Friday, June 30, 2006

Hop aboard SpaceCadet, let me fly you around the block

The Jungpura Junta loves to drink and drive or rather drive and drink.
So an ordinary chilling scene means Astraman gets out the Honda, picks up Kbeer and self, and then we head to the theka to rummage for our respective poison.
Astraman likes the good Scotch, I go for Monk while Kbeer sticks to the lager.
Occasionaly, Astraman's younger sibling BrotherBear joins us too and we go driving around South Delhi, some times as far as the diplomatic enclave of Chanakya Puri.
Trust me, staggering out drunk to pee on the lawns of Shanti Path at 2am has been a regular occurence.
Stopped once outside the American embassy because Astraman had to take a leak and make a point at the same time (we'd just seen Rang de Basanti) but the cops chased us off.

The neat part about living in Jungpura is that drinking in the car is a neighbourhood hobby.
Practically every car, that's driving slowly will have 2 or more guys inside, stereo on and loud conversation issuing.
Plus when you factor in late night kebab joints like Sanjha Chulha, Mughals and Aap ki Khatir (where the kakoris are to die for) besides Colonel's Kebabs and Arabian Delights in next door Defence Colony, booze on the move seems to make sense.
Except for the fuel wasted and the risk of ending up under a truck.

It's when you're getting silly in the back seat that you see what this city is all about.
The Lajpat Nagar flyover (that connects Moolchand hospital to the Oberoi) is a sick sick sick place to be after dark.
A line of hijras (eunuchs), dressed in female attire take up selling positions along the curb and the absolutely gross bit is the line of expensive cars that stop to pick them up.
Men in this city really need to find a different way to get their jollies.

The funny bit is that of the several times we've done this trip, not one cop has pulled us over despite the lack of seatbelt use, Astraman's extended conversations on the cellphone while negotiating cop barricades with Johnny in a plastic glass on the dashboard.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Cheap thrills

Been coming home rather late nowadays after work but thanks to AndAnt's large hearted benevolence, have my hands on a litter of must-reads.
Another AndAnt discovery - munakka - has been keeping me tripping.
Munakka is really an ayurvedic digestive that tastes like week-old shit. But it does have 25% bhang in it AND it's legal AND it's just bloody ONE RUPEE!!!
Takes about half an hour to get you comfortably numb and by that time you're giggling yourself silly at the idea of getting fuck-stoned on one buck.
After tedious experimentation, in which a lot of vomit has flown under the sofa, don't do munakka with rum, whisky or vodka. Stick to a beer.
31 rupees en toto... the cheapest way to get high legally
Don't knock it till you've tried it.

Came back home last night and poured me a vodka after swallowing one little munna and went out onto the terrace to see what the clouds were upto.
Got myself entangled in invisible string which eventually led me to discover the Kite.
Apparantly someone else had his patang cut earlier in the evening and it had floated down onto my terrace.
After several nicks, cuts and near-strangulations, managed to roll the string up around the neck of an empty Coke bottle.
What's common between flying a kite solo and making love to an ugly woman?
Getting it up is the hardest part.
Got whacked in the face a couple of times before I realised I was throwing it wrong, against the wind.
So I went to the end of the terrace and threw it out into the wind.
Unfortunately forgot to hold on to the bottle because soon both were flying out over the neighbour's washing line.
Oh well..

Monday, June 26, 2006

Confessions of anti-social behaviour

I'm a kleptomaniac with a fetish for ashtrays
There I'v said it.
Don't think that's the first step on the road to recovery but at least now people will hide their ashtrays when I go to their houses ...
Actually I don't flick from people I know, I flick from resturants, clubs, hotels etc as a souvenir of a night well-spent. Besides, I'm sure restaurants, clubs and hotels are used to people stealing from them..
The stupidest thing I've ever flicked was the welcome mat from the guesthouse in Manali.
I was fuck-stoned from five days of incessant conversation with Mary and the damn thing was bright purple with red and green stripes.. Which meant I'd been staring at the damn thing the entire week we were there.
Another dumb thing to flick was this poster on drug abuse from the Jungpura police station when I went to help some friends who got busted (read Stoner story 9 - teen drama and the Doberman)
Other shit that wended their way into my pocket have been calendars, coasters, napkins, empty bottles of Jack Daniels, a bright red cushion from a nightclub, a tray from McDonald's, a cardboard cutout of Batman from a movie hall and a bill folder from the erstwhile Casablanca.

Credit card fraud
When with the call centre, there'd be scores of reps from various credit card companies loitering around outside the main gate, waiting to stick us with a form.
All we had to do was photocopy our identity card and any salary slip and we had access to 20 grand just like that!
Soon, it wasn't unusual for most employees to flaunt literally stacks of credit cards.
And with the companies falling over themselves to throw money at us, most of us were easy bait.
The majority of call centre colleagues back then were straight out of college, most from smaller towns and this sudden increase in spending power did silly things to your lifestyle.
Besides the usual - clothes, watches, shoes, gizmos and scents - there was the extravagant spending on maal, drinking out, impromptu vacations and more.
Till one day, the first collection call came.
Ironic, since that was exactly what we were doing to people 2000 miles away.
Some like Chow, ran up credit worth at least 300,000 rupees from various cards and loans before packing up his stuff and moving back to Hyderabad.
I stood as guarantor to some loans when in GE and I still get calls asking for the wherabouts of people I have no clue about any more.
Which is good for them and me.
I managed to get through the collection ordeal by changing phone numbers, addresses and jobs.
Not intentionally, mind you.
Ii'v hopped six jobs and seven houses in the past five years not to avoid creditors but because I had to.

Hit and no-run
Was driving back from Chandni Chowk once with the ExGirlfriend (mJ) and we were taking turns at the wheel.
It was dark by the time we headed home and self was driving with one hand in mJ's lap.
We reached the left turn under the Nizamuddin flyover and this little kid runs out into the road trying to get to the park across it.
The car's lights were on, so I flashed them and honked the horn to indicate to the kid to wait.
He hesitated and ran anyway.. right into the left side of the hood, bouncing off with a sickening thud.
Luckily (or unluckily) the cops were right there, within arm's distance and they got there in time to prevent the local hotheaded Muslim population from turning into a lynch mob.
The second the kid hit the car, I stopped, ran out, picked him up and ran to a nearby autorickshaw, shouting to the driver to take us to the hospital.
Within moments, a crowd had gathered menacingly around the car.
Neither of us had driving licenses and the car's papers were also missing from the glove box.
The cops calmed everybody down and told me to drive to the nearest hospital - Moolchand.
We put the kid in the back seat along with all the fabric and trim we'd been buying for her fashion crap and two 'uncles' jumped in too.
The kid was bleeding from the mouth but didn't appear to be too badly damaged.
We missed the turn in for Moolchand because I started freaking out and had to go all the way around to get to AIIMS.
Luckily, we were supposed to meet Sharky (the lawyer friend) so I phoned him in near panic to get his bony ass to AIIMS.
Our man was so stoned, he went to two wrong hospitals before landing up at the right one.
I knew nothing would happen to the kid. It wasn't much of a bump and he needed just a few stitches to get sorted out.
I was paranoid about the driving with no license, besides the car belonged to mJ's Ma who didn't even know we were seeing each other forget being together that night.

Anyway .. everything sorted itself out, thanks in most part to Sharky who handled the cops, the relatives and the hospital while we waited in the parking lot.
But that's one night I'll never forget.

The art of the one night stand

This advice (FOR GUYS ONLY) is thanks to my friend Luke "Higher" who spends most of his time in the halfway-house trawling the Internet for useful information like this...

And no ... this isn't from Cosmo..

“Rope-a-Dope” Her Hot Spot
The clitoris has 8,000 nerve endings—twice as many as the penis. To pleasure it, try letting letting her push and grind against your flat, still tongue. Take it all in, then spring back with a series of fast vertical and diagonal tongue strokes. Lick her senseless with a short burst of energy and then return to the flat, still tongue, waiting for yet another opportune moment to spring to life again.

Give Her an Incentive
If you want the best blow job on Earth, put cash on the bedside table. I’m not kidding. Or give Cartier. A little Cartier never killed a woman.

Get Your Buzz On
Turn your hand into a vibrator by placing the vibrator on top of your hand so she can feel the vibrations through it. Or you can cover an electric toothbrush with Saran wrap.

Listen to the Lesbians
Fingering doesn’t mean pounding; a finger is not just a stand-in for a penis. Slip one finger between the outside of her lips and slide up and down really slowly until the vagina moistens itself. The lips make a line right up to the clit, so you can play with that a bit. Once she’s moist, go inside a little with one finger, but just one. Some guys think because one finger feels good, four fingers must feel better! It doesn’t.” —Terri Castillo, 29-year-old lesbian nicknamed “the Transformer” for converting nine women to her team

Establish Your Sex Dictionary
Sexy talk in bed can be a big turn-on—unless she’s turned off by your language. So play a game: Find a magazine with nude pictures and point to body parts, asking her, ‘What do you want me to call that? A vagina, a pussy, or something else?’ Then tell her whether you have a cock, a penis, or a trouser monkey.

Back Off
Don’t sweat the pussy; make the pussy sweat you. If you really dig a woman, pass up sex the first couple of times, because the best sex you’re going to get is when she’s after you. If you’re just looking for one night, say whatever the fuck you want: If she wants to fly, tell her you’re a pilot. But if you’re fly enough to hold back, she’ll want to screw the shit out of you. The best sex comes down the road when the chick finally tells you what she wants and you can get into your freaky.

Aim High
When you want to bring home a woman, pick the most attractive one and go for it. When I grew up, the ugliest motherfucker of the group always had the best-looking girls, because it isn’t about money or good looks—it’s about the balls you have and the attitude. If you choose to charm the best-looking girls, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Suck Wind
Breathing deeply gets you in touch with your body instead of your head. A lot of people tighten up when they get close to climaxing, but if you really breathe (and remind her to), it spreads the pleasure into a full-body orgasm.

