Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Russian Roulette

Life is random. You don't know what's going to hit you & when!!

You might be driving to work like you do every single day and get a call from someone telling you of a bomb blast somewhere.

You might be in the middle of shopping, gearing up for a party or making plans for the big weekend when your boyfriend/girlfriend suddenly calls you & tells you that they want to break up right then!!

You might open the morning newspaper or turn on the new channel not expecting to find much except the usual stories of corruption, rape, floods, famine, thieves breaking into the house of an old couple, killing them & making way with their valuables...but you read about someone who was very real to you getting killed or worse still, committing suicide.

The death of Heath Ledger came as one such unexpected incident. The other happened last night when I randomly tuned in to a news channel. The winner of one of the reality shows, Ishmeet Singh who won the singing show 'Voice of India', drowned in Maldives where he had gone to perform for a show! He must've been 25 years old or so.

Honestly, I was zapped in both cases.

I didn't personally know either of these people but I still say they were "real" to me because of what I've seen of them on screen. I really liked Heath Ledger in 'The Patriot', 'A Knight's Tale' & 'Brokeback Mountain'... especially 'Brokeback...'. His portrayal of the character was very true to life. I thought he was a good actor with a lot of potential.

As for Ishmeet, I wasn't a regular viewer of the show he was a part of but I did watch a couple of episodes, and I believe he was quite popular both among the audience & the judges. I do remember watching him perform a few times, I remember his interviews being aired on many news channels (especially the Hindi ones) after he won the show. I did see a lot of him on that he was quite real. And to suddenly switch on the TV and learn that he drowned in the Maldives is scary.

Actually, it's not even's random, absurd, surreal, maybe even shocking. You never know when time's up!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fear Factor...'Desi' Doze

I’ve been watching Fear Factor (Indian version hosted by Akshay Kumar). Have been able to catch 2 out of the 3 episodes aired so far, and most of it has been downright gross.

The participants, all women, perform two stunts per episode. People who score the highest in the first stunt get a ‘safety band’ that excuses them from performing the second stunt, which intuitively is more difficult than the first.

In the first episode, the women had to first jump from a helicopter flying at the height of a 3 storey building, into the sea! And they had to time it so that they fell in between two pipes. Sounds easy but given the principle of inertia etc. (which makes estimating the time of the jump difficult) & the fact that you’re jumping out of a helicopter that’s flying so high and INTO the sea, it was pretty tough & scary.

Then came the second task. Plums, along with water snakes, were put in a tank full of water. The plums obviously sank to the bottom of the tank while the snakes stayed afloat. The respondents had to get the plums out of the tank but could not use their hands to do so.

You guessed it right…they had to do it with their mouths!!

I’m assuming the snakes were non-poisonous but trust me, it was gross. And just when one thought that was as gross as it could get, last night’s episode was one up.

Each participant was made to lie down in a glass box and 175 rats were let loose on them!! They had one minute to get as many rats off their bodies as they could and put them in another box. This without hurting the rats as doing so would have disqualified the participant. Each one of them performed this stunt while I was squirming just watching it. Imagine having 175 rats crawling all over your body!!!!!!!

But I’m quite liking Fear Factor. For one, it belongs to a better genre of reality shows…the MTV Roadies kinds…as opposed to retarded shows like Get Gorgeous & Splitsvilla (which oh, SO has a post coming!!)

Second, it has only women participants and that’s a fresh perspective adopted by a television channel. Had it been only male participants, my guess is the show would’ve been mainly about physical strength & stamina and the whole “conquering your fears” angle would’ve gotten lost somewhere! Having only women on the show ensures there is a good mix of challenges that require one to overcome one’s fears as well as physical tenacity.

And third, these women are genuinely doing it for a sense of accomplishment rather than to get noticed (as they do in other reality shows such as Get Gorgeous & Splitsvilla). Had their aim been to get noticed they could’ve taken a much easier route such as doing an “item” song in a movie or posing almost nude in some magazine.

So..for a public figure to go on that show and perform such stunts on national television, giving up all your inhibitions about how you might look doing those stunts while the whole world is watching, because you want to test how far you can push yourself, takes a lot of balls. To all the women on that show – MORE POWER TO YOU!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Walk Into Me!

They happen a lot with me – “accidents”. They’re actually a result of my clumsiness but I like to call them “accidents” because they happen without my will or intention :)

I walk into furniture all the time...couches, beds, tables, chairs…and stub my toes or hit my knee or hit myself on the hipbone (depending on the height of the furniture). I walk into door knobs. And most of the times I don’t even realize it until there is a blue-green-purple bruise staring at me. Then I try to think what kind of furniture I must have walked into to get that bruise!!

I also “accidentally” kick things on the floor….glasses, coffee mugs. I kick them all. I kick them while walking & they go flying to the other end of the room, like a spin top yoyo!!

