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Archive for September, 2008

Licenced to Roll

72 classes, 7 tests, lots of taxi rides and Rs. 66,000 later, I finally passed my final driving test.

It feels great especially considering how long it has been since I passed my kuchha test!

What the secret recipe? I’m a sucker for lucky charms, and here’s the top 10 things you need to do to get a licence in Sharjah

10. Ask your parents to visit as many temples as they can in 2 days

9. Ask your sister to go on fast for a day ending it only when she hears you have passed

8. Ask arbit people to say a little prayer for you

9. Send out an SOS to all relatives in the sky who can make sure God checks his mail

7. Ditch the pick-nose-till-sparkling-clean-brings-good-luck theory

6. Toss out the lucky-book-I-have-to-carry-everywhere

5. Be the last person to enter the car

4. Dress like a cool hobo – faded T shirt and jeans

3. Don’t carry your laptop – you don’t want to have to look like you have money to burn

2. Break a mirror so that the seven years bad luck you incur, negates your perputal bad luck to ensure that you have super good luck!

1. Make a pact with the devil to sell your soul

or

chuck all that and ask your granny (paati) to pray for you!

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The Hari Puttar movie has generated quite a lot of interest. Understandably so, as the they have (not) named the movie after a book and a movie series by J.K. Rowling. Warner Bros. are (not) in the

 right presence of mind to sue a production house who believes that just because China can copy anything that’s plastic, India can copy anything that’s reel.

While that debate raged, they let out the premise of the film. Simply put, poor kid gets left at home when the parents go on vacation. 2 robbers try to break into the house, while the kid defends it, by coming up with all sorts of smart ideas.

Well smack my a55 and call me Sally, but haven’t I heard that one before.

IMDB has this to say about an obscure, unheard of movie, that starred someone altogether forgettable, waaay back in 1990

In this film, Kevin McAllister is an eight year old boy left at home by his parents, when they leave with the rest of the family for Christmas holidays to Paris. At first he seems to enjoy living alone, but after a while he understands that things aren’t so easy. Especially when two robbers decide to break in a particular house. HIS house! Is he able to defend his home?

and this is what Wikipedia has to say about our desi version of the movie.

The film revolves around a ten year old boy, Hari Prasad Dhoonda nicknamed Hari Puttar .. who has recently moved from India to the United Kingdom. Left home alone with his cousin Tuk Tuk .. when his parents go on vacation, Hari must deal with two burglars ..

The fact that the movie is an out and out rip off of the obscure movie series is not much of a bother to the producers.

In fact they have some excellent logic to explain why the two movies are not the same. In an interview, the director Lucky Kohli had this to say about the allegations that he may have done to Hughes Entertainment what MBAs do as a part of their professional life everyday. 

“HARI PUTTAR has no reference to the film that you are mentioning. My film is about two children and their power and presence of mind. We shot it completely in Yorkshire. It’s a rolling, non-stop comedy of 90 minutes duration, with four-and-a-half minutes of animation. The film has a fabulous background score and three songs by Aadesh Shrivastava. The film that you mentioned neither has songs nor animation.”

90 minutes with 3 songs and four and half minutes of animation. 2 minutes a song, which means the director is rather saying

“HARI PUTTAR has no reference to the film you’re mentioning. My film is a rip off of an unheard of Hollywood movie. I had some Paajis in England who had called me home for Tan-dyou-ri cheekun, so we shot the movie near their house. If you set the film reels down on a hill and give them a little nudge, they’d be rolling non-stop. I have about 11.66% original content in my film, which is much more than the percentage of milk you have you have in the milk that you drink. The film that you mentioned has got no songs, no animation, it’s in English, it had a blonde guy, it was not released in a leap year, and had far better actors then I’m using. Oh, I’m just stating some facts to make up this write-up longer.”

I’ve heard of putting wool over one’s eyes. But Lucky Paaji seems to be very keen on opening a sweater factories all over the country!

Signing off,

The Original Hari Puttar 

(should I sue?)

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Oh Crap!

We’re still here! How Boring!

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It’s true! A black hole is going to emerge somewhere near Switzerland and in 15 minutes, you and I are going to discover that we what Bryan Adams was actually talking about.

Check this out. After 14 years and $8 billion, scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, outside Geneva, succeeded in creating the most powerful microscope ever built for investigating the elemental particles and forces of nature. It’s a 17-mile-long racetrack known as the Large Hadron Collider, underneath the Swiss French border, and its where particles crash in ways you’ve never been to party before.

Stephen Hawking has laid a bet that Black holes may emerge although he feels they would die out in a few seconds. There’s also a theory that God’s particles (Boson particles) may emerge. And there’s a small theory that Raj Thackeray may suddenly emerge and ask all the 1000 – 2000 scientists from 50 countries to speak speaking Marathi .. OR ELSE!

In these last few minutes, I think I should set my record straight. I have a few things to say which I wouldn’t have said if I wasn’t sure that we were going poof in a few minutes

<Text deleted>

and that’s all I have to say about that. Phew! Never knew I could manage all that. Please don’t judge me. Oops…I forgot you’re not going to be around to do that.

Love you all. 

See you in hell. I’ll save you a spot.

