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!

Growing Up!

I’m halfway through my life and questioning my existence.

With my lifestyle, I’ll be a medical miracle if I live beyond 53 or 54 years of age. And on the twentieth of this month, barely ten days away, I will enter my twenty-eighth year. Almost half my life has gone by, and I’m sitting in the dark wondering what I’ve achieved so far and what I plan to do for the second half. I seem to be stuck at the intermission for the past few months.

Growing upWhen I look back on what I’ve done in my life so far, a lot of things stand out as being above average, but nothing stands out as being phenomenal. “Been there, done that,” seems to be motto I lived my life for the past twenty-eight years. Software programming, journalism, cancer research, authoring books, public relations, entrepreneur, serial dater and party freak. Now that I look back on those years, all I see is a lot of confusion. I have a goal in life and I am yet grappling with the tools needed to achieve that goal.

I think growing up sucks.

Image Courtesy: Afkaary

The 46-Rupee Meal

Ten years ago, when the world was a nicer place to live in, I was just getting out of high school, full of misdirected ambitions of making a difference in the world. Of the many things that were ideal back then, I liked the fact that I could have a hearty meal for less than ten rupees. That’s about 5 cents. Maybe not a ‘hearty’ meal, but certainly a couple of idlis and a vada for eight rupees. For the uninitiated, an idli is a white colored, steamed rice cake, about the size and shape of a BlackBerry Curve and a vada is a brown colored doughnut-shaped (and sized), deep-fried eatable that goes perfectly well with an idli. Ten years ago, a pair of idlis and a vada together used to cost eight rupees.

Today, ten years later, I realized that there has been a 475% increase in the cost of the same meal. A pair of idlis and a vada, today, costs 46 rupees.

Idli Vada
Two Idlis and a Vada - The 46-Rupee Meal

That’s still less than a dollar, but for someone who’s spent the better part of his life here in India, that’s daylight robbery. The strangest part of the entire experience today over lunch was not that I was fretting about the astronomical increase in the rate, but the equally enormous decrease in the quantity and taste.

The sizes of the idlis and vadas have reduced so much that its hard to spot them when you put them on a plate. You have to have a pair of really good binoculars to identify where they are and make sure that your spoon hits the mark. No, I’m exaggerating, of course, but you get the idea. And the taste, well, I have eaten pieces of cardboard (for free) that have been tastier.

I hate to call this inflation, because the term ‘inflation’ has a definition, a universally-accepted identity. I would call this phenomenon a gross negligence on the part of the Indian public, who have allowed this kind of injustice to penetrate every aspect of their lives. Our lives. Commonplace examples – a tennis ball that used to cost ten rupees now costs thirty. A piece of chewing gum that was half a rupee is now three rupees. A toothbrush that used to cost around four to five rupees is now thirty-five.

How I wish I were living in the stone ages, where all I had to worry about was the next critter I caught for dinner and the next female I slept with. If wishes were horses, I’d be a very rich, sexually-gratified stable boy.

Does It Suck?

Being single. Does it suck?

Its been 8 months now since I officially broke up with my last girlfriend – let’s call her Kay, to protect her privacy – and the past 8 months have been quite weird. It’s not that things have been really bad, no. On the personal front, things are quite well, to be honest. I find more and more time for myself, to do things that I’ve never dared to do when in a relationship, to meet and flirt with other women – women I’d have just fantasized about talking to, for fear of being called unfaithful, and finally, the freedom to spend my entire paycheck on myself, without any guilt. It does not suck, on first appearance.

Being Single

Lately, I’ve been re-thinking my position on this issue. A quick introspection has revealed that being single, for all the goodness it promises, does indeed, suck. There are times when I miss the intimacy, and these pangs are becoming quite frequent in the past few months. To know that there is a woman in your life who loves you as much as you love her, who (almost) doesn’t judge you for what you are and do, who cares about your well-being and is a good enough friend to endure your drunken mistakes and laugh at your inane jokes, someone who knows when to fight and when to patch up, who understands your mood swings enough to change their lifestyles according to them, and finally, someone who doesn’t mind eating whatever you cook because they’re kind enough not to tell you the truth about the excess of salt or the burnt bottoms.

