Tag Archives: Humor

10 Day You Challenge- Day 8: 3 Movies

3 Movies, now this is an easy one-

1- Guru– I am a fan of this movie and I have seen it so many times that I can’t even count.

2- Choti Si Baat- This again a brilliant movie which deals with a complicated subject of human psyche of perceptions in a very light and comical way. I have learnt a lot from this movie.

3- Thank You for Smoking– This is another movie which has motivated me a lot in life.

Worth of Husband & A Book Launch

Recently, PhoenixRitu posted on her blog about estimating the worth of a housewife (I would use the term homemaker instead of a housewife. I somehow don’t feel housewife is an appropriate job description and the term is sexist too), where she assigned a monetary value to the chores performed by a homemaker. Though I really don’t think a monetary value can be attached to the role of homemaker, because of a simple reason once you attach a value to her it makes the person behind replaceable(which as a concept doesn’t go well down my throat).

Anyways, I thought it would be only fair if a similar post assigning the worth of the odd jobs which a husband does is done. So here I list some tasks which are thrust on the docile species known as husbands-

1- Driver- 5,000
2- Security Officer- 10,000
3- Forced Shopping Companion – 10,000
4- Shopping Bag Carrier – 5,000
6- Peace keeper between the MIL & Wife- 2,00,000
7- The person who bears the six month long headache when “Nothing” has happened- 50,000
8- Official rat, lizard, cockroach and other insect killer – 30,000
9- The official Liar who is supposed to answer the question “Am I Looking Fat”- Priceless.

So the fact remains you cannot assign the worth of a husband or a wife in monetary terms. The worth lies in being with each other and existing as a couple more than individual task accomplishers.

Now coming back to some other important events, my second book “Down The Road” has been launched last Saturday. The event was a very successful one and was grace by the presence of Ambassador from Denmark along with some well known Indian authors Vineet Nayar and Kulpreet Yadav. The event was an important milestone as an author for me as I was sharing the stage with Abhijit Bhaduri, Ahmed Faiyaz and Nikhil who all have their works in “Down The Road”.

Here are some snapshots from the event-

You can read more about these events in the press coverage which followed-

Interview


Feature

Over all “Down The Road” is another chapter in my journey of life as an author, can’t wait for the next chapters to come. Meanwhile if you would like to share my joy of going “Down The Road” you can buy the copies on Flipkart, IndiaPlaza, Landmark, Crosswords

Authorized to Authorize

I started checking my google reader as soon as I opened my laptop, generally the rest of the routine goes like this, there would be WTF sort of news item sitting right there on my one of the news feed and I would tweet about it. Couple of RTs and if I am lucky one of the biggies of twitter would reply back and the day starts at a perfect note. Something was wrong today, I opened my reader skim read through the various news feeds out of the 632 unread news items there wasn’t a single WTF news. I was wondering since morning what has the world come to, would my day be ruined in this fashion. Is our political class have gone so bankrupt that they cannot produce one WTF statement a day? What has happened to Mulayam, Mayavati, and mani Shankar Aiyer’s of the Indian Politics, how can they be so silent over the fall of the Indian politics?

However, the relief came only towards the afternoon and from our honorable Prime Minister himself. Finally, yours truly got the WTF line to tweet about. So finally the Cash For Votes Scam which has shot to limelight after the Wikileaks published the cable and mentioned Capt. Satish Sharma and Nachiket Kapur showed US embassy officials chests of cash for buying MPs. And as usual there was a lot of protest and chaos over the entire thing. Though we should not forget the people who were protesting were the same people who were offered the cash and they didn’t think it was appropriate to protest unless Wikileaks brought the whole thing in open. Sorry I digress, coming back to our Honorable PM shri MMSji has issued a statement whose crux in a single line would be “I did not authorize anyone to purchase votes” for uninitiated you may read the complete news article here.

Now coming back to the statement of our beloved PM, Sir we understand the inflated ego and I am “the” Prime Minister of India bit. But then one shouldn’t press the luck too far, I mean everyone in the country can swear you didn’t authorize it. That’s like the most obvious statement on the face of the earth. What reflects in your statement are two obvious facts, one that the purchasing of votes happened. Now, we all know that we saw the bundles in the parliament being shown across the world on television and to add credibility to it is wikileaks. Now coming back to the second obvious part of your statement, You didn’t authorize this purchase of votes. Now my dear sir since when did you ever had the power to authorize anything in this country. I mean I am the PM bit, we all know is a good joke till the Rahul Baba becomes old enough. To start with you weren’t authorized to authorize as mildly putting it. Given your statements in the past that you are not responsible for the CWG and 2G obviously you didn’t authorize those either. I mean I can totally see you telling Raja “Go boy fly your wings across the spectrum” and to Kalmadi was told “Go boy for CWG which is Congress Wealth Generation.”

