The ‘Fresh Mint’ Generation

Statutory Warning: Cigarette smoking is injurious to health, resulting in permanent madness and will cause you to look, talk and act like me.

Smokers all over the country are aware of the life-saving little invention called Minto Fresh. Created, packaged and marketed by ITC foods, Minto Fresh is something of a godsend for people who suffer from halitosis after a smoke! ๐Ÿ˜€

The two brands of cigarettes that I usually smoke cost Rs. 3.50 and Rs. 4.50 respectively, and invariably I get a Minto Fresh back instead of the 50-paise change. I kind of like this, because it saves me the trouble of actually asking for it and sounding stupid, like what happened today. ๐Ÿ˜€

I went to this seedy joint run by this boisterous old hag (who is known for her loud mouth and foul language) and hesitantly, I approached the store and said, “Aunty, Milds please.”

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Minto Fresh ๐Ÿ™‚

She had once screamed at me for smoking too close to the store and apparently I had been blowing smoke into her store (no puns intended!!), and she had hurled a rich variety of abuses at me. I had been too shaken to sleep that night. Today, I wanted to avoid all that and stood at a safe distance and puffed away to glory, cursing myself for the habit and promising myself to quit after the next drag. ๐Ÿ˜€

Once the sinful cigarette burned itself out, I went up carefully to the counter and laid a five-rupee coin on the counter and said, “Aunty, Minto Fresh, please.”

The cigarette cost me Rs. 4.50 and instead of asking the crazy woman for change, I thought I’d much rather buy the mouth freshener. She grabbed the coin and said, “I don’t have Minto Fresh!” and glared at me.

“Uh, what mint do you have, then?” I asked, almost apologetically.

“I have fresh mint!” she said and put the coin down her ridiculously large blouse and placed her hands over her hips. I chose to ignore the former gesture. ๐Ÿ˜€

“Ok, give that,” I said, only to be rid of this woman, who was probably a conceptual mistake to begin with! ๐Ÿ˜€

She went to the other end of the small store and came back with something in her hand. “I know you,” she said as she laid down the mint on the counter. I gulped and looked at her.

“What?” I said.

“You are that kid, that NRI, right?” she demanded.

“Uh, no ma’am. I’m not an NRI. I just went abroad last year – ” I couldn’t complete the statement as she cut in in a loud voice, making me flinch.

“You young kids go to all those god forsaken countries and come back with all fancy and weird chocolates and you think that you’ll find all those things here in India? Minto Fresh it seems! I don’t have any such foreign things. Take this or scram!” What made the retort worse was her gestures – she flipped me at least thrice, though I don’t think she knows what the middle finger means; she was gyrating her hips in an unearthly fashion and her head bobbed up and down and made me dizzy. ๐Ÿ˜€

She shook her head and started cursing the present generation of kids for their affliction to all things Western. I didn’t say anything. I just grabbed the mint from the counter and ran to my bike. Only then did I manage to look at what I had in my hands. She had given me a Minto Fresh. ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, this afternoon, once my brain had returned to normal and once my head was clear of that horrible squealing hag, I was bloghopping and I came across Kris’s blog, where I heard his song “Hope It’s Over,” which put me in a totally wonderful mood. It took me quite a while to get over the fact that I actually know a rockstar. Anyway, download the song and listen to it! I am sure it’ll put you in a wonderful mood! ๐Ÿ˜€

PS: Kris Bass is the bassist for Shor Bazaar, one of the fastest-growing rock bands in the country. Check out more of Shor Bazaar here.

PPS: How the hell do I get an audio widget thingy here inside the post, where people can just click the “Play” button and the music plays? I’ve gone mad trying to figure it out! ๐Ÿ˜€


Images Courtesy: ITCPortal.com and Shor Bazaar

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Have You Seen This Girl??

Ok people! Help needed!! Look at the above photo carefully! Have you seen this girl anywhere? Do you know anyone who might have seen this girl anywhere? Ok, before you panic, I’ll tell you why I need to know.

This past Friday, May 23rd, 2008, there was an office party, and all 30 of us had gone to this pub called Stones to get sloshed. Since a colleague of mine called Mitesh was paying, I decided to bleed him dry and get royally drunk! ๐Ÿ˜€

Stones serves only beer, and so, I knew that to get drunk, I had to drink like a mad man! After 15 mugs of beer, I felt a calm, comfortable numbness creep over me, and I started smiling broadly and talking loud nonsense. People next to me wanted to have a bit of fun at my expense and challenged me to to chat up three pretty girls sitting at the next table. My beer-induced bravery reigned over common sense and I walked up to those three girls and offered them a round of drinks and invited them to join our party. They very politely declined, and after a few more unsuccessful attempts on my part, I gave up and walked back to my seat amidst boos from the challengers.

Now, ten minutes later, the waiter plonked a mug of beer in front of me and said that it was from the girls from the next table!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

I was taken aback, and a little flustered and to a greater extent, flattered. i walked over to the girls and said, “This is the sweetest beer I’ve tasted all night! Thanks!”

They said that they were returning the favor for my offer. So, in return, I found out what their favorite artist was. It was Doors, so I walked over to the DJย  and forced him to play a Doors’ song. The pretty girls left after the song, and I frankly forgot all about this incident as I somehow managed to get back home late at night and sleep till almost noon the next day.

Slowly and steadily, as I remembered the events, I have become more and more determined to find out who the three pretty girls are. Among all the photos that we took that night, in one corner of one frame, I found one of the pretty girls. The picture above is her! ๐Ÿ˜€

So, please pass this post on to everyone you know and let me know if you have any idea who this girl is! I vaguely remember telling them that I blog at MirrorCracked, and if any of the three pretty girls are reading this, I want to thank you in person!! I am a decent guy, don’t worry! ๐Ÿ˜€

Venue: Stones, Bangalore, India.

Time: Friday, after 8.30 pm, May 23, 2008.

Please let me know!!! Oh, I looked like this that night, by the way! ๐Ÿ˜€

Inspire…

inยทspiยทraยทtion [in-spuhrey-shuhn]:

โ€“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 youโ€™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! ๐Ÿ™‚