Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Weekends....

Weekends: week-endz: def: two days spent in an alcohol and marijuana induced stupor in which one passes out twice somewhere in between and calls random people at random times of the night to tell them how much love you have...

This past Friday night, Sunshine was supposed to hook up with self, Child, Anu and the rest of the HT crowd. Seeing as she was leaving on Monday (yesterday) for Calcutta. But an unfortunate rafting accident that her room-mate Momo had on their recent trip to Rishikesh meant had to take a trip to the hospital.
Since nothing else was working out, and Lakshman and me hadn't met the MadBong in some time, we hooked up to check out his new flat in Nizamuddin.
MadBong's place is quite the bachelor pad. Big-ass terrace, amazing location, nice large one-room, kitchen, bath joint. Saw Sin City on the laptop with the volume turned down and psy playing instead. Trippy shit.
We ran out of papers after the first spliff, so we had to pack up, lock up and head to my place, which is pretty much right behind MadBong's place.
The only criteria was that I had to make chorizo-omelettes for the guys.

Saturday night was pretty tiring too. The Jangpura Janta got together at A&P's place minus A&P. But too much whisky with Child and Anu at the Shangri La and too much vodka at A&P's pasted the shit out of me.
Crashed at roughly 1am only to be rudely woken at 4 by the Elephants.
In a surprising surge of 'might as well', Chottu, Jas, W and Ladoo had driven down from across the river with beer (warm) and whisky (Signature). Ladoo had some ganja to smoke too. Since I couldn't possibly sleep, drank a bit, smoked a bit till 8am when the munchies caught everyone.

Comesum at the Nizamuddin station is the LAST place I'll go to grab a bite in this city. Especially at 8 in the morning when the stench of leftover vomit, stale sweat from a hundred people and obnoxious cleaning fluid fills the air.
Plus..its a RAILWAY STATION people!!! not a frigging club!!!! The way people dress when they come here is too funny for words. And I can't believe how dumb people can get in this city. Why would you drag your one-year-old to eat paranthas at 3 in the morning? Shouldn't he be home sleeping? Shouldn't you?

And they laugh at me when I wear my lungi to the cyber cafe...

Goa baby!!!!

Yeeha..
This is the third time in six months that I've gotten a free ride down to Goa. The first was the second junket I was sent on from HT, to the Marriott on Miramar. One tip: never stay here. Zero view, zero beach and zero hospitality.
The second trip to Goa was this year in January for the launch of Shalom Goa. Now THIS is one 'shack' everybody who's going to Goa should check out. Six levels of wooden deck built over a trippy blue-lit pool (which you float around in), facing the beach and smack bang in the heart of Calangute. When you get to the Bandorkar Statue, go left, the road curves right and Shalom's right in front of you.
If you've been to Shalom in Delhi, this place amplifies the lounging experience ten-fold at prices on par with any Goan shack or restaurant.
Read: affordable.

Tomorrow, I'll be flying down with family for three days. Aunt Angelica, cousin Lou Ann and Lou Ann's hubbie Faisal. Never met Faisal, so should be interesting.
We're going to be staying on Calangute at the Casa de Goa (built like one of those boutique hotels that's very popular nowadays) and will be heading back on Friday.
Short but extremely essential vacation for me, considering the last was in December 2004!!

I know it's going be fucking hot, but it IS Goa.....

Friday, April 21, 2006

Tattoo mania

I've wanted to get a tattoo for as long as I can remember. I remember being so desperate to get a tattoo done, that self and Lakshman (who was still in school then) took off from Palam Vihar hunting for a tattoo artist one fine Sunday morning several years ago.
Neither of us had a clue where to go, but had heard vague rumours of hippie artists living all over Delhi. We landed up in the wierdest of places.
First we went to D-Block Vasant Kunj (under the flyover)..de nada
Then we went to the GK2 M block market...still nothing
Not giving up hope, we hopped in a bus and headed to hippie mecca in Delhi - Paharganj where we sure there'd be SOME fucking chut with a needle ready to ink us.. again a brick wall
Absolutely determined to get this out of the way, we swallowed pride and headed to this old fucker who sat outside the Hanuman Mandir in Connaught Place and THAT is where I finally got my first tattoo: the outline of the Ferrari horse. Hurt like a bitch but was definitely worth the effort. Since we didn't have a stencil or even basic hygiene, I drew the outline of the horse on my shoulder with a pen and made sure the old geezer followed it.
He fucked up Lakshman's tattoo well and proper though..

A few years later, sick of everyone telling me I had a pen drawing on my arm, I headed off to Jacko Beauty Parlour in East of Kailash. Don't laugh. They adverstised tattoo services, I hadn't heard of Mike and there wasn't even a DT Mall in DLF.
Paid 3,000 bucks, they fucked it up even more and gave the horse an extremely embarassing dick.

FINALLY..I bumped into Lakshman a few years later, and he'd gotten his tattoo fixed by Mike as had Badhwar, another friend with a tattoo that was supposed to be a black panther but looked like an anorexic cow. Mike had fixed his as well.

Now, after subsequent trips to Mike, the horse actually has discernible muscles, the dick is gone (or at least hidden) and doesn't look like I drew it with a felt pen.
The Jesus portrait on my right shoulder still needs to be touched up though. Still looks slightly squint.

stoner story 6 - The ghost in McLeodganj

I had gone up to Dharamshala on work when I was with the travel magazine. And Dhramashala being the cesspool it is, I spent most of my time up in McLeodganj hanging out with Chris, Betsy and Caroline, three Buddhist-types from San Francisco..typical American hippies (sans the drugs). I had to stay down in Dharamshala since the magazine had hooked up accommodation for me there in a government hotel and I am too cheap to pay for a room when I get one free.

