Thursday, September 20, 2012

The PM, the CM, and the CPM

While Barfi remains the current flavour of the season as an eternal love story, and the reel life actors Ranbir and Priyanka gather much deserved accolades, in the backdrop, an equally dramatic story unfolds. The real life protagonists are again on the threshold of an excruciating break-up.
According to Industry insiders, Ranbir (Barfi)'s role as a mute guy and Priyanka (Jhilmil)'s role as a mentally unsound woman are inspired from the Indian PM and the WB CM respectively. Whether they manage to stay together till the end or not, like the lead pair of Barfi, is of course yet to be seen.
While didi is hell-bent on teaching the poor mute guy a lesson or two because of him treating her like shit, and not consulting her, on each and every miniscule government policy he decides to embark upon, the poor mute guy has yet again resolute to stay mum.
One needs to sympathise with him, I mean I do, always. It’s so tough for a man to manage two women at a time. (Well, I have failed miserably, whenever I have tried to do so). And, let’s face it, he’s no Ranbir Kapoor.  One of the women, the dominating Italian one, has her fingers always on the remote, and that’s why probably, poor guy has forgotten to emote. The other one, is the typical, Bong romantic melodramatic girl, madly seeking love and attention and threatening to slit her wrists open, whenever poor guy showers more attention to the other lady.
72 hrs is what she has in her mind right now. Come Friday, and we are yet to expect another Friday blockbuster. Till now, I have seen only stupid looking doctors in Bollywood movies say, “We cannot say anything before 72 hrs.” She needed to buy time till Friday, because she wanted to read the Namaaz on a Jummabar and then proceed with the formalities of the Talaaqh modus operandi. A very cheaply pulled publicity stunt, on an endeavour to hit a chord with the minorities. But who cares, the Minority vote bank absolutely adores this proclamation of hers. Okay, you get the gimmick, and even I get it, but a 50 something farmer, rearing his cattle beside a paddy field, Saifuddin Molla from the Chhoto Angaria village, will not get it. And there is the point where she wins. And Gautam Buddha cannot do a rat’s ass about it. Okay, no secular undertones, I am talking about Gautam Deb and Buddhadeb Bhattacharya here.
Just when our state was basking in the glory of the 46 Dengue deaths ( Official figures – 6, the rest are due to heart attacks and liver failures) and the Rape cases ( I lost count, do anyone have a latest figure?), she decided to pull out a bigger rabbit from the hat, the Breakup trick, which she has mastered by now (1993 – PV Narasimha Rao led Cong Govt,  2001 – Vajpayee led NDA Govt and now 2012 – MMS led UPA2 Govt)  , making Dengue and Rape look like second fiddles. In all these years, Her parties change, her Coalitions change, the Prime ministers change, but she, the Rebel does not. Everyone who takes her as an ally in a coalition knows on the back of their minds that, she will pull the plug, sooner or later. Most people have a BCP for that. Just like UPA2, is now banking upon the SP and/or BSP to pull them through. And it is just a matter of time and a few thousand crores in which a pact will be signed with either of them by the UPA2 , to sail them through  till LS Polls 2014.   Of course the media loves her; she is their bread and butter. Who cares about the fat old Pawars, Jayalalithas and the Karunanidhis these days? Everything comes down to ‘her vs the PM’ or ‘her vs the CPM’.
And here is where CPM finds itself landing in a soup. They were shouting on top of their voices to rollback diesel prices and subsidize LPG cylinders and scrap FDI in retail for days now and even called up a Bharat Bandh. And the aam aantel Bong, raised their eyebrows again, thinking – “Ohh these stupid commies, always finding a pretext not to work”. Now the didi stunt has made the Politburo think-tank (what they think, generally tanks) feel like a grumpy kid, whose pie has been stolen. The bandh is no longer the talking point of the town, and now, the arch-enemy herself has taken their own stance. Where to go now? They cannot go to Congress, as they are fighting with the UPA2 government. They cannot go to the BJP, as the ‘Secular’ tag is pricey. With didi joining hands for a 3rd front with Mulayam and co. even that door seems to be bolted. And with the Anna and Kejriwal rift even that movement is now seems like a fleeting glimpse.
What Bengal stands to gain through this will be a thing to see in the future, but without the support from the centre, I feel so sorry about the current plight of the millions of Bongs who had voted for her, expecting her to work closely with the centre and bail them out from the financial pit the commies had made them dive into, the last 34 years.
Allah Miya save the Bongs ( pun intended, minority readers will love it)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hemlock Society - The Review

