Monday, October 12, 2009

It's a love story baby just say yes

If you have read this post you might be aware of the first love of my life. Naramadha is her name. The apple of my eye. I loved her so much that even after so many years she still remains my first love. So many girls have crossed my path after her and I have fallen head over heels in love with almost everyone, but none could dethrone her from her numero uno position.

We were in third standard when I first saw her. It was love at first sight. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen (as of June 1993). Her twinkling eyes that had a tinge of impishness made mine goggle.I went weak in the knees everytime she smiled at me revealing a hole that was once occupied by her teeth. Her running nose made me run after her.

For the next two years, I turned every chance I got into an oppurtunity to impress her and win her heart. I became the fasterst sprinter in the class. I learnt to spin notebook on my index finger. Nobody in the class could blow a bigger bubble in chewing-gum than me. She too seemed impressed by it all. By the time we entered fith grade, I was pretty sure that she had been swept off her feet and she was madly in love with me too. All that I needed was to make a formal proposal and a yes in return. Taylor Swift’s Love Story pretty much summarises our story..

Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone

I’ll be waiting all there’s left to do is run

You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess

It’s a love story baby just say yes

Like almost every love story, this one had a villain too. Enter class 5, villain made his entry into the story. He was the new student Sriram. From being referred to as “new student” he was soon conferred the sobriquet of “topper”. He not only aced all the exams but also exhibited superior skills in other activities too. He eliminated me as the fastest sprinter; his spinning of notebook was so majestic that it could be bettered only by Rajnikanth. He became the most sought after boy in the class as girls fell for him just like how Indian wickets would after Sachin’s during that era. What made me a little anxious was the fact that Narmadha was sitting next to him.

But I was not bothered much by Sriram because I believed Narmadha still loved me with all her heart. I was proved wrong on the day when Sriram brought crackers to the class. A gaggle of girls came to witness what was considered to be an act of bravery. And Narmadha was one of them. Sriram tore open a Bijili cracker packet and took out two pieces. He held one in each hand between index finger and thumb. He then asked another chap to light both the crackers. He stood holding them as sparkles flew out from them. Just a couple of seconds before they burst, he threw them, one by one, as high as possible, and the girls, craning their neck, watched in amazement as the crackers burst in the air. It was not only bijili crackers but also love that was in the air, for Narmadha fell in instant love with him. She smiled a blushing smile at him. Sriram who looked as if he was all set to receive the Nobel Prize for Bravery returned her smile with a wink that was tantamount to giving a peck on the cheek, leaving me heart-broken.

Since I was so young I could not grow beard. And at that time I thought “boozing” was another bad word like sex(i mean gender.. you perverts!) . So that too was ruled out. The only way I could vent out my frustration was by tearing out his hair with my bare hands. He was not only brainy but also brawny. So I dismissed that thought too.

I was on the verge of letting it slip. I badly needed to get a step ahead of Sriram and win back Narmadha’s love. But we Balajis are made of iron and do not quail in the moments of crisis. We thrive instead. I gave the matter the best of my brain and soon an idea struck me. The next day I challenged Sriram to beat me in dart game. This was my last resort. I believed I could regain her love if I thrashed him. It was widely believed that, if ever dart game and spoon-and-lemon race made their way into Olympics, I could easily bring home a couple of gold medals. Sriram, not being aware of my skills, agreed to the challenge. But I was confident that I would have the last laugh.

Many students, including Narmadha, gathered to witness the battle. It was decided that I must shoot the dart first. I glanced at Sriram. He smirked. Out of the corner of my eyes I glanced at Narmadha. She turned her face away from me. Disappointed, I took position and fixed my gaze intently at the center of the circle drawn on a wooden door. Having subjected the target to an immense scrutiny, I shot the dart and the next moment it hit the center of…. the temple of a girl who was standing beside the door.

The dart might have missed that girl’s eyes only by a few centimeters, but I failed to create a good impression with Narmadha by miles. It was not only my hope of winning back Narmadha’s heart that came crashing down but also the faith my classmates had in my Darting Dexterity that one day I’d win gold medals for my country.

Trivia: The girl who became the target of my dart looked so cute when cried and at that instant I fell in love with her. But that love lasted only for a few minutes until she ran to the Maths miss (with whom I would fall in love at a later stage) to complain about my escapades.

What ensued after that is something I would want to keep it under wraps. For one would not want to reveal in a public forum like this that he was canned mercilessly at all wrong places so much that he had to listen to the class for the next few days lying on his tummy.

