Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Suitable Bride BPO

By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher

Socrates (469 BC - 399 )

Got to say that Cupid, he never got it right. He struck me quite often, but doing half a job usually worse than doing nothing at all. Coz he conveniently bypassed whoever i wanted him to strike on my behalf. And whenever there was that spark of interest from the other side; he never really intervened to keep it on & build it into a roaring fire... Guess his profile was meant to be just of a Business Development Manager ; his job description did not include a Relationship Manager role . Well i can understand if it's that, but got to say he is not a remarkable success in the first profile either !!!

And time flew by; and I was often still in the list of those dreading Valentine's Day, New Years Eve & any other "I-should-be with-my-Girl friend" sort of times.

They say Something's gotta give; and lo behold; it happened for me too. i met someone really wonderful at my office. Thank god for Diversity Policy of the company !! She was gorgeous, intelligent, had an amazing sense of humor (& more importantly thought the same about me) in short just great, soon we started talking.. & then couldnt stop.

We used to be with each other all the time. Sometimes a jog in the mornings; maybe meet up for lunch; chat on office messenger between work and again talk an hour every night after she got home. Every moment so scintillating we couldn't really bear to be apart from each other for too long.The times we went out on weekends; have to say i did enjoy the envious stares of those nerdy "girlfriend-less" types;-)

And thus we decided to get married ............................................... Well, as per plan ; she's now married; though i'm yet to :-((

And so where i've mentioned earlier "We decided to get married"; well :-((( it was not really to each other. She decided to get married to that long term fiance & i decided to get married to whoever destiny had intended for me. As Dil to Pagal Hai would have me believe "There's someone in the world meant just for you". Oh yeah; Just like Liz Taylor had Nicky Hilton, Micheal Wilding, Mike Todd, Eddie Fisher, John Warner & Larry Fortensky all meant for her !!! (Quizzing expects you remember all 7 husbands of Liz Taylor; maybe she doesnt remember all herself)

I had nightmares of becoming a male version of Bridget Jones in about 7 odd years !! Still single & updating my diary on the alcohol units consumed & calories added on. But this being Swades you usually have parents waiting patiently for u to be of marriageable age. Also in my case 2 married sisters, 18 pairs of Uncles n Aunts,about 45 first cousins, 100s of second cousins & millions of myriad relatives all over the world !!

So one day my dad informed me that they 're launching the The Suitable Bride project.

Project objective: Just get N MARRIED asap

Expected date of project completion: Latest End 2005

Scope : Use all the available resources at hand* to find a suitable bride

(Available Resources: 2 married sisters, 18 pairs of Uncles n Aunts,about 45 first cousins, 100s of second cousins & millions of myriad relatives all over the world !! )

Divine Intervention: Might be Essential, Special Novenas , offerings etc to ensure same The first Project Discussion meeting went on like this

Me: Ok, I will get married for sure , but you know wot, I intend to find "The One" myself ; there's no need of anyone else doing it....

Dad: Fine; but of course u dont really have the time for all that; being busy at work n all, do u ? Look at all the resources at OUR disposal??Can you beat that??We will just help you in your search; shortlist candidates for your approval

Me: Well...am not really convinced this will work...

Dad: Consider this like your BPO thingie; u dont have time;we have plenty, so just imagine u have outsourced this task to us !!!

Aaha!!! Now it made sense to me !!!! Like a 3rd party BPO; a company outsourcing non-core activities to an outside vendor which having better resources to perform the task can do it better. I had not thought of it this way..Well, though i'd not really like to admit that finding a girl is not my core competency, I'd to admit there was some logic in outsourcing)

As i couldnt give up so easily I decided to set this condition Me: " The Quality Control lies entirely with the entity which is outsourcing so I will be the final word" !! That was not really a concern for Dad and thus was launched "The Suitable Bride BPO“

Project Update : As we speak now the biggest (wo)man hunt in History is on....Newspaper ads, Shaadi Websites , (click n mortar model??)Personal references.. The entire armada of relatives have been roped in to this task...News comes thick n fast ..There's this girl: Someone's cousin's neighbour's classmate; that nice girl we saw in church(might expect a god fearing guy ;-)))... Wedding videos are scanned for perennial bridesmaids who are potential brides.. Occupants of the photo albums of matrimonial agencies smile at me (believe me these offer more choices than Jenson n Nicholson Paints catalogues)

Even little cousins are reporting nice class teachers (doesnt beat us, doesnt get angry even if i dont do homework) ...

