Monday, September 29, 2003

Script for Radio Ad

Product: Bubble Wrap paper
Client: Tensionfree
Background score: Loud music, heavy bass and drums. The sound of popping/ bursting of balloons/small bombs become increasingly louder till it becomes the dominant sound.
Can you FEEL your head BURSTING?
Are you perpetually RESTLESS?
Is the tension KILLING you?
STOP! Stop right there.
(Sudden silence)
This is the end.
(A catchy tune starts in the background)
The end to all your WORRIES.
Relieve all your frustrations as you POP the bubbles between your fingers.
Every POP is the sound of your worries disappearing.
One sheet everyday and you will be completely TENSIONFREE.

The above is inspired by the sheets of bubble wrap paper lying around in our Project Manager’s room. And all of us, believe it or not, have been bursting the bubbles. This is the future of all tension-relieving products. The smallest of discoveries can become the largest of brands. Wait and watch.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Beep! Beep!
Me: This is Agent ZZZ02101978 reporting from office.
Devil: At work on a Sunday, Agent?
Me: Yes, this is becoming a pattern.
Devil: Good! Good!
Me: They have no idea. They think that they’re making me work hard.
Devil: Ha Ha! The fools.
Me: He He! I come to office every holiday without a fail.
Devil: So everything’s going according to plan.
Me: Yes. The bosses have become complacent.
Devil: Are you sure they have no suspicions?
Me: None at all.
Devil: Then it’s time for the second part of the plan.
Me: Plan XY or Plan YZ?
Devil: He He! Definitely Plan YZ.
Me: Ha Ha! I’ll be glad to come back.
Devil: Yes, I’ll be glad to have you back too. I have missed the games of Canasta.
Me: Have to go now. I’ll wait for your instructions.
Devil: I will fax it across.
Me: Right-o. Over and Out!
Beep! Beep!

Beep! Beep!

Fax received:

Atten: Agent ZZZ02101978
Fm: The Devil
Sub: Plan YZ

At precisely xx:xx a.m. you will go to the Director’s room. And there, you will get a heart attack. And clutching your heart, you will collapse to the floor. Writhing in pain (Make it as dramatic as you can!) you will say, “You all killed me! You #$%^%#!” (Gasp a few times) ”Tell my parents that I loved them and that I won’t be home for Diwali.” (Choke and cough) “Tell my friends that I couldn’t go trekking with them.” (Clutch your heart tighter and say softly.) “There’s more to life than work.” Finally, you will put your head down and die. That will mark the completion of your assignment. Keep lying there till another Agent comes to escort you back here.

And Agent, well done so far.

Signed ‘The Devil’

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Why are your eyes wet Ma?
While mine are dry as desert sand
You brush my hair with the same tenderness
That you had shown years ago
When every night you put me to bed
And now, you tenderly handcuff me with bangles of red and gold
Threads of beads, gold and diamonds
Choke me like a noose around my neck
You sold me to the highest bidder
And now you gift-wrap me as you give me away.
Ma, you doll me up for the slaughter
And I like a docile lamb let you lead the way
The virgin dressed in gold and red
Head lowered, circles around the fires of hell
Tied to a man barely known, my butcher
I can see the knife glistening in the distance Ma
It’s sharpened edges gleam in the blinding light
Red blood sprouts out as it cuts my skin
A red so dark that it looks a menacing black
Blood that melts into the folds of red sari, disappearing
And blood in the parting of my hair,
In a line etched by the man I that I marry

Friday, September 26, 2003

I have become Calvin’s (of Calvin and Hobbes) monster snowman. I am ‘The Torment Of Existence Weighed Against The Horror Of Nonbeing’. The sun is shining bright and my existence is melting away as I sweat.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