Make a Promise and Keep It
I hate to give away trade secrets, but when I’m kissing a girl good night, I might say, ‘Before I leave I’ve got to give you a couple of goose bumps.’ Then I carefully lean in and kiss the back of her neck really softly. If she likes that, I give a little squeeze to her back end. There are nerve muscles there that will make her hair stand up on end. If she doesn’t get goose bumps, either you suck or she doesn’t like you.

Encourage Her Wild Side
Nice girls worry that if they get wild in bed, you’ll think of them as sluts.
So I say this: If you’re lucky enough to have wild, risqué sex with your girlfriend, make sure to be particularly romantic afterward. If she dresses up naughty for you or gets kinky and spanks you, say, ‘I love you for that,’ and caress her hair while you say it. The wilder the sexcapade is, the more romantic you need to be afterward so she knows that you still think she’s a nice girl deep down. She’ll be bloody up for everything then!

Draw the Curtains
When you’re giving her oral sex, use your hands to part her labia, the outer lips of her vagina. If you hold her open with your fingers, it creates a bigger area for your tongue to explore on her, and it’s an erotic feeling for her to be spread by her man.

Try the Scout’s Honor Move
Here’s a great way to pleasure her G-spot with your fingers, but it requires dexterity.
Musicians will be good at this!
Have her lie with her thighs spread open and her knees bent. Then stick out just your forefinger and middle finger, as if you’re giving the scout’s honor salute, and insert those two fingers, palm up, into her vagina very slowly. Once you get all the way in, pull your fingers back out, making a come-hither motion to stroke her G-spot. At the same time, slide the same two fingers of the other hand in right below and keep switching hands. It’s basically a circulating motion in which two fingers of one hand are going in while two fingers of the other hand are coming out in one smooth, continuous rotation, and it feels utterly amazing.

Ask, Ask, Ask
Look, not every woman wants her vagina licked the same way. But not every woman wants to tell you you’re doing it wrong for her. So you need to ask her, ‘Am I doing this right?’ and give her the opportunity to tell you. It’s time we men stopped being so intimidated. If the woman’s having a great time in bed, I’m going to have a better time. If I want time by myself, I’ll masturbate! If she wants to use a vibrator, it can only contribute.
If you’re pleasing her, she’ll go out of her way to please you.

Give Her Some Skin
The skin is the largest organ of the body. The more of your skin that touches her skin, the better. While you’re penetrating, touch her feet with your feet: Wrap your feet around her ankles, or rub the tops of your toes along the bottom of her feet; stroke her hair and lick her breasts. You can even put a little oil on your bodies so you slide better.

Do It In the Kitchen
You can last longer if a woman is lying on an elevated surface, like a kitchen countertop, and you enter her standing up (you don’t have to support all your weight on your arms like you do in the missionary position). Plus, you’re entering her from below, which affects the angle of the dangle so your penis will hit the top wall of her vagina, which is where her G-spot is.

Massage Your Way to Sex
Every woman loves massages. And there are so many lotions and creams out there to use. It wouldn’t hurt a guy to go to the store and say, ‘I want to give my girl a massage, so what should I get?’ And massages ALWAYS lead to something.

Be Her Breast Friend
Playing with a woman’s nipples releases a hormone called oxytocin that causes a tingling sensation in her genitals, so be good to her breasts. Nipples are really responsive to temperature, so take advantage of that by grabbing a blindfold, an ice cube, and a cup of hot tea: After she’s blindfolded, suck on the ice, then lick her nipples very gently; next, take a sip of hot tea and lick her nipples again. Start soft and slow, and if she doesn’t punch you in the face, you’re on the right track. Or rub her nipples with baby oil to make them slippery little disks. Just like you don’t want a woman tugging at your penis with her dry hands, women don’t like that feeling either!

Rise and Shine
The best sex for most women is when a man caresses her awake in the morning, waking up every nerve of her body until she really wants it. But don’t go straight for the breasts and pussy, and don’t just start poking into her back. Curl up behind her and run your hands along her arm, follow the curves of her hips and butt. If you take your time, she’ll be begging for it.

Jerk Her Around
The age-old question: Should you be a nice guy or a jerk? Well, why not both? Next time you see a cute waitress, say in a really polite tone, ‘Hey, shithead, want to go to a museum sometime?’” —Eugene Mirman, stand-up comedian

Read Her Body
If she moves her hips up off the bed, she’s telling you to lick a little lower. If she presses her butt down into the bed she’s telling you to lick higher. If she’s groaning and pushing into your face, well, she’s telling you you’re doing a great job!

Reach for the Thigh
The single most erogenous zone is her inner thigh. It sends a sensual signal to your partner without going straight for the bull’s-eye.

Lick Her Before Beer
Guys say, ‘Get her drunk,’ but there’s a fine line between a girl being tipsy and ready to play and you ending up alone at Cafe Coffee Day at 2am with her vomit on your shoes.


More money is now spent on boob jobs and viagra than on Alzheimer's research.
So by the time my generation hits 60, they'll have perky tits and stiff cocks with no fucking clue why..

Wouldn't it make more sense if life was backwards?
Shouldn't one die first and get death out of the way,
Then live in a retirement home for a few years with a pension fund to keep you going..
You get your provident fund, and have enough to start working .. a career that spans the usual 40-odd years until you're young enough to enjoy retirement.. Of course since you're only getting younger, life just gets better and better..
Finally, you're 25 and can drink, smoke, live it up with no worries of long term problems,
Then you get ready for high school, which after all the living you've already done, is child's play
Education over and you're a kid again with no substantial worries and issues in a near-Calvinistic existence..
Best of all ... you live out the last nine months of your life swimming around in oblivion, ending life as an orgasm...

Now tell me that doesn't sound good...

Enlightenment ree-ally??
Alcohol and pot have this wonderful way of giving you answers to life and an equally exasperating way of making you completely forget both question and answer almost immediately...
You'll be daydreaming, sitting on the terrace on a cool, overcast monsoon Sunday, watching faraway kites freewheel against the mountain of cloud, listening to occasional strong zephyrs shake dead leaves from molting trees and you'll be hit with a FLASH!!
In the close to half an hour it takes for your brain to process the information, the doorbell rings but its not for you, the phone buzzes and it's a wrong number, a Sirdie boy will rattle past your house on a Bullet with no silencer and three crows will come and caw at you inquisitively..

Sunshine's coming back into town tomorrow..
Why do I call her Sunshine?
Because of this song...

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
It's not warm when she's away
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And she always gone too long
anytime she goes away

Wonder this time where she's gone
Wonder if she's gone to stay
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And this house just ain't no home
Anytime she goes away

Sappy? So what.. it fits her perfectly..
She's finally got her foot in the door in Mumbai and since she had time to kill till she joined the ad agency, promptly pushed off to the hills to chill..
Will be stopping by on her way back to the rat race...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The madness sets in

Took off from work yesterday to get rid of the fever and ended up watching Pirate of the Caribbean twice.
Fever sometimes does silly things to the brain.. which would probably explain why I now have eyeliner on..

Crazy shit happened recently..
Raka's ex, Marish was walking her dog in the evening when a guy on a motorcycle started following her. Eventually came up to her to ask for directions, she ignored him and kept walking. He picked up a stick and whacked her on the head!
Marish is tiny.. four feet something .. but still had the guts and presence of mind to run straight home.
When Sister and Raka (he's Kbeer's twin) went to the hospital, she had 48 stiches on her forehead, just above her right eye.
This city is going to the dogs...

When we were staying in GK, I was coming back home by bus from I don't remember where.
It was late, close to 11 in the night and the bus was relatively empty ... about 6 people in all.
About 3 stops before mine, two guys who looked like immigrant construction labourers, pushed one guy who was standing in the aisle and jumped off.
The guy checks his pocket and its been ripped.
He shouts for the driver to stop the bus, which latter does with a lot of dramatic screeching and everyone, except self, jumps off in pursuit of the two pickpockets.
The next sequence happens like a movie.
The guys sitting with the driver and conductor up front had been drinking in the bus, so as one of the pickpockets runs across the road divider, he lobs the bottle at him, smacking squarely in the back of his head.
Pickpocket1 goes down, but his accomplice his still fleet-footing it across the road.
Not for long though as the driver and another man run him down and flay him across the pavement.
They're starting to kick the living shit out of these two guys, when the victim (who's standing over Pickpocket1) discovers his wallet in his other pocket.
He looks around, spots me staring from the window. I get up and make to get out of the bus to try and stop the unneccesary carnage, but the 'victim' has the good sense to call the dogs off.
One final kick in the rear for both as a warning and we're back on the bus like nothing happened.

Newest news on the school front is that it just might be derecognised by the government because the Brothers are sending cash to HQ in Dublin and not utilising the money in the school or on students.
I think that's pretty shitty.
Most memories of school are blurry and none of events that were very momentous.
* A bird shitting on Devroop Mitra when he bought an icecream and wouldn't share it,
* Vinod Sobti bringing a boombox to class in his tennis bag and playing it at an audible level in Mrs Thomas (The Chipkali) 's class
* Chipkali yelling at Nivedith Alva's sister and the whole class getting pissed about it
* Right-handed Ashish Lal and left-handed Harshit Aggarwal holding hands and writing together
* Throwing ink down Mrs Rebello's wobbling backside
* The Surajkund trip where the snake charmer met Sobti
* Vikram Russell and the bus accident which left him in crutches
* Anuj Dua's birthday party in South Extension
* Mrs Xavier being a bitch
* Inter-class sports day and the karate drill, when Ashish David actually kicked me when he was supposed to pretend-kick me, right when I needed to pee, ensuring I wet my white "karate" uniform in front of everybody and their parents
* Class 9E, stopping and staring with P Karthik bouncing the basketball, as we all gawked at two Modern School chicks walking along the basketball court
* Craft class and gluing Kush Bhatia to his bag
* The ragging of Saurabh Gaur in 10E where we pulled him over the desk annd smacked his nuts with the maths textbook
* Dirty sweaty white shirts, dirty sweaty white trousers, dirty yellow-green tie, scuffed shoes; walking in front of half of neighbouring Convent of Jesus & Mary like that and not giving a damn
* Four-foot-tall Mr Pallamatam's joke on how six-foot-floods in Kerala came up to his chin
* Tony Pacheco's impromptu tutorial on triangles (You take this bugger here, that bugger there and join them with this bugger here and you get a bloody triangle men..what's so fucking difficult about that now?)
* Mr Chirayath and the original, "Open the window and let the climate come in"
* Brother Deasy and Sabrina Mendonca srewing around (or so we all believed)
* Brother Deasy and Mrs Swaroop screwing around (ok ... this is a tough one to call)
* Brother Pimenta and soccer trials, Brother Judge and Catechism classes, Brother Gaffney and eyes of cold steel that make your testicles thrink back up your spine in fear
* Swimming classes and Deepak Khosla almost drowning in the foot-deep ornamental fountain
* Fake ringworm and bunking school for a week
* Sex education classes and the "practicals" debate
* Compass stunts (dropping compasses/dividers point down on your arm from higher and higher heights, desktop snooker (with an eraser, two pencils and the inkwell as 'goal'), desktop soccer (with three coins), catapults and leftover chalk, Z-buses and the same long ride home...
* Inter-class 'fights' (One guy from one class would push another guy from a different class in recess. Both would get back up in the form of their entire class and soon the middle school ground would be two large groups of boys, facing off against each other, going "Oyeeee Oyeee.." but not actually fighting)
* Inter-class quizzing, debating, elocution (with the Vees and DoubleYous)
* Keema kulchas, veg patties, Campa Cola, Gold Spot and Citra from the basement canteen, Cabanas from the ice-cream man near the Middle School gate, Fountain Pepsi from the gas station behind the slums..

