The PR Lingo! :)

Being a public relations man has exposed me to a lot of interesting words and phrases, things that I’d never heard before, and things that caused me considerable distress (being a language purist) when I first heard them. Some of these are:

1. “Sit on this” – This is used while referring to an issue that has to be discussed or a crisis that has to be handled or a presentation that has to be finished or a document that has to be written and just about anything that has to be done. “Don’t worry, I’ll sit on this and finish it!”sounds more like a chicken-murderer plotting his move rather than a serious professional, but I’ll have to adapt! πŸ˜€

2. “Revert back” – A grammatically incorrect connotation of the more popular “Reply back,” this phrase generally refers to the process of replying to emails, text messages and phone calls that have to be returned. When I first heard the sentence, “Nikhil, the client has sent us a time for the meeting. Please revert back to him,” I had a sly smile all day long! πŸ˜€

3. “Collateral” – Completely and absurdly contrary to all the accepted definitions of the word, “Collateral” in PR lingo refers to any and all documents that the PR firm gives to its clients, including the clients’ profile and companies’ background. This is quite a strange term to use, because every time I hear, “Nikhil, have you seen the collateral?” my mind thinks of the movie! πŸ˜€

4. “Dip Stick” – Ahem! :mrgreen:
All perversions aside, the phrase “Dip Stick” refers to a survey conducted among journalists, to gauge their understanding of current affairs (Yeah, right!). This happens whenever a brand new company is formed and we call up journalists and ask them, “There’s this new company called so-and-so. Have you heard of it?” More often than not, the journalists hang up the phone! πŸ˜€

5. “Boiler Plate” – I first heard this phrase a few days back, when someone asked me, “Nikhil, where’s the boiler plate on this press release??” I looked back blankly and said, “Uh, what the fuck are you talking about?” Apparently, this refers to a brief note about the client to be included on all press releases! Weird, indeed! Something of a pot-boiler to spice up a bland release? πŸ˜€

So, there it is. There’re a few other weird instances where the English language has been massacred, but I think I’ve sinned enough for one day! πŸ˜€

Image Courtesy: Cartoonstock.com

Umbrella Fella :)

)
Almost Similar To Mine! πŸ™‚

It’s been raining cats and dogs in Bangalore for the past few weeks. Every day, like clockwork, the rain starts at around 5 in the evening and goes on till almost 10 in the night. This has forced me to avoid stepping out of the house/office, wherever I am, during this time period. Yesterday was an exception. πŸ˜€

A close friend had come down from Delhi and he was staying over at my place. Around four in the evening, we decided to get out of the house (Oh, I had taken a day off from work) and go window shopping on MG Road and Brigade Road. And as soon as we got ready to leave the house, God decided to water His plants. πŸ˜€

The rain did not stop for an hour, and around 5, when it subsided a bit, we realized that it would be utter stupidity to go on my ridiculously unreliable bike and settled on an auto. I grabbed the only umbrella in the house – an ancient monstrosity that can shield an entire football team when opened – and stepped out to hail the auto. We stepped out to bright sunshine and birds chirping. We looked at each other and contemplated the bike again, but decided against it as I had the feeling that God wanted to play with His favorite yo-yo. πŸ˜€

We got the auto and managed to squeeze in along with the huge umbrella and reached MG Road at around 6 in the evening. We walked around looking at expensive things and dreaming of being able to afford them. All the while, I looked like a clown straight out of a traveling circus, carrying the umbrella around. I felt so embarrassed when a couple of young kids started walking behind me making whooping noises. πŸ˜€

)
Masala Dosa! πŸ™‚

Answering the call of hunger, we both entered a small wayside restaurant for some hot masala dosa and ate to our hearts’ content. It was a standing restaurant, and a very cramped one at that, and apparently quite famous, because the crowd was suffocatingly large. The steams from the tiny kitchen and the overpowering aroma of the food played contrasting tricks on my brain.

