Thursday, September 22, 2011

How stuff works

Tips to a rookie reporter by a veteran:

Something good happens + stock market goes up = Easy job

Something bad happens + stock market goes down = Equally easy job

Something good happens + stock market goes down = Difficult, but manageable

Something bad happens + stock market goes up = You are screwed!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wedding bells, beeps, texts...

(For new readers: All characters involved are my friends, so no introduction. Check the links for more details)

“6 Missed Calls,” flashed my phone when I came back from the terrace with a bundle of clothes. I picked it up, it rang again, and Tony started scolding: “Where the hell were you?”

He had called up to invite for his wedding. In the Netherlands for an on-site project, he could not go for the traditional, wedding-card way of inviting. Mobile phone came handy. A detailed mail followed, with a map of the marriage venue.

Jayadevan, engaged last month, also plans to dial. Getting married in October, he hasn’t printed the cards yet. “Illeda, I’ll call them up,” he said. “That’s easy. All my friends are on my call list. Moreover, my relatives are spread across north Kerala. Where’s the time to go door-to-door?”

Two years ago, for Aby’s marriage, we had scanned an entire street of stationary stores at Sultanpet, Bangalore to find that right card, a month before his marriage. For Mithun, his parents took care of the card business. Our Bangalore Family was the local organising committee for both the functions.

Even Visy, who is getting married to Dev next week, got the card printed from Kerala. She had it scanned, albeit tilted, and mailed to her list of friends and acquaintances. “But I have to go and personally call many in Bangalore,” she said, a week before the card was printed.

A simple update in Facebook also had good results, but limited to your circle of online friends (For health reasons, my buddies tend to keep their family away from their Facebook profile!). Visy updated her status as ‘Engaged’, a good 20 days after the July 13 function. Comments poured in, from “Congratulations” to “Mutants and more mutants!”

Megha was more prompt in updating about her engagement to Vatsa. All her friends commented and got the date of marriage as reply. Sajin did it even better. He put up an event in Facebook on his marriage, giving complete details, tagging all his friends. So did Prem, for his sister’s marriage.

Call, Facebook or SMS, all of them cared to send e-mails – some with “in-house” graphics, some in plain text – most had scans of the invitation card. Back in Kerala, Sreeraj hasn't even started planning for his marriage in October!

With four friends tying the knot till date and many more to follow, 2011 is the “Wedding Year” in my buddy list. Tony and Visy are leaving for Kerala today, both getting married in Thrissur within a gap of four days. Wish you happy days ahead, guys. And the rest of the gang who are getting married soon (attention Jayadevan, Devina, Megha, Vatsa), you are free to call!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Packing time

These cups belong to my family in Bangalore – the original family. These were picked up first when we went shopping for our house; one for each. Those were the days when we used to make tea regularly in the morning. After more than three years, the cups would be off the shelf permanently. We are leaving what was our home in Bangalore; what Thomman called “the base camp of our gang”.

Ours was the best-maintained bachelor pad among our friends and acquaintances, and this is certified by our elder relatives who dropped by. A well-run kitchen, cleaner rooms and, last but not least, properly maintained accounts.

Compared to many of our Bangalore friends, we had a comfy setting. We didn’t have much furniture, but definitely had all the gadgets to make our life comfortable – from TV to washing machine. Being a proper two-bedroom apartment, our house was the nest for all our visiting friends.

The past four years was, in many ways, crucial in our life. The best and the common experience was art of surviving outside your hometown. Managing time and money, learning household chores and – oh yes – cooking! When we moved into the house, the first request Aby made was to keep instant noodles and bread-butter combo away. We stuck to it, and learned to cook. Before coming to Bangalore, all I knew was to make omlette and tea. Now I can cook edible stuff.

New Year eves were the best days at our home. Friends from Kerala would visit us, taking the membership up to even 18 at times. Once, five of us had to take a walk because there was no place to sleep. They came back and slept when the early-morning-shift guys got up and left.

We planned everything – from weekend outings to crucial thing like marriages – sitting in our big hall. Aby was the first to have a debate with us before going home and declaring his marriage plans to his parents. His marriage was a major occasion for us.

Mithun’s marriage followed. He straightened up his decade-long knotty affair two weeks back. A week before, Aby celebrated his second wedding anniversary. Tony’s also getting engaged shortly, he left for an on-site project in the Netherlands a day before Mithun’s marriage. Returning, he’ll land in the red carpet that will take him to the aisle. With that, the party comes to an end. Today is our last day in the house. Sheer coincidence – it’s Jeeson’s birthday.

Mithun and Aby joined us for the party. We’ll hand over the keys tomorrow. The shelf is empty now. It’s packing time.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hum Dono

I was the only youngster in the theatre, as expected. The rest was a small crowd of elders. The objective was common — to see vintage Dev Anand in colour.

The movie started with a small epilogue from the evergreen star, about the movie and the restoration process. He recited the famous song: “Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya..”, and the small crowd completed it, “har fikr ko dhuwe mein udata chala gaya!”.

The digitalised title card of Navketan Films was frozen on the screen, unlike the shivering one from the traditional projector peppered with black vertical lines, denoted the restoration. The background music during the rest of the titles were that of newly added — that was easy to detect.

Anand (Dev Anand) and Meeta (Sadhana) came on screen. For a good five minutes, they emoted with their eyes and gestures -- no words at all. Then, when Meeta was about to leave, Anand requested her to stay, breaking into a song. Mohammad Rafi’s divine voice flowed: “Abhi na jaao chod kar, ke dil abhi bharaa nahin..”. And I sat there, with my eyes moist.

Hum Dono. Wakai rangeen!