Mechanophobia minus Matrix

image from here

image from here

No, I am not going to rant about the impending doom of humanity because Terminators are here. Neither am I going to convince you that we live in the Matrix. And no, my laptop did not transform into a Transformer and attack me.

What I am going to tell you is that I am suffering from mechanophobia. I fear machines. Not the imaginary machines whose fear Hollywood have instilled in millions of us over the years, but the real machines that surround us all day. It is strange how that fear is instilled by small minor incidents that stay with us and grow their inky black tentacles in our brain as we grow up.

Take for example, the ceiling fan. A very harmless machine, you might say. Not for me. I remember my grandfather telling me years ago how a man was decapitated by a ceiling fan that suddenly decided to part from the ceiling. I was a kid and the story stayed with me and every time someone would switch on the fan, I would look at it with fear as if this was going to be the last swirl of air to hit my face. Till date, winters is my favorite time of the year. A few days after my grandfather told me this story, a ceiling fan fell over my uncle’s massive and turbulent tummy as he was sleeping. It is another story that the fan just bounced off him because of the fats he had accumulated over the years. He lived to tell the tale.

A few days back, a guy died in our locality because he had left his laptop switched on to download movies in the night as he went to sleep. The battery developed some problem and emitted some sort of a poisonous gas. The poor guy did not even knew what hit him. Now, I have this habit too and ever since I have heard this story, I have developed a fear of leaving my laptop switched on at nights. I do not want to wake up in heaven without even knowing what happened. I have started sniffing my laptop and I look very suspiciously at it.

Whenever I am using the grinder in the kitchen to chop onions or garlic, I have this fear that while I am putting them in the grinder, it might get accidentally switched on and I will lose half of my finger. Every time I operate this machine, I imagine half of my finger finely chopped with the chopped onions while the other half squirting blood like a fountain. I just can’t shake off the image.

The machines that carry us places terrify me even more. Whenever I sit in cars or buses, I keep wondering if this is my last day on Mother Earth. What if the car explodes in flames or one of the tyres of the bus burst while the driver is over-speeding? What happens if the Metro fall off one of its pillars? What if the train I am travelling in collides with another one and I am stuck with entangled metal and dead bodies with an iron rod jutting out of my shoulder? I can’t sleep at nights in a train. I keep imagining that all of us are going to DIE! Whoever came up with the bloody idea of running this crazily heavy machine on two thin metal tracks was a fool.

And ever since that Malaysian flight has vanished, my fear of flying has multiplied. Think about it. There is this huge machine made up of a million part flying thousands of feet above the ground and you are encased inside it. Thousands of things can go wrong. One small part stops working and that it it. You will end up screaming to glory, falling to Earth in a huge ball of fire. Or worse, end up as shark food.

And don’t get me started on lifts. Every time I hear that slight creaking of the lift as it fills, I keep imagining that the metal wires that keep it dangling are going to snap and we will all experience zero gravity before splattering to our death. I hate confined spaces that does not give you any chance to save yourself.

I fear the drilling machine too. Every time dad brings it out to drill a hole in the wall, I get all panicky when he switches it on. I keep imagining that the drill bit will fly out of the machine any time and head straight for my head. You can’t imagine how many deaths I die before that machine goes back in its box. I keep imagining the drill bit embedded halfway in my forehead.

And I can go on and on. What if my mobile phone explodes? What if the room heater catches fire while I am sleeping? What if the CFL falls on my head (It fell off once in my room and shattered to pieces. Thankfully, no one was standing beneath it)? Sometimes I feel like a walking Final Destination. All Parts.

Of course, I do not let anyone around me know of my fears. I behave as if I don’t care and am perfectly normal like every one else. They have no idea about the storm raging inside me. But then what do I know about the kind of fears other people are living with? On a basic level all of us are the same. Phobia is a part of our psyche. There was a time when I thought that I was going mad, fearing things that are a part of our every day life. I thought I needed some help. I realized it is not the fear of machines per se. All the phobias stem from our fear of death, of losing something. If you ask someone what they fear, you will always get a couple of things – Dads, Bats, Lizards, Darkness, Men, Women, Loneliness, Sea, Company, Self etc etc. So, I think I am all right. I am not falling to pieces. Not yet.

Now if you would excuse me, I need to go and kill a cockroach. I am the only one in the house who is not scared of them.

