Saturday, August 30, 2008

Where's My Mojo?

Have I lost my mojo? More importantly, has my blog lost its mojo? The posting has not been up to the mark in the last month or so. There is no dearth of ideas or lack of inspiration for blogging. Neither is work eating into my personal time. So what's wrong, you ask. Something(s) very unexpected and v. bad has happened which has stifled my creative energies.

Firstly, people keep saying "I reserve my rights to blog about this" every time they screw up or do something very LOL-worthy. This effectively puts wonderful blog-ops beyond my (and consequently, your) reach. Its a typical dog-in-the-manger story. They are obviously not going to blog about it and advertise their bloopers to the world. And by reserving their rights to blog about it, they are preventing me from doing so. Even blooper-prone people who don't blog extract promises from me not to blog about bloopers as their first order of business after committing one. Such is the selfishness of the people around me.

Secondly, more than expected number of people in office read my blog nowadays. This is not a very safe situation if you want to indulge in some office humour. Boss bashing is definitely out of the question and one of these days some person who has found mention in this blog (and for some unknown reason is unhappy about it) is going to pass on the link to the Hot Marketing Babe.

Its not as if I get great amounts of pleasure in doing this - I'm doing it only for the benefit of mankind, the whole laughter-medicine business. So you guys stop thinking about just yourselves and imagine the good you can do for the world through my blog. This whole situation makes me think that these days you can't even do a good deed without people objecting to it.

So what exacty are you guys missing out on? The following is only a sample:

1. Sree's SMS story. Involving Boss, COO, me, Hot Marketing Babe, Hot New Engineering Grad Babes and of course, Sree himself. A tale of epic proportions, it's a story of how messed up things can get if you send a message to persons above or below the intended person in the contacts list.

2. Badri's visa story. If ever there was an international mess up, this is it. Spanning 8 cities in 6 countries and 3 continents, this one was outrageous even by Badri's own standards. This goof-up has become the new benchmark in our circles. The only way it's not going to appear on my blog is if he bribes me with Drambuie and Czech beer.

Now the inevitable will happen - you will demand to know the story. But whatever I'm not, I certainly am a person who keeps his promises (and I also fear for my life, but that's really a minor point). So does that mean I'll never tell these stories? Certainly not! For I'm not so heartless as to deny blogosphere of these magnificent stories. So here's the deal: One year from the date of occurence of a blooper, all copyrights cease to exist and I'm free to blog about it. People not agreeing to this condition should stop goofing up in a ROTFLy way from now on.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Tag That Boomeranged

I got an easy tag one day in June and cheerfully finished it off, noting that my post count had gone up by one without putting in much effort (unlike many people who write posts in 15-20 minutes, I take a really long time to write something....even this one is taking me nearly an hour and a half and counting).

So when a tag that you had thrown at unsuspecting blog pals boomerangs on you, you can either blame your bad luck for having to do a similar tag again or thank your lucky stars for getting an opportunity to increase the number of posts by one more. I chose to do the latter. But I must say that this one is a bit more involved than the one I passed along. I also had to spend a lot of time googling for some of the quotes I vaguely remember from somewhere (I'm not much of a quotes person) and at the end of it couldn't find most of the quotes I was looking for.

Here are the rules of the tag, as set down by apostle Tom, the dangerous Confused Mortar:

Jot down 5 of your favorite quotes from the various books you’ve read. If you don’t have the books with you now, googling (Wikiquotes and the like) can be used to find them. Tag five people and acknowledge the person who tagged you.

I've bent the rules a little by including TV shows and movies (hey, they have screenplays and scripts which are in the form of books; so I'm technically not breaking any rule).

Starting off with the paragon of incompetence - Michael Scott in 'The Office':
I don't want somebody sucking up to me because they think I'm going to help their career. I want them sucking up to me because they genuinely love me.

Next up is a quote from one of my favourite books of all time, 'Midnight's Children' by Salman Rushdie:
No people whose word for "yesterday" is the same as their word for "tomorrow" can be said to have a firm grip on the time.

