Saturday, 13 June 2009

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.- Henry David Thoreau, August 19, 1851

When I started writing this blog, I used to think the world of it. Like all amatuer bloggers I was obsessed with my own and expected likewise from the world around me. After having blogged intermittently over two years and then not so, my chief take away from this blog, today, is it's enormous stupidity.  

However, to be able to write well, one has to, well, write. Copiously. Hence, this blogger shall endeavour to put up more frequent posts which hopefully will get longer and better in the weeks to come. 


Sunday, 22 February 2009

Put up below a very old unfinished post.And thats how it shall remain.

One of the things that I am quite proud of is the small library I have put together for my, alleged, reading pleasure. It is most prized possession. I have about 50 books in two languages which I have put together over the years. Funnily enough, I still havent got around to reading most of them. 

I use the word alleged for a reason. Firstly, the pleasure part of my reading has vastly diminished. From the days in school, when I would lay in the sun so completely absorbed in the book, that i wouldnt notice the fading sun or mom's searching call. To today, when I read to keep the hobby alive or for the importance of being well read.

Secondly, while books serve an altogether important purpose of imparting wisdom and entertainment, I am often found looking at them longingly in my library and affirming to myself, that one day I will finish them all. Whether or not that day shall arrive, I cannot say, but here are some of my favourites

a. The complete works of Shakespeare, which I bought after haggling from an old bearded muslim in a non descript shop in Hyderbad for Rs 90! I could never make head or tail of Shakespeare but always wanted to know why he is regarded as the first and last word in English literature. I proceeded to discover, and most importantly understand, his plays which are so full of intrigue, romance, drama that I was quite fascinated. But I must admit, I still dont understand why Hamlet is considered one of his best plays. Classical eng. lit like WS and poetry etc. is wasted on me as english is not my mother tongue and the various references to the english and western society, history and culture is something I'm ignorant of. Nevertheless, WS can still be enjoyed for it's timelessness and breadth of drama and human thought.

b. Fifteen Poets: I once went to dariyaganj and sat next to a pile of books and picked up eight books for about Rs 200. One of these was this book (for Rs 10). It is a collection of the best poetic works of the greatest poets in the english language, one from each century. 

c. The remains of the day: Picked this one up in Bangalore for Rs 30 because i liked the cover, which incidentally is a good way of judging a book, and the japanese name of the author. 

d. My collection of hindi literature: I have blogged about this earlier. Suffice to say that I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of intellectual thought and maturity that I have come across reading these books. 

Friday, 28 November 2008


I saw Dostana. I should'nt have. Infact I want my money back. Dont get me wrong, it was a decent funny watchable film. But spending 200 bucks and a quarter of a weekend to watch karan johar's wet dream come true on the big screen isnt my idea of wholesome fun. A man to man smooch, rampant male nudity, hundreds of gay innuendos and characters; Basically, watching the gala, gay goings on of these graduates of Middlesex University became too much for me to handle.

I mean compare that to a Bachna Ae Haseeno. One man, three women, 5 smooches great songs and a title song which went, 'Watch out ladies, I have come' leaving you in no doubt of the male protagonist's potency or orientation, is my idea of a good value for money movie.

In the movie Dostana, there are three main characters. John Abraham's performance can be summed up in a neat mathematical equation:

No. of acting expressions = 2/5 times the no. of abs

AB jr junior acted well and dressed badly. He makes a rather crude joke about Gabbar Singh being gay. Considering, in the same movie, your own father rode on bikes while carrying a man on his shoulders and played the mouth organ in solitude. Really AB baby, the pot should'nt call the kettle black.

And poor poor Priyanka Chopra. Barely, had she come out of the world of 'Fashion' where every man woman and table is swinging the other way, that she lands herself in a house with two gay men. No wonder she has lost faith in mankind and found solace in the arms of her man Baweja. Though one doubts, she is likely to get much quantum of it, considering he really really admires Hrithik and wants to be just like him.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Alice in Wonderland: An Excerpt

Alice is standing on a fork in the road. She speaks to Cheshire Cat. 'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
`I don't much care where--' said Alice.
`Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
`--so long as I get somewhere,' Alice added as an explanation.
`Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, `if you only walk long enough.'
Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another question. `What sort of people live about here?'
`In that direction,' the Cat said, waving its right paw round, `lives a Hatter: and in that direction,' waving the other paw, `lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad.'
`But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
`Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.'
`How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
`You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Cryptic Crosswords

The thing about living your life like a checklist is that the moment its over you become listless again. Nothing like a good pun to lift your spirits.

An item which has been long due on my cheklist was 'to solve The Hindu cryptic crossword'. Crossword lovers know that it is the holy grail of all crosswords available in India. The proverbial bees knees amongst the fare available in all dailies which are either borrowed from British or American newspapers or trashy, dumbed down versions like those avilable in TOI, HT, Mid Day etc. To be fair, Hindu does carry a daily quick crossword borrowed from The Guardian which is mostly fun to solve. However, one cannot really solve (fully) a foreign crossword because they are willy nilly steeped in that country's english speaking culture/history to which we are wholly removed or oblivious to.

But the Hindu cryptic crossword always presented itself like a huge challenge to me everytime I attempted it. Try as hard as I might, I could'nt make head or tail of it for so long and I have been ashamed to admit it. I started ignoring it assuming it to be some sort of an arcane, esoteric fare which a few nerds enjoyed. On one last ditch attempt I discovered the solution to one of the clues at one blog I read. The clue was 'sensuality displayed by ducks on speed(5)'. The answer is 'oomph' (go figure!) and the explanation blew my mind. And in that moment I knew that this was something I had to do. Thus this item entered my checklist immediately and perched itself on top.

Crosswords have a rich and chequered history and like most things you can read all about it on the wikipedia page. A cryptic crossword is one wherein every clue is a puzzle in itself which needs to be worked out to fill in the spaces.

Luckily I had a long break from office during Diwali which I utilised fully in reading extensively about it. And I can tell you with some degree of pride that I solved 4 of these cryptic ones of the Hindu between November 1 to 6. [Ok, fine so I couldnt solve it fully but 18 out 28 clues is no mean achievement.] So, I punched the air and patted myself on the back. I told my parents and they looked at me as if I was some kinda loony alien boy.

Sadly, good things in life dont last long. Soon I was gently reminded that this very newspaper publishes a particularly harsh cryptic on its Sunday issue every week. This one follows a different series than the weekdays one and is considerably more difficult. Cant wait to sink my teeth into one of those. Bring it on.....

