A Very Little Italian In Me

Venue: Little Italy, Bangalore

Time: 12.30 pm – 2.30 pm

Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Occasion: Colleague’s last day at work

Menu: Unpronounceable watery soup with bits of mushroom floating around, unpronounceable pasta thingy, unpronounceable watery mashed potatoes, unpronounceable Italian version of cheese pakodas, Long Island Iced Tea

Post Lunch: I burped pasta breath and felt somewhat woozy the whole day. My eating habits are primitive and my taste in food is instinctive – I eat anything edible and all that jazz about table manners and primness are concepts that I don’t comprehend.

The Little Italian In Me is called Nikko and he says, “Mangio, dunque sono!

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!)

Inspire…

inΒ·spiΒ·raΒ·tion [in-spuhrey-shuhn]:

–noun

— a thing or person that inspires.

Vishesh tagged me, and this time, its an interesting one:

Think of THE song that most inspires you to write, whether it gives you an idea for a story, script or just puts you into a better frame of mind AND/OR peek into the lyrics and find a verse that sums up the theme of whatever project it is you’re working on. If possible, post a video of the song to convey to readers the full context of the song and the mood it puts you into. Finally, send the assignment to five other writers to do as well.

There’s this tiny, weird-looking, double-chinned, mousy-haired, tinny-voiced, dark-skinned, blue-eyed, long-eared man with unclean nails and long, spindly legs, wearing tattered white clothes and sporting a toothless grin and a mega-halitosis, and he resides inside my head and is responsible for everything I write. He sleeps in a bug-infested mattress that’s in a bad shape with lots of holes. He has a tattoo on his right arm, near the shoulder, which reads, “I write, therefore I am!” – a tattoo he got while partying in Bali, a few years ago.

There’re very specific things that inspire this gentleman, and music is one of them. Music of any kind sets him off, and if I had to pick one, then it has to be INXS’s Afterglow. The lyrics speak to him directly, reminds him of someone special, and he dedicates all the things he writes to that person. He loses control of himself while listening to this song, and for hours together, he sits and listens to this song over and over again. The youtube link for this song is here below:

The lyrics are, I must agree with this gentleman, somewhat inspiring. I like this song a lot myself.

At the tiny, weird-looking, double-chinned, mousy-haired, tinny-voiced, dark-skinned, blue-eyed, long-eared gentleman’s request, I have withheld his name.

Now, I need to tag five other writers, but since writers aren’t the only ones who need inspiration, I am going to tag a few poets and rockstars too: They are: Mariacristina, Fruity, Priya, Shiwani and Balu.

Anyone else who feels the need to share their inner creative selves with the world, are, of course, free to pick up this tag and do it. From the shabby gentleman inside me and from myself, I raise a toast to you, dear accomplished reader!

Cheers! πŸ™‚

Beers, Laughs and WordPress Themes!

Thursday night was a blur – it was May 1st, Labor Day, and I was working hard in office till almost 8 pm. If that wasn’t ironic enough, then try this: I had to attend a press conference the next day and I was supposed to go in complete formal wear and be on my best behavior – so, I got drunk that night, celebrating Labor Day and went to the press conference in an unpressed shirt and carrying a mega-hangover! I know a lot of people will read this and judge me and call me an irresponsible jerk who doesn’t deserve to be employed, but in my defense, I didn’t plan on getting drunk and I don’t have formal wear! I wonder if this argument will hold up in court or if I’ll be thrown in a mental asylum to be evaluated. Hmm… πŸ˜€

Anyway, that night, I met Rags and Panday – two of my closest friends – and we went to this place called Tavern. The place was quite empty when we reached at 8.30 pm and by the time we ordered the second pitcher of cold draught, the place was overflowing and the music drowned our voices. We laughed and laughed and remembered all the strange things that have happened to each one of us, and wished time could stand still…

By the end of the night, this is how we looked:

Rags looked quite sane because all she drank was two mugs, constantly being paranoid about her health cehck-up as part of the Australian Visa thingy! And Panday is a regular fish-tank when it comes to booze, and we both gulped down most of it. I felt so buzzed that I decided to change my wordpress theme!!!

Ok, here’s where logic is thrown out of the window. I was high on alcohol and in that dazed state of mind, I realized that my wordpress theme looked gay-ish. πŸ˜€

I’d better change it!! So, here’s the effect! A new theme that’s here to stay, hopefully as long as my old, faithful Light did.

Akhil and Chucks, if you both are reading this, then we missed you both big time!

