Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hey poet, food waiting

Another Saturday weekly off. Decided to chill out lazily when good friend Subramani, a married bachelor like me, rang up around noon to say he is waiting to share lunch with a special Avial (Mixed veg).
Had to rush. So dashed to the same saloon (you remember?) for a rapid haircut and shave. The same hair cutter was there, Asianet TV was on and he sported the same smile. I sat on the same chair, and in minutes it was the same bloodbath on my face. Dunno whether he used the same razor.
Before leaving, put on the DVD to hear some old Tamil songs. One brilliant title went on like this: “Look at the hen, how early it gets up, see the sparrow, how active it is, check out the crow, how it calls out its friends. And look at ourselves! Oh God, serious stuff.
OK. Moved on to the next song. It was about a man who could not believe someone very close could have said something like that. The lines: “Did she say this? Can’ttttt beeee. Salty sea can turn sweet, all 30 days can turn full moon days, a burnt corpse may rise and walk, but she could not have said this.”
Ooof what lines! It continued, “Mom’s milk may turn toxic, I may forget you and still survive, but how could you have said this?”
Hey, hey, poet, I screamed, “Avial is waiting.”
I put off the DVD and called out, “Taxiiii.”

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Look at the mirror

I can never forget Lata D Mello.
“Change your hairstyle, stupid. Front to rear combing instead of left to right is the new trend,” this brilliant colleague yelled at me once after I got a promotion in my Mumbai newspaper. “Mature up.”
I did so promptly and you know how handsome I look now.
And so it happened that I told a female colleague yesterday, “Change your hairstyle.”
“What’s wrong with my present style?” she asked.
“You attend major conferences and will look more presentable with a new style.”
“You talking about looks?” she asked me.
And hastily picked up her handbag.
I thought she’s offering a gift for the great idea.
Out came a tiny mirror.
“Have a look at yourself.”

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Here's (y)our award

Awesome. Here's another award from wonderful blogger friend Kadri. How lucky I am to have such wonderful friends all around. Herewith dedicating the award as usual to all the visitors of this blog.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

‘Next time I will slap him’

Whenever I manage to shake off my laziness and go for an early morning walk, I feel as happy as a child who gets a “kitchu kitchu” (tickle).
Today was one such day and I walked briskly. The weather in Sharjah is pleasant and will remain like this through December. I feel like inviting all blog friends home. Hey, don’t take me seriously; if you come you have to starve like me as I am a horrible cook.
OK. While walking I slowed down because two middle-aged Desi women passed by. My ears sharpened. Rotten gossip.
The first woman was telling the other, “You should have asked him to get lost.”
“I did. He’s shameless. Next time, I will slap him.”
There was a pause as they noticed me.
Then the second one said in a hush-hush tone: “That day he took my cellphone and was looking at it as if he has never seen one. Shameless.”
I looked. They looked.
I felt as if the first lady was telling the other, “Here comes another crook.”
So I moved ahead on top gear.
God save men from women and women from men, and women from women and men from men.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Just for a break

I had been to the Emirates Humour Club meeting yesterday in Dubai. Lemme share just three jokes I heard there;
* A man was looking at a new three-storey building in a dejected mood.
“Why you look so sad?” asked a passer-by.
“I have completed three floors of this building,” he replied.
“Lovely. So this is your building.”
“Ya. But I am just wondering who is the land owner!”

* Son was crying. Dad asked why.
“Mom beat me.”
“Don’t cry. Have you seen me crying when your mama beats me?”

* “Wake up that sleeping guy,” the lecturer told James.
“Sir, first you make him sleep and now you ask me to wake him up,” replied James.
NB: Hey, who's that running after me with a stick! These jokes are not mine.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Brat who bit me

Everyone loves children, me too. But rogue children get on my nerves.
What? Are you asking me why I am angry?
OK, tell some brat to bite your hand and then ask this question.
I was at my friend’s home when this little monster was told by his dad: “Say Hi to uncle?”
The brat replied: “Hi chesma (specs) uncle.”
“Don’t say that beta (son),” this was his dad.
The monkey then tried to climb on my shoulders and in the process pushed down my specs.
This was when his dad gave him a mild slap and the monkey turned his ire on me while crying. He bit my hand saying “It’s all because of you,” and ran towards his loving mom, who hugged him.
What a wonderful family! I escaped in a matter of seconds. Who wants bite marks all over?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Stingy friend’s dirty trick