Heres a quick explanation to the clue above: The actual clue is sensuality and the remaining is the hint. A duck in cricket is a 'O' and so ducks give you "OO". The word speed is often denoted by miles per hour or 'mph'. Add them together and you get 'oomph'.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Our Old isnt Gold

Mr Dominique Straus Kahn,60, received a severe reprimand recently for having an affair with a fellow economist while in office as the President of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)**.

Only a few months ago, Mr Paul Wolfowitz,65, the then Head of the World Bank lost his job for having an affair with an Arab woman, who was a subordinate, while in office.

Mr Max Mosley,68, President of the F-1 sport was recently taped with five women of decidedly easy virtue in some sort of a pleasurable Nazi, Gothic ritual.

Not to mention Clinton and Sarkozy.

What is it about old men in powerful positions that makes them do seemingly foolhardy activities like having an affair while in office and then getting caught with their pants down. More so at an age when senility and sterility should hamper their virility, they seem to be at the peak of their ability. It boggles the mind as to how at their age and position they find energy and time for such shenanigans while saving the world, bombing terrorists and bailing out economies or running conglomerates at the same time.

But is this largely a phenomenon of the West or does our old, too, glitter like gold?

Well, it is hard for the powerful in India to have clandestine affairs as Ratan Tata learned recently:
rt: well, mamta I have a proposition...
mb: NA
rt: atleast lets talk things over...
mb: NO

Our PM, too, is severely criticized by the opposition for demeaning the Prime Ministers office by having a woman on top. Our current Defence Minister has the happy habit of fainting every time he sees a marching army battalion. Here he is in the warm clutches of four army men. They dont call those bofors guns scandalous for nothing.

But as you can see, even though our top honchos are trying very hard they arent really going anywhere. In fact it is believed that the historic talks between Musharraf and Vajpayee in Agra in July 2001 broke down due to some inadvertent comments made by the former on a rather touchy issue for the latter.
Prez Mushharaf: But Mr Vajpayee, Why Agra?
PM Vajpayee: I will ask for a suggestion when I need one.

However, in the midst of all the gloom, two men stood out like a shining example for our philandering politicos. Nehru was a statesman and an astute parliamentarian whos tryst was not with destiny alone.
HD Deve Gowda was well known to have slept around in office at the first available opportunity and didn't care two hoots if it made front page news.

**- I, too, was once the President of the IMF. Since I know you wouldnt believe me, here are two links...this and this. However, I would like to go on record to say that my tenure was not marred by any unsavoury incident and that I came out with my reputation clean and closet empty.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Career Counselling

I am now, more than ever before, aware of the rather delicate nature of this blog's expanded readership. Hence, I have quickly run a PG-13 filter on my blog with a few minor exceptions here and there left for sake of preserving the blog's true character.

In case you ever try to search for my blog through google, you may come across a blog put up by a fine gentleman who happens to share my name and an eerily similar web address. He chooses to post the choicest of home made hindi poetry and pictures of south indian actresses in various states of dress, undress and duress. This is to confirm that the only blog I run is the one you are currently reading. I would leave a link here but mine is now a PG-13 blog.

I have blogged earlier (here) about how my name has been subject to much torture and mirth. Well it seems the world hasnt had enough and they have created this. It encapsulates why I often silently hope my friends, who twisted my name out of recognition, be stricken by bubonic plague. May Allah never forgive them.

In other news.....I have watched, from what I hope is a safe distance, with mild amusement, the fall of US investment banks and other financial institutions. Now most of these banks etc are these really posh institutions who only recruit the best of brains from the best of colleges then reject half of them and then pay, those who remain, a ransom of a salary. Yet all these sharp people come together and create a mess so big that not only it takes their company under but the entire worlds economy with it. Its an old adage that if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. It turn out even if you pay gold nuggets, the result is not much different. This reminds me of a statement by one of the geniuses of our times, Scot Adams. He says, " Essentially, we are all stupid".

But we know these investment bankers are really smart people with versatile skill sets. Here are a few alternative career suggestions for these out of work bankers. An assorted list of various openings still there in the market:

a. Bollywood scriptwriters: You know you have a story to tell. Why not let the world know about it. Its anyways a non existent position in bollywood, so you can have the first mover advantage. Its widely believed that the scripts for such great movies like Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Paraya Dhan, The Great Gambler, Is raat ki subah nahin was written by erstwhile bankers. 

b. Writer of self help books: The world is nothing but a set of people waiting to be conned by the next self help book. How to win friends and influence people, 15 ways to better self esteem could well be books written by you.

c Judge/Participant at television reality shows: As a participant you may be unceremoniously thrown out without any notice and left teary eyed but you have experience now in this regard. As a judge you may be asked to evaluate things you have no idea about after talking endlessly about it and there again you have experience on your side. 

d. Paris Hilton's new boyfreind: There are several positions here that you would like to take up but PG-13 prohibits further job description.    

e. Get adopted by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Theres an endless opening here it seems.

Any other suggestions/openings would be welcome on the comments page.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Food, only for thought

"Thou shalt become the animal thy shall devour"
-Joseph, New testament, Psalm 11:5

My mom tells me that the first words I ever spoke were," Mom i'd like some kakori kebabs". Even in school I was often punished during the assembly because I would say,

"Our Father in heaven,
Give us this day our daily chicken wings,
Hallowed be thy name"

I figured if everyday we are going to stand here in a line and ask god for something, might as well ask for something worthwhile, if HE ever relents. The world has misunderstood me since.

Some strange folks (vegetarians) often tell me that chicken, goats, ducks, prawns and lobsters are all Gods creations and we must treat them with respect. You mean God created goats so that I could respect it? While millions go hungry, innocent lambs could prance around in grassy meadows? I always thought God created them so that I could have some great roomali and liver curry.

Im deliberately being insensitive here because Im distraught. Ive realised that these strange folks and even stranger folks (the converts) are right after all.

You see all these Gods wonderful creations that we often consume come with a lot of masala oil grease and fat. They have a tendency to stick around your tummy and waist and refuse to budge. Such was my condition as I made that painful pilgrimage to a local gym about a month back. Now a gym is a scary place. It is full of men and women who are grunting, screaming and huffing, secreting copious amounts of sweat which makes them smell like the goats and pigs they once consumed. (refer quote)

It was a glimpse of hell,and I looked like a frightened lamb (refer quote) but my trainer gently assured me.
Trainer: Anybody can have great abs by quitting rice, mutton,fast food,anything sweet, smoking and drinking.
Me: No sweat, eh!
Trainer: Sorry cant promise you that.