Four legs good

I like pigs. I really do. The place where I lived earlier used to be lush and green with wide spaces some twenty five years back. Then because of our brilliant government policies, more and more people from small cities and villages started pouring in pigs and monkeysDelhi and some very interesting unregulated and illegal colonies sprouted like wild mushrooms all around my home. It did not take long for the place to turn into a ghetto where you could not drive without your car bumping into a buffalo. And then there were the pigs. Their sudden appearance gave a new dimension to the colony in addition to naked children rolling on the roads and men bathing in full public view. Monsoons made the pigs delirious with joy and they sang duets with frogs. What a joy it was to hear the two species go oink-oink and trrrr-trrrr in quick succession while one swathed in rain water (Thanks to the eternally clogged drainage system in Delhi) and the other jumped over them. I felt close to nature.

And did I mention how much I like cows and buffaloes? I find them very well behaved in Delhi. They NEVER sit in the middle of the roads and promptly move away from your car the moment you honk. The cows in Chennai or for that matter in Haryana are a bit rustic and very fearless. They sit right in the middle of the roads even if there are huge trucks rumbling towards them. Also, the city cows make me feel proud of our nation. I have seen foreigners going ooooh and aaaah the moment they spot a cow and then frantically fumble their bags for the camera. I once saw a caucasian woman set up her tripod stand on one side of a busy road to take pictures of two cows lolling while they chew their personal cuds. My chest swells with pride every time I think about the incident. And did I tell you about a foolish, old man whose corpse was taken off a cow’s horn in my locality? I am sure he must have been harassing her for free milk.

india-roads-cowsThen there are the dogs. Not the pet ones, but the ones who play with kids on the street and bite anyone they fancy. I like them too. Every day before going to office, I religiously put chapattis dabbed in milk at the foot of a lamp-post near my house for the dogs of my street. I like the way my wife jumps and runs when 7-8 dogs try to appreciate her new saree by circling her as she catwalks. I cannot imagine my life without stray dogs. They are such an integral part of every Indian city.

Monkeys hanging from trees around my house always turn me philosophical and make me wonder why nature mutated us from them. Was it a joke? There is a society near my house that has humans and monkeys living in harmony. If you visit that society, you will find one monkey sitting on each car. The people living there have finally bought a few langurs to keep the monkeys at bay. Can you imagine how fortunate the children living in that society are to live in such proximity to their ancestors?

And what should I say about the horses, camels and elephants? I still remember (very fondly) an incident which happened while travelling in my office bus. I was deeply immersed in a novel when I suddenly sensed a giant eye peering through the window to see what I was reading. It was an elephant who was standing next to the bus, waiting patiently for the traffic signal to turn green. That day I almost tasted my heart. Sitting on a camel for a ride and straining my spinal cord always remind me how fragile my life is. And I like their extra long eyelashes and the way their jaw moves when they chew. They remind me of Tinu Anand.

22240-tinu-anand.jpg

Pigeons are another set of fascinating creatures found in abundance in Delhi. Whenever I go to my mum-in-law’s house, I am greeted by mounds of pigeon shit in her balcony. Her AC cannot be operated because it is filled with straws as numerous pigeons have tried to make their nest on top of it. If you leave any of the doors open by mistake, don’t be surprised by the flapping of wings in your bedroom. And the moaning sounds they make in the morning never fails to turn me on. It is the sexiest alarm anyone can dream of.

Living amongst all these amazing species is an experience which you can only enjoy in India. They are mostly harmless if you enjoy them from a distance. But there is another specie that is deadly and extremely dangerous to live with. Humans. In a dark street, you might have more faith in a gang of five dogs but not in a gang of five men. You might allow your child to feed the pigeons but cannot leave him with a portly, old uncle in the park. You might allow your child to take an elephant ride but can you be sure about the driver who takes the child to school?

Yes, I like pigs. Even if they swathe in mud, are dirty, carry germs and litter the road, I know that they are just animals. Trustworthy. Innocent. Living their life without poking their nose in anyone’s business. No ego hassles. They do not know how to use guns or how to throw acid. They do not understand the meaning of countries, terrorists and caste.

Funny how not being intelligent can be such a boon. I wish we were still animals. Life would have been so much simpler.

p.s. I haven’t mentioned cats, squirrels, cockroaches, lizards, sparrows, crows, donkeys, goats, politicians and so many other animals because this post was getting extra long.

[images from 1,2,3,4]

Daddy Diaries : Mind Un-pooped

getting-free-diapers

Dear Diary,

There are some things more scarier than L.K. Advani becoming the Prime Minister of India and him dozing off in his swearing-in ceremony. More scarier than him suddenly waking up and saying – Now I can die peacefully – and then doing exactly that. I wonder how our President will react to that. Wait! Who is our President nowadays?

Sorry Dear Diary, I went a bit off track. I was talking about scary things. Right.