The inevitable stumbling block that Sreejit Mukherjee encounters, every time his movie hits the screen, is an overwhelming baggage of expectations. It all started with Autograph, which changed the way the intellectual Bengali mass expected Bengali commercial movies to be. Of course, I use the word commercial when it comes to Sreejit’s movies. They are nowhere to be confused with art house movies, nor can they be termed as parallel movies. They have the routine song sequence, the big production house backing, the overtly done promotion, the presence of the biggest superstars of the industry.
So, what makes Sreejit’s movies still fall into a genre different from the regular ‘Paglu’ and ‘Khokababu’ movies? It’s his treatment which makes him stand apart from the regular league of commercial masala Bengali movies. He uses a similar starcast which the masala movies use, but he manages to churn out a different product altogether. He never tries to overdo the things, strikes a vivid balance between intellectualism and commercialism and scores big brownie points doing so.
Coming back to his latest release ‘Hemlock Society’, Sreejit had to break some rules and conventions. He was under the pressure of delivering a hattrick of hits, and to prove a thing or two to his critics as well. Given the fact this was not a Pujo release, unlike Autograph and 22she Shrabon, which kind of would have cemented a Hit Tag even before the movie releases. Moreover, there ain’t no Bumba da this time, who has the uncanny reputation of pulling out a movie single handedly, and steal the limelight. Sreejit casted Koel, an out and out masala movie heroine who has so far done nothing than singing and dancing in exotic foreign locales, as the female lead. He also casted Parambrata as the male lead, who so far has been excellent in cameos but he hardly is a lead material.  So, rules were broken, conventions were shattered, and few myths were to be proved wrong.
The Movie opens with the break-up of Meghna’s (Koel) 14 year long relationship, as she sees her boyfriend in the act with another woman. She has a troubled family life too, with her father Chitto (played by Dipankar to perfection) marrying Niharika (Rupa Ganguly, looks lovely as ever) who is the tragic bitch stepmom, with whom she does not gel at all. Adding to it, is her workplace problems, from where she is gonna be fired soon, because of her devil-may-care attitude and torn jeans.
Reason enough for attempting suicide? She thinks so, and she ventures out in the dead of the night  for a cliché-style suicide mission by buying a bottle of sleeping pills. As chance had it, the male protagonist Anondo Kar (played by Parambrata  – the character name part symbolic, part oxymoronic ) bumps into her at the med store, very bollywoodishly and decides to help her out – No, not by convincing her to dump her suicide attempt, but by assisting her to take the bold step, without making a mess out of it –  summarizing the motto of his establishment – Hemlock Society – Morle Moro, Chhoriyo naa..
Parambrata comes out as an ensemble of Bollywood romantic heroes – a mix of yesterday’s Rajesh Khanna of Anand, with an overdose of Babumoshai  meets today’s Shahrukh Khan of Kal Ho naa Ho, effortlessly flirting with Koel, in the same time, helps her to complete her suicide mission by enrolling her into Hemlock Society. An inherited rich guy, who drives a BMW convertible, and runs a Suicide Workshop in the guise of a Film city in the suburbs, Parambrata does a great job in bringing out the multiple shades of his character. His dialogues are coated with wit as he says he is looking for a woman je ‘Feluda jaane, Neruda jaane, aabaar Derridao jaane’
The 2nd half of the film revolves around many cameos, who all are the lecturers and students of the different  courses the society offers specializing in various methodologies of suicides. The naming of the characters is very neatly done, with names like ‘Dhamani’ as the one who specializes in splitting wrists, ‘Setu’ as the one who specializes in jumping of a bridge and so on. Sreejit manages to gather a bunch of very talented veterans like Soumitro, Sabitri and Sabyasachi as well as people from theatre and all possible other fields like Bratya Basu, Shilajeet, Raj Chakraborti, Priyanka etc  to do these short 5 mins cameos, and boy, did they do justice to their small roles. Worth mentioning is Bratya Basu’s role as Raktim Ganguly who specializes in shooting oneself. Shilajeet does a great job with his bringing up of an artist’s dilemma when his best days are over, ala Cobain style – “It’s better to burn than to fade away”. Priyanka shines as ‘Hiya’ - a teenage girl forced to prostitution. In the midst of all these happening, Koel founds herself fallen for Parambrata, and realizes that she no longer wants to die, but with her new found love, she wants to live again for the worldly things like Phuchka khawa, ghurte jawa, Sachin’s batting etc. Out comes the ‘typical Sreejit twist’ when she discloses this to Parambrata . What follows is a sea of emotion between the 2 leads and a very nicely done ending.
The music of this movie is quite good, if not as good as Autograph and 22she Shrabon, but definitely hummable. Shilajeet’s jazz and blue ‘Jawl Phoring’ and Rupam’s signature style ‘Phiriye dewaar gaan’ are the pick of the pack.  But, somehow I felt, the songs did not fit as good as it should have been in the moments.  The surprise package of this movie is obviously Koel, who did a great job as the geeky introvert intellectual girl, a remarkably different kind of role she has done so far. This could well become a turning point in her career if she wishes to continue with meaningful cinemas. Parambrata is excellent, and his dialogues and punchlines, sudden one liners and intelligent/intellectual talks keeps viewers engrossed. Overall, you may like this movie or not, but you would appreciate the treatment - The honesty coupled with intellectualism put into correct doses in this movie, making it so easy to watch, though it deals with such a dark and morbid subject – Suicide.
For me, it rocked, and I was not so sure, when I left the theatre, whether I liked it or not, but as 24 hrs pass, I realize that I really loved the movie. Congrats Team Sreejit, you have done it again. A Hattrick of hits for sure.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Crazy Cricketing Country...!

