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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nero takes on bollywood!

The Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad is famous for two things. Roxy, the royal german shepherd and Mr A F Mathew (Author pauses, for everyone to say, “Nero, we are sure you are as famous as they are”). Mathew is a professor of ‘World Culture and Communications’ and is one of the funniest, most sarcastic, and most knowledgable professors India has perhaps known. Of course he’s a mallu.

At the end of his course last term , he asked us to submit an assigment on his subject ‘Media stereotypes’. We were allowed to choose, for ourselves, the stereotype topic and below, is my assignment, word by word.

The ‘Sensitive’ portrayal of love and rape scenes in bollywood:
Disclaimer: The following presentation is a sarcastic dig at the Indian media (Bollywood, to be more specific) for its stereotypical treatment of portraying love, lust and basically just about everything. The images attached might just want to make the audience give up on watching hindi commercial cinema forever.

Causes that make the innocent, puppy love between hero and heroine change into them wanting to mate at that very instant:

1) The hero and heroine are laughing and playfully chasing one another all over a room, and then ‘accidentally’ fall on the bed. Their faces touch as they get up and they realize a never before love/lust for each other. Hero kisses heroine’s neck, heroine goes mad with frenzy.

2) There’s a wild, wild, wild thunderstorm and ‘frightening’ lightning. Heroine is scared out of her wits and runs towards the hero and hugs him. During this tender embrace, they realize the need to rub each other’s back with a vigour that can, in polite terms can only be described, as extremely aggressive.

The portrayal of love scenes:
1) It’s always a hug. According to Bollywood, all good Indian men and women make love to each other by hugging. Gentle affection is depicted by filming the female protagonist resting her head on her lover’s shoulder whereas scenes which have to convey a deeper physical bonding are shown by aggressive rubbing of counterpart’s backs by the couple and disgusting facial expressions (to show they are losing control) in synchronization. But either way, it has to be shown thru a hug. How, for crying out aloud, can we produce babies by hugging, I wonder.

The copulation scene (or, what actually immediately follows the hugging scene):

Pollinating flowers :
For some funny reason, flowers decide to show affection to one another , i.e they start pollinating, when lovers hug . Soft lilting music in the background, and roses vibrating on their axes is the most common Bollywood portrayal for indicating that ‘love is in the air’. The two lovers would have just started hugging and getting intimate, and suddenly the scene would change over to two flowers swaying left, right, helter skelter, nodding their little heads as if to mark approval of this ‘sacrosanct’ act. Sometimes, when flowers are not available, a vigorously shaking bush would suit just as fine to portray physical affection between the protagonists.
Roaring fire or stereotype number ‘do’:
The hero and heroine were travelling in a car which has now broken down in the middle of nowhere. It’s raining cats, dogs and hippopotamuses. They spot a dark bungalow and decide to take refuge for the night. Once inside, the heroine (as usual) is feeling scared and cold, so macho man lights up a fire in the fireplace provided (how convenient!). Love sprouts all of a sudden and the protagonists move to hug each other. As soon as they start hugging, the camera moves to the roaring fire blazing ‘happily’.
Fact : Intensity of roaring fire is directly proportional to lust between the protagonists.
Baby’s photo: Bollywood cinema at its ‘bollywoodish’ best.
The hero is in a playful mood. He teases the heroine and ‘mischievously’ kisses her. The heroine (as usual) is scared out of her wits, this time because, “Rahul, what are you doing? Everyone’s here. Someone might see us”. But then, swayed by emotions, she lets the buffoon hug her. Camera shot moves from the protagonists to a wall, where a baby’s photo is staring back at the audience. The baby usually has a finger on his mouth, asking the audience to keep shhh about the deed.
Author’s observation: I have a strong suspicion that it’s the same baby that’s being used for all these films right from the 1920’s. The fellow must be at least eighty by now, and quite frankly speaking, pretty irritated for having to shhh the audience for ‘centuries.
Boiling milk: Note, this is the author’s personal favourite.

