Friday, December 30, 2005

2005: The Year That Was

This in all probability will be my last post for the year, unless some earth-shattering event transpires tomorrow (read, some girl crazy enough to love me, actually drops the bomb). Quite a nice way to end Y2K5 considering the fact that this is my 50th post. Completely unintended, I should admit.

The year has been quite eventful for me:
Jumped onto the blogging bandwagon (albeit, a bit late)
Finally started earning my own bread
Discovered my love for classic movies

Also, quite a few aspects changed over the course of the past 12 months. These include:

Start: Wannabe Gasmaster MBA
Mid: Grossly Overpaid MBA
End: Just Another Frustrated MBA

S: Moderate Smoker
M: Heavy Smoker
E: One last puff on the 31st and that would be it for a lifetime.

S: Where will I get placed?
M: Will I love my job?
E: My job sucks!!!

A year in which I must have read around 40-45 books (hmm...can certainly do better) and watched an equal number of movies (half of them being Bollywood trash).

A year in which I made quite a handful of friends, and unlike the whiff-of-the-breeze acquaintances that MBAs like me are programmed to, some of them will hopefully remain with me for a lifetime.

Pradnya - with whom the number of messages exchanged during the year outweighs the number of words we had spoken right since our first year of BMS. One of the primary reasons why my cellular service operator hasn't gone bankrupt.
Ashwin - my BMS super-junior who was granted the privilege of being a co-research member for Armageddon and with whom I have spent countless evenings accompanied by Sharab and Kebab. Sorry, junta. No Shabaab.
Surya - who made the mistake of approaching me for career guidance. Oye! Mera career ka pata nahin. Main tujhe kya bataoon? Anywhichways, I managed to pull off the stunt in typical Dhanno fashion, which ensured that our friendship grew within no time.
Prasanna and Pallavi - my JBIMS juniors with whom I and Hansie had a rollicking time at MICA.
Varun and Siddharth - who mistook my garbled nonsense as genuine advice. Fortunately, we came out trumps, guys. You should be proud of what you managed.
How could I forget you all - Nikki (sans, the Neal), Kankan, Diya, Arvind, Rohan, Saurabh, Abhay, Alex, etc. etc.

A certain unnamed individual deserves a mention. I'LL BE THERE FOR YOU!!!

Happiest Moment of the Year: Armageddon 2005 - At the end of the quiz, the team from TCS Calcutta, walked up to me and said, "We are not at all sad that we finished last. We are happy that we witnessed such a high-quality quiz."
Saddest Moment of the Year: Placement Day at JBIMS. Will leave it for some other post.
Embarassing Moment of the Year: Intaglio at IIM-Calcutta - Was forced to play the role of a female for the Ad-Mad Show. Am still wondering whether the audience applauded out of genuine appreciation or were they just pulling my leg. We won though :)

One thing that hasn't changed:
S: No Girlfriend
M: No Girlfriend
E: No Girlfriend

Darned Year, I Tell You!!!

PS: Just a couple of doubts, which might or might not bear resemblance to events past, present or future. Can someone tell me whether the following two are instances of compliments or insults:
1. Your hairstyle is likened to that of Ajay Devgan.
2. You are termed 'Perfect Husband Material'.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

2005 Hindi Movies

Here is the list of Rediff Top-10 Indian movies in 2005.

My first reaction was: What? No, Black!!! Even though it was an overly melodramatic movie with grand sets and a bit too larger-than-life character portrayals, I still believe it deserves a mention. If Garam Masala could, then Black certainly does.

Another movie that should have been included is Black Friday, irrespective of the fact that it had to pulled out of the theatres for stupid reasons. Though, I myself haven't watched it, a couple of my friends who were fortunate enough to have, sing paeans of glory. Does anyone own a VCD? Please lend!!!

Fortunately, no Bunty Aur Babli. Just cannot understand how people found the movie funny?!

Ever since Tabu got impregnated by a ghost in the movie Hawa, I have steered myself clear of Bollywood ghost movies. That explains why I havent' seen Paheli. And most definitely would not want to touch movies like Bluffmaster, My Wife's Murder and Seher with a ten-foot pole.

All in all, a worthless Top-10 list.

My Top-5 Hindi movies would be Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, Black, Iqbal, Black Friday and hmm.... Sorry, only four good movies in the year. Ok, remove Black as well.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Final Word on my Wedding

As per my investment plans, I shall get married in 2009 (Sorry, Mommy!!!). All that remains is finding a suitable girl.
Caste: No Bar
Sex: Baar Baar

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

New Year Plans

A friend of mine called me up yesterday to discuss about our plans for the 31st. After the usual friendly banter, the two of us got down to business.

