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Moving out ...

Livejournal is a wee bit boring. So I move on, move out to get bored in other places.
Hence - http://sujaybedekar.wordpress.com/

Goodbye, lj. Thou shalt not really be missed, but it was fun nevertheless.


Stars on Earth

Taare Zameen Par. Sigh.

It made me cry silently, marvelling at the volumes people speak through unspoken words. Never before did I ever shed tears with such gleeful abandon.
It made me cheer for the different - nay, special - people whom we so easily dismiss or deride.
It made me feel guilty and somewhat ashamed by asking me to hark back to my good ol' school days. I am reasonably sure that I must have ridiculed someone just because he or she saw alphabets dance or numbers morph into planets. It made me ask them to forgive me.
It made me try and remember the last time I picked up a crayon or a paintbrush. My mind drew a blank, leaving me extremely distraught and unfulfilled.
It made me sit back and enjoy a true star - the Daftary kid - make emoting, and Aamir Khan make direction, ridiculously easy and  wonderful both at the same time.

For making me do all these things, thank you, Mr. Khan. I am forever in your debt.

I hereby solemnly swear ...

... to do the following things as earnestly and for as long as possible in the year which has already come -

1. Stop wasting time on pointless stuff, and waste time on relevant stuff.
Corr: be less ambiguous/ obscure

2.1. Stop cracking crappy jokes which test the limits of patience of unfortunate people who happen to be in the vicinity.
2.2. Be more respectful, less rude, more polite, more punctuational (i.e. use better punctuation) - in general be a more boring person, just to see what it feels like.
3. Not drink more than once a week, and not drink on 3 consecutive weeks.
4. Stop resolving to get into shape and actually get into shape (Not intended to sound like Neo. Stop trying to hit me and hit me' )
5. Stop resolving to go get myself a girl, because it seems like a waste of a resolution
6. Embark on one memorable >=7 day trip (preferably solo), inside or outside India.
7. Watch a match at Old Trafford.
6. Go to 1.

Inshallah jeet humaari hogi. Har har mahadev. Halla bol. Bole soni haal. Hallelujah. Sat sri akaal. Aameen.

In the presence of greatness

144 test matches. 38 centuries. And yet such joy. Such relief. Such pride. Such an honour. Sigh!


Infinite loop

" The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. "
Given the current credit crisis in the financial world, the aforementioned statement seems like just another rambling of some 'finance scholar'. The irony is that these words were uttered some 2000 years ago by this Roman dude called Cicero (link). 

I hark back upon this post to emphasize a point i believe very strongly - we (as in human beings in general) think we learn from mistakes, whereas all we're actually doing is inventing new ways of making the same mistakes :-)

Because it just is

While I was sitting in one of my special epiphany places, I had this realization :
Man's belief that God exists is a result of his incessant thirst for knowledge and rationalization - Why? How? When? - coupled with a burning desire for inactivity and laziness - 'Surely god did it. Sorry out of my hands. Won't bother with it anymore. Change the channel.'

I'm not condemning people who believe in god, mainly because I am one of those people. And although the aforementioned reason (excuse) seems lame ... well, I've done things in the past for lamer reasons :-)

Edit: Interesting comic strip on Epiphanies here... Read more here.


Aching bones. Hopping hips.

They say you're as old as you feel. I hope that is not true.
I feel old, extremely and terribly old these days.
Not mature or world wise or enlightened, but just generally old. Not that type of old where you'd rather sit on a recliner and read Swami Vivekanand books instead of partying somewhere. Or where history today seems like current affairs of my youth.

Maybe I should start celebrating my birthday in December.

Perhaps this is not the best place to post, given that I claim to be nearing senior citizenship, but seriously - how funny is the 'Under My Umbrella ..ella ... ella ...' song? Very funny I know! Rihanna, who looks like she stopped growing  after the age of eight (w.r.t. height only, thankfully), then goes on to teach the alphabet 'A ... A ... A ... A ... ', but clearly she didn't learn beyond that. And still the song is awesome.
N.B. The radio jockey just informed me that Rihanna is the 8th hottest female on some random hotness list in the US. Hmmm ...

Most hip hop songs these days are freaky -
You have Chamillionaire going 'I'm ridin' this and that and doing it dirty' or claiming that all the noble souls in the R&B industry are being policed and arrested for thinking living on grass is the same as going veggie; Kanye Waste giving motivational lectures by singing 'I am on you ... you come here ... hold me longer ... what won't kill you will make you stronger' ; JT and 50 Cent trying a remote desktop connection on some sexy female to spread some mayo on her; JT again dancing in some virtual domain singing in what would be an awesome voice if it belonged to a lady; Beyonce giving me deja vu when she shakes her booty from Assam to Ooty like some rabid dog who's just exited all wet from a swimming pool ... the list is endless.