Trainers dont have a sense of humour and they ably demonstrate it while laying down your daily regimen. Ive spent the last month grunting and panting without an iota of difference and begging God for his forgiveness for each and every one his wonderful creation I mistakenly massacred on the dinner table.

It is therefore with a heavy heart I confess that I , tushar verma, am contemplating conversion.

"Our Father in heaven,
Give us this day our daily green leafy vegetables,
Hallowed be thy name"


Monday, 5 May 2008

The MBA shall inherit the earth

An important lesson that is taught to every MBA student is that the, 'Product must match it's claim'. Its another matter that once they graduate, they themselves become an exception to the rule stated above. Ask any HR executive who goes through hordes of resumes flaunting Herculian personality traits and Bill Gates' salary expectations. In fact a recent study has revealed that these days the assembly lines of our B-schools are churning out graduates who have 'Made in China' etched at the back of their heads. Hence the HR term, 'background check'.

Another feature which we MBA's are widely known and acknowledged for is our aversion to taking any risks. And contrary to popular perception, taking two job interviews during work hours while claiming to go on a client visit does not constitute risk taking. Neither does rock climbing during company off-site.

However, MBAs is a huge community and it would be unjust to generalise them all as one author has recently done in his book: 'MBA: Mediocre but Arrogant'. There are a 0.001% amongst us who either have leadership skills or risk taking ability and other such offbeat qualities.

One such irregular MBA with whom I became acquainted with in the bank is VM, who is trying to break from the mould and take an actual risk. Fueled by his Sindhi spirit of entrepreneurship, he has set up his own 'Juice and Snacks bar' in...where else...Ahmedabad. Readers of this blog are requested to spare a moment to visit his blog at or his outlet, if possible, and wish him luck for his endeavour.

In this blog he relates tales of his preparations, frustrations and anxieties of his upcoming venture. He is also seeking some bright ideas for design and name of his Juice bistro. He has been pestering me to suggest a name for his venture. Well theres only one name you can give to a juice bar run by a Sindhi:


Thursday, 17 April 2008


History repeateth itself once again. The author, though immensely talented, hath lost his will to write as he has come down with a terrible bout of blogslexia. In the blogosphere, its a disorder as common as common cold and has no known cures. Or has it?

Friday, 21 March 2008

What defines me?

(tag taken from GJ's blog)

If theres one word in the English language which describes me completely, its the word 'lazy'. Its a beautiful langourous word which the British developed, presumably, in the post tea session of the fourth day of a test match. But like many other things, they actually learned the concept of laziness from India. Laziness is part of our national identity, seeped into our history, culture, politics and daily life.

The foundations of our laziness was laid by our great sages who attained wisdom purely through sitting in a pose for decades, doing nothing. Sometimes I try the same tehcnique at office and my boss has been very appreciative. He recently wrote on my appraisal form, 'Dream on'. But I wonder why I did'nt get that bonus I asked for.

We passed on the same indolent gene to anyone who came to India. Several rulers, dynasties came to India and settled here as they suddenly found themselves too lazy to move out, like the Mughals. In fact the recent movie Jodha-Akbar was a tribute to the mighty Mughal spirit of laziness wherein Ashutosh Gowariker was so lazy that he forgot to end the movie. My friend went to see this movie last sunday and has'nt returned yet.

Then the British came and looted, exploited and plundered India till the only thing left here was cholera. They too would have settled here had not Gandhiji used our most potent weapon against them i.e our laziness. When he exhorted all Indians to fight the British without lifting a finger, we instinctively knew what we had to do: nothing. And because we were so darn good at it the Brits jus rolled up their eyes and threw up their hands in despair and left.

Then came Nehru and he gave away a parts of Kashmir to Pakistan and China and said, 'It's too far up north to defend anyways'. Indira gandhi was assassinated simply because in our wonderful life of drudgery, boredom and indolence, there no such thing as an Emergency. Now I could go on with examples but I think you get the picture. However, in our geat nation's eternal quest for everlasting laziness, there are three sets of people who are hell bent upon disturbing our stupor: teachers, parents and bosses.

Only a teacher could have come up with an oxymoron as fiendish as home-work. Home is a place for a young boy or girl to relax and freeze infront of the tv. But everyday these malicious teachers throw words like knowledge, hard-work and discipline at you while you could be chasing butterflies in the wild on a computer game. Is it a surprise then that the most important exam a student ever takes is aptly called the BORED Exams. After this comes Graduation. The word Graduation, derived from the word gradual, is a slow process of unlearning eighteen years of family values in four years of.... (to be continued)

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Life and Times of Sameer Wadhera

I normally do not take names of people I know on my blog, but my friend, SW needs help. He might look like a stale idli today but there was a time when he was a bright young MBA from Delhi; on the verge of bagging a dream assignment in a large IT company(which recruits trespassers). I believe his interview at campus, went something like this:

HR head: We are making an offer to you because you're name starts with S. Are you locationally mobile?
SW: Yes of course. I have always wanted to go out there and see the world. See real India. Sometimes I feel I was born to travel.
HR: hmm. We might have an opening in a project in Boston, which we need to fill urgently. How soon can you join us?
SW(holding back tears): If I run, I can reach the airport in 45 minutes.

Later it turned out that due to a sadistic slip of tongue, the HR head said Boston when he actually meant Bomanahalli. Soon enough, SW landed in Bangalore and thus his tryst with the South began. Never quite able to adjust to the Southern way of life, his luck too deserted him.

He spent the next one year waving his colleagues goodbye at the Bangalore International airport, going off on one on-site project after another. He was often found riding on empty airport trolleys going wheeeeeeeeeeee.

Disgusted with life, he decided there was only one thing a man could do, Go home to mama. He promptly quit his job and began searching for a new one in Delhi. He approached a large Indian private bank which recruits apes because they resemble humans. They offered him a job and promised a Delhi posting. But after a month of dilly dallying informed him that they had lost his offer letter(true incident).