Scene: The hero is (as usual) in a playful mood. He comes up from the behind the heroine, who is industriously working in the kitchen. Hero grabs heroine around the waist, and the entire setting – the heroine, her waist, the colour of the wall, the cauliflower in the basket, the dirty utensils in the sink – all drive the hero’s sexual urges, and they start kissing. For some reason, the camera is now more focused on telling us the status of the boiling milk on the stove rather than the love making scene.
The poor milk steadily reaches its maximum boiling point and starts spilling over the utensil, which, please note, is the ONE AND ONLY WAY that signifies that yes, the hero and heroine have gone beyond kissing to the next stage of physical love.
The bedside lamp and the fan:
The hero and heroine are in their bedroom. They feel the urge to touch each other and lie down on the bed. For some reason, they never lie with their heads on the same side as the night lamp placed next to the bed. All the male lead stars in Bollywood must have been skilled footballers in their heyday, as none of them, not even one, ever use their hands to switch off the night lamp. What? Of course the two can touch each other only when the lights are off!!!! Hero skillfully, without once removing his gaze from the heroine’s face, uses his toe to switch off the lamp, and buries his stupid head in her neck. The camera moves to the ceiling fan in the room, which wants to make out too, so it shows off in front of the tube light by rotating at top speed.

The depiction of Rape (raping the audience’s mind?) scenes:

The act though thoroughly heinous in nature, is mostly shown in strange and often bemusing ways. The ‘bad’ guy is always fixated with the sleeves of the heroine’s dress. The author would like to keep his hand on the Gita (the book, you perverts!) and swear that bollywood villains get turned on only when they tear off the victim’s sleeves. Also, till this stage, the heroine is not too scared. I mean, she is not exactly humming happy tunes to herself but she’s still composed. But as soon as the bad guy reaches upto her and rips those sleeves, she finally concludes that uh oh, this must mean he’s gonna rape me, and starts crying hysterically. With all her might. (Or maybe the dress was expensive and she is terribly angry that he tore it!!)

An essential ‘prop’ for a rape scene is heavy lightning. The scene alternates between the villain savagely ttacking the heroine’s neck and lightning in the heavenly skies. For some reason, it never rains.
There are probably hundreds of other ways in which our filmy couples mate, and our friendly neighbourhood villain’s rape, but this post is already getting too long, so adios people and have an awesome day.

p.s 1) Mathew Sir is yet to check my assignment. Think he’ll gimme a good grade?
p.s 2) Someone shoot the guy who is charge of the “lightning” prop. Those “lightnings” are as artificial as artificial could be.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Lord God made them all!

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”

Last weekend, both me and Nishi (my sister) had gone back home.The first day itself, Nishi invited two of her friends over to our place. I was told in advance, that they were pretty & therefore, I took a bath. When I came down finally,all neat and clean (bath + deo+ powder), Nishi introduced me to Priya and Devesh- Priya’s boyfriend {WHAAAAAAAAAAAAM!}

I spent the next two hours in my room upstairs. Alone. With Hector ( my doggy).

The two of us sat and watched Antonio Banderas kick Mexican ass in “Deperado” and during the break, I regaled Hecky with stories about his master’s bravery (I mean Hector’s master, not Antonio’s), about how I would have fought all those mexican gangsters with my bare hands blah blah. Must add, unlike most others, Hector understands me. He never thinks that I'm lying or exaggerating, & listens to all my stories. Well I have to lure him with chicken, but that’s besides the point.Anyway just as I started telling him about the part where I fell off a 5 storey building but still survived, I heard a loud scream from downstairs.Our heroic instincts aroused,the two of us dived under the sofa, fearing that a thief had got in.When the screams continued, we looked at each other wondering if it was worth saving,
1) Nishi (highly contemplateable!) and
2) a girl who had a boyfriend (ha ha! no way!).
But being the nice studs that we are, we exchanged rueful glances, realized that once again the onus was on us to save the world (’sholay’ movie whistling tune in the background), and crawled out from under the sofa.

