will be a boy…” continued Guruji

“Ohhhhh!!!” said the crowd breathing out, nearly blowing Guruji’s turban in the united gale it produced.

“and…..” started Guruji again holding onto his turban.

The crowd gasped collectively, “and what Guruji!!” they asked in unison and great animation.

“And….,” said Guruji again, “and there are chances…!” continued Guruji slowly thinking deeply.

"What chances Gurji!!” cried the crowd hysterically.

“That it could be a girl too!” finished Guruji with a mystical air.

The crowd erupted in joy nearly toppling Omm Bubba Chaturrvedi off his perch.

“It might be a girl!!” said a client and devotee jumping up and down.

“Or it might be a boy” sang another in absolute happiness.

“I sure hope so,” muttered Guruji under his breath hastily collecting the cash kept in front of him. He was getting bored of his success.

As he and his secretary Chintamoney sped away in a motorcycle that was parked behind the building, he was heard remarking, “Astrology is a piece of cake Chintamoney. But the believers are...."

"The believers are what Bubba?" asked Chintamoney.

"...the believers are...” repeated Bubba struggling for words.

"Will you stop with the games already!" snapped Chintamoney

"...SUCH A BORE!!!" said Guruji with a long-drawn-out groan.

Chintamoney’s reply was lost in the wind.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The bulb effect

The Zero Bulb - a humble light bulb that has helped many a generation of Indian children to sleep well in the night, secure in the knowledge that ghosts and ghouls did not come into rooms that had light.

I was an exception though because I would sneak into my parents’ bed in the night and the wise old owls they were would wait till I was sound asleep to sneak me back into my room. Next morning they would tell what a brave little girl I was who slept alone without fear. I would beam with pride and sneak right back into their room in the night.

One fine day I got up in the night and convinced myself that there was something under my bed. A few days later my parents bought the zero bulb. A lot happened between me discovering the presence of something under my bed and my parents buying the zero bulb like my dad coming charging into my room in the middle of the night hearing my shriek to taking a broom and waving it under the bed to show that it was devoid of ogres, ghosts, ghouls, banshees and the boogey man… and calling the priest to specially bless my room… to keeping a rosary under my pillow and …. ok, a lot of preventive measures were taken to quell my fears with no success. I had no faith in rosaries, priests and or my dad’s reassurances. It was the humble zero bulb that finally won the battle for my parents.

But this post is not about me, though I did sneak in some info about my shady past tee hee.

This post is about the immense service the zero bulb has rendered to the Hindi film industry during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and still does I suppose. Whole films were supported thematically by the humble zero bulb saving lakhs of rupees in lengthy explanatory scenes and dialogues.

Like for instance:

The operation theater: The red zero bulb on the screen meant we were looking at upper part of the operation theater door. When the light is steady it means a serious operation involving the hero, heroine, father, mother or child was going on. When the light goes out it means that the operation is over and the doctor will walk out to deliver the good or bad news to the anxious relatives waiting outside. The red zero bulb signified anxiety and danger to the audience better than any of those ear drum crushing Bollywood orchestra music. And it cost only 25 paisa in the good old days. Howzzat!

Night clubs: Night club sequences in the movies of yesteryear relied heavily on zero bulbs to pull off the sleaze effect. Lots of red, green and yellow zero bulbs conveyed what an entire scene with dialogues could not i.e. this was a den of vice and low morals (women is short skirts who drank) where people have so much fun and are far happier and at peace than in say… places of worship for instance. Unless it was Swami Nithyananda’s ashram which is a fun place I heard. I wonder if he uses zero bulbs hmmm.

But I digress. Back to our tribute to the humble zero bulb. The lights in the night club scene flickeres on and off to convey titillation, eroticism and promises of forbidden pleasures like - hold your breath - the cabaret dance!!! The audience (male) would as if on cue hold their breath for the arrival of the thunder thighed siren from behind the giant bottle/cage/cave/any another prop studded with zero bulbs and heave and gyrate for three minutes of sheer extravaganza of voluptuousness , whiskey, men with side burns in bell bottom pants and bald men with guns. Sometimes, if you are lucky you will see a few sheiks and blond men too looking clueless like they have walked into the middle of a gay pride parade or cross dresser’s convention.