Ever since I have seen parents handling their kids, the one thing that has scared me the most is the act of cleansing the child off undesirable and discarded belongings. I have always found the act repulsive and the mere mention of a diaper would give me cold sweat. I really could not understand eager parents who would open the diapers at the drop of a hat to examine the insides, the same way they would examine their child’s report card years later. There are some who do not take the pain and simply sniff the diaper as if they are strolling in the annual flower show in the Mughal Gardens. Then there are some who put their hand underneath the diaper and weigh it to guesstimate its approximate weight and act accordingly. There are times when I have seen parents indulge in incredibly horrifying and nauseating multitasking like eating Rajma Rice with one hand and handling the diaper with another.

I must admit Dear Diary that I have turned my face away with aversion whenever I have seen the act. But as they say – You can run, you can hide but you can’t escape God’s sadism.

When I discussed it with Geet, we hugged and cried with relief because she felt exactly the same but was always afraid to discuss it with me. She told me of one lone incident when she tried to change her nephew’s diaper and then could not eat anything for the rest of the day. There was a soothing calmness in knowing the fact that we were equally hopeless. Dear Diary, you cannot believe the burden it took away from our shoulders.

The fear returned when Anika was born. Geet was too weak to do anything for the first few days and it fell upon me to do the inevitable act that I have dreaded all my life. The moment of truth had arrived. I waited with bated breath for the sound of release. I had no idea how it would sound like or whether there would be a sound at all. And then I heard it. It sounded like a dormant volcano that has come alive. My heart was in my mouth as I opened the diaper with trembling hands. Beads of perspiration were glistening on my forehead. Geet looked at me with an expression that smelled of pity, helplessness and amusement.

Dear Diary, what happened next was so unexpected that I still find it hard to believe. My mind was un-pooped. There was no feeling of revulsion or disgust. I did not choke. In fact I smiled as if I have discovered diamonds in the diaper. I cleaned her, changed her diaper and then closed Geet’s hanging jaw.

I don’t know how it works. How does your mind behave in an entirely different way when it is your own child. I have been fighting this phobia for such a long time but when the time came and things actually happened, my mind behaved as if it was the most natural things to clean butts smeared with refuse with a straight face. I guess, there are a few switches that are turned on after you become a parent.

This, Dear Diary, has been the most fortunate turn of events. And it wasn’t just me. Geet too did not feel a thing. In fact, there are times when we examine everything closely and discuss various factors like colour, graininess and flow before using the wipes. There have been times when Anika has done a ‘Balam Pichkari’ on my clothes and I have laughed at that too.

I have done it 230 times till now. Yes, I have been counting. It is an achievement dammit. I have also realized the fact that diapers are so expensive. I keep telling Anika to use them judiciously and she has been a nice girl.

Dear Diary,

Time is flying. She is a month old now. Geet and I are already discussing investments for her. Oh wait! There she goes again. Oh! That sound is so amazing. Etna has erupted.

Time to go.

[image from here]

Hashtag and Tantreshwar

HashtagsFor someone who has a name as ubiquitous as a paan stained wall in India, it is impossibly difficult to understand the fact that people do have unique names. I have always hated my name. A.M.I.T. It ends even before it begins, just like premature ejaculation. It’s like a small blip of hope on a heart rate monitor in the otherwise death announcing straight line. It is like our paltry existence in the vast timeline of the universe.

When I was born, Amitabh Bachchan was at his peak taking bullets by a dozen, romancing girls who couldn’t even reach his chest (and marrying someone who barely reached his pelvis), dancing with lights blinking on his costume and dethroning Rajesh Khanna. He was called Amit ji by the planet and that unfortunately turned into a tragedy for me. My star struck parents christened me with the superstar’s name and thus started the painful story of my struggle. My Daak name (nickname) at home was Rishi, named after Rishi Kapoor who had just exploded in Bollywood with BobbyAmar Akbar Anthony and Sargam, thus completing my choking and heart wrenching association with Bollywood.

Amitabh BachchhanIf you are born in India with a name like mine, you will be pretty much used to the fact that screaming this name in a public place packed with people (like a bus, train or a cinema hall) will make 90% of the men turn around and stare at you. There were 4 Amits in my class in 12th which was stressful to the limit of insanity. Try searching me on Facebook and you will have to rummage through 38,49,237 humans with the same name. There are so many men with the said name in my office module that it takes a lot of effort to concentrate on your work instead of turning your head every time someone takes your name. The irony is that if you do not turn your head, it was actually you who were being addressed. Not a single day passes when I do not let 6-7 people know on my office communicator that I am not the one they are searching for to discuss the defect status. I have even modified my status on the communicator to ‘Wrong Amit’ but it is not working. There was this girl who pinged me a few days back and giggled (in written) that she saw my ‘wrong Amit’ status but still wanted to confirm. Maybe I should change my status to – I like slurping human intestines.

