Friday, 26 September 2008

Introducing ME - Part 1

The fact that I haven’t updated this blog since a week, coupled with a paucity of topics to write on, has compelled me to write an introductory post about myself. It is quite surprising that there have been 13 posts and the self indulgent, self obsessive me hasn’t written about myself, but here goes.

Some trivia about me:

I was to be named Sheldon, but the mono syllablic Shawn was preferred.
I was shy (still am) and used to stammer when little.
I get awkward in the face of true, genuine sweetness.
I have a crooked right little finger.
I believe in chance, soul mates, single moment decisions.
I have been wearing glasses since the age of three.
I was an athlete in primary school and was totally into karate (side splits, front splits hehe).
My favourite sport is football (playing and watching).
I am an absolute sore loser, I just hate losing.
In the last 4 years, I remember losing just 4 bets.
I have a fetish for watches. On last count I had 11 of them.
I have eaten pig, camel, cow, goat, chicken, wild boar, porcupine, deer, octopus, rabbit meat.
Three countries I would like to visit are Peru, Egypt and Japan.
A lot of things I say are just to elicit a reaction.
I haven’t watched Sholay or Andaz Apna Apna completely.
Of all the friends I have, I take the advice of just 3 seriously.
I find it really hard to keep in touch with people.
I get nervous while speaking on the phone.
To an extent, I am quite detached.
My breakfast has been fried eggs, every single day, since the last 17 years.
I envy people who sing well.
The first movie I watched in a theater was Ajooba.
One thing I have gifted the most is earrings.
I prefer sleeping on the ground to sleeping on a bed.
I like coffee more than tea.
I remember cell numbers and dates very easily.
When 2 years old, I got lost at the airport in Singapore and was almost adopted by an English woman before my parents finally found me.
I first travelled by plane when I was 10 days old.
I don't know how to shave.
My favoruite ice cream flavor is choco chips.
My favourtie restaurant is Baghdadi.
I don't have a best friend (never did, never will).
I know how to cook dal, rice, omelette and make lassi.

Can’t think of anything more right now, but will continue with this when I am out of ideas again lol.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

A Wednesday - 3 on 5

'Apne college ne apne ko mama banaya.'

Our college was celebrating its 25th anniversary last Friday. A circular was put up on the notice board stating the various events that would take place on this 'auspicious and historic' day. At the end of the circular, as a foot note, was written 'This should not affect the academic functioning of the college in any way.' Not that we expected any better of our college. The only time we got a holiday was when some trustee died (God bless him, his soul I mean.)

So we all came to college on Friday only to find out that we were fooled. Had a non instructional day been announced in advance, no one would have turned up even if Heidi Klum was the Chief Guest. Not wanting to attend the function in the cramped auditorium, the Bakwaas Gang then decided to go to watch 'A Wednesday' as none of us was in the mood to return home immediately.

A Wednesday is one of the better films I have seen in recent times. It is fast and pacy. The storyline is crisp. The fact that none of us passed a comment till the least 15 minutes is a testimony to the pace of the movie. The twist at the end was unpredictable to say the least. Naseeruddin Shah acts splendidly as a 'face in the crowd'. Anupam Kher plays the role of the cop to perfection. But like all other Hindi movies, this one is a bit cliched too. Naseeruddin Shah's speech at the end of the movie is long, tiring and highly repetitive (reminds me of the way I write my papers in which I repeat the main point after every 3 other points). The humour is sad! The news hostess is neither preety nor does she speak well. That VJ Gaurav, who plays a superstar in the movie, over acts so much that he actually puts SRK to shame. In spite of all this, I would still give the movie 3/5, the reasons being:

1. It gets over within 2 hours.
2. There are no songs in it.
3. You can see my building in the movie :)

Saturday, 13 September 2008

The Face in the Water

Location: Alif Fitness Centre (now Alif Cyber Café)

Date: Summer of 2003

Characters involved:

Nihaal Merchant aka Vicky (*** kgs)

Shawn Francis aka Shawney (that’s me :P 85 kgs)

Female building friend (can’t mention her name and weight here for obvious reasons!) Let’s just call her Q!

The fitness trainer (don’t remember his name)

Vicky and I had just completed our tenth standard board exams (and thought that we had conquered the world, because that is how hyped up the board exams were). The papers had gone off extremely well (they had too after the long hours of time we had put in studying) and the next thing on our minds was to lose that extra weight (and boy was it extra). After all, in another two months time, we would be going to college, our uniforms would be replaced by jeans and tees (purchased by my mom and sister, who don’t quite trust my choice) and it was mandatory to look your very best. So we had decided to hit the gym. To lose weight, to build muscle and get everything else that a gym promised you.

Trainer (to the three of us): “Burn 200 calories on the treadmill, then cycle for 10 minutes at 8 km/hr and do 5 sets of 20 crunches. After you are done with that, you can leave”

Five minutes later,

Vicky (drenched in sweat): ‘Shawney, 100 calories burn kar liya. Bahut ho gaya. Aaj se kam khayega. Chal abhi crunches maar ke nikal jaate hai. Sham ko cricket khelega. Woh cycling ke barabar hi hai.’

Shawn: ‘Dude, your weight is more so you burned 100. I have just burned 70. Lekin tu barabar bola. If we don’t eat, we need not do this treadmill stuff. Aaj crunches bhi nahi karte hai, man nahi ho raha hai.’

Vicky: ‘Theek hai. Lekin kal sab kuch karte hai ha.’

Shawn: ‘Ya dude 100%’

Vicky: ‘Chal usko bol ke nikalte hai.’