The second night I was at McLeodganj, I overstayed after dinner and decided to walk back. As none of the other three smoked, I rolled a sweet spliff for the walk down to Dharamshala. It's a 9km walk, but quite easy since it's all downhill.
On the way between McL and Dharamshala is Forsythganj where the Church of St John in the Wilderness can be found. It's actually right by the road on your left. The best part about this church is the massive cemetery that sprawls over the hill on both sides of the road.
It wasn't a full moon night, but the stars were out and everything's clearer in the hills anyway. Also I had those big torches with the big beam to help me along the way courtesy Chris. He'd also given me his very funky raincoat with extra large hood in case it started raining (it being July).
It struck me that I'd never been inside a graveyeard at night and this seemed to be the best time to add that to my list of stupid things done while stoned. So in I went.
There really wasn't much to see..apart from century-old moss-covered tombstones of forgotten Englishmen..lots of children too which was a little spooky.

I had wandered quite a way inside (looking back I couldn't see the gate) when I heard a rustling behind this big ass tombstone.
The first stoner reaction when wierd shit like this happens is always: what the fuck!!!!
The second stoner reaction is to take the first reaction as a question and now you have to find the answer, which is where stoner 'missions' usually originate

I moved closer to the tombstone and straight out of a movie cliche..stepped on a twig with an extraordinarily sharp thwack!!
A figure rose extremely slowly from behind the tombstone and turned to face me. Every single particle in my body was yelling RUN MOTHERFUCKER RUN..but the pot was saying, "Fuck dude..an actual live ghost"..
Oxymoronic I know....

We stood looking at each other motionless for what seemed like an hour but must really have been only a few minutes till the apparition in front me clears his throat and with trepidation cracking through his voice asks, "Beta?"

Nah..wasn't a ghost..was the parish priest out for his evening walk and he'd dropped his keys behind the tombstone...
He told me later he'd thought I was one of his dearly departed too... But nice chap..dropped me back to Dharamshala in his jeep..

Ken Fukyamama and other unfortunate souls

One of life's smaller joys is to poke fun at folk who's parents didn't have a clue when they were naming them.
Take for instance Mr Ken Fukyamama, a Japanese delegate I met at a travel convention. "Haylo," he said, bowing low, "Aahm Meester Fookyamama, much pleased to meet you"
Excuse me mother fucker... This is definitely one guy who shouldn't live in the Bronx.
Another guy I met at the same convention was the head of the Kenyan tourist board in India: Fred Okeyo. Not so funny? Well his email address was and still is : fokeyo@ktbindia.com

Then there was a friend of a friend: Gaurav Aslekar who I met at the Pune station, on the way to Goa once.
The first thing he says to me. "Yeah yeah dude..you're allowed to laugh once and no...I don't lick or take anyone's ass" ... School must have been murder for this guy..
I think the country with the most unfortunate souls is Sweden with their Backlunds and Lundsons, but I could be wrong..

When I was with the call centre, we'd be calling up credit card debtors in the US to collect on them. A lot of people in that industry were quite unused to common English names like Laura and Dick..of course if the card had a joint account holder: Ben and Laura..even better..
I distinctly remember a Dick George Sr too...
Coincidentally most customers named Laura were really quite rude when they answered the phone..justifying their name..

In college, since I went to one almost fully populated with Sardars..fitting in was always a problem till a smart alec sird (and there's no shortage of them) came up with a translation of my name..
Colin = Call in = bula andar (in Hindi) = Bulandar = Bulandar Singh Bhenchoth..
Ok..not exactly complimentary..but at least it rhymed..

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

stoner story 5 - The stabbing and Aki Narula

August 2003

Chottu, desperate for a sight of the mountains had roped me and Danny in as well. Our trip up and at Old Manali was largely uneventful.
Five days of sitting in the verandah at the Dragon's third floor, staring out at Vashisht across the river with loads of Mary, Monk n Coke, Moby warbling mournfully on Chottu's computer speakers with an endless supply of chicken hakka noodles, mutton salami thin crust pizzas, and rich chocolate cake... heaven!!!!

On the way back, we'd booked ourselves on one of those two-by-two "deluxe" buses. I had the window right behind the driver with Chottu and Danny in the seats behind. This dude gets on the bus and grabs the seat next to me. Looked kinda familiar but couldn't quite place him.
The bus wheezes its way out of Manali and we settle in for the journey ahead with leftover rum in a coke bottle. The guy on my left is an Indian dude dressed obviously like a hippie with a bright orange shirt, three quarter pants, pierced ears, and generally dishevelled appearance.
I introduce myself and the guys at the back..."Hi, I'm Colin," ..."Hi I'm Aki," he says and lapses into silence.

Just as the sun begins to dip behind the mountains, the bus swerves violently shaking us from drugged slumber.."whoa what the fuck!!" curses Chottu, unfolding out of his seat. (We call him Chottu because he's 6'4 and 120 kilos)
The driver is yelling something jovially to the conductor and resumes his course. Probably hit a dog or something.

When we stop for dinner outside Sundar Nagar, the night is the pitch black you only see in the hills. Everyone hops off, stretches and heads to the dhaba. The charsis hang back in the bus to roll and smoke a joint to stimulate the munchies.

I smoke my spliff, grab a quick bit from Chottu's plate and am heading back to the bus when Aki emerges from a nearby bush grinning from ear to ear, "Hey," he yells, "Wanna try some oil," (hash oil that is)
I never say no to free drugs.

We smoke a quick doobie behind the bus and clamber back on. Chottu and Danny join us a few minutes later.
The bus driver and conductor are talking about the near accident. Apparantly we almost hit a group of four guys in a Maruti 800...almost sent them off the mountainside. The driver seems to find it pretty funny and is laughing his head off.
Soon its time to go so he honks a couple of times to get the stragglers back on the bus. Just then, below me, outside the bus, I see four guys come up to the driver's door and hammer on it.
"Bahar nikal saale!" one of them yells. The driver gets out and without warning they start kicking the shit out of him.
I'm too stoned to react when one of them pulls out a shiny blade and sticks the driver in the stomach six times.
Chottu isn't and barges out of the bus with a "teri maa ki...."
By the time the commotion subsides, the driver is on the road, bleeding profusely from his head and stomach and the four guys are running down the road, disappearing into the darkness.

