Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Call me if you can...

This was the time when there were no cell-phones, way back in college. A phone conversation between my friend D and a wrong caller. Incidentally he used to get so many wrong numbers, he decided to spend some quality time with the poor guys lest they felt their calls were wasted.


"Hello. Ajit Timbers?"

"Tell me."

"The load hasn't come yet."

Puzzled expression. "But I sent it tomorrow?"


"yes. And tomorrow's load I'm sending it yesterday."

"Wha...? Who is speaking?"


" D? Which D?"

"Which D? This D. There's no other D. "

Line goes dead.


And this one, the day D wanted to know if it was a holiday in the college due to a strike. Those days, engineering colleges resumed after an hour or so after the strike. He was in no mood to go to college, so he decided to do some good to his class-mates as well.

"Hello, NIE college?"


"Put me on to Muthuswamy."

"Sorry, sir he's not coming today. There's a strike."

"He's the principal and he's not coming today? what kind of a principal is he?"

"Uh...sorry sir, I didn't get your name."

"I'm Inspector Puttuswamy here."

"Oh, good morning sir." I'm sure the guy stood up, whoever he was.

"Have my men come there?"

"Yes sir. The constables are here. We're not allowing any student inside."

"You have declared a holiday haven't you?"

"Yes sir. half day."

"NO, no...give a full day off. I got a tip that there'll be trouble."

"Ok sir."

"Good. I'll be there in a half hour. And please call Mr. Muthu also to come and meet me."

"Ok sir. Thank you sir."

"Thank you? What for?"

I wonder if the writer of Hera-Pheri consulted with D...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A picture worth a ...?

I watched 'The Da Vinci Code' last week. Wish I hadn't. I'm saying this because this is the nth time that I've watched a movie adapted from a novel and though it's not surprising at all, it was a bit of a let-down that the movie did not do justice to the novel. That said, I guess it's in the very nature of some movies to fall short of expectations when it comes to recreating the same magic of its raw material. We all know that a novel offers much more in terms of imagination, characterisations, and narration; and a movie has to cover all this and more in just under 2 - 3 hours. Unfair, one might say. But still, it isn't like there haven't been movies that have been as successful as novels, if not more. I feel it's to do with what parts the director/screenplay writer decides to include and take out, aside from the main plot of the story. Cinematic liberties notwithstanding, some movies just fail to perk up and take the viewers by the b**** and rivet them to watch on. This is just a personal opinion, so please don't crucify me, but I felt Da Vinci Code was one of them. There was no magic, no feeling of mystery and intrigue that the novel had. There was no, as they say - soul.

Some movies I felt were as good, if not better than novels they were adapted from:

The God Father

The Color Purple
couple of John Grisham movies ( The Firm, Pelican Brief, The Rainmaker, A time to kill...And there on his novels became cookie cutters. So much so that whenever I read his later novels now, I imagine a hollywood star/actor in the lead characters)

The day of the jackal ( well not exactly, but it was gripping)

Devdas ( The old one, not the ne-ne-ne-new one)

Some Alistair Mclain movies (Where Eagles Dare, Force 10 from Navarone, Guns of Navarone)
The Jungle Book (Animated)

Get Shorty

Jackie Brown (Elmore Leonard's novel was called Rum Punch)

Any more....? (Am sure I don't remember all)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A rose is a rose...

The_hitman: Hi, gorgeous!

Rose: Hi

The_hitman: asl?

Rose: You first

The_hitman: male, 35 years

Rose: Oh..

The_hitman: Why? Am I too old for you? *wink*

Rose:, nothing. forget it.

Rose: So...what do you hit?

The_hitman: Excuse me?

Rose: Your user name...

The_hitman: oh that! :)) Yeah, I am a hitman

Rose: What is that?

The_hitman: You don't know?

Rose: Why would I ask?

The_hitman: Be prepared, you might get scared. But you should not...

Rose: Tell me first.

The_hitman: I do contract killings...

A beat

The_hitman: I told you you'd be scared.

Rose: No

The_hitman: Really?

Rose: Yeah.

The_hitman: wow, I like courageous women.

Rose: lol

A week later...

The_hitman: So, how's it like being in a travel agency?

Rose: Better than being a killer (if you are one, that is) :)

The_hitman: Lol.You know what, you are a nice girl, I'd like to meet you.

Rose: And kill me? ;)

The_hitman: Come on, be serious. Can we meet?

Rose: That depends...

The_hitman: Depends on?

Rose: On one condition. You should tell me all about your profession. I want to know more.

The_hitman: Forget it, it's not for women like you.