I was an average student in school.. barely managed my Cs and Ds with the occasional B .. though I did manage As in English and Art...
Scraped through the boards by the skin of my teeth.. remember being extremely thankful I didn't flunk..
Considering my folks were the types who let us do things at our own pace, I guess it really doesn't matter how well I did in school..
Most of the guys who did really well are buried in well-paid but obscure jobs all over the world where most of them are being worked to the bone all in an effort to earn more and more money.
Some are doing different things..
Samarth George is a sommelier
Robin Matthews, the ugliest motherfucker in class, got married to a Dutch model and now lives in Amsterdam
Sandeep (I'v forgotten his last name) and his cousin Chandran Kadambavanam are studying to be priests
Abhishek Ahuja is a restaurateur (Pebble Street) as is Dushyant Nagpal who is a pastry chef (Sweet Obsessions) ..
There are the lawyers, the chartered accountants, a few doctors, guys who went to IIT, IIM or both (like Sarin Suares), married men, divorced men, gay men, guys who'v gotten with their dad's thing, guys in the media, probably a few in jail too for all I know

But the one guy who lucked out from my batch was Amit Bhatia..
Name sound familiar..
Yeah.. he's the richest ghar-jamai in the world... Sorry man.. but that picture of him holding his wife's handbag said much more than any press release.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Someone please stop the world from spinning

I'm sick.. again..
Whenever the weather changes just a little bit, it somehow seems to affect my sense of balance. It's this unidentifiable queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach that occasionaly lurches out.
It's this wave of disorienting nausea that makes you see a kaleidoscope of spots when you blink..

Couldn't make it in to work yesterday for the simple reason that I couldn't get out of bed.
Didn't even have the strength to lift my head.
Didn't do much yesterday.. just slept or tried to sleep while fiery images burned their way through my brain...
It's the dreams that get me.. the half-awake, zombie-like state when reality and fantasy blurs into one chaotic roller-coaster ride .. turning your clothes and your bed into a sweat-soaked swamp of quicksand from where its impossible to break free...

Sickness aside, what is really getting to me is the ineptitude of some people I'm forced to work with.
Just adds to the stress, besides losing my ATM card, which means I'm broke even though I have money...
Really shitty place to be in right now...

I need a dosa with a bucket of sambhar

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The simple life

I've realised over the past few months that there is really very little I want from life.
My dad used to say "My friends can borrow anything except my wife, my car and my tools". Considering I have none of the above, my priorities are slightly different.

I don't want so much money I don't know what to do with it.
I know I'm probably never going to own a Ferrari GTO, live in a villa off the Cote d'Azure or play weekend tennis with Maria Sharapova.

All I really need is a woman to make me laugh, a house with a view and enough to get by.

Some people I know have just hit their 30s and are still living off Daddy. That's just so sad.
One chap is a case study.
Biggie's 32, lives with his parents and works for his father. His work for his father is essentially advising his old man on what stocks to buy. If the stock does well, his father gives him 90 per cent. His dad bought him a C-class Kompressor on his 30th birthday and he's just been fixed up with an arranged marriage to a girl who says, "how-were-you" for hello.

On the other hand there are other guys I know who've come from well-to-do families. But not content to rest on their father's laurels, they've forged different paths to success.
GMan took a loan from his dad after college. The latter, a grain exporter, wasn't too happy with his son's decision to start his own furniture design studio, but gave him the money anyway.
That was five years ago... GMan just bought a house in Gurgaon.

Then there are those who started literally from scratch and are now breaking their way into the big bucks.
Ok, so they might be doing some things illegally to get there, but then it wouldn't be India if they didn't.
Rocky was the class failure. He also owned the local gym in PV and ran it like his own personal fiefdom. Rocky got his neighbour's 17-year-old daughter pregnant when he was in school and the families got them married to prevent public embarassment.
The next I heard of him, he was supplying manpower to the Maruti factory, got rid of his ancient Bullet and bought himself a spanking new Beemer.
Ok, so his English is limited and he looks like a serial killer, but he's also the local don and there's shit you can do to him.

For the longest time, I had an extremely strong belief that if I wanted something I'd get it. Whether hooking up with my first real relationship, getting a cool job.. whatever.
But then things are never what they seem. There always seems to be an unforeseen catch somewhere in the woodwork.
The girl was sleeping with her colleague while we were going out and the 'cool job' sucked the life out of me.

I'm quite content where I am right now, for as long as I'm here.
Work is good..fantastic really.
I write on travel, alcohol and occasionaly food besides reviewing sundry gizmos for the tech page. Also anchor the Page Three pages so I get to disburse my own brand of perverted humour. I'm getting paid better than the earlier joint and I walk in past noon and leave at 7.30pm on most days. Plus the bigwigs in this office are way more chilled out than at at the earlier place.

(Not saying that to kiss ass.. You should never kiss spoils the taste)

Besides, this blog got me into the writer's group at the British Council so I should hopefully finish the damn book by next year, the hair is growing properly, the earrings are back, I'v met several interesting women over the past few months, I have no debt, the bills are under control, we've extended the lease on the penthouse and the weather has improved...

What more could I ask for?

Junk food and a cast-iron stomach

I'm stuffing my face with this rubbery kheema naan right now from Anand Dhaba (on Kasturba Gandhi Lane). It's usually pretty good when we order it at the joint, but gets a little chewy by the time the Ramuboy runs down with it.

I used to have a very "delicate system" as older female relatives put it.
And then college happened.
Specifically North Campus, Delhi University where there's something incredibly unhygenic yet incredibly unavoidable on every goddamn street corner. Be it the bhel puri guy outside St Stephen's, Chacha's chole bhature in Kamla Nagar, the bhel puri guy next to the Mother Dairy outside the Arts Faculty, the oil and chutney-drenched samosas and bread pakoras at Tom's outside Khalsa, the scores of 'nimbu-soda' guys peddling all over the place, the kheema naans at D-School, .....
Stomach's rumbling again....

After college, it was the call centre.
Sure, we had a well-equipped cafetaria, but then who wants to eat chips and boring mayo sandwiches when you have a trans-national buffet happening in the parking lot!
You could choose between momos (with itty bits of dust but otherwise edible) stuffed paranthas of every vegetable possible, bread pakoras, kulfi, bhel puri, gol gappas, and more than I can remember.
The main meals in the call centre were catered by some flight caterer. Not much difference in the quality, but eat-all-you-can.

Really got to experiment with the boundaries of gastronomy when I was with the travel mag. Usual junkets meant jumping interstate buses, inter-city trains and grabbing shelter in the middle of the highway when stuck hitch-hiking.
So meals were sometimes leftover dhaba food somewhere before Bilaspur, fresh buffalo chaach somewhere after Gurdaspur, slightly stale missi ki roti and sarson ka saag when the bus broke down once on the way to Kapurthala, and the most incredible honeycomb dessert I've ever had in Farrukhnagar near the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary. Don't try driving after you eat this.

When one lives alone and has a maid with no concept of punctuality, one has to be innovative so as to not go hungry and broke at the same time. Can't keep ordering out, no matter how convenient it is and after a while basic rice and dal becomes tedious to consume.
Since the folks run a Goan restaurant (see later posts) and supplies come regularly from the home state for them, we nick a few goodies. Like a couple of packets of chorizos (spicy Goan sausages) and a couple of bottles of cooking feni.
Trust me, the most insane omelette you will ever try will be a chorizo-feni-cheese combo. You can't have to concentrate and eat!


Spread oil evenly on a frying pan and put on low flame
Dice sausages and remove skin. Add to fire
Crack three eggs
Slice half an onion length-wise
Take two cheese slices and break them up into small chunks
Add onions, salt (to taste) and cheese to eggs
Whip till frothy
Add a splash of milk
Whip some more
Pour mixture on fire
When the upper part of the omelette starts to cook, lift and pour a capful of feni below, directly on the frying pan.
Watch out because it might sizzle and burn your hand.

Forget the ketchup, have this one with Dijon mustard for best results

People are so fussy when it comes to food. Some won't eat brinjal or cabbage or meat. Some won't drink milk, some can't eat on Tuesdays, Fridays, Thursdays....
Some are diet conscious, most don't give a fuck..

Good food is a completely different drug to be on. And you know good food, the second the first morsel touches your tongue.

The only things I won't eat are the mouth freshener that restaurants give you when you're paying your bill and public peanuts on bar counters.
Now that shit is just gross.

Random comments from an alcohol-drenched mind

This is what happens when you drink alone at home and try to feel sorry for yourself. You get half-baked regurgitated philosophy...

1) America, as a nation, actually loves to see dirty linen being washed in public. Right from Watergate to Monicagate. They even have public laundromats from Crissakes so you can see how torn your upstairs neighbour's underwear are.

