Friday, January 29, 2010

Auction again......

In a surprising development, HUL which manufactures Ponds’ age miracle cream has announced its new brand ambassadors. Till yesterday the speculation was rife that the brand will sign the eternal beauty Rekha or Hema Malini for a humongous sum as actresses are generally reluctant to accept their old age, more so publicly. But surprising everybody, the company has decided to sign Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi for a sum of $850,000. And not only that, he will be the global brand ambassador for the product. Reports from Pakistan state that ever since being signed, Afridi has cut his middle finger and stuck it on the top of Burj Khalifa , with the background saying, “F**k IPL.” Apparently after the snub from IPL, Afridi thinks that his middle finger is of no further importance to him and could not have been put to a better use. Moreover, he has been saying anybody who cares to listen that, “Chehra dikhane ke paise nakhre dikhane se jyaada milte hain.”
Elaborating on the perceived eccentricities of the choice, the CEO of the HUL clarified, “The selection was quite a fair and a competitive process decided by a novel bidding process between our major shareholders. For the record, Rekha , Hema Malini, Amitabh Bacchan or even Marilyn Monroe did not receive any bids at all. Whereas, Umar Akmal , 17 year old prodigy had a bid of $510,000, Abdur Razzak, a bid of $650,000, but the winner hands down was Shahid Afridi with a winning bid of $850,000.The price war is reportedly triggered by the entry of the Pakistan U-19 team into the world cup finals for the third consecutive time. There must be something right with either their genes, their creams or their birth certificates. But, being less than 19 years, they cannot sign contracts , so we had to settle for Afridi. But they are our next major targets. As for Afridi, even after hitting the fastest century , fathering two daughters, being dropped and picked numerous times, he has magnificently managed to stay rooted at 29 years forever. If this is not a age miracle, what is? And we at Ponds’ age miracle are proud to be associated with another age miracle. An intelligent person once said, “The more the things change , the more they remain the same.” Nothing exemplifies it more than the age of these Pakistani prodigies.”

An on field incident is shown in pictures below which further confirms the Afridi’s credentials to be quite apt for the brand.

From another file photograph of ours we show you another example of the kind of fan
following Afridi has. Just note that everybody in the family looks so young, howsoever bored, even the dog.

As per the breaking news the company has grand pans to bring about an age miracle cream for the dogs as well, for which also Afridi will be the brand ambassador. This decision was taken after the company ,management came across the above photograph, highlighting the adulation Afridi enjoys even among the canine community.

(On all photographs, please click to enlarge)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A tale of 2 interviews- Part 1

This winter when I was at home, some very “caring” uncles and aunties did so well to remind me that next year I will have to sit for my placement interviews. I have always had a rather dim view for these uncles and aunties who always come across with supremely irritating “been there, seen that, done that" attitude. No matter how much you have slogged for engineering they know more about engineering colleges than you do. No matter how many foreign trips you have been to, they will always know about USA more than you even if their impeccable knowledge tells them that Bill Clinton still rules Amreeka and with it the world. They are more eager to have me placed than me or even my Dad who incidentally doesn’t want me to sit for interviews instead goading me to go for higher studies. Apparently he has no problems whatsoever with further continuation of my worthless ways.

The mention of “interviews” brings back memories of the first two interviews I gave in my life.

First was one when I was in class VI for RIMC (Rashtryia Indian Military College). And the next was when I was in class VII for my school(Bishop Westcott Boys' School, Ranchi) . I was naive, a bit innocent, a bit ignorant and above all was totally unfamiliar with what actually an interview is. Looking back I always wish that I could rekindle that bit of innocence and ignorance in my present life as well, but I realise that I have got a bit more familiar with the worldly ways which do not permit such kinds of sweet indulgences or else the term nostalgia will cease to exist.

The first one was for admission to RIMC. I was in class VI and given earlier the written for it and then was to appear for the interview. I knew nothing about the interview courtesies and the only one I extended to the board members was a curt “May I come in”. To which I was replied, “Yes please and take your seat.”