Rose: Look, if you want me to meet a hitman, I might as well know more about his profession, no?

The_hitman: Hmm, you have a point. Ok...

The next evening, this time face to face...

Rose (sipping coffee): You don't look like a hitman. (Giggles)

The_hitman: Well, you do look every bit like a travel agency executive.They smile. An hour later, they're walking down the road, feeling the gentle evening breeze on their faces.

"So what are you really?"


"Come on, I know when I see men. You cannot be a hitman."

"Is it written on a hitman's face that he's a hitman?" He laughs.She laughs, but is serious the next moment. "Tell me".

He watches the traffic silently for a minute and sighs."Ok, I might as well tell the truth, why fib? I'm a builder."

"You could've told me that straight away, the other day."

"Yeah, I know, I should have."

They walk and talk for another half hour and walk back to the parking lot inside the empty compound. It's late in the night now.

"So being a builder is equally dangerous, hmm?"

He smiles. "It is. But we have to take our risks. It's a part of the job."

She smiles and nods in agreement.

"Do we get to meet again?" Mr builder asks.

Rose smiles. "I don't think so."

"Why?" He puts on his best smile.She doesn't answer him. She gets on her bike.

He looks at it for a moment, unsure. "Hmmm, that's quite a ride for a travel agency executive."

"How can you be so sure I'm an executive?" She smiles mysteriously now. In fact he's a little uncomfortable with that smile.

"Yeah, told me..." He smiles, but barely...


The little pea sized hole in his forehead looks like a third eye, written by a cartoonist. Now, which cartoon character had those eyes, she wonders. Ah, Tintin, she smiles. She looks around and then down at his startled half-smiling face, the trickle of blood from his forehead slowly reddening his teeth.

"Am so sorry we cannot meet again. You were kind of cute. But you know what, I have to take my risks too.That's a part of my job."

She sighs, and kickstarts the bike to life.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Double take

It's funny how people stare at you, and you in turn are tempted to stare back. Notice how somebody stares at you from inside a bus. You're walking on the road and this person continues staring, even when the bus passes you by. Sometimes, if you care to turn around, this person also would be craning his/her neck around and looking at you. I mean, what's it with this 'recognizing' stare? Does he or she know you? Certainly not. You're ready to throw in your wallet for it. You know that you don't know this person. Then? I guess it's an Indian thing. Happens to me all the time. Not that we do it on purpose. It comes naturally to us (Ok, not all the time though). I know it's impolite to stare. The other person also I guess, knows...but this continues to happen. And once, it was kinda funny. I stopped at a traffic light, generally preoccupied. And from the opposite lane, a guy halts on his two-wheeler. We look at each other. It's 'that' knowing stare again, I reckon. And then it dawns on us simultaneously. We do know each other. He was a year senior to me in school. A bit on the heavier side, with a thick moustache, but it was unmistakable. We both raise our eyebrows, smile and then wave. (This guy was pretty close to me back then. We'd been in together for some cultural activities, drama etc. Very expressive guy, I must say.) And then the light turns green. But before I can motion him to stop ahead so I can turn around and go upto him, he's gone.

In a city like Bangalore, there are all the chances that I bump into an old school-mate, an old acquaintance. And well, I guess I'm not the only one thinking this. And so, the staring continues.

Friday, June 02, 2006

'Woh Kaagaz ki kashti...'

No matter which corner of this world we lived in, no matter how our financial and social position was back then, but for all of us who've been children at some point in our lives, we've had a special friend. Someone who we were inseparable with. Someone, for who we were ready to lay down our lives (though we didn't exactly know what that meant then). Anything special made at home, any special eatable, had to first reach this friend's hands. Any occasion - 'mom, can we call xyz for this function?'. We played games in the sand, we fought, we cried and we laughed. Time would stand still when with this special friend. He or she was our 'bestest' friend, and we vowed never to separate. Remember? "I'll never forget this time. I don't think I'm ever gonna forget you." We sailed paper boats in the rains, splashed our way back from school, the overflowing puddles our pool. We did each other's homework, we helped each other in studies (sometimes inspiring each other not to study at all, because, what the heck, who wanted to work boring desk jobs?), we knew each other's 'girl-friends' or those ones we 'silently admired' (girls, it'd be boys in your case) and knew all the secrets; we knew that casting an eye on that girl was next to committing the ultimate sin on earth, so we kept quiet about it. 'Sacrifice' we told ourselves. And we couldn't spend a single 'vacation' minute without this person. Life had some meaning only with this person around. And then something terrible happened. We grew up.

I wonder where my friend is today...