On going downstairs, we saw the three of them screaming their lungs out at a suitcase. I wondered if it was a new game, asked, and then on being told that “No, there’s a snake ” behind the suitcase, I immediately joined them in their sophisticated pursuit, not just yelling, but also flapping my hands and jumping.

Priya asked me if I could do anything about the snake.I looked at her.Kept looking. “Kid, i know im charming, but im not a snakecharmer”. “WHAAAAAAAAAAAT !!!!” Devesh hollered. “Err, nothing”.

Devesh and I both had one thing in common. We both looked absolutely sure that there was nothing either of us were gonna do that would make the snake give up its new home. Heyy what you guys making faces for, im Terminator, not Tarzan ok. Neither Mowgli.

Dunno if it was woman’s lib, but suddenly Priya announced that she was gonna “take on the snake” herself. Nishi smiled at her and offered to get her a broom. Now I'm not a chauvinist. I believe girls are equally capable as boys,even better in certain areas & am totally for woman’s lib so I allowed her the oppurtunity to steal the thunder. Such is my magnanimity. The first time the suitcase moved, she shrieked and fell back on me, holding my hand (read:bulging forearms) for support.So much for woman’s lib, hmph!

Note: Its in such circumstances (I mean the ones in which a girl holds your hand) that the testosterone or any of the other hormones in a man’s body, shoot up to impossible levels and he believes that he can take on King Kong. In my cranium’s defence, it was hardly machoish to let my younger sister’s petite friend take on a snake while I looked on(read:terrified) from behind.

And that’s how I found myself, five minutes later,with a broom in my hand while the three of them looked on from top of the bed. I turned to Mr Loyalty personified,aka Hecky for encouragement, but he seemed to have dissappeared too. Swine!…I threw the broom in disgust and picked up my battle hardened cricket bat. “Kill it” shouted an enthusiastic Devesh. Swivelling in slow motion,i gave him my “Angry Antonio Banderas” stare. Wonder if they felt the same way about my expression, coz they all nodded enthusiatically, so i just turned back & prodded the suitcase gingerly. No movement. I asked them if they were sure about the snake and Devesh screamed “watch out, its behind you”. I jumped out of my skin at that, but not a thing was in sight! “Ha Ha, gotcha!” he sniggered. Hmm not only was he ugly, but also had an atrocious sense of humor. What did that Priya see in him?%#$%#

After 5 minutes of prodding, the suitcase started moving violently. I pushed at the suitcase with my bat hoping that the snake would get squeezed against the wall and die. “No dont kill it” Nishi pleaded, “please just throw it”.”Aaaargh, do i look like some weird fakir? Or do you expect me to do an erotic naagin dance in front of it, entice it by my suave moves and trap it in a basket?” i hollered. Infuriated, i attacked the suitcase with more viciousness and the snake slithered out. We now faced each other out in the open. It was a small one, probably a baby. “Haka” ..I whispered, getting into a karate like position. “shezwan-oo..yaooo toshibaa”, I mouthed … The trick worked. The scared thing slithered out of the french windows and into the fields, much to everyone’s relief. Har!

I raised my hands in triumph, and looked towards the heroine, expecting a bear hug.Well what didja expect, course Priya hugged……………..Devesh.

I spent the next two hours in my room. Alone.With Hector.

p.s Have a great day people. Will leave ya with this thought,

“Every boy should have two things: a dog, and a mother willing to let him have one.”

Saturday, May 9, 2009

And this is why mai aisa hu!

Over the past few days, i have heard rumours that there are a “few” people who believe that i have a tendency to praise myself in my posts..I wonder what gave them that idea, lol! ;) Anyway, i have decided to be fair as usual, and this time around, im not gonna tell you any of those true stories, incidents in Mr Narayanan’s life when he bravely helped damsels in distress, saved the cheetah from extinction, not even gonna tell you that i was the actual pioneer behind India’s nuclear power project, not Mr Weird Hairstyle Kalam. Instead today I'm gonna share some of the incidents that have had a saddeningly deep impact on my life and have scarred me forever.

