Thursday, April 15, 2010

You are growing old.. Dodo!

A couple of months ago as I was shaving my beard, there was something shinning. I moved to closer to the mirror to examine it. Soap? Foam? No.. it wasn't. I tried removing it and it stayed there. " Oh Nooooooooooooooooo" my soul screamed. It was grey facial hair ! Arghhhhhhh.. I am growing old. I let out a heavy breathe and touched my tummy. Damn it..! Nothing is going right and aging is so bloody one sided.  Huh.. I wish I was Benjamin Button! 

The other day I was watching MTV and it was the awesome 'Masakali Masakali' song. Ah... Sonam Kapoor is damn cute ya ! Watching my eyes  stuck to the Masakali babe, my Mom decided to dig into it.

Mom: Who is this girl?
Me: Sonam Kapoor
Mom: Oh...! Newcomer?
Me: Yeah, she is Anil Kapoor's daughter.
Mom: Oh! I see.

No she wasn't digging into it. She came, she saw, she left. I was the one who was lost in deep thought.

Circa 1988. I was in Class III and I was back home after watching Tezaab. Anil Kapoor was awesome in the movie. Kya hero tha yaar! ( No..No Arnold schwarzeneggeror or Sylvester Stallone I was not an English movies fan even  then) Tezaab was followed by Ram Lakhan and I thought Anil Kapoor truly rocked at that time. ( Till SRK  came along in 1992 with Dewaana). 

Haa.. wait! I won't digress and go into Bollywood now. The point is I adored Anil Kapoor back then. He now has a daughter .. and dude I find her adorable too.  That's ok. But then, it has been quite some time since those Tezaab days - a good 22 years  ago.  I was now reminded of the grey hair follicle again ! Old!!! Such an annoying 3 letter word!

My mind now went down south . I mean .. I am talking about the Film Industry! Who were the movie stars I liked in Tollywood and where are they now?

* The rest of this post is about the Telugu film industry-Tollywood from 1981-1990. Be warned*

As a kid perhaps the first 'hero' I knew was 'Sobhan Babu'.  Awwww! I know it isn't cool.. but since he was the only one whom I knew back then .. he was my favourite, first ever favorite Telugu hero. But yeah he spent most of his time in movies arguing with his wife .. (the heroine). His movies would usually have two heroines out of which one would die in the end. ( I really can't describe him as well as this blogger does).  I guess I saw him doing some dishum.. dishum and fighting a baldy bady to save his lady love and so liked him.

For those of you who are wondering if I ever liked ANR and NTR, let me tell you as a kid ( ahem ahem) I looked beyond the old 'black-white' generation. So when my mom and her sisters used to go gaga over NTR and ANR, I thought liking them would be so uncool. And so Shobhan Babu!

Shobhan Babu had passed away last year and so yeah the first one is already gone. It has indeed been a loooooong time!

1986- Simhasanam. I saw Super Star Krishna in that movie wielding the sword skillfully and was so impressed that for the next 1 month any long  metal/stick or kitchen utensil would turn into a sword into my hand. Those around me would be my enemies. And yeah our bed was the battlefield where I would defeat them. The bed because I could jump and perform feats on it without getting hurt :). Of course I would sing 'Akasam lo Oka Tara' to myself .. coz I would usually never find a cute little girl around.

Krishna's son Mahesh Babu has been wielding the gun since quite some time now. Time .. I say just flies!

Krishna was notorious for his dance steps and some of my friends in my neighbourhood used to make fun of me for being his fan.  There were all fans of his guy called Chiranjeevi who would dance like a charm and woo his lady love bashing up all the goons. Dad then took me to this movie -'State Rowdy' and boy.. wasn't Chiru ( that's what we fans call him) awesome? I was totally floored and as far as I can remember I never adored any other hero as much I adored Chiru. ( A few years later ,my hormones got active and then I would only watch the heroines !)

Of course , no Chiru  fan can ever forget his fights with the evil Amrish Puri  on the train or his super dances. Remember the Chiki Chiki Chellam ... Chiki Chiki Chellam Chiki Chiki Chiki aah!  G A N G.. GANG GANG bajao BANG BANG song from Gang Leader. ( I am again inspired by this awesome blogger's post). Chiru was truly phenomenonal!