The villains den: This particular situation in Bollywood movie used zero bulbs most creatively. The villains den is always an underground chamber with a long passageway lit only with zero bulbs. The villain, who wears outrageous outfits like white suits with white shoes and a white hat, will be sitting in front of a panel of flickering colored zero bulbs. This panel is his very own 2G scam a.k.a. private communication system that is linked to the global underworld. Now and then he will pick up a microphone and talk to the flickering light which indicates an incoming call.

Sometimes the villain has a false wall that opens up to reveal an array of zero bulbs flickering furiously on a wooden board. The wooden board and lights signifies a covert communication system. Any minute you would expect the villain to pick up what looks like the night club mike and say ‘Allo Allo’. But nothing of that sort happens sadly. Instead we have a fake foreign accent coming through the zero bulbs chiding the villain of some ‘missed shipments”. The villain for once looks flustered and will say “Yes Sir John. I will have it delivered immediately!!” The zero bulb will go off signifying Sir Johns disconnecting the call with a refined British snort.

Even the Indian police of Bollywood used zero bulbs. The interrogation will be lit with one single red bulb when the hero is being given the third degree, a euphemism for "getting thrashed to pulp".

And sometimes zero bulbs were used for scenes involving the hero and heroine too. But, ahem I don’t need to explain those scenes to you do I!

Bollywood owes a lot to the zero bulb. And it is time they acknowledged they same. Nowadays the humble zero bulb has been replaced with modern lighting effects and the Bollywood denizens of yore are replaced with zero bulbs err... I mean their offspring.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Corny capitalism

"One coffee please" I said to the cafeteria guy.

"What madam, not having two coffees like every day?" he said looking shocked.

I felt irritated at his question. Why can’t he just give me one coffee for gods sakes!!

"No thanks!" I snapped.

"Take ma. You can pay me later." he said understanding my dilemma. I didn’t have enough money to buy two coffees. I took the two thimble sized cups of coffee and walked back to my seat.

Next day I looked at my woeful looking purse. I still didn’t have enough money to pay him. I decided to save some money and pay him back for the double coffee he gave me this week, knowing very well that I may not be able to do it.

Finally after a week of saving and scrimping and tightening the belt, which was the hardest thing I did considering my financial circumstances, I paid him back.

He picked up the fifty rupee note I had kept on the table and remarked. "The extents you go to save your five rupee coins and ten rupee notes is commendable."

"And the lengths you go to ensure you do not give away small change by insisting on exact amount is also commendable." I said sarcastically before walking away.

Another week, another battle won against greedy corporate houses (however small) to whisk away my five rupee coins. Bloody bourgeoisie!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Interviews: then and now

Interviews Then

Interview Time: 11 am
Candidates arrives: 10:30 am
Interview begins: 11 am.

Interviews Now

Interview Time: 11 am
Candidates calls up to inquire if she can come next week: 10:55 am
Candidate says she is in native place and hence got delayed on the way back home: 10:58 am
Candidate asks for another time: 11 am
Interview fixed for next day after furious rescheduling of conference rooms, other interviewers etc : 12 pm

Candidate calls and says she is stuck in traffic jam: 10:55 am
Candidate calls again and says she is still stuck in the same spot: 11 am
Facility manager throws you out bodily out of the interview room: 11:05 am
Then he throws the laptop on your head: 11:06 am
Then he throws the laptop bag, your phone etc in the trash can: 11:07 am
Candidate calls and says that she is stuck in an altercation with the traffic cops: 11:15 am
Interview fixed for next day after furious rescheduling of conference rooms, other interviewers etc : 12 pm

Candidate calls and says she is stuck in traffic jam: 10:55 am
You bite back the epithets straining to get out of your mouth and wreak hell on the candidate and instead lie to the candidate in a sweet voice that the post has been filled up by another candidate “WHO ARRIVED ON TIME FOR THE INTERVIEW!!!!” :12:05 pm
Hear with sadistic pleasure her disappointed "oh": 12:06 pm
You run behind HR for more resumes to fill in the post: 12:07 pm... to for like forever!

