Insane Trends For 2012

A while ago, I had educated the world about the famed Stupidity Index. Now, as we move into the new year with new hopes and renewed miseries, I will present to you my top five insane trends to watch out for in 2012:

Excessive 9gagging:

9gag logoOver the past year, 9gag has become a trend statement of sorts with all kinds of memes being made popular by a very large percentage of the world’s population. Being a 9gagger has become a matter of pride for some and a matter of principle for others. Excessive 9gagging has shown to result in involuntary drooling, day dreaming during work and sudden, inexplicable erections in men in January, courtesy of their no-bra campaign. This trend is insane enough to make this list and its worth keeping an eye out for.

Facebook Marriages:

Facebook_WeddingMore and more people are getting ‘married’ on Facebook these days. In 2011, there were 109 recorded marriages on the social networking site whose user base makes it the fourth most populated country in the world. If you like someone very much and want to get married to that person but can’t afford a wedding, then the the trendsmith recommends a Facebook marriage – change your relationship status to ‘Married’ and indicate the person you want to marry. Once that other person (hopefully your better half) has reciprocated this action, your statuses will be updated for the whole world to see.

This is a very useful recommendation for all those who are constantly broke. Go forth and get hitched. After all, being insane enough to get married in this day and age trumps the fact that you’re doing it on Facebook.

The Flash Mob Phenomenon:

Flash MobThe mob has many heads but no brains. Or so they say. The last four months of 2011 saw an exponential rise in the number of randomly arranged flash mobs in India, US, UK and Australia. Most of the flash mobs were centered around people dancing to or singing a popular trending song. This year, there are all the indicators that the Flash Mob culture will rise strongly and will involve people from all walks of life to behave like idiots for a few minutes.

Status Messages:

status messageThere was an astronomical increase in the number of people searching for the phrase ‘best status messages’ on Google. It’s probably the influx of innumerable brain alternatives that people these days are not able to think smartly for themselves. Sadly, some of the best status messages on IMs and social networking sites are re-hashed nonsense. One of the trends to watch out for in 2012 will be the hunt for an original status message.

Taking An Arrow To The Knee:

Arrow to the knee - skyrimSkyrim, with all its hype and drama, gave the world much than they promised. More than half the world’s population are nursing sore knees after being shot by arrows. This phrase, which evolved into a meme and now has grown into a full-fledged fan site, will not die quickly. 2012 will see growing popularity and acceptance.

So, that’s my list. In case you have more insane trends to watch out for, enlighten us in the comments. Cheers, and a happy new year to you all. Stay Hungover!

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Message In A Bottle

Her memories still haunt me sometime. It has been half a decade since I last told her that I loved her, and it has been less than a year since she told me to die a painful death. Its strange how the heart works – it seeks out the unobtainable and covets it. I sometimes lie awake at night thinking about her face, her smile, her lovely hair, her scent, her eyes – and feel this incredible amount of pain coursing through every sinew, blaming myself for what happened and wondering what might have happened if things had turned out differently. I reach out to touch her lips and clutch at thin air.

I have caught myself wondering at times, whether she were the pinnacle of my existence. Whether everything I’ve done since she left, everything I’ve achieved or failed to achieve, all the adolations and the accusations that came after her, was just an insignificant grain of sand on a beach. I have caught myself at times, going through all those mails and letters we wrote to each other back then, expressing our undying, everlasting, unconditional love for each other. Maybe I was too young to realize what love really was. Or maybe I was too stupid to believe in its idealism.

I don’t know where she is, I don’t know what she is doing right now. I don’t know if she is married, has kids, is working somewhere or stydying something. I don’t have her email ID. I definitely don’t have her phone number. She doesn’t follow me on Facebook, Myspace or Twitter. And I don’t have her on any of my IMs. If it weren’t for the old email and letters that I have saved, its as if she does not exist. As if she had not existed in the first place. Someone as pure and as beautiful as her must have been ethereal, a figment of my imagination.