Venkatesh came next with the super hit movie ' Bobbili Raja'. But then Divya Bharti came along and yeah I was old enough to notice her. Chiru was there much earlier and so he remained the Star for me!

Chiranjeevi has quit movies now and is trying his luck in Politics . His son Ram Charan Teja and nephew Allu Arjun are big stars in  Tollywood today. 

Hmmmmm.. Looooooooooong pause!

So then the fact that I am old is as cliched as the demand for Telangana. 
I have come a long way from the Grow up..Kiddo! days . Really???

Hmmm.. Mom & Dad seem to be thinking on the same lines and they want to DISCUSS something SERIOUS with me tonight.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Rice is anytime nice!

Last week, at my friends marriage ( Yes.. yet another one) at Karimnagar, ( 2.5 hrs drive from Hyderabad), I found myself at a place where major of the people were having rice and that too without spoons. I saw rotis in very few plates of the people around.  I felt at home. In fact home has also changed so much with lots of rotis/phulkas and less of rice. Anyway what's so special about Rice? Here I go...

The year 1984 ( no.. don't think George Orwell), I was in nursery. Mom was working ( and still is ) and her regular shift in the morning was at 7:00 am. So then she used to cook food and go to office. It is difficult for a working mom to cook a separate breakfast for her kid and hubby. ( wonder what my kid's mom will do?) And so it all started there.. rice.

However a breakfast was be supposed to be light and so it was  rice and dal for breakfast.  ( small quantity). It was dal mixed with rice. Curry was a side dish. When I call it a side dish, it means that I used to have curry but never mix it with rice. That's how we eat in Andhra err .. no generalization .. that's how we eat in our house.

 I would be back home by 1:30-2 p.m and Mom would also be back home by then. Rice prepared in the morning would be ready for lunch. But then it was rice mixed with curry, pickle and rasam. ( This explains why I find someone who mixes rice with all these at once very strange). As you would know more hunger meant more rice.  More is a relative term silly.  I was a 4 year old kid .. you see.

Dinner would of course be rice. But now rice with a different curry, a different pickle and the same rasam. Sunday lunches would have sambhar instead of rasam. Of course breakfast on a holiday would not be rice.

2 years later, when I was in Class I, the same process continued apart from the fact had lunch was at school without rasam. The story continued ( with increasing amounts of rice for lunch and dinner) for the next 10 years till I  was out of school. I would sometimes envy my school friends who used to tell me that they had bread, jam and butter or sandwich for breakfast. That sounded so cool compared to rice.

The next 3  ( 2 + 1) years after school passed in a jiffy. Since there was IIT coaching and all that crap, breakfast was never at home. It would be idli, poori or dosa at a Udipi food joint. Lunch and dinner was the same - rice.

IIIT happened and idli/poori/dosa for breakfast and food for lunch and dinner became the norm for the next 4 years. ( although this was that boring food served in that damn MESS). There was also this thick dosa kind of dish called 'Uthapam' on Wednesdays  and  the entire boys hostel would skip breakfast that day. I also knew people who would stay awake for 2-3 hours after working ( usually cricket in the hostel and rarely studying)  till 4-5 am in the night to have the sexy slim 'Dosa' on Sunday morning. Well, extra bit of flesh is never cool in any context.

After the 1st one year, there was a canteen at IIIT which turned into my abode for the next 3 years. This meant that several lunchs/dinners of rice at the mess were replaced by a paratha, dosa or a Chole Batura at the Canteen. Let's not even talk of the deceased rotis that were served in the mess. Trips to my house meant more intake of lovely home food and that meant more rice. :)

Haa..long RICE story this. Par abhi picture baaki hain mere dost ! Against this backdrop, when I went to the cafeteria in my office for lunch on the first day of my job and loaded my plated with rice ,I got this queer look by a Pune girl who had joined along with me that day . I knew it was about food. But then I didn't tell you that most of girls don't know how to eat. 