I told you about a close relative who was stingy.
Once we were enjoying dinner at his home, when he put off the light.
“The TV is on. Why do you need the tubelight?” he asked.
With my scratch-filled specs, I could hardly see. I almost picked up items from my wife’s plate as she was sitting next to me.
Why do I remember that relative now?
Well, yesterday, a miserly colleague’s phone buzzed a Bollywood tune.
“Who is this?” he asked and continued, “Oh, professor? You are already in our reception room? I will be there in a minute.”
He turned to me and said: “I do not want to pay for this man’s coffee. Do you have Dhs100?”
Puzzled, I nevertheless gave him the money. He dragged me to the reception room.
After initial greetings, he asked the professor, “Coffee or tea?”
As I looked worrying about my Dhs100, the professor replied: “Coffee, without sugar please.”
My friend promptly ordered coffee and within minutes the canteen boy arrived.
Just when the professor was relishing the sugar-less coffee, my friend asked the canteen boy loudly, “You have change for Dhs100?”
The innocent professor kept the cup down and said, “I think I have some change.”
“No, no, no professor. It’s insulting,” the dramatist played his game well.
The poor professor finished his discussion and thanked us for the coffee he paid for. And I got my Dhs100 back.

Friday, November 13, 2009

63-year young man

He’s all of 63 and a marketing man. He has an amazing tact in networking and keeps in regular touch with all good friends. He had to leave UAE for India last month, dealing a blow to me as I miss a great friend.
He does not get a single penny out of it, but writes his views regularly in letters to the editor columns that are splashed across several newspapers in the UAE and India.
From where do you get such energy? I asked Mr Ragavan.
“I enjoy what I am doing and do what I enjoy doing,” he replied.
How about your romantic life? I joked as usual.
“Hehe..Don’t ask in front of my wife,” he said blushing.
“Are you scared of your wife?”
“It is not fear, but love for my family. What about you?” he asked.
“I am the boss of my house and I have my wife’s permission to say so,” I used the cliché to escape.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How sweet!

I was born with a sweet tooth (now mostly capped by dentists is another matter) and I am also a coffee addict who can hardly resist the temptation of adding sugar to the cup that cheers.
Yesterday when I asked the waiter to bring additional sugar, my colleague warned me, “Buddy, better check your sugar level.”
“Life is short. Let’s make it sweet,” I cajoled him.
When I reached home, my roommate was waiting with a box of chocolates which he just got from London.
“I cannot take chocolates. Please give it to someone else. Chocolates are the worst enemies of the teeth,” I said.
“I thought you like sweets, stupid. I would have given it to my gorgeous receptionist,” he said.
Vallah. An idea flashed in my mind. I grabbed the box. I can give to my receptionist, what say? She may not be gorgeous, but.. hehe.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Facing the steam of life

Routine sucks and so decided to take a short break during Christmas time and visit Chennai/Mumbai. Will have to wait for a month. It seems air fares always soar high, never to land. Hey, not grumbling buddy. This is just a common man’s perennial complaint.
After booking a ticket, I entered a restaurant in Rolla, Sharjah, with a friend for “Vada” breakfast.
“Enna venum? (What do you want?) asked the waiter.
He hardly looked a Madrasi.
“Where the heck are you from?” I asked instantly.
“Why? I am from Kathmandu,” he replied.
“How come, such fluent Tamil?”
“If you work in a Rolla restaurant for 10 years like me, you will also pick up at least seven languages,” he replied, looking at my friend and shifting to Malayalam.
“Shall we consider the offer?” joked my friend.
Free accommodation, food.., he listed.
I frequent many restaurants for dinner. I know how these workers slog several hours a day. Many of them get hardly two days’ off in a month and their pay is pathetic to say the least. They are mostly cheerful, but behind the façade they face challenges one cannot imagine.
“Have a good day,” I told the Nepali friend, dragged my companion out and moved on.

