Sunday, September 29, 2013

Parsunich ayya main....

It’s been almost 2 months since I moved back home, oddly enough I haven’t been able to get myself to call it home, haven’t been able to reconcile with the glass and concrete monstrosities that have sprung up all around. It feels nothing like the Hyderabad that I grew up in and know so well.

Even allowing for the fact, that I might be romanticising the past and needlessly glorifying my memory of the city, the drastic transformation that the city has undergone in the 6 years that I was away from it, is far too much for me to handle and surprisingly it all went unnoticed on my short visits home during this time.

I know it is naïve to hope that things don’t change or only change the way you want it to, but I’m not amused by the change of character of the city. I can deal with new structures in place of old landmarks, new roads, new avenues but my grouse is neglecting or letting go of the local flavour, the uniqueness a city has , something that sets it apart from every major city over run with big retail chains and coffee shops. My local Irani café can never be replaced by all the Starbucks of the world.

Ever since I got back home, it has been eating me up, I feel alien in my own town. This coupled with the fact that most of my friends aren’t in town anymore and the few that are, are busy with their jobs, spouses, kids and their lives in general, has led to a festering disenchantment.

It has only been compounded by my uncertain work schedule(I’ve spent more time out on the highways than I have spent on the city roads), the heavy rainfall and general lethargy has meant that I haven’t been out as often as I would like to.

Amongst all this is the Telangana issue which has now been diluted and reduced to merely a question of safeguarding investments in Hyderabad and the real estate market. As if the city means nothing more than bags of money to the warring parties.

I’ve turned into a grumpy old fart.

All this until, I watched The Lunchbox a few days earlier. Two lines from the movie have stayed with me.
First, Irfann’s character, Saajan Fernandes shares how he treated himself to an auto-ride and finds that quite a lot has changed, his school, his hangouts are no longer where they used to be, yet quite a lot hasn’t changed.

I know it’s only a work of fiction, but if a character nearing retirement can come to terms with change, then why am I being so difficult?

The second line, from the same character  is more universal; He says, “ Sometimes we forget, when we have no one to talk to”.

So here I am, sharing my thoughts and my memories of the city, expect a few more posts on the city in the days to come.

As soon as I was more open to the new Hyderabad, something interesting happened. Bholakpur.

Bholakpur is a few a hundred meters from my place, it’s literally across the road from my colony. I don’t recollect ever stepping in to that area in my lifetime.

Bholkapur was home to a large tanning industry, to plastic and scrap recycling industries. The stench  from the tanneries was a good enough reason for a kid to avoid going there and if I am not wrong there was a great fire when I was about 6 or 7. The tanneries have long since been shut down, though it still is home to a large recycling industry. Maybe it was the fear of the fire or may be it was because I assumed it was a slum, but I never even looked in it’s direction in all these years.

On a whim, I decided to take a walk through Bholakpur  and I am glad that I did. I wish I had been there much earlier.

Before you think I discovered a hidden gem, let me tell you that I didn’t. Bholakpur is virtually a ghetto and has all the associated problems. But let’s discuss that some other time. What intrigued me was the subculture that exists there, brightly lit store fronts, shops that remain open much later than other areas in the city, it even has a chor-bazaar, the ‘Bangladesh market’.  More importantly from a foodie perspective, lot of restaurants, some eateries here even serve beef :D, I’m so glad that I can practically walk down to a good meal and I don’t need to go to a fancy place when I have a beef craving.

I realised that I may now have to redefine my relation with the city, re-acquaint myself with it, look at it in a new light as one might an old friend or an old flame even.

To my old friends, whenever you come down, lets adda maro, do the chai, sutta, beer, biryani routine, revisit some of the places that we grew up in.

To my new friends, my friends from out of town, do visit me, let me show you around,give me another reason to walk around my city.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

why so rushed?


I'm back. It's been a while. Lots of things have happened since my last post.

I've been wanting to start my own restaurant/pub/bar/whatever for a while now, I've finally decided to give it a go and I put in my papers recently. Will be a jobless man preparing to turn an entrepreneur, very soon.

So here's the deal. I thought I'd work at a restaurant/hotel, understand how this works before diving into it. So I did what any sensible person would do, ask friends to me put in touch with restaurateurs, I also tried to contact people who run some of my favourite places.

I was quite surprised when most of the restaurateurs spoke about how this 'industry' has good money but is a tough life. Hardly anyone spoke to me about their love for food and how they enjoy creating new tastes or feeding customers and stuff like that. Their first comments were about money, I mean, come on you run a bloody restaurant not a fucking bank.