So coming back to your statement, I would seriously like to know, “Who authorize you to give such a BS statement.” Come on Sir, better advices are readily available at 10 Janpath, that too pre-authorized. Make hay while sun shines J

 

Corporate Atyachar

Author: Abhay Nagranjan

Publisher: Srishti Publishers

Price: 100/-

Corporate Atyachar is another book in the league of what I call been there done that books. The book spins a story around a fresh out of college graduate in the world of HNI (High Net-worth Individual) Banking and wealth management. Though the story of the book revolves around some clichéd topics like horrifying weirdo clients, a disgusting boss, and the nuances of the wealth management industry; the essence of the book lies in the way the story has been told. The best part which makes the book different and more enjoyable is that Abhay has stayed clear off the usual romance angle in the book and has stuck to what he does the best, adding situational humor in the wealth management setup.

The protagonist is fresh out of college, with no certain direction or goal in lives. He finds his life in the job where he submerges himself to survive and extremely disgusting boss which he names as Human Ball Scratcher (HBS). The characterizations are fairly good bringing out the finer aspects of the industry and highlighting the idiosyncrasies of the high profile net-worth clients. The story of a dominating banker, a puppy loving yuppie, Thai massage loving old man all leave a very amusing note in your mind enjoying the situational humor.

The story is pretty fast paced and well written, however the event sequence is rather flat. The story begins with a moderate pace and maintains it through out the book. The ending of the book is not what we call as firmly terminal, the author has left it dangling in a subtle manner so that the scope is sequel cannot be ruled out. On the downside the editing effort on the book could have been a bit better; some grammatical and contextual mistakes could have been avoided.

Summary: A nice realistic tale of a guy who is caught in wealth management industry amidst horrible clients and a dreadful boss. A nice light read for entertainment and can be surely picked up for a nice time on 2-3 hour flight.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

Discourse from the Prime Ministerial Household

The year 2010 is coming to a close, this year has been a year of achievements amidst disasters. Now given the fact that achievements harbor jealousy, while the disasters harbor jeer, jibes and sarcasm; I believe it would be appropriate to stick to the later while writing this post.

So talking about the disasters I got married early this year which in itself a disaster of the century. This also strikes me out of dating/scoring with any female I know *sigh* and the little thing called wedding ring stuck on my finger makes sure I am repelled by the ones I don’t know *bigger sigh*. Now most of you would be thinking that why I won’t remove the wedding ring and get back to the game. Well the lovely Wifee & the in-laws ensured that I am showered with so much love which coincidentally wrapped in loads of trans-fat leaving a tyre around my waist and the finger so thick that I can’t seem to take out the ring without slicing off my finger.

As I complete my digressions with knick knacks of the Gupta household; 2010 wasn’t only the year of my personal disasters but the entire country joined me in the unprecedented series of disasters. We had the CWG sham scam of 70,000 crores and the 2G Spectrum scam of 1,76,000 crores. I mean I don’t even know how many effin’ zeroes are present in either of those figures. And to top that out the person who is in charge of the cabinet where these scams happened, our beloved Prime Minister Manmohan Singhji (MMS), wants to be Caesar’s wife. As if being Rahul Gandhi’s proxy wife wasn’t enough he also wants to be Caesar’s wife too. My heart goes out for Gursharan Kaur(GK) that she has to go through all this, from what I have heard she is strong valued lady who still manages the MMS household under her tight and able reins.

The word is that the following conversation took place between the PM and his wife last week-

MMS: What is for dinner tonight?

GK: Caesar Salad.

MMS: You are still stuck on the Caesar thing I didn’t mean it literally. It was just a figure of speech.

GK: Yes, Yes as if I don’t know you, one white firangi womam and you become a puppet. 6 years puppeting after Sonia wasn’t enough you find another one that too someone else’s wife

MMS: Oh god! It’s just an idio…m

GK: Don’t you dare call me an idiot, I did a google image search on Caesar and his wife he is some Roman general and his wife is also a pretty blonde.

MMS: Enough of it, why are we having salad? I thought we were supposed to have chicken do pyaza.

GK: At Rs. 70/Kg we cannot afford onions, so chicken do pyaza is cancelled.