He: Arre, Dhanno. Yaar Kya Karna Hai 31st Ko? See, my girlfriend has already asked me come over to her place, since her parents will be out. So, kuchh jaldi bol, warna main uske ghar pe jaaonga.
Me: Oh! So you want to start the New Year with a Bang. Wanting to match the strokes of midnight with your own. Hmmm...

After five seconds of silence, his usual tirade of gaali-galouj ensued. I wonder why???

Friday, December 23, 2005

1st movie review - Garam Masala

Ever since I entered a movie-hall to watch 'Mangal Pandey - The Rising' and was subjected to a cleavage show of Kiron Kher, I have been skeptical of all movies, Bollywood. So yesterday when my local cablewallah beamed 'Garam Masala', it was with a sense of trepidation that I proceeded to make myself comfy with a cuppa coffee and ice-cream to keep me company. What raised my expectations was the fact that it was directed by Priyadarshan, whose filmography includes Virasat, Gardish, Muskurahat and Hera Pheri. Though, what followed was an ordeal that I am still recovering from.

Here is the basic plot:
Mac (Akshay Kumar) is engaged to Anjali (Rimi Sen). I know, Rimi sported the same name in Hungama. But if Shahrukh can be Rahul in a hazaar movies, then why not??? Mac is also a flirt. And like all flirts, he flirts around with three air-hostesses that go by the name of Priti, Sweety and Pooja (hereafter referred to as PYTs), played by Daisy Bopanna, Neetu Chandran and Nargis. I think respectively, though I don't care. They were pretty and quite hot. What's in a name, said Voltaire.
Sam (John Abraham), Mac's friend is obviously not happy watching Mac indulging himself in the foursome wholesome entertainment and hence, wants a share of the booty. After veiled and not-so-veiled threats to spill the beans, Sam is made an accomplice to help Mac live the entire lie. Uncle Mambo (Paresh Rawal) is Mac's cook who prepares dishes suited to the differing tastes of the three PYTs and helps Mac get out of trouble with his three-timing act.
The situation gets stickier when the airlines schedules are changed and the PYTs end up at Mac's place at the same time. So, we witness the by-now cliched one-door-opening-another-door-closing scenes. Duh!!!
The PYTs see through the entire act and so does Anjali. But, Anjali forgives Mac and all's well that ends well. Thank you very much. Pikchar Khatam. Paisa Hajam.

Honestly, is this a movie? No. Its a farce. What gave me the heartiest laugh was Anjali forgiving Mac. Picturise this scene featuring Mac, Sam and Anjali:
Mac: Anjali. Main...
Sam: Maine Anjali Ko Sab Bata Diya Hai. Aur Usne Tumhe Maaf Bhi Kar Diya.

What??? Just like that. Is she some sort of a naive bimbette?

I beg to disagree with people who claim that Akshay Kumar has a flair for comedy. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger was better in 'Jingle All The Way'. John, I always knew he cannot act. With this movie he just reaffirms my belief. Though, some are bound to miscontrue his fumbling-bumbling-falling-jumping-fast-talking-routine as comedy.
The three PYTs are quite decent (This observation has got nothing to do with my fetish for PYTs) They did what they were asked to i.e., strut their booty, act a bit bimbo-like, etc. etc. And they managed it without going overboard.
The only saving grace is Paresh Rawal, who with his impeccable timing and grumpy expressions makes dialogues like "Chaddi Main Roz Badalta Hoon" laugh-worthy.

On the whole, 'Garam Masala' is quite thanda. In fact, it is plain unpalatable affair. Unless you detach your brains and brace yourself for a 150 min third degree torture.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Quizzing Saga - II

This post is a continuation of Quizzing Saga - I.

The fellowship began to flounder. Yogesh left for MICA, SK went off in pursuit of his Army dreams, JK got busy in his journalism course and me being the unconventional play-it-safe types joined JBIMS to do my MBA.

Unlike the usual non-quizzing culture at JB, my batch had its bunch of quizzers as diverse as possible.
Kunal - I personally believe he is one of the best sports quizzers in Bombay
Acharya - His knowledge of literature put me to shame
Neeraj - COEP quizzer, who unfortunately quizzed very little at JB due to his Placecom commitments
Amit Pandeya - The best business quizzer I have met and arguably, among the top-5 in the country.

First year passed off with hardly any quizzing activity. Restricted to a few copy-paste business quizzes in Bombay, the year 2003-04 was largely forgettable. Also, Amit being from the part-time course, I hadn't met him till then. Wait. In fact, one image is permanently embedded in my mind. That of Sid Basu shaking his booty to the tune of some VIVA song at IIT-SOM. PRICELESS!!!

