November 17, 2009

Save Conversations, Recycle Them

Kim S Macedo

It’s a weekend.

We guys meet at a friend’s place and start to catch up. Suddenly one guy says, “Did you see that car parked down the road?” One car freak will give you the car’s history, “Yeah, it’s a 1969 Ford Mustang Shelby.”

And so it starts.

While everyone is talking about cars, one guy is looking at the TV in the background. He’s watching a scene from a movie. He diverts everyone's attention, “Guys, you must watch ‘Gone in 60 seconds’. It’s a crazy ass movie.” One after the other the guys go “Dude watch this film”, “Watch that film”

How well guys change subjects … now everyone's watching the TV.

There's an interval and ad's are showing. A Pepsi commercial appears. Messi, Rooney, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Beckham, Raul, Henry are playing a game. There the guys go again. “Dude yaw’ll saw last week’s game between Barcelona & Man U? Barca kicked ass.” Another guy says: “Screw Barca. Wait till they meet Chelsea, then we shall see.” As the football topic continues the ad changes; it’s another Pepsi ad but a cricket version. Then the guys go “Dude India”, “Dude Pakistan”, “Dude West Indies” and the ad is over.

There's silence for a few seconds…everyone’s waiting for the next subject.

One guy speaks: “Dude, some hot chicks in this building man. I came up in the lift with 3 sizzling Lebanese and Moroccan chicks.” Another guy says, “Hookers Dude.” The first guy says: “Whatever dude, they're hot.” Another guy says” “That's nothing, where I work there are these hot Russian chicks.” Another guy, "Dude, Indian chicks." This carries on for chicks of every nationality.

A guy’s mobile rings. He's got a Nokia E-71. Another says: “Nice phone dude I like this one.” Another guy says immediately, “Nokia is so common.” Another guy says: “Touch phones suck.” All agree.

Guy talk goes best with drinking. And it’s a weekend, remember.

One guy starts, as he asks for the bottle, “Guys yaw'll should try Johnnie Walker Gold, it’s smooth.” Another guy says, “Gold's great, but Blue is better.” Another guy says, “You should try chilly Tequillas, Zambukas & Kamikaze's. You won’t know whether it’s morning or night.” Then to prove everybody ignorant, another guy says, “Yaw’ll should try Absent. All of you will be gone till November."

The drinks have hit everyone and the boys are a little serious. Now the subject is work.

Everyone starts asking each other, “Dude what do you do? The boys are tipsy so you get shitty answers like: ‘I do you’ or ‘I do the Dew.’ This pisses off some guys. So one guy says, “No seriously, what do you do?” One says Auto Industry, one says Marine, one Freight, one Travel, one Banking and so on. But for some freakin’ reason everyone’s in Sales and the mood is not upbeat all around due to the recession.

Then a new topic arrives after 6 pegs. Everyone wants to be entrepreneurs.

Then the guys feel hungry. “Let’s go out”, says one. They take their cars out. One takes a Dodge, one takes a Jag, one takes a Chevy, one takes a Lexus. When they reach the restaurant, guess what they’re talking about? Cars. All start with their shit like 5.7 Hemi, V8, 0-60, 1969, 2010 Supercharged and on and on and on.

Guy conversations are about Cars, Chicks, Movies, Sports, Gadgets, Booze, now and then Business & Work.

It’s the same, weekend after weekend, until we’re 75 years and all in a ‘Home For The Aged’… one ol’ bugger there will start, "My son's got the latest Harley D."

October 20, 2009

I think I should get married for their sake.

Fritz Gonsalves, Bombay

I’m 30, unmarried and I’m quite happy. But there is this bunch of people who have lost their sleep because I’m still unmarried. I never imagined that being a bachelor would be the cause for concern in the lives of so many people.

Now I’m not perturbed or pissed with anyone. I think I have given them the right to be concerned about me but, at the same time, I have completely forgotten to mention the areas in which they needn’t sweat over me.

What I find amusing is the kind of arguments I get to hear from them. From the stated to the bizarre. And I’ve heard them for so long now that I am writing a post about it for Desmond’s Blog. Darn, my life, nothing but a post on Desmond’s Blog.

Let me start with my married-for-27-years-aunt from Kerala. She got married when I was 3 years old and at that time her husband was working in Dubai. I’m 30 now, he is still working in Dubai, she is still in Kerala, and they are still married. Every year my uncle would fly down with four big suitcases jam packed with Lux international soap, Colgate toothpaste (written in Arabic), stacks of ball-point pens, curtains, bed sheets, chocolates, perfume, Tang orange juice, Citizen and Casio watches and every Malayali household’s favorite Panasonic two-in-one cassette player. Somewhere during these annual trips two lovely daughters happened.