Help and job less, his priorities had become clear as he approached a large FMCG company for an interview:
HR head: So what are your strengths?
SW: I can goto Delhi by road, air and bus.
HR: Interesting, so how did you handle the client dissatisfaction with project delays?
SW: I went to Delhi.
HR: So where do you see wait. Is there anything you want to ask us?
SW: Where is Qutab Minar located?
HR: You seem like an interesting fellow. We are making you an offer. You will be Area Manager Coastal Andhra based in Vijaywada.
SW:Isnt that in Mars? Theres no life there!
HR: Bwahahahahaha*
(*-Unknown to SW, all HR people
are from Mars)

A very dejected SW reluctantly packed his bags and landed in Vijaywada. The hectic sales job soon took its toll on him. They made him travel so much that he had problems traveling to the bathroom. All the while hoping that a 'North' job will soon come his way. At one time last year, there were more resumes of SW floating than rumours of AbhiAsh wedding.

A large paint company took pity on him and gave him a job, then sent him to Delhi. SW was almost scared about how happy he was. After a few weeks of bliss they called him to say, 'Did we say Delhi, we meant Cochin actually.' With every effort to go up north, fate had cruelly sent him further down. After a few months in Cochin he decided to give it one last shot and speak to his HR. But the HR community had got wind of his condition and played upon his fears.

SW: Sir, I would like to go to a north location.
Evil HR Head no. 3- I know.
SW: You know?
Evil HR Head no. 3: I also know that Sriperembudur has excellent medu vadas.
SW: You cant do this to me. My father knows people in NHRC*
Evil HR Head no. 3: I know the HR head there.
(*-National Human Rigts Commission)
Recently when work took SW to Kanyakumari, he felt strangely at peace. He knew he simply could'nt go any further down. Today SW lives a contended man in Cochin. He has joined 'Learn Malyalam in 30 years' classes and thinks coconuts are sexy. He likes lifting his dhoti too. But sometimes in his sleep he mumbles, Dilli Chalo.

Sunday, 27 January 2008


Man: So, what do you look for in a man?
Woman: Well, he should be caring, sensitive, successful and above all, he should make me laugh.
Man: Thats three and a half men and two of them gay. What do you want in one?

One of the cruelest cliches perpetrated on mankind by womenotsokind has been the the whole, 'I'd like a man who makes me laugh etc.' routine. Cruel, because its as blatant a lie, if there ever was one. Its purpose is to throw off innocent guys who believing the lies, rack their brains for funny anecdotes while they marry the first investment banker or power magnet they meet. (Note how these two fail miserably on criteria 1,2 and 4 mentioned above). Its a clever ploy which works nicely.

Take for example, the two pictures below:
Now ask yourself, which one of these two is more likely to be gentle, funny and sensitive. And remember, Kareena had the choice.

"I could't hurt a fly b'cos I feel their pain"

"I had blackbucks for lunch
and I dont mean illegal money"

Or better still take the case of software engineers in Bangalore.

Are they caring?
Of course! they wear ultra-tight faded jeans so that others feel cool and comfortable around them.

Are they sensitive:
Yes. They move around in groups of ten or above talking loudly, so that your own worries are drowned in the din.

Are they successful:
Why else would their company give them a T-shirt which says, 'Global Embedded Technology Multimedia Worldwide Champions Conference'. They have success written all over them, literally.

Are they humourous:
Are you kidding me, they are a walking joke unto themselves. Imagine your funfilled life if you marry a techie,
'Honey, my new jeans has only eight zippers and seven pockets!

Yet, what do you see? Poor techie guys spend half their non-work lives sitting in a row outside 'Forum Mall' watching one woman go after another with the meanest looking thugs, rockstar types and fat uncles.

For the benefit of my fellow men, let me dispel some myths regarding this whole caring-funny business:

A. Caring, Sensitive, gentle, loving etc: We men were not genetically designed to be all this nonsense and women know this. Remember we are the guys who gave the earth two world wars, holocaust, global warming, genocides, suicide bombing, sexually transmitted diseases etc. We dont have a caring bone in our body. Women, all too smart, use this to make you go running helter-skelter looking for qualities, nature didnt want you to have.

B. Sense of Humour: This is a double-edged sword. Most women look for this in men but not without laying down several pre-conditions. All sexist, racist, castiest, potty, lewd and sports jokes immediately disqualify you. It's stupid to even bother trying.

I would have proceeded to tell you what women really want but I have to rush to Forum to get good seats outside.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Of Dilbert, Dealers and Dancing

In case you haven’t read a book called The Dilbert Principle, I suggest you run to your nearest bookshop and buy one copy. I'm sure by the time you turn to page six, you would want to send me a thank you note with a bouquet of flowers, mach 3 razor blades, size 40 formal shirt, toothpaste, shoe-shiner, socks and mortein.

Darn it, I had to go shopping not blogging.

In the book, corporate victims relate dilbertesque moments from their workplaces. Heres mine.

Top management decided to fly down distributors/dealers from all over India to a city where these distributors truly belonged, Agra. Occasion: a 'Distributor Meet". The company's overt and distributors’ covert agenda for this meet was the same:

"A platform to promote bonding with channel partners. To celebrate the successes of the past year and plan for the next". Alternatively, "Free booze and short skirted emcee"

The meet began in the lawns of a posh hotel. A large stage was set where a dance troupe would entertain the guests and after the bar opened, vice-versa. We were seated around several round tables, region wise. I was ordered to sit with my Andhra distributors. Before long, speeches and presentations were in full swing and everyone was concentrating on the bar table being set up. Important prizes were given away like the second best South Andhra Distributor for sales of epidural anaesthesia kit.

Then, we were all handed over a large candle. Our GM came onto the stage along with other top management. Everybody was asked to light their candles and stand up holding them high over our heads. Then repeating after the GM, we recited a pledge, in chorus, on how we were one big loving family and that we will destroy all competition in selling intravenous neonatal cannulas, stop cocks and urine collection units. All this in dead earnest.

I looked around to see if my friend SB saw the farce that was being played out here. He was repeatedly stabbing himself with a dagger. As the evening progressed, drunken distributors hit the dance floor, literally. I was watching the fun from a safe distance when somebody hissed into my ears, "Don’t stand here alone. Why don't you go dance with your distributors.” Best prom night ever.

I reached the dance floor to see my regional head doing a close dance with one dealer. He then moved on, signaling me to take over while he serviced others. I tried to copy the neat steps of the distributor by shaking my arms and legs in different directions and bobbing my head back to front making fish faces.