Friday, November 6, 2009

He would have bashed us up

He was short-tempered. One day he punched my boss on his face, broke his specs and lost his job. But he’s such a wonderful, goodhearted guy, we always kept in touch.
Once I went with another Bihari friend working in Kolkata to his house in Navi Mumbai. I had already taken lunch.
He told his wife, “Bring some snacks.”
“No, I just had a heavy lunch,” I replied.
By that time his wife had brought the snacks.
“Kha,” (Eat) he said.
“Hmm,” I hesitated.
“Kha, khaa, khaaaaa,” he screamed.
Within minutes my plate was half empty.
I turned to look at my Bihari friend.
That bum was already washing his plate.
When we were returning home, the Bihari friend joked: “Baapre, if we had not eaten, he would have bashed us up.”

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Now is the time

At last, I managed to break a two-month jinx and go for a walk/exercise early morning. Felt awesome when I returned and started humming.
“You were down last week. The new book you are reading seems to have made you more positive,” said my roommate. He was referring to The Power of Now.
“Sort of,” I replied. “I am trying to live in the present. Past and future are not worth bothering about.”
“How can you negate past and future,” he laughed.
“Anyway. I liked an anecdote in the book,” I continued. The author was watching some ducks. They were having a merry time floating on the water in a group. Only once, a duck tried to obstruct the path of another. There was a tiff. The two fought for a few seconds. They then moved in different directions as if nothing had happened and flapped their wings “as if to shed their negative energy.” In seconds, they were all together and the past was forgotten.
“All this are OK to read. Tomorrow you get disturbing news and you will start grumbling again,” said my roommate.
“Precisely,” I replied. “Tomorrow I may get. But why waste this precious moment now speculating about tomorrow?”
Smart reply, eh! When I have brilliant friends like you, how can I not be smart? hehe
BTW, guys & gals, this is my 250th post. Do you want to pat me? Pat yourself, if this blog exists, it's because of you, you, you..

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why don’t you say hello?

We have been working in the same office for eight years, but this guy has never said a “Hi” to me.
I was hence stunned yesterday when he said “Hello.”
I felt like someone had gifted me a gold chain.
“Hello,” I reacted. “How you doing?”
“Ya good. I wanted to ask you something,” he said.
“Please shoot.”
“I have noticed you waving your hands to so many people. But why is it you always try to avoid me? Does my face look so dirty?”
Booooomm. I felt like I was stung by a scorpion pushed into my shirt.
“He he, ho ho,” somehow I escaped.
Being an old teenager has its merits. I plunged into memory lane.
I was entering the editorial section of my office in Mumbai one day when I saw that woman (hey..not so pretty OK?) coming from the opposite direction.
“Hey, How you doing?” I asked casually.
She looked at me as if someone had pinched her.
“Sorry I do not recollect who you are,” she snapped.
OMG. What an embarrassment.
It’s a different matter that she indeed knew me. That woman’s dad was working in a different section and had taken Rs100 as loan from me.
What a world of contradictions we live in!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Up above world so high

I do not like skyscrapers. Whenever I see a ground-plus one building in Dubai I feel good. Sharjah has several skyscrapers. But I feel tall buildings lack the human touch. They turn cities into concrete jungles.
Why my sudden outburst? Walking on Al Wahda yesterday, an empty toothpaste packet fell on my shoulders. I looked up, up and up. How to locate the culprit hiding in one of those multistoreyed flats! I had to just move on, thanking the stars that it wasn’t some heavy metal thrown on my head instead.
I remembered a friend who said he had a fight with his sister and threw her book away. Out it went through the window of the third floor and landed on the watchman's head. My friend had to bribe the watchman not to create a scene.
My family was staying on the fifth floor in Mumbai. My wife had asked my daughter to dump some “dal” (cooked cereal) in the garbage bin. The lazy girl quietly threw it out of the window. The “dal” splattered across a new car parked on the ground floor by an advocate. In 10 minutes, the guy was in our apartment. His Honour left only after I had tendered a thousand apologies.
And people ask why I like to wear caps! At this rate, we may be forced to wear helmets while walking near skyscrapers.