Shawn: ‘Arey, abhi bolega toh maloom padega usko ki humne kuch kiya nahi hai. Bees minute thak bait the hai AC main. Phir nikhal the hai.’

Twenty minutes later,

Shawn: ‘Sir, all done, we are leaving.’

Trainer: ‘Theek hai, kal milte hai.’

Shawn, Vicky: ‘Bye Q, we are leaving.’

Q: ‘Ya bye, but guys you’ll can fool the trainer but you are cheating yourself. At least to your own self try and be true.’

She then continues cycling with renewed vigour.

Vicky (laughing): ‘Chal nikalte hain, nahi toh aur sunaiyegi.’

It was a comment that I would have otherwise just laughed at and ignored. But I really don’t know what was wrong with me that day. What she told me, kept worrying me. I decided on that day that I would follow (or at least try to follow) her advise.

It has been five and a half years since and I can now say that I have followed her advice more often than not. Starting from the next day itself, not only did I do the exercises religiously, I also went on morning walks. By the end of two months I had lost 10 kilos. Moving on, I tried never to do things just so that I get accepted or because it is ‘cool’ to do so. I have never bothered about the label on my clothes. Haven’t slung my bag on one shoulder, just because that’s the way it is supposed to be done in college. Didn’t speak with a fake accent in junior college just because every other person sounded like an NRI. I unabashedly admit to liking romantic songs even though I get the ‘you are a weirdo’ look whenever I make that statement. Never felt the urgent need to go clubbing or blow smoke rings in the air. I sleep at ten (sometimes earlier) and get up at six and really don’t care if you think I am a geek. Have tried as much as I could to be true to myself. Yes, there have been times when my motives haven’t been right, but I have learnt from them and moved on. And now when I look at my reflection (in the water, mirror or wherever), I am satisfied!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

NIght School

The only times that I have been awake past 11pm have been when my building friends have dragged, forced or emotionally blackmailed (dosti ke khatir) me into going out with them for our famous 'dinner and drives'. This blog entry is titled 'Night School' because of the things I have learnt between 11pm to 4am. So here goes:

- The barricades put by the traffic police on the road are so that you drive past them slowly, not to test you maneuvering skills.

- When the cop asks for your license, you don't hand him both your 2 wheeler and 4 wheeler ones and say, "Uncle, aap hi dekh lo kaunsa wala chahiye."

- Never send two Maharastrians on a bike.

- Playing dumb charades at 3 in the morning at Nariman Point is an offence.

- 'Mohan Joshi hazir ho', 'Tera byah kab hoga, Ganga?' and 'Tere jism ke pyaar par bebas parwana' are names of movies.

- Jimmy Boy is not a 'family restaurant'.

- Nariman Point to Chowpatty is not a 10 minute walk.

- A 30 minute waiting time invariably means 75 minutes.

- Driving a bike which doesn't have papers, without a license is not a good idea, specially when the only Marathi you know is 'kaka, jau de na'

- At Koyla's, it takes 2 hours for your order to come.

- The underdog wins (not only in movies, but in car races too!!)

- 14 people can fit into one Maruti Gypsy.

- Don’t come home at 5 am after telling your parents that you are going for a short drive at 10 pm unless you want to see how 12 set of parents look in their night suits standing in the building lobby or you want to experience what it feels like to be escorted by a police jeep.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Random musings

~ I thought devotional songs had hit an all time low, when last year I heard 'Morya re' being sung to the tune of 'Kajra Re' at a Ganpati Mandal. Sadly, this year it has gotten worse. The local mandal was playing 'Pappu can't dance, saala' when I passed by this evening.

~ There are times in your life when you feel like asking the person standing next to you to kick you in the backside. A similar feeling I had, when I forgot my favourite teacher's birthday. And when that happens one day before your results and four days before that same teacher's term test, you wish your own legs were flexible enough! Ouch! So like everyone else, this semester I had to wait for the results to be displayed on the net! Sigh!

~ This is what long hours of chatting on Yahoo messenger can do:
Was talking to my friend on the building intercom.
Friend: "So what you doin' tomorrow?"
(my cell phone rings)
Shawn: "Dude, cell ringing. Ttyl, tc, bye"

~ Was supposed to collect my fee receipt, get my marksheets attested and go and see a counsellor this week. Have postponed all that to next week now. I think the Oxford Dictionary should have my picture next to the meaning for the word 'procrastinate'.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Things that I learnt from 'Rock On'

~ Life main compromise toh karna hi padta hai.

~ You can have a palacial house, a wife who is cute, beautiful and sweet all at the same time, a profile that looks strikingly similar to Hrithik Roshan, know the pulse of the stock markets AND STILL NOT BE HAPPY

~ The orchestra at a dandiya concert gets paid Rs. 30,000 per night.

~ You can 'watch' an audio casette.

~ If you are rich and successful, you have to have gotten lucky.

~ If you are Catholic, you roam about in shorts, wear a cross and speak Hindi like Rachel Shelley in Lagaan.

~ Rock band members either have long hair or no hair.

~ Bald guys get good chicks too (!!!!)

~ Anu Malik hasn't changed one bit (he was complimenting Luke on originality!!!)

~ Girls move on faster than guys.

~ Every Hindi movie has to have a song in the first 10 minutes.

~ A storyline of 1 hour can be stretched to more than 2 hours by adding meaningless songs, pauses and flashbacks.

~ The film ka crew is highly optimistic (they expect people to actually buy the CD!! For songs like Sindbad went on a boat and do aur do paanch kyun nahi, aasman geela kyun hai)