Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thangamani Enjoy!

The synapses are sparking away with newly discovered mojo. The Mrs. (and I acknowledge the high probability of her reading this) is going to be away for a couple of days next week.

Already, the troops are alive to the fact that the CO is getting some shore leave. Plans of a collegial nature are afoot, with blue prints being circulated across various media. A bottle of Single Malt (thank you, Bharat!) awaits its uncorking. My good friend Mary Joe might drop in. I've keyed in all the home delivery greasy spoons on my speed dial. That eclectic genre of film - the stoner movies - have been downloaded and primed for DVD release (forgive me, piracy police). ITC has been forewarned of a sudden spike in demand. Music of a loud and often tuneless nature has been "pre-loaded" onto my iPod - I love attaching "pre-" to every activity word (verb, if you will). It's a meaningless prefix that George Carlin hates - something I pre-ordered on a pre-vious trip State-side

And yet...and yet...I am pretty sure I'm going to miss the Mrs. (pardone moi for the tasteless pun) terribly. Honey, if you're reading this - it's not a get-out-of-jail card. I really mean it! There are many things that we married men as a class take for granted (I will not delve into the most private of these, you pervs). By the way, what's the difference between being kinky and pervy? Being kinky is using a feather; you're a perv if you use the entire chicken!

Party's at my place next week, gentlemen.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Labor Pains

A Vice President (HR) was recently clubbed to death in Coimbatore. Reason? He laid off a bunch of striking workers who were obstructing others who actually wanted to get some work done.

I now wait for the Labor Minister to make a statement similar to the one last year (when the MD of Graziano got nailed). Something on the lines of "Modern business should recognize the power of labour, and should consider all other options before retrenching employees." Duh!
For a socio-capitalist nation, we do have some strange practices. What next? A gangland-type execution reserved for the Facilities Manager because he removed the current canteen wallah?

I'm going to stick my neck out here and point an accusing finger at two parties:

1. Armchair communists: You know the type. The ones who wear Fab India kurtaas and drive around in mildly luxurious cars while spouting Marx and writing copious pages in a leading national fortnightly about the bleak outlook for India's poor. If you're reading this, I hate you for your hypocrisy. I hate you for your rabble rousing. And I hate you for supporting causes to gain publicity.

2. Bolly, Kolly, Tolly, Molly, and other types of 70 mm wood: The greedy industrialist (GI) and his cruel side kick with a hair lip and steroid-infused musculature. And the common man hero who's lost his father, mother, unwed sister, and kindly grandmother to a fit of rage courtesy Hair Lip. And the police, by way of being in the pocket of GI, justice is denied.
Namma Hero executes a devilishly clever plan. He joins GI's company and reforms people from the inside. Hair Lip turns out to be a kind-hearted chap whose father used to shoe-beat him when he was a kid. And voila! Everyone turns on GI. Oh, and GI's daughter falls for Namma Hero.
I hate the constant rich vs. poor theme that stereotypes the successful as greedy and cruel, and the poor as being hopelessly subjugated. I hate the way the hero (whose billing for that particular film is slightly more than Cuba's GDP) mindlessly seeks that elusive reward - justice! And I especially hate the way violence is projected as the only way of making one's point.

You want to strike? Strike peacefully. You want to be heard? Make an intelligent argument. Fasting, demonstrating, stoning cars, burning effigies, blocking roads, and voicing lewd suggestions are not the best ways to win sympathy and make your point.

That said, my father-in-law is an HR professional. For his birthday later this year, I'm gifting him a little something that my friends Smith & Wesson made for me.

What Maketh a Bangalorean?

I met a charming man (CM) the other day. He was about 5' 10", of slight build, and his stained teeth betrayed a fondness for the paan. He was weaving through the light afternoon traffic on a gear-less step-through scooter, confident in the belief that his vehicle's derrière ended where he sat. It was this belief that encouraged him to brake-test me while cutting from Lane 1 to Lane 3 at an acute angle.

I braked heavily, startling my parents and wife. I also punched the horn button, tooting angrily at the said CM. CM obviously didn't enjoy being tooted at (who does?) and he pulled up in front of me to have a mano a mano type argument. Being stout-hearted and nursing a fondness for the m-a-m myself, I decided to exit the car and introduce myself to CM.

CM proceeded to employ some fruity Hindi cuss words. It was a sheer waste of breath and time, as I frankly don't get Hindi c.w. Give me the poetic Tamizh c.w. any day of the week. A well-directed Kaep Maari, Porambokku, or l.k.b (this last one is of Hindi origin, but has been fondly and permanently adopted by my state mates).

Anyway, CM realized that Hindi wasn't doing it for him, whereupon he decided to share his hypothesis on Tamizhian drivers with me. My car sports a TN registration (bit of the DQ charging the windmills there), and it wasn't difficult for him to deduce my native. CM claimed that TN drivers honked more than Bangaloreans, drove worse than Bangaloreans, and didn't belong in Bangalore. He was apparently some sort of an Ambassador for Bangalore, as he interspersed his tirade with sweet entreaties such as, "Chill, machan. Why are you getting tense? You are in Bangalore now. So chill machan....". Such e. failed to convince me of his friendly intentions, as the body of his monologue questioned the legality of my parentage, with mild threats of how easy it would be to set fire to my car.

Seeing that this friendly chat was going nowhere, I turned away from him. As I walked back to the car, he screamed out in frustration, asking me to return to where I belong. This last statement stung me. For Madras is closer to Bangalore than Patna is.