Seven of us eight new joinees quit the company before the year was out.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

It's different

If this was Amit Varma's blog this entry would end right here.

People from all over send him all the interesting stuff and he hyperlinks away to glory on his blog aka ‘India Uncut and Paste’.

If this was a hidden identity blog like The Compulsively Constipated (an obliquely evident reference to eM) then I would talk about my bohemian banking lifestyle and search for sexual innuendoes in opening accounts, bouncing cheques, closing balances and 24-hr call centres.

If this was a techie blog. Shudder. It will never be.

Heavens forbid if this was a woman’s blog. Most women write the way they talk. Too much.

I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt about a blog’s gender and the self becomes too much, then follow this simple test and you will find all your doubts melting away. Recall the last blog you read. Did it go something like…

Yak yak yapp yap ratitottoo ti wooti tak tak tak …long word…longer word…yak yak yap yap…clichéd clichés …wapater hokti boo tak tak tak Yak yak yapp yap ratitottoo ti wooti tak tak tak …long word…longer word…yak yak yap yap…

Or , Did it have an exasperating rhyming scam disguised as a poem

“ Oh, the soul of those haunting eyes,
Intermingled with my cold sighs,
Searching for meaning in this existence,
Rodents are the cause of pestilence.”

If yes, you were reading a female blog.

If this was a humour blog ala Sidin Vadukut or Rahul Phondke, then why would I be trying so hard?

If this was just any other blog with a crackpot fake name like killerbazooka or flyingmongoose, where people ejaculate about the latest movie or book and then let it die a natural death only to come back intermittently and apologise for the hiatus. Then you would'nt be reading it. Er..You dont read this.

But because this is my blog, so I can do a brazen copy of everyone’s style and present a mish-mash of balderdash.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Grounded Stars

Gentlemen, keep your wet hankies aside. Ladies please swipe your nose on the sleeve.

I’m attempting to do something which no human or banker has done before: an unfavourable review of taare zameen par (tzp)

Please lift your jaw and put the eyeballs back into their socket. No, I’m not an insensitive freak, nor was I born in a lovely teachers-supportive family-encouraging system utopia. I fail to understand why are people going ga ga or in this case waaah waaah over tzp.

I went to see tzp with my flatmate Nik, and you couldn’t find two more sensitive guys than us in Bangalore. I mean Nik once helped a blind man cross the road, forcibly, thirteen years back. So, naturally we were hoping for a moving, touching experience. Like we usually do.

Aamir Khan, who obviously had made up his mind to make everyone cry, had us at the ticket window only. At 300 bucks a ticket, the two of us were left tearjerked. But then God gently reminded us that getting tickets for a new release on the first weekend without booking at PVR in Bangalore is the kind of miracle that would have given Mother Teresa sainthood.

Now, as two broke, shaken and faith-in-god-restored men sat in the cinema hall, AK unleashed his first weapon. He took soo loong ,over one and half hours, to establish an important, but obvious-in-five-minutes-of-the-movie, fact: ‘dyslexic child’, that by the end of the first half I was dyspeptic.

Thankfully the film picked up very well in the second half with some good songs and performances to match. But soon AK was at it again. He had already given us the exaggerated stereotype of the pushing father and wailing mother. And further reinforced them with the hairy Hindi teacher, accented English teacher and brawny sports teacher to it. The scene where AK tries to convince the Principal of the child’s special abilities by quoting Oscar Wilde is so corny, you have to see it to believe it.

Be that as it may, people were busy sniffling whimpering and sobbing all over. Now, I believe there’s a simple explanation for that. I mean how hard can it be to make moms, moms-to-be, wives, girlfriends and metrosexual men to cry. Just put a struggling child up there and make him cry in every conceivable pain and position. So, the kid cries in his bedroom then a quick sob in the school, one kneeling down on the bed and even while running on the basketball ground. One of these is bound to tickle your ancestral monkey instincts and soon you follow suit.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for crying in movies. When Rajesh Khanna sang a song heaving up and down on his dying elephant’s belly in Haathi Mere Saathi, I cried my eyeballs out. Or when in ‘Kishan Kanhaiya’, Shilpa Sharodkar did that….No wait, that was a different.

Ahem…well. Now that this post has firmly established me as a sexist insensitive imbecile. I would urge you to watch Polish film director Kuzwipo Polsjki’s ‘Ustyer jOkrma de childe’ before forming your opinion. Chances are you will not be able to sit through the movie, simply because it does'nt exist. You are also requested to not take my opinion seriously as I suffer from film-dyslexia. But more on that later.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Whats in a name? Die, Shakespeare

I am like the proverbial Hero's sister slinking into a dark corner, pleading to be left for bhagwaan. And you are the slowly taking off his shirt mustachoed villain announcing your intention to not leave me for anywhere( kaheen ka nahin).

The rape of my name continues unabated.

It started in my school in Australia, where my geogoraphy teacher insisted on calling me Tushan Keepat, making my name sound like some weird African country which her students couldnt locate.

Then in Lucknow/Delhi, my school/college friends decided to call me Tush, Tushi etc. making me a ripe target for jokes like, Tush- who needs a push and Tushi- you ***** etc.

Having survived all that and the subsequent MBA years,I was feeling fairly confident as I stepped onto sambhar-land for my first job. Little did I know that your best and my worst was yet to come.

Now the gentle folk of sambhar-land are mostly benign and peace loving.But they have an uncanny habit of giving a grotesque new look to your name while you are looking away. So, a Gaurav might become Ghaurzhavx and Dhruv, Djhruva.

Sure, I'm exaggerating a bit. But if your name was ever subjected to Tusar, Thusar, Thusara and Thoosara kind of torture, you will be cynical too. I shudder to imagine if, by some sadistic twist of fate, I were actually a sambharian from sambhar-land called Thoosara.In which case,it's unlikley, I would have ever made any friends.

Me: Hello, I'm Thoosara
You: Kitna sara? hrmph...kheen kheen...hehe.

And my career opportunities would certainly have been limited.

Interviewer: whats your name?
Me: Thoosara
Interviewer: Aoww, u spat on me...never mind. Father's name?
Me: Muthoo
Interviewer: guard...throw him out
Guard: Who?
Interviewer: Thoosara
Guard: aoww...u spat on me. I quit.
Interviewer: ok. You can take his job, Thoosara.
Me: aoww, Thank you Sir!

