Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Saturday Night Fever...

No!This is not a post about the hit 70s movie by the same name...Au contrere.....Its about a comic anecdote from my very real life....

It all started with a dinner plan, that for a change, was planned well in advance(5 hours!!). All were to congregate at 8:30 pm at Mr. S's place and then head out together. Now i anticipate the late arriving tendencies of my friends(weve been together for about 14 years now, so i think i can take a fair guess!!) and go 20 minutes late. And voila!..For the first time, iam not the first one to arrive. Mr. P had arrived first. So we both got talking downstairs till Mr. S arrived. As soon as he gt down, he stuck his cellphone ot his ear and walked the equivalent of about 3 kms by the time he was finished. Till the Mr. SG and his fiance Ms. AV also made their appearance. After the usual indecision on where to go, we decided to Ambrosia since we had a Ms. AV's Santro at our disposal. So off we went discussing everything from our common friends to football on the way.

On getting there we approach the Maitre'D and ask him for a table for 5. We get the standard "saturday night in a restaurant in Pune" reply.."Thatl be 15-20 minutes Sir"..So he takes down my name and cell phone number(talk about slick!!) in his diary....and we head out to the lawn at the rear of the restaurant to while away the time.Now personally i hate having to wait for a table at a restaurant.Its like standing in queue to eat(which i incidently hate as well). Nevertheless, we were sitting there discussing something bout someones and somethings..me and AV were fiddling with SG's MotoRAZR V3i...and suddenly, i get a call on my phone...its the Maitre'D.."Your table is ready sir"...Wow!..Real Slick i say...

So we all walk up to our table and get seated...we unfortunately get a table which doesnt face the TV...Czech Republic Vs. Ghana is on....and Ghana are leading 1-0...i say...this looks interesting....however we park our butts on the chairs and start to look around..admiring the ambience and all that jazz...soon we get the menu cards and order soups with a plethora of starters....i rub my hands in glee..Food!!...

The soups came and we started to dig into them like Bangladeshi refugees! Now as we are waiting for our starters to arrive, AV suddenly announces that her cars keys are missing...And as SG was responsible for them, we all look at him expecting him to pull a David Blaine and conjour the keys out of thin air. But alas! Nothing that magical was about to happen! We had a full blown crisis now. We immediately trooped out to the place where we had been chatting so animatedly before and scoured the entire perimeter looking for our keys. Leaves were parted, branches moved, ground kicked and hands dirtied. But to no avail. We came up with zilch. AV had by that time called her dad and told him about our little mishap and inquired if the spare keys were handy. Suddenly, one of our buddies, PP calls us in excitedly. He had found the keys!!! We rush to him like Superman to Lois Lane(only in the speedy sense) to inquire. Evidently a kindly gentleman had found the keys on the parapet and held on to them. Bless him!We all returned to our table euphoric at our stroke of luck!

Now by this time our starters had arrived and had gone stone cold. I requested the waiter close by to kindly re-heat them for us. However, he flatly refused. Now that left me kinda miffed. However, not wanting to create a scene, we all sat down and began to devour the food. WIth those down, the main course was ordered and more waiting was to be had.

Now al this while, there was this group of people sitting opposite us. A couple, one of their parents and one of their sisters. Now they were sitting with their back to me. We were chatting in general when i AV suddenly started to snicker and elbowed SG. I inquired as to what was afoot and was told that the "mother of all PDAs" was under progress behind me. That guy was going at his girlfriend/wife with all he had. MAJOR PDA! And in full view of the family. And other patrons as well. Now ordinarily iam a strong proponant of PDA, but this was getting ridiculous. They were one step away from making out right there on the table. Our food arrived(and so did theirs) and all the while we were eating i could guess that the show was still on judging by AVs reactions.

Now halfway through our meal we heard a commotion going on at the PDA table. Evidently the hotel had charged them for a dish of prawns(which they had sent back cause they didnt like it) which the man there termed as "bad food". He demanded the cook be summoned which he was. The entire family was under the influence. The 2 men in particular. Now the cook was not one to be cowed down by a man so obviously under the influence. He stuck to his stand that "this hotel does not serve bad food". So the man now got down to abuse. "I wanna talk to the f*****g owner. What the f**k do u think you are serving? I want his f******g mobile number!"."Its not a question of the f*****g money. I can trhow that on your face. But i dont expect to be charged for f*****g bad food!" On this the cook coolly replied that nothing of that sort was necessary and possible. So the manager was called and evidently everything was settled. They were packed off with a complimentary serving of prawns i think. Now if what ive seen in the program "When chefs attack" is anything to go by, that dish of prawns they got complimentary had quite a few moret hings "complimentary" in it!!

