Thursday, September 28, 2006

poster boy?




Ha! I don't get the vandalism bit though.. retarded advertising people no doubt

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Stoner story 10: The awkward adieu

We've always had a lot of dogs...well not always but for a fucking long time anyway and I think the extended exposure has made us quite animal friendly. Can't remember the last time a dog bit me or a cat scratched me. (also maybe because I dont have a cat and I smoke too much to remember yesterday)

Back in the GE days, ChowChow, the refugee from the land of the Nizams had rented out a tiny ass flat above a garage in Gurgaon's Sector 14. On one stoned trip to Old Delhi for nostalgia food, he came back with a pair of parrots. One looked sick as fuck and died soon after. Chadha wanted to tandoori it, but instantly forgot about it after a bird flu reminder.
The remaining bird seemed quite at home in a room that was almost constantly hot-boxed. ChowChow called it Chutiya and taught it to scream, "Kaun hai bhen ke lode" in an imitation Amitabh Bachchan baritone every time the doorbell rang. Damn bird wouldn't stop till you fed it something or put a cloth over the cage.
The last night ChowChow was in Gurgaon, he threw an impromptu smoke-out and called the usual suspects: Chadha, Dr Abbey, BaldMan, Baba and sundry others. ChowChow's chika landed up a little later after work so we hit it till quite late into the night.
ChowChow conveniently forgets to tell us that his folks were landing up the next morning from Hyderabad. He also failed to mention exactly how orthodox they were.

Woke up earlier than the rest the next day and squeezed into the kitchenette to make coffee. Inside the one room, everybody had passed out all over the place with ChowChow and his chika sprawled over each other, his hand up her shorts. Chadha must have passed out last because he was sleeping on bare floor in his lungi with his shlong hanging out. Took the broom and positioned a spare blanket over the snake and carried on with the coffee.
Some few minutes later, the doorbell rings and the parrot gets into high gear with his spiel. The door opens with ChowChow's folks standing, staring in disbelief. Less at their son and the 'whore' and more at Chadha who's lungi was now around his waist thanks to outside breeze.
All the while the parrot is going to town with the one rehearsed line...right into ChowChow's mum's ear.
Craziest farewell party ever!

Random again


Apple again


Sandyman takes a seat


Homeless in Jungpura


The neighbour's laundry

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Chaos central

Work is madness
There are four of us in the edit team...a deputy editor, a fashion editor, a features editor and a staff writer. And one design guy. For 150 pages. On a budget of less than Rs 200,00.
The US edition which we aim at, has a team of 35 in edit, 10 in design and a budget of US$350,000

We've yet to finish the issue...closing date was last Friday.
The problem?
Our design dude is getting it on with the managing editor editor who's come down from the US. She came down to get us started on the US production schedule, but has instead, quite her job back in the States and found work in Mumbai.
What's pissing the fuck out of everybody is that we have just ONE design guy to do all our pages and plainly put, if he don't come, we fucked. Right up the arse.

Rant rant rant

First he behaves like he's doing us all a massive favour by landing up and when he does, he'll waste at least a few hours patting himself on the back.
Work goddamit!
Fucking Bongs.
What is it with Bong men and this unfounded superiority complex? All of them are brought up by mummy to be little Gods. They can do no wrong. Not just because they're Bong, but because they're mummy said so.
Fucking pissing off.
Now we have very little shit to get done with. Most of it has been delayed by a week because our man's got his dick between former ME's pants. They've started behaving like a fucking married couple. Landing up at work together, at least 2 hours late, 2 hour lunch breaks, 2 hour coffee breaks.
You can guess how much work is being done. And this is crunch time people.
It's just that this one of those guys who actually enjoys pissing off people.
Of all the office lunches we've been on, not once has he been polite to a waiter. Actually yells at them to get the menu when we've just sat down and then proceeds to crticise everything in sight.
Makes me sick.

