Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Shutting Shop

OK, enough.

This is the last post.

I love you all. Well, almost all (in a decent and straight sort of way).

Keep the faith.

Do not try to mimic and run after the west too much. Girls- remember the last time you ran after a boy? You lost your dignity, his respect and probably some cafe-money also.

Take all the good things; leave the fat. Life is like a buffet and you are on a healthy diet. A secret: I'm actually nice, especially after you have praised my drafting session-cufflinks.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Internet-Aunty Update (Suspicious)

I was fetching Mummy a glass of water and I saw her quickly minimize the matrimonial website window and the Hotmail chat window. I got suspicious when I noticed that Mummy had tried to delete a folder titled "Mrs. RamchandranFV".

This folder had a picture of a mature lady in a kanjeevaram sari and pearls. As suspected, it was Internet-Aunty. The pearls looked real; the smile was not. And her daughter who she used as marriage-bait to get close to Mummy? Irrelevant and potentially male.

The folder also contained poems from Internet-Aunty. I caught Mummy reciting them again today.

Poems For Five-Year Olds


They say
I am too young
To play outside
And so I play
Behind my chair
Can anyone
Find me there?


The milk cup is too hot
For me to touch
Too hot is too much
The ice cube is too cold
For me to touch
Too cold is too much

Assertiveness against Bullies

This is my train
Give it back!
I shared it for
Only for play
Give it back to me now!
You cannot
Take my toys away


Blue is a colour
Skies are blue
And some flowers too
My desk is blue
Are you blue too?


I fly
Past thunder’s noisy house
I fly
Past wind’s wild bounce
I fly
Past lightning’s pounce

I fly
To Cloud
In the sky so free
Sometime I play with Cloud
Sometimes Cloud plays with me.


The rain is wet
With water
Outside the window pane!
The pond
Is wet with rain.


I want to know
Why the rainbow bends
I want to sell
Hot cakes and bells
I want to sail
On the back of a whale
In oceans deep and blue
But first of all
I want to spell
Can you?


Stars shine
This one is mine
But during the day
It goes away.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Mummy is here and the Internet is her best friend. But I know that when she is online, she is mostly managing my marriage-proposals. She has named my matrimonial profile: "HiSalaryLawyerBoy_LikesHomeFoodFV".

The "FV" she says is accepted code for "family values". Since the offer is global, FV keeps the offer in the safe harbour, in a Reg 144A kind of way.

Separately, some's profile read "BV" but that was just to showcase how he worked at Netherlands since it was marketed to girls who wanted to live Abroad, see snow and other white things.

So this Sunday while the November oranges scented the Delhi apartment with a winter-smell, Mummy was again floating on She was humming an old song about being scared of black crows, lies, a sword and another woman.

A writer-girl's mother had applied to Mummy. It had all the correct key words: family values, caring, fair, job.

In an unusual suggestion, Internet-Aunty's application included some children's poetry with art.

Relevant extracts:

Artwork: cats

Three kittens- now

Add one more

Now we have four!

Artwork: twin suns

The sun they say is hot-hot-hot

They say hot is what cold is not.

Cold is cold as ice- but

What is wrong and what is right?

The sun is cold at night.

Artwork: A distant hill; two happy children

We're going out to play

The hill is far away

Pack songs and skips!

Pack toast and chips!

And on the hill we'll play.

On reading the fine print of the accompanying materials of this application (I'm all about the fine-print thanks to prospectuses) I discovered that the author of the poems and art was the girl's mother. That was strange. Almost as if this Internet-Aunty was proposing to Mummy in the guise of a daughter. As persuasive evidence, even the enclosed picture was of a mature lady wearing a "south-kee-sari" with pearls and an odd smile.

I wanted to ask Mummy why she was writing back attaching her photos also and a few Tarla Dalal recipes. But I could not formulate a cohesive sentence to address the issue. So I let it pass and focussed on the parathas.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Mandate Song

The last few.

Brijesh and I met again. This time in a a PPP context: it was a purely professional partnership. As if the rakhi-like gizmo had never been exchanged; as if all the drafting sessions we had shared together in the Bull Years were forgotten.

I was discussing mandate fees with him over nervous bad-economy jokes and client-coffee.

"It's a very small issue" Brijesh said looking away, a stranger.

But I carried on the show like Raj Kapoor in the circus-scene. "Come on Bridge-yaar," I said breezily. In a "it's still 2007 for us" style.

