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a night under the sun - a true psychedelic story with morals

"Ahh! A perfect night under the sun!" said the kid, spending the hot summer day laying dazed under the shade of the mango tree, and seeing stars as he chewed on pieces of magic mushrooms.

Actually, those bloody 'shrooms' (as the 'yo dudes' prefer to call them) make you see more than just stars. For me, I was in my own version of Alice in Wonderland. Alok in Wonderland I'd like to call it. Though I didn't see stars, I did see our house get up and walk up and down the street a couple of times, to come sit back down again. And this was while my darling 'P' was having an amicable conversation with the neighbourhood trees. Funnily, at that point of time, it all felt so real. Like I said, Alok in Wonderland. :)

If this was not amazing enough, you should hear about a friend, his friend, and his friend's friend's trip to Wonderland. The friend, his friend and his friend's friend were in a certain hill station infamous for taking its visitors on a really colourful trip. One night, as the clock struck 12, and high on some local liquor and their faithful shrooms, our brave men braved the chilling chills of the climate to break into a golf course. Trampling through the greens they trudged ahead, slaying every imaginary dragon that came their way. This was until suddenly the friend's friend's friend (let's just call him f3 for convenience), fell victim to hunger. Luckily a bunch of bananas came to his rescue. Telling his friends that he'll catch up with them, he plonked his arse under a tree to devour the delicacies.

Now, the REAL facts according to f3 (from his secret hideout): After seating his tush under the tree, he peeled a banana to relish its ripe insides. This is when he noticed a cow having a midnight snack close by. Feeling a rush of responsibility towards his fellow living being, he offered it his peel, which it tongues up cheerfully. But mice were still crawling up his stomach walls, so f3 satiated his hunger by peeling another banana, while offering the peel to his new found compadre. Another banana. And another. And yet another, till just one remained. After he gulped this down with just as equal a fervor as the others, he turned to throw the pale peel to his dear chum. That's when he saw the cow staring him right in the face. And it asked him in a low menacing moo, "Brudda, why are you throwing me JUST the peels?!"

The last my friend and his friend saw of f3 was of him running past the 18th hole, faster than a speeding golf ball struck by Mr. Woods, with a cow hot on his heels.

Morals of the story: Kids, stay off drugs! And don't feed cows banana peels!

the start and end of my aromatic affairs

My romance with fragrances started with this cute, peppy little thing called CK One... who I was faithful to for many years. We were blissfully happy in our scented little world for a long time, until that fateful night I met the vivacious and lusty Ms. Hilfiger in my ex-best friend ZR's loo. I had a drink too many, and went to the restroom to make space for some more. I was busy trying to keep my balance, aim 'mini me' right and get the hair out of my face, all at the same time, when I noticed her longingly peeking out from the open mirror cupboard. Our eyes met, and so began my secret love affair with her. It was a passionate one, with subtle fruity undertones. But CK One soon found out about it, when I went home in a drunken stupor, with a faint felt of Hilfiger on my clothes. We parted ways amicably, though I must admit, we did have a couple of one night stands over the years (you can't forget old lovers now, can you?) .

We were together through most of my early school years, happy in our respective smells. But sadly, I have a rich history of fragrance philanderers in my family tree, and it wasn't long before I succumbed to my dormant instincts. I cheated on Hilfiger with OP Juice, who my dad introduced me to... but boy what a tantalizing shape she had!

By then I had tasted blood (and a variety of it at that!), and was craving for more. So it came as no surprise when I unceremoniously dumped OPJ in favour of Perry Ellis Portfolio. She was by far my favourite companion, though I did have a couple a brief flings with Ms. Ralph Lauren, CK's siblings - Truth and Eternity (the sexy twins who I'd met in the perfume section of Shoppers Stop), and dated Coolwater, Silver shadow and Ferrari (not in any particular order) for some time.

I finally had enough of my evil ways and found my life partner in BVLGari. I thought I've settled down for life, when 'pumpkin' introduced me to Perry Ellis Portfolio Green, Perry Ellis's younger and hotter sibling. My dormant playboy instincts once again awoke, and I rekindled my romance with the Perry Ellis family.

Sadly my affair with fragrances ended in a sniff. I was flirting with my latest body candy - RL's Romance Silver at J's place, when my dear friend J let go of a particularly smelly one (what was known as an SBD back in school). Its odour was so traumatising, that it scarred my love for fragerances forever. A tragic but swift end to my parfuminizing ways I suppose.