A day in the life of a humble IT communications mule.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Personal marketing

I remember Ramanujam (first name with held because I am too young to die) my first mentor in Marketing. Back in the days when I was a pony tailed Summer Intern, a Marketing Manager called Ramanujam (Motto: There is nothing personal in Marketing) saw great potential in me in Marketing. In fact he saw great potential in Marketing in almost everybody!

Ramanujam a.k. Jam: Srinivas, you are wasting your time doing whatever you are doing. You should be in marketing.
Srinivas: But Saar…
Jam: No buts my man. Come and meet me at 2 ‘o’ clock and I will teach you the basics of Marketing.
Srinivas: But…
Jam: What but? Do you want to spend the rest of your days walking around aimlessly and cooling your heels in that room?
Srinivas: But I am the AC mechanic saar and that is A/C control room saaar.
Jam: Err... gotta go, meeting..bye.

Ramanujam was a man who thought on his feet like a good marketing man. It was Ramanujam who inspired me to write Selling Snow to an Eskimo. And it is from him I learned that if you have it in you, you can even sell software to your mother, like he did. Apparently Selling Software to his Amma was also a piece of cake.

Jam: Amma I have nice software for you!
Amma: Aiyyayo! What will I do with this kanna!
Jam: Amma, you can put it on your computer and use it!
Amma: But you know I don’t own a computer kanna!
Jam: That is no problem Amma. I will tell our dealers to sell you one! It will only cost Rs. 40,000 Amma!
Amma: And what will I do with a computer!!
Jam: You can send me mails Amma. And you can send mails to Annan in the US!!
Amma: But I do not know how to use a computer!
Jam: I will tell our training vendor to give training Amma. It will only cost you Rs 5000
Amma: Hmm if you say so. So how much will this software cost.
Jam: Only Rs. 13, 500 Amma!
Amma: Aiyyo too much! You do not have any discounts!
Jam: We do err... I mean we don’t!
Amma: Sigh! Okay!
Jam: I want some water Amma.
Amma: Go get it yourself hmmph.
Jam: Amma please Amma!
Amma: Okay..wait here, I will get the water!
Jam (quickly removing Rs 1500/- from her purse): This will round off the figure nicely!
Amma: What did you say?
Jam: Err nothing Amma.
Amma: You are such a nice son!! Muah!
Jam (wiping amma drool from his face): Ugh! I know Amma *evil glint*

The boss is very proud of him and has promised him a promotion if he doesn't try and sell software to the boss's amma. Jam has not made any promises.

As the old Ramanjuma saying goes: There is nothing personal in Marketing heh heh. Mind it!!

Monday, May 02, 2011


At long last I have my very own disclaimer... for my blog. This is something I have writing and re writing for the past couple of years. It was so difficult to characterize my blog. I finally gave up when I realized that it had no character. Now ‘why would you need a Disclaimer Silverine’ you might ask! The answer is simple. I don’t wanna go to jail. I heard they don’t have Internet connection in there :(

So friends, enemies and fellow bloggers here is my Blog Disclaimer. Please to be reading Disclaimer before reading my blog.

Terms of Use and Disclaimer for

This blog is the brainless aimless jottings of a juvenile delinquent suffering from juvenile Alzheimers. So puhlease don’t expect any sense here. This blogger tends to shoot off her mouth and keyboard and has an opinion on everything and everything whether people are willing to listen or not. I am not going to be liable if you take my rants seriously and or believe it to be true though I will be highly flattered if you do. I myself am often shocked at what I write and shake my head in disapproval at myself at times. But then I recover just as quickly from such negative thoughts and regain the belief that I am the best.

