Me Brit Obsession

Ever since I could call me self a lad it’s been a blighty existence. Was born polarised with me undying hate for the blimey Brits. Hated their guts and would loved to have taken each of them down one of those dirty Southall alleys and kicked some white cockney yellow. The mention of the British would wind me up like an old Geordie seeing his pet Newcastle getting the Queen’s thrashing by some lowly unheralded Conference boys. I couldn’t swallow the fact that those sorry bobs were allowed to pillage our country like some village pub. In this constant hatred for these hapless half wits I suddenly discovered a messiah sent straight from Edinburgh royalty. They pranced in shining red and no they were not that sodding Rudolph the old gaffe. These were pure blooded, steeped in Victorian legend warriors. I am talking about those lads from Manchester (not actually Manchester but from a place I call, The Temple), Manchester United.

I lost me Indian citizenship and became a tax paying Mancunian. These were no roadside, showboating, all shirt no trousers football club (Clearly referring to Arsenal). These were a bunch of guys brought together by the Queen and the Earl to pump some hope back in these bunch of no use ragamuffins who had an entire 20 miles to call their own. The Brits have taken part in more wars then they have knickers which has left them in a very disillusioned and shoddy little corner of our world. Yet Margaret Thatcher’s ghost will let you know that they have the greatest football league in the world. I aint one to disagree with that all conquering declaration or it will be ‘off with me head’. The Bar n Clay Premiership is the tight lipped white man’s best contribution to the world (considering it has more of the world than the Brits in it) and its greatest kid has surely been the Red Devils. When they walk onto that patch of green called Old Trafford, the ‘Daily Mail’ reports that George Bush actually grows some ****s, Marks and Spencers shuts down, the dimwits at the Queen’s gates actually feel something in their pits, a small village called Wortherstirtescheshire suddenly wakes up from its slumber, some men in blue across in Manchester suddenly realise all their wives are sleeping in the barn with the wrong horse, some dodgy Merseyside goons wake up to realise that they may not ‘walk alone’ but they surely’ sleep alone’ and finally in a small French village called ‘The Emirates’, an Arse (Wenger) promises to emulate the Red Devils next year.

And then as the whole nation holds their yellow bellies, eleven men begin to restore some dignity into what is an empire that has had its ‘sun set over it’. They glide like warriors would have in the days when being a King or Queen actually mattered in that island surrounded by bolshie. Young kids sit glued to their telly with Sky TV bringing patriotism into a country which still doesn’t know if its America’s b***h or c**t, it teaches kids to aspire to be something better or atleast teach that obese bloke to beat the Asian kid, who he racially abuses, in class, and not in the playground. They try to inspire a nation to look beyond WAGs, the Tories and a forgotten history to a new future where a low ass, dole collecting Humphrey Dickinson can sit up and be proud.

So stop regaling in those Russian roubles, Arabic dhirams and those Yankee dushbag owners. Stop talking about those 500 million pound signings and 600 million pounds debt. Stop calling it the best league and then recalling those statements the moment no English team makes it to the semis of the Champions League (Fulham are in the Europa league final and a mighty cheers for that), just sit back and hold that mug of beer (atleast you farts got that right) and tune into a Man Utd game, it may not always be pretty but it will sure make you want to get out there and do something worthwhile. Make your Queen proud before one of those nitwit sons or grandsons get the crown, coz then you will have nothing left to be proud about. And yeah Gordon, stop getting your pants Brown.

PS – Sincere respect to Jeremy Clarkson, James May, Richard Hammond, The Beatles, Guy Ritchie, Kiera Knightley, Aston Martin and Jaguar. Fiji is a part of the commonwealth still, I think. You guys may as well migrate there, save some face I say.

