Cafeteria a.k.a Country

There’s a big LCD TV in the cafeteria at my workplace. TataSky enabled, really funky.

The problem (‘coz everything I write about is a ‘problem’ at some level), then, is the programmes we get to watch on that TV during our time spent in the cafeteria. If I happen to be there for breakfast some days (woe to ye if you judge me on my breakfast-making habits), I’m faced with either Tom & Jerry or on unluckier days, Himesh Reshammiya. The remote control is always absconding. On second thoughts, maybe that’s just me.

During lunch hours, one is blessed by some mundane Hindi news channel, as opposed to the umpteen English news channels that can be viewed. News channels are safe bets when it comes to a TV in a public place ‘coz it’s very generic in nature. Unlike the saas-bahu soaps or, well, Himesh Reshammiya’s nasal tones. My issue with Hindi news channels? Nothing in particular, just that it’s too local and reminds one of cheap tabloids where the front page is dedicated to the pathbreaking news that a certain third rate actress was found in the company of a certain fourth rate actor in some fifth rate place. This, when bomb blasts rip my city apart and the culprits are still at large. This, when Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention has been extended by one more year by the military government of Myanmar. This, when diplomatic wars are being fought across countries which vaguely gives one the fear that Nostradamus might just hit the bull’s eye with his predictions.

But my rant is not about Hindi news channels. My rant is with the fact that I go to that cafeteria almost every day for my lunch and not once have I actually fished out the remote control from its hiding place and changed the channel to something that can be viewed by the majority. Ok, kidding, change the channel to something that can be viewed by me.

And as I sat there today having my lunch, hearing my colleagues and myself ranting about the stupid channel, it hit me that the state of the cafeteria is, sadly, the state of our country. I know to crib and cry about being made to watch stupid channels, but I rarely go for that remote control to change it. A lot of us know to crib and cry about the state of our country, but very few actually do something to change it. I can tolerate Tom & Jerry, but not the cheap news channels. Just like I can tolerate some politician making money out of fodder, but not politicians/rich-buggers escaping the law just because they have money and power.

Tomorrow I’m going to change the channel if I don’t like what I’m seeing.

If someone has a problem with that, I can always chuck the remote into the sambhar that’s floating in the oil. And then the entire world will watch what I want them to watch. *evil laughter follows*

P.S: Updates on my blog could become irregular for the next few weeks. I have deadlines to meet and most times miss, books to read, movies to watch – in short, a life to live. And this time around, reality ruins my virtual life. Bear with me, dear readers. And enjoy the peace and calm in this space while it lasts. One is tempted to use cliches like ‘the calm before the storm’, but one refrains.

Back to class

Once in a while in your hectic life that is worklife, you get sent back into class for ‘trainings’. Long long ago, so long ago, no one knows how long ago, I used to be in college. Where you had to be present before the bell rang, where coming late was the norm for hostel-folks and we (day scholars) were considered geeky nerds (yeah, if geek and nerd by itself wasn’t bad enough) just because we sat in the front bench and came on time. Don’t even get me started on school.

But I digress.

Without divulging a lot of details, I’ll just say that I had a one day training class on a non-technical topic recently. No, you can’t make me say what it was about. I’m just saving you some laughs. Given below are some of the observations I made in my notepad. Instead of listening to the instructor, you ask? No. I wrote these during those awkward silences that happen when the instructor asks a very easy question but no one answers ‘coz everyone’s so sure it’s a trick question because the answer is so insanely simple. Too much education does that to you, ya know.

Observations –

– You get a wicked pleasure in seeing the latecomers come late. If you had to get up an hour ahead of your usual schedule just to get there on time, it is so totally unfair to have someone coming late. I have absolutely no qualms in judging you. Very critically at that.

– The EQ questionnaires. They have become oh-so-smarty-pants these days. I’ll tell you why. The same question (word for word, mind you) is repeated at least thrice in the course of a 80 question questionnaire. If you’re lying (for no apparent reason ‘coz the answers are known only to you and you alone), you better have a good memory and keep your lying consistent. Else they call your bluff and you end up with what is, indeed, the truth. Which ofcourse is very bitter.

– I went one up on the smarty-pants questionnaire. I went back and checked my answer for the two previous times the same question was asked and kept my answer consistent. Take that, you silly stapled piece o’ questionnaire paper!

– During breaks, if you happen to be some of the few in the room who decided the cafeteria coffee was not exactly worth getting up for, the topic of discussion is almost always the traffic and/or the weather. And trust me, everyone bitches about traffic. And everyone thinks the weather’s way too hot. Even if you’re talking in December, you ultimately end up talking about how bad the summer was! I think they should pass a law that forbids you to discuss weather.