Finally, we emerged out of the restaurant and walked the entire length of Brigade Road, admiring the sights and sounds of the city’s most happening road. We watched as cops pulled people off their bikes for not riding with a helmet and we watched a ten-year-old kid buying cigarettes on the street. We saw the colorful advert hoardings screaming out silently for attention. We saw…

Oh shit, I had forgotten my umbrella in the tiny hotel! πŸ˜€

We ran back all the way and finally reached the hotel and I pushed my way through the hungry mob and those eating food, knocking over a freshly-made plate of dosas and reached the corner where I had stood. And there it was, nestled safely in the corner, just where I had kept it, standing as if there was nothing that could affect it. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and picked it up and caressed it and apologized to the umbrella for forgetting it. It forgave me! πŸ˜€

Images Courtesy: Neatorama.com and Woodland USA

The Alchemy Of Fear

1archaic : frighten

2archaic : to feel fear in (oneself)
3: to have a reverential awe of <fear God>
4: to be afraid of : expect with alarm <fear the worst>intransitive verb: to be afraid or apprehensive <feared for their lives>
β€” fearΒ·er noun
When the going gets tough, I tend to go to the corner store and drink a bottle of orange juice. It calms my nerves a bit. Unfortunately, this trick didn’t work yesterday, when I happened to come across the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. I panicked. I could hear my heart pounding in my chest like a gavel banging down on me. My palms instinctively clenched as sweat came pouring out through every little pore in my body. (Well, almost every pore!)
My eyes clouded and I saw myself faint. But I steeled myself against it. “I will not faint,” I told myself. “I will not faint! I will not faint!”
Slowly, I became aware of the fact that my fear was subsiding a bit, just a bit. I ventured to relax a bit and take a few deep breaths. I looked at the horrifying thing and felt a wave of revulsion and paranoia creeping over me. I somehow managed to get over it and looked the thing straight in the eyes. It stared right back at me, without battling an eyelid. It was a game of will now. I held my ground, hoping against hope that the thing would not sense my fear. I was half-expecting it to lunge at me. I braced myself, but imperceptibly. I did not want to show my fear and my doubts.
Then, it happened.
It blinked. It looked straight at me again and said, “Sir, your HSBC credit card bill. Are you feeling all right?”
πŸ˜€

At Last!

The Dark Knight
Why so frikkin' serious!

At long last, I did it! I finally watched The Dark Knight! πŸ˜€

It happened yesterday, when Aparna sent me a message saying, “Hey, I’m going to watch Dark Knight tonight!” and I officially became the only living being alive not having watched the movie. I put a plan in motion at around six o’ clock in the evening and made up my mind that I was going to watch the damn movie no matter what! πŸ˜€

I sent my terrorist brother to his friend’s place – a friend who had managed to download the movie through ΞΌtorrent – and asked him to burn the movie on a DVD. He was not supposed to return home without the movie. And the kid did not disappoint! He returned around ten in the night and held up the DVD and said, “This is gonna cost you a hundred bucks!”

Are you frikkin nuts? I would’ve gone to the theater if I had to pay so much!” I screamed. I was now eying the DVD like it was ‘my precious’ much like Gollum did in The Lord Of The Rings! πŸ˜€

“Ok, I’ll head back to his house and return the DVD, then,” said the terrorist and turned around.

Wait!” I shouted. “Just wait. Can we.. can we negotiate?”

“How’s this for a deal: I’ll give you the DVD and you give me the hundred,” he said and leaned against the wall, as though he had all the time in the world. I fidgeted. I half-considered snatching the DVD from his hand and running to my room, but quickly dismissed the idea because he’s a bit bigger and a lot more stronger than I am, though I hate to admit it, and he’d break down my door and kick my ass if I did that. Oh, he’s broken through a few doors in his time. πŸ˜€

So, I said, “Ok, so give me the DVD.”

He looked at me like I was an idiot and said, “Do I look as stupid as you do?”

We needs our precious!
We needs our precious!

“My precious,” I murmured and eyed the DVD through greedy eyes.

“My money,” he said and yawned.

“Ok, ok,” I said and opened my wallet and saw that there was exactly one hundred bucks, including the coins, which themselves added up to thirty bucks! So, I literally cleaned out my wallet and dumped all the money in his huge hands and said, “My precious! We needs our precious!” πŸ˜€

He stood there and counted the money carefully and only when he was satisfied the I hadn’t short-changed him, he reluctantly handed over the DVD to me. I snatched at it and held it close to my chest and slunk back to my room, murmuring, “Precious! My precious!”

