Monday, July 30, 2007

On fatty bombolatty

Ok, so I admit it. I'm fat. I can't hide it any more. I'm coming out. There it is. Out in the open. And now that that's out of the way, can we move on? Thanks.

I went a bit "Hmmmm" when I read this piece in the NYT by Dick Cavett. He says..
Television comedy, in particular, has become an equal opportunity employer of the gigantic. It seems as if nearly every sitcom has a requisite fat, sassy black lady (or man) or a fat, avuncular white Uncle Jim large enough to absorb the scripted fat jokes. I have yet to see one of those Comedy Central shows with multiple standup comics that doesn’t include someone the size of the Hindenburg. Frequently the comic is black or Hispanic — the two groups, according to many studies, currently bearing the brunt of the obesity plague.

Back in Bombay of course, the media - be it TV serials, adverts, hoardings, etc. would have you believe something else. Part of which it might be true, for e.g. Adnan Sami, Shekhar Suman. Look at Bips. What did she do to herself in Beedi?

My world is a bit different and closer to what Mr. Cavett's talking about. People I know, friends of mine, all of them. Looking a bit..what's that politically correct phrase?.."pleasantly plump". Little signs of another chin coming out here, a neck disappearing there. Someone who was quite thin and slim, lean and mean (love-making machine? geddouttahere) now looks like he's been stacking up the pizzas and sizzling brownies with walnuts and cheese-filled enchiladas.

Yes, we're all working hard and playing hard. Which is why an entire industry has come up around fat-free, etc. They didn't even leave shrikhand and rasgullas. And of course 98.5% fat-free gelato. Et al.

In school, I was pretty much 10-over par. Then one fine day - and I recall with amazing clarity - I woke up and all my trousers were loose, I was feeling better. I think I'd pretty much gone on some major diet and had done cycling and stuff. I didn't even know it till I noticed that man...they weren't calling me "Jaadya" any more.

Then college happened, then gymming happened. And then work happened. Loads of work happened. So much work, so little time. Gym went out of the door. And weight came in. And man, have I put on. I don't want to go into numbers, but you get the picture.

In the article above, Mr. Cavett goes on to add
But it’s no longer true that Europe and Asia can point to America and smugly sing, “Fatty, Fatty.” We’ve exported our revolution with our fast-food chains. Japan now has obese children for the first time in its thousand-year history. Mad for anything American, young Japanese have made McDonald’s (charmingly: “ma-ca-do-naru-doz”) their second –­ if not first –­ home, partaking there more than once a day.

I don't know if thats true in India. All those MackDees seem full whenever I go by. Those Domino pizza guys whiz across in their scooters like there's no tomorrow. And they still line up at Kailash Parbat and Bade Miya like they used to. But when I see around me, man, these bacha log, especially in college..all of them look like so nice and fit. Maybe no rippling biceps and curvalicious corners, but you get the picture.

So, what next? Guilt trips galore. Major internal strategy sessions (?) on the need to shed. And shed soon. Avoid wife's stern stare. Head to weighing machine, trembling in trepidation if that kaanta's crossed a century.

Gaah.

Do you have any inspirational stories on how you gained and lost and then gained and lost again? Or, do you want to privately wallow in self-pity on the state of your weight? do you want to beat your breast or chest with how you can simply not find that 25th hour to work out? (btw, I read in Mid-day that TV stars work out at 2am or something...with that mandatory photo of the track-panted actress stretched on a bench press with a trainer wearing a stern look and a T-shirt which says "From lard to hard").

Do you? then drop in a comment. Would love to hear from you.

They say, it is better to have ate and lost then never to have ate at all. Huh? Says who? That's what weight can do to sense of humor, I guess.

Gaah.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Pandora RIP in India?



Kya hua tera vadaa? Gaayab? Sniff sniff. Now what am I gonna do? If you can't read the text, here's what it says
We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for most listeners located outside of the U.S. We will continue to work diligently to realize the vision of a truly global Pandora, but for the time being we are required to restrict its use. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative.