I take no legal responsibility for my opinions as this is a free country and the constitution does not state that my personal opinion should be whetted by a tribunal or sitting judge of the Supreme Court. I will however desist from tarnishing anyone’s name as it is not nice and more importantly it will land me in jail…where there is no internet connection.

I am not going to be liable for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reading my blog. So please do not read this blog while ironing clothes, cooking, riding a vehicle and or under the influence of alcohol. It is advised for your safety to read this blog when you are clinically proven to be brain dead.

The links that I provide in my blog, and in the sidebar are for my reference only. Click at your own risk. I will not be responsible for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused by clicking the links provided here. In case of any loss, damage or inconvenience caused by clicking the links, do let me know the details. I need a good laugh now and then.

I do not endorse the content of any site linked to my blog. They are linked here because I am too lazy to book mark them though I find them eminently readable.

I am not responsible for the comments at my blog. All comments belong to their respective owners ( he he) and you may go and confer the bouquets or throw the brickbats at their blogs. If you are doing the latter please don’t tell them that you landed at their blog from mine. You can say that you ummm...err.. landed at their blog while blog hopping!

p.s. my amma says she takes no responsibility for what I write here too. Ditto with my dogs who will get whacking after I publish this post, for their lack of gratitude.

p.p.s. This copyright notice has been plagiarized err... inspired from here. Please don’t sue me MC! :-S


Monday, April 25, 2011

Insider betting

I and Mr. Kanjoos* were the only people in the new building. We were here for a meeting. I looked at Mr. Kanjoos and said demurely. "I need to ask you something."

Kanjoos looked up at me and exclaimed with a smile, "Go ahead! Shoot!"

I fluttered my eyelashes and said, "I need some change."

"Sure! How much?" asked Kanjoos with a broad patronizing smile.

"I am building a house and any contribution will help."

Kanjoos gasped and started wheezing while his face turned ashen. He clutched his heart and looked like he would keel over.

“Hehe I am kidding!" I giggled. "I need 5 bucks to pay the coffee fellow. I don’t have any change."

Kanjoos struggled to gain composure but the impact of the first statement was still creating shock waves and negated the waves of relief that was trying to wash over him. His face was now a dirty white with red blotches and he looked like he was going to have as exultant heart attack. He tried his best to smile but it came out as a lop sided snarl.

"About that five bucks…" I asked with fake hesitancy. He swiftly removed a five rupee coin from his pocket and thrust it into my hands. His last record for parting with money was two minutes. The person who achieved that feat was SS, who convinced Kanjoos that a free PF withdrawal form now costs two bucks.

Today he bettered his record by 30 seconds. The person who achieved that feat was yours *cough* brilliantly truly.

That would make me 100 bucks richer from the betting syndicate in the office who were so sure I would lose that the stakes were loaded in favor of Kanjoos.

Next week the stakes have been raised higher. Foxy has declared that he will get money out of Kanjoos in one minute. We are eagerly looking forward to the challenge. Brisk betting is happening as I type this post dear people!

Will Kanjoos better his record next week? Or will Foxy bite the dust? No one knows.

So I am putting my money on both, tee hee.

Wish me luck peoples!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Driving to work or riding an auto is made a little less boring and or terrifying (in that order) by the umpteen FM Radio Stations that entertain you on the way with bad, really bad and sometimes really horrible songs requested by listeners. Left to themselves, the RJ’s do a good job of playing a good mix of music both Hindi and English. However, more entertaining than these songs are listeners who come on air to convey appreciation or generally chat up with the RJ or answer some weird contest question like, “Who do you think is more faithful in love? Guys or gals?” (I am dead serious here folks).

One such listener came on air today and he was very emphatic about his appreciation for this particular station!