That was the last time Narmadha spoke to me that year. That following summer vacation I came to Chennai and never returned to that school again

P.S: I recently heard from a mutual friend that Narmadha is happily married now. :P

P.S 1: Her husband’s name is not Sriram :P Wooo hoo! :D

P.S 2: Given my frequency of posts, it is highly unlikely that I will next update my blog before Diwali. So here’s wishing you all a very happy, colourful and safe Diwali. Be good and don’t try any silly tricks like Sriram :D

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cricket, confusion, comedies

I am an early bird. On Saturdays alone, that is. No, I don’t eat worms for breakfast on saturdays; I am up and about early so that I can make it to the ground in time to play the gentlemen’s game aka Cricket. This has been my routine for past several months.

Last weekend, as many as twenty folks came to play. And Sardarji Amar was one among them. This time he brought along his brother-in-law who had come here on vacation from Chandigarh. We split ourselves into two teams and Amar’s BIL(let’s call him Akbar.. i know punjabis don’t have that name, but it rhymes with Amar ) was in my team.

Amar has been living in Chennai for more than three decades now and has learnt to converse in tamil well. As for his BIL, one would say he has moderate understanding of tamil language, if “dai”, “aaaii”, and “ooh” are considered as tamil words. Since his medium of instruction in school was not English, he was not very comfortable holding conversation in English either. So the only language with which we could talk to him was Hindi. And the only person in my team who knew more Hindi words than ”Ek Gaome Ek Kissan Raghu Thatha” was none other than yours truly.
Our captain lost the toss and we had to bowl first. All of us took positions and the game started. At the last moment before bowling the first ball, the bowler thought it would be better if Akbar comes closer. He looked around for help from me and didn’t spot me. He decided to take matters in his own hands. “Ither Aaho,” he said pointing his finger to where he wanted him to stand. Akbar obliged. The next ball was hit where Akbar was previously positioned. The bowler then changed his mind and wanted him back to where he was. Having successfully spoken in hindi once, he endeavoured to repeat that performance. Literally. “Ither Aaho,” he said again, finger now pointing to where Akbar was positioned earlier. Sniggering all the way, much to the chagrin of the bowler, he returned to his previous postion. It was with bruised ego that the bowler resumed the game.

The next time the ball entered into Akbar’s territory, three guys screamed at the top of their voice in unison. “Bowler ko maro, bowler ko maro“. Throw the ball to the bowler, is what they were trying to convey. Akbar cast a quizzical look, shook his head, muttered something under his breath and went back to his position.

We managed to bowl our quota of overs without further mishaps. It was now our turn to bat.
Have you ever wondered why the Indians fall short when it come to running between the wickets? When at leisure, I generally mull over weighty thoughts like how much fortune Anil Kapoor, Satyaraj and T.Rajendar can amass, if they join hands, make use of the abundant resource God has blessed them with and start a vig company. So I don’t have the time to give that thought the best of my brain. Sometimes, even when you make no attempts to think, the answer stares you in the face. It did that day.

Akbar was at the non-striker’s end. And the bowler mentioned above was the batsman now. He played a lovely shot straight down the ground but it went straight to the feilder. Sadly, he got out run-out looking for the second run when there never was two.

One thing that a man of sensibilities would never do is, start a conversation, friendly or otherwise, with the player who had just been dismissed. That too run-out! Try that, and you’ll find yourself at the receiving end of “why-blood-same-blood” tirade. So we all gave a quiet welcome when the visibly angry batsman returned to join us. But he showed no intentions of remaining quiet and came in barking….

Run-out Batsman(RB): Why the hell he called me for the second run and didn’t as much as move his finger?
Me: I thought it was your call. He never called you.
RB: He did! Didn’t you hear him scream “vaaaa.. vaaaaa”?
Me: He deosn’t know tamil, you stupid fool!
RB : Err..yes.. but he did call me. I heard him call me.
Me: He said “naa.. naa”. Means no in Hindi.
RB: @#$@#$! No wonder Sadogappan Ramesh was one of the worst runners between the wickets!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Why men who can't ride bikes should learn swimming

