Monday, July 31, 2006

Whats Cookin?

Believe me, being Vegetarian is a curse. And if you land up in an alien land, its even worse. Right from my college days there have been various attempts by my friends and enemies alike to thwart my resolution to stay a veggie. My gang of friends excluding a few hapless souls as Srini and Maaps were strictly non-veggie and so I was used to people lurking around and tempting me. The offer varied from a muttai dosai to a free Chicken 65 or whatever you call it.

The very earliest attempt was made in the year 1987 when I was rushed to a doc by my parents. For one and only time in my life I was thin and the doc looked at me as if I was this famished kid from the slum. He asked my parents to feed me with eggs and fish which of course got rejected flatly. Afterwards I blew to such a huge size that if I had blown in the same proportion I might have been in the Sumo championships.

The simplest solution offered to me on landing here was...start eating chicken and eggs. I have been asked at times if being veggie had something to do with my religion or if like filmy moms or like Gandhi’s mom, my mom too had made me take some vow or that stupid sort. Nope. The reason is plain and simple. I just want to stay veggie just for the heck of it. If you can’t even control your taste buds, what would you do when you are faced with greater temptations(you know what I mean)?

The first time I had my lunch here in Burger King, this was the conversation between me and my roommate
Him: What do you want?
Me (After searching for half and hour in the menu and finding nothing): I will get a veg burger.
Him(to the waiter):Get a chicken burger and a veggie burger without meat and sausage.
Me: Dei, Its a veggie burger rite? Why do we need to say it in particular
Him: You need to or they will add it.
Me: Do they have lot of cows, chicken and lamb in their backyard that they throw it in veggie stuff as well?
him: Dei, You have no choice. Either eat this or start cooking.

Ooops. Cooking? Apart for my culinary skills, cooking was as much alien to me as intelligence was to Bush. Determined I came home and got my mom's cooking diary and got everything ready to make sambhar. After 15 utensils, 1 1/2 hours and tons of patience later...the sambhar turned to a dal. Enna kodumai Saravanan idhu?

Unfazed I tried the next day and this time, I got it right. The journey continued with rasam, Kootu, veg Biriyani, Bisibelabath and so on. Cooking became fun and I was enjoying my new experiment. Well, I shouldnt say that, but I have been a better cook as I would be the first person to throw the food away if its awful and I am still alive after eating self cooked food after a month.

Well, that adds one more reason to break my eligible bachelorhood. :-)

P.S: Completed one year in Blogsville. Thanks to Srini, Vijay and Vani for inspiring me to start it. Some of the favourite ones I blogged are The Grudge, A stupid story, a Drama,a candyfloss, ஒரு புல்லாங்க்குழல் அடுப்பு ஊதுகிரது and so on. Thanks to everyone who has loved and hated me :-)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Cant say a word

"I want you to get the photos of the new Mayor by tomorrow." said the chief. It was Friday night and there were very few workaholics in the office.

He nodded and walked outside the hall. He saw her on the far side of the office and wondered what she was typing so furiously. Curious, he tiptoed near her and looked at her. She appeared beautiful in the business suit and the dim lights of the office seem to accentuate them. What the hell, she appeared cute to him every day in every dress.

"Not going home?" She asked and broke his glance.
He: "Just got to work on an article the chief asked to finish. You?"
She: "Have to go. Kind of bored"
He (hesitant): " the way..Are you busy tomorrow?"
She (surprised): "Are you going out anywhere?"
He: "Well...just wanted to ask."
There is a moment’s silence which both don’t break. He takes off his spectacles as she looks outside the office at the skyscrapers. In his heart of hearts he wishes that she could identify him without them, but alas that doesn’t seem possible and he himself doesn’t want to happen.
He: "Ok. Time to leave. See you later. Good Night Lois."
She: "Good Night Clark."

He walked outside the building and cursed himself again. What was the point in being a Superman when you cant even tell what you feel like to the girl you love?

P.S: Superman or Sappaman. The situation and the outcome are not much different :-)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Vegas - Show me More Money

This is one wicked city, which is just active at night. Everywhere people are out and by 9 PM you have fireworks. Reason? Yaarukku teriyum. Seems these guys celebrate Diwali everyday. The whole city is draped by lights and we were just wondering what must be electricity consumed on a whole as if we were going to be next Power ministers down there.

You can find Beer bottles in every other bus stop down there. Half of the guys down there look to be on dope. One guy was on such high dope that he came to near the huge fan and called me MJ and ask me to shake a leg. Now that’s a hell lot of a dope :-).

There were 2 women sitting outside a complex and the cop comes to us and winks and says that they were practioners of the oldest profession in the world. You could find them anywhere and everywhere in Vegas. Everywhere on the street you can find their photos pasted on the walls with their "assets" and phone numbers. One girl wore micro shorts, which I remember was even short than my Boxers. Infact you neednt go to the strip clubs as much of it was outside as well.

There were huge casinos and people furiously played there. I expected some James Bond type setting there but seems that it was reserved for the million dollar babies and not for the 10-dollar poor folks. We went to huge tower called STRATOSPHERE TOWER. We boarded the lift and by the time we wondered where to, it were on the top of 109 floors. I got reminded of my office elevator at that moment. It must have been installed when elevators must have been invented. It is so slow that I enter clean-shaven on the ground floor and end up with stubble on the 9th. Sometime during presentations I carry a razor set to shave during the "journey".

From that tower you get to see the whole of Vegas. For people who have fear of heights...don’t look down from the glass panel. There was a guy who was drawing caricature for 10 bucks. We decided to give him some test and approached him. He drew Shaggy and Jithu but refused to draw mine. The reason he offered was it was against his professional ethics to draw a cartoon on a caricature. After a lot of convincing and cajoling he drew it with a What-a-dogs-life kind of look. There was more crowd near him than the glass panel as people wondered if he could really complete such a Mission Impossible. The only thing everyone didn’t do was giving a standing ovation after he completed it.

