Thursday, April 1, 2010


Last Sunday our neighbor invited us for breakfast. Gaurav gave the person a lot of free books and I tempted him with the best offer in laptops for his son. He couldn’t resist us for the neighborly treat. We woke up at 10am; Gaurav had told me that his son had come down thrice since 7am reminding us for breakfast. Breakfast at 7am??? That’s still the time my dinner doesn’t get digested enough!! So after 12ish, we went to have breakfast, no bath, no shave, I wore a jeans on top of my shorts to hurry up, put a lot of water in the hair to show that we had taken a bath and was clean! The son had come over for the fifth time, “Appa calling for breakfast please come down.” So we went, the person, around in his late forties welcomed us with a big smile as if we told him the funniest joke over. I was still sleepy to notice and Gaurav was hungry. His wife and two sons came down and we came to know that his sons were studying engineering in some college and went off to study. I couldn’t stop myself from peeking; the younger was playing games on the mobile phone while the elder played with the scale.

Let us rewind a little, the first time, this neighbor’s wife saw me was trying to get over the boundary wall of my house at 5am in the morning. I was coming back from Vijaywada and didn’t have the key to the main gate and Gaurav was not taking the call in his slumber. I was halfway on top of the boundary wall and I heard a voice,”Mr Mr, where are you going?” It took me around five minutes to convince her that I stay in the same house, its just that I do not have the key and the landlord will start yelling if I wake him up at five in the morning.

His wife was from Mumbai, hometown was Tamil Nadu, in laws stayed in Karnataka and she in Andhra and teaches Hindi in some school. Found it a little confusing and tried to sync the India map and all the states thinking I am not the only one who has to travel. Her English was the typical YUMM—M, YELL-L, YENN-N, YO-O types, wondered how she managed to teach Hindi which she could hardly speak.

After a 20 minutes discussion on my Telengana stake, education in India, politics in Bengal and two pushes from Gaurav, we decided to have breakfast. I was not that interested in the breakfast thingi as I am not much of an Idli, Dosa or any of its kind person. The wife came smiling and the husband accompanied in a symphonized harmony, wondered it was planned. She put down one biggg casserole and open the lid to some ‘Chaowle kya sabzi’(Chole ka sabzi), she said, I now you North peapull likes Chaowle, saw yai made Chaowle and Pooriz’. It was a nice gesture; we never thought someone in an unknown area would actually care to cook what we might like to have for breakfast. Gaurav started drooling and almost finished 4-5 puris at lightning speed. The old man also was pretty fast with his hands. I was awestruck and managed with three puris itself while Gaurav and the neighbor competed to 8-10 I think. In between, I praised the food and was generally talking about filter coffee and its popularity in south. The wife who had come and joined the conversation sprang up faster than a rocket and got us some hot filter coffee and steel tequila glasses, well it looked like that. The neighbor had it one shot too and smiled!!! Damn, I couldn’t take a sip, it burnt my tongue! Waited for ten minutes and then managed to have it sip by sip.

Did the final Namashkaram while the entire family bid as adieu till the gate. We found someone who cared for us far off from home when all people nearby don’t care much.

P.S.- This blog has been written in just humor and means no offense to any part of the country/religion/caste. We are all one world and so I continue to believe..


Its been a while I have written a blog now. Guess the work makes me too tired to pen down and when you have to cook after work, there is no energy left at all for anything..and I mean anything!!

I am at Hyderabad now, Gaurav and I have taken a 2BHK flat in this place called, Warasiguda/Warsikuda/Bharasikuda/Varsikuda…and the list goes on, everyday I try to pronounce it correctly, so I still kinda not know where exactly I stay. It is somewhere near and behind the Art’s College Station I try to convince the autowala everytime he says a long string of words in Telegu while nodding his head which is used for a YES and a NO in India.

We are the foreigners in our area!! Unbelievable ??? Sad ?? TRUE it is!!

Gaurav and I had taken this place in July09. The very first day, hunting for the maid was a tough job; bachelor hai, radu something something..Nodding of the head. Yes we are bachelors, so less work and more pay! The maid smiled and was ready to work! MBA does help at these times!!

In a few days we realized that we are the foreigners of our neighborhood, how, here’s how :-

We are fairest people staying in 4km radius of our house and people gaze at us whenever we go out of our house! All the people are dark, no this is not being racist, this is the fact!!

Our dressing sense is weird, we were shorts and tees to buy milk in the morning and we do not wear the traditional lungi or the morning ‘teeka’ on the forehead. We expose ourselves and people stare at us while we walk, wonder what will these people do if Bipasha Basu walks down in that Dhoom bikini!

