Archive for June, 2006

I have these lonely spells in my life. These are those days in my life, when I come back from a hard day’s work to find the gloom of the house sitting patiently on the house waiting to welcome me. Once the formalities are over between the both of us, I wonder what to do. You can’t carry on a conversation with loneliness for a long time, with something inside your mind tell you that you’re nuts.

It’s about then that you hear a deep burning hungry desire inside you. It troubled me that I had to do something to put it out. I picked up the phone to call the number where I knew there would be trained professionals who were experienced in making sure that I would be put out of my misery, as they had done time and time again in the past.

‘Good Evening! This is Chef Express, how may I help you?’ the familiar voice at the other end of the line greeted me. I gave him my number and asked what offer was going on. He told me that nothing much was happening, but I could get some cheap and good pizzas. He said the magic ‘c’ word. All the Indian instincts in me sprang up at the mention of the word. I ended up ordering a Mexican Picantè. It sounded classy, who knows maybe I would hit the jackpot this time around.

As I look back, I can almost never remember a time when I did not have some problem with an order that I placed over the phone. It gets delivered late, the guy comes late, they mess up the order, there are some items missing … I’ve been at the receiving end at the hall of shame of home deliveries.

The guy arrived on time for a change. I reckoned that my luck had changed. I munched on the garlic bread peacefully, delaying the moment when I would feast on pizza-in-waiting. It’s a bad habit that I have. I always save the best for the last.

Finally, I opened up the Mexican delicacy and I was stunned. Panner! I never order paneer in my pizzas. I also didn’t remember the guy including paneer in the toppings for the Picanté. Well, whatever it was, there was paneer on my pizza and it was pleading with me to eat it. So I obliged. I carefully picked out one piece and put it in my mouth.

Freeze that moment.

This was a very important second in my life. A second that I would never forget. The precise second that I lost my 25-year hard-fought, staunchly-defended Tamil Iyer virginity.

As I raced towards the sink, I realized that it was the first time in my life that any member of the chicken species had managed to make into my palates.

And I’m sure you’re asking, but even though I wouldn’t admit it to myself … yes … it was good.

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4/6/6: Officially the people in Madras don’t know what to do here now that the elections are over. The unanimous decision has been to take bath to beat the heat. So soaps are selling and I still have a job today. I went for a distributor’s party yesterday. They had invited all the company people of the various companies that they were handling. It was the first time I have ever heard of such a thing. Generally, it’s the company that calls all its distributors to a party. Anyway, I reached there and found to my surprise that I was the only ASM who had turned up. The organizers did not have much difficulty in figuring out a chief guest for the day. My feelings about the same were given no consideration. So with much feigned modesty, I took up the centre seat and had people sitting around me facing an audience.

While I had some difficulty in figuring out how position my elbow, how many times to sip the water and how to lean over and say the funny things that people in my position so easily do, I overheard the MC saying ‘And now our beloved ASM will share a few words’. Before I could put together a decent protest, a mike and a pin drop silence were held in front of my face.

I apologized to any staunch Tamilians present for the murder that I was going to commit there. When I got some measured laughter in response, I rattled on about families and businesses. The applause I got lasted a few seconds, but went on for minutes in my mind. Had I announced chief minister candidacy, there and then, I was sure to make a few votes at least. After that I had to hand over some gifts to people. The usual ‘Shake-Speak-Gift-Hold-Smile-Click-Shake-Bye’ procedure. Only this time I was at the giving end. Then someone came up and handed me a small package as a small token of their appreciation.

We had a buffet lunch, where for decency sake; I restricted myself to one serving of the food and three servings of the dessert. After that I went around shaking everyone else’s hand now a seasoned campaigner for the next MLA seat. After that I had an escort, walk me out all the way to the gate of the hotel. After I finally got him to leave, I eagerly tore open my little package. My eyes popped out of their sockets.

Staring at me quietly and innocently inside the box was a beautiful Titan Gold plated watch with a humble brown leather strap. While I gulped at how I could not accept this kind of a gift and how it was so improper for them to offer me something so expensive, I silently blocked off 4th of June 2007 for a ‘Do-not-Miss’ appointment. 😉

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Which Mouse?

During my pretentious reading of management books during my MBA, I will never forget one book that I truly enjoyed reading. ‘Who moved my cheese’. I think the main reason I liked the book was because you were given an option to forget that it was a management book, where inevitably you would try to ferret out examples to quote in the classroom or a group discussion.

I always thought that I was the mouse that kept changing with the times. ‘Today’s cheese may be good, but who’s going to take care of tomorrow’s cheese’. Well what if I’m actually the big fat mouse who keeps eating everything. The cheese is the job and the change is the shift. While everyone (I mean everyone) around me running at a break neck pace to get new business cards for themselves, in the name of moving up, but mostly for the want of fatter wallets, I seem stupidly content at just staying put in the middle of this frenzy of activity.

Let me put down my justification for not switching on screen and let me say if it can convince the cynical me :

– There’s nothing wrong with my job right now. Nice boss, nice team, nice performance. No nagging complaints there.
– By industry standards, I would be earning good;
– There is too much goodwill to be lost

There’s no need and there is no desire. I always like to say that I take the road not taken. Isn’t this like the share market and the secret to cracking it… when everyone buys, sell; when everyone switches, stick.

And when everyone runs around you, just settle into a chair and grab some more cheese.

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Madras .. It’s Hot

Experiencing Chennai in the summers can easily be arranged at anyone’s home. All that is required is a small hairdryer, an oven and the tonic that made Alice shrink in the wonderland story.

First take the hairdryer, blow it at full speed and point it directly between your eyes. That would give you a fair idea of the prevailing wind conditions in this place. One may be tempted to blow the hair dryer somewhere else fore a while, but the firmer the resolution, the more enhancing the experience.

After that, one must take a gentle sip of the potion and once shrunk to the size of a small chicken, should hop into the oven and sit there for a while. Temperature on Deep Fry. That’s the nearest to what all derma on your body feels when you are at the mercy of Chennai’s merciless sun. What I can’t figure out is how do the firangs adore sun bathing so much. Does making their skin look like Chicken 65 actually make them look better? If that were true, then can someone please explain to me why Fair and Lovely sales are booming in the South? As always, I guess god wrenched the spanner of unrest into our minds when we were made. Satisfaction is a virtue that one possesses only upto the point that one hears ‘A for Apple’. It’s all downhill from there.

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