a one morning stand

‘Are you going to do this or should I?’
She had green eyes, a slight twinkle in them which adequately hid her deep seated despair and exploding paranoia. Her name was Tania and beneath all her exuberance now there was a silent prayer, pleading with the lord.
‘I think it makes more sense if you go. He won’t make a big deal then.’
Aakash was calm and collected. Not because he found himself in situations like these often but because he just always was. He didn’t want to overreact now and nor did he want to get all excited like Tania. As far as he was concerned there was nothing wrong and they both should just talk and the previous night wouldn’t seem that scary anymore.
But he couldn’t be more wrong.
Same old story..
Boy meets girl in an upmarket pub.. guy too smart for his pants..girl too hot for her heels..sparks fly..they dance, they drink..they drink a lot, they kiss a lot..they lose their bearings, they lose their all seems fine, its an adventure..nothing to lose, all to gain..its just one night..the rest clears itself the next morning..the world isn’t the same anymore..same old, same old.
‘Really? I’m the girl and you want me to go?’
‘Well I can’t use what you need to buy. I won’t tell you to buy a pack of condoms so how can you expect me to buy these tablets.’
‘If only you had bought a pack of condoms last night or atleast one, we wouldn’t be standing here.’
The funny thing was that if they had been sensible enough to do that the previous night they would not have been standing here. Aakash would have been at work in his bright and snazzy office where he was the National Creative Director of a leading Ad agency. With three awards for his recent Nike print campaign, Aakash was on top of the world. Perspective and clarity had set in. A little haze, some smoke and a loss of inhibition had brought it upon him.
Tania was a journalist with a city tabloid which had taken celebrity gossip to not only the bedrooms of its readers but also of the people they reported. The irony for some reason, though abstract, was sending chills across Tania. She knew better than to be in a situation like this. She had warned and preached and begged many a friend to be careful of this very night and especially this day. It had all come apart.
‘There are too many people there. I am used to buying it from a departmental store where you can easily put it along with all your other stuff and not have too many eyebrows being raised.’
‘But Tania we don’t have that luxury today. We both messed up last night. We just got to move on with this and get done with it.’
She didn’t like his tone one bit. I mean a little compassion wouldn’t hurt. But he sounded like a god the previous night. How can men change so easily the moment the sun rises? A question no woman has been able to answer yet. She wished all this hadn’t happened but a small part of her thought the previous night had been magical. In his arms she felt alive again. Her job, her life and her friends made her forget reality. With him she felt real again, one with herself and one with him. Aakash felt like a guy she could have spent her life with. He was fun, extremely funny, a great looker, intelligent beyond imagination and amazing in bed. She really couldn’t ask for more but then maybe she was looking for something more and the way the night had unfolded worried her. For all her broad minded thinking, she wanted a guy who would take care of her and atleast buy her a bunch of pills if she asked him to.
‘The more time we waste the more pointless this entire exercise becomes.’
Aakash just couldn’t understand why he needed to do this. He also couldn’t believe he had been so reckless. He had been there before and he had come out alive. But this time was different. Tania was not just another girl. He remembered every moment of the previous night so vividly. From the moment he offered her a drink at the bar to unlocking the door to his house to feeling her hair in his fingers and then feeling her body in the darkness and then seeing her face in the moonlight which came through the window. He would never forget the look she had on her face at that moment. For the first time it felt so right. He had never expected to feel like this with anyone because he felt love was something he wasn’t ready to experience. Wait! Why was he suddenly thinking of all that? Solve the problem. Move on.
They finally walked together to the store and stood at the back of the 3 customers that were at the counter and kept looking around waiting for them to go. Eventually they walked up to the counter and stood in silence expecting the other to speak.
The pharmacist looked at them blankly and then looked at Tania for some reason as if he knew why they were there. Aakash laughed a bit in his head and conveniently turned to join the pharmacist in staring at Tania. Caught in between the stares Tania couldn’t stand her ground anymore.
‘ I need contraceptive pills. I don’t know the brands because I usually never need to buy them because I usually sleep with men unlike last night.’
Touché! , thought Aakash to himself but he was a little offended.
As the pharmacist went to the back of the store to get the pills, Aakash edged closer to Tania.
‘I think when you were screaming out my name for about an hour last night, I was pretty sure you were sleeping with a man.’
Tania blushed but then collected herself. ‘I guess I was mistaken now, wasn’t I?’
The pharmacist returned with a whole host of packs. He laid them out in front of Tania and without saying a word asked her to choose. Tania was absolutely baffled and really didn’t care which one she picked but then she couldn’t afford to buy something that may solve the problem and create a new one. She picked the brand which she had recently read about in a magazine.
Aakash watched in wonder at Tania selecting, frowning, cursing under her breath and finally paying. He still remembered looking at her the previous night somewhere between his fifth beer and her third vodka while she kept speaking about her job. She had this wild innocence about her and an easy charm. She could make you want to grab her and kiss her yet you would want to just sit for days listening to her. Her hands moved around a lot when she spoke, her eyes flashed wildly yet she was always looking at you. Her eyes seemed to ask many questions which just didn’t need answers.
‘We are done here. Let’s go now.’
‘Let me drop you to work Tania.’
They both got into the car and began to find their way across town in silence. Tania’s mind was still lost in thoughts of the previous night. She couldn’t believe how gentle he was. She had been with such monsters in the past who just seemed to be competing with themselves. Aakash was just like a cool summer breeze but so easily and much to her excitement could change to a devastating blizzard. He had at no point let the passion die and he spoke to her like they had been together for ages. She remembered him talking about his childhood and found it extremely fascinating that he could be so animated and so open about all that he had done all his life. He actually liked talking and listening, a rare combination in a guy. She distinctly remembered the look he had on his face before he slept off. It was like he was asking her to stay.
She turned to look at him driving and thought she could see the same look on his face now.
The roads were completely free and Aakash was a little annoyed at the lack of traffic and for once wished it was there. If only he could speak to her about what was in his mind but she seemed extremely pissed off about the events of the last night. He knew she wouldn’t be too happy with any recollections or praises for what had happened. He really wanted to take this night beyond just a medical shop and a drop to her office.
As they drove into the building where Tania worked, she looked at him for a sign. She didn’t want this connection to end with a few contraceptive pills and a boring drive. These are not the memories she wanted to end it with but he seemed too determined to end it at that. She just wished he would turn, hold her hand and ask her not to go.
As she got out of the car, Aakash just hoped she would ask him for dinner tonight or atleast a coffee.
‘So thanks a lot Aakash. Hope you have a good day and meet you around sometime.’
‘Yup please don’t thank me. Take care.’
Their eyes mingled in each other’s for a while and then he pulled away and drove while she looked for a few moments hoping for him to stop. Aakash looked into the rearview mirror for a few seconds and then saw her walk away into the building.
Their one morning stand had come to an end...