During our summers, had quite a letdown. If anyone is in search of a perfect example to support the 'Daaru Buri Cheez Hai' theory, then this is it. Kunal, Acharya, Rakesh and I had teamed up for University Challenge. Kunal was supposed to take the prelims from Delhi, and the other three from Bombay. Unfortunately, he got drunk the night before and ended up at the wrong place the next day. Our dreams of starting our IInd year with a bang got squashed.

It was at Armageddon 2004 (incidentally, hosted by yours truly) where I met Amit for the first time. The fact that both of us were from JB surprised us and left us cussing, "Why the FUCK haven't we teamed up?" So, just like that, we did team up for almost all the quizzes. And, we had the most rollicking time.

The first quiz we paired up for was BT-Acumen, where we ended up as West Zone winners beating the Sidin and Abhijit duo from IIM-A with considerable ease. What followed was a fully-paid air-trip to Delhi for the National finals. It turns out to be the only quiz where my objective was to finish second rather than win. The reason was quite obvious. First prize was a trip to Australia and some crappy course at some university, whereas the second prize was a cool Kinetic Laser bike. Now, tell me, who would want to come first. And, we duly achieved our objective. Though, I have to admit that Chandan Mohanty and Dev Menon from IIFT, Delhi were the superior team on the day. And this is how the guy who cannot ride a bicycle won a bike.

There was Confluence at IIM-A, where we once again rocked. I and Acharya paired up for most of the quizzes and ended up performing quite well. Won the Marketing quiz and ended up 3rd in a couple of other quizzes. Amit joined us for the big one hosted by, who else, but the Ringmaster himself, Siddharth Basu. The quiz was quite bad, with rehashed stuff and dhaaped qns. Fortunately, won it on the last question. Will try and narrate the last 10 minutes of the quiz in a different post altogether.

I and Kunal teamed up for the Sports Quiz at Mood I at IIT-B. Frankly, I'm not much of a sports quizzer and almost the entire quiz rested on the shoulders of Kunal. With an excellent team from Anna University and the ESPN School Quiz Winners from Abhinav Vidyalaya now representing Fergusson College, we stood very little chance. Especially, with a partner like me. We decided to just have a good time. Kunal went to crack most of the football qns, prompting a murmur from the FC bachhas, "Kaay he? Kasa yeta hyaanna?" (How do they know all this stuff?) Quite an ego-booster, I should admit. We were pleasantly surprised to end up joint 3rd with the FC team. The only other time I and Kunal teamed up was at IIM-C for the business quiz, where I had to shoulder the responsibility and ended up making a hash of it. Could not even qualify for the finals, which Amit and Acharya went on to win in style.

Next was Tata Crucible hosted by Giri. Amit and I won the Bombay regional round quite comfortably, but got blown away in the National Finals by Arvind and Praveen from ICFAI, Chennai. Had to be content with the runners-up spot. A low-point for us, because I believe we had quite a good chance of winning it. But, it just wasn't our day and Arvind & Praveen were much better prepared than us.

The biggest disaster was the IMA-IBQ Brand Guru quiz at Indore. Acharya and I got knocked out in the student round semi-finals because of a dickhead QM, who goes by the name of Harish Bijoor.
Buzzer Round.
Qn - Which Indian brand advertises with a bunny?
I buzzed and answered Lijjat Papad / Sri Mahila Griha Udyog. To my utter horror, we were awarded negative points and Harish gave the answer as Nutrine. The explanation given was Lijjat Papad uses a rabbit and not a bunny. WHAT THE FUCK!!!

In between all this, we organised 'KwizKraft' - the first ever open Quiz Festival at JBIMS. Considering the miserly prize money, it turned out to be quite a decent show, with around 150 quizzers taking part in the day-long fest.

All in all, it was by far the most prolific year of quizzing for us all. And, especially for me. Maybe, because I finally found an excellent partner in Amit. Within business quizzing, we both had our distinct areas of competence, which helped us complement each other very well. Not to imply that JK / Hansie / Yogesh / SK were any less quizzers. But, we all belonged to the same school of quizzing. We all were good in brand name origins and company history. Amit, in addition to being good in these areas, was awesome in current affairs and business trivia. Which is why, we were such a deadly combo.