He sat by the edge of her bed
Holding his breath
Trying not to smell the stench of approaching death
He watched her shrivelled skin on the hospital bed
The dozens of tubes that crisscrossed her veins blue
Her whole body seemed bruised, a deathly pallor
Unable to sit a moment longer, he got up
He could feel the bile in his mouth
With his clean white starched handkerchief
He covered his mouth
Struggling to overcome the threatening hiccups of vomit
He remembered not the sweet smell of her perfume
That he’d loved as a child
Her smooth skin that he had loved touching
The folds of her sari where he had played peek-a-boo
The arms that had rocked him to sleep every night
It was a past long-forgotten
A woman he’d left behind in his childhood
He walked to the door of the hospital room
And looked back at the old woman lying on the bed
He nodded to the doctor
‘I have to go. Office work’, he said justifying
‘Just let me know when she…..’
He left the sentence hanging as he walked away
From his grandmother, dying
Relieved to breathe the fresh air outside
The fresh air, fleeting, that the youth breathe

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Actors we all are, you and me
And the world is our imaginary stage
Playing charades meaningless and bizarre
Reading lines, learning by rote every page

Inner feelings masked in faces painted
Mascara that hides the pain in our eyes
Hidden pasts and reputations tainted
Convincing the world and ourselves all stupid lies

Beautiful clothes and people pretty
Yet the audience shouts words in frustration
Perhaps they prefer cynicism and words witty
Well anything for a standing ovation!

Monday, September 22, 2003

My parents never told me that it would be a perfect world. But what they had done was show me what it could be like. It can be beautiful. A person can feel fulfilled and loved. It didn’t take much they had told me. Just a bit of attention and alert eyes one can make one happy. Just a little effort is all it takes. And they had told me that when you love someone that effort comes naturally. And I grew up thinking that it came naturally to everyone.
Was I wrong?
How much effort does a two-minute call cost? If a lot, then isn’t it worth the one you love? And if nothing, then what’s the problem? Or is this two-minute call not a measure of love? And if it isn’t, then does the unconscious hurt that you inflict reflect your true feelings for the person?
Does love exist at all?
Six days!

Saturday, September 20, 2003

I'm so tired of playing,
Playing with this bow and arrow,
Gonna give my heart away,
Leave it to the other girls to play,
For I've been a temptress too long.

Hmm just,
Give me a reason to love you,
Give me a reason to be,
A woman,
I just wanna be a woman.

From this time, unchained,
We’re all looking at a different picture,
Through this new frame of mind,
A thousand flowers could bloom,
Move over, and give us some room.

Give me a reason to love you,
Give me a reason to be,
A woman,
I just want to be a woman.

So don't you stop, being a man,
Just take a little look from our side when you can,
Show a little tenderness,
No matter if you cry.

Give me a reason to love you,
Give me a reason to be,
A woman,
It's all I wanna be is all woman.

For this is the beginning of forever and ever,
It's time to move over ,
So I want to be.

I'm so tired of playing,
Playing with this bow and arrow,
Gonna give my heart away,
Leave it to the other girls to play.
For I've been a temptress too long.

Hmm just,
Give me a reason to love you.

~Glory Box, Portishead
Four days!

Friday, September 19, 2003

I'm not afraid
Of anything in this world
There's nothing you can throw at me
That I haven't already heard

I'm just trying to find
A decent melody
A song that I can sing
In my own company

I will not forsake
The colors that you bring
The nights you filled with fireworks
They left you with nothing

I am still enchanted
By the light you brought to me
I listen through your ears
Through your eyes I can see

I was unconscious, half asleep
The water is warm 'til you discover how deep
I wasn't jumping, for me it was a fall
It's a long way down to nothing at all

And if the night runs over
And if the day won't last
And if our way should falter
Along the stony pass

It's just a moment
This time will pass

~ Stuck in a moment, U2
You don’t give me reasons
You don’t tell me why
You don’t tell me why not
You don’t tell me that you will
You don’t tell me that you can’t
You don’t think it’s not right
You don’t even think
I won’t ask for reasons
I won’t ask you why
You don’t owe me anything
And neither do I