As I was growing up and struggling with my name, I noticed a change happening in the last two decades. There was a sudden jostle to give unique names to children. I think this was the only sensible decision taken by Indians in the last 20 years. And now that generation has grown up and suddenly the attendance registers in schools do not look like photocopies of each other. Amit, Rahul, Sunil, Raj and Sumit have been replaced by Aatmaj, Samyak, Hridayanshu, Saksham, Shivankur and Mantram. Priya, Ruchi, Pooja, Aarti and Smita have been replaced by Avni, Samvidha, Kaumudi, Matangi, Adveshi and Tarunima.

PinkleHaving a unique name is not always a harbinger for peaceful existence. In the blind race to showcase their children as exceptional, parents usually forget that their children are global nomads of the future. A lot of them will visit foreign land and thus naming your child Ak-shit or Shit-ij might have disastrous results. When I read in the newspaper that an American mom has named her child Hashtag, I understood how far the unique name virus has spread. Imagine a school going Hashtag being bullied in school and crying in front of her mother.

“You are one of a kind my child! You make topics trend on Twitter. All those mad humans on Twitter cannot survive without you,” Hashtag’s mother will console her.

Poor Tantreshwar (this is a real name of a boy in Geet’s class) will have a hard life too. His parents must brace themselves for a lifetime of verbal abuses which their son will hurl at them for making him a laughing-stock. Also, his parents will have to find some girl named Chandalika to marry him because no normal girl will go beyond what-is-your-name with him before falling off her chair laughing. Looking at the brighter side, Tantreshwar and Chandalika’s wedding card will be a thing for museums.

Parents need to strike a fine balance while naming their children. Giving him a name as bland as Amit is as bad as naming him after a black magician who sacrifices babies and drinks their blood OR naming her after a special character whom boys will trend instead of date. You might say that changing your name will be a step in the right direction in such scenarios. No, it is not. I remember a boy called Pinkle in my school. After going through a lifetime of being a laughing-stock he changed his name to Prateek. He wasn’t as fortunate as Pi Patel. Everyone still called him Pinkle.

Shakespeare once said – What’s in a name? Well, he was mighty lucky that he did not say that in Hashtag’s, Tantreshwar’s or Pinkle’s presence. He would have ended up with a broken, bleeding nose.

Same City Different Light

A few days back I went to my office for an implementation. I had to reach office at 6 am which meant I had to leave home at around 4:45. The cab driver woke me up at 4.10 am because he could not find my home and I ended up being his GPS for the next 15 minutes and choked on my toothbrush in the process.

As I sat in the car and covered the distance to my office in 1 hour which I usually cover in 2 hours during peak rush hour, I felt disoriented. Dawn looked like a struggle to me. I hadn’t experienced Delhi in this light. I was expecting at least a façade of calmness.

The streetlights were wrestling with the Sun to maintain their dominion over the roads. I saw them fight a losing battle as the Sun attacked the roads the streetlights had held with such élan all night. It was a clash the streetlights fought and lost every day but that never dissuaded them from putting up a worthy fight.

There were hoards of trucks on the roads, especially on the highway and the Ring road. The car looked like a petrified deer passing through a herd of elephants. The driver was doing his best to remain wide awake, popping out his eyes and alarmingly touching them to the windshield.

A tired truck driver stopped his truck in a corner of the road, stepped down and laid on the footpath. He covered himself with the quilt of the bright yellow glow of the streetlight. He could not bear the weariness anymore. He had to sleep before he could carry on with his nomadic life. I looked at him and thought – he must be bone tired. How else can someone sleep on a stone? I wished I could turn off the streetlight but the Sun was already winning the war.

Traffic policemen were stopping random trucks trying to collect money for the future of their children. There was no remorse – only the crunching sound of a bigger fish eating a smaller one. Morality looked like a fish bone stuck in their throat. They either had to spit it out or die. In a way, the truck driver and the policeman were like the streetlamp and the Sun – each one fighting a battle of their own.

Patches of men, women and children were sleeping on the footpaths, covered with dirty sheets of cloths and plastic, just like dead bodies pulled out of a train wreck. The fight will be delayed in winters. There will be times when the army of Sunrays would not bother to come and someone will give euthanasia to the tired streetlights much before the battle begins. The humans of the streets will have to find some more tattered pieces of clothes to cover themselves up, burn a worn out tyre, find a shed, cocoon each other.

The roads were near empty once we crossed the Ring road. I noticed the symmetry – the equally placed streetlights, the blob of lights passing through the windows of the car like a heartbeat on a monitor, the lane markings blurring into a single line. It was tranquil without the chaos of humans, without the display of their feeble egos, without their bodies lying on cold stones. But then, a monster bird flew over the car, hiding its wheels and the momentary serenity was broken by its deafening wail.  