2) How do you measure your life? By the number of things you own or by the number of people you've affected (adversely or positively)? If you can only answer the first part of the question, you're still wasting your life.

3) How many times have you heard this: when the going gets tough, the tough get going?
How about when the going gets easy? Is it because you're maybe headed downhill?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Something for the paper...

Better off alone

If you’re successful, single and satisfied with the picture, you’re probably part of a growing breed of people who’ve come to be called quirkyalones.

A quirkyalone is a person who enjoys being single. Although not averse to the idea of a relationship, they would rather stay alone than date for the sake of dating.
The concept began as a personality type but attracted so much attention among a diverse group of people who identified with it (married, single, divorced, or widowed) that it grew to become something more: a brand new, articulated set of ideas about being in single and in relationships expressed through a set of vocabulary: quirkyalone, quirkyslut, and quirkytogether (the quirkyalone way of being in a long-term romantic relationship).

Although quirkyalones enjoy solitude, and sometimes even need and crave it, they are not loners. They typically have a strong network of friends and most place a high premium on friendship. Some have even been known to bring friends on dates!
The phrase was coined by Sasha Cagen, a 30-year-old author, who refers to those seemingly happy and solitary singletons (single or ‘re-singled’) using this new term throughout her book of the same name - Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics.

They are part of a growing population in our society who live full and fun lives without feeling the need for a formal marital relationship. In fact many quirkyalones see no reason to even date for the purpose of sex. Their approach to being with others has more to do with friendship and companionship without the need for a primary relationship. It’s their desire for independence, for any number of reasons, which precludes the necessity for a "significant other" in their lives.

However, even though this new all-inclusive term stands a good chance of catching on, there will always be men and women who will prefer single status to any other kind of coupled relationship. They have been with us always and will continue to be throughout the course of human experience. Whether it's their need to completely invest themselves in a career or a mindset that simply cannot see themselves in a marital relationship, the message to the rest of us is that they should be both understood and accepted.

Where's the party yaar?

An eponymous part of Delhi culture, the outdoor rave scene has always been regularly fucked in this city. Either there's dealers getting busted, organisers charging obscene amounts for entry and water or its the drunk puppy crowd that gatecrashes and somehow manage to screw the whole damn party.

Ok ok I know I'm being a little negative.
There have been some really kickass parties in town. The best I remember was when Neuromotor came down to spin at Hindon Farms, Ghaziabad a long, long time ago. The worst was this half-baked, regurgitated Euro-trash thing at Woodstock in Vasant Kunj.

Almost four years of regular outdoor parties later, I'v had enough. I'd rather do the outdoor scene in Goa, but that too has become more tiresome than enjoyable.
People on drugs have just gotten more irritating over the years. Plus when I see children who were in braces and braids just a few years ago, rolling a joint and talking Dead to me.. I feel old.

Which is why I like to throw my own scene once in a while.
Actually the last big blowout we had was in December last year when we called pretty much everybody we knew (with instructions to get their own poison) and more than half landed up with friends in tow.
I don't remember most of it... Sharky got drunk, tried to pee in the kitchen sink, got himself thrown out, whereupon he bolted the apartment door from outside and promptly dropped his cellphone four flights of stairs. When he finally did open the door, he came back in, picked up his car keys and left...switching off the electricity mains on the way out, plunging the whole building into darkness.
Of course everyone was so blasted, it took DesignerGirl and Monutain half an hour to finally go down and investigate.
Sharky, in the meanwhile, was zigzagging and speeding down the Nizamuddin bridge, racing with three guys in a Santro when they pulled him over, got him out and beat the shit out of him with an iron rod. The cops arrived in the nick of time and got him to hospital, but not before they took his wallet, car keys, necklace, and cellphone.

We threw another shindig this past weekend to celebrate a year of not moving out. Although the numbers didn't show, new people landed up like folks from the writer's group - AndAnt with juvenile brother and roomate as well as suspected girlfriend Erato; The Confessor with Shiva and Jeet as well as Dee (finally a girl who carries crazy Mary); also Vikrum with wifey Smita...

Vikrum and Smita's seven circles around the fire was a hell of a lot more fun than a regular wedding.
For starters, both bride and groom were stoned brainless. Both were giggling furiously as they went around, cloth-in-cloth with Cheema throwing flower buds instead of flower petals, missing completely and whacking the priest on the nose.
The other wedding I've been stoned at was Minnie and the Sandyman's, but that was a little bizarre... can't explain why ..
Also met MJ at their wedding... Probably the only woman I have ever loved ... but that's a long, long story.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The thumb rules

Probably the best way to get around without having to pay anything and travel in a different car everyday.

When we were living in PV, I went to college in DU's north univ and normal procedure every day would be to get up around 5, get dressed and get out by 6.30 to make the 60-odd km trek to school.
I'd get to my spot, which was this fork in the road, with both forks heading to town and wait.
If I was lucky, I'd get a ride with someone going as far as Dhaula Kuan, though sometimes I'd hit the jackpot and get a lift right up to Tiz Hazari, which is quite near University
In the six-odd years I was hitching from that spot, during college and when I was working with India Today, I managed to cultivate a few regular 'lift-givers' like Don's Dad, Mrs Gupta, the Takrus and Jeet Kochchar, which made it easier considering all I had to do was make sure I got to that spot before their usual departure time.

From Dhaula Kuan, it was another thumb till Karol Bagh, from there to the Ice Factory, from there to St Stephen's College and then I'd either walk or hitch with any two-wheeler or take a rickshaw.
It was so much easier to get a lift when the pillion helmet rule wasn't enforced so regularly. After that came into force, it just made hitching all that more difficult. Car owners are less likely to give you a lift when compared to bike and scooter owners.
It's also much easier to get a lift if you were hitching with a girl.
But then, that's obvious.
AkShaq, our college ball team centre was this gigantic 6ft6 hulk who'd get lifts almost instantly. Compared to the half-hour-odd other guys would have to wait.
I think people gave him lifts just to see if he'd fit in the car. Once saw him riding pillion on a scooter being ridden by a girl.

After college, getting a ride back south was always a pain, so we'd take the Gurgaon University Special till Dhaula Kuan, head for lunch at Chottu's former place in Moti Bagh, crash for an hour or so and then I'd leave for theatre practice in Gautam Nagar while Chottu would push off to see Jas at the hostel.

After rehearsals got over, around 9.30, I'd hitch with whoever was going toward DK, or if I was lucky, someone staying in Gurgaon would drop me home. Else, it was head to DK, grab a 729 till the Kapashera crossing, grab another bus going to Najafgarh (886, 578, 790), get off at Bijwasan and hitch down the 2km-long village road to get back home by close to midnight.
I think I'd lose it if I still had a routine like that!

Hitching on the highway is faster, because truckers don't mind more company. There's a surprising amount of space in cabs of most desi trucks. Some come with bunk beds too. The down side is the stench of ancient sweat, fumigated urine and suffocating toe-jam that coats your clothes long after you've exited the vehicle.

There are some ground rules when it comes to hitching safely:
1) Never take a lift with shady-looking people who'll stop without you sticking your thumb out
2) Women will never give you a lift, as will old people.
3) The best types to get lifts with are the young corporate executive types. The car's usually smelling nice, there's recognisable English music on the radio, the guy's too busy talking into his handsfree to ask you annoying questions and the chances of getting an air-conditioned car are higher.
4) I'd hop out the second the guy would say he has to make either a short stop or a small detour. You never know how long that is going to take and where he's going to go.
5) To gauge when someone is thinking of stopping, keep a sharp eye out for the left hand (in a car) and watch for a gear change. On a two-wheeler, if the guy's hand reaches out to grab the clutch. This is when you put on your winning smile...being careful not to make it to psychotic and stick your thumb out at right angles to your shoulder.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Exotic supercars and the fake bomb

I think this was either the second or third Auto Expo.

The Doberman, Hammar, NewShit, Kattu, Puffy and self had hired a taxi to get us till the fair and back. Hammar and self were the oldest at roughly 20; the rest were still in school or just started college.
The front passenger seat had a spring sticking out of it, so the last person we picked up, NewShit had to sit up front and direct the driver as well.
This particular Auto Expo was pretty memorable.
Saw my first Ferrari in the flesh. A Testarossa but so what. Even convinced one of the chicks at the stall to let us in so that we could take pictures with the car.
I remember NewShit trying to lick the hood, but don't remember why he was doing it.

After a few hours of walking around, leching shamelessly at both the cars and the women, we decided we'd seen enough of both.
At the gate of the parking lot, NewShit says, "Hey, I'm not sitting in front again."
Hammar comes up with a, "Ok, we'll race from here to the car. Whoever gets there last will have to sit up front."

What we didn't know, is that while we were inside ogling at painted metal, some enterprising young men had phoned in a bomb threat. Apparently said the suspect was wearing a black jacket.
All six of us were wearing black. We didn't know any better.

Anyway, we do our "on your mark...get set.." and are off running through the lot.
We're about halway there, when we hear a megaphone shouting something, but the wind and garbled hiss of the speaker renders instructions useless.

The next thing I hear are a few sharp cracks and a high-pitched whooooosh near my ear.
Before I can look around, a vice-like hand collars me from behind, wrenching my arms behind me and throwing me to the mud.
I look up and it's an extremely pissed-off cop.
Lying face-first down, with mud on my face and on my specs and I spot the others being similarly treated.

The cops haul us to where an important-looking policeman is standing, glaring at us.
"Why were you running?" he asks, still looking down his nose at us, while also barking orders into his walkie-talkie.
We explained.
All he did was stare at us with an incredulous expression before he and his cronies burst into guffawing laughter.

The call centre melting pot

The two years I worked for GE's call centre in Gurgaon (as well as to some extent, the six months I spent at HCL in Noida) really put me in touch with a lot of characters from across the country.