From the classic British TV series, 'Yes, Minister' (there are so many of them I love that I just went to wikiquotes and picked one at random):
Sir Humphrey: Didn't you read the Financial Times this morning?
Sir Desmond Glazebrook: Never do.
Sir Humphrey: Well, you're a banker, surely you read the Financial Times?
Sir Desmond: Can't understand it. Full of economic theory.
Sir Humphrey: Why do you buy it?
Sir Desmond: Oh, you know, it's part of the uniform.

I consider Anna Karenina to be one of the greatest accomplishments of my life (reading it, that is). When that Leo dude writes something, he doesn't bother about keeping it short. I lost count of the number of times I had to get the epic (both the volumes) reissued from my college library. This led to the following words from the Librarian which deserves a mention as one of my favourite quotes (but does not count since it's not to be found on wikiquotes):
You shouldn't be wasting your time reading these silly story books. You should be reading some engineering books.
Battling the verbosity was tough (mostly because my hands ached after a few minutes from holding up the book to read), but battling the Librarian (yes, one with the capital L) was tougher still. However, the book was full of gems like this:
All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

If there is any book on earth that is quote-worthy from beginning to end, it has to be 'To Kill a Mockingbird':

Tom Robinson: Looks like she didn't have nobody to help her. I felt right sorry for her. She seemed...
Prosecutor: You felt sorry for her? A white woman? You felt sorry for her?

Now to tag 5 people:

I tag Peter, Paul, James, John, Judas and any other apostle who is feeling left out ;-)

PS: Kunz had been looking around for stuff to use against Mallus in general and me in particular. Look what he found - Hotel Keralafornia by The Yeagles. He thought I'd be angry, but I was laughing louder than him. Last seen, he was muttering, "Somebody makes fun of you and what you do is laugh along with him?"

Friday, August 08, 2008

God Save Me From the Olaampik

Hurray! The Olympics have started. The ultimate sporting extravaganza; the greatest test for any athlete around the world, and a period of frustration and disappointment for any sports lover trying to get a peek at all this through Doordarshan's exclusive coverage in India.

Some dumb bimbette, whose greatest accomplishment till date has been flawless skin and above average bust size kept smiling through the mandatory DD studio act before any sporting event - a hangover from its 6th umpire programmes during breaks in cricket matches. If they meant it to be an introduction to the greatest sporting event in the world it was a miserable failure.

When DD's live telecast started, a military band was playing and our very own Hindi commentator was practicing his opening lines live on TV, completely oblivious to the fact that his voice was being heard on national TV. He said something along the lines of "it's sunset time in India, lekin China ke is mahanagari Beijing mein raat prajjwalit hain" not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times - each time messing up his line and floundering somewhere among those esoteric Hindi words.

But most obnoxious was his pronunciation of 'Olympics' - he insisted on calling it the 'Olaampik'. I can understand his reluctance to use the plural, by why, oh why does he have to say 'Olaa' instead of 'Oly'? The least I'd have expected from DD is to send a guy who knows how to pronounce 'Olympics' to do the commentary. My mistake. After so many years, I've still not leant that DD is not just any other TV broadcaster.

This commentator also insisted on using the words sabhyata and sanskriti every time they showed something multi-coloured on the screen (which was all the time). When they showed Chinese introduction of paper making, he reminded us that like India, China too has contributed a lot to the world and also has a 5000 year old sabhyata and sanskriti. When they showed the contribution of Chinese to gunpowder, the dude again reminded us that China had prachin sabhyata aur sanskriti going back 5000 years, like India. When they showed the Chinese invention of the kite, this guy had the following enlightening comment to make : "In India too, we fly kites." I swear he said that.

If he had just stuck to sabhyata and sanskriti, it would have been bearable. But he insisted on giving us profound insights into geopolitics in Asia. As the Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong contingents marched by, he observed that these two countries are to China what Pakistan and Bhutan are to India. Hmm...that must be news for our folks at the Ministry of External Affairs.

When the Commonwealth Games come to India in 2010, DD will have the same crack team of commentators ready to assault us with erudite and scholarly insights. I just hope that in the 2 years they have, they work on memorising their lines better. Also, a little bit of imagination and some knowledge of sports would do wonders. Am I expecting too much?