My office stood like a morgue. The usual receptionist was replaced by a yawning man, ready to devour the phone. For once, the lift moved towards me on my command, not jostling to serve someone else before me. The flight to the 7th floor was effortless – a perfect cuboid being pulled away from Earth by pulleys without a halt. The floor was deserted; a sole tube light was taking its last breath.

I sat on my computer and did the implementation. In two hours, men and women started pouring in, filling the room with randomness. I looked out of the room. The city was recognizable now as the multitude churned in their chores. The Sun had won the war. The streetlights were picking up their wounded, getting ready for the battle in the evening. A battle they were destined to win. 

Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu & Dinner table discussions

Who could have thought that Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu will spark off dazzling dinner table debates at home? I saw the movie with mom, dad, sis and Geet (yeah! Polly has been rechristened Geet. It was long overdue). Although the movie was above average, it broke many boundaries around how girls are expected to behave in our society. The movie projected the female protagonist as someone who had 6 past relationships, who had a great capacity for beer, who likes her personal space, is not worried that she is 27 and not married and can talk freely of sex and can rate a guy’s and her own butt.

*spoiler ahead*

I loved the fact that even though the guy acted like a typical guy and took she-is-roaming-with-me-and-introducing-me-to-her-family as she-loves-me, the girl stood her ground and did not buckle under the pressure. She wanted him as a friend and that’s that. They still annul their marriage. And she does not care that he is super rich.

*spoiler ends*

We have seen similar movies before – Salaam Namaste, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, Kya Kehna, Jab We Met and many others where the female leads are strong. Similarly Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu made the female protagonist much powerful than her male counterpart which is very rare in Bollywood movies. It gave her the right to decide in the end.

Now, before I indulge you with our dinner table debates, I must tell you that dad is quite cool with guys and girls befriending each other and going out for movies and parties. He has never stopped me or my sister from enjoying ourselves, although they are more cautious with sis. They are also comfortable with the whole girlfriend-boyfriend-affair-shaffair scenarios. Of course, dad and mom say things like it’s against our culture and stuff but they hardly believe it themselves. They just have to say it to maintain the Indian-culture façade (the same way you mechanically brush your teeth when you wake up) so that we don’t mistake them to be dangerously liberal.

The whole debate was about Dad having a problem with couples staying together without marriage. Okay, I know this doesn’t go with what happened in the movie but he was commenting about Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan. He could not understand Bipasha and John also who were together since the Big bang and then separated. He might have a point here but then I reminded him that everyone in question were adults and we do not have any right to question what they do in their personal lives. You know where this is going right?

Dad thinks that we live in a society and we have to live by its rules. Why do you have to live with a guy for 5 years and then jump partners after you get bored with him (he meant – after you had sex with him)? There is nothing sacrosanct in the whole affair.

I told him (in less obvious terms) that maintaining your virginity before marriage does not make the whole affair sacrosanct. That is a bit outdated. Secondly, everyone look out for new partners if things do not work out between couples. You don’t have to turn into a nun after your first breakup. Thirdly, our society is the most nosey and hypocrite society in this world. We are fine with girl infanticide, child labor, rapes, corruption, riots, dowry and so many other evils but we find it very objectionable when two consenting adults (who have the right to choose our Prime Minister) live together. It’s actually none of our business. *mom, sis and Geet nodded vigorously*

And this went on and on. It was funny because although dad saw my point in the end, my parents find it very hard to believe that our society has changed so much. I did not tell them that a lot of people have sex with their partners before they get married. I also did not tell them that Geet and I saw a college going couple kissing each other for 1 ½ hours as we watched Source Code in the theatre. It might be too much for them.

I can understand where he is coming from. He was brought up by a disciplinarian who locked up his daughter in the toilet if he found her talking to a boy. My parents were not very liberal with me and my sis initially. They had their apprehensions. Giving their son certain freedom might lead to their daughter asking something similar. But they loosened up and thankfully so. They still raise their eyebrows at sis at times, but she is a maverick. And I am outside their radar ever since I married Geet.

Frankly speaking, I myself would not have been very comfortable about a live-in but that certainly does not mean that I would pass judgment on anyone choosing it. It is also important to understand that movies like Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu explore just one end of the spectrum. India is too diverse in its thoughts and opinions that accepting what happened in the movie as a norm would be foolish. Also, we have to understand that only a small percentage of our generation (especially urban) has moved ahead and understood that the nose is to smell the roses and not to poke in someone’s affairs. The rest of the present generation and a majority of the older one is tied to its belief system. They live in a matrix of society, wired into its complicated circuit.