Wow. Talk about long distance relationships not working, we’ve got a long-distance marriage that only God knows how it has worked for so long. Imagine this aunt trying to sell the idea of marriage to me. Like Osama trying to explain non-violence. The first thought that hit me was, “Are you even qualified for this job aunty, because your resume yells something else”. I didn’t ask her the question - I didn’t want to break her illusion of Happily Married Forever. I don’t know whether denial is powerful, but it sure can make long-distance marriages work.

Now most people might question me: “Who are you to conclude that they are not happily married?” Okay, I’m just a post on Desmond’s Blog.

She tried every trick to convince me. “A new person will enter your life and change you destiny” and “This is God’s will”. Nothing moved me. Then she tried her luck with “I want to see you married before I die”. Are you kidding? She must be in her early fifties, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, goes to church every Sunday, sings Carols during Christmas, healthier than Tropicana’s Carrot & Beetroot Juice. She is going to be around for a long time.

From my aunt, let’s move to my folks back home. My Dad believes that only faith can sort this stalemate so he has planned a pilgrimage for the family. My mom on the other hand is more concerned about material possessions. She’s clear in her head: no marriage plans will be finalized until a new modular kitchen is installed. So, for the time being, mom is on my side.

Next my younger brother and my cousin. Once I was in the middle of a trying film shoot and my brother called up. He said, “Big brother, get married”. I was too tired to reply so he kept repeating the same line for ten minutes. He lacks convincing skills.

But it’s my cousin brother who came up with this masterstroke. “Get married early. This way you won’t be too old to play cricket with your son.” he said. Wow. That’s some foresight. What if he decides to become an umpire and not a cricketer?

But the mother of all arguments came from my friend’s wife. She said, “Being married is better than being bachelor”. For a second I slipped into a coma. She sounded so cocksure, like she was quoting the Supreme Court verdict in the now-famous Mr. Bachelor Vs Union of India case, the judgment that was passed on the Sixth Day of August, 2009.

I started digging into my grey cells for a back answer. Anything…a quote, a saying, a theorem, Indian Penal Code, any words of wisdom...nothing came to my rescue. My mind denied me a back answer to her rationale. I looked at my friend who was sitting next to her. He had this look on his face which said, “I want to go home to mummy”. Call it a divine intervention, his Mom called at that moment and I was saved the shame of not having an answer.

It’s been three months now, I still don’t have one.

The Underground Writers' Blog is looking for humour writers. Send your story to dezymacedo@gmail.com

July 22, 2009

One Day We All Met On Facebook

[Some days ago a few of us friends met on Facebook. Save a few spellchecks and minor editing, this is a pristine account of what started in the Status Box of Desmond Macedo, followed by comments]

Desmond Macedo
Now we can stop complaining about lack of rain and start complaining about floods; after the floods come, we can complain about poor administration to tackle the floods. July 8 at 10:48am

Ayesha Maya, Rochelle Potkar and Fritz Gonsalves like this.

Kashyap Joshi
By the time we finish doing all that, we'll have the October heat again to grumble about. July 8 at 10:54am

Desmond Macedo
And then we will complain about a late winter, or no winter at all. July 8 at 11:01am

Kashyap Joshi
And in winter we'll complain about colds and fevers and throat infections. July 8 at 11:08am

Desmond Macedo
And how pollution, too, is adding to the problem. July 8 at 11:20am

Fritz Gonsalves
And then we'll be so sick of complaining that we'll start complaining about everybody complaining all the time. July 8 at 11:42am

Desmond Macedo
And newspaper columnists will write about how we Indians are very good at complaining...meanwhile, we are already complaining about a water shortage and how people are using three buckets of water each to wash thier cars. July 8 at 11:51am

Shilpa Doshi
Sure enough...now that you have complained, drawing attention to the fact that a car can be washed in less than 3 buckets. Will try to find out how many buckets my car washer boy uses and give him some gyaan (scientific advice)....if needed. Long live the complainer! Anything to disassist Global Warming! July 8 at 11:55am

Kashyap Joshi
And then the residents of Bandra will light candles in their balconies and pray so people stop complaining. July 8 at 12:19pm

Fritz Gonsalves
Then VHP, Jamait-e-Whatever and the Catholic Sabah will complain that no one is paying heed to their complaints. July 8 at 12:24pm