Its all my parents fault: At the tender age of two, when a child’s mind is having its first impressions about the world, when a tiny toddler is still in the process of learning various educational things like “the art of spraying a new tablecloth, or, better,a human being with one’s biological “tools”..( a quick squirt right when he picks you up is the first thing they teach you in that brilliant book “Things you can get away with when you are a baby” ), I was subjected to vicious child abuse. In a nation which is still largely besotted with the male child, here was a family, which wanted 2 daughters, and when God didnt choose to listen to their prayers, mum decided that it was okay if she had a baby boy coz he really wouldn't be able to stand up for himself when she’d dress him in girly clothes. And everywhere we went, men and women of all kinds would pick me up, play with my cheeks and exclaim “What a cute little daughter you have?” (Now you know why i am the way i am? now u feel sorry for me?!!!). All i did was stare back with big eyes, coz i still hadnt learnt how to speak (Amma says I never spoke till Iwas four, and after that I never stopped.)

If you think this was torture enough, you are wrong. There were other incidents too. My parents had a belief that the only times i looked “photogenic” was while i was having a bath, and as soon as my “essentials” were off, and id bravely stand under the shower( with a look similiar to that of a doomed prisoner’s when he’s staring at the noose), they’d start clicking pictures. I was intelligent enough though. I'd quickly place the mug strategically over regions of the anatomy that God endowed men with, so that they could squirt all the walls in the neighbourhood and the world in general.Sometimes a soap case substitued for a mug, at other times, id dive into buckets, or duck behind the commode… all this to save my honour!

I see some of you already have tears in your eyes,and feel like screaming at my parents for their “behaviour” but dont do that. They are my parents and i am Shravan Kumar. You can instead offer your sympathies to me in the form of cash, gifts or treats.

School: When I was in 7th standard, I fell in love. I mean, that was the first time. There have been numerous instances of the same kind,since after that.It usually changes faster than the seasons in a year, but back in that glorious summer of ‘96, i knew that I, Neeraj Narayanan, would take 12 year old Megha Mathur, one day, as my lawfully wedded wife , and would take care of her in sickness, in health,in rich or poor,during football worldcups and maybe even during cricket ones, until death or Pamela Anderson do us apart. The fact that that pretty little angel never realized all these things isnt of much significance, the fact that she knew I existed made me happy enough. I was the geekiest looking lad in the schol and she was the most beautiful girl in the planet. So one day, gathering up all my courage, i went to her seat ,my eyes on her throughout that fateful distance upto her seat. I even got up with a gracefullness I din expect myself capable of, after i fell head first into the floor when a dratted boy tripped me. Anyway, i put my hand suavely on her table and asked her how she felt about me.

You actually fell for that!!! No you nitwits, though I had intentions to ask something of the sort, the words that actually came out of my mouth were “Did you bring your Megha, English book?” It made her laugh and I pretended that I had said it in purpose. We began talking and it felt wonderful. She cracked a joke and I laughed loudly , guffawed in fact, tossing my head back(like a horse)and laughing thinking that it would make her happy. It might have, but funnily enough, her face changed colour and .. was i dreaming? she even looked frightened. I wondered if I had forgotten to brush my teeth in the morning, and thats when i felt an excruciating pain in my left ear. Apparently, the teacher, who had arrived in class, wasnt very happy about me not realizing that he was there, and neither did he like me laughing uproariously. He held my ear the entire time, while “escorting” me out of the class, and i could hear a class of 40 laughing along. {sigh!}. Megha and i never got married.

While in my 12th standard, I was travelling in a public bus once. When I got in there was just one seat empty, next to a girl. I sat down displaying great sophistication. Before i could entertain thoughts of “falling for her”, my eyes fell on three rowdies, probably in their mid 30’s, sitting in front. They were all sitting face towards us, and looked “drunk”. Soon, they started passing lecherous comments at the poor girl sitting next to me, and it was,frankly, disgusting. There were about 15 people in the bus, but nobody dared to say anything.Though being a hardcore bollywood fan, i knew that there was no way I could fight even one of them, leave alone 3. But the $%$#% wouldnt stop commenting, and it made me mad. In my most threatening voice, Iasked them to stop, and before I could tell them that they’d be thrashed by me if they din listen,they were all upon me & I was smacked left right centre. It would have probably continued for the whole day, if the conductor hadnt pleaded with them to stop. They went back to their seats and we were subjected to verbal abuse, till, finally the girl, and I got off at a busstop. We left without saying a word to each other.