By this time we had finished with our dinner and walked out with this drunk group as they prepared to leave. On the way the girl asked her hubby/boyfriend "Do u think i should drive?". On whick i let loose from behind.."Yeah i think you should!". Now i dont know if they heard me or not, but they didnt say a thing. We all crammed ourselves in to the car and let out a hearty laugh. What a night!!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Inhumanity Unplugged

Friday, 9th June, 2006, 2:20 pm

I was on my way to office from my house after having a particularly satisfying lunch. I was riding my bike at ease(65 km/h is at ease for me) when i suddenly come across a Thane registered silver Maruti Esteem parked on the side of the road. The driver's door was open, and a man was opening the rear left side of the car. The man got inside the car and started brutally beating up someone sitting in the back seat. Initially I thought this was a case of road rage. I stopped and to my horror i saw that the person in the back seat was a yound boy no older than 10! And that man was presumably his father! He was brutally assaulting the boy with punches and kicks while the boy tried to sheild the blows with raised hands covering his face. The man stopped the beating in about 1 min and got out of the car and started hurling unmentionable abuses at the young child . By now a large crowd had gathered around the car. At the same time, a woman, presumably his wife, got down from the passenger seat of the car. I was hit like a punch in the gut when i saw that she was bleeding from the head. The man must have obviously assaulted her too. Her head had a gash and she was bleeding profusely. I had seen enough. I asked two guys on a bike to hold the guy off while i went and got the police. I peeled out of there like a bat out of hell and made my way to the police chowkey which was about 100 m from the spot of the incident. Apparently, the had seen the commotion and I saw 2 havaldars on their way over. I went to the chowkey nevertheless and confirmed if they were indeed going to the accident spot. I got an answer in the affirmative and I zoomed my way over to the spot again. But by this time the guy had fled and the police were puttering on their slow 100 cc Hero Honda after him, looking slightly bemused. I caught up with them and explained the whole thing to them. Another burly guy(about 22) was riding alongside us, looking as shaken as me. We asked the police's permission to chase the guy down and hold him till they caught up. On receiving the go-ahead, 4 of us, two guys on a Pulsar, the burly guy and me weaved like maniacs through the relatively moderate traffic chasing the Esteem and finally managed to intercept the guy in front of the Law College tennis coutrs. We signalled him to stop but he wouldnt heed. Finally i got right in front of him and stopped my bike in the middle of the road. He stopped as well and asked me angrilly as to why he had been stopped. By now a large huge traffic snarl was happening behind us. The police arrived just as the guy got out of his car. He saw the two policemen and quickly got back in his car and ran away. As we started our bikes to give chase again, the police sounded out the law to us. "This is a domestic squabble. We cannot apprehend him unless his wife lodges a complaint with us.Let him go". The 5 of us gathered there looked at each other helplessly. The burly guy remarked "Tyala dharun khup badvayla hava hota!"(We should have caught him and bashed him up!). Another elderly gentleman who had stopped remaked "Kasa zhala aahe manus aajkaal!"(What has happened to mankind nowadays?)

I turned my bike around and headed for office. Along the way i was thinking that what has happened to humanity today. Out of the 50 people gathered there why were only 4 of us acting for assistance? The same thing happens during the case of accidents as wel. That woman was badly hurt and in need of help. I will never forget that image of her crying helplessly in the front seat as the guy ran after seeing the police. Are we not living in a civil society? What can possess a man to manhandle his wife and children so brutally? And is domestic violence not punishable if it happens in broad daylight in front of 50 people? Why must the wife complain?

The answer to these questions will be simple and the same. "Its the system that need a change". What system? Who made this system? We did! And if we as citizens of the country cant help a woman and child from the brutality of her husband, we bloody well change it then!!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

My First!

"She's got a smile that it seems to me,
Reminds me of childhood memories,
When everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky:
Now and then when i see her face,
She Takes me away to that special place,
And if i stared too long,
I'd probably break down and cry."

The first time i heard these words was in Second year of Engineering. On a particularly soggy day, I was sitting on my desk completing a Industrial Electronics assignment. I was listening to some mushy song by MLTR which got over and i didnt even realise. Suddenly a great guitar piece sounded. Strong, hypnotizing and alluring. The guitarist was laying it on thick! I thought to myself that I hadnt heard this one before. I looked up from my sheet and glanced at my computer screen to see which song was playing. And there i read it: Guns N Roses - Sweet Child of Mine!

As the first section guitar sequence ended a particularly unique voice started to sing the words above. I was listening to the song quite hypnotised. The two lyrics verses ended in no time(or so I thought) and then what came after that simply floored me. The song transformed into a mind numbing solo guitar sequence by the lead guitarist(Slash!) which had me sitting there mesmerised. I mean it was AWESOME! The whole song just left me spell bound. I totally forgot about my Electronics assignment and replayed the song 7 times over! And every time, i got more and more mesmerised! Rock music had entered my bloodstream. And the needle was: Guns N Roses - Sweet Child Of Mine!

What followed was my complete transformation into a rock music freak. Facts of which are well documented! Till date this remains my favorite rock song. Anytime it starts playing, i never change it. Or skip it. If it comes on, i listen. And i try to mimic Axl with his microphone antics. Or Slash with his INCREDIBLE guitar pyrotecnics! This song always leave me with a amazing feeling. Its weird, but it happens!

Ive heard a lot of rock songs since then.And many have caught my fancy. But the song that got me first, the song that transformed a pop music audiophile to a rock music addict was, is and always will be.. Sweet Child of Mine!