Listener: Hello Radio XYZ! I love your station!!
RJ: Thank you!!
Listener: You people have kept my sanity since I came to Bangalore four months ago!
RJ: Wow! And how did we err… do that?
Listener: I have to get up every morning and you know what?
RJ: What!
Listener: Go to work!!
RJ: Ahem…
Listener: And you know what!
RJ: Err... what?
Listener: I have to get into a cab and see the moronic faces of my colleagues!
RJ: *cough*
Listener: And then I have to go into the office and actually …!
RJ: Work?
Listener: Exactly! It is the songs you play that keep me sane!
RJ: Umm...errr...
Listener: I am tuned into your station the whole day! I even wear my headphones during meetings!!
RJ: And what does your boss have to say about this?
Listener: Why don’t you ask him! He is right here!
RJ: Well…I don’t think that is….
Boss: Hello!
RJ: Yes sir!
Boss: #$@% you *%$! son of a @#$%@ %$&@ and your @#%#$ and your @#$#% and your ancestors and their #$@%...
RJ: *gulp* Thank you for listening. Have a nice day *SLAM!!!*

And then he played a really nice song for a very long time.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dead and alive treated alike

Sign outside a tent selling native medicines on Bannarghatta Road:


Next time you want to check if you are dead or alive, you know where to go.

And if he pronounces you dead then...

  • You can buy your own coffin!
  • And dig your own grave!!
  • And if you are a Hindu, then you can go shopping for wood for your funeral pyre.
  • And get a good bargain too!!
  • Besides the unenviable opportunity to decide whether you should bury/cremate yourself or pay the 20 rupees and go back home.


p.s. he has medicines for a 'sexless' life too. Just take a dose and see your sexless life becoming a "sexess" err I mean success.

Music - Check your pulse and see if you're alive

Monday, March 21, 2011

Holi haim?

We knew it was Holi in Bangalore, when we spotted multicolored “beings” walking or driving past our house in a bike. In the 90’s when I was a lil kid, I would screech when I saw these beings, bringing people out of their houses. Then we would all stare at these ‘beings’ shamelessly. After the ‘being’ had gone, the clueless southies would gather around discussing this strange phenomenon. Then Iyer uncle would tell everyone about the year 1956 when he was in Delhi and people would groan at the prospect of another yarn from Iyer Uncle and scuttle back home. Every year this phenomenon would take place, i.e. me screeching, people rushing out to see the “being” and Iyer uncle never finishing his story because of the ominous beginning “Back in 1956 when I was in Delhi….”

Uncle never got to tell his story and the neighborhood never understood what “Holi” was till uncle was lying on his deathbed. When people came to know that uncle was on his deathbed, they visited him in droves to pray for him and give the family courage. And on his deathbed uncle delivered the story of “Holi” which I gathered was a terrifying time when blood thirsty North Indians were suddenly seized by the evil spirit and started acting ‘funny’... like throwing colors and what not. Uncle could not give an exact description as he and his wife were too busy cowering in the closet after closing the bedroom door and the main door.

So from Iyer uncle we finally learned that Holi was some kind of North Indian festival or tradition. Soon after delivering the Holi narrative Iyer uncle was pronounced fit as a fiddle by the doctor. We were so happy for him that we decided that the next time he cried ‘wolf” we will wait till he had died before visiting him.

Every Holi I waited for the colored beings to walk or drive past our house. They looked fascinating. We now knew it was Holi when we spotted these multicolored beings in the open or saw a lone patch of bright colors on the street. Then my brother was invited to his Rajasthani friend’s house for his first Holi celebration. When he got back home, we finally had out own multicolored “being”. The rest of the family looked on warily, fascinated at what looked like my brother's evil twin. My dad took a photograph of him too. He was so proud. Then he and my mom spent the next week scrubbing the colors off their son while he howled and screamed in pain. That was the last time my brother played Holi. Little did he or his southie parents know that Holi colors fade slowly and that scrubbing was not necessary?

Finally we had our very own North Indian neighbor and for their first Holi celebration in the south they called the whole neighborhood. It was a colorful affair with lot of color throwing and furious fathers running behind indistinguishable “beings” who were throwing colors on their daughters and lots of other fun activities.