My 21 year long journey

From the peaks of Ladakh

To a tent in an ammunition depot in the dark

Under a shady tree on a railway track in Binnaguri

To walking with a wild elephant in Bengdubi

Driving an imaginary bus in Karu

Sitting in the fog of Mirik lake with a view so true

Staring in wonder at the world’s largest brackish lake

In Glenarys, the world’s best bakery (according to me) eating a cheese cake

Going to Nepal for the day just to shop

On 280 kilometres of straight road in Rajasthan without stop

In the centre of India between the marble rocks

To run 15 steps into China I pull up my socks

With no electricity for 5 days in the lap of heaven

To learning to ride a horse at the age of eleven

Living in a bungalow opposite the place Snooker was invented

To seeing a Havelock sunrise on a hammock that was rented

Laughing at the sight of two donkeys at the gates of Pakistan

To the orange tree which through the year had fruit on it in Bhutan

In my life I have seen all this and more

Never will die my desire to travel, find and explore

The P.M.Somanna stepping stone to success/distress model

No amount of preparation could have prepared me for this. Yes the internship and the project and the expectations were all in the backburner. But was I ready to work in an office? Will I ever be ready? For all of you who have read my vision statement on my blog, you must know i’m extremely pleased and surprised that you have and if you haven’t then please do. In that I have outlined how I have always intended to get into advertising. One of the many boyhood dreams of mine, what with all the guts and glory that comes with it. But then the ‘grown up’ in me kept reminding me that I need to be more serious and fulfil the wish of the MBA and pick up the highest paying job you can get. No doubt that made sense, considering the demands of the banking system (the educational loan) and the expectations of the family and the ‘heavy scrutiny’ extended family.

But today as I sit behind this desk during my internship and type this out, i’m having an epiphany. A kind of collective wisdom seems to be settling like a parasite. The question it’s asking me is very simple, ‘Can you sit behind a desk and work for the rest of your life’? I am not casting any aspersions on the work I am doing as it is extremely interesting and quite the test of my abilities to think. But with the patience of an ambulance staring at a red light, I have come to understand that this body aint made for this kind of nitty gritty which leaves me with the compelling and extremely disturbing question, ‘What you gonna do now you dimwit, impatient dork?’ If you can’t sit behind a desk and work then in which world are you going to be allowed to fulfil all the expectations of the above mentioned ‘jury of expectations’?

I begin to wonder where all these realisations are going to steer my final intentions. I look around and observe the intensity with which everyone seems immersed in their work. Such a sense of purpose and direction which reminds me that those are two things I have never had all my life. It is something you need to develop and I decided to let them go by and in the greater scheme of things it may just come back to hurt me. But being a little purposeless has always helped me not enter any one way streets. The freedom to wander into the side streets and the ‘no entries’ has kept me alive and wandering. I have never been bogged down by my own expectations because they have always been limited and I have never looked at the topper in class and stared in awe. Just some respect and move on. I have never set myself any benchmarks or milestones or agendas. It is just a combination of short term goals spread over a long period of time.

So let’s figure out a plan now. The ‘working behind a desk’ seems to have its inherent problems, the money that may come up with it is mainly attractive so that I can pay off the loan and that leaves me with the search for the job that will really make me happy. We shall use the ever famous ‘P.M.Somanna stepping stone to success/distress model’:

STEP 1 – Find a way to park my bottom on a chair behind a desk for long enough


Continue work on my novel and send it out to publishers and keep my nerves crossed

STEP 2 – Learn to apply all that I am learning in school at work and figure out what works for me


Assuming the novel gets accepted, then go firing ahead or energise my blog and start doing some reviews

STEP 3 – Accept reality and move on with a life that is not so bad


Create my own reality and live the life I have always wanted to.

Hmmm... Watch this space.