Well, Kay was all this and more, and not a day goes by when I question my actions that led to us breaking up. We all have the potential to be jerks, and I was one of the biggest back then. And at the time, I thought I was justified in being a jerk. Thankfully, I’ve matured enough to understand that I wasn’t. She’s matured too, making it on her own. A great job, a good house, a bike and good friends, and more importantly, she’s done it and doing it on her own, with little or no support from any family ties, in an alien city.

We’ve kept in touch, Kay and I, over the months, and have reached a stage where we can talk politely to each other, go out for coffee and occasionally, do the odd chore or favor for each other, without physically injuring each other. There was a time when we couldn’t be in the same room together for fear of ripping each other apart with our bare claws hands, and we kid about those times today.

I guess its cathartic, what we do. It’s given us a fresh outlook to the whole process of dating and relationships, to an extent that we try to set each other up with other people. Maybe its the residual feelings talking, or maybe just a sadistic longing to share my loneliness, but I’ve managed to dig up a few creeps for her to date. More importantly, she has managed to find some bigger creeps for herself, without any help from me. On the other hand, she has vehemently refused to find me a date, as she feels that my social life has a lot more people than hers, and that I should have no trouble in finding someone on my own. I don’t deny it. But the fact that I truly wish, from the bottom of my heart, that she does not find someone better than me, is cause for concern. It’s not jealousy or sadism. It’s just selfishness from a man who still loves her and is foolishly optimistic about his chances of getting back together. Very foolishly.

Oh, we did flirt with, and give up the idea of getting back together. Its like yesterday’s chocolate pudding – very tempting and a very bad idea. She’s still out there, looking for a decent guy to date, and I’m still here, resisting the urge to reach out and keep her selfishly to myself. Shouldn’t we learn from our mistakes?

PS:  She’s quite the character – fun, hyperactive like Pigwidgeon on dope, very hot and very very sexy. She hopes that this post of mine will be a very decent and non-desperate alternative to a dating site, and urges decent men who read this to get in touch for a date.

PPS: Same goes for me. Hot chicks, get in line for a good time.

Image Courtesy: Profilebrand.com

Gokarna & Why I Go There

This one goes out to all those unfortunate, uninitiated and uninspired individuals. Get off your high horse and read this.

There may be a hundred reasons why a person goes to Gokarna. People looking to get laid, people looking to score and get high, people looking for a nice, secluded beach and people wanting to offer their prayers in India’s most sacred temple. I don’t know if there are any other reasons, and frankly, I don’t really care why people go there.

I go there for a totally different reason, and its none of the above.

I lead a difficult life. I need to balance my passion to work, my unceasing urge to travel and roam aimlessly across the country, my singularly fierce attraction to beaches and my bank account. Juggling these four volatile substances while playing air hockey with the family, the bosses, the peers, the juniors, the friends, the foes, the creditors, the goons, the loons, the whackadoodles, the geniuses, the crap, the stench and the slippery slopes of bankruptcy, unemployment and loneliness around every corner is taking its toll on my nerves.

There are very few things I’m passionate about, and those that I am passionate about, I am so with a vehemence unseen in anyone else, for anything else. I do not go to Gokarna to ‘do drugs’. I do not go to Gokarna to ‘sleep with women’. I do not go to Gokarna to ‘drink drinks’. I do not go to Gokarna to visit the temple and offer my prayers. I do not go to Gokarna for the sea food. I do no go to Gokarna for the rustic beauty of the village. I do not go to Gokarna to ogle at half-naked women lounging in the sun. I do not go to Gokarna because I love beaches and water. I do not go to Gokarna to swim in the ocean. I do not go to Gokarna to live. I do not go to Gokarna to die.

I go to Gokarna once every three months because I need to get away from the Greek tragedy that my life is fast unraveling to be; to clear my head of all thoughts – good and bad; to reboot myself. I go to Gokarna because its the only place on Earth that welcomes me without judging who I am or what I have done. I go to Gokarna because that is the only place on Earth where I am at peace. Completely.

I have a sea rock, which I call my own, ten feet out into the ocean, at Om Beach. Its a bit of a hike to get to the top of the rock, and once I get there, I sit, looking at the waves crashing into me on all sides, rising twenty feet high and spraying me with a mist of cold, salty water. I listen to the rush, the gurgle, the power and the wordless songs of the waves and as I stare out into the horizon, imagining a place beyond comprehension, where the sky kisses the ocean, I realize that I am peaceful, within and without.