But yes, whether we like it or not, there is a change and it’s happening right under our nose.

Facebook photos uploading etiquettes

A lot of people go on holidays so that they could upload pictures on Facebook for various reasons. Enjoying with their family is the last thing on their mind. The reasons for uploading photos might vary from –

  • Making their friends jealous (Hey! Look at me! I am hanging in the air upside down! Stare Stare!)
  • Making their relatives jealous (Hey loser! dream on!)
  • Making their colleagues jealous (Work smart party hard suckers!)
  • Marinate in the comments (Lovely couple!! Beautiful Background!! Where did you go? I am sooo jealous of you guys! Blah!)
  • Collecting likes (A dislike button is the need of the hour)
  • To achieve inner satisfaction because people are jealous because they are happy.
  • Sharing them with their family and friends (Didn’t I tell you that this is the last thing on their mind?)

Now, We are not against all the photo uploading sho-sha but there should be a level of decency to be maintained. You really don’t have to behave like Mount Etna and erupt your trip lava on our wall. So, here is a list of tips which might help people actually go through your pictures instead of hurriedly liking them and putting bland comments and be done with it. Here goes:

1) We understand you like mountains and lakes and deserts and trees but can you please not click the same bloody mountain from all the sides and dump it on Facebook? Also, standing and giving different poses with the same tree makes you a retard. Mountain, mountain, mountain-man, mountain-sheep, mountain-cloud, mountain, mountain. Seriously?!?

2) We know you love your partner. You are madly in love. No one, and that means no one, can love each other as much as you two. But can you please not drip all of us in your honey scooped butter scotch love? We don’t like to see couples entangled with each other like two grasshoppers where you cannot differentiate where one starts and the other ends. And we don’t like to see people slurping each other like dogs.

love couple

That poor thing is going to drown!

3) Your dog and cat are great! They must be really unique but for us, they are just an animal. So, it gets a bit amusing to see your dog’s photo shoot in all its glory. We are sure that they could give more expressions than a lot of our Bollywood stars but that is no reason for them to pose nude on our wall.

4) Oh! You had a kid! That’s so adorable! The poor thing can’t even open his eyes yet, but you have already thrust a camera on his face scaring him out of his wits and forced him to make all those take-this-thing-off-me faces while you click him. Your kid is beautiful but try not to put a picture on Facebook of his diaper changing activities. That’s Gross. And also, try not to put those pictures of that white cereal paste hanging out of his mouth. That’s equally gross.

5) Sunrise and Sunsets! There are already millions of pictures of our only star popping in and out of the Earth, so please don’t bore us with another of those pictures unless you have taken them from a space shuttle on a mission to re-fuel the Sun. Ditto for flowers, birds and insects unless you have unearthed a new species.

6) We are sure you love adventure sports. So you went to this cool destination and enjoyed paragliding but can you please not upload twenty pictures of you flying over mountains? Honestly, we can barely make you out in those photos. You might have just googled them and posted them on Facebook just to make people jealous.

Skydiving

Are you sure you are in there?

7) We hate blurred and shaky pictures. It’s hard to understand the psyche of a person who uploads a photo of his left hand or his girlfriend’s breast or his kid’s foot. We understand you clicked such pictures accidentally and we give you a benefit of doubt that you uploaded them accidentally but there is ALWAYS a delete button. It’s not a nuke which you have deployed accidentally and can’t retrieve back. If you don’t have time to check your photos before uploading or after uploading them, then don’t fuc*ing upload them.

8) You went to a disc and had a lot of drinks and enjoyed with your friends. Great! Try not to dump all your evening on our wall. We really don’t like to see people getting drunk, dancing as if controlled by a random number generator, taking off their clothes one by one and puking on their friend’s face. You are not making us jealous. You are making us groan.

9) Pictures of Gods and weird Independence day and Republic day pictures also make us dizzy. “Jai Mata Di” is great but first make your life straight. And if you are uploading a “Proud to be an Indian” picture then stop bloody wasting your time on Facebook and do something worthy of being proud of. And those “Happy Diwali!!!” pics on our wall make us very dizzy. Our whole wall seems to be on fire.

10) Stop tagging us in every picture of yours even when we are nowhere in the pic. We are not your dog’s tail or your best friend’s ass. Spare us the embarrassment of moving our mouse on your sorry torso to find out which body part of yours is named after us.

I hope you understand the mental trauma we undergo while we browse through your photos and will try to make honest corrections.

Thanks,

Your fellow good for nothing Facebook addicts.

p.s. We must admit that we ourselves indulge in a lot of the above mentioned activities. So, don’t take the post seriously. Keep *groan* uploading.