Last night, for example, ME's grandma popped it back in the States. Not funny I know and neither was what happened later. She leaves for the airport in a hurry to catch her 7pm flight, forgetting her tickets in the office (or at his house). Lands up at the airport and calls him telling him to pick up the tickets.
He leaves work right when we're warming up to wrap the issue and disappears till close to midnight. They both end up coming back to office because she missed the flight.
Unfortunate for her.
But we're here sitting with our thumbs up our collective asses waiting for his Highness to get back and start on the pages.
Arrgh!!!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Candid Apple










Friday, September 22, 2006

Kicking it

Ha
Do you know what it feels like when you finally realise your life is starting to take off? That whole 'prime-of-my-life' deal?
Feel it coming on... feels nice...very nice..

At work right now. We're doing a review of high-end whiskies and guess who's doing the review? Since there are so many whiskies and such little time, I have to drink in the office. Heh
We've gotten a bigass 50inch Hitachi plasma TV to review and since it's too big for anyone to take home, we've hooked it up in the office with VH1 stuck on channel search.

Last night was pretty crazy. Mundu and ShutterSpeed came by with beer and we toked a fuckload..finished the sweet motherfucking blueberry blunts Dee brought back with her. Was about to pass out and Tinkerbell says she's had a fight with the boyfriend, takes a cab and lands up at somewhere near 2am.
One drink leads to another, one packed spliff leads to another and before I knew exactly what the fuck was happening, we're naked on the terrace. Orange clouds, purple sky and Tinkerbell grinding in rhythm with the constant breeze.

Woke up this morning and credit card debt I'd skipped out on some years ago caught up with me with LongArmLaw banging on the door. Initial paranoia over arrest warrants and bail melted after sweet talk and hush money exchanged ears and hands.

Maybe it's the rye, maybe it's the sex, maybe it's the adrenaline...

This past weekend was the partying-with-nausea type.
Went by the Dada music thingy on Friday night...entry charges instead of by invitation only meant half of the city's chutiyas landed up jostling each other at the bar...
Headed off across the river with Bossman to pick up latter's chika and ended up smoking some more and drinking some more there before heading back with them to swig some vodka before calling it at 4 in the am.
Woke with a churning stomach and AC/DC ripping it in my head.
Sirdie and Wild Child came by in the evening as did Ladoo and we boomed a few till Sister came home.
Sister threw a shindig for her office mates in the evening. She usually kicks me out of the house when she has these things because I usually end up saying the wrong thing to the wrong person. Usually her boss. This time around, her boss turns out to be a chiller too. The only one in the flock of seagulls that dropped by.
Woke to an awkwardly numb Sunday.
Stayed home till Apple came by to get herself shot. Brought a shitload of clothes with her too like I'm some big shot fashion photographer. Shots came out nice though, but mostly because Apple's extremely photogenic.
Methinks this is some thing I can feasibly branch into. Need a better cam though. Preferably a manual. Anyone feel philanthropic enough to gift me one?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Gig attack with Menwhopause...





Monday, September 18, 2006

Can't stop this groovin feeling

She's coming.
You can feel it...early in the mornings as a red sun firebolts its way to 30 degrees and the slightest of slight chills as the autorickshaw rattles its way down Lodhi Road.
One more month.. and the pullovers will be out of the box beds...

Astraman, Kbeer and self hit the local pub sometime last week and there was this group of four 'dude' behind us. They came in a little later than us...and their first conversation was about how someone's daddy had bought a watch worth a lakh. This went something like this:
"My dad's got this Rado for a lakh"
"That's nothing, my dad got a Cartier for two lakhs"
"What are you saying man... my dad got a custom-made Bvlgari for just 16 lakhs"

They then moved to the latest cars out, the coolest places to holiday, shoes, clothes...etc.
What self couldn't figure out is why their conversation revolved only around the object and its price. None of them seemed to know what it was good for and what all it could do..
"Arre yaar, lets go to Prague for New Year's. Its cheaper than Bangkok" Really? No shit..If there's anything more irritating than a poser...it's an ignorant poser...
Like the types who will ask you if you're smoking Malani cream or the types who will sneer at you and say, "Hash? Yuk! I only smoke weed"
The stupidest posers are those who'll say shit like.."Don't worry man..I know the owner..entry's not an issue"
So that when you get to the party, not only do you NOT get to get insde, you're also humiliated by the bouncers, the organisers and anybody who happens to be standing outside.