There are numerous other incidents where i have been acutely embarassed, but i wont share them with you. Shan’t tell you that my seat partner in 6th standard, Neha, always beat me in hand wrestling, or the play -”Ekalavya” when i over acted so much (i was one of the Ekalavya’s bhil friends and ended up speaking more lines than him), that for the next showing of the play, the dramatics club gave me the role of a “tree” in the forest where Ekalavya and his friends played.Being an enthusiastic chap, the tree (me) kept on moving throughout the play. Later when the teacher furiously demanded an explaination, i claimed that it was very windy and i was depicting a “swaying tree”.Shant tell you that last time i went to Kerala, my parents told me that we were supposed to inaugarate a family temple, and I'd have to wear a dhoti(1st time). And right when the priest offered me “prasad” the whole dhoti came off. The priest was in the general ward the whole of next day, and from then on, has handed over the responsibility of the “prasad sharing” to unlucky juniors.

But just coz i said all dis it doesnt mean im any less a stud. And there will be a day when anybody coming to my house, will look at me with awe, fear and respect.
But only if mom stops showing them those darned #$#$%#$ bathroom baby photographs

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Chirkuts on Orkut!

Yesterday, i was at my friend's place and having nothing better to do, we logged onto orkut. Now Saloni is a very pretty girl and reading her scraps always provides a lot of hilarity. {If you are wondering how come i dont belong to her 'fan's' category, its coz once upon a time when we were fourteen years old,after being heavily scolded by her dad, Saloni called me up and between sobs, blurted, "Neer i wish i had a brother". My upbringing till that moment, had insisted that in such moments you are supposed to offer yourself to the girl as her brother, and i did. In a few hours soon realized the gravity of my mistake, but all had been lost. Since that day, we have been 'bhai-behen'. But, i have learnt from my mistakes, and now if some girl says the same lines, my reaction involves looking upwards staring at the ceiling whistling nonchalantly, as if i never heard what she said. Back to the story.

Orkut besides being a social networking site, also gives some dudes an oppurtunity to showcase their talents, put on display their 'sense of humour', compete with each other on who'd come up with the cheesiest lines. This is what a certain Mr Vignesh had to tell my friend,

"i really do not know you . But I want to grow up my friendship cycle . Thats why I had scrapped to you .. If you not interested please ignore and request you not to angry on me …"

Umm 'grow up my friendship cycle'? Is that like some food cycle? Personally, i think he first needs to grow up and no man, we cant be angry on anyone who comes up with such an earnest request ;)

SAMPLE NUMBER 2: This guy was named 'Cool guy' by his parents, or that's what he calls himself on this website. Check out the 'smartness'

"I thot d pizza i had last eve was the hottest thing in world.. your pic have proved me wrong though"

Saloni had to hit me with a plate to stop me from replying, "Whooo i thought the bhindi alu i had last eve was the crappiest thing in the world…your pics have proved me wrong though".

It was at this stage that we decided to come up with the "Most desperate orkutter award". The 2 member selection committe's criterion included "the dumbest about-me section" and other related description categories. So folks, help me decide the winner. These are the nominees …
1) Name :Mr Krishna Shetty.

About me: I am simple, friendly boy. Love to make decent friendship…love to have lots of friends with good mind.

Nero's doubt:Err do you want friends with good minds or do you make friends with a 'good mind' buddy? Pray, temme what a 'good mind' is?