Kashyap Joshi
And then advertising agencies will be inspired by all the complaining so they'll make campaigns like "Complain India" and "If India Complains India will Progress" and contests like "Complain Boy & Complain Girl" sponsored by Compla(i)n. July 8 at 12:25pm

Desmond Macedo
The VHP, Jamait-e-Whatever and the Catholic Sabah will complain that Advertising Companies in India are glorifying the plight of the comman man. July 8 at 12:45pm

Fritz Gonsalves
Then the political parties will propose a Bill to give 33% Reservation to all those who complain... soon Mayawati will ask for 10% additional reservation for Dalit Complainers, Lallu Yadav for Bhaiya Complainers, Jamait-e-whatever for Muslim Complainers, Catholic Sabah for Catholic Complainers (Protestants, Syrian Marthoma, Jacobites, Pentecosts … too bad, you need to get organised), and then the RSS and VHP will complain that the majority is being sidelined to please the minority and start burning buses, about which everybody else will complain. July 8 at 3.07pm

Hemant Shringy
And then advertising agencies will complain about not having creative liberties.. . and Madhur Bhandarkar will make a realistic movie about the complaints that the Advertising Industry has. That's when the agency people will complain about being stereotyped about their genuine complaints. July 8 at 3:09pm

Desmond Macedo
Meanwhile, the Mumbaikar has forgotten about his first complaint, about the lack of rain, and then the floods, but he is happy that he has a new complaint, that political parties are turning complainers into Vote Banks. July 8 at 3:31pm

Priyankaa Jain
How can u guys forget Facebook. There will be QUIZZES, WHAT KIND OF COMPLAINER ARE YOU? July 8 at 3:42pm

Kashyap Joshi
And then the PM will come on FB where he will get msgs like "Fritz Gonsalves has poked the Prime Minister with a complaint." July 8 at 3:51pm

Priyankaa Jain
Users will complain about FB not having enough quizzes for them to take. July 8 at 4:05pm

Kashyap Joshi
By then parents, colleges and institutions will complain that teenagers are spending too much time complaining on FB. July 9 at 3:30pm

Kashyap Joshi
And by now, my boss has pretty much started complaining that I'm spending too much time on FB complaining. July 9 at 3:30pm

Desmond Macedo
Perhaps you should complain that he is complaining about you. July 9 at 4:12pm

Priyankaa Jain
OR u cud complain about getting unnecessary advice from DESMOND MACEDO. July 9 at 5:03pm

Preeti Sharma
Huh? No one's complaining that we have not met in a long time? July 9 at 5:12pm

End

March 29, 2009

Mothers of Sons

Preeti Sharma.

"It's a boy."

That statement sets off a series of lifelong changes for a mother whose apron strings gently, but tenaciously, wind themselves around the tiny boy-child's body. Her heartbeat resigns itself to be wholly dependent on his, her self-worth now judged only by sacrifices she can make for him, her heart vows to cook his favourite foods, wash his clothes, keep shrewd girls (that includes all girls, duh) away from him and keep track of his multiple fungal infections until her own body is lowered six feet under.

Her dying breath will be all about who will comb her baby boy's hair just right and who will heat milk with turmeric for him, every morning. Meanwhile, the baby boy who may have just celebrated his 38th birthday will sit wondering morosely, darn it, ‘who will take my clothes to the laundry and wash me behind my ears?’ He may also realise sadly that he will have to be nicer to his wife (yes, she does exist, but you wouldn't know it) because she would now go from being part of the wallpaper to being his surrogate mother.

I wonder about mothers who are obsessed with their sons. Take my friend Ashish's mother:

"I am telling Ashish to get married," says Mrs. Girodia.

"Does he have a girl in mind?" I ask cautiously.

"No, no, I only will select the girl for him. Problem is he is so good looking and smart, any girl will be so lucky to have him", she says and her eyes glaze over him as if she has inhaled Grade A cocaine.

I look at Ashish closely: he still looks like a mouse with constipation. The last time he smiled was 2004.

"There are very few boys like him now," she says wistfully. I nod wisely and bite my tongue.

Ashish got married 8 months later. His poor wife looks only downwards now and his mother is still the only woman in his life.

It's much more pragmatic with girls. True, many mothers are obsessed with their daughters' virtue (sic), but there comes a point when mothers just let their daughters be. They are allowed to manage their own eating habits, pack their own suitcases and make their own beds. Show me a twenty-five year old fellow living at home, and I'll show you a mother who is still making his bed.