The tsunami of profiles has begun to hit me..

A dentist??: Out of Question.. Will i have to discuss the inclination of canines and fillings to be used in molars all day??

A Vet Doctor: No way; The only animals i deal with will be on my dining table.

A Software engg: Maybe; cant escape them. They're just everywhere in Bangalore. But will i have to ask "which platform do u work on?" as a conversation opener? (I once asked a shoe polish guy at Bandra station the same question ;-))And tho' i speak English, Hindi, Malayalam, French (some German & Tamil too) wot if she can speak no language but C, C++, JAVA??Duhh!!

A fashion designer: Funky, but wot if she doesnt consider me a cool accessory for too long? Will i have to wait till i am back in vogue as retro?.

An MBA: More or less what i have in mind. But still single? Most girls who join MBA do find their life partners there (or by then). How come she didnt??And no way i'll go ahead if she is from a higher ranked Institute than mine. I'll have to go into hiding every time Business Today/ Outlook/ Business World publishes their annual Bschool rankings...

Obviously I havent found "The One" yet....I'm hopeful though ; You know what; maybe there is really someone out there......... (not talkin abt aliens here)

This story is not over yet .....So watch this space

Monday, January 24, 2005

You want your Backside- Square or Graduation ???

Having stayed in 5 cities, 3 in Swades & 2 in England & travelled around quite a bit, i've heard versions of Queen's English as different as Masaladosas r from Fish n Chips

In the God's own Country where i hail from ; the way we say "Pop Music" would remind u more of Vatican rather than Micheal Jackson & "Coke" would remind you of a male Chicken (among other things ;-))) than Aamir Khan's Thanda Matlab........".
Ingleesh becomes the official language after the "occasional" drink ( quite so many of them) with friends & relatives. The subsequent ground shaking discussions on the political, socio-religious & economic equations of Kerala, India, Gelf & Amerikka which needs to be altered, redrawn & utopianized (new word for English??) are conducted essentially in a version of the Queen's language which might first induce her to go to her grave & then turn in it !!!Also when my friend said about a new movie "Yellow Sea" which is playing in Cochin i had in mind mebbe an Akira Kurasowa sort of art movie, till i realized he was talking about LOC with half of Bollywood in it.

Life took me to Mumbai for my MBA & from the first day i was so conscious of my so-called mallu accent. Years of methodically & deliberately stifling & mutilating this accent has worked to some extent. At least in short doses it is rather neutral but have a longer conversation & it pops out (damn..lola kutty). Another pbm was that I was at the same time learning to speak casually in Hindi at the same time. In Mumbai, Hindi n English (Actually Mumbaiyaa versions of both) are as unseparable as Siamese twins. So u've to go like this " Bai aayaa thaa, & and i told her u have to be more regular, aur woh b&#^%$ bol rahaa hai ki I've to pay 200 more, what the f... !!" .. (Well i did spent some time in my std 5 learning the difference betwn "aa rahaa; aa rahi; jaa rahaa; jaa rahi " But Mumbai taught me dont bother , be bindaas , Hindi can be gender blind too!!..hence bai aayaa thaa, gaadi aayaa thaa, train aaya that, ladki aaya thaa ) Moreover, hindi expletives at regular intervals not only makes you so sound more macho but also that u r really comfy wth the language .I noticed that second word of any Punjab-daa-puttar's casual conversation sentence is either of the two fave twin Hindi gaalis (yeah next time listen...)

Work took me abroad to the home of English & I realized that much of what i thought was good English; the Englishmen themselves havent heard of it !!! For eg: One of my friends asked our trainer "May i know your good name plz??" He responded "Well, its Pete, ..uh; dont know if its good or bad"..Later i figured that probably it was a very Indian Shubh naam which became Good name quite innovatively so. And when another of our group mentioned someone's dad expired, quite unexpected this guy burst out laughing; while I was contemplating whether this guy was a remnant of British raaj; (laughing like Bob Cristo over the death of a native in aBollywood movie) he told us that for them it is usually loans n mortgages that expires which is a rather happy occasion !!!