100th ton... phew...!!! What a dramatic (read melodramatic) event ...
So, the Little Master has proved once again that Gods cannot go, at least not in India...
Even if they do so, we are not standing by to acknowledge the straightforward object that they are mere humans and they are bound to have their share of ups and downs.
Ok, I absolutely agree that 100 tons is not a any format of the game.
It is almost humanly unattainable to score a 100 tons even in para cricket. Agreed..!
But, that also doesn't rob my right to disparage Mr.God, when I have legitimate grounds to do so.
Its ok for him to take one full year to reach from the 99th ton to 100th ton, but its not at all ok for young Manoj Tiwary.
So what if you scored an unbeaten hunderd in the last ODI u played for India,dude ? So what if you regurarly hitting centuries and double centuries in First class?
You have to make way for the God... he has a God Quota in the team...! He never is dropped, He just takes rest in the series he does’nt wanna play. He might well decide to play 2015 and 2019 world cups, and you cannot do a damn thing about it.
An Asia cup Win can wait for the next time.. Scoring the ton'th ton (a 114 from 147 balls against Bangladesh with a S/R of 77) is far more a bigger headline. Poor Pranab Mukherjee’s budget almost went unnoticed in the next day morning daily. (Pranab’s not quite unhappy though, he’s a bit relieved actually that Mr.God stole the limelight and the discussion for the next couple of days will probably involve less of his arse)
And after India being unceremoniously ousted from the tournament, we get a fine first reaction from the master "Virat is a great player, but Don't put pressure on him".
Talking about pressure and match winning abilities, 10 out of Virat's 11 ODI tons has resulted in India's victory. And 7 of them were run chases.
And still, I cannot even think to compare Virat to Mr.God. So even if you have 11 tons already in 85 ODI's, you can never be compared with Mr.God who had just a maiden ton in the same number of matches. You are just going through a fine phase, a learning curve.
You are just a match winner, he's a God,dude... Grow up...!
Ok, enough.. no more cynicism with Mr.God..and no more statistics...coz if the God bhakts starts throwing their share of Stats.. like Matches played, number of international years of cricket, Runs scored I will almost certainly need a cave to hide in Afghanisthan.
Leave Virat, he’s just a cannot even compare him with Viv,Ricky or Brian. Once a while someone makes the audacity of saying that “Ponting is the most complete batsman I’ve ever seen”, just to supplement with a small disclaimer,” after Tendulkar”, basically to avoid any non-compliance.
Oh yes, you can jolly well compare him with Sir Bradman. Mainly because nobody in our generation, or our father’s have seen him play, and secondly the magic average of “99.96” somewhat gives him the SuperGod quota.
Coming back to what made me spit venom on Mr.God was because of the time I started admiring Dada. Ok, now I know there is a Bong Connection and I you may think I have a 1% extra biasness for him on the lingo ground. But this also conradicts the fact that I prefer the Gujju Dinesh Trivedi to the dickhead Bong Mukul Ray as the rail-minister . Got my point? So leave aside any thought of Bong Bhalobasha.
I have always loved aggression,attitude and fearlessness in the field. That is why I probably admire Ricky Ponting and in fact the Aussie Team a lot. We cannot go on saying Cricket is a Gentleman’s game in this timeframe where T20’s is the reigning format. And the turning point in Indian Cricket came under Dada’s regime.
At a time when world class cricketers like Prabhakar,Mongia,Manjrekar,Azharuddin had successfully gangraped Indian Cricket, Dada came and took the reigns. He got onboard few unheard,unknown faces in his side and basically he made a presentable bowling line up with Zaheer,Harbhajan,Irfan. With Yuvraj and Kaif at point and cover, a decent fielding side was created. Add to it, he had the Wall and Mr.God with him. A dream team –. An aggressive leader, with a fine balance of youngsters and veterans, he turned the “indian Cricket Team” to “Team India”. He somehow broke the myth of “Tigers at backyard, Rabbits overseas.” In the midst of his leadership skills, many tend to overlook the fact that he was the finest batsman in India at that time. Yes, he reached the quickest 6000,7000,8000,9000 runs in ODI, when he was playing at his peak. Yes, quicker than God.. Godspeed, did u say ?
18 of Dada’s 22 ODI tons has resulted in India winning the match. (82%).
Lara: 19 ODI Centuries, 16 times West Indies won. (84%),
Jayasuriya: 28 ODI centuries, 24 times Srilanka won. (85%).
And the list is pretty huge, with players like Shewag,Yuvi, Anwar, Astle etc (people having scored sizebale number of centuries) in ODI’s has a better ton-to-win average than Sachin’s meagre 67%.
Anyways, my point is that even I agree that Sachin is the greatest cricketer the world has seen.
But, there were times when Lara was better than him, when Ponting was better than him, when Dada was better than him. And we should accept it.
There are times when one should realize when to hang up their boots and call it a day. What more does he need to acheive?
Highest number of runs in any format of the game – Unbreakable
Longest international career – Unbreakable
Most number of matches – Unbreakable
Most tons – Unbreakable
Most number of MoM and MoS – In the kitty
World Cup win – Done
100 100’s – Acheived.
Once a while, there’s a retortion from him stating “Will stop playing the day I feel 1% less committed to the game”, which basically translates to “It’s my freaking decision when to quit, and you don’t have a rat’s ass say in that, whatsoever”. Even if fans throughout India feel that scoring that century against Bangladesh came with a selfish strike rate.
Sir, Do not become another Kapil Dev, who played and played the fag end of his career, all broken and dry, just for thesake of breaking Hadlee’s record. And moreover, you do not have any other record to break, they are all yours. Now if you have Lara’s 400 in Tests or Shewag’s 219 in ODI,in your mind, just to have all the possible records in the book under your name, then poor Manoj, am sorry... you are in deep trouble.
Dear Mr.God, I have written many unpleasant things about you, without even having a minimum qualification or knowledge in Cricket to do so, but, as a one time huge fan of yours, I have just one advice/request for you . “Retire with grace,Sir... we all love you”