So there we were. 30-odd people in the middle of nowhere at some time around 11pm with no driver. A Sumo parked nearby is pulled into action and the driver is loaded into the back seat. Only the rescue workers are so busy shoving him in, they bang the door shut on the poor guy's head.

Chottu's shitting bricks by now. "We're just going to take a taxi and go back to Delhi...fuck this bus." and starts badgering the conductor to open the back to get our luggage.

Aki agrees with him saying, "We'll just go to Bilaspur and take a cab from there."
Considering Bilaspur was still a good hour's drive away...suuuureee!!!

In the end, another tourist bus rolled in for dinner with luckily, a spare driver on board who got us all back to Delhi a lot faster than the earlier guy was driving.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

stoner story 4 - Return to Manali

July 2002

Malik and self were supposed to catch the 3am cab from office, head to Baba's penthouse in South Campus, pick him up, and take the same cab to ISBT to catch the first deluxe bus to Manali.
Instead, when we got to Baba's place, he's still sleeping. Half an hour of kicking and cajoling and the Andhraman rises with, "Let's smoke a joint..I still have to pack."
Malik's getting hyper...the heat probably frying his Jat buddhi.
One spliff down and we discover warm left over beer. Can't possibly leave beer like that for five days, so we sit down to finish it. Before we know it, it's 6 in the morning and Baba still hasn't packed.
We leave finally just as the sun comes up and get to ISBT just as the chaiwallahs start their refill round.
The only bus we can see is a Himachal Pradesh State Transport bus. (read: no air-conditioner, cramped wooden seats and smelly armpits in sniffing distance)
We have no choice but to hop on and buckle in.
Thirteen-and-a half hours of fighting for space with someone who smelled like a shepherd and the bus drops us off at Kullu. "Last stop," announces the driver before disappearing into the darkness.
What the fuck!!!
At this point, we're tired, hungover, thirsty and have been put through the spin cycle of turgid rural commotion.
We get off because staying on the bus doesn't make any sense and lug our rucksacks to the highway in the hopes of catching a night bus to Manali. It was close to 9 in the night.

As we smoke a spliff, wondering what to do next, 6 Isras on Bullets roar up with, joy-of-joy, 3 empty pillion seats!!
Baba flags them down, explains our predicament to which they, with uncharacteristic hospitability, say, "Hop on guys!"
In less than a minute, we each grabbed a seat, slung our bags behind us and left Kullu behind.
The initial euphoria of getting a lift soon wore off, when little drops of drizzle began slicing at us. The hippies were swathed in riding gear: helmets, gloves, parkas, jeans and riding boots. We were in Tshirts and Malik had insisted on wearing a lungi. (Because we thought we'd be going straight till Manali and he wanted to be comfortable in the cramped bus)
Riding pillion with no protective gear at the back of a Bullet in the mountains at night with a fuck stoned hippie in control and the last thing you need is rain. But it being July in Himachal, can't expect anything less.
I could feel my testicles slowly soldify with ice as the thumpers roared around the steep, twisty hills in a magnificent formation.
Wish I'd been watching instead.
Got to Manali with snot frozen to my face, icicles of tears around our eyes and a damn near case of hypothermia.
We grabbed the first auto we could and hurriedly pulled out the sweaters and extra jeans to get warm.
But this journey wasn't over.
Just as we crest the hill to Old Manali, I get the sudden rush of the shits. Constant gorging from Delhi with no "exhaust" had made my intestines vulnerable to every single jolt in the road.
Stopping the auto at the bridge, I ran to the nearest bush by the river to dump my load, ignoring shouts from Baba and Malik to find a room first.
But venting that pressure, despite the cold, the wet, the night and the exhaustion was pure ecstacy.
The ecstacy turned to agony a few minutes later when I grabbed a tuft of grass to wipe my ass.

Only it wasn't a tuft of grass...it was a bunch of nettles.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Hippie chicks

One sub-species of woman I love to hang with...no hang ups in life, they live for the moment, have no clue what they're going to be doing tomorrow, possess a short term memory of a fly and will love you forever if you have shit to smoke, snort or pop....

Sunshine..the career hippie
This is one woman you'll always want to come along with you for a party in Elevate, trekking in the hills, dinner in a dhaba, scuba diving off Lakshadweep, a bus ride to Lhasa...she's game for it...
First met her through a friend of a friend..she' from Calcutta, but is Nepali, has lived in Delhi for 4 years, makring time as a page three hack. She's now going back to Cal to meet her folks, then on to Siliguri to chill, back to Cal, then on to Bombay to find work in the film industry with zero experience or education in direction or photography.
If you are a regular at Elevate's Friday night psy scenes, you've probably bumped into her shaking her booty with her triad..long curly hair bouncing all over the place...

Wild Child...Starry-eyed surprise
She's one of my most favourite women and will probably always be a part of my life. Just like Sunshine, she's the tattooed, multiple-pierced, cosmopolitan Nepali party animal who'll be spotted more in the loo pulling lines than on the floor dancing or at the bar drinking...
She has no idea where her life is going further than the current week and despite plans to live in Amsterdam, has no idea how she's getting there..
We share an inexplicable telepathic link when it comes to punch lines for bad jokes, remembering song names and obscure movies.
If you haven't bumped into her yet anywhere in Delhi, you've been living under a rock for the past 5 years....

stoner story 3 - the Rishikesh ride

I love media junkets and being a travel journalist for three years, I've had more than my fair share of them.
Working with Go Now was a dream..two junkets on an average a month and almost always to the hills..

