Monday, November 26, 2007

Innovative Business Plans

Have you ever envied young 24 year-old entrepreneurs or CEOs who have made millions, selling their PhDs to Microsoft or who have started social networking sites in a native language that apparently has millions of users, while you read a scathing email from your boss in which he shoots down your report and you fantasize boiling him in a cauldron of bubbling oil? The thought of just giving him (your boss or alternatively the CEO depending on which thought would make your world rosier) one stinging slap, surely must have crossed your mind, sometimes?

Have you ever had long, annoying arguments with pesky younger brothers who just do not see your point because they are young and pesky, while you are 31. Does your palm not tingle at the thought of making contact with your brother's cheek?

Do you have annoying aunts who say the bitchiest of things, and add, "but you know beta, we only have your best interests in mind." Do you not think that at this point, Auntie would be much improved if uncle would slap some sense into her every now and then?

Has any bitchy married lady ever told you loudly, "My God! I never thought you could look nice!"

Did you ever have a landlord, who would make a point of knocking on your door to check the paint on the walls or the pipes, just when you and your friends had finished rolling those joints and were in the process of lighting up and takes atleast an hour to do so?

If you are of an entrepreneurial bent of mind, you could start a thriving Thappad Supari (Supari is slang for contract killing) business. A Thappad Supari business would involve hiring some rather commonplace looking but quick on the feet workforce. Once a Thappad Supari has been placed, some effort needs to be expended in locating the target, waiting for him to be somewhat isolated, then going and asking, "Bhaisaab/ behenji, time kya hai?" That will make the target stop, then give him a hard, stinging slap and just melt back into the shadows.

I for one, would gladly pay atleast 500 bucks a piece to have someone slap Sabeer Bhatia, my younger brother, lots of annoying aunties, bitchy married women and my ex-landlord.


Friday, November 23, 2007

For Sixteen Nights And Days He Raved

Nobody these days has old fashioned illnesses anymore. Everyone has a specialized, complicated sounding, life threatening, rare illness or atleast it seems that way to me. Everyone, save I. I have inflammation of tonsils and as they plague my existence by making me feverish, I eat soup by the buckets because it seems so comforting. This is my interpretation of Jamie Oliver's Minestrone. It looks mighty ugly, but the taste, despite my tonsils - mamma mia!

I use only fresh tomatoes for all my cooking in India because one doesn't get canned tomatoes easily and it isn't cost effective. Also, I just chuck any pasta I have at home and top it up with parmesan, a blob of pesto and freshly ground pepper. I'm not posting the recipe because it isn't mine, but by far Jamie's recipe is the best and also one of the easiest and also allows a lot of scope for cheating.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Oh Calcutta!

I love this city, because for the first time in my life, I have made a home, made great friends, enjoyed kaalchaar, adda, tea and jhal muri with acquaintances, not felt great rage on the roads because in Calcutta women can sometimes for small stretches walk and not be heckled, enjoyed art, drama, music and movies and mostly because Calcutta allows you to be you.

However, todays riotings and disturbances have shaken me up and while returning from work, I noticed a lot of no-good types crowding the streets and for the first time I felt afraid. I have walked around the city during bandhs and even argued with para dadas and shouted at them for being no-good types. I never felt afraid. I don't recognise Calcutta anymore, because now, I feel afraid and this is an alien feeling.


The Ideal Celebration

I had to take an exam exactly a month ago. It was a certification exam and since this is an anonymous blog, I will not say of what. Nevertheless, it was an industry sector that I was completely unfamiliar with. In addition, it was scheduled on a day, the night before of which I was to arrive from Washington DC, before which I was travelling for work and had no time to study for the exam. So, during my flight time first from Vancouver to Washington DC and then from Washington DC to Calcutta, I studied for the exam. I reached home at 2:00 am, logged onto the Net, started taking mock tests and studied the whole night. My exam was at 11:00 am, and I took it, passed it with a first (meaning scoring atleast 60%, which gradewise would be a B-) and heaved a sigh of relief, since it was another thing over and done with.

Now, I would not have posted this but for two reasons. Both reasons being the two people who were also supposed to appear for the exam and who sneered at me ALL the time, making me nervous. Well, both of them took the exam yesterday and flunked.

So, I feel like a minor celebration and in my mind, the ideal way would be with oysters and a bottle of champagne. Considering that the availability of oysters in Calcutta is down to nil, this pic of the excellent oysters I ate in Vancouver at Granville Island should suffice, while I gulp champagne. Salut!

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Monday, November 12, 2007


Its going to be a sad, sad year ahead.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Cambodia 2007

Going to Cambodia was a lesson in humility. The poverty of the people was heart-breaking, yet the generosity and the inherent goodness of Cambodians made me wonder if there was a God and justice at all. I was affected more by the ruins of Bayon than I was by the Angkor Wat. Talking of Angkor Wat, no guide book mentions that one needs to be an agile climber to get to the top. So, if you're visiting the Angkor, remember to travel very, very light or with a rucksack. Also, don't even bother going to Phnom Penh. It is a dump and really not worth visiting.

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