I don't understand what motivates people to make such songs. Maybe that's why I feel old.
But I like the songs anyway. Hence I don't feel that type of old.

Random musings.

I have a theory, that the whole ritual of getting married is elaborate for two reasons -
1. To give the bride/ groom with a lot of 'quit while it's still possible' opportunities
2. To discourage the bride/ groom from attempting it another time. That, and the prospect of having a second mom-in-law is supposed to be sufficient discouragement.
On similar lines, there's a good detriment for people to not stop 'gymming', if at all they do take up the noble task in the first place. This taking up of noble task is typically because of peer pressure or beer pressure (specifically, beer belly pressure).
The excruciating pain, the realization that there are some muscles in your body whose sole function is to only ache and make you walk as if you have a tree trunk thrust up your backside, the zero change in your physique after having gymmed for a time longer than it would take to thread a needle while traveling on Mumbai roads ... why do it after all? Patience better be a fruitful virtue.
Guaranteed pleasure was always a pleasure ... till now. To get maximum happiness at work, one could aim higher, try harder and wait not till he/she excels (Sigh. Excel. Stupid Program. Takes ages to compile and calculate stuff. Crashes all the time, a la Juan Pablo. Still people love it. Why?)
But the diametrically opposite attitude works too - starting from a state of total incompetence and having easily achievable goals is a much more easier and faster path to instant happiness. Nothing like improving upon past incompetencies and inefficencies to cheer you up.
Sir Alex says that the current Manchester United squad he has is the best he has had so far. People say he's just talking it up to boost the morale of his young squad. I say- time will tell. It must be said though, that the current lot has infinite energy, oodles of enthusiasm, an abundance of talent, blistering pace - especially in counter attacks, a rock-solid defence and a plethora of unique players. (How's that for cliched sports -lingo?) 
Also, it is nice to have Arsenal as title challengers. Arsenal is a team I love to watch and love to hate. Chelsea was and still is just plain boring. Arsene Wenger has an accent which can make the most serious things seem ridiculously funny. Sample-
'We know what the Manchester United players are capable of, and I have full faith in my boys' sounds like 'Whee nue wott ze Mainsheste Yuneeted players ayr kepebul auf, anz aye ev fool fyet in miy buoys.' Fantastic.
Avram Grant (current Chelsea coach) has a poker face which make you wonder whether he is surrounded by people with serious indigestion problems. Jose Mourinho (ex-Chelsea coach) was a brilliant tactician with too much money and much too much attitude.
Watched Saawariya and Om Shanti Om over the weekend, kind of back-to-back. Not sure whether I liked Saawariya or not - I think I didn't like it more than I liked it. OSO was unapologetically funny, sarcastic and melodramatic, although this is often used as a reason for intentionally (ahem) NOT making a good film.


The good - Sets. Lights (Blue-green combo did not turn out to be depressing). Pretty innocent and fresh lead actors. Ranbir Kapoor.
The bad - The attention to detail becomes super-boring. There's indulgence, then over-indulgence, then there's Sanjay Leela Bhansali, in a not nice way.
The ugly - The 'females of negotiable affection' shown throughout the movie are so not hot, thereby raising the question - how do they survive at all? The intentionally wrong english (I not likes?!) is painful. Ranbir Kapoor's nearly-naked dance. (I personally think SLB put it

Edit: Here's an awesome review, although I don't agree cent-per-cent with it.

Om Shanti Om:

The hot - Deepika Padukone. <tongue hanging out>
The hilarious - Akshay Kumar.
The good - The songs- brilliant music by Vishal-Shekar-Pyarelal (the badminton dance spoof is too much!). The minor gags (Naughty Pussy! Raascalaa ... Mind It!). The Karz homage. The first half of the movie.
The bad -  The random storyline. The unnecessary english garbage 'Thenks'.
The ugly - Shahrukh post-interval- Most of the movie post-interval, in fact. The come-one-come-all song where arbit people start dancing (seriously - what's the point of having Suneil Shetty/Dino Morea/Aftab make guest appearances?). The weird twists in the story - it seems as if the script writers got bored of writing an ending.

Shop. Drop. But never stop.

Go shopping with your family. In fact, do it today. Such noble thoughts will get you a 'Get-out-of-Jail-Free' card, if not a 'Go-straight-to-heaven'  one. Overdoing it though will only hasten your reaching the pearly gates.

It's not like I haven't shopped with ladies before. On the contrary, I've been dragged along on quite a few shopping trips because -
1. Non-availability of 'valid' reasons (I need to sleep. Let me watch this movie. This is my resting time. I want to booze with friends.)
2. The promise that I'll get to see hot chicks while I wait ('Help select', they say)
3. The lure that people will buy something for me, because I'm being such a good boy.
4. 'We know what you will do if we are not at home.' The vagueness of this accusation gives you ideas which were not really there in your mind initially, which makes you smile and thereby justifying the accusation.
5. Learn to shop, else your wife will end up cursing us for not training you well. The word 'training' here is used exactly in the way you say 'My kid poops all over the place. It needs to be potty trained.