I got a pair of sunglasses as it is hot as well in Hyderabad! I wore that and tried walking from my house to the auto stand, and people actually stopped and watched, I opened the glasses twice to check if there is anything wrong with them and also managed to sneak a picture in my mobile to check if it is looking awkward.

When we come out the main gate, the local kids start cheering and dancing at times. To make things better, the big hearted Gaurav gave them some rubber balls to play with.

We went to the video parlor and asked for Hindi movies and he charged us sixty bucks as security deposit and 30 bucks as rent for a MoserBaer CD which had a MRP of forty only!

We go to late night parties/movies on Saturdays and often get beer at home on weekends, it’s a sin!! We stay in a ‘family’ neighborhood. Yes, the ‘family’ became family by magic and the crowd at the wine shop seems to increase everyday.

The maid, she charges us double the money she charges the landlord, bunks half the month and does a quarter of the work!

The ‘Sabjiwala’ tells us, “This tomato, take take, fresh fresh!!” And I was like WTF!!! Dude, I am from the same country, don’t know how much of Hindi he understood but smirked and gave me more quantities of everything at around triple the market price!

Then comes the landlord, he tells everyone, this Chatterjee fellow is a foreigner. And then he will make a shit face which even the best of Telegu actors will fail to make. Now who the hell is Chatterjee ?? Well, I am!! He doesn’t know my name properly and knows me by Chatterjee. The day I get pissed off and hit him and run away, a police complain by the name of Chatterjee is lodged and the Banerjee saves his arse!
Anyways, so we listen to English music in I think some 10km radius from where we stay. And when I’m with my Ipod, one cannot miss the look in the shopkeeper’s face or the MORE ladies with too much of powder on their face giving them a ghastly look!! Many a times I wondered, if MORE gives free powder to its employees!!

I eat fried rice without butter milk, that’s a sin here! I eat bread and cheese (no, almost not in everything and the cheese maggi does taste good), cornflakes for breakfast and not the Idli and the inevitable ‘chutney’. Gaurav had jaundice, couldn’t get his food down, and threw up thrice in an hour. His boss came down with a somber face and advised him, only Idli can cure/save him at this juncture BUT he must not give into the temptation of the ‘chutney’. Gaurav threw up four times in the next hour and told his boss that he had idli and now he is throwing up even more! The look on his face was weird than that of Rakhi Sawant’s, after Mika allegedly kissed her! Believe me you, this person must have got some kind of a shock, he didn’t speak for the next 10 minutes or so.

At times, these are amusing little snippets, it helps you to get through the life which is otherwise boring and lonely. One of these days, I will put a tattoo in our arm which says, ”My name is Shils and I am not a foreigner Mr. CM!!”

P.S.- This blog has been written in just humor and means no offense to any part of the country/religion/caste. We are all one world and so I continue to believe..

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Did some shopping today...

15th August, 2009 ---

Did some shopping today. No, not your kinda shopping from Shopper’s stop flashing the First Citizen Card with a feeling of pride as passers by look at you and your platinum credit card to compliment it.

Independence Day today, it had meant a lot to the entire country at some point of time. Today it means some exclusive deals or special prices and offers in the Large Format Retail Outlets with couples with the Indian Flag as bandanas hugging each other shopping or making out in the trial rooms, sadistic me!!

Anyways, back to where I started (Sob Storyteller strikes again), Independence Day. Firstly, it means an additional holiday more than anything else after grueling weeks of work under tremendous pressure and travelling the entire state.

Woke up late and did nothing for sometime till stomach decided it needed some food. Got Gaurav’s Army bike without horn or any legal papers whatsoever and ventured out in search of some food.

Went to a nearby ‘More’ which had everything in ‘Less’ and today was ‘Independence Sale’ day with quintals of vegetables spread outside the store with more people flocking there to buy them in a frenzy as if vegetables were becoming extinct. Anyways, I managed to buy some bread and eggs and got a deal also. Back to home, hey, no plates in the house ‘duffer’(Used to hear this a lot in Calcutta). Got a steel plate, 1 steel glass, 1 spoon. Different kind of shopping altogether. Came back home and made myself a nice toast and boiled egg, damn it felt good.

Took a bath, had to go to a friend’s place, got a call from friends, they got tickets for a Hindi flick and some Bacardi. When you are staying alone in a place with nothing else to do, the recreation part consists of remembering good old times that you have spent earlier at some ‘golden era’ over some great amount of alcohol or just lying down and snoring. Trust me, a lot of things which are logical and should be done loses its meanings when you are alone in a city.