Rice quantities in office gradually reduced now that I needed to work after lunch. Dinner was pretty much the same. Dad and Mom were past 50 and so they had only rotis/phulkas for dinner. So RICE continued in lesser quantities.

 I was in Melbourne, Australia for 6 weeks in 2006 and it was hell for me as far as the food was concerned. Breakfast was some bread/jam or fruit!!! ( No, it wasn't cool at all and I was only thinking of idlis and dosas). Lunch was rice cooked the previous night and dinner was rice cooked that night. Curries were these instant packs available in the super market. I would have surely died had it not been for Priya pickles.  Lunches usually had Gongura/Lemon pickle mixed with rice. ( curry/dal  not mixed with rice by spilling over rice was so uncool .. you see :))

When I quit my job and was in Ahmedabad doing MBA, it was all rotis. Not that there was no rice, but for me eating rotis with paneer or any other gravy ( may be I can extend it to Telugus or South Indians? .. No, I won't take a chance and extrapolate) was just not on.  Only the curry without any gravy was to be mixed with rice.  And all non Telugus, tell me that a curry without gravy is not a curry but a Sabzi . Ahem...was that confusing? I am confused writing it :)

Anyway, so it was rotis all along with some rice and lots of other  junk. I did this for 12 months but in the last 3 months, I was missing rice and pickles so much that I asked my dad to send me some pickes. So then RICE was back again.

Now ever since I came back to Hyderabad , it has been only 4-5 Phulkas for dinner :( .  ( lunch of course is rice). This has been the case when I was jobless ( Guess that was better.  I feel  worthless after I got one) and even after I got one. Reason -I still need to get married and have a loooong boring life ahead.   feel so delighted  when there is a small cup of rice cooked in the morning left for dinner. Rice replaces 1-2 rotis in that case.

Haa then, this is how rice is so ingrained into my body. I find it pretty annoying when my colleagues at office try to avoid rice and find it so uncool.  'So much rice!!!I don't even have that much in the entire week!' is what one of my colleague says. But then anything without rice doesn't quite make a meal for me. How can Subway meal ever be a meal? Ghaas-Poos! Let's grow gardens all over and eat the leaves there.

Dinner parties mean less rice. The bigger the restaurant, the lesser the quantity of rice. I have got used to it now and in fact ok with it .  But then nothing can beat the dinner that mom makes with rice, alu fry, pickle or pudi and rasam. That's absolute nirvana. Best things in life are like that -simple and uncomplicated.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Married! So what about you?

 It's the marriage season. There are have been so many of them happening in the last few days and a few more are lined up in the next few days. One of my friends has also sent a Shaadi Calendar with marriage dates of friends lined up till the end of 2010. Good going! Nice to see so many of my friends getting committed.

 Haa and now for that question that one can't just stop asking. I am done with it .. so what about you? I earlier thought it was only the aunties and uncles who were too bothered about guys ( and of course gals) on the wrong( their perspective)  side of 25.  But now almost all my friends who are married or committed are so worried. It's amazing that they turn into uncles and aunties in a jiffy.. at least just to ask that question.

May be it is a human tendency. My friend at ISB was telling me the other day that once someone in his batch got placed, he/she used to get very very concerned about the ones not placed. ( irrespective of whether the jobless one is concerned or not). It is a case of ' I am here  and I think everyone else should be here.'  Or may be they are trying to act funny so then let me act amused :) :) :) :)

My funda in life has been simple. As a guy, you should only marry if you have a girl friend or if you are settled in life and have nothing else to do. I do not fall under either category and so the question of marriage shouldn't ideally arise. now  But yeah the anxiety levels of my friends, neighbours and colleagues seems to  give me a reason to think about.

Anyway forget it! Kidoredo shall remain single n ready to mingle till he finds his sweetest one.  Just like my career which seems to have hit the bumpy path with pot holes like recession the other half of my life ( or whatever part) seems all set to test me :). I am ready and all set to fight it out till I get the dream job/sweetest one.

I now understand what all the girls on the wrong side of 25 go through. Hats off to each and everyone of you who is still looking for the ONE( or whatever you set out for)  in your lives. 