Just in case, hoping against hope, that she is out there somewhere, and hoping that she can read this, then all I want to say to her is that I do understand what love really is. This is probably my message in a bottle for her. I am keeping my fingers crossed and I hope that it gets picked up. I remember those days quite clearly. I remember those days so clearly that I wish things were that simple again. I wish life had not gotten in our way. I wish life would have remained so… completely musical.

Hampi: The Great Escape

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything on the blog. Part of the reason was my persistent writers’ block. The main reason was that I had nothing interesting to write about. Sad as that may seem, I was living in mortal fear of having nothing left to write about. Then, on a windy Friday night, it all changed.

A call was made on my behalf to a travel agent and bus tickets were booked in my name to Hampi. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I can’t postpone my trip any longer. A loaded gun was held to my head and I was made to pack my bag and marched all the way to the bus station. I was violently shoved into the bus and the door was pulled shut behind me. I was on my way to Hampi, the cultural capital of the country.

I have a tendency to exaggerate a bit at times, and though my departure to Hampi wasn’t as dramatic as I described, it was still a decision I had to take despite a lot of leftover work. Half my mind was on my impending vacation and the other half was working on publicity strategies for my clients. I tried hard and put that part of my brain to sleep and told myself that I’d take it as it comes. I convinced myself that I needed a break. I looked forward to three days of blissful peace.

It was 6 AM in the morning when I woke up, jolted by a particularly nasty pothole and was aware of a painfully full bladder. I looked out the window and was stunned by the landscape we were passing through. in the dawn’s early, hesitant light, I looked at a river flowing in all her might, past the greenest trees I’ve ever seen. The scene was killed mercilessly by a burst of black smoke that the bus belched as it wound its way up an incline. I walked over to the driver and asked him if he could stop for a bit so that I could relieve myself. I was told that we would reach the final stop in under 20 minutes and that I should hold it.

I stood there, squirming in discomfort for the next twenty-five minutes until at last, we stopped for the last time at a place called Hospet. I rushed out of the bus before anyone else, ran out on to the other side of the road and experienced the second most pleasurable thing a man can experience by himself. With a satisfied smile on my face, I took a deep lungful of the clean, crisp village air and hailed an auto-rickshaw to Hampi, twelve miles away. I didn’t know it then, but my journey had just begun.

Mowgli Resort & Guest House

Mowgli Resort
Mowgli Resort
View from my room
View from my room

Hampi is a strange place, geographically speaking. The Tungabhadra river cuts the village into two clean halves, which are linked either by small ferry boats across the water, or, when the water levels are dangerously high, by a thirty mile road trip all along the river and over the dam. I had the privilege of taking the road trip.

The thirty miles seemed to pass in a blink of an eye as the auto-rickshaw tuk-tuk’d its way through small towns, smaller villages and some absolutely fantastic scenery. I saw a few semi-hot village chicks and waved at them as we went by, and saw them give me strange stares in return. We arrived at the Mowgli Guest House & Resort at around 9.30 in the morning and I dismissed my auto. I was quite surprised to find that I was the only guest there. I was even more surprised to find that the kitchen at Mowgli had been closed for a week and they were only now opening it up for me. Tourist season, I was told by the proprietor, did not begin for another month. I was early. Lucky me.

The guest house is a quaint place set in the middle of green paddy fields all around it, with a great view of the river. A typical backpackers’ destination, this resort and other similar ones in the area , boasts of an international menu at entirely desi rates. Imagine having a mouth-watering margherita pizza for Rs. 100! But, as luck would have it, being the off-season, the pizza wasn’t available.

I spent most of the first day lounging around, reading a good book and listening to the soothing sounds all around me – the insects, the birds, the wind and the river.

Scooty Streaking

The Scooty Streak
The Scooty Streak

I hired a Scooty Streak on the second morning and rode all over the neighboring villages. I covered almost fifty miles in under four hours, absolutely mesmerized by the landscape and the ruins. One of the strangest things I discovered about Hampi is the atrocious angles at which boulders sit on top of each other. It almost defies physics. it was one of the best mornings I’ve had in a long time. The open roads, the pleasant weather and the vastly amusing looks I elicited by the villagers all added up to a brilliant morning.