Went by the folks' restaurant this past Sunday for lunch with the Laul and Megs. The new place seems bigger than the earlier place and they've been doing roaring business thanks to the much better location. Folks had organised some animal activist gathering after lunch hours and a troupe of them came by with a video of a dilapidated monkey shelter. Complete with bloodied chimps, fractured cages and piles of leftover trash.
Dad's old friend, Mr Allan, is just like him. Puts his foot in his mouth more often than not.
Walks up to where the laptop's playing out the video with the animal activists huddled around staring seriously and asks, "Aah, so this where you get your meat from?" This is after my father spent 15 minutes describing the various flavours of an enema to a very stoned Laul and Megs.

New toys to play with this week include a Sony Vaio (which was sent back because the spacebar, tab key and O key refused to work. Also didn't have Microsoft Office, so useless to me) and a Wespro 10MGP video camera. Nice looking piece of shit. Light too.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Krist Jyoti Chronicles

When cousins moved out of South Delhi and bought a place in faraway Pitampura, henceforth referred to as the Boondocks, never knew how much time we'd be spending in KJ.
KJ was the name of the apartment complex where Aunt Purple bought a flat, so called because the place was packed to the gills with Bible thumpers. Still is too.
Early memories are of warped incidents revolving around hide-n-seek, pithoo and of course the annual Christmas play.
Christmas plays on the Nativity scene were 'fun-filled' affairs with all the kids painting on eyeliner moustaches and ripping out mummy's sari to make robes.
The Saint had this fantastic ability to attract attention. Usually when he needed it least. One year, The Saint, The Bassist and self were dressed as the Three Magi, coming down the church aisle to deliver exotic gifts to the plastic Infant. Since we'd had minor chaos getting ready back at the apartment, no one had had dinner.
The Saint stuffed some Christmas cookies, salted pork and rum raisins in the box he had to present so he could munch on his way down.
A particular cookie slipped his fingers just as he was climbing the steps up to the stage and in the hurry to retreive it, stepped on a nail in the wooden stair, ripping off his sari and leaving him in his torn long johns before a confused congregation.

Drugs and booze were never around then, but we still managed to do the most fucked up things.
CharlieBoy's bedroom balcony overlooked the neighbouring apartment complex and one electricity-less night, sticks a candle in a saucer, slips a sheet over his head and balancing the saucer on his head, starts pacing up and down the balcony. Initial plan was to scare the kids playing cricket in the lawn beyond the fence. Unfortunately CharlieBoy forgot to make eye-holes and getting excited over the initial adolescent screaming, throws his head back to laugh the scary laugh.
Candle flies back through his open bedroom door, lands on his bed, sets fire to it, doesnt realise it because he's still standing with a sheet over his head and laughing his ass off on the balcony.

Playing pithoo in the A-block park. For those not familiar with pithoo, you have two teams of any number of players with a pile of seven stones. The object of the game is for one team to knock all the stones down with a tennis ball and then run around a pre-determined area to avoid being hit by the ball (that's picked up by the other team) and put the stones back up together. If you knocked the pile clean off, you won the game, or if you put the stones together without a single team member getting hit by the ball. After three whacks at the pile, The Bassist missed every single pile and FatSonia couldn't resist a jibe and a laugh...which continued the length of the evening, till The Bassist picked up a rock from the pile and lobbed it at her. Aimed to miss but FatSonia, being FatSonia, ran right into the trajectory.

Playing hide-n-seek when the lights blew once and the RedBird's hiding behind the ornamental bushes behind D-Block. The Bassist's the 'den' and comes walking that way. Since he couldn't see anyone hiding anywhere, decides to release bladder pressure at approximately the same place the RedBird's under.
Latter doesn't say a word. Just waits for The Bassist to zip up and carry on. When everyone's been found, the RedBird's still missing, till someone spots him creeping behind a parked car. The Bassist sidles up behind him and grabs him by the collar, drags him out and immediately releases him when the wind plays the stench around the park.

