Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Crisis - Hairstyle

I read quite a few blogs to notice that most of the morons of my age were going through an identity crisis (Who am I ? What's my purpose ? and all that crap). I realized it was too petty an issue to be worried about. I also learnt that most of them write crap and hence, as a blanket rule ; quality doesn't matter in this world. Goodbye "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" fundaa. Goodbye Phargeus ! You never made sense to me.

There are three things that are occupying my mind right now :

1) Are blogs/bloggers really a force to reckon with (as the media portrays it). I'll figure it out sooner or later (in the latter case the media will inform me). It isn't that big an issue.

2) I had a sudden writer's crisis of sorts a few days back; No, not a writer's block (my block is so permanent that I've bored a hole through it to survive in the blog world). I thought writing only funny stuff was a sick thing to do. Since I am doing it again, you know how well I've resolved that issue.

3) But the foremost issue gets title Three. It is a hairstyle crisis. I know Men (I am no longer boy. no arguments on that) styles are available only in two sizes - long and short. Yes, over the decade we have tried to improvise and make the platter appear full - spike, mike, crew, slick, mushroom, potato and other hot titles.

My teachers always had me believing that I had a wonderful head. My mother always had me believing that I had a wonderful head of hair. While the former point is ruled out, my unshakeable confidence in these follicles are beginning to weaken at the keratin level.
Hairstyles in my bachpan were no issue. In fact, till a few years back, hair-style wasn't a term at all. 10 straight years, it was a curt instruction given to the barber - "Bhaiya zaraa baareek kaatna", which meant a close shave effective for the next n months. I am sure it wasn't a monetary issue. Mithun-da style has been lampooned in this house since my birth and any association with it would have meant outright blasphemy. Hence the procedure. The barbers gave it different names - Katora Cut, Crew Cut, Army style. It was a peaceful 'setting' till KGP happened.

Kharagpur instilled in me a great disrespect for the discussed profession. Believe me, they do a really bad job here, especially Sunil Saloon. Hence my hair grew beyond the unthinkable two inches length at college. With time, I relaxed my standards. Now, I sit at home with hair almost reaching 5 inches, and waving beyond control.

Now, my guilt and style fundaa are in conflict.

Centre-partition has given me temporary relief. But as a principle, I'd never attempted this at all. It's a sin! My decade of ignorance robs me of any other ideas. I find Hrithik Roshan sporting lengthy hair, Aamir Khan with curly locks (or is that a wig). These non-entities of peer pressure suddenly seem to support my stance.

A visit should solve the whole problem. But I find it hard to convince myself to part with this gift. Maybe this is what is called attachment. What is the purpose of my hair ? What is my purpose in life ? What-ever !

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Grade F

Oh no!
Excessive sarcasm.
Unwanted exaggeration.
Complete dependence on showcasing stupidity as a virtue.
My blog makes me sick.
Back to basics!
I need a new format.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

D.I.B - The rest of the story

As I was returning from my firm this evening (woo hoo! weekend !), I managed to brake the clutch wire and accelerated sluggishly towards our favourite mechanic shop. While my father's camaraderie with the mechanics is legendary and quite admirable, I distrust them from the bottom of my heart. I think every pore of my face screams out 'Iam ignorant about your profession' and even the most greased up mundu is able to pick up the signal. The scooter spluttered, jerked and halted near the shed. In my most baritone and authoritative voice, I commanded (read requested), "Ye clutch wire change karna hai ...growl growl". As the minutes passed, I began to ponder. What childhood trauma could have possibly affected me this badly ? How can I be so averse to this race, this masculine profession of nuts and bolts. Have some experiences etched my grey cells forever ? 6 bold letters flashed in front of my eyes - DIB 342

As a dedication to the clunks of the mechanics of the universe , I shall focus solely on the auditory aspects of our ex-car. Some of these were duly incorporated in our family lingo. If you think I am exuding family pride right now, think again.


Let me first get into the basics of how a car engine works. A battery sits on the right side (or the left), whose terminals should not be caressed at the same time. Towards the front end lies the radiator, which has a fan. The fan rotates, but for some reason that air isn't thrown towards the passengers (some designer has got his fundaas topsy-turvy. idiots). Between these two components lies the ENGINE. That's it. It is that simple. A lot of pipes run criss-cross. But explaining that is beyond the scope of this blog.

