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Archive for the ‘Humour’ Category

Tamizh vaathiyaars (teachers) are great management gurus. Today, all of us may be in various parts of the world, building sound careers for ourselves. But one should never forget the contribution of those great men, who instilled precious lessons early in the learning process and made us better in what we do.

My 6th standard tamizh vaathiyaar known for his doctrines in life was in full form that day when he was evaluating one of my katturais (essays).

“This is wonderful stuff. Though you think you are a human being, you transform into a bull when asked to write in tamizh. And what you write is, well, just bullshit. Bullshit is priceless!”

To top the insult, he gestured with both his hands on his head, imitating the horns of a bull. Though fuming from inside, a  ‘Nanri ayya’ (Thank you sir) is all that I could muster then.

My 8th standard Tamizh vaathiyaar was a true-blue tamizhian, he used to dress only in veshti (dhothi) and his abuse list mostly consisted of words which were too pure for us to understand. How else could one explain ‘Karuvaattu mundam’? No, ‘Dry fish duffer’ will not do.

One day, he was teaching a lesson on cows, when he suddenly had an Arindam Chaudhari-esque transformation.

Sometimes life presents you with situations, when you are forced to come up with cowdung. What differentiates the good from the great is the fact that the greats do not hesitate to “bite the bullshit”, whereas the self-righteous good-s languish by their ideals.

Back then, I had reacted to these statements with expressions of yuck. I had even jumped at the first opportunity to escape from Tamizh and the Tamizh vaathiyaars and switched to French(!?!) in my 11th standard. I had to start working and experience a few years of bullshit to recognise the profundity of their arguments. Management lessons, all.

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“Please wear suits when you visit customers” was the boss’s instruction to Ritesh, who had joined us recently. Ritesh was supposed to travel with me for an assignment where we had to solve a few critical problems for the client. The day before we left, I accompanied him to this upmarket mall, where he got himself a brand new suit. Though it burnt a royal hole in his pocket, he was extremely proud of his latest acquisition.

We reached the client’s location and pored over their processes for the initial couple of days. On the third day, we were supposed to give a presentation with our findings to the client. Ritesh thought that it would be an ideal day to unveil his new suit. “Your suit looks great” I remarked. Eager to give him an opportunity and also because I was lazy, I offered him the chance to present our solution to the client. Ritesh was very happy with that and thanked me profusely.

He began the presentation very well. I was impressed with the way he was saying “We need to identify the root cause of the problem.” This sentence is a cliche that needs to be a part of every consultant’s vocabulary and I was glad that he was up to speed quickly. After 45 minutes, we broke for coffee. I appreciated Ritesh when we met at the loo and he seemed quite eager to wrap it up well. After the break, everyone assembled at the conference room, but Ritesh was nowhere to be found. After a full 10 minutes, he came rushing into the room. He apologized for the delay and completed the presentation. Afterwards, I asked him what was wrong.

“You know what” he said “In the loo, my zipper got stuck. I was not able to open it.”

“What!” I exclaimed “Its a brand new suit, right, that too the premium brand in town.”

“Yes man. It took me some time to figure out that the cloth lining had got stuck in the zipper. Initially it seemed funny. But later on, I started fearing for my future generations. You need to experience it to believe it. Frustrating, you know!”

“Probably, you needed to identify the root cause of the problem faster” quipped a person from the client’s team. It took quite a while for the guffaws all around to subside.

But Ritesh was not impressed, neither with the joke nor with his new suit. Then, as a good team mate, I had to quote the incident of my jeans getting badly torn at the wrong place while I tried jumping the railway tracks at Bangalore Cantonment station to liven him up again. Suitable, no!

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The Aubergine Lesson

Location and laziness combined with ‘Oor kannu’ resulting from me having a good time travelling around the world, conspired against me and forced me to survive on Pizza, Pasta, their cousin brothers and onnu vitta chittappas every time I come to Italy. Usually, tomato does a Kamalagaasan and takes various forms to accompany the pasta. I was sick and tired of tomato, till yesterday happened.

I decided to try out a new restaurant near my hotel. They had a vegetable accompaniment for pasta and it was not tomato. Aubergine is what they called it. I did not know what it was, but I was assured that it was not tomato. So I ordered pasta with aubergine and basil sauce and while waiting for the dish to make its appearance, I ran a flashback in italics.

When it came to leaves and vegetables, I was pretty much a cow. There are tales in my family about how I would pilfer the ‘Tulasi’ (basil) offered as ‘prasadam’ in temples from everyone else. In my ‘iruvathu anju varusha’ (25 years) service as a vegertarian from the southern part of India, I have been exposed to a variety of edible seeds, roots, stems and tubers and have unashamedly devoured most of them. But there is one vegetable I hate. Brinjal. Yes, that devil in dark purple attire, with a star twig attached to its brainless head. Best efforts of mom have failed to make me eat it. My dad almost succeeded once when he made an exemplary ‘Kathirikkaai deep fry’, oozing with ghee, oil and spices. But even he had to accept defeat when I rejected it after the first two pieces. So in a fit of unbound rage mixed with limitless paasam, my mom made a prediction 

“One day you will eat brinjal willingly, my son

And for neglecting our advice, you will feel like a bison”

Inspite of the gargantuan struggles that I have encountered with food while travelling outside India, I have always been thankful that the damn vegetable is not very popular outside the subcontinent. I was ready to live on tomato for months, but cannot eat brinjal for even a day.  