So got the army bike, managed to get some cash from the ATM and spend some unnecessary money (Wish I was a ‘spendthrift’ at times) on a stupid movie.

8th November, 2009—

Forgot what had happened the rest of the day, should make a point to write finish off blogs within certain dates else it loses its meaning. Meaning…trying to find out what meaning means in the first place Meaning, relative term, to everyone their own..

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another Day In Paradise

Buzzzzzzzzz…..Buzzzzzz…….Buzzzzzz……..No, that’s not a digital bee from a Hindi movie. That’s my ringtone, Rio’s ‘Shine On’ wakes me up in the morning to find that I’m late for my morning chores and then off to work. Gaurav has already woken up and is busy arranging the books in the main hall. Another five minutes, shit no, it will be too late, can’t afford that luxury. Shit, 20 minutes has gone. Wake up Shils! No one to wake me up with a warm cup of coffee and the newspapers, miss The Telegraph here. Switch on the ThinkPad just beside the bed and connect to mail server.

The buzz remains in the head while I take a quick brush and shave, no food. Off to the local market to get some milk, egg, bread & butter – our staple breakfast and my lunch as well at most times.

Shit, so many mails in the morning!! I think when people come down to office and want to vent their subdued anger, they write mails and to make things worse, they mark Cc to the entire world.

Gaurav yells as the milk boils down the gas on to the floor, shit not again! Quickly finish the breakfast discussing how we should cut down our beer and our ‘Aiashi’ expenses.

Buzzz….calls from partners, by that I do not mean life partners but dealers. We call them partners, marketing to get closer to them I guess to make them sale more of the brand. Every company has something or the other in their sleeves. Every partner in this planet is irritated at something or the other it seems, whether it’s a business partner or life partner in the long run. The BP as we call them is unhappy about something in life and wants something to be done about it in an urgent basis. ‘Yes’, ‘Right’, ‘Correct’ are the words generally used in these kinda conversations (has exceptions). Some more mails and reports to be sent. The funniest thing I found about corporate emailing I find these days is that people do not check them. So, at first, send them a mail, then call them up telling them that a mail has been sent, thirdly email them again to ask that the work has been done or not and yet again call them asking them that the work has been done or not. WTF!!!

‘Chappandi' (చెప్పండి) sir, Paradise ? No autos will go even if they are sitting idol after their ‘tiffin’ of idli, vada with the inevitable chutney. Bargain for the best and we are off amongst the heavy traffic with horns blaring and people trying to jump and cross the street risking their life at every go. I guess the latter part has become a part of any ‘metropolitans’. Ain’t metropolitans suppose to be better in infrastructure and all that? Never mind that, we devotedly give our votes to some f….ed up political party who will do nothing anyways!

Partner1….Partner2…Partner3….You are out!! Parter4..Parnter5..Ok, now I can afford to be out. Fight in Hindi with a Telegu speaking Auto-wala to take me back home. I am home honey..Errrr..Wait..there is no honey at home, only Gaurav. There is no dinner also. What’s cookin?? Whatever you cook comes the quick reply from Gaurav. Ohh..okk. Lets start. We manage to make some rice and Dal with ample amount of ‘Ghee’ to cover up all the flaws. Gaurav really cooks well, a ladies man. And me? Never mind..Lets proceed..

Damn, never knew my cooking could taste so god damn good, it is worth it after all the mosquito bites and telling each other how happy our wives would be as we would cook for them such lovely dish(es).

Gaurav goes for his slumber while I hit the obvious Facebook & the infamous Farmville. Gaurav hates me for this!

Buzzz…A quick couple of calls from friends, especially from Kolkata. Can’t explain how much I miss them and how I have not been able to give time to most of them and forgetting their birthdays on a random basis, gosh!!!!! I hate me for this. Birthday’s to me these days are Facebook reminder, did I not wish them before FB/Orkut ?

I fall asleep on my mattress with the laptop on downloading some Bollywood numbers and my phone keeps on ringing to some unattended friends…Shine On..

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

देसी तड़का in the making

डेesi Tadka – Cliched name for a blog, eh? The Real Taste Of Life – Heard that before somewhere too? Maybe you are correct, but this name suits the blog just picture perfect like most of the Bollywood movie endings.

