May 23, 2011

And Gentlemen,

(The much-awaited follow-up to this post.)

Instead of posing rhetorical questions here, let me list it down, plain and simple, in point form, so that the meanest of intelligences can comprehend. What's that? Oh yes, I mean the women. Obviously. Naturally. I mean, what else could I possibly mean?!

#5 - Being sure ("Abbey, 100%! 200%! Bol raha hoon yaar!") all the time

So, someone told you that you must come across as assertive and confident. So far, so good.

Unfortunately those people didn't realise that they've created:
- Boys who step out of exam halls and:
> Compare with each other - thereby getting into fights. (Abbey saale, pagal ho gaya hai kya, yeh toh 155 nahi, 206 tha! Tu toh gaya!)
> Compare with girls - thereby causing girls to think they are failing. (C? Are you mad? That's D! And the next one? No it isn't H2SO4, it's H2S! I'm 100% sure re, I saw it this morning only!)
- Men who won't ask for guidance at work because they've got it all figured out - until the day the kicking of the posterior begins. After this, to their credit, they catch on quickly.
- Guys who make decisions on impulses. Why? Because being indecisive is not macho. Sure, it's okay to make the wrong decision, at least you made it quickly. Yay!

#4 - Telling me how much you work

So, someone told you that hard work is important. And a thing to be appreciated.

Unfortunately those people didn't realise that they've created:
- Guys who begin their internships, and crib.
- Guys who work 15 days out of 30, and crib.
- Guys who crib about having to work 9-hour days... in a 2-month internship.

And the worst of all - guys who seem to think that the rest of the world is on vacation, and they're the only ones working. Really, Einstein?

Don't get me wrong. Those of you who work at regular jobs, should crib. I mean, we all hate that, don't we? But to those of you who have just begun working - pick your audience. We're not in the 1950's any more, when you could tell a woman about how much you work in office and she'd be instantly impressed and want to make you a hot meal. Everyone works. It's kind of necessary, since we all want BMWs. So use your "thak gaya yaar" line on the liberal arts graduate who hasn't ever interned. It might just work.

Everywhere else - I think not. (Especially with your wife, if she works. All you'll get is a list of all the things she does around the house in addition to working, and maybe she'll eat your half of the takeout paneer tikka pizza simply to spite you. Yes, I know what you're thinking, having a little money of their own corrupts everyone.)

#3 - Saying "Sachin is God" all the time

Yes, cricket is an important part of Indian culture.

But every time you do that, I imagine about a thousand zombies rising from a graveyard, in perfect sync, and walking towards Wankhede chanting "Sachin is God. Sachin is God. Sachin is God." in unison. Eventually you (the zombies) are just standing around, looking silly, still saying "Sachin is God."

So, erm, don't do that? Find a new line. Or something.

#2 - Clicking on anything that has certain keywords in it

I won't go into the details of the keywords. This is a family blog. Let it suffice to say that in spite of the raging Facebook spam all around you, and the various things you could learn from an experience, you seem to be clicking on the same links again and again. It's as if your memory of previous scams is erased the minute you see the golden words. My home page is littered with the tales of your follies, and all it tells me is that your interests -your business alone until now- are now public information.

Do something. Stick a post-it over your monitor. Or, well, simply find restaurants that actually serve your dishes, instead of looking for baked beans in a can of worms.

#1 - Bullshitting people who aren't your boss

See, everyone knows when you're bullshitting. And everyone deals with it in their own way. Your boss usually has 3 options - he could call you a bullshitter, he could say nothing but make a mental note for the next performance appraisal, or he could see a little bit of himself in you.

Everyone else, unfortunately, is faced by a singular predicament - we can't say you're bullshitting, because that's rude. But when we're forced to listen, we're troubled by an overwhelming urge to:
- Point and laugh
- Punch you
- Both
(There's also the option of do-nothing-and-laugh-about-it-with-friends-later, but that's irrelevant here, because everyone's doing that all the time anyway. Trust me.)

So, coming back. When you know nothing about a subject, hacking together an article from Wall Street Journal, and chapter 1 of macro-economics doesn't make you the expert. Psychology isn't what you see on Oprah combined with the articles you read in Bombay Times. Photography isn't just what you do with your camera. (Yes, even if it's an SLR.)

The world is a complex, complex place. When you try to explain it, to people who understand it a little better than you, in gross simplifications, that are based on someone else's thoughts... you're bullshitting. Don't do it. No one's being fooled. I'm sorry, but you had to know.

May 04, 2011

Dear Multiplexes,

We need to talk.

When you came into my life many years ago, I liked you instantly. You had so many screens! And played every kind of movie! And so many show times!

As we grew older, you made me show up 40 minutes early for shows I'd prebooked. I let it go.

Then you started changing. I suffered through it all - 250, 300, 350 rupee tickets. 50 bucks for water. 100 bucks for popcorn. Spending 3 hours with you, at my level of poverty, meant forgoing 2 books.

I withstood your grand entryways and your hole-like exits.

I silently cursed your slow staff and your annoying promotional pieces of glossy paper.

I gritted my teeth through repeated bag-openings, pocket-emptyings and friskings.

But I have reached the end of my patience. Thin edge of the wedge, etc.

In spite of all your faults, I thought we were committed to each other.

But you -you annoying piece of omnipresent shininess- you can't even commit to tomorrow's show!

What moronic idiot cancels shows as and when he feels like, just because an art film is not doing enough business? You have 5 screens and 25 shows a day for a reason, you know!

If you want to screen only blockbusters, why are you part of my life? I'll go back to the old faithful single-screen, no? It doesn't make me wait, doesn't change plans randomly, doesn't subject me to multiple rounds of security, doesn't charge me based on my desperation to watch the movie, seems to care about me at every step and so... well, I think it loves me more than you do!

I think we should start seeing others.

It's not me, it's you.

And FYI, I was lying when I said I like your bright red walls. I think they suck.