MMS: What do you mean we cannot afford onions I am the Prime Minister of the country.

GK: So what? Are you a part of the 2G scam….

MMS: No I am clean and I am above suspicion like the Caes…..and I am ready to appear before the PAC but JPC is not necessary on this particular event.

GK: You are not addressing a press conference or media. I am your wife. So did A. Raja gave you any money?

MMS: No, I think he gave it all to the Karunanidhi family. You know they bought Spice Jet airlines. He is not even from congress no so I hardly have any control over him.

GK: Ok! Did Suresh Kalmadi give you any money, he is from your party?

MMS: No, whatever he gave Rahul ji took it away saying he will use it in Bihar and the rest Suresh kept with himself.

GK: So how do you think we can afford Onions.

MMS: Very true, but I can always ask Sharad Pawar to give us some. I hear that he is hoarding tones of it to keep the prices artificially high.

GK: I am not sure if he will give you any, but yeah If you can ask Sonia to exert some pressure he might cave in. But then if we are found in possession of Onions when the CBI, PAC, JPC or whatever comes to our house they would conclude that you took a cut in all the scams which are coming on TV these days.

MMS: Yes true. Lets have salad, anyways at this age salad is good for health too. I have to keep in good health; given the election results in Bihar from Rahulji, I might get a shot for the third term as a PM if the congress wins the elections again.

GK: Whatever.

Disclaimer: The post is a figment of an imagination and the above mentioned statements might not be entirely factual. So if you can’t take some fun lightly please hit the close button on your browser.

Camera Woes

Last week a mail from a fellow blogger who also reads my blog made me realize that I haven’t written anything which doesn’t involve books since September. My first reaction was absolute denial but then a look at the archives and this was true. And then I thought I need to write something else, despite having reviews already written for Another Chance, The Confession and there are some other books I have read in past few days which I could review but then I had no intention of converting Ginger & Cardamom into a book blog. So I am back to regular blogging; the book reviews would obviously continue but so would non book posts.

So coming back to where I have been and what I have been doing these days. Well as you people already know that I was the latest addition to the people bitten by the photography bug which has now resulted in me buying a DSLR camera. I have let go off my sweet little Sony Cybershot which would slide in my pocket and would pass off anywhere as a mobile phone to this ogre sized Canon which is around 10 inches long (and I am talking about the camera perverts) 5 inches wide. For the uninitiated this how my new camera looks like after fitting the lens and everything.

Image Source: Google Images

So one of the days I carried my camera to the office hoping that I would click some pictures with my team mates and will be able to flaunt my new camera with my team mates. And as with any over excited amateur photographer I was looking out for subjects to shoot. Not that there was any dearth of Human subjects all around me but as it happened my heart skipped a beat for a lonely flower and I felt the sudden urge to take a picture of the lonely flower. I rushed to fetch my camera without giving a second thought and that second thought obviously would have been “It’s not a great idea to take a picture of the flower kept in the washroom”.

So as it would have happened I banged the door making a grand entrance in the rest room with a large camera in my hand. Have you ever tried bursting into a office/public restroom with one giant ass camera in your hands; Don’t it’s not a good idea. All the eyes which are generally riveted to the urinal were prying me as if I was a tyrant to molest them of their dignity. I got out in the lobby area where the doors to both the Male & Female restroom open. Determined to take the photograph as soon as the rest room is empty and I find myself facing with some of the girls coming out after easing themselves (or whatever you call it) with the camera in hand. I believe since that day I often hear giggles from females when I pass by, and sometimes a hush or a whisper which sounds like “He is the pervert who clicks the females just out of the loo”. Sometimes life is damn unfair 🙁

The Finkler Question

Author: Howard Jacobson
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Price: 499/-

The Finkler Question

The Finkler Question

I picked up this book only after it won the Man Booker Prize for 2010. Supposedly Jacobson is the first humor writer to win the coveted prize. The plot is setup in modern London with the protagonist Julian Treslove and his two friends Sam Finkler and Libor Sevick. Libor used to be the teacher of Sam & Julian; while both Libor and Sam were widowers Julian was yet to find love of his life and marriage and wife.

Julian was working for Radio 3 of BBC, where he resigned after being absolutely disillusioned. The lines like “Would anyone notice if my programmes weren’t aired?’ he wrote in his letter of resignation. He received no reply” simply crack one up. Julian despite being a non Jew he found his company in, Libor and Sam, two Jews mourning the death of their wives.