A three hour nap later, I went to a small, rustic restaurant that was quite ostentatiously called ‘Laughing Buddha’. With Bob Marley posters adorning the walls and ugly reggae music playing in the background, I sat by the river bank and had a very satisfying chicken sandwich and a much-needed cup of hot, sweet tea.

By the time I returned to my room late at night, I was highly satisfied and at peace. I was beginning to question myself about going back to Bangalore, back to my stressful life.

Hampi & Her Ruins

My Favorite Ruin
My Favorite Ruin

The last day was by far the most fascinating. I took a chance with the over-flowing river and paid a boatman a bit extra to take me across to the main city. After much hesitation and much negotiation, he got his boat out and ferried me across an angry river. I sat, clutching my life in my hands, as the boat rocked and threatened to topple over any second. Safely across, I met my trusty auto-rickshaw driver, and for the next seven hours, he took me on a comprehensive tour of all the sights of Hampi. The once-mighty Vijayanagar empire that now lies in ruins in and around Hampi is quite a sight to see.  For a glimpse of what I saw, check out the album.

I am constantly in search of peace, and more often than not, I mistake peace for momentary pleasure. Hampi is a place that has taught me quite a bit about peace and how to achieve that state of mind.

It is definitely a place I will keep coming back to.

How To Spot An Indian

I’ve been hearing a lot of incidents of racial profiling, where Indians are ‘randomly’ pulled out of lines at the airport for a thorough check. It has picked up tremendously after 9/11 and I’m not surprised. As Indians, we unfortunately share the skin color and hair styles of the usual terrorist suspects. I would be racially profiling myself, if I said that all terrorists are middle-eastern, so I won’t say it.

A lot of people in Western countries shit their pants when they see a brown guy sporting a full beard. This fear is doubled if the brown guy is wearing a white kurta. And they practically run for their lives if this guy sports a Taqiyah – the traditional Muslim prayer cap. And there have been a few instances where a white guy literally had a heart attack when a brown guy he was talking to, used the word “Allah” in his sentence.

Terrorist SpottingThis is so ridiculous. There is a limit to paranoia, and taking it out on brown-skinned men and women, just because some brown assholes killed a bunch of white people in the past, is calling for trouble. Don’t get me wrong, I am shocked and disgusted each time there is a terrorist attack anywhere in the world. As a pacifist myself, I find the unnecessary loss of human lives intolerable. It is okay to be afraid, but it is not okay to assume that every guy with brown skin is a terrorist with a bomb strapped to his balls.

So, I have decided to write a small but useful guide to help people identify Indians in a line-up. Look, Indians are a harmless, gutless bunch of people who gave the world Kama Sutra, and wanted everyone in the world to live happily together, having awesome sex with each other. We are not the kind of people who would want to harm others. Hell, we go ballistic when our kids eat non-vegetarian foods and call them murderers – we believe in instilling guilt very early in our kids.

The first thing you should notice about an Indian guy in a line-up (I’ll get to Indian women later) is that he won’t smile. His passport photo will look as if he is attending his mother’s funeral. But this alone will not help you weed out Indians from terrorists, because terrorists don’t smile in their passports as well, as Russel Peters very eloquently put it, a few years ago. So, the next thing to do is check out a suspect’s facebook profile or, if he’s in the airport check-in / check-out line, grab his phone and check the pictures on his phone. Here’s what you will expect to see:

  1. If the Indian in question is a student at an American / UK / Australian university, he will have definitely stored pictures of himself posing in front of every tree, post-box, car and white guy he comes across. And in all these pictures, he will be wearing a pair of shades that are too big for his face, the thickest fur-lined jacket (if its winter) or a hat that can only be described as a fedora (if its summer). He will also have the smuggest expression on his face that seems to say, “Look at me, I’m so bloody cool!” Yeah, he’s an Indian, let him go. He will probably wet himself if he is questioned about bombs and guns. If you don’t believe me, then take a look at what I did when I was a student in New York. This is a link to my album on Orkut – I am so ashamed of myself that I hardly use Orkut these days.
  2. If the Indian is older and his passport lists him as being married, then his phone / facebook profile will have hundreds of photographs with his wife, taken on their wedding day – the wife will be posing solo in many of these, in a gaudy silk saree and a head-full of flowers, in front of various background images of waterfalls and mountains, arms raised in different gracious angles… He’s an Indian, let him go.
  3. If the Indian is older but unmarried, he will probably be trying to smuggle booze and cell phones into the country to distribute to his cousins and friends and parents. Hold him, but be warned that he will have a fantastic defense planned – something about being forced into this by a girlfriend or a dying kid from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

I hope that I have made it abundantly clear on how to spot Indian men and I hope that this guide will aid law enforcement officials to avoid profiling of Indians because of their skin color. Always remember, we are the assholes posing stupidly in photographs. We are not killers.

PS: It’s quite easy to spot an Indian woman – she’s very hot and she screams in terror when any guy gets too close.

PPS: This post is not meant to be offensive to anyone. If, in the process of putting down my opinions, I have inadvertently insulted any religion, caste, creed or camel, I apologize.

*HUGS*, *KISSES*, *ASSHOLES*…

flying-assholesSome people are born losers. In my book, they fall into the category of assholes. I’ve written letters to them and ranted about them before, but they never fail to come back and harass me for more. Let me spend a few sentences defining these unique class of people.

Assholes are all around us, living normal lives in the guise of normal people. They will smile with you, laugh with you, hang out with you for a few beers, and when the time is right, ask you for a lot of money. Well, it’s not usually the money, but more often than not, they’ll ask you for money when you’re broke and when you’d rather kill someone for some excitement in life. Assholes are those people you’d much rather block in your chats and social network sites. Assholes are those people who are stored as “Moron” or “That Guy” in your phone, whose call you’d much rather ignore than receive. Assholes are people who have a stupid look in their eyes all the time and they never fail to annoy everyone around them with their constant stream of daft moments. Assholes are men, women and children who have either been dropped on their heads as kids or have been at the receiving end of scandalous posts like these. Assholes have been written about in books and sung about in songs and pushed around on the streets.

assholesAssholes are God’s way of giving us the much-needed confidence in ourselves and our stupidity, which is always overshadowed by theirs. We tend to live our lives in the happy conclusion that we’re geniuses and that people like Einstein and Edison were but an anomaly. We become over-confident in our subtlety and never fail to obfuscate our decisions with our doubts when we’re around assholes. They scream into our ear for a pittance of importance and usually are pity-sponges. Oh, I’ve known a lot of assholes in my life. Too many, in fact.

I bumped into perhaps the two hundredth asshole this month yesterday, when he pinged me on Gtalk and typed this:

*HUGS*

The homophobic part of me immediately blocked this guy from my chats and my Facebook/Orkut profiles and I changed his name to “Stink” in my phone. I have no idea why men tend to cross the line and do/say things that are specifically meant for women. I don’t mind if women do that, but men saying *HUGS* and *KISSES* is just too freaky. Sue me, but I don’t think it’s right! 😀

gtalk_profileThis guy was a classmate of a friend of mine, and I had met him just twice or thrice before in my life. He has absolutely no business giving me virtual Hugs when he hasn’t spoken to me or chatted with me for well over two years. Maybe he just realized that he wasn’t straight and since my Gtalk profile picture is so cute/hot/sexy, he probably thought he’d hit on me. The price one has to pay for being handsome, I tell you! (Gee, I’m so full of myself, aren’t I? 😀 )

So anyway, this guy does not stop there. He goes on to mail me some bullshit about how he’s in Sydney right now and how he’s working in a bank there and how he finds it lonely there and misses all of us. What really freaked me out was that his email was in different colors – the first paragraph was pink, the second was orange and so on. There were animated bells ringing on the edges of the email and the whole thing looked like a hideously distorted rainbow.