The other day a glass went flying right into my laptop – which thankfully was shut & the glass empty!! These small mercies make me believe there IS a God….really.

The Joker

I wish he was around to collect his Oscar...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Experiential Branding

I have been attending a brand conclave over the last two days. The speaker was a professor at the Columbia Business School in NYC. He has been working in the area of ‘Experiential Branding/Marketing’ over the last 10-15 years & has worked with some of the major companies in the world (such as Vodafone, Skoda etc.) to re-design their brand platform – which essentially is their tag line or the one thing that the brand wants to stand for.

So what is ‘Experiential Branding’? It is trying to understand the way the end consumers lead their lives so you can fit your brand into their lives, rather than coming up with a brand that arbitrarily stands for some values that may or may not be relevant to the consumers. Experiential Branding also helps companies define their target segment more precisely, thereby enabling them to position their brand better. Apple, Nike, Starbucs, Abercrombie & Fitch, BMW Mini, Singapore Airlines, United Colors of Benetton, Skoda, Vodafone etc. are a few companies that have adopted the strategy of Experiential Branding successfully. Interesting stuff, I think I’ll write about them on my other blog.

But there IS something to be said about Indians. We are quite mannerless as a people. One of the worst things we do is not putting our cell phones in silent/vibrating mode while attending a lecture/meeting, when in a theatre etc. This is common courtesy that should be extended to the speaker as well as other members of the audience, and it’s not something we don’t know we should be doing. We know it, yet we don’t do it. And it’s really annoying. What’s worse is that people also take their calls in the middle of the lecture/movie and have a loud full-length conversation! It’s ridiculous! It’s so rude & disrespectful. It makes me really mad. I, for one, feel like going and slapping the person right across their face!

Anyway, let me now calm down and write about the interesting stuff I was talking about on my other blog :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Reality Bytes...Part 2

I was watching a re-run of 'Kya Aap Paachvi Pass Se Tez Hain' last night. The girl on the show had a Masters in Computer Application (MCA). She came on the show dressed like SRK dresses on the show so she could impress him (in her words). She was giggly, shrill & she was totally acting for the camera! However, she got foxed on the first question itself. The question was "What is the color of ruby? A) Red B) Blue C) Green"

Her answer...BLUE!!!

She was also trying to flirt with SRK. When she was asked which ocean separates the West Coast of America from Australia, she said 'Pacific'. I was surprised she got that right! SRK asked her what made her think it's the Pacific Ocean, she started rambling "I think I have heard Columbus was going somewhere & he saw an ocean", to which SRK quipped "Oh yeah! Maybe he had gone buy vegetables...and he ran into an ocean! Like when I go to Linking Road, sometimes even I run into a couple of oceans." That's typical SRK wit...silly but nonetheless funny!

When he asked her again if she thought her answer was right, she went "Main saare answers madhoshi mein de rahi hoon. Aapne mujhe madhosh kar diya hai. Aapki aankhon ko dekh ke lagta hai mera answer sahi hi." Yikes!!!!!!

And here's testimony to SRK's wit & presence of mind that makes him such a good game show host. He went "Are you trying to flirt with me? Because when I was young, girls used to flirt with me differently. They used to say "Shah Rukh, I like you. I love your eyes, I love your smile, I love your Ruby lips. I'd like to go out with you." No one ever said to me "Hey handsome....Pacific? Or are you Atlantic?"


PS: I absolutely hate it when starry eyed contestants come on celebrity game shows. They act like such retards, they make a complete fool of themselves!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Of fun times and new beginnings

N is leaving Bombay. She was my manager at my previous job. I remember we used to think she was totally hyper when she had newly joined our team :)

She didn’t have much work at the beginning - as is usually the case when one joins a company - where as we were loaded with work. She used to ask us every ten minutes whether we did XYZ work, how much work got done, how much was still left to do etc.? And we used to think, “We have a hyperactive manager…GREAT!”

But in no time she became a friend. I’ve spent many happy, giddy ABSOLUT evenings at her place bitching about work and gossiping :)

We used to watch shows such as Big Boss, Indian Idol & KBC (hosted by SRK) at our respective homes & text each other non-stop throughout the show! We used to make fun of people’s daftness, their bad singing, the stupid things they did on the shows... we’d exchange some 50-60 texts between the two of us during the 1 hour shows!!

There were a few things that I admired about N, her ability to separate private and professional issues being one of them. Irrespective of whether she was friends with a person outside of work, at work she was very professional & no-nonsense. She is also one of the most fair managers I’ve known. I think these qualities endeared her to each & every member of the team. I hope I’ve been able to imbibe some of that.