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Are your phone bills exorbitant? Or am I the only one whose one month’s phone bill could feed an entire family of four? And this, when you’re just starting out on your career, is not a good sign. Especially when your first priority should be saving up for a rainy day. And specially when you are an obsessive compulsive mobile-happy megalomaniac who calls up the vaguest of people just because you have a mobile phone in your hands. This calls for desperate measures. This article provides some cheap low-down tips that one can use to reduce one’s phone bills drastically.
The Gods are in your favour or at least the Cellular Service Provider Companies are. Incoming calls are free. That is the Golden Rule.
Talk only when the call is incoming, unless it is a life-and-death situation.
Now, the question is, how do you get other people to call you? The following could help:
· Call your family/friends/etc when you know they’re at their busiest. They will invariably say that they can’t talk now and that they will call you back.
· Get sexy and flirtatious. Don’t scoff. This really works. (At least with some people.) Give that mysterious grin and the irresistible smile when you’re parting with people who could be potential callers and say, “Call me.”
· Pretend that your phone has a problem. It keeps disconnecting on its own. Call whoever you want to talk to and disconnect before they pick up. Later you can always complain about the fact that your mobile has a problem.
· Use other people’s phone to message your family/friends/etc. and ask them to call you back as you have no money left on your cash card. This alas does not work with people who have a post-paid connection like me. But I can assure you this works. I have called back many of my friends when they have begged no-money-in-the-cash-card-so-please-call-me-back.
· If you have friends who love being up to date with gossip, just sms a hint that you might have something for them. The better you are at showing the bait the faster you will receive their call.
· The last option of course is to plead bankruptcy.
All my friends who are reading this please call. I am broke.

Monday, September 15, 2003

When you live alone, it’s easy to let go. It’s easy being untidy (read ‘a slob’) when there’s no one to nag and complain (Mother’s are very good at this.) The question is ‘Are there are any limits to how much you can let go?’ At first, house-proud that I was, my house was spic and span. I could comb my hair looking at my reflection on my floor. Life was organised. Then I got a maid, Uma. Now Uma’s a darling (she spoils me in her quiet little way) but she is not very efficient in floor-cleaning. And though my white floors look clean they have become grey. With Uma’s presence in my life came a strange lethargy in me. And I am quite ashamed to say I kind of let go. It came to a point where I deserved to be given the award of ‘The biggest Slob of the Century’. I have finally seen the light. And as part of my revelation I am going to share the secret of balance. (The balance is achieved when you are happy with the level of untidiness and you give the illusion of being tidy to the others.)
• Books are judged by the cover. Now, if your room looks clean at the first look, no one is going to check under the bed or inside the cupboard. The trick is to keep the outside clean and the inside well hidden. Just clean it once in a while so you don’t die of asphyxiation.
• Low lighting is good. It keeps the cobwebs and dirty corners well-camouflaged. You could team it up with soft music.
• If you have a lot of knick-knacks in your room, choose one corner and neatly pile things up there. Things should be piled vertically and horizontal surfaces kept as clean as possible. It’s all about illusion.
• Now kitchen, the best way to not let your kitchen get too messy is to have a fixed place for everything. Just keep everything back in its place. The other thing you should do is use as little utensils as possible. The point being, the lesser the number of dirty utensils the less of a mess. Advisable: Don’t use the same utensil for making garlic chicken and coffee. Garlic flavoured coffee isn’t very nice.
• Try keeping doors and windows open and if you’re one of those who use perfumes/ deodorants liberally, spray some in your room too. The idea behind this is that if you heighten one of the senses of a person (the nose that smells the perfume) the other senses get dimmed (the eye that notices the mess). This is a certified fact.
• Finally, your mess should be the skeleton in your cupboard. Remember Dorian Gray? He was loved by all cause no one saw his picture hidden away. The uglier your picture, the better you are at the balancing act.

Friday, September 12, 2003

A thousand men in robes of black
Stand in an endless line
Beards flowing, long and white
Heads lowered and eyes bovine

Wordless they stand, their hands folded
Gazing blankly as in a trance
While God and the Devil war and wage
And give a performance of the life and death dance

God and the Devil gamble through the night
And the men stand still, a silent role
And as morning approaches the stakes get higher
They now fight for the possession of God’s soul

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Getting ready for an all-nighter at work. Sometimes I wonder if my priorities in life are in order. Every day spent in office doing inane work that I really don’t care about. Another step closer to death. Before I will realise life will have passed me by.

