Sunday, June 24, 2012

An expensive trash called home!

We recently moved (10th time in 5 years?) to a gated community. And how?

We renovated the house completely, ripping off all but the walls and doing it up pretty nicely. So, like any proud house owner, I am very interested in comparing notes, walls, door handles and knobs with the neighbors.

First stop is our next door neighbor which is a family of 4. A bald man whom I cant guess the age of. He could be 35 to 45. His wife who is certainly older than me. Two kids one of which is adorable and the other is perhaps a serial serial-watching overgrown kid that could have been adorable.

The sampling of an open shelf outside the door that keeps tasteless chappals tells me that they couldnt be our competitor for tasteful interiors. Perhaps I shouldnt call them tasteless chappals. May be they are. But the chappals themselves have to have tasted a concoction of paan spit, worker saliva and all urban waste that did not find a dustbin. Ah! Tasteless chappals that have their own taste!

Next stop is a muslim house that smells mutton, ather and dampness depending on the day of the time. They re-use pepsi pet bottles for water and dry clothes on cane chairs. Nah! Not competitors by a long mile.

There are 8 houses in each of those 8 floors totalling to 64 and I've haven't done them all yet. But, the house of ***** (or as we fondly call as Saettu veedu) was much cause of concern. The beautiful climbers and herb garden outside the house was threatening to puncture my pride and I had to sneak a peek. The Rajasthani glasswork style exteriors for the windows should have been a warning. I ventured to test further and with some help from the wind, I caught a glimpse of what was inside.  OMG! A crimson red monstrous couch that could blind the eyes, had it not been for the flooring which would already render the guest blind before they could look up. A mosaic of all variants of rad and beige on the flooring, only resembling paan again! No wonder their kid is so tired. Its just the exasperation of having to take in those colors every living minute, inside that house! Thank god my obsession with red stops only with dresses!

Failed attempts at potted plants, old furniture that are not old enough to leave once and for all, strewn chappals, misguided color sense that equates florescent to aesthetics, wall testimonials of soiled hands of workers and other people with running noses that also had an addiction for snuff are all I see when I go around looking for a house that would give us a healthy fight to the throne of tasteful decor.

A side note: Men in our apartment society have an average of 36 waist size and dont replenish their undies all that often! I have no access to their wardrobe and dint find the need either. The nylon cloth liners are apparently a standard part of exterior props for most houses!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cute Baby!

I'm in that phase of my life that my friends, peers, cousins and colleagues have started investing on insurance of biological kind - babies. Even I did that, a couple of years back.

But to think of it over a cup of (unmade and unserved, by wife) lassi, the engaging(!) process and 10 months of earnest effort later, what we have on hands is, yes definitely, a bundle of joy. But then, that bundle is also quite not the beautiful type, with all birth wrinkles and stains.

My kid, your kid and all our kids are born closely resembling our ecological ancestors of arboreal kind! (For the wooden heads: Monkeys, I meant!)

So there is no fascination for viewing, liking and commenting "Oh chweet kid" on Facebook or email. I cannot bring myself to say such things, when we indeed know it takes a few months before a kid gets out of the orangutan mode! Till then its a bundle of joy (just for the parents and grandparents). So i restrain myself with just a "Monkey maari iruku" comment to my spouse (which I did when my kid was born too! No bias here!)

So the next time you send me a pic of a new born and I dont says "So cute", dont think I dont care. In fact, I care. And so I dont say a thing!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Predictions for 2012 - Personal

1. We may move out of Atrociously Yucky-Yucky Apartments (Ayya apartment is where we stay (or) as HDFC call center girl prefers to call it - Avya)

2. I will lose weight, for sure, without exercise. Predicting worry with startup life!

3. My wife may gain what I stand to lose - Weight! She pigs out phunction food every afternoon @ work

4. My car will be dirty and I won't clean it. Actually this isn't a prediction. It's more like a planned event!

5. We will continue to recycle grocery shopping bags for daughter's nappy pad poop parcel and one fine day she will be toilet trained!