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Crazy Corrupt Country….!

Off course, I cannot be Anna Hazare. Though my last name might sound a bit like Hazare. It’s not. And no, I am not remotely related to Bhupen Hazarika. So, you might as well be thinking why on earth is this guy writing again? Days were so good without him churning out a blog now and then. Well seriously, I had lost some enthusiasm in the last few months because nothing was happening around, at least nothing enough to turn me on.
See, basically whatever we are, we cannot do a rat’s ass to stop radiation from the Fukushima power plant. Some things are just beyond our control. Let’s face it and let’s be proud of the fact that we are mere mortals. Well, if you think, clicking a Like button on Facebook which is a video, or a post or a game having the words “Anna Hazare” makes you a better person, am sorry to say, dude… you are so much living in an Utopian world.
We are simple Indian people. If not exactly the “poor India, hungry India” (Courtesy : Munnabhai MBBS) kind, but definitely we are the typical average Indian . I don’t think, we can ever be as famous as Mukesh Ambani or Poonam Pandey (btw, did she strip?), do what you may. Possibly, you might do excellent in your field..You can be a great singer, or a great cricketer.. But let’s face it… none of you reading this article is gonna be as famous ever as Lata Mangeshkar or Sachin Tendulkar.
So, my point is – Why this drama of submitting fake medical bills to your company to save a few hundred bucks and then rush home to say “I support Anna Hazare…” in FB? Ain’t that corruption? You might well update your status msg “I support the JanLokPal Bill” from your laptop which is most probably running on a pirated windows 7 OS. And yes, the Bit-torrent is silently downloading the latest Bollywood flick. But these things don’t seem wrong to you, do they? You feel that you have the moral right to save a couple of hundred bucks through this. Well, you know what, Mr.Raja and Mr.Kalmadi too thought the same. The only difference is they have the option to think in crores.
I have no idea what Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare can do on this. Because, corruption is so deep rooted - subtly, obnoxiously in all of us. And yes, we are all responsible for that. The “Koi nahi, Chalta hai…” attitude has shaped us in this way. We are so damn confident about our hilariously funny legal system that we sometimes don’t just care. Take me, for example: I am riding a bike for 3 yrs now, and I never felt the need of having a 2 wheeler License. And obviously, we are one of the craziest nations in the world. We have a cheesy, funny double standard. We can drive some 10 kms. on a dry day to buy liquor twice the price and come back and bitch about the recent fuel price hike!
I know that am corrupt to a certain extent, but then that is how I am. I accept the fact. But it’s disgraceful to see 50% of your friend list changing their profile pic to an Indian Flag on 15th August, and come 16th August, everyone’s status message says : Anna Hazare arrested, Shame on India. And ohh.. the stupid faces are back again. Guys… It’s high time… make up your mind…!!!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Myth 6: Is Pujo a disease?