To avoid any unnecessary heart attacks and calamity I have the photo locked in some numbered locker in the Swiss bank :-).

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Praying with anger

5.30 PM. Mumbai Church gate railway station. The unnamed man was standing facing the train. He had eyes which were hazel and looked like he was an insomniac. He had a 3 day beard and must be in his 30's though the pain in his eyes suggested that he had been living for ages. He had no name and no religion and hence no god. To him the only god who made sense was money and he knew that the rest of the whole world prayed to their respective "gods" for the same. He clutched the leather bag on his shoulder very tightly and the tension in his mind weighed much more than the contents in that leather bag.

He got into the train and slowly and steadily dropped the bag and with his feet moved it under the seat. He noticed the irony that the person seated just above the seat looked like his father...who was killed in the Godhra riots. He looked at the harmless faces of his co-passengers and wondered each ones train of thoughts. Near him was a middle aged man holding some sweets and a doll for his 3 year old kid. Seated next to him was an old man who seemed worried about his unemployed son. There was a lady on the far side who clutched her 4 year old daughter. Near her sat a nun who had her eyes closed and was praying something. If she was praying for heaven...little did she realize that this unnamed man was going to make her wish come true.

He didn’t have any remorse or guilt for his actions. A well read man that he was, he wondered at the stupidity of human race. For centuries humans have been fighting on the name of wealth, power, land, women and god. All we humans need is a reason to mutilate our fellow human being. He didn’t expect himself to be caught for at least sometime. He knew that the blasts would be followed by the usual round of "Condemning" the actions, some blame game on neighboring nations though this may be an insider’s action, an enquiry committee which will go on for years and whose outcome will be a 1000 pages of report which wont even put a fly to jail let alone the political bigwigs.

He walked down the next station and waited for the time to tick to 6.05 PM. The Agent had promised him Rs.100000 extra if the blast happened in the station and not in midway. A master of his profession that he was, he had set it for the same. He never bothered to ask the agent the name of his beneficiary as it meant nothing to him. With this money he should be able to book tickets to Dubai and settle down there. This country was no longer safe to live.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Vegas - Show me the Money

There is only person who is most revered in Las Vegas.... Benjamin Franklin...the guy smiling on the 100$ note. The bottom line is that if you have lots of money with Benjamin on it and have 3 days to spoil yourself (I think 3 days should be enough)..Vegas is all yours. When I told my Manager that I was going to Vegas he winked and said "Enjoy".

The great weekend started right in the Los Angeles airport when I landed there almost 2 Hours late of my scheduled time. The greetings of "Eppadi irukeenga" "Baagu unnara" "Kem cho" "Kya haal hai yaar" were predominant than "Howdy" in the airport. Some Americans looked confused and wondered if it was LAX or the Dum Dum or Anna International. India Shining :-).By 11 PM Jithu, Nattu and Saini arrived and we were escorted straight to Vegas by Shaggy. Vroooommmmmmmmm.

After one tin of Soda (meaning Pepsi) and some air conditioner the condition did "deteriorate". We got near a Freeway and thought of freeing ourselves but as luck would have it, the door to the rest room read "Employees Only". Jithu and me went close enough to signing a contract :-) At 4.30 AM we arrived at the great Gambling city of Vegas. Perhaps Gandhi's visionary freedom for women exists here, as they seemed carelessly wandering around at that hour.

After catching some 5 hours of sleep, we were back to business. It was freaking hot in Vegas at about 118F. As David Letterman said "It was so hot that Angelina Jolie decided to adopt an Eskimo". Thanks to Jithu's expert advice I was carrying a Jerkin. Besides the clown in the Great circus I was the only idiot in the whole Vegas with a jerkin. After eating something (I didn’t know anything about it except that it was something veggie) we went around, but it was so hot that we decided that the room was a much better place.

The city contained some replicas of famous monuments around the world as the Empire State building, Eiffel Tower, Status of Liberty. Since this city is all about lust, Taj mahal was missing. Vegas looks best at night and that’s when the life begins here. Wanna know more? Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I believe I can fly

One of the nicest thing about life is that it throws us a pleasant surprise when we least expect it to happen. Just when my weekends were dull and boring, I chanced upon a great opportunity. Seems that the company folks decided that the people over here had worked (?) a lot and needed some break and so arranged for a trip to an amusement park called Six Flags in Massachusetts.

The cute gal on weather commission predicted some thunder showers and I thought that the weather gods may be up to something as insane as Arjun Singh, but thankfully it wasn’t to happen. The moment I saw those huuuuge rides I was back to my normal brat self. I skipped breakfast and lunch just to make sure that I don’t end up drawing any modern art paintings (meaning puke) on somebody’s dress. The rides were excellent and one of them had a drop from 225 feet to 70 feet. was fun.

The ultimate fun was reserved for the end of the day. It was partly Bungee jumping stuff and the moment I saw it I knew it was for me. For long I had wanted to do bungee jumping and this was an opportunity on a golden platter. When I let the rope go and swayed in the air for a free fall...the effect was mesmerizing and ecstatic. Just like the last scene in Gladiator where Maximus remembers his wife, kid and his country, I remembered my parents, brother, friends, Manager, 3rd std Maths teacher, 8th std English teacher, the first girl who said "You are cute"(Liar Liar) was fun.

I traveled in all the deadly rides and was every angle imaginable from 0 to 360 degrees. Like bugs in Microsoft applications, I was on every other deadly ride. One of my colleague got curious and asked me if I had a twin.

I promised him that I would enquire about the same with my father :-)

Coming Soon: Mask in Vegas, Universal and Disney land. :-) :-)