Cheers!!! πŸ˜€

I was…

Isn’t it fun! Balu, Rekha and Barath have tagged and all three are very very interesting tags. I wonder if I can do justice to them! Actually, this time, I’ll leave the tag open and I urge everyone to do these tags, because they’re really really intriguing! But I’m forcing Ruhi to do this tag!! πŸ˜€

Let me rack whatever little brains I’ve been blessed with and try to come up with absolutely stupid nice responses to them! Here goes…!

Tag 1:

Eight things I am passionate about :

1. Mountain Dew!! Do the Dew!!

2. Chicken Biryani! (If anyone reading this is a PETA activist, then please read this as Vegetable Biryani!)

2. Hot tea early in the morning!!

4. Ahem Ahem…

5. Pink Floyd’s songs! We don’t need no education! πŸ˜€

6. My job!

7. Blogging! It’s a religion! πŸ˜€

8. All my 450 novels!! πŸ˜€

Eight things I want to do before I die:

1 – 7: Visit all the seven wonders of the world! πŸ˜€

8. Invent a potion that’ll make me immortal! πŸ˜€

Eight things I say often:

Unfortunately, I swear a lot! I know, it doesn’t sound like me, but sometimes, I get really mad at people around me and pejoratives just burst forth like a dam breaking. Since I don’t want WordPress to delete my blog for being obscene, I’ll refrain myself! πŸ˜€

Eight books I have read recently:

The Bourne Series, Life of PI, Inside Intuit, Tintin in Tibet, Tintin in America and currently, Tintin and the Red Sea Sharks! πŸ˜€

Tag 2:

List 10 TV shows that made TV worth watching:

I’m a huuuuuge couch potato, and there’s not a single show that I’ve not seen. But, if I had to pick 10, then they’d have to be:

1. The Simpsons, who made my day! πŸ˜€

2. Home Improvement, where Tim Allen still cracks me up!

3. House MD, in which Hugh Laurie portrays my dream job!

4. The X-Files, which made me question my existence and made me look up to the heavens.

5. The Crystal Maze, which, till today, remains the best reality game show ever created!!!

6. Rugrats, which made me smile every night before I slept.

7. Bones, which aired recently on Fox, and got me hooked on to the idiot box.

8. Numbers, to which I was introduced by MN, and which gripped me hard! πŸ˜€

9. Mission Impossible, which was a series on which the popular movies were based. i like them better than the movies. πŸ˜€

10. Remington Steele, which made me fall in love with Pierce Brosnan’s acting!! πŸ˜€

Tag 3:

(I like this one the best because this got me really thinking, something I don’t do often!)

I modified this one a bit, and here’s what I’d do in the next 9 minutes:

7.49 pm: I need a smoke! πŸ˜€

7.50 pm: I need a cold cold beer! πŸ˜€

7.51 pm: I want to fly away on Emirates Airlines to Dubai and live the life of a bedouin!

7.52 pm: I would much rather have a cup of tea than coffee, thanks! πŸ™‚

7.53 pm: Stop blogging, you’re in office and you’ve got to work!!

7.54 pm: Damn, it’s almost 8 and I need to go home!

7.55 pm: I need a smoke! πŸ™‚

7.56 pm: Tomorrow’s Saturday!! Yippee!!! πŸ˜€

7.57 pm: Someone call me, please! I’m bored! πŸ˜€

7.58 pm: Shit, I badly need a smoke! πŸ˜€

Told you it would be interesting! Go ahead, try it! πŸ˜€

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˜‰

The Case Of The Disappearing Currency

4:09 pm – I bought a couple of packs of chewing gum at a roadside store, paid with a hundred-rupee note and got ninety rupees back, including a 50-rupee note.

4:20 pm – I’m driving in heavy traffic towards Barista to meet a friend and have a cup of coffee.

4:32 pm – I stop to pick up some smokes at some other roadside store and pay the guy ten bucks.

4:59 pm – I think to myself as I’m parking my Mom’s old, worn-out Luna that I need to fill up a water bottle with fifty bucks’ worth fuel for my bike, whose tank was bone dry.

5:45 pm – Rags and I leave Barista and walk over to the gas station across the street.

5:47 pm – The attendant fills up the water bottle with fuel and I open my wallet to pay him…

What happened next was a complete shock to me. There was no money in my wallet. There should’ve been close to sixty bucks in there, and all I saw was some dirty old ten-rupee note. I gulped and looked at Rags. She pitied me and gave me the money for the fuel.

I called the Hardy Boys to investigate the crime, and they came promptly at around ten in the night. We ended up getting drunk and woke up this morning not knowing why I had called them.

Ah, my hard-earned fifty rupees! 😦