Monday, December 19, 2005

Would I... with this person? Hahahahaha.

This is like rooming with the Military Officer From Hell. There's standard stuff like "private rooms", throwing trash in the trash can and staying off each other's voicemail. What's hilarious is the attempt to run it like the red army. Private spoons and plates that no one else touches (jeez, keep it your ruddy room then). Don't mix the darn cooking and eating items (no more spoons to taste the dal). No touchin food with bare hands - and definitely no tearing out half a samosa with your hand and leaving the rest for someone else.

Life isn't so much fun without all that, no?

Oh and this guy's a ghaasahari - no meat 'n eggs. I'm sure Rohit would love to see this, and we'd be rolling on the ground. What's next, I'm sure, is that there would be a ban on even watching cookery serials where they show a meat recipe. I'm cracking up already - but if you're reading this and you're not Rohit, you will probably not understand.

Friday, December 16, 2005

It's going to be Bengaluru.

Yeah. From November 2006, you will call it "Bengaluru". So many people are unhappy, saying, with startlingly unbridled rhetoric, that the Bangalore brand has been compromised, that this is an utter waste of time and money and that it is a bloody big deal, waaah.

Let me give you my side of the picture.


Nothing changes with name changes. Kengal Hanumanthaiah Road is still double road to me. Malleswaram 18th Cross is called Chitrashilpi Venkatappa Road. My office was there for SEVEN years, and I didn't know - heck, you know how I found out? When Hutch started displaying the area on my mobile - that's when I found this name and consequently, the board.

I still call them Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras sometimes. (arranged in increasing order of "hatred of old name" according to me) I doesn't change me - Heck, I've called it Mumbai before it was Mumbai, and I will even (shudder) use the word "Dilli" instead of a more colonial "Delhi".

What happens due to a name change? Nothing. Other than money being eaten up by bureaucrats to change everything - but this is a coup for Bangalore, in the sense that only English boards will change :) Remember in Mumbai, they didn't want to change the "BEST" name for public transport, so out came the wonderful "Brihanmumbai" suddenly. Wonderful.

So this money is better spent otherwise. Which government money is not? I say rip the entire system apart. We don't need to spend crores on MP's telephone bills, or on building a second vidhan soudha (and may I add, blocking one of my favourite roads in the city). We don't need to build "gates" all around Bangalore. We definitely do not need the phenomenal waste of a "grade separator" they have built near Rajajinagar entrance - that place needed a dairy circle style separator, not that ridiculous half witted approach they have. And of course the flyover at Bannerghatta road/ring road intersection isn't a lifesaver either.

Not that I'm justifying the name change, saying so what, the entire system is bad. What I'm saying is, if the government will be busy doing this name change, perhaps...just perhaps, it will take all their time and they won't think of stupid and idiotic plans of how to further destroy our already defaced, congested, polluted and pothole-mired city. Maybe it's time they ignored us - so we can actually fix this place.

Get ready.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Dear Inconsiderate caller.

In the lines of the Dear Hutch post, a few other callers must, I believe, be sent a missive.

Dear Credit card divisions of HSBC, HDFC, ABN Amro, StandardChartered, SBI and the unfortunate others who I put on hold forever,

I have a credit card. I don't want another credit card. I do not need to transfer the balance from one card to the other, in case my screaming it out on the phone did not get to you. Your offering me a free credit card is not a favour. I will never understand why, when you call me, you ask "Who's this sir?". You called me in the first place goddamit, you need to know who I am. I don't want a home loan. I do not EVER want a "lifetime free card" simply because you have irritated the hell out of me. If you ever get the feeling I'm too brusque, it's on purpose. If I ask you to call a "few months later", don't. Be a nice flower and every once in a while, wither away and die.


Dear Country Club,

I am already a member. So I don't need your grubby membership call. I also don't want to upgrade every six months, to be able to visit a new club in Timbuktoo, which I usually avoid because of the bad roads. When you say "How are you, sir?" when I say hello, it does not "bond" with me, I become suspicious. When I ask "How much?", please just say how much so I can refuse with budgetary constraints. Even Rs. 5 is too much for me.

Dear Direct Selling Agent of anything,

Please don't call me. I don't want insurance. I don't want a term money back endowment unit linked plan that will help me have better sex. And no, I don't need a car loan. My car may be a 2002 model, but that does not mean I need a new one. I have a mobile phone, a fridge and every bloody accessory you can think of. I don't want a personal loan - what would I do with a person? If you want to give me money, I accept only cash. Please send small denominations, in brown paper bags.

Dear Person who puts leaflets in newspapers,

You miserable oaf. I open my newpaper in the loo. I read it every frikking day out there and when I get to page 2, a leaflet falls to the ground. I hate it. Even if I try to shake out the leaflets earlier, one of them stays behind. Why don't you bloody STAPLE the darn things to the newspaper? Oh yes, and I don't want to earn money from home, or home from money, or whatever. I don't think you care. I know I would willingly burn that person's house down so he won't have a house to earn money from. And hopefully, will shut the fuck up.

Dear TV channels,

Nobody likes advertisements. Everybody likes content. It would do you less harm if you gave us more content and less ads. And I mean good content.

"Aaj chandni chowk mein bomb...break ke baad"
(370 advertisements)
"To jaise humne kaha, Aaj chandni chowk mein bombay handloom house ke peeche ek dhamaka...break ke baad"
(298 advertisements)
"bombay handloom house ke peeche ek dhamake se sonia gandhi ke kutte ke dayine paanv mein chot aayi. Baaki news break ke baad"

Nobody likes this. Nobody. If we watched your channel continuously our brain would be jelly by now. You must try it. Wait. Maybe you have.

That feels slightly better.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Neurotic outsourcing?

Worry too much? Want someone else to worry for you? Well, it's possible, says A.J.Jacobs, in an article named "My Outsourced Life". Among other things, Jacobs asked Honey, an outsourced personal assistant from India, to "worry" on his behalf for a business deal - and she replied saying it's a wonderful idea.

That article is funny. After reading "The World is Flat", Jacobs decides to get himself assistants for his research and his personal work - he gets em both for a sum total of $1,400 per month, from companies in India. He makes them do some of the research he needs. They will also send people emails - people he earlier would spend a lot of time speaking with. They'll change his cell phone plan, pester his boss for him, send birthday cards to his wife. They'll even mail people that send unsolicited mails, expressing the lack of his interest in topics like the world's most famous harlequin.

But it gets scary. From his article:

Whatever soul-deadening chore I give her, she says, "That would indeed be interesting" or "Thank you for bestowing this important task." I have a feeling that if I asked her to count the number of semicolons in the Senate energy bill, she would be grateful for such a fascinating project.

Jacobs tests this out. He asks his "assistants" to do things that would, from what I could glean, demean the average American assistant. The closest he gets to a "No", he says, is when he asks "Asha" to play Hearts for him because he spent too much time doing it. Asha says "Later" but still thinks it's a "good idea".

What's getting my goat? That in this article, somehow, it feels like it's fair game to ask anyone from India to do anything - and they won't say no. And that we'll do what Americans just don't want to do for themselves. Heck, you know what, they're right. A majority of companies here will simply bend over backwards willingly, if that means the extra bit of moolah.

And there's nothing wrong with that. But aren't there any companies that will stand their ground, and refuse to yield? Are we going to be classified as the whores of the outsourced economy, because the majority is willing to prostitute themselves? Moving up the chain is key, they all say. It's bloody easy, when you're the maggot in this food chain.

On the lighter side, Jacobs says he'd even considered outsourcing having sex. That, I know, would be of interest to a lot of people. I will even dare to say this: (whisper) They'll do it for free.