Lol, and if you think im being too harsh on the 'simple' boy, well a bit of super investigation showed that he has joined just two communities -> a) Ganapati bappa Moriya and (b) Namita Lovers
Yup man, u just won the 'simplest person' award. I have a slight suspicion that Ganapati bappa was squirming in that community pic sitting next to the Namita Lovers community.

2) Name: 'Sid-the koolest one'

About me: I love to chat with girls at night. I..

We ran out of his page as fast as we could.

Nero's verdict: Chheeee chheeee chhheee

3) Name: Subrat Sen

About me: cool guy,very emotional,angry with liar, never make any girfriend,girls always wants to make friendship with me

Nero's comment: Yeah man, you are so cooool! Girls would just tear off their hair to catch a glimpse of you. In fact even men wanna be friends with you. The entire human race is craving to make love to you.Please dont ever leave us,we'll die. Sniff!

At this point, Saloni asked the most repeated girlie question "Neer, why are all you guys so lame?". And when i put out my tongue, in a most sophisticated fashion, she snorted "Yeah, and when u dont have an answer thats what you do. Get lost". Well that upset me. Not just the fact that she asked me to get lost which was an infintely difficult task considering that her house is really not that complex, but also coz my 'alpha male chauvinistic ego' had been pricked. "What you blaming guys for, girls are equally despo, just that they cant afford to show it in this hypocritical society". "Oh yeah?" Well we fought for an hour about that, and after i was told that i was a numbskull and she was informed that her brain was as active as a hibernating polar bear's, i went back home in a huff. Half an hour later, as i finished reading Daddy-Long-Legs,i went to my computer,logged onto orkut,went to her scrapbook and typed,

"Hi, im cool boy with simple mind.i had dosa today morning but you are hotter than the sambar that accompanied my meal. Your eyes remind me of the seeds i spat out when i had chutney. Pliss be my decent friend. Jai Ganapati. Yo!"

p.s For all those people, who missed out on the book 'Daddy-long-legs' before they turned 18, read it now. Its beautiful.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Nero versus the Law

I got up real early today. Eight o clock. For some reason, i was in a real happy mood, and much to the amusement of my roomies, was singing songs loudly while getting ready for office. After dropping Suresh at his stop, i turned towards my office's direction. As i approached Tiruvamiyur signal, from afar i could see a cop, standing on the left side, stopping all the bikers without helmets. I manouvered my bike to the right, and increased the speed but he had already spotted me. Showing amazing reflexes, he managed to cut me off, and though the thought struck me, and i attempted the stunt, my bike really did not lift off into the air and sail over him. Instead, it skidded to a halt right in front of him.

"License, insurance, No Objection Certificate" , he barked after grabbing my key.
"Errr, im not carrying the bike documents with me sir", i told him in my most girlish voice.
"What? Porkhi!!! License illa? "
"No sir, i have my license", i quipped and proceeded to take the magnificent card out of my wallet. As he looked at it, at the passport size picture of a lad, beaming unusally happily at the camera, i wondered if the dimple had the power to make him feel philantropic enough to let me go.

"Two thousand One hundred rupees" He barked. Apparently, it didnt have the power.
But 2100? I looked at my license, to check if i resembled any of those foreigners who visit India …. Well yeah i do sometimes look like a Greek God, but cmon still two thousand one hundred ?

"Err Sir ….. sorry! "
That's the best and only thing i could come up with. Well you cant blame me. "Sorry" has been ingrained into our systems right from when we were born. You do it too, so dont laugh at me. Porkhis!!! {I love that word, learnt it from that fellow}

"No sorry!" Two thousand one hundred rupees or court!
My brain had started processing by now."Please sir, im a student", i told him in the most heart wrenching voice possible.
"Student??!!! Which college?"