 P.S: Of late, I have been making an attempt to write on anything  that makes me react however minute the reaction might be. This writing is a impulsive reaction to one of those moments. So don't be surprised if announce my marriage tomorrow, get married the day after and then let out the  ' I am done with it. What about you?' expression.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Deccan $#&(*#@#$

 'You can never take things for granted when the great Shane Warne is involved. The match can always turn on its head'.

One of the commentators said something to this effect. I think Shane Warne is just awesome but with no disrespect to him, I would like to alter the above statement.

' You can never be sure of a win when Deccan Chargers is involved. They are capable of snatching defeat from any position.'

How else can one explain the 2 run defeat of Deccan Chargers to Rajasthan Royals.   Deccan Chargers is a team of 11 like any other cricket team but only 3 bat. Gilchrist, Symonds and Rohit Sharma. ( Make it 4 with Hershelle Gibbs if he plays). 

Rajasthan Royals had sorted out Symonds today with short pitched stuff. Gilchirst  was off to a  flyer but was dismissed just as he has been all through this tournament.Rohit Sharma played a superb innings but was unable to finish it off thanks to some brilliant display by Shane Warne and team.

Take nothing away from Deccan Chargers err Chokers.  Take Rohit's and Gilchrist's batting away and at no point during their batting did Deccan Chargers look like they would win the   match.  

Laxman back after being dropped for a couple of matches started the trend and threw it away. Will he ever realize that T20 is not for him? Not everyone can be Sachin Tendulkar.

Dwayne Smith batted as if his cricket bat had never touched the ball. The shot that did him would not have reached the boundary even if there was no fielder.

Azhar Bilakhia hit the ball in the air as if he was there to give catching practice to teh Rajasthan Royals.  I guess that's what he was doing all this while. He should stick to doing just that.

Harmeet Singh!!! Good God... He almost ran out Rohit Sharma. Was he planning to hit the next ball for a boundary when others of his ilk couldn't even get bat on ball.

It was terrfic display by Shane Warne who inspired his team to a important victory. Another match, another day, this blog would have been all about Rajasthan Royals but not today.
Deccan Chargers did not deserve to win the match. Even if Rohit Sharma's shot fell away from the fielder and found the boundary and earned Deccan a win, Deccan doesn't deserve to go further in IPL-3.
Just saw Cricinfo! DC now stands for Deccan Chokers. But I am not going to replace the $#&(* stuff in the title..not yet!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What do I write?

          Every time I read an awesome blog like this, I am in a trance. On one hand there is feeling of great admiration for such a blogger ( which tends to infinity) and on the other there is so much restlessness that I am not writing enough. Nah I can't  write so well.. but the fact there is no attempt in that direction bothers me.

            No attempt? That makes me wonder if there is enough inspiration around and that points to  the kind of work that I am doing these days.  The monotony is killing me I say!

    Monotony of any kind kills me especially if movie directors can't think of anything new and try to make movies rehashing old themes. I had a review to do and so went to the movie hall at 7:40 pm for a 7:30 pm show of new Telugu movie 'Maro Charitra'. Got the tickets and that too in the 3rd row from top!

More about it here.

I went to one of my friend's convocation at ISB  today. Big convocation ( 550 odd students.. Chief Guest Kapil Sibal's hands must be aching) and even bigger campus. I had been there earlier 2-3 times. But then I am so bad with routes that I got lost trying to find my friend's room.

'He failed in Geography' said my friend 'a'. ( notice the lower case)

I didn't flunk. Thanks to damn education system. But map-pointing was something I never could do well. In fact I was( still  the same but so embarrassed to admit) very very bad at it.

Rewind to around 15-16 years ago. There was  a map pointing question in the exam asking us to point 'Calcutta' And this is what I did.

I didn't know where Calcutta was. 
I had to apply some logic ( ahem ahem). 
Calcutta is the capital of West Bengal. 
But where is West Bengal ??? :(
Haa.. doesn't the name throw a hint..'West' Bengal. So towards the west of India :P :P :

And so Calcutta shifted to Gujarat! 
Hats off to the teacher who managed to let go such mistakes. ( She didn't know my reasoning you see!)