The life of Julian was changed after the day he was a part of an anti-semite attack as he was mistaken for being a Jew. The story traverse through the life of the three friends with the grief of the two and loneliness of three; the book goes deep down in the philosophy and debate of Jews and Anti-Semites. The story captures the feelings of Jews and a person stuck amidst number of Jews around him regarding multiple things related to usual Jew customs, Israel –Palestine dispute, Anti-Semite culture too well.

The pace of the story is very slow, but the narrative makes up for the lack of it, though the book is not the usual comedy with raunchy one-liners but a subtle background with an over all them with the tragedy imbibed with the protagonists. The characters are very carefully and well built over the progress of story and a perfect portrayal of emotions.

The only place where the book lacks is the Jew angle, for people who are not aware of the Jewish culture and terminology. A lot of parts of the book where the author goes into details of the Zionism it would be difficult to understand and leaves the reader baffled. Also due to the slow pace of the book it requires concentration while reading, if one is not enjoying the subtle humor then the book appears to be drab.

Summary: A good read, with subtle humor; a treat for the literary admirers to read with near perfect characterization and impeccable narrative.

Rating: 3.5/5

Bala Takes The Plunge

Author: Melvin Durai
Publisher: Hachette India

Price: 195/-

Bala takes the plunge is a story of the great American dream of the Indian middle class. How we as a society measure the success of our children by their capability to get into engineering/medical and the secure the most coveted US Visa to perform desk jobs while earning in dollars.

The protagonist Bala is another scapegoat of this great American dream by his civil engineer father. His ambition of being a movie director and cast his all time favorite super star Rajnikanth in a movie was sold for a engineering degree from a college in Chennai from where he moved to USA. The entire journey from being an aspiring director to a qualified engineer to a US resident and a director of a different kind (director of manufacturing in a fitness equipment company) is filled with funny incidents and quips ranging from the lines in US consulate to the status Corel dinner sets in Indian homes.

The second phase of the book, which is longest one, unfolds in US where the focus shifts from a struggling engineer to a well settled lonely professional desperate for a female company. The story revolves around Bala living in constant fear of being dominated again to marry to someone of his parents’ choice. The funny journey of Bala seeking companionship in sales girls of the grocery stores, matrimonial sites and finally in his pet dog which he named America.

The story finally converges towards it end when he comes back to India on insistence of his parents to see fair and lovely (pun intended) girls chosen by his parents. There his life takes some dramatic turns and he finds the love and probably a greater purpose in life.

The strength of the book lies in the humorous narrative done by Melvin, who has exploited the common incidents which happen in life a funny take. The tragedy and desperation of the protagonist Bala is the chief source of comedy which continues to tickle every time he fails to find love in his life. An area where Melvin could have improved the book is the pace of the narrative or the story; when the first part of the books are fast paced and riveting making a good build up while the second part loses the pace and grasp on the reader who has the pace in line with the build up.

Also there are multiple references to Rajnikath and his dialogues from various movies, which might add a distinct flavor to the book for someone who understands and follows Rajnikanth and Tamil.

Summary: A nice read to enjoy on a journey or a flight. If you are a Rajnikanth Fan and know Tamil movies it’s the icing on the cake..

Rating: 2.5/5

Disconnect

Once you are married you practically tend to spend almost all of your available free time in the company of each other. You tend to understand the other person better and enjoy random events which sometimes are absolutely fun.

So the other day me & wifee were driving along the Magrath road in  Bangalore. When out of the blue wifee suddenly shot back with a question/statement “Why on earth is Mac so expensive?”. Now this was an opportunity for someone like yours truly to impress the wifee with knowledge prowess. I mean you don’t leave this opportunity even if you are 10 years into the marriage and for me, I haven’t even completed 10 months.

So I went into details of how the Mac has a different hardware platform and the software which work more efficiently over the machine as compared to the others. I was about to delve into the drawbacks of restrictive hardware access by Mac and Apple. I saw the wifee was looking towards me as if I had just been reincarnated from a different planet.

That was when I realized I was talking about this-

And the wifee was talking about this-

After that I did the most sensible thing a man would do “Shut Up” :

The Common Man Day 21

When I read this news today, somewhere I was deeply moved. There are somethings you grow up with, I believe my generation and the generation elder to me and younger to me have all grown up with the works of the legend R.K. Laxman is. He suffered from 3 strokes and had to be air-lifted from Pune to Mumbai breach candy hospital. Though his situation is stable now the whole news was scary for millions of his fans like me.

Wish him a speedy and healthy recovery.

Here I leave you with some gems of R.K. Laxman.

Images: Courtesy TOI