Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Chairman

Hiya. I live my work life from visit to visit. Don't know what a visit is? This is how it goes.... some hot shot guy from corporate office or someone from another country will come to visit the market. Everyone goes into a frenzy... the market is "set up"... negotiations happen.. huge money is blown up on deals... careers depend on the perfection of the visit. It is pure torture. In a metro like Mumbai I have to deal with visits every month. We were supposed to have one such visit today... which got cancelled... after all the preparations were done.

Anyway... my sales officer very naively asked me; "Why do we prepare the market for a visit?" Don't the seniors want to know what the exact status is?
I didn't have an answer except that... seniors expect the perfection. They assume if the state is so good when they are around... it will be atleast half as good when they are not around. And they are aware things are being set up.

When I had joined my first company 'ABC', we were sent into the field to shadow sales officers. I was in Bangalore... then Chennai and then Trichy. After another month of working as a sales officer independently I was ready with a presentation on my experience to the Sales Head. All of us (me and my 9 other colleagues) focussed on the sales numbers, growth, best practices, not-so-great practices, suggestions and then prepared for grilling.
The sales head surprised us. He asked things like... what does a sales officer do, what are his work timings, what does he do after work, what does he feel etc.
I was flabbergasted. Shouldn't he know? After all, he is the Boss.
But later I realized... he will never know... 'coz nobody will tell him. He will never know what the reality is like. And most people in his position don't even want to know.

There is a quote in Dilbert- as you go higher in the hierarchy of the company the lesser you know... until finally you become a chairman who knows nothing and his basic job involves sitting on a chair.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sambhar Rice

I headed to B'glore over the weekend. It was very difficult to work on Thursday... I kept thinking about the flight on Friday. I am very bad with packing... usually, end up packing too much.
Here is the excess that was packed:
  • All the clothes I bought in Globus... to show KC. I don't have the patience to wait for a week when he comes home
  • An extra pair of formal footwear since I had to go to office on Monday morning from the airport
  • Extra pair of formals... incase I am not in the mood to wear what I plan to wear
  • Extra pair of casuals... incase I am not in the mood to wear what I plan to wear
  • Jewellery... even though I will wear only 2-3 pairs of earrings
  • Toiletries... I prefer to stick to my preferred brands and don't like sharing KC's... though he is free to share mine
  • CDs with all the downloaded "stuff".. for KC
  • 3 flavours of Smint... lemon is my fav
You get the picture.
KC and I rushed to 13th floor on Friday night to meet Dhruv. We met after 6 months (Dhruv and me... not KC and me). Unfortunately, it was dry weekend and 13th floor was closed. We had an Italian dinner at a restaurant on the same floor. It was fun... I missed Abhinav a lot. It is so strange... three of us are in different regions again.

I headed to RT's home on Sat while KC was at work. We chatted lazily in her room. Appu joined us for lunch. The plan was to go to Medichee (hope I spelt it right) but it was closed (damn.. the dry weekend). We had no option but to go to '100 feet'... very expensive and not so great. KC joined us for lunch. And then... it was shopping time.
I wanted to watch 'LSD' but KC was exhausted... or maybe he wanted to watch the match. For dinner he took me to a chettinad restaurant. I was super excited about eating sambhar rice... the sambhar is Mumbai is so pathetic... it is sweet and tastes like piss. I craved for some authentic sambhar. The sambhar cooked in the cafeteria of Taj Coromandel is the best I have had... they add loads and loads of baby onions. Yum!!! It is almost orgasmic.
Anyway... the restaurant had run out of rice. I was devastated... we inquired at Nandini, they refused to deliver if the bill was less than 200 bucks... and sambhar rice costs only 38 bucks. I ordered food worth 200 bucks and viola, had my fill of sambhar.
The next night I wanted to eat sambhar rice again. The chettinad restaurant didn't have sambhar. I convinced them to give me "tiffin sambhar" (sambhar served with idli/dosa) with rice. Yum, again!!!
Guess, whats for dinner tonight? Sambhar rice... :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Hiya... KC was super excited about this movie. He woke me at 8 am and said; "Wake up, we have to go for the movie". Movie was at 12.15 pm. I sweared at him, turned around and dozed off.
There has been a lot of hype around this one... and reviews have been good.
As everyone know by now it has been shot on handycam. The movie has 3 stories... which are somewhat- very loosely linked.
Story 1: Boy is making movie for diploma class. He falls in love with heroine... whose father is very strict. They elope and get married. Hero is introduced to heroine's best friend working in a supermarket. I won't let out the end.
Story 2: Guy is unemployed and spending time in a supermarket. Another guy urges him to make out with a girl in front of hidden cameras in supermarket. They can then sell it off for a high price. The female (heroine's best friend) working there saves a man after he is shot (3rd story). The clip of shooting is sold off for a high price. Guy decieves girl into sleeping with him and sells off clip.
Story 3: A journalist (who was shot in previous story) is looking for a sting operation for his channel. He meets a model who tells him about her experience at casting couch.
It is worth a watch once but go without expectations.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Its complicated