I don’t know about her but I feel that N & I got along well because we are very similar as people. Apart from sharing interests such as reading, movies & more recently, blogging, we are both very straight-forward people. We’re both very transparent and we say it as it is. There are people we like, and people we don’t like, and most of the times the way we feel about people is apparent. Though I must admit I suffer from a more acute case of foot-in-the-mouth disease than she does. On New Year’s eve last year, N, another colleague of mine & I were planning to go out after work. We went to wish our group head before we left for the day. Now, our group head was a very lively & enthusiastic lady who wanted to go out with us every time we went out. She asked us what our plans for the evening were, and I, being the biggest foot-in-the-mouth-putter in this world blurted out that we were planning to go out. She got excited and asked us, “Oh, where?” Suddenly realizing what I had done, I had to cover up and the only thing I could come up with was, “Errrr…we don’t know what we’re doing yet. We’ll just…errrr…go out on the road & figure out what we want to do!”

Inherently, both N & I like to have fun! I remember one of my earliest and most fun memories with her was when we went for a client meeting to Hiranandani Gardens. The meeting got over around 4pm, it was raining and we were without a car. So instead of going back to work, we went to a coffee shop at Hiranandani, had steaming cups of coffee & chocolate doughnuts, and even walked in the rain!

I was very touched by all that N did for me when I was leaving Bombay. She threw a farewell party for me at her place, gave me presents, took me out for dinner, and she & her husband (who btw is one of the very few genuinely nice men I’ve met) even took me out for breakfast at Mondy’s...oh, Mondy’s :(!

So N, for all the fun times we had, here’s wishing you even more fun in the new city of blinding lights :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Reality Bytes

I was watching ‘Kya Aap Paachvi Pass Se Tez Hain’ today. Reality shows, particularly the ones with a celebrity host, can be really amusing at times. They get the most freaky, psychotic contestants that lose all sense of self and become worse than star-eyed in the company of the star host.

Take for instance, a 61-year old lady from Hyderabad that came on the show today. She came swaying onto the stage wearing a sash & a crown for some ‘Best Secretary Contest’ she’d won in Hyderabad! Okkkay! She started hugging SRK to find out if he’s for real. When she got an answer right, she told SRK that he’s great! SRK was amused. His reply : “Actually, I’m not great. It’s the people behind our show who give such easy questions.” Then she randomly started singing ‘Abhi Toh Main Jawaan Hoon’ & dancing. Must take him a lot to refrain from laughing when faced with such KRAZZY contestants!

The guy who came before this lady was even more retarded. He kept asking if the kid (who btw was there to help him out IN CASE he couldn’t get an answer right), had frozen his answer. His idiocy even made SRK remark, “You’re depending on the kid to get your answers right?” There are so many people coming on these reality shows, I wonder how SRK restrains himself from slapping them! Like this girl, an MBA student, who did not know there are 7 continents and didn’t know the names of the continents either! She even did not know which months have 30 days and which ones have 31!!

So even though there is an overdose of reality shows on television today, some of them can be very amusing and hilarious! The Indian Idol auditions being the best example.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gender discrimination

People often say “God is a woman”. I say it’s BULLSHIT!!

The simple reason being that had God been a woman, she would’ve given the ovaries, the uterus, the fallopian tubes & all the other unnecessary painful things (that life could be perfectly happy without!) to men.

These are the reasons which have convinced me that God MUST be a man:

1. Men can pee standing

2. When on a journey & nature calls, they don’t have to hang on till they find an appropriate place to relieve themselves. Just about any place will do.

3. When they get a bad haircut, they don’t have to worry about their face looking too fat, or neck looking too short, shoulders looking too broad, waist/butt looking too big, thighs/calves/ankles looking too fat, toes looking chubby etc.

4. They can scratch their balls in public without anyone giving them gross looks.

5. Their best friend that dictates all their plans in life…travel plans, socializing plans, gym plans, swimming plans etc….doesn’t visit them every month

6. They don’t have to deal with things growing on their body out of the blue when they hit puberty. They’re born with whatever they will have (and need) for the rest of their lives

7. They don’t have to waste thousands of rupees over sexy fucking lingerie. BIG BIG GRIPE.

8. They don’t run the risk of getting pregnant so they never worry when they are out of protection

9. They can get mayonnaise all over their face while eating a sub or sandwich & still be called ‘cute’

10. The only work they had to do in life was in bed thanks to the Catholic Church decreeing the missionary position as the only legal position. Now they’ve found a way to evade that as well. It’s called ‘WOMAN ON TOP’

So yeah, God is a man:

1. Because it was Eve who couldn’t resist the apple. Adam was an innocent little thing who didn’t know he was blessed with a potent asset that could start an entire species. Bad, bad Eve!

2. And it was Pandora who opened the box of troubles & not her brother who shouldn’t have brought the box home in the first place

P.S.: It just dawned on me...I think the word 'evil' has come from Eve!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Jaane Tu...