6. The cool IKEA buckets will cease to be dustbins

7. We will continue to be the keepers of old chappals, antique business cards, torn table mats, tooth brush that has taken post-retirement hobby jobs like cleaning wash basins, aluminum tablet covers that have no particular utility except to reinforce our lack of cleanliness

8. Old serials will be replaced by new ones. They would be cry-worthy as usual

9. White hair in my beard will increase in its (pseud)-value and of course, density per

10. The number of empty deo bottles in my wife's closet will follow geometric progression pattern, till I cross the line of fire. We would have some friendly fires thereafter!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

kamalagoss interview generator

I have been seeing a pattern in Kamalahassan's public speeches. They tend to be contrived and pseduo-intellectual, focusing more on the fabric of words than meaning. To beat the humdrum, if I am able to generate the code for his speech, I'd at least have the thrill of verifying it against his next speech, instead of succumbing to asphyxia.

Today we have on sets one of the most versatile actors Mr.Kamalagoss, who is celebrating his 55th birthday.

Camera pans to the dough on the table, kept for the next "Samayal Samayal" program.

Kamalagoss: Well..naa inga iruken..idhu verum

Damil anchor: Oh..hoho..sorry sorry sir..Nan neenga inum Dasavatharam make-up le irukeengalo nu nenchen

Kamalagoss: Avadharam nu solalaam. Elarume avadharam thane?

(Decode: Inviting the unsuspecting listener into a cosmic argument which is a trap for the rest of the onslaught)

Damil anchor: Adhu epdi solreenga? (Ayayyao..paithiyam kelambiruchche...ini pongal veykaama vidaadhe)

Kamalagoss: Naanum carbonlerndhu vandhen..neengalum carbonlerndhu than vareenga. apo naa avadharamna....neengalum saga avadhaaramdhane...

(Decode: Some notion to say that he is above you by actually saying he treats you on par with him. Attempt to prove humility)

Damil Anchor: Okay sir..Neengale solitenga...ipo pudhusa ena muyarchi panreenga?

Kamalagoss: Muyarchi epovume pazhasu than. Nethiku pota viththu than iniku maram. Anniku MMKR le panina muyarchi than inniku panchathanthirathla vara iyar bashay. adhanala muyarchi enikum onnu than.. aniku KB sir neer kumizhi-le pannadha muyarchiya iniku naama panitom?

(Decode: Connect random concepts loosely around a word and show that there is an embedded meaning that only meta-thinker like him can bring out. Add a slice of self deprecating humility to negate the superior air around meta-thinking)

Damil Anchor: mm..correct sir. Ipo namma cinema next level ku ponum na ena pananum nu nenaikireenga

(Decode: Consistent reality distortion hallucinates the anchor and they play into asking open ended life altering questions)

Kamalagoss: Tamil cinema next level ku poganumgradhu enaku ulla veri nu laam sola maten. Venunna oru-thalai kaadhal, mogham nu solalam. Ingha mogham nu sonna enna sex veriyan nu soliruvangha. Oru thalai kadhal nu yen solrenna, naa matum virumbina poradhu..adhu rasiganukku pidikkanum...rasiganum next level ku poganum.

(Decode: Insert a plug on how progressive he is by making a shallow sexual reference and distancing from it graciously belong to the rest of the crowd. Throw in a huge responsibility to unsuspecting audience before they question his fixation to dough based makeups)

Damil Anchor: Neenga cinema-va thaandi pala talangal-le iyangureenga...adha pathi..

Kamalagoss: Naa thuttukku nadikra oru kooththaadi. Anaa koothaye 24 mani neram senja enakku adhu bore adikum ilaya..pondaati kooda car-le pompodhu apdiye oru azhagaana ponnu vandha orakannale pakradhu ilaya..adhu mari oru sabalam than indha kavidhai, scriptwriting ellam. Ana pondati koopta elaathayum potutu yes madam sollitu anga aajar ayruven..bhakthi nu vechukalam...bayam kalandha kaadhal nu vechukalam.