“Dada, Taxi laagbe?” greeted me a 40 something man outside the Kolkata Airport. It was the night after Mahalaya, and finally I had landed in Kolkata. It’s not like I returned to my city after 5 yrs or something, but still a sense of reminiscence absorbed me big time. Well, I returned after 6 months and like all the previous times, this time too… nothing in the Kolkata air seemed altered. The Arrival’s gate and driveway are still a mess… with many plump Kaku-Kakimas and Ambassadors waiting eagerly.
As I dialed the number of my Chhoto-Kaku (Father’s youngest bro) who was supposed to pick me up, I did not fail to take in the familiar sounds of “Oyi je, eshe gechhe go”(There He/She comes) followed by embraces and “Babba, koto rogaa hoye gechhis?”(Look, how skinny you’ve become) Well, in my case, I knew the opposite’s gonna happen, coz am putting on a steady 3kg/yr ever since I left home. Well, predictably Kaku replied that he’s stuck in traffic and he’ll take another 10 mins or so, thus I lit up a Cigarette, heaving a sigh of relief that I have enough time to fag one and ogle at a number of pretty Bengali chicks after a long long time. I looked left and right and saw a giant hoarding reading “Kolkata Welcomes you.” In those 10 mins, my eyes and thoughts wandered from a Yellow Ambassador Taxi to a pretty girl on the Phone to a Foreigner who was being bugged by taxi-wallah’s to the new CCD opened right outside the Airport finally settling down to a group of guys who were there to receive a friend of theirs. Shouting “Eyi to ****, eshe gechhe”,(Here comes the ****) followed by few other Bengali slangs (which are not quiet conventionally used to greet someone)… but somehow the guy was happy and they hugged each other”.
Those 10 mins made me recognize how badly I have missed my city, my people, my language, my friends and my family. So, here I am, like the last 25 yrs in Kolkata during Pujas. I was born and brought up in a family where I have never ever seen an Agarbatti stick or a Phool Mala in my home ever. Idol worship was out of the question and I grew up with Portraits of Lenin, Stalin, Ray and Tagore around. My parents never felt the importance of telling me or letting me know the importance of “The God” in daily life, and me too like them grew up to become an Atheist, and I am proud of it. So what is it that brings me year after year to Kolkata during Pujas.
My thoughts were cut short on seeing Kaku wave his hand from a white Ambassador. I quickly sneaked in and before I could have even settled properly on the couch like back-seat of the Ambassador, my mouth was stuffed with my favorite Kheer Chop from Surendranath’s. Reached home along the same roads and alleys, I don’t know how many thousand times I have been through. There was the regular dose of hustle-bustle and melodrama once reaching home followed by a very simple, yet the best dinner I had in months. I was getting accustomed to my room and surroundings where the topography has changed significantly because yet another apartment has risen up right outside my only looking window.
As usual, 2 of my closest pals from school crashed at my place@ 2 a.m. without prior notice, and left
@ 4 a.m. That’s the best thing about old friends… they don’t text u “Hey, wanna catch up someday?” All they do is call and say “Gate khol, niche aachhi” in the dead of the night. The next 1-2 days were spend mainly doing some pending household action items on me, and meeting a host of neighbors and acquaintances whom I have to answer the 3 standard questions : My Organization name and what exactly it does, whether the Biriyani in Hyderabad is better than Kolkata’s and whether I have visited Ramoji Film City or not. To my astonishment, I found out that even the chai-wallah of my Para has been to Ramoji and I have not. (Action item on me once I return back to Hyd.). Pujo was looming in a rapid tempo, and like every other time, once again I lost track of the date and the day of the week. All I knew is that tomorrow is Panchami, the next day is Sosthi and so on. The whole of Kolkata is counting hours, maybe seconds as if to explode under a pressure mounting for months. So, you might question again why the hell is Pujo so important to a Bengali, that too to an atheist like me. Just like one non Bong friend at work had asked.. it might be very tough for u guys, to have veg food for 10 days?. Well, Durga Pujo is no ordinary Satyanarayan or Balaji ka Pujo where you have to fast or eat veg (see, am not comparing amongst the superiority of Gods, I don’t believe in any of them in the first place), the essence of Durga Pujo to me, and like many others is less of a deity worship, and more of a festival. It is compared to the “Rio Carnival of Brazil” and also known as the “Rio Carnival of the East.”
This is the time of the year when I clean up my friend’s puke in my washroom.
The time of the year when the weather is humid and unpredictable, the traffic is at its worst, the Taxi and Auto wallah’s charge you double with a very straight reply “Pujo’r time, dada.”
The time when there is no traffic @ 10 a.m. and a mad rush @ 1 a.m.
The time when I can sip Lebu Cha @ Maddox Square or eat Lotpot @ Kumartuli.
The time when beauty parlor owners are super rich in a week.
The time when there is a shortage of Halogens and electricians in the city.
The time when I wake up not at the sound of the alarm in my cell, but due to the Dhaaki beating the Dhaak > 60 dB.
The time when MohunBagan- EastBengal or Buddha-Mamata rivalry is forgotten.
The time when I invariably bump into old friends and class-mates at some pandal or restaurant.
The time when even the size zero girl gorges in Mutton Biriyani and Chicken Chaanp.
The time when you don’t give a damn on what P.Chidambaram says about the Maoists.
The time when I again miss the Ashtami’s Anjali due to Saptami night’s hangover.
The time when Tata Sumos are the hottest things on road because it alone can stuff the dozen something gang of friends together.
The time when we keep singing and strumming the same sets of songs from midnight to 6 a.m.
The time when I chat and laugh along with my friends imitating our teachers or other class-mates and each coming up with an almost forgotten rib-tickling story.
The time when u gotta have a new dress everyday for the five days. The time when speaker’s play “Aaguner Porosh-moni”(A famous Rabindra-sangeet) for the first couple of day and progresses to “Dekha jo Tujhe yaar”(The only thing for which people recognize Ritesh Desmukh) as the festival comes to an end.
The time when I am the best dancer on the floor during the Visarjan.
And suddenly before you blink an eye, it’s gone. Yup, plain simple, gone. The city looks suddenly deserted, since half of the people are out for vacation, just to avoid the gloom after the Pujas. 5 days later, The Lokkhi Thaakur is heavily ignored. I think, Bengalis can never make money primarily because of these 2 reasons. They are vacationing too much and ignoring Maa Lokkhi time and again. Then the dreaded day comes suddenly without a notice, when it’s time to pack your bags and make a quiet exit. As I was flying back, I was thinking is there an end to this madness or disease, when I overheard 2 kakimas in the airport waiting area chatting excitedly, “This time Pujo is early, in September, you know..?”. Barely 7 days out of the Pujos the next Pujo has already become “This Pujo”. And I concluded, No, there is no end to this madness and “Aaschhe bochhor, definitely aabar hobe”