But what left a really bad taste (or smell!) was when he tried getting away with it by blaming it on his dog!

al pacino... the cooler brother of cap puccino

They are both conversation starters. They are both equally craved for around the world. And they are both from 'the land of young cattle'. Yes people, I'm talking about Cap Puccino and his eeeevil (as Mike Myres would put it) twin Al Pacino! You know them, but how well do you REALLY know them? Well, drawing inspiration from High Fidelity (again), I'm taking the GUESS out of GUESSwork for you folks!

First, their Top 5 similarities:

1. They can both trace their ancestries back to Italy.

2. They are both brown.

3. They both have close associations with insomnia.

4. One has a porcelain face, and the other is best served in porcelain.

5. One is the Godfather of cinema, while the other the Godfather of coffee.

And now, their Top 5 differences:

1. While one is rich, hot and brown, the other is just rich and brown.

2. One is attracted to the scent of women, the other has women attracted to its scent.

3. Al's famous for killing people (ala Godfather), and Cap for breathing life into them.

4. While Al Pacino is full of gas, his expresso'ed sibling gives you a stomach full of gas.

5. And lastly, you'd love to taste Cap first thing in the morning, but I'm sure you couldn't stand tasting Al right out of bed!

Now don't you feel as if you've seen, smelt and tasted them, like forever?!

as safe as sunscreen

So what makes you feel safe? Your security blanket, your diary, your bed or your loo? And what do you call this safe 'place'? Well, I call mine sunscreen... my very own corner of safeness, security and an unlimited supply of emotional SPF 15.

My sunscreen has no physical form. It's just this cute little brightly coloured tube tucked away in the remotest part of my brain, bottled up, away from prying eyes (God forbid they find what's in there!). It's inside this tube where the most devious plots of mine come to life when I'm high, and it's the tube I open to find solace and short-lived euphoria during those low times (it's like opening and taking a deep breath from a cherry blossoms-scented bath & bodyworks handwash bottle). It's where I've bottled up all those cuss words I called my teachers, and hide forever those sweet nothings I used to call all my previous girlfriends (each one had their own set of sweet nothings :p). It's also where those callous remarks reside, which people make me take back, and which I don't have any intention to. But most importantly, it's like my own piece of freedom, or more precisely, paradise, which ironically is locked up inside my head.

Everyone have their own special SPF 15 (and SPF 30 for the overtly emotional ones) sunscreens. But for those who don't, I recommend you to get yourself a tube of it too. Like Baz Luhrmann's song 'Everybody's free (to wear sunscreen)' goes - "If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it."

a picture a day...

When you die, how would you like the world to remember your life? More importantly, how would YOU remind the world about your life?

One thing's for sure. There's one person the world will remember for a long, long time to come. And that man is Jaime Livingston - for the very unusual, yet heart warming memories he left behind for us.

Jaime, from the year 1979, started taking one polaroid picture a day, till the day he succumbed to cancer, in 1997. And though the pictures were nothing spectacular, just random ones of friends, family, dinners, picnics, his loss of hair during the chemo sessions and the slow walk towards his grave, their impact is extremely profound. The kind which makes you sit up and think - how do I want the world to remember me?

Click here and here to know more about his life's album, and share with everyone else his joys, sorrows, despairs and hopes.

supari* for ekta kapoor anyone?

The perfect recipe for nuclear-riddled molotov cocktails to cause disasters of colossal magnitude to the Gen-Y. And Gentlemen and Gentlewomen, this was just an understatement.

I'm referring to the nauseating blend of ultra-shady K-serials bombarding Star Plus viewers. From senseless plots that stretch a 5-minute act to at least 30 minutes, to actors worse than me (I couldn't even pretend to be me :p) to the wretchedest of camera angles - you can find it all here.

The moral police talk about all our present generation brouhahas that are rotting our brains. They fail to see the biggest one contaminating their OWN generation... a Nazi-scale movement of K/Saas-Bahu/@#%$%$^& (fill in expletives of your choice) prime time serials propagated by Ekta Kapoor.