So I run and I run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come behind me again
The sun is the same in the relative way but I’m older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Adaptation of Pink Floyd, Time

No time to breathe. No time to live. No time to open my eyes. My eyes wide shut! No time to blog. No time.
If only my arms were elastic now. I sure could do with a self-hug.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Speaking of books, the current one on my ‘the-book-I-should-write’ agenda is one of those 100 reasons thingies. Yes, I know. Your reaction is predictable. “Oh no! Not another one.” Well, this one will be special. It will be called… hmm… let’s see…
100 Reasons Why
Now, didn’t that catch your attention! The moment you read it, you asked yourself, ‘why what?’
The indicative content of my book, which I assure you will be a best-seller, is as follows:
Reasons why you are late for work
Reasons why you want to leave work early
Reasons why you want to leave work on time (Don’t the bosses always frown at you when you want to leave at 6 p.m.?)
Reasons why you want a half-day off
Reasons why you want a leave/holiday
Reasons why you want an hour off
Reasons why you are working late (Yes, you better believe this one. Now, I have to sign my name and the project I am working on if I work beyond 6 p.m. I, of course, cannot leave at 6 p.m. Now that would be sacrilege!)
These reasons are basically excuses that you can give at your work place. Believable excuses, which is a toughie. This book will help you work as little as possible without drawing any attention to yourself.
At the end of the book there will be special bonus section where you can chose the reasons you like most and the ones that suit you the best. You would be able to mark it on a chart and you could draw up a scheduler, so you would not accidentally repeat any excuse in at least three months. This book promises to make you super-efficient at never having to be efficient.
Hasn’t everyone who can spin a line or two dreamt of writing a book sometime or the other in his life? Modest we might be up-front…….
“Who me? (blush blush) I don’t write well at all.”
“I write well? You must have read all trashy books to come to that conclusion.”
….… but deep down we all think we have ‘the spark’. We are all geniuses in our own little worlds happy with the word games we play. Wit and sarcasm are our best friends.
Speaking for myself, a hundred stories have been spun and forgotten in my mind. A hundred stories that have been a hundred best-sellers in my imagination. Every time I read a badly written book I think to myself that I could have done better. Every time I read a well-written but predictable book I think I could have given it a better twist.
One day, perhaps.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Aren’t long-distance relationships just fabulous? You have the comfort of knowing that you have someone to fall back on. And at the same time you have your space. DYOT (Do your own thing) is really the mantra for today’s generation. Who needs a boy-friend or a girl-friend to cramp your style? In fact, long-distance relationships are so brilliant, I am thinking of drawing up a proposal to God to ask that all relationships be long-distance. There could be a meeting period of two days in three months. Lots of sex. Oops! I am sorry. Lots of love-making. (That’s politically correct ain’t it?) And then you go back to your own lives before the other person bores you stiff. In fact, if we could hurry up on the research on teleportation, couples wouldn’t even have to meet. No expectations, no disappointments and no tantrums.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

In the summer of 1990, we had toured Iraq, while the country had planned an attack on Kuwait. The memories still tease me in snatching glimpses. The scorching heat of the desert and the chilling cool inside the ziggurat tombs. The stark nakedness of the golden sands and the green of the hills in the north. The smiling faces of the beautiful Iraqi people and the lines of armoured tanks that we had spotted near Basra. The golden mosque and ruins of the Mesopotamian civilization. A child then, I had eagerly looked forward to Babylon, made popular by Boney M’s song. As we had strolled around the streets of Babylon, all we had seen were bare walls. Recently restored, the red of new bricks hurt the eyes. The heat of the summer desert had burned our skins as we had walked, wallowing in the history that was only in our minds. I wonder if any of it remains. The new walls of then must be rotting in the pool of rubble and ruins now. Nothing lasts forever. All things tangible and most things intangible disappear into oblivion, into time and the future. All that remains are legends, spoken about in the dark of the night. And as the script of hieroglyphics runs in the black of my mind like a series of binary code, a voice speaks in sotto voce into my ears. Stories to be passed on to the generations that will come. The story of the new red walls of Babylon. The story of the deserts of Iraq. And the story of its destruction.