I deleted the mail immediately and looked out the window to the bright blue skies with the rolling white clouds and said, “Why me, God?” 😀

Cartoon Courtesy: Cartoonstock.com

Comebacks And Undeserving Awards!

Wow, I needed that break. I feel refreshed and I have that urge to impart my nonsensical wisdom again. I think bloggers need a break from time to time to gather their thoughts and make a comeback, when things seem to go downhill as far as the quality of the posts are concerned.

Of course, few bloggers take a break because they embark on a journey from which there is no turning back – they get married.

There’s a lot of love happening in the blogosphere nowadays and I choked on my cheeseballs (Er, no puns, they were cheeseballs – the edible kind) when I heard that Vimal is no longer single. For ditching Club Singles, I am tempted to scream at him, but I’ll swallow my pride and wish him all the best.

Speaking about comebacks and marriages, Scorpria made a comeback yesterday, after a hiatus of 5 weeks. I won’t mince words – she got married. On behalf of everyone in the blogosphere, please accept my sincere condolences. But, I did like her comeback, though. I declare her the The Comeback Queen, and as a wedding present, I give her this very nice plaque (Er, I mean it in strictly non-dental terms).

comeback1

Vimal and Smita gave me a few awards while I was away chasing sea monkeys:

  1. The Butterfly Award, for the coolest blog.
  2. The Proximity Blog Award, for investing and believing in proximity – nearness in space, time and relationships.

butterfly-award

Gee, I’m honored, and I don’t know if I really deserve these accolades. A lot of people would agree with me and call me a cranky old hag.

As far as I’m concerned, everyone who blogs deserves this award. I think I’ll take the diplomatic route on this one and give away these awards to everyone who reads this post, but in particular, I insist that these five bloggers accept it. I’d like to draw the readers’ attention to these fascinating bloggers, who’re new to me:

  1. Valerine, who’s learning the ropes, and prefers to call me the Blog Guru, instead of the Love Guru.
  2. Alice, who wasn’t whom I thought she was.
  3. Hope, who’s quite ruthless.
  4. Kiran, who hunted me down on Facebook, and
  5. Shoe Girl, who owes me an email.

I am also supposed to do a couple of tags. I’m back to my one-post-a-day routine, now that I’m completely broke after my shopping escapades. Had a couple of yo-yo moments, obviously, which I’ll share soon.

Cheers to all! 🙂

The Love Guru, Part Deux: Club Singles! :)

Club Singles!
Club Singles!

Single people are single for a reason. They are either hideously ugly, dangerously misinformed about human anatomy or just plain unlucky, among other weirder reasons. For people who’re currently single, which includes me, ironically, I’ve decided to roll out a brand new strategy for attracting members of the opposite sex. Obviously, my advice in The Love Guru hasn’t worked if you’re still single.

I was having this very enlightening conversation with Aravind last night, when we realized that being single isn’t all that bad. By being single:

  • We save a lot of money
  • We save a lot of time
  • We save a lot of energy
  • We can ogle at cute/handsome creatures of the opposite sex without that pang of guilt
  • We don’t need to be near our cell phones all the time
  • We don’t need to worry about getting drunk and puking
  • We don’t have any tensions at all, while doing anything!

Looks like an excellent strategy, doesn’t it? Actually, it is! So good is the strategy that The Love Guru actually recommends it for people. Seriously, be single and you’ll live longer. Your gray hair will take a longer time to make their appearance, and you’ll be broke two weeks after you receive your paycheck, instead of one week, if you were seeing/dating/committed to someone. Makes sense, right? 😀

So, mark this day, people. November 11, 2008 – the day on which The Love Guru officially declares that being single is the ‘in’ thing, no puns intended.

Club Singles is available on Orkut for now. The Facebook counterpart will be up and running soon. So, if you’re not single, then read The Dummy’s Guide To Breaking Up, ditch them, become single and join Club Singles!

PS: Free beer and peanuts for the first 30 people who sign up! 😀

Cheers!

Image Courtesy: Cartoonstock.com