I was not sure whether it was morning or noon, so I didn’t wish them on that front either. Anyways from their expressions it was evident that morning or noon it was not going all that good for them. Moreover in front of six army officer who quite possibly pride themselves on the matters of decorum and discipline, my lack of perceptible manners must have been quite a sacrilege. Anyways they apparently did not lack them, so they did offer me a seat. I took it without saying even thanks to them. Well, I did not know that one ought to do that. Well, I had never thanked even my parents for anything in my life. Simply I have never felt any need to do so. And I quite simply reasoned again that I didn’t need to do so for these rather dangerous looking people either. So in the end I simply sat. May be they did not expect such behaviour and I could see some brows rising. Anyways they decided to continue.

“ So Mr. Sumit,..which school do you come from ?”

Now, when this happened, the school I was studying in did not give me the papers stating that I was a bonafide student of that school which was essential to appear for the RIMC examination. The reasons for such largesse shown by one of my alma mater, I cannot really recall at the moment. So I assume that being a very good student they were rather “reluctant” to let me slip out of their hands...... Just kidding, actually.

So my Dad had arranged me to fill the form from a governmental school in the locality using a bit of his influence. That, strictly speaking, was a bit illegal. But what was more troublesome for me , I was going to realise in a few moments into the interview hall.

“Sir the name of my school is “Rajkiya Rajpoot Madhyamik Vidyalaya.”

“But, Mr. Sumit the form we have in our hands says something different...It is....”

But before he could continue , my already racing mind was fast searching for an reason to this anomaly. I had still not realized the deep s**t I had landed myself in. And I figured that maybe my Dad had finally arranged a certificate from my school, my genuine one that is. So I promptly interrupted him while he was pronouncing my death sentence as I realized later.

“Sir, Sir please wait a moment. In that case the name of my school happens to be Rose Public School.”

Well, the look he gave me was as if I had slapped him once and asked him to present his other cheek in accordance to the Gandhian principle.

“I beg to differ Mr. Das. In that case, I think, we should proceed further without inquiring whether you suffer from Alzheimer at this very young age.” He taunted in a voice as if I had asked for his daughter’s hand for marriage.

Everybody other than me guffawed out loud at this pathetic joke. Maybe I would have also done so if I had known what Alzheimer is .

“So, Mr. Das, which district does the school you study in falls in? Well, either of your two schools will do.” The other member asked in a same voice as of his colleague.

I don’t intend to marry twice you Idiots.

“Sir , Madhubani.”

“So what is your place known for?”

“Sir, I think Madhubani Paintings.”

“So, can you please name some of the famous painters for us?”

I thought hard, but could not recall any. It was only later that I came to know that there are so many that even if I could come up with names like Ganga Devi, Yamuna Devi, Saraswati Devi, Kaveri Devi, Gandak Devi or even Budhi Gandak Devi, everything would have passed muster.

“Anyways , Mr. Das what do you want to become when you grow up?”

“Sir, I want to be a cricket player.”

Now, you go to the entrance interview for a military school and you say that you want to be a cricket player instead of a Major or a Lieutenant , there are high chances that they will give you such a kick up your backside that you will land straight into a cricket academy. But they were civilised people, much more than what I was and thus held themselves back. Maybe they would have done well had they done so.

“Ok, Mr.Das, what is your favorite sport.”

In my opinion, they gave themselves away with this. They were basically a stupid bunch of people who were sent to conduct an interview coz Indian Army had no apparent use for them. It is not much good asking David Bekham his favorite sport, is it?

“Sir, it is cricket.” I replied.

“So can you please tell me where are third man and long on stationed in a cricket match?”

Finally I was able to give a correct answer in the interview. They did not ask me my name or else that count could have gone up, but that was not to be. At this point , they were sufficiently fed up and asked me to leave . They did not forget to add “It was a pleasure meeting you Mr.Das.” Obviously it was more false a declaration than Bush saying there are WMDs in Iraq.

After a farce like that, expecting an admission was akin to asking out Katrina Kaif and not having being thrashed by Salman. So I did not even bother checking the results. So finally I didn't even care at the last. Good riddance was the only feeling that surged through me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pichle Saat Dino Mein....