A big bear of a man, Chadha used to be a truck driver in Solan (up in Himachal Pradesh) where his dad ran a cargo and taxi company.
Besides trucks, he'd also ferry tourists between Chandigarh and Himachal. GE's enterprising recruiters selected him and he came down to Gurgaon with (much like most of other out-station recruits) a suitcase and a mattress.
First impressions are never last impressions.
From a meagre vocabulary on his first trip to town, he educated himself on the important things like the history of rock, the Lizard King's biography, the Diary of Anne Frank, the music of Miles Davis and much more..
Two years of collecting on tight-fisted American credit card holders and he's now a project head at Dell in Chandigarh.
Getting married later this year too. Did damn fucking good for himself.

If you wanted to have a conversation with this dude, you had to be prepared to spend at least an hour. Not because he spoke a lot. If you've remember the turtle in Finding Nemo, you'll know what I mean. Beniwal went to Australia to study hotel management and managed to get himslef hooked to hard core drugs while he was there.
His brother, a dentist, found work in a dental college in, of all places, Manali. So both brothers would be in this constant state of chilllllll.
Beniwal did some fucked up shit while he was at GE. He didn't come to work for a week, so our manager called up his parents (he was living with them).. and she said, "Rajiv's been kidnapped!!"
He didn't come to work for three months after that. When he finally did reappear, looking thinner but just as wasted, he had this bizarre tale to tell.
In his words "I was hitching on the highway from Sector 15, when three guys in a black Cielo stopped to give me a lift. I got in and they got me till IFFCO chowk, when one of them stuck me with a needle and I blacked out. When I woke up, I was tied to a chair in what looked like a farmhouse and these guys were pumping all sorts of wierd shit into my arm"...

Actually, his parents checked him into rehab after they found smack on him and didn't want the world to know. The next I met him, he'd quit the call centre, was working for a hotel, where he'd met some random woman. A week after I met him and his girl, they got married in an Arya Samaj mandir in Gurgaon without telling his folks and ran away to Hyderabad the same day. Wonder where he is now.

The call centre is a completely different world. Onec you get sucked in, its extremely difficult to stay in touch with other friends. Work becomes your life and absolutely mundane shit like MIS reports and cab timings while hourly, daily, weekly and monthly assessments begin to dictate your behaviour and lifestyle.

Usual evening shifts at GE were getting into office by 5pm. Before they tore down the lawn and put up a parking lot, 22a Sector 18, Udyog Vihar was a chiller place to smoke.
The front lawn in office had a smallish landscaped hil with a couple of biggish trees near the wall. The trees had thick foliage and there were a couple of benches where we could sit and smoke.
Normal procedure would be one person rolling in the loo (or in the office bus on the way to work) and then meeting the rest 15 minutes before login time to smoke the first for the day.
The circle under the tree never broke. At least I never saw it breaking.
The moment one group were done with their spliff, a second group of stoners from some different department would come by and light up.
Of the 8,000-odd people in GE at that time, roughly 3/4th were smokers, out of which at least 1/3rd were stoners.
That's a lot of people!
We'd smoke another before the dinner break and another in the last 10-minute break before the final one at the 2am log-off.
The best times to smoke in GE were when the morons in GE Med Systems didn't want to work and would make hoax bomb calls.
They'd do this about once in six months and the Haryana police bomb squad would show up and empty all of us out into the service lane.
We'd all park ourselves in the green belt/park area for a few hours while they checked the premises ... ample time to run to Zaika for a beer too!
Meals at GE were pretty cool. There was a sprinkling of people from all over the country in each 14-member team. All the teams usually ate together so there was always a lot of conversation in Bengali, Marathi, Oriya, Assamese, Tamil, Malayalam and more between tables and at the buffet counter.
Office parties meant beer on tap, countless hot women, average music and getting the company cabs to drop you home, pissed drunk and fuck stoned.

I think everybody should work in a (good) call centre for at least 6 months after college. It exposes you to a variety of people you wouldn't normally meet, the money's pretty decent and there's always something happening.
Our call centre anthem was that Dire Straits song ..Money for nothing.. Don't think I need to elaborate why.

stoner story 9 - Teen drama and the Doberman

This happened some time in the summer of last year.

Sharky and self were at my place, gargling with Mallya's brew and inhaling Mary.
The Doberman, NewShit and Puffy were supposed to come by my place from PV (where we were all chaddi-buddies) to pick up an invite for Elevate's first anniversary do.

1 am and no sign of them, so were about to call it, when the Doberman calls. "Dude, the cops have caught us, they're taking us to the cop joint.. please help!!"

What had happened was that these guys had taken a wrong turn, realised they had taken a wrong turn and reversed with tyres screeching. The local cops-on-Bullet pulled them over to ask where they were going and where they were coming from.
One of them, I don't know who, pulled the window down, blew a cloud of sweet smoke into the cop's face and says, "Ke hai?" (Haryanvi for wassup)
Really not a good idea.
The cops pulled them all out, searched them and immediately found five tolas of pretty decent shit on the Doberman, stuck conveniently in the front pocket of his jeans.

Sharky and self eventually hauled our asses down to the thana, reeking of beer.

When we got there, these guys were behaving like it was all a joke. Except for NewShit who was literally shitting bricks. One of the Doberman's friends was also with them.
The Doberman and his friend study in Canada and NewShit in England and both definitely did not want to fuck up their futures.

Although the cops were initially a little 'wary' of us (because of the beer), we told them we'd walked down and had been drinking at home.
The inspector warms up to us once he learns that Sharky's a criminal lawyer and I'm with the press and orders coffees while he tells us exactly what happened.
All this while, the hash is lying inches from my hand on the inspector's table.
And that was a LOT of hash.
The cop sees me looking at it; its hard not to, and asks me, "Aap bhi peethe ho?" (You smoke also?)
"Haan, pehle karthe the, college mein. Ab nahi karte." (Used to, in college, not anymore)
Seems to believe me, because he drops the subject and waves at one of his flunkies to get the guys in.
The cops are pretty pissed at these guys for
A) no respect
B) talking shit and
C) trying to lie and bull their way out

Actually, the only person they're really pissed with is the Doberman.
When they come in, an argument starts with the Doberman's friend telling the J'pura cops, "I want my phone call, I think I'm entitled to one phone call."
The cop explains to him that if he speaks to him in that tone again, he's never going to be able to make a phone call ever in his life.
That pretty much shuts them up.
The cockiness of the young and dumb is immeasurable.

Despite the cops desperate urge to get the guys in a little dark room with no windows and a thick stick, the inspector finally agreed to not book them and to get them to call their parents instead.
It being Friday night, the cops would have kept them there till Monday morning.
We go in to tell the four of them that they aren't going to be booked, they just have to call their folks and get them to sort it out.
Three panicked voices yell, "No fucking way man" "I gotta get back to Canada, my folks will ground me if they find out about this" "Dude, my mom caught me just last month with weed, she can't find out about this."

Despite trying to convince them of the "lesser of the two evils", they don't relent.
Except NewShit who calls his house and passes the phone to the inspector.
NewShit was always the good older son when compared to ReShit, the future mob boss, so I can't imagine what his dad must have thought when he gets a call at 4am saying "Haanji..are you Mr Bhajji? I'm calling from J'pura police station, we have your son NewShit standing in front of us."

His dad came an hour later, the inspector explained the situation to him and we could make out former was relieved his son wasn't a culprit or accomplice.
NewShit's dad then drove former and Puffy home, while self waited it out for the Doberman to see reason and change his mind.
Which he did finally at almost 6am. The inspector told his father the same thing... nothing about the drugs.
The cops had left the main room for a minute and the Doberman whispers to me, "They don't know how much there is..pick up some and put it in your pocket,"
I look at him and tell him he needs a booyakasha. (Swift kick of reality to the head)

His folks drive up through a crowd of milkmen and the newsboys, mildly surpised to see me there.
The inspector took his folks in and started this long diatribe on how kids today have no respect for their elders and the Doberman's folks are thinking.. oh, that's all.. he was probably rude to some cop.. because his dad starts giving him another lecture on values and what he's been brought up with.'
Issue of respect closed, his folks are getting up to leave and the cop drops the maal on the tabel, saying, "There's also this."
His folks looked a little shell-shocked .. didn't know quite what to do ..

I'd had enough entertainment for the night, so I slunk home without waiting to see the Doberman getting raped.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Close encounters of the wierd kind

It usually starts with a shadow of a shiver teasing the small of your back, before digging inward, chilling your gut with raw fear.

Of the several times this has happened, the eeriest was when W and self were motoring back from Calangute to Ashvem on the leftovers of a Kinetic Honda.
Too much beer on the beach had ensured bladders fit to burst while a drunken U-turn made sure we were heading the wrong way.
The thing about urinating (to be polite) is that you can never hold it. When the torrent is unleashed and the turbines begin pumping, you HAVE to ensure immediate release.
Not like bombing Pakistan, which can be controlled through self-taught 'yogic movements'.

Anyway.. getting back to the story, we were careening down this curving village road with no headlight (thanks to a helpful cow), no streetlights (thanks to the Goan government) and just a tad drunk (thanks to Sandyman).
A cool night breeze and the rushing of the Zuari river meant we had to take a quick stop or risk sprinkling each other. We pulled over at what looked like any other strectch of road and unzip at the nearest wall.
The night was so black, we had to use the light from our cellphones to find our zippers.
Which we did after much fumbling and cursing.

As near-identical jets of liquid fertiliser hit the wall in front, a lazy streetlight flickered on behind us. The cavernous, echoing mouth of the well we were pissing on was the first thing we saw.
Having just been scared shitless by The Ring, wells weren't anywhere we would have liked to be. Plus the alcohol and an endless supply of Mary had set paranoia levels on maximum.

Spurting leftovers at its yawning mouth, we raced to the scooter and hopped on. Shouting to be heard over the whine of the scooter, I leaned forward to tell W that we'd had a lucky escape from the witch of the well when we see HIM coming toward us.
At first all we could see was long, waist lenght white hair and an even longer beard and I tell you watching hair running toward you can do serious things to your belief in the spiritual.
HIS skin was so dark, it was near invisible with the dregs of a loincloth wrapped around his waist
HE was running at a wolvish lope and as he came up on us, he slowed down, staring us right in the eyes. Ancient black eyes with no whites. Or maybe I was too blasted to see the whites.