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Dhoni Pepsi Padhai Ad Revealed

I was watching the latest Dhoni – Padhai in college ad for Pepsi Youngistaan (the life mein pyaas honi chahiye ad). If you haven’t seen it, you can catch it here

The only thing I liked about this ad from JWT was the nice BGM that they used. Dhoni’s presence was nice, but Sreesanth – dancing – really? Too cliched for me. There was nothing in this ad to see it beyond one time; or so I thought!

A few days later, I was watching a news item on CCN-IBN. One news item caught my eye. Apparently, a film called Vighnaharta Shri Siddhivinayak is being shot where Sachin Tendulkar was supposed to do an aarthi scene. He suddenly developed “some injury” and backed out. And lo and behold! Rajinikanth (*Th.Va.) took his place. Think of it what you will.

Then I saw the Dhoni Pepsi ad. That’s when it struck me! I have heard of subliminal messages to influence the audience, but I have never seen a subliminal message from an endorser in an ad to another person. I’m sure Dhoni managed to sneak this in without the people in JWT or Pepsi being any the wiser.

Here’s the scene where Dhoni sends out his subtle message. Ippudi Chuddu!

M.S. was obviously trying to say something. I needed to learn some body language. After googling, wiking , amazoning and snoring for many hours, I threw everything I knew aside and used the simple Indian fundamentals on which I have been raised, and which forms the very thread of the colorful lungi that binds us all Indians together. And that principle is : 1 + 1 = 1 (hell of a Page 3 story)!

Once I realized this, the faint glow behind my head told me that I had got it. I managed to decode what was being said between the Chennai Super King and Ulagam Superstar (*Th.Va.)

I can’t wait to see the next ad!

*Th.Va – Thalaiva Vazhgay – Must be written/said after everytime someone says Rajinikanth’s (Th.Va.) name.

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When is Rome .. don’t!

“Saar”, Aman said, “shall I get your coffee?”

“No Aman”, I said smiling, “not today!”

“Why?”

“I’m fasting!” I declared with an expression that was supposed to combine honesty, modesty, a little cry for some empathy, sympathy and a smile but ended up looking like that look you get when you see a gum stuck to the bottom of your shoe on a bad day.

Ramadan Moon

Ramadan started on September 1st with the sighting of the new moon crescent. I got an update from my bus driver. He told me that all Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, no food and not a drop of water. The fasting starts at Imsak around 4:30 and lasts till the Maghrib at around 6:30. It is one of the pillars of Islam (third). Muslims not only fast during this time, but also abstain from lying, cheating, etc.

Me and the rest of the non-Muslim junta celebrate this time by happily practicing the government rules which say that working hours are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Strictly! Who’d complain? On the day back on the first day, honestly, I felt guilty. I felt like I was taking candy from a kid, a really small kid with barely developed fingers. And a really big candy.

That’s when I decided. I would fast too. To figure out how the whole experience was. So that when I interacted with other Muslims, I would know exactly what they were going through. My First Mistake.

I got up at 7:45 a.m. I remembered my resolution. No food and no water. Skipping breakfast was ok. I actually felt better. I decided to take a cab. It was a Pathan driver. I asked him whether he was also fasting. He said he was. So I asked him how he managed to go through the entire day without any food and water. He said that it was tough, but eating it food at 4 a.m. and then at 6 p.m. wasn’t so hard. I gulped a big saliva-less gulp into my thirsty throat.

Freeze that. My Second mistake.

4 a.m. food? You can do that? What can you eat? Anything?

The Pathan driver gave me the best “Duh-uhh!” look Pathan’s are capable of these days and wished me luck as I got off.

By 1:00 p.m. everyone in office was doing their food, while I was amazed that I wasn’t feeling any but hungry or thirsty. Sure, everyone came and asked me if I was doing all right and I managed to answer with the same weird look I had used before.

By 3:00 p.m., I was at home, and realized that my brain had done Mamta Banerjee was proceeding to lock down the rest of my body.

By 4:00 p.m., my stomach was making so many sounds that I thought if I put a mike to it, I could surely belt out a  Himesh Topi-iyya song.

By 5:00 p.m., I was in the kitchen cooking and cooking and cooking.

At 6:38 p.m., I had decided to some prayers and thank Lord Almighty. I didn’t. What I did was …

Dates, Figs, more dates, apricots, Channa Masala and Bread, more bread, even more bread, cornflakes(!), strawberry milk, premium custard apple juice, plain apple juice, pure milk and just for kicks, more dates.

When I finished I realized that I had fasted for a day and managed to eat for two. No wonder, as I heard that most food companies meet almost 50-60% of their annual target during the month of Ramadan.

Next day,

“Saar”, Aman said, “shall I get your coffee?”

“Please Aman, please get me some coffee”

P.S. No offense meant to any Muslims. If it doesn’t come across properly in this article, I have a great appreciation for Islam and its teaching. During the month of Ramadan, the gates of heaven are supposed to be kept open and angels descend on earth. It is also in celebration of the month that Allah revealed the Quran to Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). Fasting makes people humble by making them realize “what hunger is”. Also throughout the month, Muslims do acts of charity.
P.P.S. In case you’re still waiting for my third mistake – heads up! I didn’t graduate from IIT.

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