I plugged in the DVD and sat back, put my feet up on the table and smiled to myself. I was finally going to watch The Dark Knight! After so long, after reading countless reviews in the papers and on blogs, after being ridiculed at work and outside for not having seen the movie, having sat through four weeks of lunch breaks at office, listening to people commenting on the movie and how brilliant it was and how awesome it was and how breath-taking it was and of course, those long accolades hurled at Heath Ledger, Christian Bale and Aaron Eckhart – after all that, I was finally going to watch the movie.

The movie started at 10.33 pm (I made a note of the time) and ended at precisely 12.56 pm and for those 2 hours and 23 minutes, my hand was frozen halfway between the bowl of potato chips and my wide-open mouth.

Ah, heaven! πŸ˜€

A Man’s Best Friend…

… is not a dog, to put a common misconception to rest. It is, on the contrary, a very nicely-blended mix of scotch and soda, with lots of ice. πŸ˜€

I had been to a cocktail-dinner party last night at a seedy pub in a city, which had seen better days and the food left a lot to be desired. I wasn’t dressed appropriately, I had a bad headache, I had no intentions/interest/inclination/mood to attend the party, and yet, I had to go to fulfill certain commitments. Sigh, it’s been such a sad week so far, a week in which I reached a few decisions that I hope are the right ones and avoided a few more than I hope to avoid all my life! πŸ˜€

So, anyway, let me not get sidetracked. I’ll come back to the seedy dinner party last night, where I was sitting around, watching the horny cameramen take snaps of those vile and vulgar Page 3 crowd, and thought to myself, “Nikhil, you’re here, amidst a bevy of apparently hot chicks and over-fed, rich men and you’re wearing a dirty white shirt with sweat stains on the sleeves, a pair of trousers that are frayed around every corner and some weirdly horrifying pair of floaters – what’re you missing?”

Pat came the reply – a drink! πŸ˜€

I made my way to the crowded bar, where they were giving away free drinks, and I got myself a scotch and soda, and sat back and enjoyed the fake smiles around me. I watched the facade as a couple of dumb publicity hounder chicks in short skirts come up to me and say, “Hey, you are from…?”

I looked at them and said, “No, I am Nikhil,” and gave them my best I’m-not-interested smile.

They got the message and stopped following me around. Every room I entered in that pub, the terribly omnipresent Page 3 crowd was busy hugging complete strangers and getting their photo taken. And the photographers from these cheesy tabloids couldn’t get enough of them! “Get a room,” I wanted to scream out, when I realized that they had!! πŸ˜€

Anyway, I came back home around midnight from the party, and the only faithful companion throughout the party was my ever-present glass of scotch and soda. And when on my way back through the hauntingly empty streets of the city at midnight, a pair of dogs chased me, barking their lungs out, for almost two kilometers and that was when I decided that a man’s best friend is not really a dog. Dogs tend to change loyalties the minute someone offers them a juicier bone.

In a way, street dogs and those Page 3 photographers are similar – one is a filthy cross-breed that lurks the streets of town searching for a juicy ‘bone,’ and the other is a street dog! πŸ˜€

(Yikes!! Too vulgar?) πŸ˜€

Image Courtesy: Soumik
(Sourced from Google Image Results. I do not know this person!)

Introspection Day

Turning a year older is not much fun if you start thinking about how old you are and how much more you could’ve done in the years past. I realized this the hard way yesterday, when I turned 24 and I realized that I am trudging along on the long road of life and there’re no detours in sight. Just before sleeping yesterday, I was talking to a dear friend of mine over the phone (she stays in Chattisgarh) and we were discussing random stuff and all of a sudden, it hit me that I am not really where I wanted to be at this point in life.

It’s been a pessimistic week for me so far, with too much work to do and too little time to do it in, and yesterday in particular was such a terribly hectic day that it was only when people smeared my face with some yummy chocolate cake that I forced myself to relax a bit and smile.

Most of the questions that people tend to ask themselves in such a mood as I am in, are kindaΒ clichΓ©d and would be on the lines of, “Where is my life headed?” and “Why am I here?”