– When the instructor calls out for volunteers to help him/her with something, the first reaction from us is panic. Plain, unadulterated panic. No one makes eye contact with the instructor lest he/she be called. That’s when you remembered something really important that you absolutely had to make a note of and reach for your pen and paper. Or you just act like you were deaf. And look at everyone around you thinking ‘why the heck won’t you people volunteer? I’m deaf, I didnt hear a thing she said’.

These are just things I noticed in one session. But what still amazes me is that even after being out of class for so many years, that vision of someone teaching you still makes you do things that you used to do in school/college, even though it’s completely unnecessary now because now you’re a grown up! You can even walk out of that training room and no one can exactly ask you why. And even if they do, you can lie through your teeth and have them believe you one hundred percent. For, people, such is the life of a grown-up. Even if we don’t volunteer to do something on front of 10 other colleagues. Even if we still take notes on things we know for sure we’ll never need in our life. What if the ‘teacher’ saw me sitting without taking notes?!! Oh dear.

Ouch my toe!

The title refers to my very emotional outburst when I stubbed my little toe [1] (which I think is not exactly so little anymore) on a sharp corner and spent the next 48 hours limping around like Capt. Long John Silver, minus the crutch and the parrot. It’s amazing how a little toe can cause so much pain and anguish in my otherwise painless and anguishless life. The little bugger was swollen to two times it’s normal size and wouldn’t let me take a step without wincing when the pain shot up till my knee.

This is not the first time I stubbed my toe. No sire, it’s not. If you know me well, you’d also know my tryst with resistentialism. To tweak my long-long-ago-so-long-ago limerick,

Once there was a girl who was accident-prone –
Whatever she did, it always ended with her groan.
She stubbed her toe today,
Like she does everyday
It’s a pity resistentialism won’t leave her alone!

Now for the conspiracy theory: When this happened before, my allegations were pointed at the Chair and the Bed. And I was this close to actually proving that the Bed did not like me one bit. I mean, let’s face it – you stub you toe once, fine. Twice, fine. Thrice, well I have doubts. But the fourth time? And the fifth? I’m not blind, people! I can see things before I actually go bump into them and my policy in life has always been to never bump into the same thing twice. So the only other explanation to this painful incident is Mr.Bed [2]. The 6X6 wooden Goliath is taking on a poor hapless David aka me. Injustice, I tell you!

Just as I was on the verge of asking my husband to throw him out (and get me a new one, all at the risk of sounding highly insane and plain mental), I stub my toe on the door frame. The interesting thing here is that Ms.Door Frame is also made of wood, from a good teak lineage and has a really slim figure with a glossy polish – which Mr.Bed totally fancies. That cheating bag o’ wood hasn’t given a second thought to his wife, Mrs.Mattress and their Pillow kids. How awful, isn’t it? And Ms.Frame is so smitten by this 6×6-monster-with-a-fancy-bedstead that she had absolutely no qualms in going against the Door family and turning against me, me who owns the very marble and concrete on which she stays attached! Where is this world coming to, I ask you!

So, what’s gonna happen now? Nothing much. Mr.Bed and Ms.Frame are going to elope, leaving me sleeping on a weeping Mrs.Mattress, who’s now orphaned with two little Pillows. If this isn’t heart-rending, what is?!!!

There’s just no point rambling here on my blog when I have this grave a situation on my hands at home. I’ve declared a state of emergency, and any Door related activities can happen only with my prior approval. Mr.Bed has been considerably warned against carrying on with his nefarious doings – hopefully he understands that being dismantled is a very ugly thing to go through indeed. Ms.Frame has been let off this one time with a strict warning that anything like this again would mean 100 times of shutting the Door really hard into Ms.Frame. Mrs.Mattress keeps thanking me profusely everytime I walk into the room (with unstubbed toes, mind you), and the Pillows have been so well behaved that I decided to let them lie around on the bed for a day without being stuck to one position.

I’m still watching out for any new developments on this saga. And how will I know if something’s cookin’? Well, I still have some unstubbed toes left. And I still live with the same furniture.

[1] Contrary to popular belief, the title does not refer to a famous blogger’s famous blog of the same name. I’m hoping he hasn’t copyrighted the words, ‘coz I really don’t know what I would say when I stub my little toe!

[2] Note that it’s Mr.Bed and not Mrs.Bed. I do not share Ekta Kapoor’s ideas on how women do all the cheating, scheming and evil things, while men are their poor victims. I’m not exactly a feminist, but I do have my prejudices, whims and fancies. Sue me.

————————————————————————————————
Poll is still on, please feel free to goad me to new heights or lambast me to newer lows, as applicable. Since I’m the one who started it, who actually asked for it, apparently I don’t have a right to complain. But don’t take everything light, ok? As opposed to good people with good hearts, I don’t take criticism in a nice way. I keep grudges and take revenge all the time. If you’re mean to me, well, count your days for they are numbered!

(I’m hoping if I intimidate you enough, you’ll all go ahead and vote saying you dont care what the blog looks like ‘coz I write so amazingly well. Time will tell if my plan worked or backfired. Bless the two souls who actually voted for that option.)