So why do I, along with my other self-respecting brothers and sisters, get so emotional about mere tv serials? I'll tell you why - it's because this form of propaganda influence housewives to the extent of them not only imitating the tasteless characters to perfection, but also start belting out treatment to others around them, the same way their 'idol' in the serial does. And the kind of bullshit 'family values' (which range from disrespecting wives, daughter-in-laws and grandmothers, to rape, to even hatching plots to take over family businesses) these serials encourage can give the whole human rights commission a heart attack! I've personally seen the drastic behavioural changes in everyone who have come into long-term contact with the diabolical 'Ks', from my friends moms, my aunts, to my grandma closer to home. Fuck the melting polar ice caps. Fuck the animals going into extinction. Fuck the greenhouse effect. I say, before saving the earth, we need to 1st save our Indian society from this plague!

So, everyone (or anyone) ready to pool in to get a supari* out on Ekta Kapoor? I think I can already hear a million "Me! Me!"

*For those in the dark, 'supari' is the Indian way of saying, "Shall we put a hit on her?". And for those who are still miserably lost, a 'supari' or a 'hit' is just another term for hiring a contract killer to do the needful.

think you just LOVE your computer? well, think again!

People stage gangwars over who's OS is the best - Mac and Linux lamblast Windows for its obvious impotencies, while Windows heckles to the world about how its rivals suck at releasing good enough games, amongst other things.

Take this war to the micro-level and you have people bragging about the configs of their systems... the whole mine is bigger than yours talk. And take this to a more microer-level, and you hear about how the person loves his computer 'more than anything in the world'. And then, if THIS is taken to the microest of levels, click here to see what you get!

hetch and the shitty mutant pigeons - a story of true fabrications

Birdie, birdie in the sky,
Why you poo poo in my eye?
I didn't sigh, I didn't cry,
Thank God cows don't fly!
- Alex Smart

They say change is inevitable, except of course, from a vending machine. It's the same with bird shit. It's inevitable. It's the most quintessential of all Murphy's Laws. And it's the horror version of the movie Final Destination coming to life, transmogrified to the familiar shapelessness of an acidic smelling white and green paste.

It was also the sad truth of life my dear friend Hetch had to come to terms with. Everyday, en route to college, the birds just loved using him for target practice. EVERYDAY! He would do everything in his power to escape them, from deflecting them with Chuck Norris-style roundhouse kicks, to evasive ground maneuvering tactics that would have made our Indian Army proud, to catapults, and even to the extent of tying a scarecrow voodoo doll to the back of his bike to ward those evil avians away. He tried hard, with unwavering persistence, to shoo them off, but in vain. They would always find his shirt with marksman-type accuracy. I'm sure these were some kind of mutant homing pigeons.

I think everyone, at least once, had birds drop their deadly bombs on them, but not at the frequency with which they used poor Hetch to take the world's anger out on. They practically made a career out of it!

But what amuses me more than this daily debaclistic (yes, I just made that word up) ritual, is that Hetch didn't think of doing something as simple as wearing a raincoat, to counter their attack. On the other hand, knowing Hetch and knowing the mysterious ways of the Murphy's Laws, I don't think it would have worked anyway. The day he wears the raincoat, I'm sure they won't bother crapping on him.

Sigh! Such is life I guess. I'm just glad Hetch put this trauma behind him after all these years. I just wonder who they are using for target practice now though?

Your Password

So what's YOUR password?

Some clever bastards think that setting passwords as mindbogglingly ingenious as "first password", "my password" or the likes, will throw us foolish meddling mortals off track. Easy to remember, they say. Well, it's easier for us to figure out morons!

If it isn't their Einstein-level passwords, it's their G-14 Classified (thank you Hetch) secret questions that REALLY throw us off guard. For example, 'What is my pet name?' or 'Which car do I drive?' or 'My favourite pizza' (YES! Someone actually had that as his question!). Oohhh! That's something even those fancy-shmancy MI5 agents or Scotland Yard's bobbies would take eons to figure out. I just wonder... if daddy's successful little sperm was so slow, how much slower were the rest of them?!

I remember how Varun and I used to crack Sify internet accounts back in school (the bad ol' days of dial-up). It was as simple as getting on to Sify login page, keying in random usernames till you find one with an unlimited account, clicking on the secret question link, get cracking and VOILA! Using some poor deserving bugger's internet for free! Yes, you heard right. Deserving. Because if he was stupid enough to set a secret question like that, his account deserved to be cracked!