As if Websense wasn't enough, as if iTunes saying no to India wasn't enough, as if Go going Hindi wasn't enough*, as if Worldspace's steadfast refusal to launch car audio wasn't enough, now Pandora says sorry to India. Well done. Jhoom Barabar Jhoom.

* - ok, ok so Fever's got English music, but they refuse to move from Enrique, Justin and Shakira. Boo.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Archived under Lifehacks

This is
- why I love blogs
- the sum and substance of posts I never wrote from drafts that I never made

Via Amit. Read full post here. I'm quoting the one I strongly agree with.
If you make your work your life, you’re making your life into hard work. Like most people, I confused myself by looking at people like artists and musicians whose life’s “work” fills their time. That isn’t work. It’s who they are. Unless you have some overwhelming passion that also happens to allow you to earn a living doing it, always remember that work should be a means to an end: living an enjoyable life. Spend as little time on the means as possible consistent with achieving the end. Only idiots live to work.
I love being 35. I did my time in learning loads of things. And I'm gonna learn so much more ahead. And my knees will hurt bad. When they do, this is what I will remember

- Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.[>>]
- Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. [>>]

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Having lunch?

If I did a post on infuriating phrases, I should do one on meaningless questions. One of them is "Having lunch?". People ask that of you while passing you by, or while stopping over for a "Hullo". They ask that of you when you are, quite clearly, having lunch. But still, they ask.

I don't know what it is. Where's the gap? Which part of eating can't you understand on a visual basis?

And this seems to cut across age, sex and intelligence. It cuts across relations and across time. My childhood friend would ask me as would the guy I met yesterday.

Having lunch?

And it's gently aimed at when I'm stuffing that bhurji in my mouth. Guess what? It makes answering back even more difficult. But then he/she always knew that.

No, I'm not having lunch. It's that aloo that's taking over me. And soon, it will eat you up too. Then what will you do?

No, I'm not having lunch. I have an oral fixation. For each word coming outta my mouth, I need 100million morsels to go in. See my size? They used to call me "The Blob" in my previous janam in the USA.

No, I'm not having lunch. I don't know where this plate came from. I don't know what this funny round-shaped brown thing is, or this yellow liquid, or this round, brown solid. Do you?

No, I'm not having lunch. What is lunch if not an existential man's version of the changing shapes of solids and liquids (gas?, oh you) and their meaning over the broader issues that plague humankind's dilemmas and quandaries over the implications and ramifications of the machinations of people like you. Get what I mean?

No, I'm not having lunch. I'm just so stimulated by all those things on my plate. I have this power trip thing, you know?. I need to know I'm in control. So this plate represents my kingdom. I am the master of my domain.

No, I'm not having lunch. I'm sure you don't too. It sure as hell looks like the sole purpose of your existence is to perambulate. You know, quotidian peregrinations. Oh you don't?

Yes, it's still that kinda day.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The kind of day

..when I wrote this below just to let off steam. Sheesh, I just kill myself.

But I think we're on the same wavelength here, which at the end of the day, is really all that matters when you put things in perspective and look at the bigger picture rather than focusing on the small things because when everything is said and done, really, and come to think about it, the only thing that matters to all of us, and I make no exceptions here, is the fact that we are, all of us, just trying our level best to make the most of things, without, and I'm sure you'd agree, putting too many pressure points at various places and times in our lives.

To the person I subjected this to (you know who you are), I'm sorry.

More on infuriating phrases here.

I need to remind myself

of things at times, which is why this is here today.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

RIP Joe

I don't know what it is about 35, that makes 15 look like half a life away. And cleverly preserve, in entirety, some memories that make yesterday a distant past.

One of these memories was of Joe at our school. Good ol' Joe.

He was the first guy we went to when we got hurt. You know. Kids at 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 can be dangerous. Running around all over the place. Knocking a chair - or another kid - here, banging against a sharp desk there, generally having fights. Hey, that seat on the slope was mine you duffer. I'm gonna grab your sleeve and give you one jhaap.

And so whenever we used to get hurt, we used to run to Joe. You know. Apna bacha party, snot-filled noses, bloodied shirts, hands, cuts, bruises. All smiling happily. It hurts man, but its fun.

