Archive for January, 2007

There’s always a lot of things I keep putting down in my secret book of Things To Do Before I Die.

However, I have this uncanny knack of losing the book every time it gets filled a few lines.

Today, I found one of those items listed at a blog . The link there actually lists how you can talk like a pirate and get away with it.

Too bad, if I had my book with me I could keep my appointment at the pearly gates!

Arrr! Shivers me timbers I tells you ! Arr!

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Star Guru Not-So-Cool

News channels these days don’t have a lot to talk about. I imagine the ratings and air-time must be a big problem. Here’s the chief-in-chief of a soon-to-be-buried news channel talking at a boardroom.

“Okay guys. Here’s the scoop. From now on we don’t air anything unless it has something to do with someone in the Middle East, bomb blasts, rapes, executions, murders or tidal waves. For those of you who think the news is getting too depressing, throw some Mallika Sherawat in there. Oh .. and just in case you don’t find anything still, do a movie review.”

So it came as no surprise to me, when I switched on Star News today and realised that nothing sinister had happened in the world lately. The channel had decided to do a review of just released Mani Ratnam movie ‘Guru’. They had decided that it wasn’t big enough to fit a half hour slot, so they did the next best thing. They fit it into a four hour slot.

So for a good part of the morning, you could switch on your TV to find the big B being interviewed about the movie. Apparently, they could not get his son to comment, so Daddy did all the talking. He said that he thought the movie was fabulous (we can’t believe you’d say that, by the way do you share a bank account), the music was great, Mallika sizzled and Aishwarya expressed herself very well in the movie. In the end, he managed to shed a few tear drops of ‘joy’ which the star-eyed reporter and his zoom-happy cameraman managed to lap up.

When they got bored of doing the Big B, bit they did a Dhiru Vs Guru comparison. The movie is supposed to be based on the life of Dhirubhai Ambani. Which is a good thing to know, but then the joblessness at the news channel must be at an all time high. It points out that among other things, both of them hold their hands to their chins when they are happy. News you can use people!

I won’t attempt a review here, but can someone please tell me what Madhavan and Vidya Balan were doing in the movie. Were they only there to put Guru’s softer side on display? They didn’t do much. What they did I wish they hadn’t given my feelings for the latter.
And here’s a nice tip if you haven’t seen the movie. When Gurukant comes for his first day of trading and runs up the stairs, check out the white wall on his left. There are two posters. One is Kagaz ke Phool. The other is a Mithun Da starrer. See if you can spot it!

And after everything has been said about everything, I save the postscipt for the belle. Mallika did what she does best. She gave the people their money’s worth and news channels something to air.

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Freeze Word 1

IT people keep using the word benchmark all the time. “We need to benchmark ourselves to the best in the industry”. I used to wonder where the word came from. Was it a mark that was placed on benches that people sat on? Well, the actual origin is more logical.. engineerically logical.

A “benchmark” was originally a mark cut into a stone or a wall by surveyors measuring the altitude and/or level of a tract of land. The cut was used to secure a bracket called a “bench” upon which they mounted their measuring equipment, and all subsequent measurements were made in reference to the position and height of that mark. Voila, “benchmark,” which first appeared in English around 1842, and quickly began to be used figuratively in the “standard of quality” sense we see today.

Arabian Sukkar:

Checkmate comes from Shah Mat – The King is dead
Coffee comes from Kahveh which originally meant wine
Sugar comes from Sukkar for (ahem) sugar
and my favorite:
Mocha comes from Al-Mukah, a city in Yemen where wild Ethiopean coffee beans were brokered from which fine coffee could be made

“I’ll have a Cafe Mocha with no Sugar please. Waleikum Assalam”

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“So where are you from”
“Which part of Chennai”
“(Area in Chennai)”
“Which company do you work for”
“(company name)”
“That’s nice.”

The lady who just had this conversation with me was all smiles. I couldn’t understand what part of it pleased her so much. My mom, standing next to me, was beaming with joy.

Cut to a few minutes ago, my mom and I were shopping happily in a nice shop biding time for a movie. As I went to the cash counter to pay up, she tugs my elbow and introduces me to an old gentleman and his wife.

The man is apparently my dad’s doctor. Yes, my dad’s doctor. As usual, he’s ‘heard all about me’ and is ‘pleased to meet me’. Then the spotlight is taken over by his wife who after few innocuous questions, gets straight to chase, the third degree.

The conversation above.

After the conversation is over, we leave; the two ladies looking at each other like two girls who just found a new place to hide their dolls.

When we step out I tell my mom to stop grinning and tell what’s she so happy about. “That lady, the doctor’s wife, who just spoke to you; they have a marriageable daughter”

Then reality sinks in. I realised that I had just been ‘checked out’ by some Maami I had never before met in my life! She was asking me personal questions that I would never have divulged to anybody. And she did so boldly, without informing me of her intent, also slyly taking advantage of the ‘your-dad-is-a-patient-of-my-husband’ factor. Added to that she asked me all the questions. Not my mom. She probably wanted to know what I sounded like. I wonder what stopped her from asking me what my bank balance was, how many girl friends I had, what car I drove, whether I had a spare copy of my horoscope in my wallet?! (I’m sure mom would have flashed it out of her purse in a jiffy)

Was I disgusted, ashamed, embarrassed? Yes all of that, but above all I was annoyed .. annoyed that my mom didn’t let me in on the game sooner.

I’d have sucked my tummy in.

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