The most complicated relationship a woman has is with her clothes. Every morning she stares a wardrobe full of clothes and cries; "I have nothing to wear".
To explain this relationship in words is very very difficult for me.

My career actually started in Jan'08 when I moved to Gurgaon in the corporate office of a confectionery major. The dress code was very flexible. We ended up wearing jeans even on weekdays. I didn't have many formals... didn't need them. In Oct'09 I moved into sales... upcountry Gujarat... 6 days (3 days per fortnight) were spent in regional office in Mumbai. My work wear was mainly kurta and jeans... I found them most comfy. Office wear was formals for 4 days... 2 days would be Sat. My wardrobe had less than 5 formals; many, many, many kurtas; some casuals, nil party wear... there was no time to party.
Then... I switched jobs. Again... 10-15 days are spent in office and rest on the field. For office I need strict formal wear... skirts are not always comfy since I have to drive. Field wear is also formal wear (no kurta and jeans here) but very comfy since I spend a lot of time walking, driving or just standing around. Then there is a need for casuals- loads of them and some party wear.

It is quite tricky. Every garment has to be measured on comfort, formal/casual/party wear, price, color, fit etc. Imagine making this decision (minus the price) every morning. Torture.

Anyway... Globus has this exchange offer going on... bring old clothes and get Rs 100 voucher on shopping of Rs 1000. The clothes are donated to a NGO. Pretty cool. I ravaged my wardrobe and came up with 19 garments I could give away. Don't be shocked... I know there are some people who have only 19 clothes. But they were damaged/don't fit/too old etc. I assumed that against 19 clothes I will get vouchers for 1900 bucks... I can shop for 2k and end up paying only 100 bucks. How stupid of me!!! To use vouchers for 1900 bucks I need to shop for 19k. I started laughing at the sales guy who told me this. I love Globus... their collection is good. The Vashi, Ghatkopar stores are small and sad... but Thane and Bandra ones are good. I shopped and shopped and shopped.

Who says money cannot buy happiness?

There is another problem I face regularly... say, I have worn a dress for a special occasion... many many many pics are clicked and uploaded on facebook. Everyone (ok, many people) have seen them. I cannot wear the same dress again in another photo... and around the people in my friend's list. This reduces the shelf life of the dress to... umm, one special occasion?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Movie Spoilers... ahead

I downloaded this movie despite Paddy's bad review. I am a fan of the book and watched the series on DD as a kid. Of course, it has been a long time and I remember only bits and parts of it.
What a disappointment!!! I didn't understand what was happening... till mid way. THATs when I realized this is a sequel and not the original. What a bummer!!! Who wants to watch some guy's imagination of what happens next in 'Alice in Wonderland'? I don't... I just wanted to watch the original.

Why do people do this? Butcher the original? Never ever ever touch a classic... 'coz thats why we love it.

Do not even imagine about watching it.

I caught this movie on a pirated CD (yeah, sue me). What crap!!! Critics have given this one a good rating and I don't know why.
It is the usual story... Paresh Raval turns up out of nowhere in Ajay and Konkana's house. He irritates the hell out of them and they try to find ways to get rid of him. In the end, everyone gets senti (Bollywood isshtyle)... and Paresh realizes he had come to their house by mistake.

Plz avoid.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Women's Liberation

I am confused about women's reservations. Is it a good or bad? Do reservations uplift a community or discriminate against them?
On one hand, women always get the special/inferior treatment...
  • Seats reserved on buses in Chennai
  • Special women's only buses in B'glore
  • Women's compartments in Mumbai local trains
  • Dowry, arranged marriage... all of them discriminate against women
  • Any woman pays on first date???? No way!!! Would any woman date a guy who makes her pay on the 1st date??? Never!!!
  • B-schools try and keep a guy-girl ratio among students
And many many more.

On the other hand, we do need women involved in politics. Another function where women will bring about change is in sales... sales is dirty, rugged profession. Women will make it cleaner and more humane.

I have seen people's reactions on encountering people from backwards castes/classes. Reason? Reservations. Instead of uplifting them, it is their identity. Do we, women want that?