The trip to Rishikesh was to basically check out this new rafting camp site up the Ganga, one night at the camp, rafting the next day, and then on to Haridwar to spend a night at a heritage haveli owned by the same people who ran the camp site.
Rafting's always fun and this time around was no different..even though they didn't let me into a kayak (which is even more fun)
Post the adrenaline, we disembarked and while the rest of the presswalas went into the tents to change (I used the back of a bush), I spotted the boat boys packing up the rafts and passing a joint between them.
Went up, joined the circle..toked a few and bought a couple joints worth off one of the river guides...good jungli maal..
All the tension in my shoulders and hamstrings just faded away on the ride to Haridwar. Got there just as the aarti had begun, tripped on all the lights and the hordes of people (after being secluded in the wilderness) before ambling to the haveli for dinner.

On the way, I bought a small clay chillum for 5 bucks from a roadside vendor as I'd run out of paper.
Got to the haveli and checked in and found out tthey'd given me a room with no external ventilation. The room's door and only window faced into the central courtyard.
Not that it mattered much. Went in for a bath, came out and just had to boom one before dinner. I had longer hair back then, so there I was with long open hair, a towel around my privates in a smoke-filled room, working on a second chillum when there's a knock on the door.
By this time I had no clue where I was, so I open the door, half naked with chillum in hand and there's the manager of the hotel, the PR chick, and the owner of the hotel chain..come to call me down for dinner.
One look at me and the manager says, "Yeah yeah..take your time..."

The funny thing is..at that time I thought I was home and these guys had the wrong address....

Easter...

I'm not too big on going to church. In fact the only time the sister and self manage to make it for a service is on Christmas and Easter because the mother emotionally blackmails us.
This past Easter was one bizarre ride.
The initial plan was to get to PV and Bul2's place for dinner and maybe a few beers before heading to the Easter Vigil mass in neighbouring NewPV. Anna and JD were comng along as well..this being the first time JD had ever been to church..
Got to Bul2's place, chatted shit with Kanchan..Lakshman came by for a smoke and chat too.
The folks, already in a hurry, refused to pick us up from there..telling us to walk the kilometre-or-so till the Vyapar Kendra. This was at close to midnight, slightly drunk, stoned, exhausted, carrying bags, and the women in heels. You'd think your own parents would have a little consideration.
Church was surreal. We were expecting a candle-lit service. Instead we got garish tubelights with ugly bunting on magenta backdrops and a Captain America-like Christ staring down from behind the altar.
Crap singing, an organ that sounded like a castrated banshee and squeaky plastic chairs.
Since we'd gotten to church late, we'd figured we'd only have to sit through a third of the service. Not knowing that the priest had gotten lost getting there too.

Children do the wierdest things in church. Its like they know their parents can't do squat.
Mark's brat Brandon, dressed like one of the Telly Tubbies was marching up and down the aisle to the tune of Halleluia; the Noronha twins were busy outdoing each other in a braid-pulling competition, and tiny Kelly D'souza was giving the moths a hard time with her candle.

Soon as mass was over, we bundled into the Batmobile for the long, cramped ride back to Esperanza. Dad driving, Dad's Man Friday in front with Mum, Anna, Carmen, JD and self at the back.
As the Batmobile bounced along bumpy village roads, Dad pulled out the "stay-awake" beer for company. We were already high..what with the rum, beer and pot at Bul2's place..but who can say no to more beer?

The main highway to Esperanza was under construction so we had to negotiate the brick-lined dirt track that winds through the elephant grass and maize fields. Some dumbass Jat farmer had broken his irrigation canal, so water had flooded the "road". With the Batmobile's suspension already weighed down, we had to alight, and walk around the "puddle"..
Expensive shoes washed in mud, clean clothes ripped by barbed wire and fingers covered in grime.

What a relief to finally drive through the gates of Esperanza with the pack of pariahs converging around the car in a chorus of exultant barking.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

some more random stuff

Travelling tips for the bus passenger

When traveling up to the hills by bus (or even by car with folks up on a D-run), stopping to answer Ma Nature's frantic SOSes can be frequently inconvenient.

Here's a little self discovered 'yoga' for those with no immediate WC support..
If you need to 'lose some fibre', fill your lungs with as much air as you can. Exhale violently and at the same time, press an index finger into your belly button.
Repeat a couple of times.
Guaranteed to stop shit flow for at least a few hours, provided you don't smoke or over eat in the mean time.

Avoid all forms of mango drinks (like Maaza, Slice, etc)

Drink a lot of water. If stuck in the car or bus, you can use the bottle as a urinal. Just remember to empty the contents out the window soon after you're done so the smell doesn't remain.

Travelling clothes: Shorts/bermudas, cotton T-shirt, sweatshirt and muffler (or woollen cap) in rucksack.

If you're driving, avoid drinking when you start the climb.
Ideally, one should hit the beer just as you leave the chaos at the Delhi border. Keep at it till Chandigarh so that by the time you get to dinner at either Hot Millions or KFC, you're nicely wasted.
It's advisable to empty your bowels at Chandy.
Preparing for the hill stretch:
Although a group of four in a car is ideal for non-stop driving, even three can pull off taking turns at the wheel and rolling in the back seat.
Never roll in the front seat...Himachal cops have been antsy of late... and always keep the windows open, so the smell doesn't stay in the car.
If prepping for a drug run, go clean shaven, preferably cut your hair and remove unnecessary ear rings. Sure they look cool, but they're also magnets to cops looking for Delhi stoners.
If you can, get one of those miltitary insignias that army generals tack on to their Ambassadors and put it on the front grill. That should take care of most check points.

Transporting cargo back by bus is riskier. Everybody (actually only the Isra hippies and anyone who looks remotely like an urban smoker) gets checked.
I've seen narcs shove fingers up tourists' rectums in search of charas and you don't want to be in that position.
There's no really safe way by bus, though if you have a small amount (say 5-6 tolas) you could hide them in the lining of a jacket or under the seat. But you have to get to the bus way before departure time to do this.
Slightly more risky, but with assured returns, is to make friends with the bus driver before departure and pay him to hold your maal for you.
One ingenious way (that I saw another hippie doing) is slightly complicated. This guy had about 10 tolas that he had wrapped in clingfilm, wrapped again in a dirty oil skin and finally in a leather bag to which he had glued this huge round magnet. When the conducter was throwing bags in the back of the bus, this guy came around last of all with his bag, made a big fuss, and stuck the magnet inside the cargo compartment in a corner.
Cops stopped us just outside Kullu, didnt find anything but when we got down for dinner, he cooly removes his shit from the back and puts it in his pocket.