In a lot of ways, my quizzing days at JB were quite similar to those during BMS. True, the prizes got bigger and stakes got higher. The competition got a lot tougher. Rather than local train trips to Churchgate and Vile Parle, we now traveled to Ahmedabad and Delhi and Calcutta and Bangalore. But, the underlying element of fun and enjoyment remained the same. It was a phase of our lives that we lived to our fullest. A phase that we can be proud of, because when asked what we did in our two years of MBA, we can hold our heads high and refer not just to copy-paste projects and assignments and exams and placements, but also, to creating a name for ourselves in the b-school arena and our endeavor to be the best in atleast, a particular sphere.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

What A Sham!!!

Connect: Bhupinder Singh (Sr.), V B Chandrashekhar, Ranjib Biswal and Sanjay Jagdale.
I wouldn't be surprised if you ask, "Who the FUCK are they?"

Alright, add Kiran More.

I hope by now, you all might have guessed the subject matter of this post. If you haven't, GO AND DIE!!!

First things first. I LOVE GANGULY!!! But, going by the same token, I LOVE SACHIN, DRAVID, YUVRAJ, SEHWAG, LAXMAN, etc, etc. What I do hate are these five 'wise gentlemen' who decide the fates of players and that too in such arbitrary fashion.

The selectors had revealed themselves as 'a bunch of jokers' when they recalled Ganguly under the garb of an all-rounder. Probably they did not have the balls to tell the media and the public that he deserves a place in the side due to his batting skills alone and that we have decided to give him another chance. And now they have just confirmed their reputation by booting him out after a decent performance in the second test match.

When asked about Ganguly's exclusion from the India-South Africa ODI series this is what Kiran More replied, "We would not want to disturb a winning combination." Remember that India had then won against Sri Lanka 6-1. Back to present... the team wins and yet a need is felt to drop a player. Read, A PLAYER. Why? All with an eye on the future. Have you ever fucked up the present under the pretext of a bright future? The selectors have done just that.

If you ask me, there was nothing much to choose between Laxman (80), Ganguly (79), Yuvraj (77) and Dravid (77). Then why single out Dada for such harsh and totally unwarranted treatment?

Never in Ganguly's reign were we witness to him favouring a player from his region. NEVER. On the contrary, he always backed players like Yuvraj and Kaif, even when they were once-in-a-year performers. But, Jaffer's selection does smack of regionalism and petty politics, which is the unforunate part of the entire episode. Wasim Jaffer would now be looked upon as having entered through the back-door. Neither head nor heart thinks or feels otherwise. I hope he gets a chance to play in the third test and prove me wrong. But if he does play, it would mean no place for Gambhir. Then why not drop Gambhir from the 15?

This affair makes me angry at Dravid as well. Why did he not show the proverbial middle finger and supported Ganguly? I am sure, Chappell would have taught him the art of 'fingering'. Maybe, he is a naive captain. Maybe, he hasn't yet realised that captaincy is not just about field placements and bowling changes, but also about backing your players and fighting for them when they are going through rough patches. Sorry, Dravid. You have a long way to go....

One Genuine Doubt

I might just lose all my beloved female readers because of this post. Caveat Emptor, All Ye Members Of The Fairer Sex. Do take it in a lighter spirit. In fact, I would advise you to take some spirit and then read on.

Yesterday... was watching some Marathi movie... there was this scene where a girl (A) asks a female friend (B) to accompany her to the toilet. B asks, "Has it started?" A replies, "No." I stared at the TV screen and asked, "Then Why?" I mean, why is it that females prefer emptying their...well whatever, in pairs. In fact, GROUP is the right word. Its almost as if "Come, let's go for a picnic." As simple as that.

The only time I tried to clear my doubt, I was met with cries of "Eeeee" and "Yuck" and a 'You Cheapo' curl of the eyebrows (by girls) and howls of laughter (boys will be boys). My reply "Its not a matter to laugh about" was seconded by the former, though I got thrashed when I added "it does make me go yuck" not-so-under my breath. What followed was a discourse on female-bonding. Beating around the bush, I said. And got promptly beaten up, till I found a bush to hide my battered body.

Just to prove my point, I have been plotting the number of females that enter a loo hand in hand. My entry for the IgNoble Awards. And the results so far bear testimony. The average (as of now) is 2.85. As I am typing this, I can hear giggles emanating out of the hallowed precincts at my workplace. Shhh! The door has opened. And out comes... one, two, three, four. Four females. See, I told you. If I add it to my sample study, the average stands at 2.90476.

The WHY persists. Any ideas.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Dhanno's World This Week

Just back from a one-day trip to Lonavla with three of my friends with my mind rejuvenated and a bit fudged up as well. Though, don't ask me how is both of them possible at the same time.