Well anyway, seeing the kind of geniuses I'm surrounded by, I'm doing my bit for the community. Here's a valuable tip from the networkclue website to help you create foolproof passwords.

"...Every password should be at least 7 characters long and include at least one capital letter, one number, one lowercase letter and a symbol (&, *, @, etc). A good example of a password is: 3Bm$htr

Right now you are probably asking yourself, How am I going to remember that?!

Its easy, the password above is an acronym taken from:
3 Blind mice, $ee how they run.

Making a good password is that easy..."

To read the whole article, click here.


the loo's blues

I came here, to shit and stink,
But all I do, is sit and think.
And here I sit, broken hearted,
Couldn't shit, but only farted.

Some come here, to sit and think,
Some come here, to shit and stink.
Often I come here to scratch my balls,
And read all the bullshit on the walls.

Here I lie, in stinky vapour,
Because some bastard stole the toilet paper.
Shall I lie, or shall I linger,
Or shall I be forced to use my finger.

- Alex Smart

where are the chickas maan?!

Scarcity is everywhere. From food in the lesser of the 3rd world countries, to water in the desert-laden ones. But IMHO, the greatest and most scarcest of scarcities is present in my very office - the scarcity of 'eligible' women.

We have women here... from the xs to the xxl sizes, but sadly none we can use as inspirations to write beautiful sonnets (or in our case, ads). Come to think about it, they were the reason I joined the ad industry in the first place! After seeing the quality (the whole mind, body and soul thing for those who think I'm shallow) of women in the Delhi and Mumbai agencies, and knowing many of them personally, I was eagerly looking forward to joining one when I got back to Hyderabad. In other words, it looked like a great opportunity to get laid in my hometown! Sadly, it all turned out to be a sham... a bloody seductive mirage!

If you ever notice, most of us working at ad agencies have big potbellies (thankfully I'm bestowed with a small one for now). People think it's just because we don't get any exercise due to our unearthly work hours. BUT that's far from the truth. I'm sorry to let out my Ad brothers' most well-hidden of secrets, but the reason for our so-called 'family packs' is the lack of beautiful women at our workplace. Without them, we don't have anybody to workout for and show-off fancy six-packs and bulging muscles. You might ask what about the women we meet in our social (a.k.a. out-of-office) interactions. Here is yet another bleak truth - people think ours is a glamorous industry, but sadly it's not so in Hyderabad. By the time we get out of work, the birds have already flown their roost to catch the second round of worms for the day. The only interaction we have with the beautiful entities of the opposite sex is through all the semi-porn links Hetch sends us, courtesy gtalk.

Thankfully there IS a saving grace... a threadbare silver lining for us poor sex-starved souls. When we do get to go clubbing on those once-a-bluemoon nights, it always pips the ladies interest if they know we work in an ad agency. They perceive us to be of the intellectual types - especially copywriters (unless, of course, if you happen to be J 'The Wicked'). So it gives us a narrow avenue to talk them eloquently into bed.

So what's you 'eligible' ladies take from all this? Simple! The next time you are out clubbing, and see that really cute bearded copywriter (NOT you Hetch!), a couple of shades under 6 feet, with sexy brown eyes and an irresistible smile, I say - DON'T THINK TWICE AND JUST DO HIM!

P.S.: I'm extremely lucky to have an understanding girlfriend, who has cured me of my philandering ways :p

I AM IRONMAN! (or not)

I recently saw the much-anticipated and the latest in superhero flicks - Ironman. Though not as original (you need to read the strips to understand this) as its comics, I think it was pretty decent. And calling it pretty decent is a direct retaliation against the Garfield movie, which I thought was full of shit. The biggest hint being John Arbuckle - a lovable loser who can't get chicks in the comic strip - is a irresistible loverboy in the movie. He gets Jennifer Love Hewitt for heavens sake!

Ok, getting back to Ironman now. Mindblowing sfx (like all other American movies), stereotypical digs at bad Afghanis living in caves, a little Hindi, an absolutely brilliant performance by Robert Downey Jr. (who plays the role of Tony Stark, a.k.a. Ironman), and the icing on the cake - the modern instrumental rendering of Ironman by Black Sabbath. Waited for that the whole movie.