Coupling two Software Engineers…

..is a recipe for disaster. You may ask why? Of course, if you consider ‘making pots of money’ as a consolation, then it might work for you but keeping the money-mindedness aside for a second, here is a list of reasons why it would be better to put your hand in a pit of vipers instead.

1. Both of you might end up in different countries. It is not always easy to say no to an onsite opportunity when you have a home loan, a car loan, a washing machine loan, a diamond necklace loan and a pack of underwear loan and an over pressurizing manager. And then, practically speaking, the long distance SOS (Sex On Skype) fizzle out in a few days, simply because the ‘feel’ is absent.

2. Both of you might end up in different shifts which is worse than being in different countries. Leave alone SOS, you will not have the real one in days. You will wake him up after coming from office and crash yourself on the bed as soon as he gets up and vice versa. Your conversations will end up being – ‘Hi honey’. ‘Bye honey’. ZZZZZZZ

3. Completely forget any trips to Simla, Munnar, Singapore, Andaman or Malaysia. Getting an off together for 5 days for a holiday will be task more difficult than getting Katrina Kaif to act and Manmohan Singh to open his mouth. You can beg, rub your nose on the ground till it bleeds, pull out your hair but it just won’t happen.

4. On the rare occasions when both of you will be at home by 9 pm, you will bitch about your managers till 10 and vent out all your frustration and completely forget to cook. You will end up having bread with soup, which will be good actually considering your expanding bellies.

5. Home made food will be available only on Saturdays and Sundays, if at least one of you is not working on the weekend, which will be as rare as scams in India. You will end up eating pizza, pasta and punjabi thalis at malls. Whatever good the bread and soup were doing will adjust to inflation.

6. All the family functions will carry on without you. Your cousins will get married and will have babies. You won’t be there in their marriage albums and videos. You will meet them, maybe, once in 5 years and wonder where all the time flew away.

7. If you are planning to have a baby, forget about it, simply because you should get some time to ding-dong, which you won’t get. If you somehow manage, the she-engineer’s manager will make sure that the baby is delivered in office alongside the project deliverable. The baby will already be stressed out by the time he will come out because of your 15 hour shifts.

8. Your parents will wither away trying to make sense of what hit them. You won’t have time for them and they will end up cursing themselves for giving birth to a machine and then marrying him off to another.

9. If the she-engineer somehow manages to pop out a baby, the baby will grow up thinking that the maid is his mother. He will not recognise his father on the rare occasions of bonding simply because he has never seen him awake. The first word he might learn will be ‘Basanti’, which will be the name of the maid.

10. One day, while buying Cabbage at Big Bazaar, you will pick up one in your hand and wonder what the difference between both of you is.

p.s. Don’t take the post seriously. It’s a funny take on what I see people around me going through.

Big Boss and all that murkiness

This year’s Big Boss has left me amused. Yesterday, Pooja Mishra shook that biscuit like J Lo while The Splitsvilla guy almost kicked her butt, using beep inducing swearwords in the process. While all this happened, the rest of the women in the house fell over each other and that guy to pacify him.

Now, let’s be clear, no one and that means no one can reach the epic crescendo which Dolly Bindra reached last year but the Big Boss team is trying really hard to match that level. Dignity be damned, the contestants can now discuss nominations and use beep words. Men shouting at women. Women shouting back. Women throwing shrill bombs on each other. You got the picture? And, oh yes, there is a ghost in the house this season. *bangs head on the wall*

Don’t take me wrong. It looks wonderful for sometime. We love to see people fight. That was the only reason Balaji Telefilms worked. Nothing is as gratifying to see a daughter-in-law teaching her mother-in-law a lesson. Our movies have worked on this premise for years. A hero taking revenge on his sister’s rapist and his mother’s butcher has been a source of instant nirvana for generations. But then a time comes when all this starts getting your goat. Unfortunately for me, Big Boss has reached that pinnacle.

Sometimes I could not understand how Shakti Kapoor and Rageshwari were evicted. They were bigger celebrities than the half-baked ones who are left. I don’t expect to see a ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun’ in the house but if it is not scripted, then hats off to the Indian audience. I guess, the vicarious feelings run deep.

Don’t be disillusioned. I will still see it to the end. Sometimes I am too angry and would love to see someone more fuc*ed up than I am and clap to my heart’s delight.

p.s. Polly tried to make me watch ‘Bade Acche Lagte hain’, which going by its name,  I took up thinking that it’s a soft porn series. Sourly disappointed. It’s about two 45 years old virgins who sat on a sofa and ate a cake on their honeymoon while watching Zee TV.

p.p.s  KBC is the only saving grace. It’s good to feel happy for all those people who really need that money and see their lives transform in minutes. Saw that guy winning 5 Crores. And then he picked up the cheque and counted the zeroes. Made me smile.

p.p.p.s I re-read the post and it’s such a contradiction. It’s good.

p.p.p.p.s All those who have an expression of disgust and are going to throw one liners like – ‘You watch that shit?’, readjust your jaws to a closure.

