Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mulshi Lake

Mulshi Lake
Originally uploaded by Cynic in Wonderland

A feel of the monsoons. Brooding clouds, grey green hills. Hints of moisture in the air

Friday, June 27, 2008

Kayku Haiku?

Lekhini had tagged me with an interesting thingie the other day but given the fact that I am on leave with a completely rubbish connection, I had not got around to writing or uploading it.But here goes ….

First the rules

In five syllables, no more, no less, describe the worst movie you can think of. Bonus points if you have to show off your Google skills because you can’t remember the name of it and all you can come up with is that it features Roz Russell and Sandra Dee. Turns out it was some tripe called Rosie! Exclamation point the producers’ idea, not mine.“Auntie Mame leavings.”

In seven syllables, no more, no less, describe your worst date. Bonus points if it was sordid. Subtract points if it sounds too much like an overweight fifteen year old Goth girl.“He pushed my head down. I puked.”

In five syllables, no more, no less, describe the worst job you ever had.

Put it all together and you have a haiku of life’s low points.
The actual tag says one haiku, but since I HAVE delayed writing it, will penalize myself and write two. Besides, so many of these experiences, its hard to chose!

Worst movie ever (5 syllables):
Man blanks love through booze
Banshee Kirron Kher
Plastic Queen Breaks Heart

Worst date ever (7 syllables):
Britney Spears fan club man
Two timed him on first date, bore!

Worst job ever (5 syllables:
Start blues, Friday evening

A work stealing boss

The explanations:

Movie: Okay the first one might be simple enough. All three refer to the same movie. Actually there are a whole bunch of other bad movies floating around, but none reached quite the decibel levels of this one. Viz. Devdas

Date: Someone raving over Britney’s talent? Ahem. Same chap again, I was so thoroughly bored that I and my-then-friend-who-would-end-up-being-future-husband were having a parallel flirting session through text messaging.

Job: The first one refers to my first job; it was such a nightmare would start getting Monday morning blues from Friday evening itself. That’s pretty good indicator if you want to quit btw.
The other Haiku refers to my third job, where I had this ******* boss who would first rip my presentations, then steal them and mail it around claiming it was his ( after changing the background and color templates.) I devised a very effective solution to that. I took to showing the work to all and sundry before mailing him. So when he DID show the work as his, people pretty much knew it wasn’t.

Okay who to tag now?

Ideasmithy The wordsmith – would love to see this one
Epiphany: Doing a rocking job with the 55 word stories, so let’s see the 5 syllable ones
Naren: With all the courtship stories et al, one would love to see the horror stories from dating especially
Kraz: ah there is a reason for this.

And all ye others who are up for it

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shadow Life

The other day I read a quote on Happiness Economics – it said that Happiness X Age graph is “U” shaped – viz. people are happiest when they are very young or very old.

That might explain it. Might explain why as people I know, people who are in their late twenties and early thirties – people who on the face of it are entering the peak phase of their lives with a career (that has begun to take shape and take off), a partner (for companionship) and in some cases a child, feel the way they do.
People who ARE talented, educated, reasonably affluent professionals – but who secretly, within the confines of their homes – battle with demons – unremitting and vitriolic of anxiety and stress.

And it’s happening across the genders, across the professional and personal spectrum, across socio-economic classes, and familial backgrounds.

At a personal level for the girls – I thought, I could understand – it was either the pressure (societal, familial, peer or even self sometimes) of getting a spouse before marriage. And the adjustments and compromises AFTER marriage – and make no mistake, a significant amount of onus still lies on the girl.

I have seen most of the girls I know – brought up to be independent and opinionated and free spirited – shed that skin, after they get married to morph into someone’s wife and daughter in law – with all the concomitant pressures and expectations.
Often give up on flourishing careers to trail with the husband all over the globe. Change countries, career paths, lifestyles, everything – and do so gracefully, happily and willingly, not as a forced sacrifice, but as a conscious life choice. Or sometimes, not do any of those things and continue exactly the way there were before marriage. But in all cases, something subtle changes within – I have seen this time and again as my friends, and acquaintances have got married – that somehow, they lose a little bit of the “light” within. Maybe what I call the “light” is nothing but the spark of adult independence which gets dulled as it gets enmeshed with another individual’s life. A child of course, will tone down a person even more. It has nothing to do with how happy or unhappy one is in the relationship – or how much in love one is.

Maybe that’s what one calls growing up. Where one gives up a part of oneself in order to gain something else. This process of changing or giving up, of losing oneself to become someone else is almost phoenix like – in the sense that the earlier avatar needs to be completely destroyed, for the new one to be born. Add the pressures of a professional career, priorities recalibration, to the mix, and that’s a fairly potent recipe for anxiety.

The men (and for the so-called-career women), the anxiety seems to stem more from a financial and professional standpoint. Perhaps it’s the state of transition between learning and performing, or between choice and need, between enthusiasm and ennui.