But my questions went one step higher and I began questioning my attitude to life, my decisions in the past, my plans for the next few years and in general, the direction I am looking at, and to my surprise, I realized that I had answers to none of them! πŸ˜€

I guess this happens to everyone of us, and the best way to get over it is to ignore it and get on with life. I decided to face this head-on and I have challenged myself to find the answers soon! All this thought process took approximately forty-seven seconds and I slept soon after. I had this strong urge to share this with all of you, just to vent it all out. Sorry! πŸ˜€

Oh, by the way, I called up Vodafone customer care yesterday and this conversation with the customer care executive is absolute gold. It went thus:

Me: Hi, my international calling is barred for some reason.

Vodafone Jerk: Hi sir, thank you for calling Vodafone.

Me: Yeah, yeah, my international calling has stopped.

Vodafone Jerk: I will definitely look into that problem sir. First could you please tell me your 10-digit mobile phone number and your full name?

Me: My number is xxxxx-xxxxx and my name is Nikhil Kumar.

Vodafone Jerk: Hi Mr. Kumar, Vodafone wishes you a very happy birthday!

Me (Pleasantly surprised): Why, thank you. That’s sweet of you.

Vodafone Jerk: You’re welcome sir. Now, you said your international calling has been barred?

Me: Yes!

Vodafone Jerk: Ok sir, but first, I need to confirm a few details about your account for security reasons.

Me: Sigh, ok go ahead.

Vodafone Jerk: Mr. Kumar, can you please confirm your date of birth?

———–

Cheers! πŸ˜€

Image Courtesy: Munplblog.wordpress.com

August 20, 1984!

No, this isn’t a spoof of 1984. I like George Orwell very much! (Though, come to think of it, it could be quite an interesting title for a spoof!)

Few dates in the history of the world are as significant as August 20, 1984. The events that happened on that date are so earth-shatteringly uninteresting, inane and pointless, that they have changed the course of history completely by not playing a role in it whatsoever! Perhaps the most boring date in world history! πŸ˜€

I have tried to compile some of the events here that I am sure will make you wonder about the importance about this particular day and why this day was not removed from calendars across the world. Trust me, it’s worth a read! πŸ˜€

1. According to the Political Graveyard, on the 20th of August (not 1984), twenty-five United States politicians were born, none of whom are well-known, and most of whom are dead. Just one of these obscure figures was born on the 20th of August 1984. πŸ˜€

2. The Journal of Clinical Microbiology, which was released on the 20th of August 1984, which incidentally was Volume 20, contained a revolutionary research article titled, “Comparison of fluorescence polarization immunoassay and bioassay of vancomycin,” which paved the way for no further research on the topic. The authors of this paper probably lost their tenure and were forced to retire! πŸ˜€

3. At 7.00 pm on the 20th of August 1984, an appeal hearing was held in the Jonesboro country of Arkansas, which is probably the winner of the Most Boring Meeting ever held in the history of the world! πŸ˜€

4. On the 20th of August 1984, Ronald Reagan was boo-ed by a crowd while he was giving a speech in Cincinnati, Ohio and one member of the audience shouted, “No More Reagan! No More Reagan!” πŸ˜€

5. On the 20th of August 1984, the glorious world of Women’s Wrestling took a turn for the better, when reigning WWF Women’s Champion Susan Starr defeated Donna Christianello in Buffalo, NY! πŸ˜€

6. On the 20th of August 1984, Time Magazine’s 124th Volume was released and Sears and Cheryl Tiegs made the cover! πŸ˜€

7. On the 20th of August 1984, I was born.

Kris Bass has generously awarded me the Brilliante Weblog – 2008, and on this glorious occasion, I consider it my privilege to pass on this award to 8 other blogs that I consider worthy (worthier than me, definitely). They are:

[The rules specified that I could only pick 8 blogs for this one, so I am not taking anything away from all the others whom I have not mentioned above! Don’t hate me for this! If I could have, I would have nominated each and every blog on my blogroll and many more that I frequent]Β Β  πŸ™‚

I guess that covers most of the things that I wanted to say about this very special day, and to acknowledge an award that I don’t think I deserve.

Cheers! πŸ™‚

PS: The great Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was born on the 20th of August 1944! πŸ˜€

PPS: This post has, very interestingly, exactly 20 hyperlinks!! πŸ˜€