I duno why, whenever someone asks me this question in Chennai, the first thing that comes to my mind is Stella Maris {For all the non-chennaiites, Stella is a girls' college in Chennai. Maybe if ya write some nice comments, and ya guys come down sometime, ill take you there. I mean, ill show you its compund walls} Im not sure if he'd have bought the "Stella" thingie, so I racked my brains, trying to think up of some engineering college name. {What's that university? Bama… Bamas.. got it!!!! Bahamas University! But what if he asks me where it is? Gulp!}

"Err sir, IIT"
I swear he laughed. Aloud.
He looked at the license and laughed again. and i just couldnt get why. I mean, okay just coz i never ever topped college, my branch, or my class, not even my row, doesnt mean that i cant pass of for an IIT-ian. I wear specs, people!
"Ooooh IIT", He mocked.
"Yessir, First year". Apparently, im not a good liar. Coz i can swear he almost went "Tch, tch" as if challenging me to come up with something better.
"Sorry sir, please let me go. Ill carry my papers from next time sir", i pleaded. A lot of Cognizant people kept passing by and i hoped they wouldnt see me there. Murphy, obviously wanted to play a bit more with me and just then one of the cutest girls in Cognizant Tidel began to cross Tiruvanmiyur signal. Right when he started hollering.

Now we may not be on talking terms, but the idea of her seeing me being given a dressing down by a cop, sounded far from appealing. So, even though the cop kept on with his rant, i put up a casual face, turned to the other direction and whistled a tune in a non chalant fashion, hoping that she'd think i was just having a friendly conversation with the chappie. Probably about the weather?And as soon as she was out of "spotting" radius, i turned back apologetically towards the cop who now looked like the devil incarnate, disbelief etched on his face, that i had the gall to ignore him and even whistle, while he lectured me on the trafic rules. The invectives graduated from "porkhi" to some other words which we'll just call "beep beep beep" , and i looked on bemused.

There were a lot of other offenders too, riding without helmets and the constable kept lining them up meet this guy, the officer. He looked visibly calmer, after dealing with them {no doubt bulging pockets bringing about this sudden change} and i tried again. Finally he let me go for two hundred bucks, the max i have ever paid a cop.{I remember a cop demanding fifteen hundred once, and me paying a grand total of forty rupees.} Anyway, i have reached tidel now and hopefully the rest of the day will go uneventfully. So have a great day people, and remember to wear your helmets.

p.s My teammates have just informed me that that University was not "Bahamas" …It was Satyabhama …Hmm if she laughs at me, when i pass by, im gonna go up and tell her that i had stopped by to ask him why potato prices have become so high ;)

p.s 2 Yep, and im ordering you to wear your hemets while driving. {in a lecturing tone}" How would your parents feel if you died in an accident, haan? " … lol, yep you are right, he said that first;)

Adventures in the Goa Express

Okies people, the dude is back. I had gone home for the weekend, and returned back yest via train. Why im sharing this useless bit of information wid you is coz it reminded me of an incident im gonna force you all to read now.

It was the summer of ‘04. Sanjay and I were going back to college, Belgaum, from delhi (Aaah the mention of delhi brings a wide smile to my face) and the train was Goa Express. Me and Sanju loved Goa Express. Pune used to be a stop on the way, and as a rule all good looking north indian girls study in Pune. We often hoped that atleast one of these women would be going to Belgaum, and join our college, but no, not one good looking girl ever came to Belgaum in four years. Anyway back to the topic before all the women out there start calling me a shallow MCP.
So the scene in the compartment was like this. There were me n Sanju on berths 49 and 50, an old gentleman on 51, and three Pune females on 52,53 and 54. We all boarded at Delhi, and the joy that Sanju and I felt on meeting each other, best friends , sworn blood brothers (the oath? will never give up on each other and will always be there for each other till Pamela Anderson do us apart), at the platform was overshadowed as soon as we saw the the trio.

Contrary to the topics we were talking about at the platform (cricket, exam marks, copying in tests, mandira bedi,using colorful language the entire time), now we switched to global warming, rain water precipitation, famine in the third world.. You obviously know why! The fact that only the old gentleman( and i mean OLD; he looked so aged that i wouldnt be surprised if he was from the paleolithic era, probably the inventor of the first wheel) was the only one who showed any sort of interest was disheartening to us, but we took heart in the fact that maybe the trio were very shy and were secretly admiring us.