And in the same UK trip once there was this friend of mine who suddenly screamed "Right Here" to the London cabbie and Screeeechhh....... he slammed the brakes right there. She said "no ,not here" and the cab started again & once again she screams "Right here" ...So he braked right there ..Both were confused & this "Right here" & "Screeecchh" went on a couple of times till someone else sort of explained that "Please take a right turn" is what she had in mind !!!

Back in India after Bangaloring a few jobs from the UK ; i heard a totally different tongue; a very Bangalorean English; which went like "Dont put-tu your slipper-u in the mud-du"or an exasperated" What-and-all do i have to do, aayo amma" ; a very curious" What it seems, what it seems???" ; or a questioning "I've to do it-aaa or u'will do it aaaa???"

But nothing could beat the barber who was giving me a haircut & asked me how the hair should be cut..(A round cut or a sloping cut ) "Sir, you want your backside square or graduation " ???!!!!

God save the queen !!Serves her right for spreading the language so indiscriminately

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Football with the Fanatics :- Eng Vs France match June 14 2004

Tottenham, Central London :-
Euro Cup 2004 was on and I was in London. A process Migration Project from my company. Being in the homeland of Football when their team is participating in such an important tournament was an umatchable experience. Like being in Mumbai when India is playing in the World Cup. So much josh; absolute fanatism!!!England flags on every car, England merchandise in all shops..

We had thot we'll watch the much awaited Eng-France match at an English pub ....Just for the 100% experience. We were desperate to find one as the match had already started.........only sounds in the the deserted Oxford street was from the occasional pub which was all full with England shirts singing , cheering....
Finally slightly off the road found a pub with a spare table and the sign outside "Yeah, we show the footie in our telly"
Was the same ambience as everywhere but I noticed it was not a very young crowd ; some oldies in England shirts, another group all in England shirts and weird lookin big England hats ..After we took our places at the table noticed 3 more guys..One a thin skinhead like youngster with tattoos all over ...but (Somehow girls found him cute than menacing as the ones we'd heard stories of) .., and 2 blacks; one quite lookin like Laurence Fishburne; sitting at the bar ..
"Daat izzz a dangerous color to wear today " Mr Fishburne told my friend who was wearing a dark blue tshirt ...He pointed to his own tshirt which had a Union Jack...and winked .His accent gave it away..He was French !! And so was the skinhead n the other guy...three Frenchmen in the midst a very patriotic English crowd
Match goes on..Ooohs and aahs ..England attacks......Beckham curves in one ;Lampard scores.......... Gooooooaaaalll !! The pub exploded..Red and white all over ...People started singing ........"Born eeeeeeeeeeeen Eng-Land" theme song for the team this year ..More beer for everyone.
Skinhead is really disappointed ........"Sheeeeeeiiittt"

French tries to attack but are not even testing James the English keeper...........
Half time !!! Pub started playing the current rage ;England football songs..The Englishmen sing along...A surge in Patriotism.

I'd always wondered if they had a Brit equivalent for those Rok Sake to Rok Lo sort of songs which become a hit in India when World Cup Cricket is on. Not quite so but there was this one.....
"Three Lions on your shirt,
Jules Rimet still gleaming ,
30 years of hurt,
couldnt stop u dreaming.... "

They're referring to the 1966 controversial World Cup win for England ( they say there were 14 Englishmen on the field; 11 Players, referree & linesmen) still much like we keep nostalgically talking about 1983 in cricketing terms.Well at least we won on our own; not with the umpires' help.
A couple of 'em taunts Skinhead; one puts an arm around his shoulder n says "Too bad Frenchie Boy " ..pats him on the back mockingly and singing along the English songs in his face ...

"Peeeessss Offf" ...........Frenchie boy shows the Middle finger ............

Fishburne is in a mood to talk to us....may be coz we 're the only non English looking and comparitively sober group around.. "Barthezzz ..getting old, Anelka wazzz goood..Zidaane old now....U know Thierry Henry ??"he asks..He's my Frriend "I know heeem very welll" .....