After I left Calcutta (I still think this name has got metropolitan [little after what our very own ‘Didi’ has done to it and will be doing it in the next years to come] written all over it than Kolkata which is meant for only the ‘Bangalis’ exclusively which is unfair as all dwells in the city) Err…hmmm, where was I again?? ‘Sob Story Teller’ strikes again। :-)

Yes, the blog name and why. After I left Calcutta, I started living a life which I never imagined I would be living, it was unreal. At first there was no proper place to stay, was putting up with a friend Ujjwal in a less than 150 sqft room with a conveniently fitted cemented bathroom inside the room itself. The hole in the bathroom was the source of light and millions of National Geographic insects into the room. You could also gaze at people at a distant off the field while taking a bath. Now, I know why so much of MMS scandals happen, people, take care of your bathrooms!! By the way, these things in life are suppose to make boys into men, I was told by many people. Wonder Dr. Vijay Malya or Mukesh Ambani’s son will ever be men??

Anyways, I had got a flat at Bhawarkua, Indrapuri Colony, after about 10 days of searching. It was a 1 room-1 bathroom, no kitchen, no hall. (The cute room all to myself was the only joy to me after a hard day of work, not to mention the useless politics that people play). The flat beside me had some students/working people residing, I was allowed to use their kitchen. One of them, Bhupesh, actually got me the place.

There was a cook, ‘Damu’, also known as ‘Damu Seth’ as he came down to cook whenever he wanted to and if he wanted to at all. So a lot of times, I watched Bhupesh as he cooked and I did my own dishes only. Often, I saw him adding some stuff before he finally put the cooker out of the gas. I was told that was ‘Tadka’ to add the spice or the zing in the food making it tastier and often making the food edible in case something is not right with the food.

Hence the blog name. I have learnt that ‘Tadka’ is what makes one’s daily living spicy. It gives that extra zing to that ordinary everyday bland everyday life. It makes one feel that life is ok though things might not have been all that great. ‘Tadka’ itself is relative like in real life, to many its own form, quantity and quality, but essential.

‘The real taste of life’ as you cannot do without it and at the same time if ‘Tadka’ if not added properly or added in excess, may spoil the food and your stomach respectively. So sit back and enjoy, ”Desi Tadka – The Real Taste Of Life”.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Almost Missed The Flight...

Who says you need to be in the Kargil Border to get the chill down your spines??

Recently, I was in Hyderabad for 3 some work. I was putting up with this college friend in a place which was 1.5 hours from the airport, real interior it seemed to me though he kept on telling me that it was the centre of Hyderabad.

I had to catch a flight back to Indore and the only one I could afford was at 6:10am in the morning!! Given the fact, I am not an early riser, it wasn't a merry news to me. The night before Gaurav & me met up with a common friend Rohit, and meeting friends after a long time deciphers to chugging of beer and yet some more beer!! The same happened as usual and was back home at 1:30 am! Set the snooze for 2:30 am, had to catch the Aeroexpress bus, go the airport, get the ticket printouts in hand, get some coffee, board the flight, smile back at the air hostess(Damn, they manage to look good anytime with that smile on their face) and snore--lot of work to do!!

Woke up after cursing the mobile phone snoozer a million times with a heavy head and saw it was 4am already!! Damn!! I was freaking late and it was a company paid flight, if I miss it, then I have to send 100 mails giving explanations plus I gotta foot the bill!! Almost tossed Gaurav off the bed, he was also in a trance after a heavy duty Royal Challenge and Bingo last night. Dad always said before leaving Kolkata,"Don't have any bad stuff (drugs & alcohol), it will lead you into trouble", hate to admit, he was right again!!

Just put on the socks & shoes and I was ready to travel, I knew I would be late, so I didn't bother to change to night clothes, it paid off. Gaurav put on the keys to his bike and me balancing a 24" big suitcase at the back along with a Laptop back filled with junk(yes, that much luggage for a 3 day trip). I felt like balancing an Almira in a trapeze and the bumpers and the bad road didn't help! I never thought Hyderabad in the months of July can be so chilly in the night. The entire atmosphere was so sleepy..

Reached the bus stand, the bus had left, next bus was not coming within 30 mins, had to take a private cab and rush to the airport, money, rush to ATM first, the security guard was fast asleep on a mattress inside, I went inside, took out money, took his picture (will upload soon), and rushed to the airport!! I was almost in time to get the tickets, the coffee, the smile on the face and board the flight only to fall asleep again...

--This first blog is dedicated to a friend who thinks I am on of the best SOB STORYTELLER of all times...Miss you 'friend' :-)