And to a great many of us, it is often coming to terms with one’s ordinariness. Making peace with the fact that even an above average intelligence often, doesn’t not translate into anything much in the daily scheme of things. And accepting the reality of the environment, of a lopsided world, where merit often needs to kow-tow to shrewd mediocrity

For many, it is facing upto the unpleasant truth that the professional glass ceiling is not too distant– where the opportunities are scarcer and the competition, exponential. Where the need to hone skills is high, but the drive is fading, and energy often drained away, dealing in a morass of managerial mundanity.

And for both is the constant balancing – between work and home, between parents and children, between companionship and ‘space’, between sharing and independence, between integrity and getting-work-done, between salary and fulfilment.

In this scenario, it is not surprising that there is no balm for the anxiety – the only thing which is there is the strips of ineffective plaster – in the form of consumption and the addiction to buy, to booze, to over indulge. To suppress the symptoms but not affect the cure.

The time where one is willing and able to absorb, grow and blossom the most is often strangled by the poison within.

A pity, really.

The second of the posts I had wanted to write on anxiety and depression. The first one is here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Carton Chasers

Okay. So we are shifting and all that. From our current strange-scary-eclectic-nomadic-neighbours-but-friendly-strays to a fancy schmancy "gated complex", with a "Singapore Garden" (Every time the hero sees this, he grimaces with an almost physical pain and moans "I paid 2 lakhs extra for *@#&*@! #** Thing?") and some El Greco, almost –El-Fresco statuettes, which I find quite baffling.

So the last few months have been spent running around figuring out carpenters and plumbers and geysers and other exhausting utilitarian household durables, and finally the countdown to the shifting has begun.

Shifting unfortunately, means packing. Packing implies that one needs to have PACKING materials. Not too many choices – bags (all forms and shapes and sizes) and cartons. One of course, can't go around buying bags – there is the minor matter of where to store the dratted things after the shift. So cartons it is. Or so that was the logical conclusion that S and I had arrived at, at the start of this tale.

The next task was procurement of these said cartons. The big-fat-fridge carton, seductively inviting us with its alluring empty spaces, was already married to the fridge. The cooler box standing stiffly to attention in the gallery plastered with the trappings and photos of commitment defied us to come and defile it with anything else. The poor, squat microwave morosely stood lonesome and carton less. The pressure cooker carton's spirit was willing, but the size was not.

The geysers and the fan boxes, the MIL (who had got a head start in the packing race) had cunningly earmarked for her stuff.

Thus we start on the marathon Quest for the Holy Cartons.

Started out innocuously enough – turn the house upside down to see whether there are some cartons coyly lurking in some corner. We were lucky enough to locate ONE which managed to hold all of ten books (in a household where books outnumber the sum total of every other article, 2:1).

Okay. So no cartons at home. No problems. Let's go and buy some of them.

Supermarket 1
S: "Hi, we wanted to buy some cartons, would you have some?"
Blank stares.
They seem to not know what cartons are. The supplies apparently dematerialize from the warehouse only to spontaneously recompose into the supermarket aisles.

Supermarket 2:
Me: "Hi, do you sell cartons?"
An icy Goddess looks down in disdain at me and huffily says" No we don't".
Apparently we have trampled some sensibilities there.
Apparently, cartons cannot be brought over the counter either.

We decide to abandon the supermarkets and go to the friendlier climes of the mom & pop stores and see if we can sponge some off.

Grocery Shop 2
Me: (trying to ooze some charm) "Bhaiyya ji aapke paas khaili cartons hai?"Produces a agarbatti sized one. Some long explanations ensue. Interspersed with many questions on how and why we are shifting and the genealogy of the old and the new apartment till we satisfactorily establish some convoluted biradri-ka-rishta between the Pop's apartment and ours. We emerge triumphantly from the shop, carrying three cartons (medium sized) and one agarbatti box.

By this time, S who is notoriously low in patience in matters of a domestic nature is trying to wriggle out of the exercise. We can use the bags he proclaims grandiosely. What are they for? When I demur with murmurs of disproportionate baggage to bag ratio, he shushes me with a "well, we can always ferry luggage, empty it and go with empty bags across cant we?"

Well apparently not. We don't have places to empty the bags in. Unless we dump everything on the middle of the empty floor. But the MIL will have none of that.

So we (that means ME) are back into the carton quest.

The other day I go to our factory for a film shoot. Even in the midst of all the chaos my mind keeps on darting to the nice plump boxes sitting in the corner of the warehouse. While the crew is having lunch, I actually sneak there and try and juggle it around to see whether I can quietly pinch some. I exercise tremendous self restraint and refrain from doing so (partly because there is a CCTV balefully eyeing me and partly because it weights a ton)

Back in office I have the bright idea of raiding the supplies closet. For my pains, I get two coffee soaked apologies for boxes and a whole lot of amused and sceptical glances (!!!)

Yesterday, I MIGHT have reached a new low though. After weeks of dreaming about boxes and cartons. Big strapping durable boxes. I saw one such one JUST outside my house.

A 29 inch television box.
Quietly standing outside new neighbours’ house.
No neighbours in sight
Easy get away route.
The rest I leave to your imaginations.