Halloween was one really stupid time of the year, essentially because very few people then really understood the concept. One year, HugleTheBugle covers his head and hair in talcum powder, cuts a hole in a white sheet, sticks his head through it and goes down to scare the gate-keeper. He's coming down the stairs, the gate-keeper's standing with his back to him a few feet from the bottom-most stair. So HugleTheBugle launches himself from the third step with a loud "Aaarrrhghhhh", trips over the sheet and lands heavily, face down on the concrete parking lot, missing the gate-keeper completely.

The Saint and The Grandmother are our closest cousins with latter two years older, former three months younger than me. Sister is two years younger than self.
Picking on The Grandmother was a favourite pastime, especially when the Americans came down for their once-in-two-year visit. She's been subject to being locked in the bathroom for a day, then pelted with shoes, hair pulling, skirt pulling, tale-tattling and a variety of other childhood crime. When we were growing up, she was the tallest. Till we hit the 10th grade and everybody, including Sister overtook her. She's a big-shot manager at a bank now, and plays financial advisor to the family. Role reversal of sorts.

One (real) night at the call centre

Haven't read Chetan Bhagat's version, but this is mine...

If you had an evening shift, you'd get to work by 5pm in the office bus...usually smoking a spliff on the way in the back seat with Scarface and Fencydryl, his roomie. Meander through Gurgaon picking up the usual suspects before punching through the main gate with a half-hour to go before log in.
Self used to be a debt collector and since this is India, we got to handle late-stage collections...folks who hadn't paid in at least three months. Credit being such a big deal in the States, this was one fucked up job. Ninety percent of the people we called were either going through chemo, had just lost a child or parent, had just been fired, house burnt down, etc etc etc..
Not easy to get money out of them, especially since we were harassing them for dumb-ass bills from various store credit cards.
There was a nice lawn in front with a tree in the corner, complete with a bench. The first group would start around 5pm...stoning under the tree with another coming along just as the first wound up to spark another spliff. With the sheer numbers in the call centre and with various departments logging and breaking at different times, there was always a joint going under the tree.
The ten-minute break before dinner was the "appetiser round" so we could eat more free airline-catered food with the second ten-minute break being the "digestive round" before the final spliff at logoff at 2am.
Night shifts were fucked.
You had to come in at 1.30am to log in by 2 but in winters with your balls sending the chills up your spine, smoking a spliff under the tree was fucking crazy.
Been smoking under that tree so long, that for a while after, just the sound of truck traffic (the call centre being on the highway) would get me mellow.
Never smoked a lot on the night shift...maybe just at logoff at 9am.
The craziest "weekend parties" were when we had night shifts on Friday..staying bleary throughout, then heading to nearby houses (like Chadha's or the Madari Baba's) for a wake-n-bake chillum and warm Zingaro beer.
Nothing like the taste of glycerine-loaded beer at 10 in the morning, sitting by the highway, watching regular folk go to work.

By the time I was a year in the call centre, the gigantic stoner circle had been well-established with pot smokers from Calcutta, Hyderabad, Mysore, Dehradun, Solan, Chandigarh, Shimla, Guwahati, Lucknow, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Mauritius, Asansol, Patna and more I can't remember.
You had to be present at meal times (or rather dinner and breakfast) to see exactly what cross-culturalism is all about. Walking between tables in the cafeteria and you were surrounded by a sea of Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Malayalam, English, Hindi and North eastern gossip.