And the following ‘comments’ from the not-so-blessed souls who clicked on ‘Other’. As usual, sarcy comments in square braces by me –

  • fook gak gablonk pbffffffffff!!!! [most definitely a Calvin fan! Cmon, own up.]
  • I am not bothered by them, do you? [I asked you. You’re asking me back?! Man!]
  • just wanted to put kalla vote 😀 [Long live you! thiruththave mudiyaadhu.]

Thanks much. I asked for it, yes.

Like I’ve said before, with friends like this who needs enemies!

Mayday! Mayday!

Update [15th May, 2007]: The poll has been closed, thanks to the schmuck who decided to cast 32 votes saying I should remove all widgets and another 32 saying I’m crap. I appreciate your enthusiasm, Mr.S, but shut it. And you know what’s the best part? I’m completely ignoring you 64 times. How’s that?!

Rest of world, thank you! I’ll put in the changes to the template as soon as I find some time and inclination. And I’ll try not to bother you guys with polls again. Thanks!

HOUSTON! WE HAVE A PROBLEM!

I’ve been postponing this little decision for so long now that I’ve finally decided to decide.

Problem Statement: I’ve been having this template for Thought Process for the last few months and I’ve ended up adding so many fancy widgets over time (mainly ‘coz, well, they caught my fancy!) that it’s come to a point where I’m beginning to find the blog cluttered up with too many things. Hence this poll.

Steps to arrive at conclusion: So, my dear readers, would you be so kind as to spend a few of your precious minutes, take this poll and let me know your ideas on what you would like to see on Thought Process, please? A lot of you are anon (or so I kid myself, so humor me will ya?) for reasons best known to yourselves – this poll would be a great way to keep your anonimity and still let me know what you think! Like they say, two mangoes with one stone. (insert sheepish+guilty look at murdering another Tamil idiom).

So without any further ado, scroll down, read the question carefully and exercise your right to franchise TODAY!

Thanks for your time and have a great day!

The way they work…

I’m out of ideas for my next post (yes, yes, go party. But I will come back with a vengeance, mind you). So what did I do? Recycle, ofcourse!

The following post was originally published on January 14, 2006 A.D. Although it was very warmly welcomed on the blogger’s erstwhile mainstay blog (on Yahooo 360), it did not have any impact on the blogger’s current mainstay blog (this blog). Hence the re-attempt (apart from other sundry reasons).

Also, please note that the content and language of this post is from early 2006 A.D. and might be out-dated as of today. By the time you finish the post you would also realize how much the blogger has grown over the past 1 year with respect to this blog and blogging, in general.

Some things I’ve learnt after god-knows-how-many (B/T/K)ollywood movies…

1. If the engagement ceremony of the hero’s sister is shown with unusual aplomb and fanfare (with a song in which the hero has to sing his sister’s praises and dance), then the marriage will not happen due to some horrible reason and/or the sister will die in very sad conditions. This is, however, not applicable to Suraj Barjatya movies – his movies are all one big ceremony after the other.

Corollary – If the hero has a sister, she will be raped by the villian and/or she will die.

2. If anybody wearing spectacles removes them, someone has just died or been diagnosed as a terminally ill cancer patient. It will usually be someone closely related to the hero.

3. It’s perfectly normal for the hero and heroine to jump around and dance – even in the middle of Mount Road.

4. Even if the hero is a pauper, he will wear jeans and his jeans will be a Levi/Lee/CK..worst case Pepe. Don’t even get me started on the shoes.

5. All ghosts will wear a white saree and leave their hair untied (all ghosts are female unless specifically picturised otherwise). They will generally loiter around at exactly 12 o’clock outside the heroine’s house. They will also sing creepy-tuned songs – and the heroine will scream only after the song ends.

6. The villian has to give a big speech to the hero (who’s help captive) about how he managed to do all that he did (the hero was dumb enough not to know) and then boast about killing him finally. This will give time for the hero to send eye-signals to the side-kick to do something equally stupid and get out.

7. Whenever the hero comes to see the heroine (jumping gates and climbing walls) just like that, he will not be caught. However, the day he comes to take the heroine with him, the heroine’s dad will see him and catch him or atleast chase him to the nearest tall building/hill-top temple (depending on whether the movie is in the city or a village).

8. The hero’s side-kick will be dumber than the hero, but smarter than the villian (read point 6). The villian’s side-kicks will have an IQ of a teaspoon.

9. If the heroine’s dad wants to send her abroad (because she loves the hero ofcourse), visa formalities will happen overnight. Flight tickets also will be booked (and confirmed actually) overnight – even to the USA! It will mostly be USA. Or Canada.

10. Heroines cannot commit suicide. They just will not die – someone is usually around to kick the door open and take them to the hospital.

Phew!

P.S: Bless the soul who put an entry in Wiki for Mount Road!