Caution: Although consumption of marijuana in India is generally winked at, dealing in Mary is not. So even if you get caught with a few tolas, you can sweet talk (or bribe) your self out. You'll be screwed if you get caught with more than five tolas....

Monday, April 10, 2006

Real life ghost stories..part one

This was the night Aishwarya Rai was crowned Miss World. We (the folks and sister) were living on rent in Palam Vihar in this two-storey house. I was in the 10th grade, I think.

The house basically opened into a living-dining room with a corridor on the far side leading to the back yard. A bathroom on the left of the corridor and the kitchen on the right. Just outside the kitchen door, we'd hung soup spoons, you know..the usual long handed cutlery. We had no immediate neighbours, only empty plots all round.

Anyway
We were on the first floor, living out of one bedroom because all our unpacked cartons and trunks were in the other bedroom. As soon as Ash got the jewels, the electricity blew. In complete darkness, we realised that the candles were upstairs but the matches were downstairs.
"Let it be," said my father, "let's just go to sleep."
Which is when the clanking noise began downstairs, like someone was running a hand through the ladles and spoons. A slow rhythmic 'tank-tank-tank-tank'
The dogs we had at that time, Bambi and Whiskey, hid under my folks' bed, whining to themselves.
My mum started to freak a bit and I could see my dad was a little shaken too..
Gathering courage, my dad and myself went downstairs to investigate the noise and also get some fire for the candles.

Absolute silence in the living room.

We collected the matches, checked the back door, which was locked, and headed back up.
About two minutes later, a heavy 'thump-thump-thump-thump' began on the terrace, like someone with heavy boots running up and down.
Again bolstering our confidence with a cricket bat and a chipped wicket, we crept upstairs.

Absolute silence on the terrace.

With nothing to look for, we came back down.
We decided to settle into bed and wait out the noises.
They never stopped the entire night. Either it was the clanking downstairs or the thumping upstairs. But never both sounds at the same time.
Exhaustion finally put us to sleep.

We had several theories as to what was happening. One being that the kitchen window was open and the night breeze must have been knocking around the spoons.
The other, that large lizards were mating.

We came down in the morning and saw that the empty Bisleri bottles were still there, cobwebs intact.
But, the cake my mum had baked the previous evening and left to cool on the dining table, had a huge six talon claw mark right in the middle.

Virus warning

******* WARN AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN. *******
If you receive an email with "Bedtimes.exe" delete it IMMEDIATELY!

Do not open it. Apparently this one is pretty nasty. It will not only erase everything on your hard drive, but it will also delete anything on disks within 20 feet of your computer.

It will demagnetise the strips on all your credit cards.

It reprograms your ATM access code, screws up the tracking on your VCR and uses subspace field harmonics to scratch any CDs you attempt to play.

It will program your phone auto dial to call your mother over and over again.

This virus will mix antifreeze in your fish tank.

It will cause your toilet to flush to the beat of "We are the Champions" while you're in the shower
It will drink all your beer.

It will leave dirty underwear on the coffee table when you are expecting company.

It will replace your shampoo with Nair and your Nair with Rogaine.

If the "Bedtimes.exe" message opened in a Windows 95/98 environment, it will leave the toilet seat up and leave your hair dryer plugged in dangerously close to a full bathtub.

It will not only remove the forbidden tags from your mattresses and pillows, it will also refill your Skim milk with whole milk.
WARNING!!
If you don't send this to 5000 people in the next 2 seconds, you'll fart so hard that your right leg will spasm and shoot straight out in front of you, sending sparks that will ignite the person nearest to you.
*Issued in the interest of public mental health

One liners

Can't claim ownership for all...

Confidence is when your girlfriend catches you in bed with another woman and you get out, slap her ass and say, "you're next babe!"
-Anonymous sms forward

"Take it easy..if it's easy, take it again"
-Kabir Nayar

"Life is like a banana...peel it and eat it"
-Kabir Nayar

"Life is like parrot..parrot means tota, tota means parrot, parrot means tota, tota means parrot, parrot means...."
My father, after too many tight ones

"Life is like a butter naan.... it's tasty"
-Kabir Nayar

"You should NOT drink only on Tuesdays... Friday night is the end of the week, Saturday night is Saturday night..Sunday drinking is required to prepare one's self for Monday morning blues, Monday drinking is required to forget about Monday morning blues..Wednesday is the middle of the week and tension is getting to you and Thursday is preparing for Friday night"..
-AC

* more to be added soon

stoner story 2- Arrested development

January 2005.

It had been a fantastic vacation in Goa. W and self had stowed away with the seven dwarves (see vacation!!) and were now heading back to work and normal life after a sun-blest fortnight on Asvem.
(Still can't get the Boom Shacks and Juicy Lucy out of my mind)

I was to stay with W in Mahalaxmi while Chottu and Jas, Minnie and the Sandyman would crash at Rocky's in Andheri. Got into Mumbai by mid-morning, passed out the whole day and met the rest for dinner at some sports bar in Phoenix Mills, before driving down to Jazz by the Bay for beer
The next day, the train to Delhi was scheduled for 16:55 from Bombay Central (five minutes from Mahalaxmi).
W left for work early in the morning, so I chilled, smoked a few, rolled a few for the way back, locked the house, hid the keys in the money plant and headed off to the station.
Got there with half an hour to spare, but no sign of the rest. (CJ and SM were travelling back to Delhi with me)
Anyway. Found our compartment and the seats and settled in.

Ten minutes for the train to leave and still no sign of there guys. One panicked phone call to Chottu and he says they're less than 10 minutes away.