Had just finished a year in the organisation and had planned a two-week vacation in Goa. Some time in November, higher ups decide to issue a memo stating 31st December a working day. After most had booked resorts, holidays, whatever as the initial holiday list had the 31st (and 1st) as official holidays.
Self had already booked tickets and leave had been approved, but with the general frustration being voiced by all and sundry, made out a letter on my last day before my vacation. Printed out one copy, left in on my desk and fucked off.
Letter basically said that 90% of the workforce is between 22 and 30 and although partying isn't the be-all and end-all of our lives, pulling a cheap trick like this was only going to affect employee satisfaction and attrition rates. Went on for a bit about the blood, sweat and tears, put in a bit on rising revenues of the parent company that had been attributed to the India operations and filled the letter with frustration against the unfairness.
Came back from vacation and first day at work, The BaldMan comes up and slaps me on the back..."Fucker...do you know what your letter did?" he asks.
Goes on to tell me that someone read the letter on my desk, photocopied it and passed it around, more photocopies led to more photocopies till the CEO got wind of it and held a hurried all-employee meeting in the cafeteria.
Here, he put the letter on a projector, read out every line and proceeded to explain how all of it was against company policy. The BaldMan said that after he'd finished, EVERYBODY stood up and clapped!
Which is when they decided to make the 31st halfday, with log off at 10.30pm instead of 2am.
Got a yelling from my AVP...told me the company lost some $35million because of my stunt...

But balls to all that now.

Vacationing without travelling

Ok
so the road trip didn't work out. Instead, we threw a beach themed shindig on the terrace. Even with Bul2 in charge of conceptualising and general commotion, we managed to get the place to look somewhat like Anjuna.. The bar was nice with a sand topped table, candles in rum bottles and shells.
Sister bought palm trees and a three-person wading pool to add to the effect. Also got most people to wear beach wear.
Met Bongshell over the net and she came by with friend as did Baba with The Whore. The Whore's real name... is really Fawad with last name Zahore..Israeli-Canadian who came to India chasing a chick, who subsequently screwed him over and left taking his passport, money and visa. So he's been here for the past 2 years, riding his Bullet and working the call centre.

Lessons from the party:
Wearing a sarong with boxers beneath doesn't mean you can hide a boner.
There is no such thing as "too wet".
There is no such thing as "too drunk" and
Rum and beer really don't go together.

Woke Monday morning with the battle of Troy somewhere between my back molar and lower jaw. Went by the enamel-man and he says its 12 grand to fix the three cavities in the back molar, besides sundry other damage in other areas of the chompers. Including the dented incisor courtesy drunk Chottu trying out ballet.

Bongshell came by in the evening with The Warrior and Bam.. smoked a few in the car, drank some and went by this grilled chicken joint called Chengezi (probably after Genghis' pet cock) for some Muslim food. Floated back home in the back seat of The Warrior's black Scorpio, bloated with oil and Monk.
Hungover again today and the damn molar's still got a hissy fit.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Satya Niketan scene

Most memories of the call centre are coloured by this brown haze of hash smoke.
Sorta like a sepia-tinted home movie..

Baba's affinity for the high life, especially after the first dungeon he moved into after packing out of his folks' place, meant that the next two houses he lived in Satya Niketan were way up on the roof.
View was nothing fantastic...just more houses, with more refugees, mostly frigging hot North East chicks... So actually the view was pretty good, but only if you were looking at the right place at the right time.
Once, doing a double shift at the call centre, Baba wandered into one of the unattended conference rooms and wandered out with the projector in his rucksack.
Cables and all. Unknown to all.
Till Malik, Chadha, One-Eyed Jack and self dropped by one weekend to watch Pulp Fiction and Baba had set up the projector on his terrace with a home theatre system as supporting cast.
Remember walking in just as Mia Wallace said, "Ketchup" and looking around to see practically every eye level neighbour also on their roofs, all equipped with refreshments and easy chairs, also watching the movie.

This was the second highrise Baba moved to.
The first highrise over looked the Ring Road, with a second, higher terrace with a dangerously low railing. Remember once Taru and self, after a long night's work, were on the higher level, smoking a relaxed spliff and waiting for Baba to get the rum up.
There was this tree with branches that came right up to the top floor.
The conversation veered towards earthquakes (I think the Latur quake had just happened) and Taru asks, "Dude, how do we get down from here if an earthquake strikes right now?"
And asnwering his own question, looks down at the tree and points.
Taru: "Hey, we could jump to that branch, then that branch, then that branch, then that one, and we're on the ground!"
Me: "Yeah whatever man"
Taru "Let's try it!" passes the spliff to me and drops a leg over the railing.
We're six floors off the ground so this sudden development took me a bit by surprise.
Before I could say or do anything, Taru's standing with his bum to the railing, facing the tree, getting ready to jump.
Baba came up the ladder in the nick of time to grab him by his collar and pulled him back over.