I guess not... so, I am against reservations. I am not the weaker sex... If you want to uplift us (no dirty thoughts) please change your perspective and thinking...

Thanks Sonia... but we do not want the label of being weak.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'd rather be working than be ill

Sometimes I think how nice it would if I fell ill and can stay home on a weekday.

And then it actually happens....
I have my lunch outside since it is not possible to carry a tiffin and find a place to eat in malls. On Monday I had food at Infinity mall. It made me pukish. On Tuesday the stomach upset started. I thought it would go away... but it didn't. It was accompanied by headache and vomiting on Wed. I took the day off and visited a doc. He gave me the yuckiest medicines which made me puke further. I went to bed at 8 pm and woke up 9.30 pm with uneasiness. I decided to go to the hospital... instead of suffering all night. Thank god Wockhardt is 5 mins away. I had to wait till midnight to get an injection. The doc suggested I get admitted since I can't take the tablets but need to treat the infection. I thought I would speak to KC and decide. Guess what!!! His phone is unreachable. Just my luck.
I have never been admitted to a hospital mainly because my dad is a doc. The hospital is below the house. Everytime I fell ill (and I would fall seriously ill as a kid) all the equipment would be brought upstairs. Dad would come all the way to my boarding school (in Mt Abu) to give me treatment.

And staying home when ill is not so much fun... I could not watch TV, be online or read books. All I did was sleep... and that is such a waste of time.

I'd rather be working than be ill.

PS: I forgot to mention 2.5 kgs weight loss in one day... I know... I know... I am just going to gain it back today itself...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Guess who I saw today

When I had come to Mumbai as a kid with parents I was most excited about seeing a shooting. My masa (mom's sister's husband) took us to Film City where the guards would not let us enter. After a loooooooot of cajoling and persuading by masa they gave in (he is one of those people who never gives up). Unfortunately the only serial being shot then was 'Chandrakanta' (anyone remember it?). But I didn't mind... Then I saw this guy who comes in serials... he was not a very known face but I recognized him- Sooraj Thapar. He was the only celebrity (if I can call him that) we came across on the trip... umm, no... no... there was another guy- Mehmood's son. His first movie was about to release and the promos were everywhere. We spotted him in a cab.
Anyway, the reason I remembered this is.... I was in Andheri Lokhandwala today... Big Bazar at Mega Mall, to be specific. I came across Sooraj today shopping for groceries. Strange!!! Life comes a full circle.
For those who have never heard of him... here is a pic. I love google... it took me 5 mins to find him without being sure of the name.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friends Vs How I met your mother

  • A unique series about 6 friends... 3 gals... 3 guys. Everyone can identify with atleast one character
  • Can be watched over and over and over and over again
  • The episodes are not continuous due to which any episode can be watched anytime
  • There is no suspense ... everyone knows Ross and Rachel will end up together and Chandler and Monica will live happily ever after
  • Friends who hook up (have sex) end up together
How I met your mother:
  • A series about 5 friends who spend every night in a bar
  • But the series is not about all 5 of them... it is about Ted and his search for his wife... very innovative
  • There is loads of suspense.... Ted has not met his to-be-wife even in season 5. I am dying to know who she is
  • Watching re-runs are not so much fun
  • I don't think anyone can identify with any character in the series... Barney??? No ways... Marshall??? Too mushy mushy... Lilly? Too perfect... Robin??? Too hard hearted... Ted??? Too romantic
  • Friends who hook up do not always end up together... (Robin and Ted, Robin and Barney)

Barney is the ultimate character... Neil Patrick Harris is not as good looking as he was as a teenager (Doogie Howser M.D) but has done an awesome job in the series. I doubt anyone could have played it so well.

Which one do you like?

What a day!!!

What a day!!! Btw... thats my green nail point. Cool na? I don't know how men spend all their lives without a manicure/pedicure. It is the most relaxing moment.
But I am digressing. My sleep cycle has changed... I fall asleep on the laptop by 10.30 pm. The movie/video will be playing while I snore away... and then wake up at 6.30 am for the cook. The maids have done the impossible... wake me at dawn.
I am digressing again... the maid cleaned up in the morning. I was about to go for a shower when I realized there is no water. The watchman informed me that there is some pipe being repaired due to which water will come after 9 pm. There was only one tap spewing water. The notice had been put up on the board but I didn't read it.
I headed to the gym instead... one out of two lifts was working. Instead of waiting I took the stairs 8 floors to the ground. On the way back I had to climb the stairs. And the same in the evening.
It has been exhausting day... and I am still waiting for the water.