I don't expect people to run soup kitchens and there is nothing wrong with dreaming of making lots of money. Financial growth, security and leading a comfortable life are definitely important but I'm not too sure if they should be your sole purpose in life. I think this is obsession with money is what ruins our lives.

That got me thinking of the times we live in and how everybody is busy running, without stopping to look at the sights around them or even if they are on the right track. Stuck in jobs they don't like, whining about how their work sucks but not having the balls to pursue what they think will give them happiness, because they want to make money more than they want to be happy.

I'm not asking businessmen to stop thinking of ways to make more money, please do so, else we'd be killing ingenuity, creativity, inventions. That would just be a world full of dumb, lazy, incompetent sloths. However you've got to stop being so anal in your pursuit of profits. When is money ever going to be enough? You will always want a growth in margins, quarter on quarter, year on year. You will always want to cut down on expenditure, optimize even exploit your resources. Will you ever be content? No, cos you are just a greedy, blood sucking leach, a conniving bitch. Could you please try being a profit oriented human instead? Please I beg of you. That's the real problem with Capitalism isn't it? It's based on the principle of constantly trying to increase your pile of dough, it doesn't really care about how you go about doing it.

Think about it, most of the problems in our world are at some level linked to some bastard's greed. Just because some motherfuckers are in a great hurry to gain money, power, acceptance; we have crime, poverty, social disparity, wars and what not.

Chill the fuck out people. Don't be in such a terrible rush to make more money than you can stuff up your ass before lying on your pyre.

Ok enough of ranting; by all means, please strive to be successful, make money, make merry, but can you please have some humility and humanity to go with it? Is it really too much to ask for?

Monday, May 23, 2011

WTF is up with Indian advertising???

What is wrong with Indian advertising these days? Seems like there is a serious lack of ideas. All brands in a category seem to be talking about the same thing…sure you can argue that the products aren’t very different hence they might seem similar….agreed but the creative idea and execution can be different right?

Let’s look at cosmetics:
The Olay and Pantene ads….same concept…. same treatment...very very similar copy. Just the celebs are different I guess, who knows they might have some common models as well.

The fairness cream ads…every fortnight there seems to be a new variant and you can be sure that competition will have a similar one very soon, but you’d think they’d atleast make a different ad but NO!

The other thing that really pisses me off about cosmetics ads is that they are turning to scare tactics now…use me or you’d be fuck ugly…c’mon gimme a break…we’ve had beautiful woman for eons now we don’t really need jojoba extracts and peach creams do we….I recently saw an ad for anti ageing cream..very harmless talks about lines etc but the fuck up is it talks to 30 yr olds…if 30 yr old women need aging creams I’d much rather have them sent to concentration camps than have them use these creams….marketers seem to be talking the catch ‘em young principle to the extreme.

The other example of absolute same message is in the telecom space…..

Here is what I think happened during the briefing process for these campaigns

Client: lets talk about 3G…we are launching our services soon
Servicing guy: ok…so what features do u wanna talk about?
Client: U know about 3G, the new technology (which infact it isn’t…its more than a decade old)
Servicing guy: Yeah sure but what aspects of 3G, speed? Connectivity? Interactivity?
Client: everything man….why is it so hard for u guys to understand this stuff….why do u work on this account if u don’t know how cool 3g is?
Servicing guy (either panics or says suit ur self): yeah it really is a cool thing u know/u r the boss man…whatever u say…u know what lemme go over to the creative guys n see what we can come up with…I’ll get back to u soon…kthxbai!

SG to creative guy: We have a 3G campaign guys
Creative guy: ok so what’s the brief
SG: It’s a 3G campaign
CG: errrmmm I know but that isn’t a brief
SG: you do your job, don’t tell me how to do mine
CG: fuck u…come back 3 days later n take the crap I make

SG to CG: the brand window is too small don’t u think? Doesn’t really bring out the features of 3G
CG: whatever are the files do whatever the hell u want with them

U get the picture….so all we see on tv is 3G is so cool and we have it ya’all…you gotta buy it cos sooner or later we’ll give it to u in one way or the other…

Consumer1 : So what do i get it activate 3G?
Consumer 2: No idea
Abhishek Bachchan: Get Idea….Awesome plugging don’t u think…"Th-th-th-that's all folks!"

There have been crappy ads before and there will crappy ads forever …that isn’t really the problem.