Thursday, 13 December 2007


He got up with a start. That... was the first thought that came to his mind. He smiled, "I'm actually looking forward to going to office because of her. So she's not entirely useless. " He went to the bathroom and picked up the toothpaste. His mind was, for the umpteenth time, recounting all his memories of P. She had humiliated him in school, for which he could never forgive her. It had been eight years and even though he'd stood a fair distance away, he could almost make out what she was telling the Principal. He'd felt a strange sense of heaviness inside his body. The sound of his own shaking voice, while he explained to Father Joseph, made him more angry. He said, "Sir, I never made those crank calls" and thought, 'that too to her'. He suddenly realised he had stopped brushing and was standing there staring at the mirror.

As he drove to office, he found it hard to concentrate. Yesterday, when Venkat had told him that a certain Ms. P.S. was joining him in the same department, he could'nt believe his luck. It had to be her and God was giving him an opportunity for revenge. First, he would pretend that he does'nt remember her. He sat upright and looked thoughtfully at the traffic. Then, he would make her wait for hours and later, send her to visit each of our seventy four upcountry vendors.
I will make your life a miserable hell-hole.

He parked his cars and climbed up the office stairs, three at a time. At the reception he pretended to fill the entry register. The familiar sense of heaviness had returned. For, from the corner of his eye, he'd caught her sitting at the sofa. It was her all right. She uncrossed her legs. He fumbled with the pen cap. She was about to stand as he almost slammed shut the regsiter. She moved towards him. He nearly collided with the glass door which led to his cubicle.

Once inside, he felt more relieved than victorious. Every guy in school made tens of lewd calls to her so what I made one. I did'nt deserve the suspension. He felt almost righteous as he tried to calm his nerves. After ten minutes, he noted that she opened the glass door and entered the office sitting area. She moved towards his cubicle.

She has the nerve to walk in without permission. I will blast her to outer space. He looked harder and harder into his laptop without seeing anything. He jumped as the telephone rang at the same instant. Instead, of taking the call he looked up to see where she was. It kept ringing.

"Yes Avinash?"
" Can you come into my cabin for a second?"
"Yes Sir."

In the cabin,

" Sir, you called me?"

Avinash made a large semi-circle with his hand to point towards the seat in front of him. "Meet, Ms P.S. here. She is joining the Exports division as your new boss."

Monday, 10 December 2007

Unoriginal Sin

An assorted collection of some great lines from some of my favourite movies. Feel free to suggest a few of your own. Almost every other blog you, wisely, dont read, has a compilation like this. But you know whats the difference betwen me and them. I will make this look good*.
Here goes

" Oh, Don't be ridiculous Alex, Everybody wants to be us"
- Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestley in The Devil wears Prada
( You see this movie and you would want to snatch the oscar from Helen Mirren's hands and hand it over to Meryl)

" S: You really like yourself, dont you?
K: Yes, I'm my favourite"
- Jab We Met
( I have blogged about this earlier)

" You make me want to be a better man"
- Jack Nicholson, As good as it gets

" I want to be new again"
- Meryl Streep, Adaptation
( Spike Jonze's metaphysical movie making. by far, the most intelligent movie i've ever seen)

" When there is absolutely no hope, there is complete freedom"
- Fight Club

" Servant: Baba saheb juice.
HR: Murali, geyser on kar dena"
- Hrithik, Lakshya
(reminded me of me)

" Jo ladki apne baap ko thag sakti hai wo kisi aur ki sagi kya hogi"
- Omkara

" Atma ki santi mein, nafa nuksan nahin dekhte"
- Pankaj Kapoor, Blue Umbrella
( if you ever come across a better performance, let me know. I will disagree)

" Gilauri khaya karo gulfam, zabaan kaaboo mein rehti hai"
- Pankaj Kapoor, Maqbool

" I had always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die. First of all, that one second isn't a second at all, it stretches on forever, like an ocean of time... ... ... but it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst.... ... ... and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life.You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry, you will someday."
- Kevin Spacey as Lester Burnham in American Beauty.( courtesy imdb)

"You have to do the best with what God gave you."
- Forrest Gump

" Benjamin: Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me?
Mrs. R: Do you want me to seduce you? "
- The Graduate

"I'm his father. You're the guy _____ his mom."
- Thank you for smoking
(one of the many fantafabulous lines in this flick)

" Wo meri beti ki saheli thi. Chutti manane humare ghar aayi thi..."
- AB, Nishabd
(easily one of old man's best performances)

*- Will Smith, Men In Black
( The would-be first black president of USA)

Sunday, 9 December 2007

The biggest IPO to hit the Indian market. This blog is going public soon!!

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

प्रेमचंद इन अ कॉर्नर

कुछ महीने पहले अगर मेरे मन में यह विचार आया होता, कि भई क्यों न हिन्दी में एक blog लिखा जाये. तो शायद मैं उपहास, परिहास में इस सोच को चलता करता. लेकिन, अब आप इसको मेरा साहस कहिये या दुस्साहस, पर विक्टर ह्यूगो से उचित माफ़ी मांगते हुए, यह वो आईडिया है जिसका समय अब आ गया है. तो फिर इस डेहरी को लांघने में देरी कैसी.

हुआ यूँ, कि कुछ समय पहले, संयोग से मेरी नज़र बंगलोर के रेसिडेन्सी रोड स्थित क्रासवर्ड के छोटे और नेगलेक्टेड हिस्से पे पड़ी जो, हिन्दी की किताबें रखता है. अब इस कलेक्शन को हिन्दी कि किताबें का संग्रह कहूँ तो जैसे कि अंग्रेजी में कहते हैं, शायद मैथलीशरण गुप्त अपनी 'कब्र' में करवट बदलें. गलत होगा क्यूँकि यहाँ केवल, मोटापा कम करने कि, अंग्रेजी सेल्फ-हेल्प उपन्यासों कि भद्दी ट्रांस्लेशन्स और अध्यात्मिक (याने कि ओशो) किताबें ही थी. पर जैसे कि कीचड़ में कमल होता है और अंधकार के बीच रोशनी, वैसे ही अकस्मात् मेरी नज़र प्रेमचंद के द्वारा लिखी गयी गोदान पर पड़ी. तो मैं उस किताब को बगल में दबाकर ऐसा भागा कि जैसे बच्चा टाफी छीन कर भागे या बन्दर केला.

