Cursed! Again and again…

…and again!! I don’t know which side of the bed I woke up yesterday, but I’m never going to do it again, hopefully! My day wasn’t all that bad, actually, but for some reason or the other, I got cursed seven times!! Seven different people in seven different situations cursed me with some unspeakable pejoratives! There was a movie, where someone asks, “If you are called a jerk seven times, do you actually become a jerk?”

If the answer to this question is true, then I don’t know what I’ve become now!! Here’re the situations, as best as I can remember them, and I’ll let you decide whether I deserved all the colorful language hurled at me.

1. Late afternoon, I was riding my bike in heavy traffic and singing a romantic song, thinking of my girlfriend, and gleefully unaware of the honking and tensions all around, when all of a sudden, a lunatic auto rickshaw careened out of the corner and scraped my front fender. I’m not a person who loses his temper, and as long as I’m not hurt or my wallet is not hurt (read as, bike screwed) I don’t care. So, I just whipped out my middle finger at the auto driver and continued my singing. This guy, I don’t know why, he popped his head out the vehicle and screamed, “Ninakkan!” and drove off. This word, in my language, has something to do with elder sisters and incest. I don’t have an elder sister, but still, I was kind of annoyed. I hadn’t raised my voice, only my finger, and I don’t think I deserved this insult!!

2. The second incident occurred when I was walking down the road from my office, with a breath mint in my mouth. I was rolling the piece of mint in my tongue, when I passed a mother and her small girl walk past me. Just then, my tongue made a smacking sort of a noise because of the piece of candy, which the mother mistook for something else. She turned around and glared at me and called me a pervert! I knew there was no point trying to reconcile. I just shrugged and moved on.

3, 4, 5. The next three instances happened almost simultaneously. I was in my friend’s place in the evening, watching the cricket match and munching some peanuts, when three of my other friends walked in. They said the following things to me:
Friend 1: “Hey asshole! How’s it hanging?”
Friend 2: “You bastard! How’re you man!?”
Friend 3: “Fucking moron! Long time no see!!”

6. Just when I was about to sigh and resign to my fate of being cursed all day long, there was an ad running on TV, which screamed out, “Nikhil’s a loser!” I mean, why couldn’t the ad feature some other name? If they wanted to portray a loser, then why choose a name like Nikhil?? Not fair!! 😦

7. Lastly, when I realized that my day had been extremely weird and that I’d been cursed enough number of times, things just got worse. While driving back home from my friend’s place, late at night, I was whistling to myself, when I stopped at a red light. I was still whistling, when I heard a scream of anger from next to me. There was a couple on a bike, the man driving and the woman sitting behind him, and both of them glaring at me and the guy was about to take his helmet off. He said, “You pervert! Stop eying my girl!”

I lost my temper a bit. Just a bit. I was about to open my mouth to retort when the lights changed and the guy flipped a finger at me and drove off at full speed.

I started thinking on my way back, that maybe its not a good idea to sing or whistle when driving. Maybe its something else altogether.Β  I don’t know. I’ve been wronged and I demand justice!! πŸ˜€

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One Tight Slap!

Indian cricket has always been colorful – the glam, the girls, the money, the fans, the poor performances and finally, the controversies. Cricket was known to be a gentleman’s game, and over the years, has become more a Man’s Game. The match-fixing controversies that plagued Indian cricket is still reverberating in the heads of all the die-hard followers of the game. Just when the dust seemed to have settled, the Einsteins at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) agreed to the ridiculous Indian Premier League (IPL), and killed what was left of Indian Cricket’s hope.

All right, I know the saying: If you can’t beat them, join them! Fine, I agree, I live in a cricket crazy country and I’m somewhat of a die-hard fan myself. So, I went ahead and watched a few matches in the IPL. And when I was thinking that it probably is not a bad idea to have players from all over the world, mixing with each other, playing with each other, sharing their experience and thoughts and ideas, the idiot-child Harbhajan Singh throws every ounce of shame out the window and slaps Sreesanth in the middle of the ground!!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t players on the same team supposed to at least pretend to like each other? Say and do whatever you want to them in the dressing rooms, but not on the field, in the open, in the era of long tom cameras and satellites that can see every hair on your neck! I was shocked and disgusted by the incident! In a country like mine, where cricket is not just a sport but a religion, players acting in such an indignant manner is unacceptable. Suspending Harbhajan was perhaps the best thing to do.

He has always been an idiot-child, getting into unwanted troubles and being more verbal than sportive. I think its time the BCCI woke up to the ground realities happening around them and stop concentrating on those sexy cheerleaders – Indian Cricket is dying, and the players are getting more and more self-centered everyday. Idiot-child is barely 24 and already a millionaire thrice over, so what can we expect? Keep him in check or throw him out!

I want Indian Cricket to be revived! Enough glamor, enough showing off wealth. Let’s play some cricket, and for once, play it in the spirit of the game.

Tagged!!