(Decode: Avoid answering a question directly. Use analogies that carry pattimanram-type shallow humor. The only aim of such answers are to showcase talent in colloquial regional slice of life humor, whose need I am still trying to decode)

Damil Anchor: Neenga oscar virudhu vanguveenga nu naangalam aavalodu irukom. adhu indha varsham nadakuma (indha varsham padame edukkale..oruvelai adhukkaaagave kuduththa thaan undu)

Kamalagoss: Oscar enbadhu ennaip poruththa varayil oru iyakku visai. Oru undhudhal..inum vegam..inum veechchu..inum visaalamana nokku..adharkana oru mudhugil thatum nigazhvu thaan oscar. andha visai andha mudhugu thattalgal thamizhanidam irundhu vandhu konda irukiradhu. avvidhaththil naan bhaagyavaan. avargal satru ongi thattinaal oru velai oscar pazham vizhumo ennavo.

(Decode: Jump to sen-thamizh sentences to make the audience feel that he is making an important postulate which is like the universal equation that einstein attempted.Make a remark that such things dont bother him and yet keep it open, to prove that he is not a jerk that despises that what he doesn't deserve)

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Grandma eavesdrops on Facebook now!

To Facebook or not, has never been a matter of resisting any urges for me. I have always been sure that I don't want to lay the nooks of my life in psychedelically inviting colors to "friends" that I have not socialized beyond the urinal sharing moments of college days. But then my profession demanded that I know facebook much like how a budding architect has to have an opinion or two about the neo-gothic architecture, even though he has no plans to create one tribute to that school. It's the same way why I needed to have an iThing and the reason I still don't, has been delved shallowly in the previous post.

So, I did tip my toe with a Facebook profile, still dense with the sparseness of content and density of blank pixels. I maintained and still largely adhere to two rules that keeps a safe wall between me and Facebook

1. I will not add people to my friends list (No I am not exactly a hermit, but I did not know what to make of this massively noisy place and I did not want active engagement before I knew if adding friends was an equivalent of meeting them for coffee or turning on a permanent tea shop bench inside my living room (Doesn't sound fitting right?)

2. I won't post media (of family, kids, my foreign conquests). While I am pretty sure I won't be ashamed of the photos (None of my family & friends at the events that I go to, has tendencies to commit sexual offenses or wear gossip-worthy haute fashion showing tan lines), I do prefer optimal exposure

Much to my dismay and proving that I am right with being reticent, I have started getting stalked no less by my grandmother. Well, my grandma knows facebook though she doesnt use it. Grandma is a euphemistic allude to those aunties twice removed, the same friend who shared mind-space exactly when we had to share adjacent urinals and who not.

Back in the days (not sure if it was of yore), walls had ears indeed. I have caught a ear or two eavesdropping into the semi-private conversation of other few and slyly using the content to weave a strategy to mute future maneuvers within the family. But it did have its risk. The steel bureau, the staircase underbelly and similarly egregious hideouts were always a compromise between signal reception and safety hazards. There were times when one gave a limb or two to know inconsequential secret between those listened into.

Facebook, it turns out has a wall that's no less a party to the crime than the real world hideouts, that its not longer a mere witness. When a twice removed aunt adds me and has added every cousin of mine (who are all perfectly fine to be willful sources of gossip), my antenna alerts me. Unwillingly, I am already a party to the society of keepers of evidences of oversized friends with undersized dresses partying hard, consumers of pseudo-intellectual rants of teenagers and likers of conversations between friends that we have never known, but for the urinal guy somehow liking it and needed us to know.

Then there are suggestions, that I should be someone's friend and boy did I add a few thinking they themselves asked me to be friended. Its quite embarrassing when you add someone thinking they added you, while we would have initiated such a request only in an inebriated moment. Now at least one them surely would have squinted the eye and done me a favor by accepting my invite.