Highlights of the trip:
1. 155 kmph on Expressway...Yippee...Whoppie...Just feels great with the wind blowing at your face at such high speeds
2. Tried out a full cigar for the first time in my life. Not bad, I should admit.
3. Parking the car at the side of a road and take deep breaths watching the sunset.

The spoiler being none of us took a camera along hoping one of the other three would take care of such 'little' details. Is there a plausible explanation for this phenomenon???

Anywhichways, the mind feels a lot fresher to dish out some meaningless posts on bedroom-bathroom habits of chimpanzees. So watch out.

Also, movies watched in the week:
1. Viruddh - Why did I?
2. Patton - Among the BEST movies I have watched. Need I tell anymore.
3. The Gold Rush - Chaplin at his best. That scene where he battles the wind to stand his ground is HILARIOUS.
4. On The Waterfront - Brando all the way. Ghulam was such a poor rip-off.
5. Pyaasa - The movie reminded me of Atlas Shrugged. Time for my third reading of the Ayn Rand classic.

Books read -
1. E V Rieu's English text translation of Homer's Odyssey - There's something about mythology that fascinates me. More about my love for myth in a future post.
2. Currently, in the midst of 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being' by Milan Kundera.

So, a week that started off with a morose, depressed moi (though the posts portray a different picture) ends up with me sporting a toothpaste-advertisement smile. Eeeeee!!!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Shaadi Karo Beta

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a mid-20s Indian with a doting mother will run at the slightest hint of marriage.

What is this obsession with mothers? Any and every friend of mine has a horror story to narrate about their mother's attempts at getting her child hooked on to the idea of marriage. Umpteen have been my tiffs with mommy over the afore-mentioned subject, though till now she has only resorted to subtle hints and not blatant threats. But, yes, she has gone to the extent of, "Dekh Beta. Your brother had an inter-caste marriage. I hope you will marry within the caste." In fact, she doesn't use the word 'hope'. Instead, "I WANT you to..."

Usually such discussions are nipped in the bud with a deft wag of the tongue ranging from,

1. "Oh, I forgot to tell you. Just last week I got married."
2. "Why do you want me to go through all those 'K-episode' moments in my life?" Then ramble on about scheming daughters-in-law, a la, Mohini from KSBKBT.
3. "But, I thought child marriage was abolished a long time back." And expound on the teachings of Raja Ram Mohan Roy, etc. etc.

One response that I haven't tried as yet is "I am gay." (Which I am NOT) Me thinks, it would have the opposite effect on mommy-dearest and she might pursue her bridal-explorations with renewed vigour.

As an aside, just a random thought... Why do virgins feel their life is all SCREWED up?
And yeah, its GOD's birthday. Long live the Lizard King. Why oh why, did you have to die so young???

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

My First Post Without An Appropriate Title

Guess, what I found while channel surfing at 12.15 in the night.
A cookery show on E-TV Bangla.
Yes! Yes! A cookery show at 12 in the night.
Maybe, they took the term 'Midnight Masala' quite literally.

Bad, Badder, Baddest Joke

Qn: Four people met up and started playing something. What?
Ans: Four-play, obviously.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Of Brutes & Cowards

Read the following news item: Woman Raped In Train
Makes me think, 1% of the nation comprises of brutes, the rest 99% are cowards.
If you ask me, castrate those motherfuckers and hang their balls for public display.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Childhood Memories - Part I

I have been hooked to jingles since I was like...this high.

As far back as my grey cells allow me, the first ever jingle I memorised was,

Bol Sakhi Bol Tera Raaz Kya Hai?
Kya Hai Tere Khushi Ka Raaz
Tu Bata De Mujhko Aaj

Mala-D Hai Mera Raaz
Garbh Nirodhak Goliyan, Mala-D Mala-D

See. I was too young to know what Garbh is, leave alone Garbh Nirodhak Goliyan. Just to quote Bhuvan Bhaiyya - "Itni Hindi To Meri Tau Na Jaane". I remember singing / mouthing the first couple of lines in front of some guests. Quite obviously, my parents were embarassed and the next thing I saw, was them (guests included) with raised heckles controlling their chuckles. (Sorry, bad expression.)

Anywhichways, the smart kid that I was (I still am, leaving aside the kid part of it), I quickly realised that the jingle was quite inappropriate for the occasion and promptly subjected my vocal chords to "Meri Jaan, Meri Jaan. Sunday to Sunday."

Much later, when I grew a bit taller (in height and in stature) and a bit more worldly wise thanks to generous inputs from my Big B, it was only then that I realised the full scale of my childhood folly.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I Hate

I hate passive smoking. So much so, that active feels better.