P.S. I had written this about ten days ago, but since we WERE shifting, i didnt get around to posting it. Subsequently we have shifted. More on the Battles with the brooms and the murder of the mop and the chasing cooks later

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cynic’s Tools for the corporate trade.

(Continued from here)

Presenting the Cynic‘s Essential Tool Kit for the Corporate Trade.

#1: La Cushion De CYA

Is your derriere your Achilles heel? Do you always have to bend like a contortionist to protect the vulnerable areas from attacks from unexpected quarters?

Introducing the extra strength, super endurance La Cushion de CYA. La Cushions de CYA comes enmeshed with a fine mesh of super grade steel (also used to make rockets), for the ultimate protection against any dorsal attacks. They are ergonomically designed to take your individual shape for maximum comfort. And what more, they are padded with super fine, ultra soft cotton to suit even the most sensitive posteriors.

Durable defence for your derriere

Comes in a range of bright colors to match every outfit.

# 2: Crocodile Dew Glycerine

Have you ever written/had the pressing urge to write melodramatic and highly emotionally charged (and grammatically haywire) mails like this (marked to the world) for every trivial issue?

“I think he can't be a fit person handling abc It is matter of pure common sense I am frustrated and upset - am not in a position to write further. I am not blaming any one personally, but now it is a high time to give it a serious thought”

Then Crocodile dew glycerin is JUST the nifty accessory for you.

Crocodile Dew is made from the extract of the finest glycerides, for that absolutely translucence and odour free consistency. It goes through a five stage process to ensure the most distilled and refined pure glycerine with 80% hygroscopic properties – thus ensuring that that it looks and feels even more real than actual tears can ever hope to. This is why it’s been the preferred brand of all our cine – stars down the ages, right from Meena Kumari to Alok Nath.

Tears on tap – anytime, anywhere!

Special limited offer: Crocodile Tissue pack free on the purchase of two packs of Crocodile Dew Glycerine

# 3: Bombast’s Hot-Air Recharge Station

Does your battery get down sprouting all that hot air in meetings? Do you feel utterly deflated after conferences? Has some sharp wit of colleague punctured your blustering tirade? Worry not, presenting the Bombast’s Hot-Air Recharge Station

Bombast’s Hot Air Recharge Station, is your portable solution for all your hot air needs. All you need to do is plug it into your nearest socket, and imbibe the warm, flavoured (mint, orange, strawberry or mixed fruit) helium air inside for fifteen minutes and you are ready to roar again! It has an inbuilt temperature control system, which allows you to set thermal level depending upon your individual needs!

Now float in to every meeting, confidently charged, full with effervescent energy!

# 4: Twisterin’ Tongue

Have you ever been hampered by the inadequate absorbency of your tongue? Has it limited your ability to lick *** effectively? Have you ever thought to yourself “oh how I wish I could lick some more, I could kiss some more?”

Look no further!

Introducing the Twisterin’ Tongue – the ultimate tongue enhancer in the world today.
Twisterin tongue has an elasticized, rubberized casing (super flexible for extra reach even difficult places) and absorbent gel within this casing which allows you to absorb upto seven times its weight, without getting saturated.

Twisterin’ Tongue is the present across all corners of the world – In Hollywood; it is the preferred brand of Yes-Men, Publicists and wannabe starlets alike. In India, it is the official and exclusive distributor for all civil and administrative and Government services personnel.

Don’t wait; lick your way up to the top today!

# 5: Original Rhino-Hide Body Suit

The work place can be tough sometimes – colleagues, clients, suppliers, superiors are often known to pass quite cutting comments.

As the name suggests, the Body-Suit is made from Original Rhino Hide, legendary for its thickness and absolute resilience to the external environmental conditions. This body suit has been further enhanced with Boomerang Receptors that amplify and reflect back any critiques which might be directed at the sender thus keeping you absolutely safe and absolutely impervious to any kind of suggestions – constructive or otherwise.

Be safe, be strong, be a Rhino!

# 6: Chaume, by Devdas

And if you thought the stubbly look was only useful in attracting pretty young things, think again! ‘Chaume’ the ultimate male accessory, can be one of the most effective work repellents known to corporate-kind.

The application of Chaume allows one to portray and abject state of stress and overwork which leaves no time for everyday chores like shaving. It is made with that special stick-and-pat formula TM, (built in association with the 3M team that developed post-it notes) which can be reused for 187 days. What more, it is enhanced with the essence of aloe vera gel for that non scratchy, non itchy experience.

Work shirking has never been so easy!

Available in a range of styles and sizes to suit each and every face type and size – French, Luxuriant, Stubbly, Middle-eastern, Plectrum-Style

# 7: Spinner’s Turn Coat

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

Isn’t that JUST what one feels in the corporate world? A season to say yes, and to change it to no. That is the genesis and the philosophy behind Spinners Turn Coat.

The turn coat effortlessly and guiltlessly helps you morph your views, opinions and stands to suit the environment at hand. It is woven from the softest chameleon silk, which is cool and airy and safeguards you from so much as breaking into a sweat.

Spin away to good fortune!

Available in XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL

For sales and distribution inquiries contact:
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