South Indian dad (SID): What are you doing near my daater?
North Indian Boy (NIB): I am going to put some color on Rajeshwari uncle.
SID: Woky, Wokay, but no hanky panky wokay?
NIB: Of course not uncle.
SID (barking): No touchiiiiinnnnngggg I said!!!!
NIB: Err how do I put the color then!
SID: Like this... (and he takes the colored powder and puts one tiny pottu on his daughter’s forehead)
NIB: !!!!!!

Let’s just say the celebrations went on very well. I ate lot of sweets as I was too young to be bothered with requests for putting pottu (bindi). But by the end of the day, the North Indian boys had become expert in making nice round evenly colored pottus. And that is how the stick-on bindi business started I am told and went on to become a multimillion dollar industry… by frustrated North Indian males settled in South India.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Technology to the aft

Today I saw the very first Indian TV commercial for a Home Pregnancy Kit. The commercial is shot in a typical Saas Bahu serial setting. The bahu, who seems to be a village girl comes tripping down the steps in a heavily embroidered ghaghra choli holding a uric acid dripping test stick, and nods to everyone present with a suppressed smile. The nodding I presume was to indicate that 1) She was pregnant and was very happy about it. 2) She was not pregnant and is much relieved.

The ambiguity of that smile ensures that both married and unmarried girls are covered in the commercial. How ingenious!!

I can almost visualize the impact this kit will have on many Indian families.

Saas: Bahu!!!! What does the test say?
Bahu: *blush* You are going to be a grandmother maaji.
Saas: Does that test tell you if it is a boy or girl?
Bahu: *gulp* Nahin maaji!
Saas (slapping her): Kalmui. What is the point of this test then!
Bahu: *sob*

Cut to year 2030. India is now a scientific super power. The pregnancy test kit developed by Indian scientists is a highly developed contraption with multiple services added to it.

Saas: Bahu! Are you pregnant or not?
Bahu: Yes I am maaji *blush*
Saas: What is it? A boy or a girl?
Bahu: A girl maaji. But don’t worry maaji. The pregnancy test kit has care taken of it. It is programmed to detect and terminate female fetuses immediately!
Saas: I am so proud of your bahu! Best of luck with the next try. I shall be rooting for you.
Bahu: *blush* Thank you maaji.
Husband: *groan*

Come to think of it, such pregnancy detection kits might be just the ticket for a happy family life in many Indian homes. When it comes to using technology to further reinforce our prejudices, blind beliefs and superstitions, we Indians are tops! Jai ho!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Banking on your woes

My favorite bank, a four letter titled institution started giving me a lot of grief lately. The culprit was Customer Service (CS), a hitherto well trained, intelligent bunch of people who seem to have suddenly lost a lot of intelligence perhaps answering calls from people like me or due to working in a bank. My cousin brother who works in bank says it is the former. I don’t believe him though. I think he is just being mean because he hates bank account holders. A sweet lil girl like me can never give grief to anyone.

Me to CS: Your system is not accepting my account number.
CS: You are not an account holder.
Me: Oops!

My problem was simple. The security system that guards the small change that is deposited every month-end in my account under the head “Salary”, was not allowing me to carry out any online transaction.

“Your salary is laughable,” said the message that flashed before my eyes cruelly every time I logged into my account, followed by a wicked “You are better off begging at the signal light ha ha ha”.

Kidding. It doesn’t say all that. It just informs me in crisp English that I was a moron and should perhaps end my miserable life.

A phone banker actually told me the other day that whenever she gets depressed or fed up of her job/life/hairdo, she takes a peek at my “Salary Account” and promptly falls off her chair laughing. Then she feels all nice. I was very touched by her story and slammed the phone on her face. She called me back just as promptly to inform me that I had a large fan club in the bank. This time she slammed the phone before I could take the lead, thereby taking away the tiny scrap of self-dignity I could scrape out of this situation.