अब मेरे और प्रेमचंदजी के बीच में जो रिश्ता कायम हुआ उसकी नींव गहरी है. मैं और लेखक दोनो ही पूर्वी उत्तर प्रदेश के कायस्थ समाज से हैं, और जिस सामाजिक परिवेश का विवरण , प्रेमचंद ने किया है, वह, और भाषा शैली, दोनों ही, मेरे लिए थोड़ी बहुत जानी पहचानी थी. जैसा कि मेरे साथ प्रायः होता है, कुछ नया करने से पहले, prejudices कि एक ऊंची दीवार खड़ी हो जाती है. पहली बार हिन्दी किताब पढ़ रहा हूँ...पता नहीं खत्म कर पाऊँगा के नही. जाने किस बाबा आदम कि ज़माने कि कहानी होगी जिसका relevance शायद अब लुप्त हो चुका हो.

कुछ बीस पच्चीस पन्ने हे पल्टे होंगे कि ये दीवार औंधे मृँह गिर पड़ी. Clandestine अफेयर्स, प्री-मेरिटल सेक्स और अविवाहित माओं के बारे में पढ़ के, मैं हैरान था. मिस मालती जैसा लिबरल minded इन्डीपेंडेंट, स्वाभिमानी और मोडर्न स्त्री का पात्र, शायद ही आपने कभी पढ़ा होगा.

जितने सशक्त पात्र उतनी ही सहज भाषा में लिखे गए इस उपन्यास को पढ़ के एक नए तरह का आनंद आया. मन हुआ कि सड़क पर चल रहे हर दूसरे व्यक्ति को पकड़ कर आदेश दूं कि यह किताब आज ही पढे.जल्द ही वह बच्चा, और टाफी कि लालच में वापस क्रासवर्ड पहुँचा, और पूरा डब्बा चट कर गया. भूख बढ़ी तो अब वो मनोहर श्याम जोशी तक पहुंच गया है. जिनके राईटिंग स्टाइल के नक़ल कि इमानदार कोशिश इस लेख में साफ दिखाई देगी.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Laughing all the way to the bank

Humour is such a divine emotion. Everyone wants to be around people who make them laugh. Who are the people who make you laugh? I decided to compile a list of top 5 people I know, whom I'm instantly reminded of having a great sense of humour. Here it is,
1. A N (batchmate from b-school- The Great Indian Laughter Champion)
2. DDD (bm from school- creative musical humour)
3. T M (bm from college- dry, witty, situational humour)
4. N V (bm from school- slapstick sleazy humour)
5. V M (friend from work- his blog:

Unfortunately, I have been working in a place which is a graveyard for humour. Anything funny is frowned upon. And if you want to say something remotely funny, be sure to test it on a few friends and sleep over it for a couple of nights. I work in a bank. There is wisdom in old phrases like, 'laughing all the way to the bank' because once inside you might be pulled up for misconduct. 'He was caught laughing in the corridor during office hours'.

To be fair, it IS hard for bank employees to have a sense of humour. I mean, imagine telling a customer, 'We charged you an interest rate that would make Shylock proud' or 'Your cheque bounced like popcorn in a microwave'. However, there are two kinds of humour prevalent in my bank. The no-women-around-lets-quickly-crack-dirty-jokes variety and the property-prices-are-rising-in-chennai-oh-stop,-ur-killing-me kind.

It is under these difficult circumstances, that me and my friend V managed to create a few memorable characters.
1. Cho: The chappie who was getting fired. We imagined he might do a Cho( a la Virginia Tech.) and end up killing our bosses.
2. Ganpat: The shortie, who on account of his shortness managed to get into everyones a** and thus being a PITA.
3. TPO: the perfect one, the girl who looked good from a distance. Our collective thoughts about her would make a serial rapist blush. She was visually maligned so much by everyone in the bank that she once stood up in an office meet and said, "Main tum sab ke bacche ki maa banne waali hoon."

Friday, 16 November 2007

Thanks but no thanks

My first vote of thanks goes to Imtiaz Ali. Thank you and thank god for a genuinely and actually funny movie at last: jab we met. A movie which doesnt require you to leave your brains behind, suspend your belief or disbelief or any such activity as does the usual dose of trash which gets passed off as comedy in bollywood. These are either plain unfunny or downright crass, for eg. malamaal weekly, garam masala, bheja fry, bhool bhualiya hera pheri-2, partner, dhol, golmaal etc. etc.

Thank you Shahrukh Khan. Now enough!! Shah ruk jao please. You made a medicore film and marketed it so much that we all have collective nausea. Its not possible to watch tv for 5 min. without you popping into our screens. I've been reduced to watching animal planet but am afraid that soon some animals will start singing songs from OSO.

A big sarcastic thanks is also due to the Board which Controls Cricket in India. You have successfully managed to take the sting out of cricket and in particular Indo-Pak matches with incessant and long drawn tours. Encounters between these two teams have never been so tame or marked by such camaraderie between players.

Another Thank you but ENOUGH request to all chunnu munnu guddu banti and wannabe celebrities. Please stop dancing and singing on every show on every tv channel. And if you cant help it, dont invite Shahrukh to do it with you.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Mid-year appraisal

A quick review of my blog and I'm happy to say that its a 'not a bad blog at all'. A decent six on ten but I can do better. Where I have lost is the unneccesary wordy and almost wannabe/juvenile language in some of my entries eg. scenes from a thriller. I usually dislike people who use long words to show off their vocabulary and lo! I have gone and done the same. But the succinctness yet completeness and the flow are plus points of this blog.
Two titles of my blog entries are based on famous books. Can you guess which ones?

Saturday, 26 May 2007

The attack of the notorious balancesheeters

The spread of their virus is as worrisome as the virulence of its strain. Or maybe, as is my wont, I am in the wrong place at the wrong time. But I must begin at the beginning.

A balance sheeter is a person with a criminally single track mind whose world begins and ends with finance, trade and of course balancesheets. Mind you, they are no less dangerous than notorious history-sheeters. Perhaps, it's a classic molehill into a mountain situation. But I'm afraid they are ganging up on me. Fast.

I seem to run into them everywhere. At work, in my apartment, parties and restaurants, while hanging out with friends and even friendly visits to relatives and family. I have tried to run but I, certainly, cant hide. They lurk in my morning newspapers, blare out of my television, stare at me from billboard hoardings, sneak onto me from magazine shelves and they even have my mobile number.