I was once advised by a pal of mine to tie a brick around my neck and jump into a well. That I’m writing this post now is evidence enough that I paid no attention to it. However, I would want to apprise my readers of the turn of events that provoked this chump to dole out such advices, for if I don’t, the readers would quite naturally jump to a conclusion that he must be one hundred percent stone-hearted. True, that one would generally not have the heart to suggest a smart, dashing and young man like me to drown himself, but he isn’t all that bad as one is disposed to imagine. He is also what one might call a friend in need, for if I ever endeavour to jump into a well, of course carrying a stone in hand, and the process seems to take too much time than usual to complete, he would be there to offer his help by throwing an iron rod at me to speed up the whole process. Lovely chap, isn’t he?
So as I was saying(or writing, is it?), this chump wanted to see me drowned, because he felt I was a big disgrace to my gender. No, it was not because I was comprehensively beaten by a woman in an arm-wrestling event, which I would have considered a fair reason, but because I did not know how to ride a bike. How not knowning to ride a bike causes disgrace was beyond me, but he said with a firm conviction that a man, by the time he’s 18, should be able to make acrobatic stunts with the two-wheeler.
I didn’t argue over that, for I was sure that whatever I say will fall on deaf ears. Futhermore, I never get into any kind of arguements, because at the end of it, as it has always been, I would be all the more strong about my views and the other party would be all the more strong about what he stood for. So in order to redeem the pride of Balajis, which was wounded a great deal by a false accusation, I made up my mind to learn to ride a bike.
Have you ever heard of a book called bike-riding for dummies? If the answer is no, read on. If yes, please skip this para. In the first chapter ‘How to kick-start’ it says, to have the bike up and running, one must always start with by kicking the starter or whatever it is called, holding the clutch (Button start was non-existant during the first publication of this book). The above process must be repeated until the engine comes to life with a roaring noise. This done, one has to slowly release the clutch and give accleration simultaneoulsy, which will cause the wheel to rotate and, surprise surprise, sets the bike in motion.
I am a man of wide-reading and having read the book “bike-riding for dummies” thrice, I didn’t require the assistance of the one who asked me to drown myself. But I needed a bike though, and for this I needed his help. Reluctantly, he agreed to offer his bike, to have a practical lesson on the theortical knowledge I had acquired, but on one condition - he would take the pillion seat so that in the event of anything catastrophic he could take control of the proceedings and try to save the damage that could be wreaked. In the end, it turned out to be a wrong decision.
I seated myself comfortably in the bike and with my friend behind me I was all set. I kicked the starter and the engine responded back with a cacophonous noise. So far so good. Now came the trickiest part. Although I claimed that I had read that book thrice, I had blissfully forgotten the word “simultaneously”. I released the clutch first, and then I gave full accleration. The result: the bike stood on its hind leg(wheel) aka wheeling and sent my friend rolling over backwards several times and he finally come to rest on his stomache, biting the dust literally- an acrobatic somersault that could have had Nadia Comaneci jumping and hooting in appreciation. Fortunately, he did not suffer any physical injuries. Mentally though, there was a possibility that he could have got affected, for I could not make sense of the flurry of words(read invectitudes) he hauled at me when he was back on his feet again.
They say bad news travels faster and I guess this rule works without exceptions, because by the next day every Tom, Dick and Harry knew that I can’t ride bikes for nuts, and more importantly, they all knew that I almost caused a severe damage to my friend’s bike. The latter was the cause for concern because after that incident, nobody ever let me anywhere within one km of their bike, which meant no more of bike learning classes.
So that was the first and last time I made an attempt to ride a bike. This never worries me because I’m never charmed by bikes, unlike many men. Those who can’t ride bike, pillion-ride it. And I love pillion-riding. (It deserves a blog post in itself because I’ve had horrible experiences in that too).
If any of you, after reading this heart-wrenching post, is willing to teach me how to ride a bike, you are most welcome, with your bike that is.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Of freebies and tennis

It is customary to set one’s favorite song as the dialer tune and announce to all the living beings in one’s vicinity, whenever it buzzes, that this is the song that has captured one’s imagination. Being the one who follows the customary rules diligently, I have set a song from a tamil movie as my dialer tune. To this day, even I must have heard that song only about as many as 21 times, let alone people around me hearing it. The fact that a certain service provider - whose name I wouldn’t air or tell - has contributed massively to this total, during the course of it’s vain attempts to make me pay my long due bills, is something that I shall keep it dark from you.
Naturally, any man in my position is bound to leap six feet in the direction of ceiling and run around like a headless chicken when he finds that the silence of his mobile is broken by the sound of an incoming call. I too would have done that, if I wasn’t sleeping when that rare occasion occurred. I opened my heavy eyes with all my might and my sight fell on the clock - 5. 30am it was. Cursing the caller with all the unparliamentary words I had picked up during my tenure at boy’s school, I proceeded towards the source of commotion.

The conversation between me and the caller ran as below:

Caller: hey dude… were you sleeping?

I paused for a few seconds to overcome the urge to utter something that could have caused disgrace to his great-great-grandfather. Having done that, I replied.

Me: yes, what’s the matter?

Caller: Nothing much. I’m going to play tennis. Just wanted to know whether you would like to join?

I’ve always regarded tennis as a great sport. It is right up there at the third position, after cricket & tikilona, in my list of best games ever invented by mankind. I even signed up for tennis coaching last year and attended the training religiously for a month. My love for the game grew exponentially and I even built castles in the air of beating Nadal on clay court. And that too at French Open finals. I’d definitely have gone on to realize my dreams if my trainer, on a fateful day after a month of training, hadn’t asked me for the fees. I never visited that place again.

The memories of the past came floating into my mind and sent a shiver down my spine as the owly face of the trainer flashed before my eyes for a nanosecond.