I’ve been tagged by Bina! Here goes: (gulp)

Last movie seen in a theatre:
National Treasure Book of Secrets, Stamford, Massachusetts. The movie sucked big time. More than my money, I wish I could have my time back!! πŸ˜€

What book are you reading?
For the tenth time, The Bourne Supremacy!! πŸ˜€

Favourite board game:
Chess!!! Anytime, Anywhere… Ten bucks says I can beat you blindfolded! πŸ˜€

Favorite magazine:
Cosmopo… oops, I mean, PC World! πŸ™‚

Favorite smells:
Freshly-brewed coffee and the rain-soaked ground… πŸ™‚

Favorite sound:
Shru’s sweet sweet voice… Nothing comes close to it! πŸ™‚

Worst feeling in the world:
Waking up at 6 am on Monday morning! 😦

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?
Yippee…!! It’s going to be a lovely day! (Except Monday mornings, when I’m homicidal!! Lol… )

Favorite fast food place:
Road-side gobi noodles guy!! πŸ˜€

Future child’s name:
Poor thing!! πŸ˜€

Finish this statement, β€œIf I had a lot of money I’d…”
Be in the Bahamas with Shru! πŸ˜€

Do you drive fast?

First gear: fast.
Second gear: wow, look at him!
Third gear: Road-hog!!
Fourth gear: Grease lightning!
Overdrive: E = mc
2

Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
I’m not a pervert!! πŸ˜€

Storms – Cool or Scary?
Scary… Very scary!

Do you eat the stems on broccoli?
Love ’em! πŸ˜€

If you could dye your hair any color, what would be your choice?
Chocolate πŸ˜‰

Name all the different cities/towns you have lived in:
Bangalore, Hubli, Dharwad, Dandeli, New York.

Favorite sports to watch:
Cricket!!!

One nice thing about the person who sent this to you:
Potentially good sutta partner!! πŸ˜€

What’s under your bed?
My deepest, darkest secret – a newspaper dated August 20, 1984!! πŸ˜€

Would you like to be born as yourself again?
I wouldn’t mind! πŸ˜€

Morning person or night owl?
Twilight zombie…

Over easy or sunny side up?
Scrambled, with a dash of cheese! πŸ˜€

Favourite place to relax:
Gokarna!! I want to be buried there! πŸ˜€

Favourite pie:
3.141567346464323….. πŸ˜€

Favourite ice cream flavor:
Chocolate!!! πŸ˜€

You pass this tag to:
Shuz, Fruity, Shiwuz, Mariacristina, Suda

Of all the people you tagged this to, who’s most likely to respond first?
Shuz… πŸ™‚

My Blog Feels Abandoned! :(

Boo Hoo! 😦

My blog stats are on the decline! I don’t know why! I don’t write obscene stuff. I don’t write politically explicit articles, I’m a decent guy who blogs on decent topics, no racism, no porn and definitely no slander! Well, almost no slander! πŸ˜‰

But still, this is very depressing news… What do I do? I can’t afford scantily-clad cheerleaders, nor can I offer free beer to all my visitors! All I can do is hope and pray that people read what I write. I wish I were one of those noble souls who aren’t bothered with blog stats… Sigh… 😦

Maybe what I can do is offer free advice and great ideas to everyone who visits me and leaves a comment. Just like Calvin! But I won’t charge them. I’m not as good a businessman as Calvin. Sigh, again… 😦

One more thing I can do is to change my wordpress theme. I’ve been using this theme for god knows how long, and maybe people are bored of seeing it. The same old header image (non-customizable, Grrr..!!), the same old font, the same sidebar and the same old boring topics!

Oh yeah, maybe I should start blogging about some socially volatile topics like abortion and child molestation and dangerously declining blog stats! (grin)

Actually, when it comes to such topics, I’m as opinionated as a doorknob. So, I’ll just continue to write about my same old boring life, the quirks I come across, the instances of stupidity and the complete lack of judgment, which often leads me perilously close to being a boring, old hag. Damn! My life is pathetically predictable!

As I said, Boo Hoo.. 😦

What’s in a name?

My name isn’t that hard to pronounce. Really, it isn’t. It’s one of the easiest to say and spell. It’s one of the more common names in India too. I was used to this anonymity for 22 years before I decided to go to NY. There, people just couldn’t come to grips with my name. They thought “Nikhil” was Italian! And some variations were:

1. Ny-Kheel (Sounds Arab!)

1. Nick Hill (Ugh.!!)

3. Nikhail (Sounds Russian!! Gimme my vodka!)

So, I decided to put all the confusion to rest once and for all. Here’s what I wrote on a post-it and stuck it to everyone’s computers one morning –

Knee-Kill..!! That’s me! (grin)

What’s in a name, right? πŸ˜‰

Play Your Part!

Earth Day 2008!

I won’t join the ranks of all those do-gooders who seem to be hell bent on reminding everyone of how much damage our planet has suffered and how we need to pull up our socks and save our Earth from a certain destruction, which has been round the corner for the past three decades.

Instead, on Earth Day 2008, I’d like to remind everyone of how beautiful our world is and how lucky we are just to be born in it and to experience the pleasures of a warm sunrise, a gentle breeze or the lazy lapping of the waves against our feet.