My friend Prerna had a child very young, but she got married recently to a man in his 40s. She ended up learning all about men only after they were married.

- His mother irons his underwear.

- His mother goes with him for his physicals with the doctor, irrespective of the body part being examined.

- His mother decides when he needs privacy and when not. She questions why the door to his room stays locked longer these days.

- His mother needs to be the last person to hug him before he leaves the house. She says it brings him good luck. As far as Prerna can see, it has caused him to lose two jobs, one car and one expensive watch.

"Why is she so damn possessive of him?", Prerna fumes.

I cannot answer because I am now distracted by what Prerna is doing. She irons her fourteen-year old son's underwear. As he bounds into the room she hands him a freshly ironed one, still hot, and looks at him with abandon joy before he disappears to change. Why do mothers think their sons' underwear should be like a chappati, best when it's hot. Since everyone is in the throes of maternal love I refrain from pointing out what warm underwear can do his sperm levels.

And so the circle of possessive and obsessive mothers continues.

"My son is very fond of me. He calls me every week from London." Her son has taken truckloads of money from her, claiming to study in London. His phone calls are camouflaged requests for money.

"All the girls who meet my son want to marry him. But that silly boy is so romantic. He is still looking for that special someone." He has been rejected by over twenty five girls because he proudly informs them that his mother, occasionally, still ties his shoe laces for him.

“When I’m around my son lets me do everything for him.” He is actually useless at all times, but his mother will never get it.

"My son is so good looking. A little plump but so handsome. He looks
just like me." Mother and son are both 110 kgs. Nothing personal against weight, but I have yet to find a mother who says her 110-kg daughter is so good looking.

A relative sums it up. She has a twenty-eight year old son who travels the world, sits at board meetings, manages mind-boggling dating schedules. Yet, she needs to tell him when to change his bedsheets (sheesh…you would think a Standford MBA would have enough common sense to tell a dirty sheet from a clean one) and then, before he can move his lazy arse, she has already jumped up and done it for him and is basking in the gratitude she imagines she can see in his eyes.

"If I can do it, he cannot."

Famous words from the proud momma.

About the Author: Preeti Sharma is a runner up of the last Humour Story Contest.

February 27, 2009

People who honk are horny

Ammi Maru.

Mumbai: In the recent past people in Mumbai are hearing less of oohs & aahs and more of peep peeps and pom poms. According to a survey conducted by AMRA (Ammi Maru Reaserch Agency), lack of sex is adding to the noise levels in Mumbai. In a citywide survey, it has been observed that people deprived of sex are more prone to honking. This has increased the noise pollution, especially in major traffic zones to alarming, or rather deafening, levels.

When questioned about this unusual finding, the Chief Research Officer commented: “It is common knowledge that sex is one of the greatest stress relievers. It helps you get rid of your pent up energy, aggression and/or frustrations, leaving you lighter and happier.

Now there is a big group of people, especially men, who are just not getting enough of it. Or, none at all. These people use honking as a release. Imagine, you get up fresh and happy in the morning, get ready, have breakfast and leave for work, all full of energy. And there comes the traffic jam. So what happens to all the energy? You honk it away!

But if you have had good hanky-panky the previous evening, you will reminisce about it sitting in the jam. Or, you will be busy kissing your partner, if he/she is riding with you. The same goes for any other stressful situation.

The analysis was also supported by observations regarding vehicle type, horn quality and tone, and frequency & length of each honk. Initial observations had shown rickshaw drivers most prone to honking. But careful study revealed that bikers were really the deprived ones and hence, the cause of all this noise.


AMRA has also deduced that the way people honk show the extent of sex deprivation.


Adding a final comment, the Chief Research Officer had a special request for the general public. “If you want a reduction in noise pollution levels, then let the loudest and persistent honker rush to his/her destination. And pray that he/she is rushing there to get laid. Amen.”

The AMRA has submitted the full report of the survey to the Underground Writers Group. They will propose a plan that will aim to create more noise in the bedroom and less on the roads.

About the Author: Ammi Maru is an Art Director in Advertising, the first art person to write a story here.

Want to write a humour story? Go ahead, send it to me at: dezymacedo@gmail.com

January 27, 2009

My feet taste really good

Fritz Gonsalves.

Before I start, let me clarify that I hold no prejudice against any community, religion and ethnic group. Indeed, there are only two things that enjoy my biased hatred - cats and bananas. But the brain is a different ball game. It can manufacture new opinions and perceptions at will. One bad incident and it cooks up a new one. And then the mouth awaits eagerly for the flimsiest of provocations to vomit it.