What I think is the problem is that either all agencies across the board have smoked up so much that their brain has evaporated and they just rehash stuff and put it out…or brands and brand managers are too busy focusing on visibility/other buzz words, have way too much money to spend and don’t really care about what their communication is and how its messes the consumers mind as long as their brands screams out louder than their competitions.

Well it isn’t all bleak out there…there is still a lotta good work being put out there…just that this horrible stuff outnumbers the good stuff…probably that’s what makes the good stuff really stand out…I don’t know.

This is giving me an idea though…will soon start an ad review blog…just hope I don’t fall into a laziness rut and manage to update it regularly. Suggestions are welcome (assuming u guys have managed read through this and wouldn’t mind more of this on a regular basis)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Smoke Screens

Take a drag....let it sink in....exhale.... repeat a few times...

As the smoke screen descends on to you, watch the world around you morph into a merry place.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

small talk...BIG MEANING

Disclaimer/Note: This is a transcript of a chat conversation between a friend and me.

Why did I put it up here, you ask? Cos this seemingly meaningless conversation seems to have covered some interesting issues in a funny way.

You could either find it fascinating or absolute waste of time, but having bothered to arrive at my blog, you might as well go ahead and read the post and experience this piece of "seminal work in 'sarcastic realism'/ or plain shit" depending on how you see it.

P.S. I haven't bothered with editing or spell checking, but I guess you'd be able to make sense of the words.

me: heights of attention seeking

friend: what?

me: u r status msg....dont pretend

friend: oh please

its just funny

and it kinda rhymes

me: n sigh n say...rhyming u say

friend: oh nevermind

ur too grown up to appreciate these chilsish things


me: dont pull the age card on me

friend: lol

me: u cant now u know....u r in the 20s too now

friend: yeah but im on the better side of twenty


me: so am i

its jus 2 yr fyi

jus that when u r a twenty something n the other person is still a 'teen' u feel older

now that the age-berlin-wall has it or not we are all in the same boat heading towards midlife crisis, responsibilities, bills etc

friend: okay okay..dont get so defensive :P


thanks for that, now im really looking forward to the future

me: jus to illustrate what i mean...ur 'kid' sister will seem like a child to u now, but in ur few yrs time when ud be 40 something n shed be 30 something it wont be the sa,e

funny u know when u think abt it (about to delve into highly philosophical speech), the ultimate purpose of life is death....n all the things we do to keep ourselves alive

friend: (uhh ohh)


we dont do them too keep ourselves alive

i think the focus is on making the life we have as enjoyable an experience as possible

me: ahan...we have a debator here nice...go ahead humour me n urself in the process

friend: sigh. its no fun debating when u have that attitude

me: hahaha ok

see i agree that u should do everything possible to have fun/live comfortably/enjoy ur time under the sun.....having said that what is the point in fretting over it when eventually u r jus gonna die

i mean does it really matter wether u take the hps wala fly over n get to lifestyle or take imax fly over n get to lifestyle

(see clever use of local knowledge to illustrate highly global n deep thought)


so the MBA was worth something huh? :P

me: yeah i guess

u jus need to talk

connect random statements somehow n u'll be able to convince anyone abt anything

friend: hehe. two years to learn how to bullshit ur way thru anything?

im inspired now :P

me: but hey...the bullshit stems from a deeply rooted conviction

the two yrs also help in finding a few those

(or so i should be saying)

friend: did they reallly?

me: for me it was a paid vacation.....a postponement of something we all need to do eventually

friend: hehehe...

me: grow up n earn a living

friend: isnt it fun?

living on ur own? making ur own money?

me: no but it does have its beenfits im not gonna short sell the mba dream to u...jus do it for the right reason not jus for the money

it is...but u also have to put with a lotta shit to make u r own money

friend: yeah im kinda waiting for the reason. dont wanna just do it, like engg

me: kinda draws a parallel to our life n its purpose discussion

friend: wjat shit?

hehe...there u go again!

me: living alone brings along a set of unique problems

worrying abt trash,. food, cleanliness basically stuff that u never even knew existed let alone thinking abt em

add to that, work issues...pressures deadlines etc etc

all this jus so u can "earn ur money", which in turn u need "to live like a king/have fun/etc"

when in reality u were having the same amount of fun at ur parent's expense

friend: lol

me: i know im sounding cynical

friend: first few years are struggle na? it shd get better soon...rt ?