I decided to change my account. The first two banks laughed me off the premises. The other two didn’t let me past the door. The watchmen told me kindly to either buy 1) a Piggy Bank or get a 2) Post Office account.

The last two options were nationalized banks and friends advised against it as most of their account holders were on drugs or under treatment for chronic depression. The rest were all dead waiting for customer service. I decided that I didn’t need another source of misery in my life besides the SMS alert from the bank every month-end alerting me to the peanuts that were being dropped into the account.

So I was stuck with my most favorite-now-fast-becoming-least-favorite four letter titled bank. And that was a scary thought as I had only one bank account. *gulp*

Every attempt to contact them failed as the bank has a 'phone banking only facility', which means you cannot call someone and scream at his face. So you are stuck with Phone Banking, a euphemism for “Hitting yourself on the head with a hammer”.

After you have punched the various keys in your telephone that identifies you, your account number and other details like your past three boyfriends phone numbers, an efficient sounding phone banker picks up the phone and asks you politely to give your name, account number and past four boyfriends phone numbers. After that the person listens politely to your complaints and replies just as crisply as before that she will get back to me soon. I swear she was yawning when she said that. My cousin brother, the one who works in a bank says that I am just assuming things and that she wasn’t yawning. Bankers are alert people he says, who can work 24/7/365 on a cup of coffee and a couple of hundred cigarettes without yawning. I don’t believe him though. I think he is just boasting.

Note to self: Cut him off my will.

And then you wait and wait and wait and after a year of paying bills standing in mile long queues, you suddenly remember that your complaint has not been attended to! You send a furious mail to every email ID on your bank’s site blaming them of really bad customer service, triumphantly touting the compliant date and finally you get a mail asking you to call their phone banking service. And that is when you shift your account to a Nationalized Bank.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A valentines day tale

Yesterday our house was full of relations who had come to Bangalore for a wedding. Among them was an ungle called JK. JK is a favorite uncle of ours as he is very sporting unlike the usual conservative mallu ungles who frown on everything non mallu the moment they cross the Kerala border.

Oh look! The milestone says Bangalore is 200 kms away.
Look! A river!
That looks like a Kerala State Transport Bus that has toppled off. Must have been speeding.

See what I mean?

I started pulling uncle’s legs asking him what he had in store for his wife all of 52 years, for Valentine’s Day. Uncle sighed, pulled a sad face and said that he had lost interest in V Day a long time ago. I was intrigued. Uncle was by no means a shy guy and had a reputation for being a ladies’ man in his youth. I queried him gently about the tragedy. Uncle sighed again and reluctantly told me about an incident in his youth that had scarred him forever off V Day.

Uncle had done his schooling in Africa and his parents sent him to Kerala for his higher studies. He stayed with his father’s brother and his neighbors were social workers who ran some kind of an NGO. The family consisted of a father who was Malayalee, a mother who was Irish and a daughter who was a pretty combination of the two. Irish girl (IG) had many admirers, suitors and stalkers. Her reputation as very ‘liberal’ did not make things easier either. Amongst the many people in love with her was my Uncle. Uncle had noble intentions unlike the others who were mostly hoping that they would be recipients of her ahem… ‘liberal largess’. I mean can you imagine a mallu guy of the 60’s walking into his house with a white girl?

Achcha, Amma, this is IG. We are getting married.

*sock* *slap* *biff* *choke* *kick* followed by a hastily arranged marriage to Thresiakutty Varkey from Poovathingal veedu, Kadnadu at the nearest available church.

Uncle did manage to speak to IG whenever he got the chance to catch her attention from the crowd that seemed to hang around her perennially. Then one day IG’s parents decided to move to Delhi. Uncle was heartbroken. The crowd around IG’s house cleared and he and his aunt and uncle saw the facade of the house for the first time! It was blue with pretty flowers flanked by a hedge painstakingly grown by IG’s mom. Ok…that was a bit off topic.