The pasta with aubergine arrived like the Tamizh Cinema Police, after the flashback was over. I cleaned up the plate within minutes. Today I checked what aubergine was. I am a tomato and Mom is God.

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Sheet happens!

Overheard at work today:

There are many sheets in this excel file. First sheet reminds us of our responsibilities. Second sheet is the list of tasks to be carried out. Third sheet discusses planning. Fourth sheet is an amalgamation of the first three sheets. The sheets are ok till now. But the stuff gets too heavy fifth sheet onwards. This is too much for the day even for a strong and diligent man like me. I might need to drop those sheets after all.

Seems like a routine project meeting, right. Not when you are bored at work and looking for some entertainment. So just imagine the fun when the speaker missed the stress on the ‘ee’ part of the word ‘sheet’. Happens!

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I Stray V

Goundamani: Dei Gearbox thalaya! Two wheeler license kedaikka enna da pannanum?

Senthil: Ettu podanum Nei.

Goundamani: Apdiya. Appo Andhra Meals Hotella license kedaikkanumna Pesar-Ettu podanuma.

Senthil: Ponga Nei. Ettu eppadi ne pesum?

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Namma Captain da Peteru…

Brilliant!

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Racist are us

To the average onlooker on the Jet Airways Mumbai-Doha flight, it seemed like he was reading a novel. Only the keenest of observers could have made out that he was into his favourite travel pastime – overhearing conversations. This time it was between 2 passengers in his adjacent seats. They were apparently searching for one Mr. Krishnamohan aka Kitty.

 

Pass1: Edoi Kobi, Kitty kittiyo? (Hey Gopi, Did you manage to find Kitty)

Pass2: Enthaa athu, repetition? (Why are you repeating the same thing twice?)

Pass1: <wild laughter> Kitty name-aakkum. (The first Kitty was the name)

Pass2: Oh <high emphasis>. Yes yes. Kitty kitty. He is in my kitty.

<More thunderous laughter>

 

Chengizkhan turns a page. Now ears pinned to the front seat.

 

Pass3: Dei machi. Air hostess super illa. Tamizh madiri theriyuthu. (Dude. The air hostess seems hot. Is she Tamizh?)

Pass4: Illa machi. She is not Tamizh. She is Sneha. <Gloating laughter, enjoying his shitty joke.>

 

Time rolled on. It was time for food. The mealcart reaches Chengizkhan.

 

Sneha, the hostess: What would you like to have sir?

CK: Indian Vegetarian please.

Sneha: <Thinks this guy is a theraada case> Here you go sir. Anything to drink?

CK: Yes, anything.

Sneha: Excuse me sir, Anything to drink?

CK: I said anything will do.

Sneha: <Frowns. Notices CK’s ears pinned to the front seat> Any reason for the tilted head sir?

CK: Yes, I like to observe the gyration principles of the aircraft from various angles. Gives me a perspective of how the rudder swings based on the atmospheric conditions, especially when the pitch has moisture. I even try poking keys into the front seat.

Sneha: Thanks for the pitch report sir.

 

The cart moves to the seats in front of Chengizkhan.

 

Sneha: What would you like to have sir?

Pass3: Alcagaal (Alcohol) please.

Sneha: I will get it for you in a moment sir. Can you first tell me your meal preference please?

Pass3: <Unmindful of what she said> Yes yes, foreign brand only.

Pass4 interrupts: Machi, Englees kaaranunga ellaam saapta apparam thaan thanni adippaanunga. (Westeners drink along with or after the meal)

Pass3: Villangama irukke. Vaandi varaadu? Seri namakku enna, free thaane. (Seems weird. Wont they puke if they drink after meals? Anyways, I am not paying anything.) Non vegetarian please.

Sneha: Here you go sir.

 

Sneha comes back after a while and hands Pass3 a can of Heineken.

 

Pass3: <Chellam, I love you, I love you. Imitates Ghilli Prakashraj in his mind. But is still not satisfied. Turns to his friend> Enna machi beeeru. Hottu illiya? (Why are they giving beer. Dont they serve hot drinks?)

Pass4: Hottu-na tea coffeeya? <More shittier the joke, more resounding the laughter>

 

Chengizkhan’s neck was in a bad shape by now. He could not take it anymore. So he decides to focus his attention in a different direction.

 

Pass5: Orey Sandy, Meekku Kumaar gaaru thelusaa? (Hey Sandy, Do you know Mr.Kumar)

Pass6: Sandy-a. Nene Sandy raa. (Sandy? I am Sandy.)

Pass5: Sandy kaathu ra. Kumar-u. Last week, I read somewhere. He wanted to commit suicide, but his English was not good. So he ended by dyeing his hair.

<Needless to say, riotic laughter prevailed again>

Pass6: Oh vaada. I also read that story. That was crap raa. No truth in that. Some racist idiot has written it.

 

Chengizkhan was satisfied with the entertainment. He turned another page in his novel. He thought about Indians accusing foreigners as racist. ‘We are like that only’ he thought to himself and started to look out for fun in a different direction, and ofcourse in a different language. So racist of him, you see!

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