A few days back, it was in news that Shahid Kapoor was miffed at Utv for refusing to promote the movie citing the no-brand value of Shahid and Genelia “brand” . Shahid was going something like, “ Fab kaminey hain, Faale fab ke fab.” I saw it yesterday and half an hour into the movie, you realise that actually Ronnie Screwala is quite a businessman. He obviously had seen the movie and then wanted to save money and also wanted to earn money and he did not want to turn his viewers away so he did that whatever he did. Well, I started reading a business newspaper today and realized that it is as complicated a stuff as my last sentence, and Ronnie Srewvala is quite a businessman. So he tricked Shahid and me and my friends to do what he wanted. So, I went to watch the movie and quite soon realised that had Shahid actually seen the movie after acting in it, he might have saved his spleen for the scriptwriter and the music director instead of Ronnie. And this is supposed to be a musical . Kambakht Ishq was a better "musical", and considering it was from Anu "bebo main bebo" Malik, that is saying something. Shahid tries his best, hams as Srk does , dances as he usually does, but the people in charge contrive against him rather painfully. Reminds me of another bright talent Ranbir Kapoor who in my opinion is still waiting for the script to justify his abilities. Shahid has had Kaminey and Jab we met, but they have been disconcertingly interspersed with a kismat konnection , fool and final and now this. The last movie I watched before this was 3 Idiots and that was only 4 days back . Chance pe Dance doesn’t even tempts comparisons in even the remotest of the senses. I was called an idiot for about 15 days for having not seen 3 Idiots yet. I am again in danger of being called an idiot for having watched Chance pe Dance.

Last few days have been a bit interesting for me . Of course new year arrived , I came back to college, we played Sri Lanka again, and lost or won , I don’t know. Domestic cricket has been more interesting. Mumbai won while I wanted Karnataka to prevail , but importantly BCCI lost as well . And they say IPL is reviving domestic cricket. And also I watched these two movies. And talking of movies, these days there is a lot of autism and Khan on T.V. They have been promoting it all right. But to me it started in all earnest on 15th August 2009 . If I remember correctly, a certain soul was detained a few months back at an airport in US and he cried hoarsely for everyone to listen,” My name is Khan. My name is Khan”. And dear me, did everyone oblige . For me, that was the first look, and the first step. Anyways, by the looks of it, by the end of February it seems that I am going to have a enormously huge punching bag. But, sigh... I will have to wait for that. And by looking at the attempt of SRK to play both Darsheel and Hrithik of KMG rolled into one sprinkled with shades of New York, I know that the wait is going to be an impatient one. Just one doubt for now, no disrespect intended but can autistic people get it up to produce children?

I also watched 3 Idiots , finally. But even before it was released, I knew that I would love it . Coz, one I am also an engineering student.. And two, I am also not doing engineering coz I love nuts and bolts, but because it provides me with the best chance to reserve a secure future for myself. And since I don’t want my college to hand me over a college leaving certificate before I am eligible to have one in case they come across this post, I will like to state that to study in a good college like mine , also gives me the luxury and leisure to pursue my hobbies which in my case happen to be only sleeping. Coming back to the movie, it was what I had expected. Hilarious, well scripted, superb , with punching dialogues, but still a bit jingoistic and melodramatic at places . But essentially the best thing about the movie is that it has its heart in place which is important for a flick like 3 Idoits which basically tries to be a heartwarming tale. There have been criticisms like the movie is far from reality and all that . But remember DCH? That was a movie which was far from reality. College is not all about fests, chicks , love stories , which is even more true in the case of an engineering college. But didn’t we all love DCH ? And who knows, If one has nothing to lose as in case of Rancho, one might end up giving a lecture to a professor as well. Criticisms remind me that the people who created this education system which is nothing but essentially an examination system were also human beings like us likes of which still exist.

Moving on, I returned to my college and also to Delhi in the process. It was cold in Bihar as well, my native place, but coming here makes me feel as if Delhi has never known summer. I have forgotten how it feels like to wear a thin shirt with a thin jeans and a pair of chappals. And everyday my classes start at 9 . Maybe my professor saw 3 Idiots and they felt it was high time to show that they are the one still in charge. Reverse inspiration, you see.