The second he looked at us, W wobbled a bit on the scooter and we had to pull an emergency stop. When we looked back, all we could see was the faint lights of the village we'd just left. Looking around, the paranoia returned tenfold.
To our left, the moonwashed bones of a cemetery lay before us ... stretching out to the sea, to our right, a gigantic Banyan tree looked down at us, its dreadlocks groaning menacingly.
All that W had to say at that point was, "Oh BHENCHOTH!!!


Back when we used to live in PV, there was a school right next door to home. The school's basketball court was a wall-hop away and that's where all the neighbourhood boys would get together in the evening for 3-odd hours of full court.
Since PV was entirely village land before Ansals bought over, there are several pockets within the colony that still belong to the villagers.
Like the cremation ground a hedge away from the court.
Occasionally, but not often, we'd see a line of villagers in white with a body wrapped in a shroud, parading into the area from the other side, gingerly stepping between mounds of ash.

We had to stop playing every time this happened because they'd get pissed with us bouncing the ball and the general commotion.
Besides, being downwind from a burning body can be pretty goddamn nauseating.

This once, the villagers had chased us off, but a few of us came back later to catch a last game of half court before heading home. It was winter and it was dark by this time, but the court had bright orange lights that we could switch on when we were playing.
Fifteen minutes into the game and Vikky the Beast chucks the ball at the hoop in a desperate attempt to score. The ball goes over the board, past the hedge and into the cremation ground.
Almost on cue, the court lights blink out and through the dark mist we hear the disembodied voice of the school's security guard telling us to fuck off and go home.
But we couldn't leave without the ball. We'd all pooled in and bought a brand new Spalding. At that time, these were prized possessions.

So we sent the Beast in to retrieve it, since he'd been the one to dispose of it.
To help him, we all stood by the hedge and shouted verbal encouragement like, "abbe gandu, tatti math karne lag jaana" and "bhen ke lode, andar kya kar raha hai? Kahan mar gaya saala?"

With no streetlights and a slight mist, we couldn't see anything past the hedge except for the blurred outlines of silent mounds.

All of a sudden, we see Viky the Beast. He's got the ball in his hands, but he's backing out of the cremation ground. We shoout at him to turn and run, but he doesn't listen to us, clutching the ball tight, he keeps stepping backward while still looking straight in front.
We could see him tripping, and with the precise aim of the dumbass, lands stomach-up in a pile of white ash. There's a sickening thunk sound that follows and the next thing we see is the Beast flying over the hedge, ball still in his grasp, face white with fear ... but all right.
We gather around him and dust him off, laughing at him and ourselves when one of us, lets out a canine howl - a pretty common thing to do in such circumstances.
He never expected to get a reply.
A deep, low howl ending in a strangled cough that could also have been a bark.
At first, we thought it was a dog and there were a lot of them in PV.
And then we heard the cracking sound of twigs being crushed by a heavy weight... from within the cremation ground

No idea what happened next because it took the six of us roughly two seconds to jump the wall and run to the club for cover.


This past time, when I went to Goa with Lulu, Fez and AFA, we'd gone to Arambol to check on the graves of Fez's grandparents. It was a bright, hot Friday afternoon and we'd just been chilling on Vagator.
When we get to the graveyard, it's locked, so Fez goes to look for the priest, while Lulu, AFA and self sit around outside.
The priest eventually, woken from siesta, strolls up the hill to open the gate.
The graveyard's a disaster. The markers are wooden sticks that have rotted and fallen away. Dead flowers, dry brown grass, burnt scrub and not a single cared for tombstone.
It took us a while to find Fez's grandmother's marker, because she'd been moved into the wall. Since we hadn't had the time to buy flowers, Fez broke two branches of bougainvillea to stick upright into her marker.
We said a small prayer and then started looking for Fez's grandfather. Lulu found him on the opposite side of the cemetery. Another grave covered in trash and dead vegetation.
Fez bent down to clean the grave of rubbish and Lulu said, "We should have got more flowers, we don't have anything to put here."

Right that instant, one of the branches of bougainvillea stuck in Fez's grandma's marker, bent down and turned to point in his grandfather's direction.
As if to say, "Here, take this."

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The holes in my head are back

Finally took time out to get my ears 're-pierced' today.
Used to wear silver hoops till I lost one and took out the other...

Also used to have a ring in my eyebrow till it started affecting my sinus, besides getting caught in blankets, towels and bras.

Used to have three in each year (two studs and a hoop) in college too till it became a pain taking them out and putting them back before and after ball practice and tournaments.

Can't wait to get the studs out and get the black hoops back in...

Hopefully next month, I should be in a financial position to get my tattoos connected.
I have the portrait of Christ on my right shoulder and the Ferrari horse on my left.

The Christ will get the Garden of Eden below him (on my right bicep) complete with exotic orchids, birds, friendly fauna and a naked Eve wrapped in a vine. From the back of the Christ portrait, I was thinking of getting a tribal wing that extends behind, across my right shoulder blade.
Above the crown of thorns in an arc, I want to get these words in a cursive font: sapere aude sincere et constante
This was on the centre of our school emblem and I think it makes sense to have it there...

The Prancing Pony needs a revamp too.
Maybe turn it into the Sagittarius centaur with an indentical tribal wing across my left shoulder blade.
Hmmm... was also thinking about bringing the tribal design in front, and run it just below my collar bones till the point where the rib cage starts.

I don't want to get too much done. Just upper torso and maybe a Celtic dragon around my right calf when I'm 30.

Mike was right. Tattooing is addictive, especially after all the attention you get.

Balls to you too!!!

It's begun.
For the next month, beer sales in J'pura are going to skyrocket.
Went by the theks on Saturday to pick up some. Couldn't even see the counter.
Football fans from all ages, races and financial backgrounds... and ALL buying beer!!!

Im usually only interested in football when the World Cup rolls around. Else I'll watch random matches between random teams at vague hours of the morning when I'm buzzing from left over drugs and need something to watch on TV.

Although Brazil are perennial favourites, I think Ecuador will be the surprise of the tournament.
Now that the big screen is in the house, game time is going to take on a completely different dimension.

The Brazillian embassy sent a press invite to come watch the first match (with Croatia) with a samba atmosphere. Am going to round up some people into going with me. The fuck up is that it's at half past midnight, and most fans I know will be thinking about work the next day.

Was watching the Ecuador-Poland match and was placing inconsequential bets on random shit (What colour are the referees' socks? no.. don't look at the TV)
With sides like these, it's best to support the attacking side... at least there might be more goals!!

Yesterday was one non stop adrenalin trip.
I'm reviewing a Sony Bravia currently, which is a 41inch LCD flat screen that came with a 5.1 Sony surround system. It almost fills one entire wall .. its so goddamn big!!

Started yesterday with a spliff, coffee, crossword, and Game 1 of the NBA finals... Dallas and Miami. Rerun, but so what.
After a spate of 'druggie movies' - Lock Stock, Trainspotting, Fear and Loathing and Blow, with Mary for company, evening came and brought Kbeer with it.
Kbeer brought some magic malt with him to grease our gullets for the shouting ahead.
Never had so much good sports to watch on one day. Didn't watch a lot of F1 because we were watching football and the French Open at the same time. (This TV has picture-in-picture too)
After Nadal sorted himself out, we switched to the cricket match where India, for a change, were on a roll of sorts.

This TV has been ruling my life for the past week. All I do when I come home everyday, is to switch it on, crash on the couch, roll a spliff and get sucked in.

I need a distraction..

Friday, June 09, 2006

Nonsensical rhyming

A great man once asked me, "If purple monkeys don't fly, why do I only see them when I'm high?"

To which I replied, "No fucking clue man ... but you could pass the joint."

Nursery rhymes revamped

21st century nursery rhymes

Mary had a little skirt
with splits right up the sides,
and every time that Mary walked
the boys could see her thighs.
Mary had another skirt
twas split right up the front,...
but she didn't wear that one very often.

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet,
her clothes all tattered and torn.
It wasn't the spider that crept beside her,
but Little Boy Blue and his horn.

Simple Simon met a pieman, going to the fair.
Said Simple Simon to the pieman,
"What have you got there?"
Said the pieman unto Simon,"Pies, you dickhead."

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the kings horses and all the kings men
Said, "Fuck him, he's just an egg.

Mary had a little lamb.
It ran into a pylon.
10,000 volts went up its ass
and turned its wool to nylon

Georgie Porgy pudding 'n pie,
kissed the girls and made them cry.
When the boys came out to play,
he kissed them too, 'cause he was gay

Punjabi nursery rhymes

'Pussy cat Pussy cat, where have you been?'
'I have been to London to see the Queen'
'Pussy cat Pussy cat what did you there?'
'I frightened a little mouse under the chair!'

Punjabi Translation:
Mano Billi, Mano Billi, kithe gai si?'
'Rani Ji nu milan main vilayat gai si'
'Ki chan chareya tu othe ja ke?'
'Ghar wapis aa gai main chuhe kha ke!'

'Baa Baa Black sheep have you any wool?'
'Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full
One for the master, one for the dame,
And one for the little boy who lives down the lane.'

Punjabi Translation:
'Kali Bhed, Kali Bhed, hai kucch unn?'
'Haan bhai,Haan bhai, Tin pandan gin,
Ek tere waste, ek teri woti lai
Ek us munde lai jehra khara raste'.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,
All the kings' horses, all the kings' men
Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again

Punjabi Translation:
Baba Karanil Singh baitha si Dukaan te'
Baba Karnail Singh diggya dhadam se,
Pind de log phir aa ke kehan lagge,
Baba Karnail Singh te gaya hun kaam se.

Don't they sound a lot better in Punjabi?

Another very violent sing-along we wrote in school. You could substitue 'teacher' with boss, editor, whatever..
We used to sing this to the tune of Chariots of Fire for some reason...

On top of Ol' Smokey
All covered with blood
I shot my poor teacher
With an M16 gun

I shot her with pleasure
I shot her with pride
I couldn't have missed her
She's a few feet wide

I went to her funeral
I stood by her grave
While others threw flowers
I threw a greande

I met her in heaven
In that holy place
She came up to say hello
I shat in her face

My bitches and more.....