But he's given up on his team.."No use today ..England will win"

Match starts again..France keeps attacking..But then Wayne Rooney takes the ball and goes into the French penalty area..he gets crudely hacked down by Mikael Silvestre, who was fortunate to receive only a caution, and England are duly awarded a penalty....Our 3 French Musketeers cant bear to watch..Beckham takes the kick , Barthez dives right .................. Penalty Saved !!!! Englishmen cant believe this ...................."

"Yeahhhhh " ..Skinhead raises his arms more in relief than truimph ........ But match is nearing finish....The singing starts again .. Frenchie boy cant sit down anymore..starts walkin around with hands on his head.."Non non non"............Singing becomes louder
Just a minute odd of injury time to go..France gets a freekick..Zidane takes it and curls aorund Goal keeper James............. "Gooooaaallll" Skinhead starts jumpin about........Fishburne also pumps his fist and does a High five with the Skinhead...
Englishmen bang their fists on the table "Dammmmmmmmmmn!" But its not over yet ...a minute later James brings down Henry and France is given a penalty..Englishmen are dumbfounded now..
Zidaane come fwd to take the kick .."He cant miss it , he cant miss it" Fishburne is muttering.. Now Zidane doesn't miss such opportunities..not like Beckham (with haircuts and Posh Spice to distract him) ..........he kicks it in to the right of the Goalkeeper who dives the wrong way...

"Gooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllll " Its 2-1 France

Pub goes all silent but for the Skinhead and the other 2 Frenchmen who are now dancing embracing each other...Even the reserved Mr Fishburne cannot hide his delight...
Skinhead now launched into a new dance routine...which basically involved Middle fingers extended in both hands and raising above his head and jumping around..
And he started a different song "Aaaallez .....................allez allez ohh aaaahh, Aaaaaalllezzz" .................. Fishburne and the other French men join in ..."Aaaaaaalllez ...."
"Y'all better learn some French now !!!" Fishburne shouts at all ..."Bonjour , Comment allez vous.." And then he joined in with the other two "Aaaaallez, allez allez Ohh aaaaaaaaaaaahhh" ................

Monday, January 17, 2005

Three years in the making; here it is ...THE BLOGGGG !!!

"With the possible exception of the equator, everything begins somewhere"

It 's my New Year resolution to start a blog !!

I 'm consistent..I had the same resolution in 2002 & 2003. I forgot about it in 2004. But remembered again in 2005

Problem is the Blogger's Block (manifests itself just like the writer's block) ..It means that I get this incredibly creative idea when i'm on my bike negotiating the nearly nbon-existent Bangalore roads (they exist in patches between the potholes) or when i' m takin a shower in the morning or desperately working out trying to lose weight at the gym(thats another New Year resolution) ...but whn i come back to the comp and think of keying in something..all just evaporates, no mood no time & so no blog

Being in an American company; with American Holidays today i'm havin an off.I'm supposed to celebrate Martin Luther King's Birthday today. No problemo !! I can celebrate the B'day of Britney Spears if you want. If i'm given a holiday on a Monday

Imagine waking up at say 8:30 in the morning ..Stretch ...yaaawwwnn..And then ..damn its monday .....but wait a sec !!! Today it's Martin Luther King's Happy B'day..u can sleep another 2 hours. So i pull the covers over my head & go back to the world of outrageous dreams.

Well I just remembered, Dr. King was the one with the original "I have a Dream" Speech. Well hope someday i'll be able to dream a dream which can actually mentioned to a group & will be applauded for it.....

As for the current dreams...well; let me put it this way only thing i can do with them is to sell the movie rights to... say Zalman King ;-))

So much for that. Feeling good that i've created a blog & maybe i'l actually get some readers for the same & maybe someday there'll be readers who will wait for the next blog.....

All this when i've not really decided what this blog will be all about..Mebbe some of those lazy ruminations of mine & anecdotes from my not so eventful life...Thank God its not some situation where this blog is my only source of livelyhood with some corporate tycoon deciding to pay me according to the number of hits on the site.

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