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Myth 5: Love Letters

Myth 5: Love Letters
Well, this one is for the ones who are sick n tired of my boring blogs. Well, at least I am bored of my sickening criticizing satirical blogs, and so I have tried out something very different this time by pulling out couple of platonic love letters. Nothing can be as fresh and pure than love, ain’t it? The first one was most probably published in a Bengali daily few years ago. It was Osama’s letter to Mamata. I know, I am not being completely original this time, by taking reference of an old letter. But what the hell screw it. I apologize whole-heartedly to both the parties for bringing this up again.
It goes something like this:

Now, I know not all my readers are not Bongs (huh, as If I have so many readers), so I had to do a translation of this letter in English. I know that most of the puns will be circumcised down to a large extent due to the language barrier (Yeah, you can re-read my blog on Languages once again.) But,here’s what the letter meant:

Dear Fire Lady Mamata,
I am writing this letter from a secret hiding place in a rocky desert. They don’t have a Post office, Fed Ex or even Facebook out here (Can you believe it, no Facebook?). So, I am sending this to you through a gigantic cloud in the sky, hoping someday it will reach ya.
U must know by now, that the day you shouted “Buddha Hatao” (Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, Chief Minister of WB), I have fallen in love with you head over heels from that very day. It ain’t matter if its Baamiyan’s Buddha (the largest Buddha statue of the world which I had wiped off, remember?) or Baam Union’s Buddha (Baam means the Left in Bengali), I have my moral support in any kind of Buddha hatao drive. My terrorism comes under dharma (religion), while your terror from Dharmatala (a place in Kolkata where Mamata has done several rallies n dramatic stage shows). But see, where you are today and where I am.
He Cruel lady, you know that for you only today I am in this state.
U remember, you had shown the V for Victory symbol last time around after the elections. I thought you wanted to signal the ’twin towers’. So what does a crazy man, madly in love do? Wiped off those buggers from the face of earth. Bas, that was it, I am running around since then. But you never looked back. How can someone be so cruel?
That’s why finally I am writing this because I have heard that nobody returns with empty hands from you. Even a famous ex PM of India had once been at your door to have some special Bengali sweets, and you had not let him return empty stomach-ed (Atal ji). I don’t want Rossogollas, neither Fish Curry nor Bandhs. I just wanna tie the knot with you. That’s my humble proposal. We both will be benefitted from this. You will get your share of the Muslim vote easily, while nobody ever will have the balls to say that I am a Mamata-heen purush.
That’s it for today. Please reply. Miss ya , tkcr…:)
Yours n only yours,
Man of Fire… Osama

This letter had made me laugh like hell, and so I decided that Mamata should, I mean must write him back, even if she doesn’t mean it, you know, just to make him feel loved and that he doesn’t do a 9/11 again. So, after much coaxing, she finally wrote a letter to Osama and handed it to me so that I post it. But, you know me, spoilt from childhood, couldn’t resist tearing the envelope and do a quick read. Now that she is a Union minister, she has become fluent in English, and thus has written this in awesome English. Still, there might be few Bengali words (in bold) in the letter, for which I have an Index in the end specially for you. I am trying to put whatever I remember of that letter in a nutshell:

Dear Agnidebata Osama,

How dare you sending such a chithi to me?
I cannot handling more pressure of this kind before my final porikkha - The WB Election of 2011.
You don't know how much Khorkuto I am burning to get that Briddho Buddho out of Bangla.
Pleej understand my agenda is ‘Poriborton Chayi’... not ‘Patro Chayi’..
I hab already said No-No to Nano.
I hab also said No to so many men..I mean "So-men" before.
Becoj Like Bhagat Singh said "Ajadi hi meri dulhan hai", same to same "CM ka Chair hi mera Biye ki Piri hai"
My slogan is "Maa-Maati-Maao...Buddho Hatao"
I have wait for dui doshok to come to this historic moment when I am sure to pass my porikkha.
So , plij do not propose or disturb me, before my porikkha is over.
All the tough papers are already cleared , like Political-Jyoti, Physical-Subhash etc
Only the Buddho-Juddho paper is left, but I habe done special cochin class this time.
Also I habe refering ABTA Test papers (Aantel-Buddhijibi-Tuddhijibi Association)
I am already in Gola-jol trouble working for the Mao-badis.
Also, this Monmohon and Pronobda disturbs me a lot by saying "Didi, you need to concentrate on Railways...!"
They also demand that I come to Delhi sometime sometime...
Now you say Osama, is it possible for someone to concentrating so many works ek saathe ?
When you was planning to Attack Bush, was you thinking about your 54 Stri's?
So Love and war cannot be least not now..
the day my Porikkha is over and I pass, I will flag off a new train known as Mao-Qaeda express running from Kabul to Kolkata.. And I will be doing waiting phor you here.
And after that nobody will have the guts to call you Mamata-heen...

Yours truly,
Didi... oops...

Chithi = Letter
Porikkha = Exam
Khorkuto = hay
Poriborton Chayi = We want change (Mamata’s unique slogan, oops sorry, even Obama’s)
Patro Chayi = We want grooms (A classifieds in Anandabajar Potrika, which has made it the highest selling Bengali daily)
Biye ka piri = A wooden plank used in Bong marriages
Dui Doshok = 2 decades
Maati = Soil
Gola-jol trouble = Neck deep in trouble
Ek saathe = together
Habe = have (that’s how it sounds in Bengali)
Plij = Please (that’s how it sounds in Bengali)
Phor = for (u’ve got the trick now, right?)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Myth 4: I am the 4th I-do-IT

There are 10 kind of people in this world. One kind who appreciates PJ’s, and the other who do not understand binary. Well, if you are through with the first line now and having a skewed smile on.. you r probably good to go. And if you are again going up to re-read the first line, no issues… u’ll catch up soon.

All right, this blog is about “the IT Guy next door”, the one who you see every day from your balcony rushing for work in the morning, most probably empty stomach-ed and definitely empty headed. Okay, If you r also an IT guy and reading this with vengeance, I apologise for Prototyping. Just think of this as an exception logic or a negative Test Case, and you will start feeling better. you might be lucky enough a chap who leaves a 3BHK worth 40 Lakhs with a stomach full of “Maachh Bhaat” cooked by Mom , “parathas” packed in the lunch box by wifey dear while ‘Raju the chauffer’ drives your Honda City to your Office. This blog is definitely not about u, it’s about the thousands surviving away from home sweet home in an aim to “make a career out of IT (or at least make out with an IT girl) ” waiting in a bus stand in the scorching heat with a prized fashion accessory round his neck.
So what makes the regular IT guy so special? Well, for starters he ventures into an industry with no freaking idea whatsoever it is. Again, am sorry if you kicked ass at coding “Towers of Hanoi” or “Fibonacci Series” in school/college, remember I am writing about the regular guy who relied upon ‘Xerox machines’ or the microscopic letters written behind ‘Sai Baba’s photo’ during Computer exams. My knowledge of Computers were limited to “Roadrash and” during school and these were the precise reasons I coaxed Baba to get me a Computer back then. So, it’s completely understandable if a student of Medical science having 5 yrs of intense study and training, rip opens up a heart during surgery, or if a Chartered Accountant audits a MNC. But what on earth is the regular Mechanical/Bio Tech Engineer guy who screwed with nut- bolts or was busy preparing Methanol and smoking grass all 4 yrs of college, doing in an IT Company? Well the answer is, neither did he have anywhere else to go, nor did the company who hired him had much option. It’s a symbiotic relation in which you are ready to flush out whatever you learned (in case you did learn something – In my case it was a win win situation) in College, while the company is ready to hire u, because it needs to design softwares maybe for some Pathology Lab in Oklahoma, and he does not have enough guys to do the dim-witted labor.