Take one day; just one day. We wake up to the warmth of the sun streaming from the windows and from the light peeping in from behind the curtains, know that it’s already well into the day. The birds have been up for almost an hour now, their chirping audible from the branch of the tree outside the window. If we listen carefully, we might even hear the rustling of the leaves and the soft whistle of the gentle, early-morning breeze. We stand up, stretch our arms and legs and walk over to the window and pull the curtains aside to reveal the vast expanse of open skies, dotted with white, fluffy clouds here and there, moving lazily with the breeze, casting distant, benign shadows on the ground below. Here and there, flocks of early birds fly towards wherever their instinct takes them. The breeze, now uninhibited by the curtains, move in to the room in soft waves and wash over us, bringing a satisfied smile to our faces with the least effort.

Even as we stand there, the bigger of the clouds move and make way for the brilliant morning sun, still low over the horizon, and throwing the occasional red-orange ray amidst the shining yellow. No amount of words can describe this sight, and no camera however powerful can do justice to it, and we know it. So, we refrain from describing this splendid sight and move over to splash our faces with cold water.

The water cleanses our sleep away and wakes us up in a way that coffee can never do. The cool water, trickles down our faces, accentuating our smile, and we hesitate and reach for the towel. We don’t want to dry our faces. Water has that lingering satisfaction.

We then pick up a glass of water and walk over to the tiny potted plant in the corner of the room, where the young, green leaves are bathing in the gentle warmth of the morning sun. As we trickle the water on to the plant’s roots, we almost feel the leaves breathing and we see the tiniest, almost imperceptible shudder as the cold water hits the stem. we feel light inside. A perfect start to the day.

When we look at the calendar on our way to the kitchen, the date reads April 22. We start thinking of ways to play our part in keeping our beautiful home clean. No plastics today, we think to ourselves. Recycle everything and don’t litter.

No matter how much money, rock shows and propaganda go into spreading awareness about the state of the planet, we know that the change must come from within ourselves. We glare at our neighbor, who throws a half-empty packet of potato chips out on the street and roars away on his motorbike. Al Gore can preach and make all the movies he wants and win all the Nobel prizes he wants, but we know that unless we realize the truth ourselves and unless we intend to make a change, we cannot. Keeping our planet clean for just one day in a year may not sound like enough, but if only we knew the amount of abuse the Earth takes in one 24-hour period, we wouldn’t wonder about it.

Play your part. Be clean. After all, it’s just for one day! πŸ™‚

Tiny Steps

I’ve been meaning to write this post for quite some time now, but never really got the chance. Now, I have the time, the motivation and the inclination to actually sit and write it down.

It’s a Friday afternoon and a lazy one at office. Not much of activity in the PR world on a weekend, and most of the work is to be pushed to the next week. So, I sit back in my plush chair, look up at the air-conditioned ceiling and think back at how to start this post.

This is actually an ode, a tribute to a friend of mine who’s been more than just a friend and never more. I call her Chucks, affectionately naming her after the haunted doll in a series of horror movies called Child’s Play. Chuckie’s in Sydney now, and has been for the past year and a half, studying to become a researcher in cancer genetics. Yeah, I know, she’s got big goals.

Actually, this is not an ode to Chucks, but rather a message of hope and strength that she desperately needs right now. She’s never been one to lose hope and direction in life, but quite recently, she shocked me when she said that she had lost them both. A self-deprecating journey can be disastrous and I know this first hand, when a lot of things didn’t fall in place for me at one point of time, and I fell into so deep a hole that it took me almost a year to recover. Chucks played a vital role in my recovery, and ever since, I’ve looked upon her as more of a mentor than a very good friend. it’s now been five years to the day since I’ve known her. April 18, 2002. πŸ™‚

When a mentor loses confidence, then it’s up to the disciple to take over the mantle and guide the mentor out of the looming abyss. Things happen in life that can’t be avoided. We all go through a phase when we start questioning our judgments and our decisions, and whenever possible, we must be strong enough to back ourselves up. Realizing that we are of sound mind and sound body can help a lot.

Have faith, Chucks. Never lose faith. Believe in yourself and you’ll do amazing things. I am sure of that. I know you and I know your abilities and I’m sure somewhere deep down, you do too. Hope and faith are all the ammunition you’ve got to fight depression and bad tides. I urge you to use it.

Nostalgia can go a long way in your recovery. Remember how you cured me, Chucks. Remember the medicines you gave me – nostalgia, hope and faith. I hope you remember, because if you don’t, then I’d have to come all the way to Sydney now. πŸ˜€

I wish you all the very best in your life, Chucks. You’ve got a long and fruitful life ahead of you, and please don’t lose track of your original goals and plans. I’m here for you; we’re all here for you, Chucks. We want you to succeed and I want you to fulfill your promises you made me before you left.

Proceed in tiny steps, Chucks.

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Dear Readers: I apologize if this blog wasn’t really the ideal forum for posting this message to Chucks, but I had to do it. After what she’s done for me, I feel this is the least I could do. I would be grateful if you could leave behind your wishes and good will for my dear Chucks, and hope that she can get over her troubles and depressions and return home victorious! Thanks! I owe you all! πŸ™‚

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