The journey continued, and the only male happy in that S4 compartment was Mr Ice Age, who insisted on telling me n Sanju stories about his childhood, about Indian independence , Madhubala (hmm hmm ) blah blah. Though we werent all that interested, we both didnt have the heart to ignore him and dutifully nodded our heads at everything and chuckled whenever he did so.

Oh alongwith Pune girls, Goa Express is also famous for eunuchs. Of the most boisterous kinds. They get in at stations in Madhya Pradesh and believe me, would go to any extents in extracting money from passengers. They even start stripping if people start refusing money and turn violent too. During such unpleasant situations, Sanju and i’d always act brave and mature and go hide in the toilet till these tyrants left our compartment.
Well, that day was no different, and soon we could hear the sound of claps and “Haye Haye”s from somewhere outside S4. I looked nervously at Sanju. Usually this glance was enough to get us both moving to the sweet smelling toilets but as it had to happen, this day was different. Sanju’s manly instincts had arisen (note: such things only happened when there were members of the opposite gender within a 3 metre radius) and with a firm look, he said “Not this time” to me. I looked at him incredulously. Fine, there were girls and it was hardly manly to escape but would he prefer being whacked all over on the head by the eunuchs in front of them??? How in heaven’s sake was was that manly? I looked at him again, my eyes betraying the fear in them, but the dude had decided and he wasnt going to budge. “We’ll tackle them” he said to me, his voice becoming deeper by the second. Well, i knew we werent, but who’d reason with this @#@$##$!!! The sound of claps and the rough voices kept increasing. I could even hear “booms” and “thumps” and imagined innocent passengers being thrashed. “Sanju”, i hoarsely mouthed, trying to keep my voice from sounding hysterical. His brows furrowed, he told me “I’ll take care of you”, his voice now sounding fatherly. Man, why why do guys never learn? I sat back with an air of resignation, knowing that now nothing could be done. Out of the corner of my eye, i could see the first of the 8 mammoth eunuchs heading towards our compartment. The old uncle had cleverly slept off on the upper birth (for 6 hours he had bugged us, and now .. hmph!). The girls, funnily , looked unperturbed. (Maybe coz they hadnt travelled in this train before n were not aware of how the eunuchs behaved. Plus, these eunuchs never bothered females that much. It was the men they took out their fury on).

Then it happened. I saw foot number one stepping into our compartment. And before I could see foot number two, i heard Sanjay yell “Run Neeraj” and bolt out of the compartment. The feet , 16 if can count right, were all in, before i could even figure out what Sanju had just done. I closed my eyes trying to look as if i was asleep. But acting has never been my strong point. The monsters played with my hair, my cheeks, my shirt, but i din give in. I was too angry now to even contemplate paying them a dime. They kept commenting, called me names, raised their clothes but i just looked away, red in the face, but firm in resolve. Finally they left and i breathed a sigh of relief. The “uncle”, that ols wily fox immediately woke up and came down to the lower berth. And after ten minutes, so did that dratted best friend of mine. And he had the cheek to laugh at me as i sorrowfully told him what those monsters had done. The girls, too, just couldnt stop laughing. Whom they were laughing at, is still a mystery to me. Anyway, that helped break the ice and we all got talking. We spoke till late in the night till that Akbar’s grandad scolded us and told us to go off to sleep. Next day, when Pune came, we all exchanged numbers, and to this day we havent lost touch with each other.

Sanjay and I remained best friends throughout college. We were there for each other during exams, supported each other during matches, were there in the same team when our college won the zonal cricket tournament after 7 years .We were standing side by side yelling madly when Ganguly waved his shirt in the Lord’s balcony and every year on Republic Day, we’d be standing together looking at the skies and saluting,pride in our hearts, when the fighter planes would fly over my terrace. We will be there for each other when we get married (going to be the best men in each other’s ) and will enroll our sons in the same cricket academy. Will be there for each other till the end.
…But if ever i hear a eunuch again, im gonna think about that traitor best friend of mine, abuse him a whole lot in my mind and run away like hell.