Me: Tennis? No, I’m not coming. I’m very busy with my work these days. I can’t come.

I still have no clue as to how being busy with work renders one unable to play tennis in the morning. But I did say that.

Caller: I know man.. why you are not coming. {Chuckling amusedly} Don’t worry dude.. it’s absolute free. All you have to do is flash your id card. that’s it.

If there is anything that human beings have not learned, it is the quality to refuse something that is offered free of cost. Anything that is free is always welcome. Being a human being myself (thus putting to rest all doubts a few people had about me), I gracefully accepted the offer.

Me: Ok then. I’ll come.

So thus began the story of dashing young man who started to play tennis again. Not to mention those dreams of beating Nadal. The french open has begun this year. Perhaps, I’ll be there next year, thus giving Nadal a chance to break the record this year itself. Poor chap, he deserves it

But the flip side of the story is that I have to get up early everyday. My friend rings me everyday in time to wake me up. I always clung to a hope that someday he would say “dude.. a female mosquito bit me in the a$$ last night and it caused a big swelling… I can’t play today.. play called off”, but that never happened. I wonder what mosquito coil he uses. Sigh!
P.S 1: Reader can expect a follow-up post on what’s happening on the tennis court and how well the ball I hit struck the middle of the head of a man playing three courts away.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hail XAT!

XAT 2009 is over and with that yet another season of entrance exams comes to an end. I don't want to delve into the details of how I fared in the exam, but I'm pretty sure that if, my age old nemesis, Verbal Ability section doesn't play villain, I will soon happen to get my first ever Interview Call.{touch wood} :D :D

The funniest part of the exam was the essay writing. After the exam got over, the invigilator placed a paper on my table which had the essay topic. It was folded in the middle & stapled at the top to ensure that candidates didn't read the topic until they were asked to. Out of curiosity, I lifted the sheet and held it against the sunlight, and through the paper I could clearly read the essay topic. I had a gut feeling that I had aced the exam and that nothing could stop me from walking on the corridors of XLRI as a student until I read that essay topic. I don't exactly remember the topic but it was about Capitalism and Socialism. I had absolutely no clue about either of them. In fact the only point I could think of about that topic was a line from a tamil song: "bodhai enpathu oru pambu visham than, serunthu kudicha aduthu socialism than". :D

Thanks to training given by Anna University, I managed to write one page essay even though I wasn't even remotely sure what was asked in the topic. I did it with an incredible speed that I had ten minutes to spare. I flirted with the idea of reading my essay to make corrections for a minute, but decided against it as I didn't want to put myself to such agony. I spent the rest of the time relishing the funny expressions of others who tried every crown acts possible to squeeze a point or two out of their medulla oblangata(Notice my eloquence? :P). One guy was particularly funny. He was frantically rubbing his eye-brow, his nose twitched, while his tongue popped out at regular intervals reminding me of a dog I read in James Herriot book.

I have always regarded XAT as the best entrance exam. No, it's not because of the quality of questions or the shrewd essay topic they give(hic hic!!). I consider it the best for the sole reasons that no other exam has so many chicks writing the exam. If someone new to Chennai asks me "Where can I find good-looking gals in chennai", I would suggest him the following:
1) Sowcarpet
2) Spencer, Citicenter etc
3) Give XAT exam.

It beats me why XAT alone has significant "chicks" turn-out while other exams make me feel "ewww... my college was a lot better." :D {if any gal from my college is reading this... err.. i didn't mean to write it. It was forced, compelled, bribed, threatened to write the previous line, but I simply refused it for I know its not true, but at last was made to write at gun-point. :D} No wonder the phrase "XL ki kudhiyan" is quite famous. Today it was quite disappointing though. "Not upto the standard", to put it in my ex-manager's words.

I had huge expectations after my tryst with the exam last year. Last year my exam center was Meenakshi college. While I was on my way to the college, my friend, who had reached the center well in advance, called me up frequently and gave running commentary on "hordes of chicks" who had come to write the exam. When I told him that I would be late, he replied gravely that I was missing a big thing in life. When I reached the college at 9.45am(for 10am exam) the place looked deserted. But the thing was running at the back of my mind when I was writing the exam and I didn't want to miss that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So immediately after the exam I rushed to the college gate before anybody could leave the campus so that I could check every chick checking out of the college. :) oh boy, wasn't friend right!

It wouldn't be too much to say that I was gaping at those gorgeous gals passing by me. I had never before witnessed the congregation of so many pretty gals at one place, and when I did I almost fainted. It was as if an "all-chennai-chicks-meet" was going one. :P And on that day I resolved; that I would give XAT every year, no matter what. Even if I am doing MBA, even if I'm married and have kids, even if my kids give XAT along with me. :D I would write XAT every year without fail till I kick the bucket. :D
I have lived up to my resolution this year. Lets see how far it goes! :)