The first bitch I had to live with was an annoying little yapper that just wouldn't shut her trap. Whisky was her name and destruction of furniture was her game.
Bambi followed Whisky when we moved to the boondocks and discovered her shivering under the stairs.
Ten years later when we moved to PV, Dad got a little canine crazy. Mamma used to hang around outside with her sons and lovers, Simba and Doogie but my father soon invited them in.
They were followed by .. what else .. pups - Ebony, Alien, ChooChoo, The General and Junior.
Pickles wandered in a few years later, as did Dipstick and the most impressive of the lot - Spinner.
Pickles is half Rottweiler-half Doberman. So he has a big head and a smal ass. Women with covered legs (skirts, pants, jans) should beware when they meet Pickles, because he likes to hump cloth-covered legs. Of course, his massive slavering mug is inches from your face, so there's not much you can do about it except hang on to the sofa.

Sameera was and still is another favourite . She even stayed with self and the sister for a short while when she was being picked on by the bigger boys.
We found her one day, a small scrawny pup with emerald green eyes and pink nose, climbing the tree in front of the house. Half dog-half cat-half pig.
She's now so fat and her back's so flat, you can balance a tea tray on her.

Spinner had the most tragic puppyhood. He was run over by a car near our house and neighbours dropped him off on our driveway. He had a huge pus ball on his head, probably internal bleeding. When the vet sliced it open, he also damaged his vision. This is why Spinner had to live, permanently, on the first floor, away from the other male dogs.
When feeding time came, twive every day, we'd place his bowl in the middle of the room and he'd spin around and round till he got to it.
Sister would be evil sometimes and hold his bowl over his head where he could smell it but not reach it.
Spinner died the day the folks moved from PV.
All the furniture had been removed from the first floor and he'd lost his bearing and sanity. My father tried to slip him some Calmpose in a bowl of milk, but the blind bastard was completely disoriented.
Since we had so many dogs, and my father was running Maneka Gandhi's dog shelter in Gurgaon, we had trappers from the pound helping us get all the dogs sedated and on the truck.
Spinner refused to be sedated, so these guys slipped a noose around his neck.
Spinner flipped it. He was a big dog... a little larger than a Retriever and extremely muscular. So when he started convulsing, growling and biting everyone in sight, the handlers had to use the noose to get him down the stairs. He bit his tongue and bled all the way down the stairs, across the living room and driveway.
The family was devastated when he died. We'd lost a lot of dogs over the years to various causes - mange, distemper, hit-and-runs, poisoning by the neighbours but this mutt was particularly hard to get over.

They're getting old now. Pickles has lost most of his fire, he just sits in the shade most of the day. Junior, once very aggresive, huddles under the couch, Bambi has cataracts and no teeth and Sameera's developed arthiritis.

They may have destroyed countless shoes, chewed their way through three sets of furniture, bitten half-a-dozen annoying neighbourhood children and woken up everybody everyday at 2am for their nocturnal argument.. but they've always been an integral part of this family...

The apple never falls far from the tree

This is something my folks and Nana told me... I have no recollection of any of these events.

The year was either 1983 or 84 and the Delhi section of the clan had carted themselves down to Goa in the blissfully searing heat of May.
This was the first time I was going to Goa, or specifically the family home.
To get to the village - Divar - you have to drive east from Panjim down to Old Goa and take the ferry across the road from the Bom Jesu Cathedral.

After you cross the river, you have to drive about a kilometre through paddy fields till you get to the fork in the road. We were all packed into two Ambassadors and self, sister and the folks were in the lead car with cousins, aunt and Nana bringing up the rear.

According to my folks, even though my father was foggy on the directions, I led the taxi driver right till the house, unerringly through winding village lanes.
When we got to the house, I'm supposed to have jumped out, run to the balcaon (the porch in every Goan home) and said, "At last I'm home," in Portuguese.
I can't speak, read or write Portuguese .. except for maybe a few gaalis.

Later that evening, the villagers put together a little fiesta for us (everyone's related to everyone on the island) and some of the older gents had rigged out an impromtu gig with a sax, tuba, couple of horns and a guitar.

One Mr Mascarenhas was playing the saxophone and I'm supposed to have gone up to him, sat down next to him and stared at him shamelessly for half an hour before pointing to the sax and saying, "Give that back, that's mine."

Mr Mascarenhas apparantly got up in indignation at the little brat and asked who I belonged to.
My grandfather's name was Bernard. He took the aerial route before I saw daylight, but I was named after him.
When someone shouted, "That's Bernard's grandson," Mr Mascarenhas allegedly turned white, said, "Well, this is Bernard's saxophone," and fainted.

A few days later, there was some argument over visiting relatives and hitting the beach between Nana and Dad, and I'm, again, supposed to have walked into the room and, in Portuguese, chided my grandmother for yelling at my father, and told everyone to pack the picnic baskets and head to Calangute.
This episode apparantly had everyone psyched out. Divar is typically superstitous rural India, so within a matter of hours, the wailing women had turned up with chillies and amulets to ward off the 'evil spirit'.
My family never did know what to make of it, but there's still ancient Flavia Esmeralda Coutinho who still calls me 'the strange little boy'. Except, this past time when I went visiting, the hair, the beard and the tattoos were too much for her.

I have absolutely no recollection of the trips to Goa with my folks (in 1983, 84 and 85), although I do have hazy memories of concurrent events.
The following year, when Mr and Mrs Mascarenhas came to Delhi to get their visas for America, they refused to stay in the house with the boy with the 'evil eye'.

Wierd shit still happens occasionally when I'm in Goa, though never frequently. It's never anything tangible although it's always reassuring somehow...
Forgotten scents, nostalgic bylanes, snippets of fleeting overheard conversation by familiar strangers, and the music... always the music...

Yet some more travel crap for the paper..

Tripping in leopard country - Mukteshwar

Old man Corbett said there was ‘no place more beautiful than this and no climate anymore salubrious’. Nothing much has changed since he last ran around the slopes chasing Spots.

Like most of the smaller hill towns in Uttaranchal, such as Ranikhet and Lansdowne, Mukteshwar’s charm lies in the complete absence of commercial commotion.
At an altitude of 2,286 metres, this little village is 51 km from Nainital and is engulfed with fruit-laden orchards and dense coniferous foliage.

The view from here is simply unbelievable. Pick a spot higher up any of the hills and the panoramic view of the snow-kissed Himalayas is a breath-taking sight.
People have to ‘do something’ while on vacation can give this place the skip. Unless you want put those hamstrings into action on some picturesque trekking routes.

Just before you reach the village, you can stop by the Mukteshwar temple, which is just off the road. You’ll have to climb a bit to get to it. Take a stroll down to Chauthi Jaali, a rocky cliff protruding out of the hillside. If you lean over the slanting rocks, you can see the base of the mountain but make sure someone has you by the collar!

At night, the locals say you can hear the big cats, or at least their coughing grunts. But after paying too much attention to Bacchus, one’s sensory perception went into coma.
If you look very hard, you might spot a pug mark, but it will most probably be a confused dog rather than a leopard.

As with all small hill stations neighbouring Nainital, the drive is part of the vacation. To get here from Nainital, you wind your way through ancient oak and pine sentinels, passing the occasional waterfall and shell-shocked shepherd boy on the way.

Accommodation options in Mukteshwar includes the nostalgic Corbett Cottage, an offbeat PWD exotic bungalow, complete with red-tiled roof, marble fireplaces and a sun-washed private lawn with a fantastic view of the valley. The cottage has retained its colonial charm ever since JC came to shoot the notorious Mukteshwar tigress.
The Mountain Trail resort is an eco-friendly joint with spacious double-bedded rooms, a restaurant, gift shop, quarters for travelling help, indoor sports and horrors, a disco!
For those who like their Himalayas undiluted, Camp Purple offers safari tents with comfortable camp cots, mattresses and sleeping bags. Electricity use is limited to the bare necessities, as the camp operators prefer guests to enjoy the great outdoors.

Reserve roughly a week for yourself when you come here. One day to get here, four days to soak it in and the last to force yourself to leave.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Skipping wheels of rhyme

Those of us fortunate enough to live surrounded by trees will have noticed that the wind through the leaves on a stormy night sounds like the ocean.

Last night Super Girl came over for a spliff or two. We were sitting on the terrace and it was absolutely still till we complained of the heat.

Also noticed that the Ashoka in front of my house looks sort of like a horse sitting on its bum. And when it turns, it looks like a dog..

The ocean is a view I'd love to have from my bedroom window. Preferably a bedroom in a cliffside hacienda overlooking Vagator Hill where I live with my Brazilian model girlfriend.

Every time we've gone to Goa, we've lived on the beach despite the ancestral pad and relatives crawling in the woodwork. Considering the ancestral pad is in the middle of Divar (an island on the Mandovi river, which you have to take a ferry to get to) and the last ferry is at 9pm, and the house is surrounded by nosy relatives makes it .. umm ... unfeasible.

The past few times I've gone, I've had the misfortune to have gone with people who hadn't been to Goa before. So I couldn't do my thing.
My Goa vacation is getting up early around 8 and heading to the nearest shack in a sarong with rolling bowl, towel and fiction novel.
Grab a beach chair staring at the horizon, spread the towel, order a fresh juice of whatever fruit, roll a sparker, spread some suntan lotion and cook.

Around lunch, follow the rest into the shade for beer and crab, before roling one more and heading back to the lounger.
Approximately around sunset, roll one more, towel off and head back to the room for a shower. Post showers, everyone meets at a pre-determined place for dinner, after which, its time to hit the clubs in Baga, Anjuna, Calangute, wherever.. heading to the open parties some time after midnight.

The first time I popped ecstacy was in Goa too... Millenium New Year's Eve night at Disco Valley in Vagator.
I remember nothing happening for some time after I swallowed it and then a rush of something warm in my stomach that compressed into a ball before exploding mildly to stick to the sides of my stomach. This sensation then slowly spread to the tips of my fingers and toes till I felt like my body was humming.
I bounced once and immediately went doiiiiiiiiiing!!! felt like I was on the moon, I was higher than the DJ sitting in the cliff, looking over my shoulder, I could see the lights of the ships rolling over the horizon. I came back down and took off again.
It was an incredible feeling... the rush of air through my hair as I reached for the stars, the catch in my gut as I came floating down to land..
I remember the sun coming up and trying to touch it... burning my fingers in its yellow gel..