You should have seen the ladies go gaga over RDJ. According to them, he's just so juicy! I don't know what the hell that meant, but I'm sure he has plenty of man crushes too. Must ask J 'The Wicked' if he has one on RDJ :p

After the movie I randomly started thinking. Kids, and some guys who just refuse to grow up, fantasize about being superheroes - from Batman to Superman to Bananaman (one of those shady 5-minute cartoons that used to come between the regular cartoons) to the ugly guy from The Fantastic Four. Even I did too... I saw myself as Johnny Quest (he was a superhero of kinds too!). But sadly, I don't think anyone fantasized about being Ironman. Poor bugger... must have felt left out.

Just as randomly as the previous thought, here's another. I think the one thing that kicked most ass was Tony Stark's 'juicy' Audi R8! Fuck Johnny Quest, I think I'll become that tinman just to drive one of those babies!

mummy... chicchin!

I look like a Somalian drought victim. And as a matter of fact, so does Nivi. But believe you me, we can both drink like fishes and eat like elephants. Also a bragworthy fact here is that we can both drive like stink. Infact, she's prolly the only person who can keep up with me in the 1.0L category. But I'm not going to talk about our driving prowess here.

My family thinks the only thing I do as much as talking (of which I do a LOT!), is eating. And so do most of my friends. Only Hetch disagrees with me, but it's ok, since his eating abilities can put even Genghis Khan's (GK) copulating talent to shame. He (Hetch) and I are definitely not in the same league, though I think I have just as much talent as GK in the 'you know what' section. But I'm not going to talk about Hetch's eating abilities or GK's and my effing talents here either.

This post is infact about my eating habits, of which I have a close association with since birth. I know, I know, everyone have to eat to survive, but my connection with food and booze goes WAY deeper. Infact, the first word I uttered was "Chicchin", my way of pronouncing my favourite meat - chicken. I would wake up every morning and cry, "Mummy... chicchin!" (BTW, 'mummy' was the second word I spoke) And then mother dearest would whip-up some farex with egg, to give it that non-veg flavour. In my defence, I was too young to know the taste difference between all the different types of non-veg.

And this was just the beginning. According to my mom, we had gone to some dhaba to eat, and I, all of 1 1/2 years old, plonked myself on the table and ate the WHOLE tandoori chicken they ordered. The WHOLE bloody tandoori chicken! But wait! It gets worse. I also had my first encounter with the bitter nectar, beer, very soon after that. We were having a party at home, and mum refilled dad's mug. I incidentally happened to be sitting on his lap. So pop took a sip, laid it on the side table and turned his head to talk to someone. Meanwhile, I took my podgy little hands (I was a fat kid), and greedily lifted the mug to my lips and swung the whole thing down my podgy little throat! Poor dad turns around and finds the damn mug empty. He must have thought he had one too many then... hehe. I need not add that I had the longest nap of my life then, and according to my mom, she hasn't heard me snore like that till date! Prolly the reason why beer doesn't get me drunk anymore.

Now how's that for some food for thought?

i think, therefore i don't do.

Procrastination - The lazy mother of all evils.

It's a virus that's spread its tentacles through the ages and implanted its seed into all of humankind. I suffer from it. You do too. And so does everybody else. But this post is not about me, or you. It's directed towards a certain charming Ms. N.

Our lady wants to do a lot of things, big and small. And she thinks about doing them everyday, or to be precise, the next day. From "Oh, I think I'll start swimming again tomorrow" to "I'll start my SERIOUS Gmat studying from tomorrow morning; I've already made my timetable" to "Let's go see the beautiful sunset over Shameerpet Lake this weekend", our lady has a lot of plans. But sadly that's just how they stay.

I'm not trying to be a hypocrite here. I procrastinate too. I can take over the world with my diabolical plans, if I just put my mind to it. But I'm just too lazy. The biggest example is this post. I put off writing it till now. But there's a lot I still do achieve, unlike Ms. N, who puts off just about everything for 'tomorrow'. Like Hetch drilled into my noggin' last night, "The only thing stopping you from going for a jog everyday, is that walk from your bed to the door. You achieve that, and it's half the battle won!"

Hence darling, seriously, take a hint from Nike tagline - "Just Do It!".

Why do I suddenly get a strong feeling that I'm not gonna get any action for a long long time to come?