Now my mom wants to be on facebook so that she can keep up with her sisters and would do that only on a tablet she is planning to buy!

For me, I am hoping for a phasing-out of the book, but for business that needs me in.

Friday, September 30, 2011


There are few pleasures like going back in time and reliving lives that are now visible only through jaded frames of emptied homes in lost villages. But then, we are in Chennai and the government did what it could do, to get us huddle around candle lights as a family (along with some insect family, if you will). Ah! Those power cuts. Everyday. One hour as told and one more hour untold!

The dazzle of shadows around the candle, the black that it left on the walls, the kid that wanted to catch the flame by hand. Ah! those power cuts!

The pleasure of venting raw anger on hapless EB staff well past midnight; the indulgent yet vain act of dropping names to get them to respond with grace and respect, which is not doled out to other mortals.

I had grown so fond of the power cuts that in one of my visits to the east asia, I bought two fancy handmade traditional japanese fans, that we hardly use and that hardly fans enough wind our way. I even bought a chinese made battery fan that kicked quite a response among similarly stingy family men, who all endorsed my purchase with their cheques. Now such fans adorn their houses too.

Today I am leaving that all, to get back to living life the modern way. Our house just got inverted.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


So everyone and his armpit has an ipad now. Seriously. Where else can you snug it in, so conveniently? I don't own an iPod or iPhone yet and I married my wife because she had an iPod classic 5 years back. So the closest thing I have that in the "i" series, is the 2011 edition of "I"yyappan kovil mega-sweetened panchamirtham, quietly decaying in our saami alamar.

Couple of months ago, I had my 'i' moment, when I decided that I need to own an "i" thing, since I plan to become a web entrepreneur and all that. (ssapppa..evlo "i" in one sentence). This was in Singapore and I was in SimLim, PingPong, MengMong sounding markets, scouting for something that is "i". In such searches, if you are an accomplished snob, you would take a friend who has not exactly been keeping track of you for a while. Those who do, how much of a cheap fellow you are. So I found such a friend just for that day, who I haven't met for 10 years now.

With the stage set, I leaned against the whitish minimal display rack that had air (not the O2 type, the mac one, you bugger) and other such candyfloss stuff. The only thing I know about mac is its all white in color and the mouse doesn't have a right click. When the continuous 40 degree leaning pose created stress on the spine, I would turn to the next gadget and ask the sales girl to go through its arumai, perumais.

During the course, I did not mind throwing a couple of teasers like "I can pay by cash", "What if I buy both macbook air and an iPad", much to tempt the sales girl and irritate my friend. All one stone-two mangoes funda.

Finally the moment did arrive and I flipped open my previous company donated blackberry and made a call to my cousin, going over the specs for the iPad. The deal was sealed thusly:

Me: Ashok, they have 32 GB iPad 2 3G

Ashok: What color?

Me: Black

Ashok: Will they give free cover?

I tried a free cover petition to the chinese manager and he said " nanching accent". If you want you take la. No problem la if you dont want.

Me: Ashok, andha scheme pona vaaram..naama vandhadhu indha vaaram.

Ashok: I see. USB stick tharuvana kettu paaru (Ask if he will give USB stick free)

Me: No da. I am with my friend.
Besides we are buying 'Ipad'. So we cannot negotiate only da.

At the end of it, I paid through my platinum credit card and bought the iPad. My friend asked "Dei apo onakku?" (What for you?)

No dude. I have no space in my luggage (traveling by Tiger airways). So when i come the next month, I am planning to by Macbook Air.


Back in India, I drove to my cousin's house, had some filter coffee, delivered the iPad which for the life of it, he could not figure how to boot!

2 weeks later, my cousin said "Vangiyaachu. Adhnala youtube pakren..Mupthathanjaayiram kuduthu DVD player vangirka vendam"

So now, you know why I dont own iThings.

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