To be fair, balancesheeters are few and far between but their infection is contagious. An alarming number of my conversations circle around property prices, stock markets,esops, tax calculations and planning, mutual funds, insurance, business confidence, real estate etc. Its appalling. Needless to say my contribution to such conversations is minimal. Both, out of ignorance and indifference.

Far too many of my friends and relatives are falling prey. Perfectly sane individuals develop an overnight interest in the wily sensex. Heck, even my job requires me to be uptodate on all such topics.

So, I'm left wondering about the wisdom of age old sayings. That if i cant beat them, I must join them.

A balancesheeter in the making.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Scenes from a thriller

In the days to come, erudite words will pour out from the pens of discerning men and fill the pages of various intellectual newspapers/magazines of India. And all of them will be a fitting tribute to what is, in essence, a celebration of Indian democracy. I, of course, refer to the electoral exercise that took place in the heart of India, Uttar Pradesh. Casual and cogent conversations will fill the air with animated discussion over the stunning outcome of the UP elections. For me, certain scenes stood out, from the whole chain of events.

The incredible turning of tables, with dalits offering a benevolent hand to the brahmins, making them look like their poorer cousins.

The whole of UP elections passing by without as much a slap being reported by the media.

The strength of superior leadership, crafty strategising and a systematic and clinical organisation of the BSP.

The endearing slogans coined by BSP which penetrate to the places where no media can reach.

The uneasy expressions on the faces of Kapil Sibal and Arun Jaitley, oscillating between consternation and appreciation over the events of the UP elections.

And, finally, the victory song of the small voices of the common man on the roads of India which barely, if ever, reaches our ears.

- May 11, 2007, Bangalore

P.S.- Coming up soon 'The attack of the notorious balancesheeters'

Saturday, 21 April 2007


I don't enjoy reading other peoples blogs. It makes me sad. [But I sure would like some strangers to comment on mine. I'm a sucker for other peoples opinion.]

However, blogging per se is a wonderful exercise. Cathartic.Download all your nonsense or let your imagination soar.Infact I'm beginning to enjoy it a lot. I keep thinking about what I should be writing next.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Tale from the hills

Two beautiful years of childhood were spent in heavenly verdant lap of the Himalayas. Almora, to be precise. My family and I, together bit by wanderlust, spent a considerable time exploring the virgin territories of this amazing landscape. Tehri, Garh Mukteshwar, Pithoragarh, Uttarkashi, Chamoli et al.

I have quite naturally, some wonderful young memories of my time spent there. One such place I visited deserves a mention here called Munshiari. If I recollect correctly, it was a picnic of some sort on large green patch on a plateau. Overlooking this plateau was a large pointed snow-capped mountain, which to me, resembled a cone of ‘Rita’ ice cream. In between these two was a deep ominous valley. I still remember the place because the peak seemed to be so close that I felt that I could reach out my five year old hands and touch the snow on the peak. Quite unbelievable.

It is therefore with much eagerness that I picked up a book called The Man-eaters of Kumaon by Jim Corbett.

The book is a collection of the adventures of this great man, taking place at various locations I mentioned above. It immediately took me back in time and brought back some wonderful memories. Any experience, which does that to me, is something I will cherish forever. But it is not merely my own childhood experiences, which compel me to write about this book. This collection of stories is truly a fantastic read.

Corbett relates one adventure after another with the big cat. You can almost smell the jungle, hear the rustling of leaves under the soft paws of a tiger and see the naked face of terror upon staring into a leopard’s eye in the wild. The setting is so realistic, the fear raw and the atmosphere taut.

At no point does Corbett come across as a fearless hunter going after the tigers. He is mostly scared stiff and shows reverence for these magnificent animals. His fear and adventures are so frightfully real that it puts to shame all the contrived thrillers and artificial situations we come across in the works of Sheldon, Archer and Follet etc.

Corbett brings alive, with his simplistic and humble style, the lives of the ordinary men folk, the land and the beasts. I can bet anyone who reads the Champawat man-eater alone in the wee hours of night would jump at the slightest creak of the door.

Questions I want to ask the West Indies

How could Sir Vivian Richards walk into the ground with such brutal self-confidence? Swagger to match an undefeated knight, brandishing his battle weary blade. Knowing that he could decimate the opposition and then do it. How could he do all this and yet fill the hearts of the opponent’s team and supporters with joy?

How could the Big Cat, Clive Lloyd move like a Neanderthal man dragging his club along the ground, and smash the cricket ball into a pulp.

How did Jeff Dujon and Gus Logie perfect their respective arts of keeping and fielding when these were skill just talked about?

How could the tiny islands of West Indies produce an assembly line of tall monstrously fast bowlers that one of them was considered fit to be called the Whispering death?

How did the average West Indian learn to love and celebrate his cricket the way only he does?

And how does a team like that reduce itself to a caricature of its former self?

Wither West Indies. Where art thou?

Friday, 6 April 2007

The Guide

I recently finished a book called The Guide written by the venerable RK Narayan. The first thought that came to my mind was that this is a story which longs to be written in Tamil.

The innocent descriptions of a typical day in a typical Tamil set-up and the subtle nuances of bucolic Tamil life would come alive in the native language. The medium of expression needs to be true to the chosen environment and the narration must emanate from real experiences. When these come together, magic happens. As something I experienced reading the works of Munshi Premchand.

The Guide tells the story of a journey of a young high-spirited man, who on account of his enterprise, journeys through a life less ordinary. The book does bring alive the life in a typical 50-60's era sleepy town somewhere in Tamil Nadu, but only to an extent. I felt the book moved a tad too fast. The important times and turnarounds in the lives of the main protaganists left little impact on me, let alone move me.The story is interesting and one is left thinking , in the hands of a master this would spell magic. But,my judgement is impaired because I am far removed and ignorant of the setting, this book was written in.

Which brings me to the film made on the book by the same name. The film is an entertaining watch and leaves little impact, jus like the book. That is, right until the climax. This is where the director redeems himself. The film rolls along smoothly with excellent music and Dev Anands stylish demeanour. It is the end which grabs you.

Full marks to the maker of the film for the adapted screenplay. Adapted, because, the film is only loosely based on the book. The script 'adapts' the book to a more North Indian setting and elongates the ending, much to the joy and satisfation of the viewer. The transformation of Raju from a happy-go-lucky guide to a saint is more pronounced in the film.My take, unless you're a Tam, avoid the book and have a dekko at the film.