I try to keep calm but the pot's starting to get me paranoid.
Five minutes left for the train to leave and still no sign, so I call them back. They're STILL 10 minutes away
Fuck fuck fuck
One minute for the train to leave, I call Chottu who says, "We're right around the corner, pull the chain if the train starts to leave."
Never underestimate the power of suggestion.
Sure enough, the train began to roll out the station. So I did just that.

The train screeched to a halt and EVERYONE (this being India) got off the train to see what the fuck up was.
Two cops and a few ticket checker types came looking for the guy who pulled the chain and found me.
They asked everyone in the compartment who pulled the chain and I put my hand up (I dont know why)

One cop asked me why I did it and I told him because my friends were late and they really had to be in Delhi the next day.
He gave me a funny look.
Didn't blame him what with my bloodshot eyes, beer-stained breath and twitchy fingers.
I didn't have the 1000 rupee fine to bail myself out so they marched me down to the station master's room. Our seats were right in the front of the train, and since the entire janta had disembarked to do what Indians do best: stare; the experience was a little like being in a safari.
Excpet for the two cops in front (one holding my duffel bag), two cops at the back amd the TT holding my rucksack. I think I heard "charsi", "drugs", "smuggler", "cocaine" and "saala firangi" about 30 times each on my way down.
Nah..no handcuffs or "you have the right to remain silent..."

The station master, a genial Sardarji, gave me a half hour lecture on train travel etiquette and then got extremely agitated as the wires started coming in.
We were on the Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani and my little stunt had delayed 16 local trains and 36 trains on the northern grid.

The couples had still not made it to the station, so the cops made me sit down and write an apology letter. Which I was finding extremely hard to do what with nervous giggling fits threatening to seize me at any time.
Why nervous? I had half a tola of hash left over from Goa, two packets of magic mushies, half a g of coke that wasn't mine, two chillums and a hash pipe, a strip of valium and a strip of spasmoproxyvon in the rucksack that was hanging off the back of my chair.

Once the station master calmed down a bit, we bonded over tea and stale coconut biscuits. The cops wanted some kind of identification and all I had (conveniently) was my India Today press card.
After that, all I had to do was entertain the station master and thullas with amusing stories of naked hippies and fireants in Goa till the gang showed up and bailed me out.

Will post a picture of my bail slip if I can get it scanned...

Morale of the story: If you're going to pull the chain in a train, run like hell

Sunday, April 09, 2006

random comments

my all-time favourite: might as well.
It's also a philosophy that has held me in pretty good stead ever since it was adopted on a trip to the hills (see stoner story 1)
It's the answer to every possible question one can ask..
Do you want to smoke another joint...
Do you feel like going to Elevate...
Kasol on the weekend?
Hey baby..my place or yours?...

You get my drift...

Madness in the office right now... the dichotomy of working with Bengalis is that though they're usually damn good at what they do (unless they're the lazy drink-tea-eat-samosa-all-day-and-bitch-about-capitalism variety)...

fuck!
I forgot what I wanted to say.. I think I need to start on some memory pills..although with the amount of THC in my blood, I don't think I should be taking serious medication.... actually..fuck it

might as well...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

stoner story 1- First dance with Mary Jane

aaahhh... there's really nothing quite like a nicely packed joint at the end of the day.. Not filled with filthy Dilli ganj but some smooth as silk charas...

Still remember my first spliff. GV, Baba and self had driven up to Manali in GV's Sierra. (This was back in the call centre days. Also my first encounter with beautiful Himachal).
When we got to Manali, Baba says we ought to stay higher up in Vashisht instead. Soon as we park, the three of us head off in different directions looking for a "hotel". The first place I get to.. The Godfather Palace Ashram.. and I get a sudden rush of turbulent bowel motion.
Close to 13 hours of binging on grub and booze on the way up had made my gut one big water balloon..just waiting to burst.

Anyway.
Since I had to "lose weight" just that instant, I booked the room without really looking around. 15 minutes of pure bliss later and I head out to call the guys back to the Ashram. It's a steep, hilly climb up and all the way, Baba's constantly asking me if there's a view from the window. (Of which I'm quite sure considering all the damn guesthouses here face out..)
We get to the room, draw the curtains.. and there's a huge tree right where Manali and the Beas should have been.

After hurling sundry abuse, we passed out till dinner, which was at the once-trippy-and-now-shitty Riverside Cafe on Clubhouse Road up in Old Manali.
When we first went, this was a part-open air, part lounge area with thick mattresses, low lighting, tree trunk ashtrays (for chillums), a wall covered with raver backdrops and constant psychedelic thumping.
There was this group of Isras at the next table booming a chillum (uptil this time I never even smoked cigarettes).
They offered it to Baba who puffed and handed it to GV, who puffed and handed it to me. I puffed and coughed the whole damn bitch out on to the table. Needless to say the Isras weren't too happy.
Back at the Ashram, we rolled a few joints (in cigarettes since we hadn't discovered the convenience of Rizla) and I remember burning my neck with a hot rock.
Not quite sure how that happened though..

ohhh goldie!!!!!

The legendary (if slightly sagging) Goldie Hawn's sitting right in front of me...she may be over the hill chronologically, but damn she still looks pretty fucking fine.
Would have preferred to leer at her daughter instead..but all's good in the hood.
Post an hour-long discussion on Goldie's experiements with yoga and spirituality, some dumbass at the back of the room gets up and asks her, "Are you feeling spiritual or materialistic right now?"
There are no depths of stupidity to which people sink sometimes...


Which brings me to this question: What is it about white women that brings out the idiot in the Indian male? Especially the blonde variety?

Friday, April 07, 2006

vacation!!!!!!

fuck i need a break..
the last time I was on holiday was when W and self stowed away with the four dwarves on their honeymoons to Goa.. No not as loser as it sounds...being New Year's and all.. and that was 2004!!!

ahh..i miss the mountains..that first sight of the hills just after you cross Panchkula, the snaking, precipitous roads with trippy palm trees on the rocky cliffs, the mandir across the Beas that comes just before Kullu, the sight of snow capped Solang from the roof of World Peace in Vashisht with the Beas below and Manali just opposite sipping thick chocolate coffee, smoking a beautifully constructed big ass spliff, listening to the dream catchers make their own melody as the breeze whips my hair around my face...