Not something you look upon kindly when you're 35. Like I am. But at 15, who cares? Like I didn't. Like all of us lads at St. Stanislaus didn't.

Because Joe was there. Ready with that tincture. Oh, is that what that red thing is called? Or is it purple? Man, it sure looks cool. Gimme some of that on my elbow. Or my knee. Whoa..doesn't hurt so much now does it? Good ol' Joe. He's always there. Just outside the principal's office.

Just before the principal whacks our hands and ass and make us kneel forever because we were fighting in class over that scented eraser. Or that Star Wars notebook. Heck, at least Joe'll rub that red stuff on your cuts and stuff. Ya, Joe, he's always around.

Not any more.

Joe passed away yesterday. More here, and an extract from our alumni website.
In 1947 Kippary Alphonse Maumkel arrived to work at St. Stanislaus at the age of 17. The Spanish Jesuits at the time found his name a tongue twister and started referring to him as Joe, Joseph being his father's name.

Joe was fondly known as Dr.Joe for his skill while attending to our wounds or administering us a tetanus injection when we journeyed through St. Stanislaus High School . He will also be remembered for bringing the world to us through Visual Instructions (VI) in the school hall.

He was a simple man who served St. Stanislaus for 60 years doing these seemingly simple tasks with a smile.

Go well Joe. Provider of aid and relief to many rebellious kids. That red tincture was our savior. There are many 15-year olds today all around the world who remember it. One in particular is typing this.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

186

dead on Tuesday, 11th July 2006.

11 minutes, 7 blasts, 186 dead.

Never forget.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Saath saath

Aur ek saath. 07/07/07.

To commemorate (?) this day, I'm posting this super photo by Twilight Fairy, who, it turns out, is a major shutterbug. Check her Flickr account here.

What do I think of this Taj tamasha? I was there at the Taj last December. Its an absolute wonder. In my heart, it will always be that.

But do I need to vote for it to be kept among the "Seven wonders of the world"? I'm not sure what that achieves. I'm not a big fan of the national pride thing either. Somehow I can't hear the goonj in "I'm proud of the Taj". I mean sure its an absolute marvel, its a symbol of love. And that's what its meant to be. A personal thing for everyone. The world pretty much knows it. Those who don't, will one way or the other. So I'm not voting to keep the Taj in the wonders of the world.

There was once a Mughal emperor who built this monument as an expression of love. And that's what it will always remain. Love's universal. A wonder of the world on its own.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Eight things tag

Filmiholic, with whom I share the common love for movies, tagged me here on 10 things you hate about me...or..hang on its "8 random things about me".

She tags, I take it forward and here goes nothing.

1. I'm a control freak. I'm trying to control it, but it gets tough.

2. I once told Vidhu Vinod Chopra "You think its worth this?". "It" being "1942, A love story" and "this" being the wait in a long - and I'm talking China Wall long - queue of wretched people (self included) drenched in the rain clocking 4 hours, waiting to book the tickets at Metro Cinema in Dhobi Talao. I came in the line at 10am (which, I was told, had started at 6.30am) and left at 6pm for booking two tickets for opening weekend of this movie. VVC walked in at about 2pm. With his brother, gloating at the line. Saala, he just smiled at me. I loved the movie, I just totally freaked on it at that time...that time being 1994. Note to bacha party: Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Manisha, RD Burman and Vidhu Vinod was a huge combination at that time. Oh, and the very next day I won two tickets for the same movie, courtesy some competition. Life.

3. I'm a big mobile phone freak, but strictly Nokia. I currently have the N95, prior to which I had N80, prior to which the N70. I love technology, but you won't find me dead with a Blackberry. I've been hoping, wishing to write on these devices, but damn waqt. And I've still not been able to figure out where (or if) Macs have a backspace key (help needed).

4. I've been mentioned in Rashmi Uday Singh's Good Food Guide (I think it was 1997 or 1998). Self and the blogger known as Purush (hey there dude, hope you had a good flight back) scoured Bandra, Khar and Sion Koliwada to cover a section of the book called "Budget Bites". Budget being Rs50 for a wholesome meal. Ho boy, we were such kids then. But heck, we had a blast.