Kabhi kabhi aditi zindagi mein yuhi koi apna lagta hai,
Kabhi kabhi aditi wo bichad jaaye to ek sapna lagta hai,
Aise mein koi kaise apne aasuon ko behne se roke?
Aur kaise koi soch le everything’s gonna be ok?

Read what I thought of the movie here

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Victory of the Strawberries

This friend of mine asks for face wash everytime he comes to my house. Until a few days ago I was using a strawberry face wash. Now, I like strawberry face washes. They smell fruity (obviously) & nice. He would make fun of me every single time, saying 'you're such a girl' & all the other annoying things stupid boys like to call girls.

So finally my strawberry face wash got over. And why would it not, given that he used to slather it on his face? Then I went and bought three different types of face washes that I intend to use simultaneously. One is Lakme Pure Defense, which protects your skin from pollution. The second is Garnier Fresh, which is....errrr....a freshening face wash. And the third one is Garnier Pure Face Wash, which is an exfoliating face wash that opens up the pores of your skin so your skin can breeeeeeeeathe.

The co-existence of these face washes in my bathroom is perfectly justified in my head. I use the Pure Defense face wash after returning from work, Garnier Fresh in the morning when I'm taking a shower & Garnier Pure at night before going to bed, so my skin can breathe at night! Doesn't it make perfect sense? Apparently, it doesn't to the male mind. Their problem really, since it's THEIR skin that's not getting protected from pollution & exfoliated everyday.

So when my friend came to visit me the last time & asked for face wash as usual, I presented him with the three choices. His eyes were literally spinning between the three and then on to me, while I had a big grin on my face! He was confused and I was having a ball. I also had the last laugh btw, because he went "Just give me your strawberry face wash."


Moral of the Story : Never make fun of a girl's strawberry face wash!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Movie mania

I haven't posted anything major in a while. That's because work has been absolutely killing! I've been trying to meet insane deadlines - something I'm not used to thanks to the luxuries my previous company offered us in terms of timelines.

Until this afternoon I was facing the prospect of working over the weekend...something I completely loathe...but thanks to my diligence & hard work (read 'working like a dog') I've managed to salvage my weekend!! YAYYY!!!

Though I must mention here that my boss does make my life a little easy...he's not the constantly-breathing-down-your-neck-control-freak kinds & lets me pace things out as I want to - as long as we're not digressing too much from the client's eccentric requirements. Still it's a struggle!

So...back to blogging about better things.


Since I left Bombay in April, I have watched exactly two movies in a theater - Sarkar Raj and Sex & the City. That's not only sad, it's DEVASTATING. I love watching movies and the reason I haven't watched many since moving to Calcutta are:

a. I don't have many friends in Calcutta. The few I have are "work" friends who too, like me, work like dogs. It's a great big dog party at work, trust me! And you are cordially invited :)

b. The work friends mentioned above aren't movie buffs. They would rather eat, eat & eat some more and get into stupid accidents (where one falls off the back of a bike & lies splayed on his back on the middle of the a drama king...refuses to get up...has to be hauled (literally) to the side of the road by two people & the first thing he says is "Michael Schumacher also used to lie like this whenever he got into an accident!!"

c. My sister would rather watch movies on DVD - which I feel is such a waste unless you're watching a late-night movie

SO...Scarlett gets to watch no movies. Hmpfff.

I used to watch AT LEAST one movie a weekend in Bombay. Sure, it had it's pitfalls - I've seen a lot of bad, rather pathetic movies, but then I've also watched many good ones. It didn't matter because I love watching movies!

My ex-roommate & I used to go for movies at 9.30 in the night on weekdays. Once we were walking to Gaiety-Galaxy from our house in Bandra for a 9.30 movie. It started pouring midway & by the time we got there we were soaked. Yet, we valiantly bought tickets & went inside the theater. It was one of the cozy 40-seat theaters Gaiety-Galazy has, that I miss so much now! We were the only two girls in the theater, surrounded by guys on all sides. And guess what movie we were watching??


Bet you're scared!! LOL :)

God, it was a terrible movie! Yet we watched it till the end. It was insane!

When Mumbai got flooded on July 26th, we didn't go to work for about 2-3 days. Yet we made it to Suburbia & Gaiety-Galaxy for movies!

I think the movie bug is a very Bombay thing. Movies are such an essential part of the city & the lives of people in the's amazing & I love it!!

Okay, I think by now you definitely know how much I love movies so I should stop rambling. My creative juices have gone into nourishing proposals & questionnaires. Just glad I've had time to write something again. Hope my blog hasn't fallen off your respective radars :)

See y'all soon again. It's the weekend! YAYYY!!!

Time for Scarlett to PLAYYYYY!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Lyrics from Love Story 2050

Khelu khilono se fir tod dun,
Ek pal mein lun, agle pal chor dun,
Hey you, lover boy..
Will you, be my toy

I mean....SERIOUSLY??