Life in Mumbai is strange!!! Thankfully there are no electricity woes. Mulund used to be a load shedding area... not anymore though.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Long time

Hiya people... sorry I have been gone. I have very important updates... don't mind their trivial nature... unfortunately, my life is quite routine and below updates are life changing for me:
  • Remember the pigeon's eggs? After the last post about it they have laid 4-5 times and I threw them away. I don't know how to drive them away... they are like spiders- never giving up
  • 6-7 days of the month I return home late... I have to skip b'fast and order dinner from out. To avoid this a cook has been appointed. It was a heart breaking decision 'coz it means I will cook lesser and lesser. But, it does free up a lot of my time and I can concentrate on other important things (in next update)
  • I have taken the MTNL broadband connection... it means no rest for the modem and laptop with constant downloads of- How I met your mother, Will and grace, Project Runway and movies like Orphan, Its complicated etc. Sometimes I wake up early and watch an episode (reason for waking up early in next update)
  • The old maid has been kicked out for taking 4-5 days leave every month. The new maid comes regularly at 7 am and the cook at 6.30 am... my day starts THAT early 'coz I have to give both of them directions and ensure they are followed. The new maid refused to dry the utensils and stack them in order on day 1.
Maid: I only wash utensils... thats it... no drying and stacking them
Me: See, I am paying you a lot for very little work. I don't want to haggle every morning
Maid: I charge Rs 300 for washing utensils... 300 for sweeping and swapping... and 100 for washing bathrooms
Me: There are days when there will be no utensils to wash... do you want me to deduct the money and pay only as much as you work? I can keep track or you can quit... I will find another maid
Thankfully, she got the point. On hearing my Bai woes KC remarked; "Thank god I am not around to deal with these issues"
  • Yesterday I spotted Celina Jaitley at Mariott... So now my list of celebrities has Emraan Hashmi (at Nirmal Lifestyle in 2007), Lesley Lewis (at China Town- Bandra in June 2009)... thats it... :(

Road, Movie

I have been looking forward to this one... for 2 reasons- Abhay Deol and Dev Benegal.
Warning: It is an out and out art movie... even though it has been advertised on TV. Commercial movie lovers please avoid.

The first half is kinda slow... but the pace picks up slightly in the 2nd half. It is about Abhay's journey... he is a typical youngster.. unwilling to join his father's oil business... selfish... insensitive... He meets a kid, an old fat mechanic (Satish Kaushik) and Rajasthani belle (Tanisha Chatterjee)... it is their journey.
I won't let out the story... watch it... every sad incident has been sprinkled with humor.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I am very confused about festivals... why they are celebrated... what is the purpose?
Don't give me religious reasons... we don't even remember them.
As a kid I loved most festivals... holi, diwali, rakshabandhan... my parents ensured each one was celebrated the way it was meant to be. Now that I am an adult they seem like a waste of money. Thousands of rupees blown off on fire crackers??? Is that enjoyment? What is left ultimately? Bits of paper littered around?
Or take Holi... infecting your skin and hair to dangerous chemicals? In my building Holi was celebrated with rain dance... showers were installed in the parking... water tankers were called... and people colored and danced under the showers with music in the background. Sounds fun? Despite daily reports of water shortage in the city?
Like KC said... the rich can afford it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The day does not end here

Most days I wake up thinking... I have to work today... return at night... cook... eat dinner... chat online... read and then sleep.
And then there are days like these:
  • The maid takes an off on Monday... and does not turn up on Tuesday. I have to leave early so there is no time to call a substitute. The kitchen is a mess. I cannot even enter it. I am keeping my fingers crossed for tom.... will kick out the current maid and employ a new one
  • I enter the bedroom... switch on the fan and lights and scream. A pigeon had entered... and shit all over the bedsheet, blanket, pillow covers. I had to wash all of them... and change another bedsheet. It took me 15 mins to shoo away the pigeon
Days like these should not come back.

Karthik Calling Karthik

Yes.. I am aware that it is 6 am... I just dropped KC to the airport and will sleep for an hour before I get dressed and head to office.
This movie has been given 2 stars and not-so-great review in the newspapers. I was disappointed... KC was keen on it so we watched it. What a movie!!! Damn good... full of suspense... the chemistry between Deepika and Farhan is damn good.
Farhan is believable as the loser and the cool dude. Deepika is looking good and her non-existent acting skills are un-noticed.
I won't let out the suspense (be grateful)... and highly recommend it. Please watch it. It is not everyday that such movies are made in Bollywood.