This other time, Baba, Taru, Taru's three roomies, The Dog and self were booming and chugging at Baba's. The smoke ran out, so we decided to troop down to Taru's who then lived three lanes down to pick up some weed.
We walk through the door and climb up single file to their floor. There's a faint smell of smoke in the stairwell, but we ignore it and keep climbing.
The smoke's getting thicker and thicker till when we get to Taru's flat, this fat cloud of grey smoke is pulsing through from under the door.
Taru opens the door as soon as his pot-fried fingers can and we burst in to see all four mattresses in flame! The fire's fucking trippy to look at, with orange tongues licking the ceiling and proceeding toward the wooden doors.
Taru looks at his roomies, they look at him and at each other and as of one accord say, "Fuck it man, pick up the weed, we'll come back when it goes out,"
Luckily The Dog wasn't as stoned as the rest of us, so he ran into the loo and threw a bucket of water on the mattresses.
The fire goes oout, one of Taru's roomie's looks accusingly at The Dog and says, "Fucker, you just wet my bed!"

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Blissful boredom

Work's settling into a groove now..so I can sort of breathe and write some.
Things are mostly on track...what isn't...dekha jayega

There's been no Mary in my life for the past week and the boredom of an evening devoid of pot has been getting to me. Don't feel like talking to anyone, don't feel like going anywhere, don't feel like doing anything. Just go back home, pour a Monk and Coke and stare glassy-eyed at random crap on the telly.

Sister's birthday's this weekend and following tradition, the Jungpura Junta is hitting the highway south of the border. No long road trip this time. Just to some place called Shiva Oasis (hmmmm time to boom the shankar) some way down the Delhi-Jaipur highway.
Wanted to head up north to the hills, but hill driving isn't this lots' cup of tea.
I don't care really.
Just need to GET OUT! Plus there's a pool there so shouldn' be all sidey.

Last trip, we hit the Chirmi Palace in Jaipur, which was really a trumped up early 20th century haveli than a palace. But there was no body else except us and there was a small algae-covered pool that Bul2 invaded sometime after she drank rum with Axe deodorant. (The deo was courtesy Astraman who wanted to snog her and was trying to get her blasted).
After the initial few hours, the endless beer and joints on the way over, besides the endless rum and a special fattie at the "Palace" and self crashed out well before the others.
Woke in the morning, groped around to find my phone, discovered it missing and headed to the room where we'd been partying.
Burst in with a "Rise and Shine" to see Astraman cuddling Bul2 on one bed, both stark naked with Raka grinning sheepishly on the other as Charisma wriggled back under the sheets.

Don't think I can handle the trip without Mary though. She's been my travelling companion for ages now. The only thing that keeps me from getting pissed at asinine drivers and moronic conversation.
Why can't people shut up, drive and enjoy the view?
Why is it always necessary to keep up inane banter?

Dee's back from the UK. Have been chatting with her for some months now. First chick I met off the Internet. Nice kid. Someone I'd want to get to know a lot better.
More later

Friday, September 01, 2006

Swamped!!

New mag's got me by the round and curlies.

Pages have been bumped up to 150, one dude feels like resigning, some body else's fucked off to the mountans, and we have two weeks to get October out of the way.
BigShot ed from the States is over to help us streamline our production procedures.
Hahahahaha
It isn't that the help isn't appreciated..it's just that this is India... and nothing is ever organised in India.
Chaos is a way to deal with things here probably because we're used to the commotion and unneccesary hyper paranoia.
Besides, the new deadlines in place, for everything, will take some getting used to for people used to being on NET (non-existent time).

Almost every single newspaper and magazine I've worked with here run on panic mode with everything coming in at the last minute.

If we pull this off, we'll probably be the most professionally-run outfit in town.
But for the first day of the schedule in place, things are going to plan...

Hmm... there just might be something in this method.