I mentioned:

1. You-know how issue size was irrelevant to fees; and
2. You-know how fees are mostly a function of complexities in the deal and the volume of diligence as well.

I even offered him a client-cookie. No response.

And then: Bridge, boss, everyone-knows we are really busy. Even Slapping Girl-Associate is dying of work. This was my trump card. Brijesh would never admit he didn't know what everyone knew.

This worked. He replied," Theek hai yaar, koi-nahin, anyway Client has to pay. What do we care if Client is ready? We will go tell Client you guys are a big firm with Relevant Expertise, these are market rates only and boss, cheaper firms will bungle-up and you won't even get to know and basically Issue won't happen in Timeline."

Saying this, Brijesh walked up, opened the window and gazed at at a random point in the sky (like an almost-divorcee would in a Shabana Azmi movie). He then said in a soft-deep voice: " I'll try to always be in the data room ok? And remember, you are underwriters' counsel. My- our- counsel. I will be in data room only- so many ATS, JDA, MoU and what not. " Then he corrected himself with a rough line, "The buggers have everything short of sale deeds. Even the cost of paper of all those agreements is more than value of their land reserves. "

"Great..." [polite exit] "Thanks SO much for working out the mandate, yaar."

Then the oddest moment was born. A song surfaced from the window. Somehow, there was an husky swirl in the song.

I did not dare to turn back; I had a string of imaginary conference calls to garland my confidence; I had this new bankers' counsel mandate to draft.

The voice grew more and more high-pitched:

"Par yeh samajh lo hamne
Aana pare ga..."

I shut the door behind me and closed my eyes to meditate for a second. But all I could see was a cardboard moon pinned to a terrace.


Sunday, November 16, 2008


Broad rule: avoid capitalizing undefined terms.

That is, unless you are writing an Arundhati Roy-style novel. The capitalization in Arundhati Roy's writing is curiously similar to that of Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne (my favourite series other than Ramaiya ofcourse). The extract in relevant part:

"Did you make that song up?'
`Well, I sort of made it up,' said Pooh. `It isn't Brain,' he went on humbly, `because You Know Why, Rabbit; but it comes to me sometimes.'

Bye. This blog will not last for long.

Which reminds me of the point of this post- watch Dasvidaniya. It's startlingly brilliant in a simple way ( a little like me when wearing cuff-links).

Dasvidania does not cater specifically to an audience which has opted out of the reality of its environment. The kind which finds James Bond cool but Rajnikant hilarious.

The film-makers have however hedged the risk of alienating this wannabe-section: they have named the movie "Dasvidania". The name is easy to take because it is not a Hindi word. Its source is a country with snow, sledges, pink pigs, Caucasians and all. A country which finds us exotic.

And so we need not be like a shy-bride taking the name of a male in-law.

Isn't that why many of us contract names of friends, films (DDLJ, K3G, KANK) and even firms? So sad, so bad, and you know what? The joke's on us. x billion people in China and in the US midwest and in the lanes of south Spain do not care about our self-esteem issues.

Also, this film (it's too fine to be called a "flick") stays away from the "Indian family values" niche. Which as the market now agrees is better handled by Balaji and is anyway "oh-so-TV".

Oh, One Good Thing. Luckily it's winter so I can walk around not fearing a tan. Otherwise it's tough for dudes like me. I (secretly) like how Calcuttans do it- just carry an umbrella to beat the sun. Too unfashionable? Think again- the British did it with parasols and palkis. Like it now?

Friday, November 14, 2008


The James Bond movie. A bad imitation of a 80s Dharmendra movie, revenge and all. Maybe the line about sons-of-dogs will be find its way in the next version. Maybe as puppy-blood, shaken not stirred.

Ok I know this is borderline unfunny but really, I'm tired.

[John Uncle/PETA- I have nothing against puppies. I'm pro-puppy.]

Low-Self Esteem Alert: If the James Bond movie was not prime Hollywood, we'd be laughing awkwardly between the scenes. (Forget holding hands, I rarely go with girls and with guys I always wear long-sleeved shirts to prevent oddness in case of an elbow clash). We'd be sharing U-tube links. Spoofing. Some of us would not even admit we watched it.

So yeah unless the next one has a James Bond who's either gay or Shah Rukh (note the "or") - I'm not watching.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Remember BBC?