In my case the problem is further aggravated because I suffer from the my-feet-taste-really-good syndrome; it’s basically a version of foot-in-the-mouth disease and just as incurable.

The story starts with Raj Thackeray’s anti-Bhaiya rhetoric. I don’t subscribe to it. But it takes only one tiring day, a rude auto rickshaw driver to create a new opinion. So, on one real painful day I’m waiting for a rickshaw to go back home. It’s not quite late, but I’m dead tired. And the waiting is taking its toll on me. Finally one arrives, I ask him to take me to Andheri station, he replies back in his Bihari tone, “Nahi jana”. I ask why. He says, because he doesn’t feel like it. At that moment I loose my temper, I start abusing him, he starts abusing me. I start hitting him, he starts ducking. After sometime we are tired and decide to part ways. The altercation leaves me even more tired. I decide to walk up to my friends place and crash there.

Once at my friend’s place my anger subsides. My friend, his wife and I enjoy a hearty dinner. And as it was still early to sleep, I decide to read the newspaper. That’s when a common friend of ours rings the doorbell. Accompanying him are his wife, younger brother, cousin brother and cousin younger-brother. We know all of them, so it's cool. There was only one problem - they were all from Bihar and somehow it slipped my mind.

We all chatted for some time, had a few rounds of whisky and then the conversation turned to taxi drivers in Singapore. (The visiting friend had just returned from Singapore.) He told us how he was overcharged and duped by a taxi driver in Singapore. He also says the taxi driver was rude. This was the sign I needed to vent my anger again. I started then and there, “I am sure the taxi driver must have been a Bihari…bastards always over charge and behave as if they doing us a favour... sala you need to beg them…bh*****od, everyone of them should be given solid phatka on his head.”

I didn’t stop there.

My victims were no longer restricted to rickshaw driver. The whole of Bihar became the target of my foul-mouthed abuse. I spared none: Yadav, Singh, Kumars, Lalu, Patna, Chat Puja, Dhobies, Uncle, Aunties, everyone. I went on and on. Not realizing even once that majority of people in the room were Biharis.

Anyways, I finally stopped, emptied another glass of whiskey and went to sleep. The next day my friend’s wife innocently asked me, “Do you have any clue what you did yesterday?” I pretended to be thinking. I looked at my friend, he was smiling. “You were abusing the whole of Bihar,” he said. “Ya! So I had reasons!” I spat back. He said, “And where do you think all our friends are from?”

Oh shit, oh shit! I really felt sorry. I thought I should call and apologise, but my friend said, “Look they understood it wasn’t personal. You were just venting your anger on a rickshaw driver. I think its cool, just don’t do it again. And if you do, don’t do it in my place.”

I said I’m sorry and decided to be careful.

Fast forward to first weekend of the new-year. A Bengali friend of ours decided to throw a weekend party. Unlimited booze and unlimited chatting. We are all bashing Mr. George Bush. It was my turn to say something. I started, “The problem with Bush is that he is from Texas. Now you see Texas is basically the Bhi”…pause…longer pause…I froze…looked at my friend…he had this ‘not-again-dude’ look…he knew exactly what was coming out of my mouth. I looked at my Bihari friend, he was telepathically saying, “This time you are dead.” Another friend of mine was giggling. I was in this about-to-vomit position with a complicated ‘Bhi’ hanging loose from my mouth.

I still had to complete the sentence. Others were waiting. I quickly started looking for option. B stands for Bombay, Broadway, Bimbisaar Nagar, Bhilai, Bingo, Bishen Singh Bedi, Biwi ho toh aisi, Biwandi, Brinjal..…nothing could replace Bihar.

There is only one Bihar and there is only one Texas. And in my inebriated opinion, you can only interchange them with each other. There is no other replacement.

That’s when a guardian angel appeared and whispered something to me.

I had no other option. I had to un-swallow my foot. “Yes, yes, exactly, it’s like Bhopal. Y’know, small town and stuff, inhabited by uncivilized people and assholes.” Everyone else agreed.

I saved my skin just in time. My friend eyes were saying, “So, smart ass, nikal gayi sab akad?” I smiled back and quietly went to refill my glass.

My friend and I are both from Bhopal.

(nikal gayi sab akad?....means, all your pomp and pride has vanished?)

About the Author: Fritz Gonsalves is a writer with O&M. In his free time he is a food critic and a very precise food critic - he don't go looking for adjectives to descibe food; he just eats it.

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