Back to our story again! Valentine Day approached and Uncle decided to send IG a letter or a handmade card. The rest of the fan crowd had no clue what Valentine’s Day was. He was told that the Indian postal system may or may not deliver the letter and delivery, if it happens might be on Christmas Day if he did not post the card on January 1st. Uncle was in a dilemma when someone suggested the Indian Telegraph service, a formidable service that delivers urgent messages in 72 hours and very urgent messages in 71 hours.

So uncle paid for a telegram and being shy decided to choose a subtle message template thoughtfully provided by the Dept. of Posts and Telegraphs. He prayed that it would reach her in time. The telegram did reach her, but instead of the subtle message, the telegram read “Hearty congratulations on the new arrival". To cut a long story short, Uncle did get a reply that left his ears burning, skin peeling and with a vastly enhanced vocabulary in Irish epithets.

Wishing you all a very happy Valentine’s Day!

Monday, February 07, 2011

The family league

As the IPL auction got underway recently, certain people in my family were watching the auction very keenly. These are the ‘IPL Team Owners’ of our family with avowed interest in the teams because they happen to be living in the home city of the teams.

Kochi Kunchacko, an uncle from Kochi who was an ardent supporter of the team even before the idea was conceived, was sitting with family in Kochi and calling my Dad with his 'expert comments' on the 'purchases’. His family consisting of a cat, a dog and a wife have walked out on him during every IPL match and came back to realize that he wasn’t even aware of their absence.

Mrs Kunchacko: Honey, I am back!
Mr Kunchacko: When did you leave?
Mrs Kunchacko: Sob!

Mumbai Mathai (MM), another uncle from Mumbai who "owns" the Mumbai team in the family is similarly engrossed in the auction. His three sons are closet Delhi, Chennai and Rajasthan supporters. They are too scared to come out of the closet. Their dad is waiting outside with a bat to clobber them on their head if they dare to. And like people living in closets, they live a lie every day, making uninterested cries of joy every time a Mumbai batsman hits a run or gets a wicket, while suppressing their real feelings for their teams.

MM: Mone Rahul. We have the best team I think.
Rahul (uninterestedly): Wotever.
MM: Rohan, Do you think we should have gone for one more bowler?
Rohan : Who cares!
MM: Ryan mone….
Ryan: Shut up dad!

In Delhi, my army colonel uncle, Delhi Dominic is twirling his handle bar mustache looking pensively at the auction. He hopes that 'he' will get a good team. His two sons studying in Bangalore are vociferous Bangalore supporters. Delhi Dominic is least bothered. His dog Caesar, Simba and Ikroo (wife's dog), his orderly, gardener, driver and entire unit ( infantry) are Delhi supporter unless they want something really nasty to happen to them like a court martial or 50 rounds around the parade ground carrying a 100 pound sack of stones.

DD: Caesar! Who will this year’s IPL my boy!
Caesar: Woof!!
DD: Good boy!!!
Caesar: Woof?

Reggie Rajasthan (RR) has two daughters, whose support for the teams wavers according to the players. The team with the best looking cricketer gets their vote. But they are also scared to tell their dad the truth and try to suppress yawns when an ordinary looking cricketer hits six sixes in the last over and wins the match by one run and ball to spare.

Patros Punjab and his wife are Punjab supporters. His one and a half year old twins, a boy and a girl wore the Kings Eleven Punjab logo on their diapers last year. They are too young to do anything about it. But the rest of the family is waiting with bated breath to see what happens in a couple of years when they will have to wear chaddies with the same logo.

So where does my Dad figure in all this you might wonder. He would have really loved to support Royal Challengers, despite his name starting with a P. But he has decided to remain neutral and with the other "non owners" in the family has taken it upon himself to ensure that during weddings, funerals, baptisms and First holy communions and miscellaneous family get-togethers, Patros Punjabi, Reggie Rajashtan, Kochu Kuriakose, Delhi Dominic and Mumbai Mathai don’t maul each other to death.

So in effect my dad and the rest of the male family members are the Fourth Umpires of the ‘Family Indian Premier League’.