me: but lemme also tell u the joy of buying stuff with ur won money is something that i can explain

or so u think

jus when u r earning enough, have risen at work n now can torment ur juniors....u have to settle down

buy a house. get married, make babies

which again have their own problems which im not yet qualified to talk abt

friend: lol...ever heard of living one day at a time?

or are u just doing this to mess with my head?


me: yeah that is what i do

(the answer could be relevant for both the questions)

friend: hehe

me: so yeah its good to form ur own set of beliefs...delude ourselves n live n die for them

which is the primary cause for stuff like god,religion,profession

these are things we have invented to keep ourselves occupied n nt be depressed abt our futile attempts at existing

phew! move over platos,scorates n all the sex maniac babas...the greatest thinker ever is in the house bitches! i have solved the mystery

friend: true


u wish!

u think ur the first person to think like ths?

me: u had to burst my bubble....didnt u

friend: heehee....

me: i know who am i jus part of the not special

blah! lets get back to our boring lives n to the most exciting thing ever "WORK"

friend: but u can always pretend


me: yeah right....pretend after u suck the life out of dreamy monlogue

friend: awww


it was fun tho

me: see....i was right...u were bored n u need to talk...n u wanted to seek attention but be sly abt it

bloody hypocrite

friend: ya rt

u were equally bored

hence the philosophical lecture


go work now

me: guilty as charged...y wld i bother checking status msgs anyway

friend: go work! :P

me: i dont have any

friend: really?


ok then i'll go work


me: yeah im done with what i had to do for the day....if something else comes along then id have to work again

yeah sure...go knock urself out

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Not much has changed since

Barring physical aspects like facial hair, body weight and hormone levels & the addition of a few letters after my name {B.Tech (I.T.) , PGDM (C) }nothing really has changed over the last decade or to be specific ever since I finished 12th.

Here I am, goalless, ambition-less (well it's not all that bleak, there are like really long term big picture things like owning a restaurant/pub etc etc but nothing for the near future) and clueless for the most part of my waking moments. It's almost a zombie like existence, doing certain things cos they need to be done to stay alive or cos I have nothing better do.

I really don't know what it is that I wanna do in life or what it is that I like doing?

For as long as I can remember I wanted to be fighter pilot. I tried real hard to be one, cleared all the tests, interviews etc only to be told I couldn't be one cos spine isn't the way it ought to be.

That's it....that was the day that I thought, ok life doesnt end here...I'll figure something out, 7 years hence and I still haven't.

So let's look at a time line here.
At 17
Joined engineering cos that was the easiest possible next step, midway through it realised I don't wanna write code for a living. Age: 20 years Status: still clueless

At 21
Looked for the most exciting possible prospect. Thought advertising would be it. Status: Not entirely sure, but seemed like the best possible option.

At 23
Got a MBA, got a job, everything seemed to be fine. Thought I made the right choice.

Here I am at 24, quit my job, dunno what I'm gonna do next. Ok then again, my quitting my job had a whole lotta other factors involved and advertising might still be THE thing. But fact is at the big picture level I dunno what I'm meant to do, what my true calling is?

Ok let's stop the career talk here...I'll make money one way or the other, I'm still young there is still hope.

What about stuff like relationships, friends blah blah and all those things that matter to normal people.

I have some really nice friends, but I dunno if I can really call anyone a best friend, that is more my fault than theirs actually, have too many hangups n issues in life I guess. Have had little or no social life after I've moved to Bombay (while I was working had no time, when I did had no energy and now that I've quit, and have all the time in the world, I can't cos I don't think it's wise to splurge the little savings that I have)

So there you have it......I am 24, unemployed, aimless, not a single date in sight let alone a relationship, lost and most romantic comedies this would be the low point of the protagonist's life...looks like trash, eats cold pizzas etc etc...well since this is real life, I still enjoy my drink and a nice lil tandoori chicken. (Don't really know the purpose of the last few lines, but they seem funny so i'll keep em)

I am therefore as good or as bad as I was when I was 17.

Reminds of Sinatra's song 'It was a very good year........'

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Just out of boredom.....list of all the various kindsa meat i've had\
Hen/Rooster/Cock (Chicken)
Goat/Sheep/Ram/Lamb (Mutton)
Cow/Buffalo (Beef)
Fish (fresh water, salt water{ way too many varieties to remember and list})
Wild Boar
Shell Fish

And tons and tons of microbes...which makes me wonder aren't all of us non vegetarians in a way?