In the good old days, the car used to run on petrol. Quite often, the petrol would refuse to complete its journey to the ENGINE. Post-halt, Daddy would open up the creaky bonnet and following a swift algorithm of suck-spit, forcing the petrol to resume its flow. This was followed by the slamming of the ENGINE's top. A distinct metallic and musical sound we proudly and loudly called Thump-Thump. And then ...maybe..maybe..the car would start again...


The door windows were quite a marvel - possibly second-hand maal from Hitler's tanks. Layers of iron - rusted, dented, painted (SKY BLUE!). Daddy used to urge us to be gentle with the doors. That word was meaningless to us. It'd require a minimum of three slams before some malleable (and ductile) metal would yield and the door would appear closed. The windows were independent entities and would rarely respond to their respective handles. Two of them weren't designed to descend completely, the other two wouldn't do so. The handles would often fall off and reach some unreachable corner of the floor (murphy's law! again!).

A super-true sad story - On one such stormy night, a cat managed to sneak in and do a little potty-business in the car. The next day, the odour wouldn't leave us, in spite of the open windows. One of our neighbours requested a ride to the MH. It was a short ride. Diplomatic mum lips and concealed closed noses made the journey seem a little longer. I don't remember if we were dealing with just cat-shit, or a homogenous stench of L.P.G and potty. The memories are slowly fading away...Thank god !

There are a few more anecdotes, but like a selfish dilli-waala, I am saving them for another blog. week ka quota complete. phew !

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Office Office II

Office is fine. Lunch is fine. AutoCad is fine. But sadly, my training is not confined to that. Once is a while, I have to visit...THE SITE!

Site visits embarrass me. It is a completely different world where the tread of a staircase is called TAPPA and reinforcement is called SARIYA. (I know a D grade in Structures in 3 consecutive semesters doesn't make me much of an expert of the subject, but still...).I know a great deal about cement and how it is different from aggregate (But I am still not sure what the little stones are called.)

People here are like aliens. Stepping out of that little cocoon of middle-class people and 3 meals a day society, I am confronted by names I hear in offbeat movies (and quite often from Swapnil)- Nathuraam ji , Dharampaal ji!

Clients are a better deal anyday. They are my people! I don't want to name them (ok. that was exaggerated- I don't want to name him). My people come from a world where we assume a minimum level of intelligence from others and a much higher level from ourselves. Hence, a comment like 'This will be out of proportion, scale and harmony' would get me affirmative nods from him, while I wouldn't understand the boombastic words I uttered myself...See, ignorance from others I can handle...But here...

The site is all rubble and red masonry. Through my boss, I know waatar-proofingg is currently being supervised. Somehow, I can't find the water, and all the material is either brick or grey! I try and ask the labourers my doubt(s) in their lingo - "ye sariya kab dalega ?. He says something I partially comprehend. Like my favourite client, I nod understandingly, scribble some scribble on a paper and move on. I make a mental note to read about waterproofing using Google. I smile at the little thought that pops in my head - The things I want to know are so trivial or pointless to them ! Like where is the material being stored ? What precautions are being taken for some thing ?

Precautions? In Delhi? In any pseudo-posh locality in the captial, construction simply comes down to constructing a monstrous facade, embellished with corinthian fake colums and fake arches and fake doors. Like blinders, the 2 neighbouring monsters allow this monster to show only a face and a butt. Hence all the money and effort are pooled in to make things look glossy. The back side is the truly negelcted butt of the family. A sliver of space at the back is left unused due to stringent by-laws. This is eventually covered by a grotesque corrugated sheet by my dear dilli-waalas to create more space. GIVE ME MORE! MORE! MORE! A city bred on pushing-the-world-aside and getting-my-work-done fundaa won't give two hoots to public comfort...

Hence the stones and sand indifferently spill over on the thin lane. A pipe gurgling water makes murky patches. A few labourers and my pal Nathuraam ji sit outside the compound smoking their favourite brand of bee-dee. I approach them awkwardly, examining my mentor of architecture and construction.

God save me. God save architecture.