So, you start with plenty of dreams in your mind to change the world, ok if not the world , then at least the Pathology lab in Oklahoma. And you start imbibing the archetypal trends set by your seniors and team mates very soon in your everyday life. You reach office and fashionably swipe your card while the glass door opens with a beep (as if you r entering a NASA Laboratory with loads of sensitive data – I mean how can “Jennifer S. Hughes, 570-32-3479, 28 Zimmerman Lane, Los Angeles, CA 90017, suffering from Piles” be classified as sensitive data? – It can be termed unhygienic data but not sensitive for chrissake.) and the time of your entry is recorded. You make sure to spend 9 hrs every day in Office at least before swiping out, else it might impact your Companies revenue. So you feel good and kinda important (ur fooling around of 30 mins can bring down a Fortune 50 on its knees, ain’t that great?) and you don’t really mind being tagged as “Billable Labour” in your timesheets, do u? It’s all about professionalism @EOD, isn’t it? You love abbreviating everything (EOD, PFA, WFH etc) in an attempt to look uber-cool. You swear by jargons like “deep diving” , “fine tuning” , “gap analysis” just to give a feel that you are solving something really big and important.

The Bio Clock of your life changes according to your Client’s time zone. So, while you used to go to bed around 11pm previously, you might just wake up at that time now to greet your Client “Good morning…”, just to make him feel good. You are a great team-man if you r working round the clock. You put extra hours in office just out of habit, coz there’s practically nothing to do going back to your boring double sharing basis room. Plus you get free access to the internet and Coffee machines. So you save some bucks on your breakfast and snacks. Yes, a cup of coffee and a cigarette makes the breakfast of a regular IT guy. If you, by chance, still have a social circle and friends, you research about proxies to get access to chat sites and torment your friends tellin’ em how your life sucks.

Just like a coolie, you ask a colleague on introduction, ”Which platform r you working on?” And like a beggar you r always looking for change. The hottest thing you can do in a weekend is attend some walkin drive for XYZ company. But hey, you are not alone in this food chain. You might just sneak past your manager in the weekend drive, both mutually pretending not seeing each other. If you have a girlfriend in another city, you religiously follow the 3 routine calls per day schedule (the 5 mins wake-up call which ends with “I am getting late for work” , the 10 mins lunch call which ends with “I have a meeting” and the 20 mins Good night call which ends with some mushy sounds.. ).

You are robbed by auto wallahs (they just charge double coz of your expensive id-tag round the neck), brokers (they inquire whether you r a student or working, and if you proudly say “I work for Microsoft” with a fake accent, your rent goes up 50% straightaway) and vegetable vendors (They levy an IT tax of at least 30% whenever you r shopping with the tag on). They all will burst into laughter, if they happen to see your ridiculous payslip btw. If they have any goodness left in their heart, they might as well give you some of your money back.

You love partying.. Even if partying means gulping down a beer with your fat and balding roomie in your room every alternate nights, and each demonstrating how their companies and their mangers suck more than the others. That’s your ideal party. You are a movie buff.. Even if it means downloading and watching the pirated version, on Saturdays, the very next day the movie released. The only thing that excites you and you die for is probably the Office quarter or annual parties in which you get to see your otherwise geeky female colleague dressed in some eye soothing outfits, and yes, finally she has waxed her arms…. Plus you get free booze n unlimited starters. You smoke Marlboro and Dunhill in the presence of your colleagues and seniors, just to make yourself look sophisticated, while you puff away maybe Chhota Gold Flake in your room.

Your biggest nightmare is the rumors of increase in the “notice period duration”. The most motivating word to you is “CTC” and that’s nothing to do with Calcutta’s ultra slow heritage transport system. The parameters in which you judge other people are 5.5L or 6.5L, H1 or L1, i10 or i20. Let’s say you discovered a really really hot girl in some random chat session (chances are that she might be a 40 something gay named Rameshwaram Pandey, but that’s a different story) on a night when you really were feeling lonely. So after the initial what do you do and stuffs, you end up asking “So, What domain are you working now?” the moment you discover she (or he, whatever) is also an IT person like you, when all you wanted was to start with “So, what are you wearing now?”.

So that’s how your days and months and years goes on, by meeting or mostly stretching deadlines, submitting timesheets every week , fidgeting between Word and Excel, updating the experience in your CV by 0.1 of an year every few days, signing up in yet another Job Portal. You are always updated with the requirements and Packages offered in the Company opposite to your building. And just like the packages offered, the chicks in the opposite building too come in better packages. As I always say, the grass on the other side, always gives a better kick.
And finally when you have decided that enough is enough, and you have clicked on the send button of “the mail” which was lying in your Drafts for months, you feel really ecstatic.

It’s time for “Change” and “Change has arrived”. Boy, u just made Obama proud. Way to go boy…!