Or even sitting in the balcony at the Dragon with Monk and Mary having a party in your brain ... while Moby's melancholy warbling washes over you...

ahhhh fuck!!!!!
tripping for a second.. stll here in dusty, hot, depressing Delhi ..

bah!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Why you SHOULDN'T drop acid and write

Kieran looked up. The maelstrom brewing over the distant purple horizon was now much nearer and decidedly a lot more violent than he had anticipated. Lightening zigged and then zagged through the hovering gloom as thunder charged across the deepening sky. and he could discern tiny scurrying figures far, far below, anxious to get out of the storm. His perch high above Khand'um's clock tower was not exactly a vacation on the golden beaches of Parsvania but it would have to do. The rain began. Slowly at first but with increasing intensity till each drop was a boulder. His proud aquiline brows furrowed against the slanting rain. Kieran grunted, shrugged his massive shoulders and unfurled his gigantic wings, shaking liquid pearls from his feathers before tucking them away under his billowing sable cloak.

Twelve feet from tip to tip and black as the other side of midnight, Kieran's wings were the most obvious symbols of his authority. The race of Anduluza – the birdmen, dominated the Fifteen (and a half) Kingdoms*—or what was left of it. Their slaves were the lowly Homo Sapiens—menial servants fit for nothing except agriculture, beer-brewing and occasional sexual amusement. Not tonight. Kieran rubbed his hands together. Not so much too keep warm, than out of anticipation of the events to follow. His death had been foretold. He was going to die before dawn would break. Even though he held the tales of the soothsayers in regal disdain, he could not ignore the prickly feeling that ran down the base of his neck, settling in his spine.

Kieran stood slowly and grimly removed his cape, laying it on the parapet below him. He stowed the great jewelled clasp that held it around his mighty throat in a fine leather pouch by his waist. The giant beryl gleamed in a flash of lightening. It was time. Time to hunt the men, nay the slaves, who had dared scheme against him. He unfurled his great black wings slowly, flexing his immense muscles. With a snap that was lost in the thunder, and a sneeze that drowned it out, he soared away into the black mountains of cloud, high above the city, hunting…hunting for prey.

(* The half kingdom was really the unruly princedom of Bahir that saw way too many succession battles for its own good. The old king had died leaving an only daughter. Bahiri succession laws being as outdated as they were, women were not allowed to rule. Princess Barbi was now pushing 80 and her multitude of offspring (legitimate and otherwise) fought tooth and nail for what was the lamest excuse for a country.)


Two thousand feet below him and several metres to the right, Randall nursed his eye. This was the second fight he'd gotten into in the past half-hour—unnatural even by his standards—and the unemployed thief was getting bored, not to mention bruised. He pulled his large misshapen feet up of the filth-covered excuse of a floor and gestured to Pandu, bartender, waiter, bouncer, manager and owner of the Pisspot Tavern for a refill.
The damn Anduluzans had been patrolling the streets of the Inner City for hours now, despite the pouring rain. He\'d learnt, through trial and error (mostly error), that the best time to pick pockets was in the rain. The birdmen abhorred water, especially when they couldn't control it. To see them now in groups of three gliding through the slick streets with giant plastic umbrellas, ignoring the drizzle, gave him the shivers.
Pandu had leaned over and whispered that Kieran, the Lord of the Citadel, was looking for a groom and the Anduluzans were out in force to match make as it were. Randall had rolled all three eyes at this.The Anduluzans (he preferred calling them birdbrains—it seemed so much more appropriate) were always looking for excuses to maul, dismember and occasionally sodomise the local human population. That was all the entertainment they had. Gulping down the last of his firewater, he shrugged on his great (stolen) coat and shambled into the sleet. Far above him, a small figure circled, watching, waiting. Kieran wasn't unduly worried about dying. He knew no human hand could kill him. Still, he wasn't about to sit around and let them have a go at him. Sachor his chief counsellor and wisest of the Anduluzans had come to him earlier that day whispering words of doom and death.
Kieran had laughed, finished masturbating and patted the old buzzard (wiping his hand at the same time) on his shoulder. "You worry too much," was all he said before pulling his cloak around him and strolling from the room. The rain was beginning to irritate him now. Already he had narrowly avoided being skewered twice by passing lightening bolts as the Thunder Giants took their game into over time.Then he saw it. Below…far, far below, a group of humans were assembling. Kieran's eyes, already sharper than a wareagle's, were pinpricks of concentration. The time had come.

Randall was lost…hopelessly, irrefutably and completely. He lived across the street from the Pisspot. He had taken three steps out the front door, had been hit by SOMETHING moving incredibly fast and had passed out. When he awoke a few minutes later, he was spread-eagled on the pavement with a street lamp rising out from between his legs. Staggering to his feet, he had started in the general direction of his house when he realised that nothing looked familiar. He was in an unfamiliar street, looking at unfamiliar people who held very unfamiliar razor sharp rapiers. Randall searched his rags for his back-up pint of firewater. The leader of the group already had the point of his sword on Randall's rapidly bobbing Adam's apple. "Are you from around here?" asked the stranger in haughty yet urgent tones. Too petrified to speak, Randall merely shook his head. "Want to live?" was the next question and Randall came within a quarter of an inch from losing his neck. Five more men came up out of the gloom and peered at the dishevelled stranger. Randall could make out that although they were clearly slaves, they had the look, the build and the manner of the Anduluzans. He swore under his breath. "Halfbreeds," he muttered and was promptly pushed down. Although the Anduluzans never attempted to force themselves on human women (being an entirely homosexual species) they nonetheless needed their wombs to extend their race. Most of the ensuing offspring were genetically modified before birth to be exactly like Daddy with defective embryos discarded in the trash or served as pickled hors d'oeuvres at State dinners. There were rumours of a few that had survived, but had proved to be unfounded. Till now.
Randall, although intrigued, was more interested in keeping his head on his shoulders and his penis between his legs. Half-Anduluzan or no, they still looked decidedly gay and definitely homicidal. He was yanked up, dragged to the curb and thrown unceremoniously against a helpfully open doorjamb. "Stay here," said the fallen faggot and slunk away down the alley with his cronies right behind. "Well that's the end of that," sighed Randall to himself, picking himself up gradually. He didn't see it till it was too late. Out of the corner of his centre eye (the left one as already swollen), he saw a black blur drop out of the sky and head toward him at impossible speed. By the time he turned his head, it was all over. All that was left of Randall, the three eyed, unemployed thief was a bundle of rags and a slightly cracked half empty bottle of firewater.