Back home , . I had a trip to my father's in laws, my naanighar that is. When on vacation, if you are married, a trip to your in-laws is mandatory, and if otherwise, a trip to your father's in-laws is mandatory. HaHa kanoon(law) ke haath bahut lambe hote hain. Sorry for the suicidal PJ. The trip was quite eventful as I met some quite quirky characters, quirkier than even me , so they stuck in memory. While I was there, they had another guest. He was a student who had come to give a scholarship test by Brilliant Tutorials, a coaching institute for IIT training. I had a chat with him

To Bhai, kis class mein padhte ho?”( In Bihar, that is the standard line when you start a conversation with a young child. No wonder Patna has almost 1000 coaching institutes for IIT preparation. )

“ Eight going to Nine” Pat came the reply. Wonder why he was in such a hurry to grow up.

To IIt karna hai”



A pregnant pause followed . Just that I thought that it was pregnant but it was followed by another long pause and then another till I realised it is not an artistic pregnant pause but just a detrimental, confused one. Had I seen 3 Idiots then , I might have tried playing Baba Ranchoddas, but I hadn’t . Maybe even if I had seen the flick, I still would not have tried coz I later came to know that the guy has been preparing for IIT since class VI and had already qualified in another scholarship test taken by Fiitjee , another factory for IIT students. His father was visibly proud of him. I just wondered whether the child is intelligent belying his age or his parents are foolish belying their ages. Class VI !!! Are they serious? When I was in one, only thing that was there was Science. Physics and Chemistry were when one slipped his tongue saying Patna and Calcutta. And a child there is trying for IIT!!! Don’t know whether expectations have gone up, competition has gone up, population has gone up or simply stupidity has gone up. I would much rather prefer somebody like my mausi’s daughter. She is also in VIII, and is quite vivacious, likes to talk and importantly behaves like her age and thinks that that father-son duo is nothing more than a walking hoarding for FIITJEE.

Another quirk I met was one astrologer. My uncle has great belief in him and took me there. He has predicted for one of my cousins that she will get into civil services. But there is a catch- she wants to get into engineering. So, being a highly knowledgeable person, he promptly replied that ok then, she might get into civil engineering. And my uncle took him word for word. Now even before she has passed her XIth examination she is told to study chapters like solid and fluid mechanics which might be beneficial for her “civil engineering.” He had also “examined” many other persons from my family as well like my father and my uncle as well.

I felt whatever shreds of belief I had evaporating when the man took out my kundali from a computer software. Then also I had a surge of hope that if not anything , I can at least be an astrologer. And I will definitely not be a dumb one like this . He had a look at that and declared that I will be a businessman when what I am doing is engineering. The amusement continued when he declared that as I grow up, my attachment towards my family will fade away. I had had enough and decided to get back at him . I asked, “You also examined my father. Was it there in his future that his son will leave him?”

He was stumped and tried his best to wriggle out which he eventually did with a little help from my uncle. But I decided not to give up so easily. He had told my Dad that in life everything he wishes comes true and things come easily to him. Now, this statement is as much an eyewash as the death in Ekta Kapoor’s serials is. So I tried to bounce back, “You said that my Father gets everything he wishes for. He won’t wish for his only son to leave him? Now. Will he ?”

By this point I was sure that in the next few minutes I was going to be murdered by either my uncle or by jyotishi baba. May be even he would have not envisaged such a swift end for me . Possibly to keep the sanctity of his predictions intact, he refrained from doing so. Anyways I had already realised that it is time to choose between my spite and my life and in spite of everything , the decision was not overly tough. So I decided to purse my lips for the next hour or so.

One more thing happened in the last few days. I became a member of Indibloggies where I registered my blog as a personal one. So I wrote such a long personal post in case they come checking. Though going by the frequency of visits my blog records by somebody other than me surely no one will bother.

P.S.- First day back in college I had a lab of metallurgy , the teacher asked us , “What is brittleness?”

“Sir, it is the property by which a metal breaks easily.” Almost everyone answered coz this has been standard question in every semester since the time I entered this college.

“Par definition kya hai definition?” He mocked us.

As usual a silence prevailed. And then he replied.

“ It is the property by the virtue of which , a material has got an appreciable length between its yield point and the facture point in its stress-strain graph.” He replied with a mixture of a winning and mocking smile.

So much for the breaking . Clearly somebody has not seen something which he should have.