I woke to see my feet dotted in orange-sized blisters (since I'd been jumping barefoot) with assorted cuts and bruises. Coudln't walk much for the rest of the trip.

Lucy is another seductress I'd like to see occasionally, but not often.
Danced with her in PV once and was walking home with the some buds.
This was in winter and PV had tendrils of fog weaving in and out of empty plots, creating different worlds under the orange street lamps.
Everything looked like death... random rickshawwallas floating by shrouded in sackcloth, a forlorn stray dog staring out from under a parked car and everywhere the deafening sound of silence.

We turn a corner and down the lane, through the mist, to our horror, we see a house on fire!
The entire three-storey structure was in flames with people running up and down with buckets of water; shouting and commotion filling the night.
We start walking faster but the closer we get to the house, the fire begins to dwindle till when we reach the spot.....
It was two security guards warming their hands by a fire.
Their shadows, on the wall behind them, looked at us and laughed.

I don't like the coke high.
With Mary, Lucy, E and mushies, it's always a colourful trip. With coke, it's this grainy, nerves-on-edge world of grey.
With aforementioned four, sound can do wonderful things to your brain. With coke, music turns to the screeching grating of a train wreck.
Methinks everyone wants to do coke because they think its cool to do coke...

Monday, June 05, 2006

Touching up the tatts

Got the eyes refocused..

Could you pass the soup please?

A really big word when you think about it.
Everybody comes from a different one, the same they propogate, espouse and defend when a different culture says things can be done another way.
It isn't just about black, white and shades of grey... it's about how the colours change when viewed from a different perspective.

You think you live in a society where everybody does things a certain way. You're probably wrong.
If you live in a city like Delhi or Mumbai, there's a completely different culture existing in the flat above you or the house across the street.
Outwardly, all may appear normal, but if you visit, you'll notice the small differences.
The differences don't just emanate from religious barriers, it's also which part of the country or the world you come from, what your parents or you do for a living, individual personality quirks, the way they cook and eat their food..

Its bizarre, the incapacity for tolerance some people possess when they're faced with another culture. What ever their parents have taught them is the God-honest truth and there is no better way to live your life. If you don't even know a different way exists..

One of the older women in office was saying my tattoos freak her out..that she can't imagine being married to someone with tattoos. Asks me, "What will your wife say when you show her those?"
Er.. wouldn't she already know that before we waste all that time, energy and money?

So maybe understanding a drug culture is harder for people to understand.
Once you're labelled a stoner that tends to be your only definition for some people no matter what your capable of.

Everyone's entitled to their own opinion. As long as they don't force every body else to accept theirs as the only opinion. But that is rarely the case.

Another thing north Indians are famous for is staring. Open-mouthed, expressionless faces looking at you like you've dropped out of orbit with a toothpick up your ass.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The bartender chronicles

I try and get behind the bar at every possible house party.
Not just because I can fix myself a stiff one when no one's looking...heck I'll do that anyway.. but more so I can experiment on other people... especially the types that say, "No yaa..I don't drink..i'll have a Breezer..."
So I do give them a Breezer with a splash of whisky, vodka or both.

People who don't drink regularly or much, have absolutely no idea when or how they get drunk.

"Hey man.. take it easy, you've had too much to drink.. stop flirting with the curtain.."
" Haa? Wha? whostheere? whoyou?" .... and then a happily-slurred, "heyyyyy babbyyy.." to the vase before falling face first into the pot.

Women are even funnier because some refuse to admit that its their fault they got drunk.
When I'm behind the bar, I have just one rule: If you can't handle your booze, then don't ask me to fix you one. I don't overdo the booze, but I might add a splash of something else from somwhere else.
If you want a Breezer, the opener's by the fridge.

Of all the fucked up things that have been invented at parties past, the most innovative was the tequila-milk shot.
Try it, but only if you want to see what it tastes like.
Another was when we got our hands on a bottle of chilled Sauvignon and a frozen bottle of vodka. Poured both into a blender, added ice, bananas and cucumber.
Woke up the next morning and the blender was empty. The last I remember of that night was something about a dragonfly circus and a blind security guard.

Last office party we had, I was behind the bar the too. Don't remember clearly what happened that night but one of the senior citizens in my department (who's an avowed teetotaller) got wayy to happy for her own good.
Driving from South Ex to Asiad (which is really just a right turn), she drove across the river, across the state border into Noida and then blames me the next day for fiddling with her drinks.
Heck lady, if your sense of direction is fucked, how is that my fault?

Good drinks to make at home:
The easy mojito: Old Monk rum, Coke (not Pepsi) lime wedges, salt and mint leaves. Pro bartenders will first 'muddle' your drink with sugar syrup. This increases the potency of the drink but there's hardly any booze in it to begin with.
(Note: All cocktails in all pubs, bars and clubs are made with 30ml alcohol..most times even less)
Fuck the sugar. It dehydrates you and you can't have more than a few rounds.

Whisky screwdriver: The same as you would with vodka except with whisky. Obviously, please don't humiliate your Glenfiddich by mixing it with OJ.

Vodka sherbet: Roohafza and vodka. Be generous with the vodka. This one will knock your socks off if you drink it too fast.

Breezer shandy: Much like a beer shandy, except its the Breezer IN the beer. Chose flavours carefully...stick to the lime-flavoured Breezer for this one.

The best booze for your buck? Personally, the award for the best dark rum in the country should go to Sikkim Rum, though I still have vivid memories of the full-bodied flavour of Fireball. Old Monk is also pretty good too.
I'm not much of a whiskey drinker. Usually only at press conference lunches or events because that's the only combo that will be brought around to the tables by an obliging waiter. You have to crash the bar for anything else.
I avoid vodka and white rum as far as possible. Both give me headaches and horribly uncontrollable hangovers..
Beer was, is and always will be the perfect summer companion, long-drive-drinking-buddy, picnic pal, met-long-lost-friend-in-the-market-so-going-for-a-drink? Beer is what you'll have.

Met some chick last week (don't remember who) who said, "Eewww, how can you drink beer..its so bitter.. Well girlie, beer may be hard to get used to, but its just as hard to kick.


Quite a few people who've been reading this, have said I should tone down references to Mary ..
Some because they're concerned the cops will bust my ass, some because it makes them uncomfortable...
Uncomfortable because they come from sheltered lives where a different set of rules apply. Some have said I should not talk so much about it in the wake of Rahul Mahajan's OD....

First, some facts that are can be supported by any medical institution in the world:
Zero people OD on pot
Zero people feel hostile after pot
Pot is cleaner and safer to smoke than tobacco
It is completely natural unlike ecstacy, MDMA, LSD and the lot...

I want to know why I can't smoke or talk about smoking? It's semi-legal in this country anyway.
Marijuana has been a part of Indian culture since the Vedic era. Besides the countless mentions of it in various Hindu scripture, if you visit any of the holy cities of Benaras, Rishikesh, Pushkar, Haridwar, Ayodhya and more, pot is a way of life.
The Rastafarian faith says marijuana is part of God's gifts to man and I'm pretty sure Jesus was a stoner too... Not once in the Bible is anything said about "you can't smoke pot"

If anyone comes trying to bust me on me smoking, I'm going to cry communalism.

The NCB in India don't have time to waste on picking up small time smokers like me... They're after the dealers...
It's more widespread than you think.
As an experiment in sociology, I usually offer a spliff (if I have one) to the auto-walla, rickshaw-walla, taxi-walla, bus driver, hired cook, guy who sells veggies in a cart, the guard at the house across the road, the sutta-walla... I've hardly ever been refused.
A massive amount of people in Delhi smoke marijuana...not just the hip crowd of South Delhi..
Why the NCB gets after these people (the latter) is obvious... more bribe money.. plus the chance to drag some important family's name through some public mud.

I work as a print journalist and as everybody knows, the salary of a print journalist IS a laughing matter..
If they want to pump me for dealers, I know none. I did know one, actually, but he had an entrapment scene happening with him, got his ass busted, went to jail for a bit. His girlfriend told him to choose between Mary and her and he's now cleaned himself out.

If you have to crack down on any drug..go hit the cocaine and heroine dealers.. Hell knows the users have enough money to blow..

A short refresher course in what pot does for you:
1) Makes you mellow. You'll never hear of someone getting stoned and killing or raping anyone unless they're smoking crack
2) Till date, in the history of the drug, not one person has died due to substance abuse.
3) You may get a little absent-minded and lose focus in life but then you aren't harming anyone other than yourself. And the bit about losing focus in life applies to only a few people who have no ambition to begin with.
4) Pot makes you (or at least me and everyone else involved in the media) more creative. All your senses are heightened. Everything tastes better, smells better, sounds better, looks betters .... do I have to say sex is fantastic?
5) Pot makes you think, makes you dream and if you have even an ounce of drive, you can translate those dreams into reality. It allows you to look at life differently, to see all the angles and to truly appreciate art
6) When I drink, I talk shit, I lose control of who I'm hitting on, I get so blasted that I can't remember what I did the previous night, waking up with a hardcore hangover. WIth pot, there is no hangover and you remember everything you did or said.. well most of it.
The important thing is, you are aware of what is happening, you're a part of it, yet detached.

Probably the best thing to do when you're stoned is to have a stimulating conversation. It may bring all your external senses alive, but it also sends your brain into hyperactive mode.

If developed countries like Holland and Canada, without the thousands of years of marijuana use that we have, can successfully legalise it... why can't we?

What's wierd is that regular middle-class Indian families will have no problem entertaining a chillum-booming sadhu, but will raise merry hell in the mohalla if Pappu Junior is caught with a joint...

In spite of all this, I know there will still be people reading this and saying.."ahh stupid charasi .. he's addicted ... that's why he's saying all this.."
I don't criticise you for being a narrow-minded reject from the 18th century...
Open your mind people... are you afraid life will jump up and bite you in the ass?

In retrospect, most of the people who have issues with stoners are chicks who've known guys who smoke pot and subsequently don't pay as much attention to the chicks...
Now THAT is just selfish..