5. All three movies mentioned in the "fav movies" part of my profile, star Kevin Spacey. American Beauty, Se7en and Usual Suspects. Absolutely love all of them. And he's the man. His recent decision to quit movies has just made me admire him a bit more.

6. My, ahem, profile was active on Shaadi.com for almost a year - most of 2005. I got married in Dec-05, but no, not via Shaadi. There's a whole single life that's gone unblogged. Ah, those were the days. There are some interesting encounters I had on Shaadi.com, but someday.

7. When the roads are not very crowded, I can make my car go from the middle of Peddar Road all the way to Babulnath without pressing the pedal. I kid you not. It's a downward slope and all other cars behaving normally, you can go the distance (just under 2kms) without gas. My secret now revealed.

8. While reading "The Alchemist" in a tent in Diskit in Leh in 2004, the solitary bulb in my tent went off slowly. It kinda just faded out. I was surrounded by pitch black darkness. The only sound was that of gurgling water in a nearby brook. It was one of the most beautiful of sounds I've ever heard in my life. I won't forget that moment, ever. I could've died in that darkness and I wouldn't have had a single regret.

And now to pass on the tag, I nominate some of my favouritest bloggers
Kusum
Sughosh
Punds and
Chronicus Skepticus

I'm aware that this tag is hazaar old, but its fun. If you've already done it, oye come on yaar, one more time. Enjoy it guys.

And ya, there are some rules
------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.
3. At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
4. If you fail to do this within eight hours, you will not reach Third Series or attain your most precious goals for at least two more lifetimes. (yeah right, just like you get a date with Jessica Biehl if you do it in eight)
------------------------------------------------------------------

It's only words

What's said: I love chocolates

What's heard: I love eating chocolates

What's understood: I don't want to go to the gym

What's remembered: I don't want to lose weight

What's re-told: You'd rather stuff yourself than come shopping with me

What was meant?


PS - not based on a real-life incident.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Thinking blogger tag

That kind man, Punds has given me a "Thinking Blogger Award". Thanks Punds, as always, you remain a generous soul.

Now, rather than tagging others, I'm leaving it open to everyone who reads this. Kinda like this post.

So, here are the rules.
===================================
* This award was started here.
* You have to award five others whose blog you think deserve this award.
* Should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging.
* If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
* Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
* Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.
* Please, remember to tag blogs with real merits, i.e. relative content, and above all — blogs that really get you thinking!

===================================

The blogs that make me think are easy really. I've already blogrolled them. Here ya go. Why do I like them? Go figure, here are the links.

Dilip D'Souza
Govindraj Ethiraj
Curious Gawker
Dhoomk2
Punds
Abodh
Filmiholic
Purush
Kusum Rohra

Before you protest, here's the thing. I'm damn tied up in work. I'd love to write about why I love these blogs. I'd love to give many more links because I think there are a whole lotta other blogs that make me think.

But honestly yaar. The discovery is much more fun. That too with a clean slate*. So, what say? what's the latest blog that made you think? Let me know.

* Sheesh, I kill myself..discovering things with a clean slate in your mind which, at the end of the day, can be really a whole new world of learning things that, one way or the other, can make you see things in a whole new light, adding new meanings and giving different colors to things that you already knew....(why this? because).

Monday, July 02, 2007

Blog interrupted

Not writers block. Just work, loads of it. That and consecutive washed out weekends, a house in a bit of disarray, some major DVD sessions (not movies), one deadly sin (sloth), one hopeless internet access provider and there you have it - my blogging life has been pretty much derailed.

But I'll be back. Gimme a bit. Thoda karo intezaar, rukavat ke liye khed hai.

Meanwhile, you could do well to check out these links (courtesy: yet again, Peter Griffin)..
1. The Guardians 1000 movies to see before you die
2. The American Film Institute's 100 greatest American movies:

No, I've not gotten the time to even check them out, but I will...just as I will blog. Soon. Thoda karo intezaar.

PS - I've also been tagged twice. I am aware and I shall do, but thaambaaa...