You just can't say no to this simple and well-practiced logic. In fact, the whole process is made to look like a you-are-being-done-a-favour-by being-asked-to-come-along.
It was because of such emotional drama that I found myself accompanying my family for shopping yesterday. All sympathies are accepted in cash only.

The shopping process is not as haphazard as it seems. There are steps - rather, Acts, like as in a play, to the whole madness.
First, is the whole process of selection, rather shortlisting of prospective buys. It doesn't matter how much you plan on buying; it certainly doesn't matter how many  you need to buy- clothes are the most irrationally purchased commodity ever. The shortlisting process involves so many parameters that it would be impossible to automate the process. Saampuls -
- This tee is nice. But how will it look in blue light after 3 months when worn with a green pair of jeans in ____ weather?
- Should I buy a red top with a blue pair of jeans? Lace or no lace? Frill or no-frill? (Apparently, lace and frill are different things) Too-low neck? Not low enough? Polka dot? Big dot? Little dot? ..o0
- Does this colour make me look fat? Can this colour make me look fat if I grow a bit? (Note: Never even give a hint of thinking even remotely in the affirmative. In fact, it should be an impulsive 'Noooo way!' kind of a response - Thank you Ross for that tip)

Then, after the initial 'short'list, comes the fight for the changing room. There have been cases where one person - usually an aunt or some seasoned campaigner - sits between 2 changing rooms. 2 girls (e.g. my sis and my cousin) enter the 2 rooms. Then the central person, very much on the lines of a conductor, tosses one tee in one room, a second tee in the other room, collects already reviewed tops from either rooms, tosses more untried tops towards the yelling contenders. These are techniques used to circumvent, they tell me, the '3-clothes-for-trial-per-person' policy some shops enforce. The number of tops tried via this process has been known to be in the range of 30-40 items. I could illustrate this with a figure, but I'm not that vela.

During this melee, you are supposed to stand and makes yourself as insignificant as possible. Now where to stand is crucial. The shop floor is typically littered with hundreds of sexy mannequins placed on pedestals such that their 'areas' end up being exactly at your eye-level. This can often result in you being given 'blaady perv' kind of stares from fellow shopper ladies, before you realize where it looks like you're looking.
Also important is where you stand, because, and this is pretty similar to Muprhy's law, you will end up leaning on what turns out to be the lingerie section- unintentionally, of course. God forbid if you happen to bump into some stand, clothes and 'joolry' will descend all around you with the loudest possible noise, thereby drawing you glances, which say - 'Sigh. All they need to do is just stand and be inconspicuous, and they can't even do that!'

That assurance that you''ll be wading into a sea of hot chicks often ends up being quite true and fairly life-threatening - all of them are usually accompanied by bodyguards with 3.5 packs on an average, and all your efforts are spent in ensuring that you don't want to even glance in their general direction. If the number of such chicks exceeds certain levels, you end up looking away from all directions simultaneously, thereby getting a very painful neck sprain. Any complaints or requests for sympathy are met with the same glances as mentioned before.
Quick observation - There needs to be a special cateogry for what I call 'huggable' clothes - clothes which make you go and hug the wearer. Pity that the title 'Huggies' is already taken. Also, pink is not just pink, but it can be lavender, baby pink, electric pink and a thousand more varieties.

After what is longer than the time it would take an ant to climb up the Empire State building, the 'trials' and tribulations finally end. Exit the warriors from the changing room, scene cut to main shop floor. This is where decisions are taken, choices are made, tears are shed, hearts are broken, damages are done and normal life finally resumes. The aforementioned seasoned campaigners now take up the roles of MD, Operations i.e. Costcutters i.e. budget allocators i.e. God, as far as my sis/cousin are concerned. Lots of negotiations, emotional upheavals and promises like 'I will slim down a bit so that this ____ fits me perfectly' follow. Up until this point, the male is like that kid who plays the part of a tree in any random play - omnipresent but really there just to stand still. Now is when he matters - at least that's what he is led to believe. His suggestions are like Britney Spear's child raising skills- they just don't matter. He who is a veteran would know better than to raise anything than a token protest. A newbie, or someone who has the naive belief that his opinions actually matter, soon learns to interpret what the 'roll of eyes' or the looks-people-give-to-tiny-puppies mean.

Apparently, it is considered wasteful shopping to purchase >2 clothes from a single store- it's just not done. Also, every shop has to be allocated at least an hour each, often much more. Do the math. Every shopping excursion leaves the men looking limp and listless, and the women looking tired but accomplished and surprisingly energetic. By this time, the 'Clothes for you' carrot dangled in front of you is long forgotten.

My only question at the end of all this is, why, in the name of all that is noble and pure, are women called the 'weaker sex'?

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April 2009