The long and short of it…

Hello to all the fellow internet crawlers, to all my friends connected to me by zeroes and ones. Now now! Don’t jump from your seats and to conclusions. I am not back. It’s one of those three-months itch. Yes, I was missing my affair with my blog.

Like all other bloggers who go on a sabbatical, I am supposed to dive into an egotistic and pompous rant about the happenings in my life in the past few months, which I will dutifully indulge into, to satisfy all the masala hungry people here.

So, this is my first winter in Manchester and what a dull and gloomy place it has turned into. It gets dark at 4 in the afternoon and by the time I get up from my desk at 6, I feel like I have been working since eternity. There are cold winds bellowing all the time making those spooky horror movie sounds and turning my umbrella inside out. One thing that I really hate is wearing caps, which I have to do now because otherwise, I will not be able to feel my nose and ears by the time I reach home. It rains all the bloody (Yeah! Bloody and Bollocks are the two latest additions to my dictionary) day and the bell of my house gets short circuited in the rain and starts ringing continuously at 2 in the night. So, I have to get up from my bed and go to the door in freezing cold to throw out the batteries to make it stop hollering. Bollocks!

And do you think that an Indian landlord in Manchester would do you good? Well, think again. I shifted my house three months back and fell upon a smiling, obese Punjabi Uncle who acted like Mother India before I said Yes to the house. After I shifted, I literally had to rub my nose on the ground in front of him to get a few minuscule things to be fitted. He gives miserliness a new definition.

The reason I went on a break (and I am still on a break) was that I wanted to write a book. Now don’t hit me with a cliché by asking me the bloody story. As if I am going to tell you! Buy it and make some dough land in my wallet if it gets published. Ever! And it’s going on fine. Thank you very much. Some wise man said once – The first draft of anything is shit! Got the picture?

And then in between all this mayhem to which my life was subjected to…

I GOT ENGAGED!!!! YAY!!!

Well, long story short, it was through a matrimonial site. My parents had put my advertisement (I like imagining myself as a commodity. It’s quite aphrodisiacal) on a matrimonial site and had almost given up hope. It’s not because there were no takers. 😛 Far from it! It’s just that my parents had set some very high standards. You see, they think I am Hrithik Roshan and the rejection rate was as high as 50 girls/week. No kidding! Then along came Polly (Yeah, that’s what I’ll call her on the blog), and we started talking over phone. Our parents matched the horror-scopes and Voila! 33/36! They almost jumped out of their skin! So, we talked, talked on phone, talked on webcam and talked each other into saying yes without meeting. Kind of romantic, I think. So, I went back to India and there was a small ceremony called Roka. Done! Amit is sold! He is now Polly’s slave (this is such a turn on! 😉 ).

What else have I done in the previous months that was exciting….Ummm…

I saw a play for the first time in my life in the Palace Theatre here. It was a musical called Chicago (you might have seen the movie). Before the play started, I thought that live performances can never match the ‘razzle dazzle’ of the movies, but I was wrong. It was splendid (another word that I have picked up here. Everything is either splendid or wonderful or excellent). The downside? I went alone and missed Polly and thought that it would have been great if she was sitting next to me instead of the wonderfully fat lady who could barely fit in her seat and was brimming all over me.

Autumn was beautiful. I went around the city with my camera and took some photographs. I visited Style Mill with MB, a British friend and was literally transported a 100 years back, specially in the apprentice house. I’ll put the photographs soon. And now I think I am rambling.

Anyways, the reason I actually started writing this post was because Visceral Observations had recently announced the Avant Garde Bloggies Awards, which is wonderful! Since this is a kind of beat-my-own-drum post, I must jog your memory cells and remind you that I won 8 awards last year and again thank all of you who voted for me. So, the nominations have started and are open till 20 December. Nominate your posts and the posts which you think are worthy of recognition. It’s fun, believe me!

And here are a few details to kick start the process (which I am shamefully copying from Oxy’s blog).

Here is once again the link to everything you need to know about the Awards as well as how to nominate your and other’s posts. CLICK HERE.

Conceived by Visceral Observations

Badges Designed by Chirag. Have a look at the Badges by CLICKING HERE.

Volunteers VimalVee and Magik

Publicist Nikhil

The Categories CLICK HERE.

Official Video CLICK HERE.

So, go ahead and have fun and I’ll see you around.