Kieran soared away sheathing his flamethrower, pleased with himself. He had sensed the beggar would be the instrument and he had taken care of it. Sachor had spoken of a threat on foot and now it had been destroyed. He, Kieran, Lord of the Citadel of Khand'um had cheated Fate and shown Death the middle finger and this pleased him no end. He turned away from the squalor of the Inner City and set his sights on the Citadel—a massive dome of stone that reared its jewelled head into the now-clear night. Flapping his mighty wings to gain height and speed, Kieran soared heavenward on a current of warm air.

Warm air? No, that didn't seem right, especially in the middle of winter. He looked down and saw the fire. The North Gate was burning merrily. Concentrating his phenomenal vision, Kieran could see tiny, armed humans jump out of a cart and stab the nearest Anduluzan sentry between his giant brown wings.Dropping like a rock in an avalanche, Kieran sped to the rescue of his men. As he got nearer and nearer, the flames grew higher and higher till he could feel the tips of his outermost feathers slowly frying. Pulling out of his nosedive in frustration, he banked first right and then left looking for a safe place to land. What had happened? How did the humans get the courage to attack? More importantly…who was their leader? Only one way to find out. Summoning all his arcane strength, Kieran sped toward the Citadel, dodging random bursts of flame frombelow. The Apothecary's storeroom burst into flame and the sweet smell of intoxicating herbs filled the air, washing Kieran with a wave of drowsiness and also a mind wrenching hunger.
No time.
The polished rock dome of The Citadel gleamed dully in the dying firelight as Kieran alighted. The fire had yet to reach the higher reaches of his \nfortress and it looked like the Anduluzans had been successful in stamping out the rebellion.In the Throne Room, two floors below, Sachor paced nervously. Kieran had been gone since sunset hunting for his murderer and there was still no sign of him. The large ornate crystal door creaked heavily on its hinges as Kieran entered. His long, black hair hung dankly around his shoulders and his wings looked decidedly bedraggled. Some feathers were beginning to moult. "Lord, we have captured the rebels," said Sachor genuflecting, "and their leader," he added, raising his ancient head to stare into the blackness of Kieran's hooded eyes. "Bring him," grunted Kieran in satisfaction as he swept toward his diamond throne.
The giant crystal door swung open once more to admit four Anduluzan sentries hauling a manacled figure by his arms between them. They swung shut with a clang that had finality written all over it. The prisoner although dishevelled, bloody and with a welting scar running down the length of his throat, looked strangely calm. "We found him hiding behind the Apothecary's store, my Lord," offered the leading sentry. Kieran stepped forward. "Who are you? What is your name?" he roared with as much rage as he could muster. The prisoner, apparently not hearing him, began picking his nose, inserting the results in his mouth. "I am who I am," he mumbled cryptically, pulling himself up to his full height, which to his credit was nose-to-nose with the birdman.

Sachor was struck by the similarity between the two figures before him. The only thing the rebel didn't have were wings, clean clothes and an erection. Sachor stopped staring. His lord had made a decision.
"Take him to my chambers and see that his wounds mended and he is cleansed," he ordered, massaging his groin. The guards examined the hazy ceiling and the minuscule amounts of dirt under their fingernails, while the Lord of the Citadel examined his new toy.
Garib was hurt, but not as badly as he had feared. The Anduluzans had him bound in chains and were dragging him down wide, marble corridors to their master's bedchamber. "This is it," he muttered bitterly to himself, "I'm about to be buggered by the biggest prick in the Eleven Kingdoms. So much for freedom of speech and human rights." Then he saw it. He had to wait almost three long ahn before the door swung silently open and Kieran strode in. He looked around the room and espied the prisoner chained to the bedpost, squatting on the floor. Walking toward him, Keiran dropped his robe and stepped before Garib stark naked. Lust had driven all thought of caution from the birdman's brain and now it took complete control. He wanted this stranger so desperately, the desire made little red spots dance in front of his eyes. Glancing down, Kieran pulled the prisoner's head by his hair, drawing his mouth to his member.
To Garib, the next few seconds seemed to stretch beyond Time and Space. To Kieran it was a blink of an eye. Kieran staggered back, his own letter-opener protruding between his testicles."You think I didn't know," said Garib rising from the floor and removing his manacles (he had obviously been pretending). "I was one of you," he continued walking toward the gasping birdman, brandishing Kieran's own sword at him, "till you had my wings cut off." The Anduluzan racked his febrile brain to remember, but there had been too many executions and the pain between his legs had turned into a white heat that burnt its way to every nerve ending in his once-majestic body.
Garib stepped forward and swung the tempered steel blade, slicing off first the birdman's head and then, almost ceremoniously, his penis. Wiping the green blood on a nearby curtain, Garib gathered his clothes and staring back once more at the prone figure, made for the balcony. He pushed open the heavy wooden doors in time to see a new sun break the sky sending the moon scuttling for cover. A cold wind swept down from the distant Dragontooth Mountains and into the royal bedchamber, teasing Garib's hair and making the heavy curtains dance a slow waltz.
His grimace faded into a smile. It was over.