Gokarna - kudle beachNothing of what is happening in life matters here. Time stands still for me, for the 48 hours I’m there. I put my feet up at a cafe, sipping sweet tea and reading a good book, or people watching on the burning, golden sands. I take a nice pleasant trek up to Kudle through thick brambles and open moors and I wade in the white sands until the sun starts to set. I walk back amidst the gathering darkness to Om Beach, walk all the way up to Half Moon and back again. As night descends around me, so does the peace, deeper inside me.

I need this. I can’t do without it. For the unfortunate, uninitiated and uninspired individuals, I recommend it. The only thing I get high on, when in Gokarna, is Gokarna itself.

Scuba Diving: My First Time

Yeah, I did it. After three years of deliberation, I finally got a chance to dive! I took PADI’s Discover Scuba Diving session in Bangalore through Planet Scuba India. This will be just 4 pictures and not much text, but remember not to laugh. I couldn’t find a wetsuit that fit me, so I had to dive in my vest. I looked like a pink baby whale.

I'm in the background, with my instructor in the foreground

 

That's me and Anamda, giving the "OK" sign. See, I look like a whale / walrus!

 

I'm in the background, racing with Atul for the finish line! I'm winning. Really, I am.
And there's Atul, giving me the finger.

It was the best 40 minutes of my life!

Twilight Saga: Bella’s Revenge

For those of you who haven’t seen the Twilight Saga movies, here’s a quick update:

Twilight: There’s this girl who falls in love with a vampire.

Twilight – New Moon: This girl now falls in love with a werewolf.

Twilight – Eclipse: The vampire and werewolf fight over the girl, but eventually team up together to save her from other bad vampires who are hell bent on killing her for some obscure reason. The werewolf is so much cooler, but the stupid girl rejects him and continues to be in love with the vampire.

Great. Now that you’ve been brought up to speed on the three movies, here’s a sneak preview of the secret, unreleased book and movie. This story happens in between ‘Eclipse’ and the soon-to-be-released ‘Breaking Dawn‘.

We left off the last movie with Jacob, the werewolf, lying in a bed with his bones broken by an evil vampire. The girl, Bella Swan, sitting beside him and telling him that she chooses to be with Edward, the vampire. She then meets Edward and tells him that she’s ready to marry him. Stephanie Meyer did not want me to reveal this, but there were three distinct events that happened on the same day that Bella Swan agreed marry Edward. In chronological order, they are:

  1. Before leaving home that morning, Bella Swan would have poisoned her father’s coffee mug, dosing the rim with a peculiarly rare venom from a werewolf’s anus, hoping that it was the humane thing to do. She did not want him to die a painful death at the hands of an evil vampire. Little did she know that her father did not drink coffee. He only drank beer. If she had spent a little more time getting to know her father and a little less time with wild creatures, she would have known that he used the coffee mug as a vaginal alternative. Well, he did, and he developed a painful infection on his private parts and died of complications on the way to the ICU. Well, she accomplished her job, but it definitely wasn’t the humane way to go.
  2. Bella’s classmates at Forks High had been mean to her in the third movie, calling her deranged and stupid, questioning her integrity and her character. So, to exact her revenge on them, Bella tells Edward after agreeing to marry him, that she’ll only do it if he kills the four assholes in school for being mean to her. Edward jumps at the opportunity to taste human blood, and ambushes the four students in a dark alley behind the local movie theater and rips them apart. He literally eats them up and drinks their blood. There is no evidence left at the scene and very little blood splatter. For obvious reasons.
  3. Owing to the particularly heavy meal that night, Edward the vampire develops a bad stomach ache and goes into the woods to take a dump. In his discomfort, he does not realize that he is knee-deep in his own shit in werewolf territory. Jacob the werewolf, gets his scent, and despite the broken bones, attacks him viciously. It’s a battle to the death and at the end of an hour, both the vampire and the werewolf lie next to each other, broken, bruised and gasping for their last breaths. Bella comes out of the shadows, smiles vilely at them both and shoots them in the head.

Stephanie Meyer could not reveal these incidents as they would have put an end to the ridiculous franchise. Instead, she built up a cock-and-bull story of how Bella gets pregnant and … Oh, I almost killed the suspense of the last movie. Go, pay your hard-earned money and watch it for yourselves, but trust me, it’s a falsification of the facts. It’s sensationalism of the truth. It’s pure and unadulterated yellow journalism.