Sunday, 23 February 2014

Some People Are Very Serious

‘Hey Bhaiti! I’ve heard that your class 12th board results are out’

‘Yes Aunty, but my performance is really bad’

‘It’s OK dear, what’s the total percentage you got?’

‘Please leave it aunty, it’s not good enough’

‘C’mon, you know results really doesn't matter. If one is really talented then he will definitely go quite far. You can really tell me how much you scored’

‘Sorry Aunty. I'm really feeling shy and it’s genuinely not good enough’

‘C’mon …’

The conversation continued for some time and then ultimately I had to  reveal my disaster.

'Oh No! So less? Your parents must be so upset, I really feel sorry for them'

I wanted to give her a deadly punch over the phone itself, but I simply disconnected the call. I knew it very well that she seriously suffered from the seriousness disease. 

‘Unki condition Bohut Hi Serious Thi’ and I didn’t say her anything rude.

On the other hand one of my good friends from a different school scored 84%, but his parents weren't very happy, as they expected him to top which he couldn't. Why some parents are so damn serious? Somehow I managed to get admission in an Engineering college. I really don't want to comment anything about how much engineering I learned during my 4 years of college, but I thoroughly enjoyed my life like hell. It made me bold enough, damn caring and much more confident in life. After my college days I was prepared enough for any damn challenge. I also managed to get a job in software development. Well, I didn't have another choice, but the industry is open to all. If someone can't manage to get a job anywhere else, they should definitely try their luck in software and they wouldn’t be disappointed. The work is usually cool, but during the appraisal time, suddenly  everyone seems to suffer from the seriousness disease. Every year the management usually have some real hard time to cure this epidemic disease at various levels.

I used to stay in an apartment along with few of my college friends. We tried to continue our hostel kind of life out there as well. Every evening the house used to come alive once everyone returned from office. I just loved to listen heavy metal in little louder volume, specially whenever I was in mood. Well, usually most of the time I was pretty much in mood. Our adjacent neighbor had some serious problem with us. They had got a joint family with Husband, Wife and the Parents. The wife was beautiful and looked quite hot as well, but she was so damn irritating. Her smiling face immediately used to turn serious whenever she encountered any of us. Well,  I've no idea why some serious families hate the bachelors so much?

It was only 10 PM and that too it was a weekday. We were enjoying some wonderful time together. The big bottle was still half filled and one by one, everyone started to play our favorite tracks, from Guns N' Roses to Iron Maiden, from romantic Kishore Kumar songs to recent Bollywood blockbusters. Suddenly out of the blue someone knocked the door.

‘Hey guys! it would be really great if you could reduce the volume. Also please gossip among yourselves in a civilized manner. Actually, all good and decent people lives out here', the nearby uncle came and gave us those shits.

Some of us wanted to show the real engineer inside us, but few other sensible friends handled the situation deliberately. We already knew ‘Uncle Ki Condition Bohut Serious Hai’, the Uncle seriously suffered from seriousness disease. 

The neighbors were die-hard God fans and every morning they used to enjoy their favorite devotional songs in loud volume. Weekend mornings were quite irritating for us, but then we never had the habit of complaining. On one such occasion, I was so frustrated with those annoying holy sounds, that I opened the window and started to play some real fucking metal on my computer. I placed the loudspeakers just near the window and increased the volume. The Devilish melody was able to suppress those God sounds and I went back to sleep. After that incident, the early morning holy spirits never disturbed me any further. 

During the weekends and particularly whenever our apartment used to be jam-packed with guests, the seriousness of the neighbors were at peak and they kept visiting our door till dawn. Their seriousness was not only limited to that and sometimes it crossed beyond their threshold level. On such occasions early morning our landlord used to visit us. He used to ask us to vacate his house. I was quite disappointed that even our landlord also severely suffered from the same seriousness disease.

Years later we got matured with time, but it seemed many neighbors still severely suffered from the same old disease. One weekend I and Mriganka were enjoying at Sinha's place. As usual one of his neighbors wasn't very happy about our togetherness. Anyways, by that time we were pretty much used to such tragedies. We continued our party and after 1 AM we didn’t receive any further warning that night. But suddenly at 3 AM the doorbell rang and unfortunately for our nightmare, it was police that time.

‘Aap Logon Ki Condition To Bohut Serious Hai’ You guys are in big trouble. Everyone of you will have to undergo your medical tests. You guys are boozing at this odd hour and also disturbing the entire society. Come along with us, you morons’

‘Sir please, we didn’t do anything’

The condition of the police was very serious and after 10 to 15 minutes of negotiation, they finally settled for Rs 500 per head. As they were about to leave, we asked if we could continue our party.

One of the policemen smiled and said ‘As soon as I entered the house I noticed you guys weren't finished yet, the bottle was still not entirely empty. Well, you guys can continue, but we shouldn’t receive any more complains’

I felt little happy, at least, the condition of the policemen were not that critical. They didn't suffer so seriously from the seriousness disease.

Years later, one by one we got promoted from our bachelorhood. I realized that the society started to take me little seriously after that. When my wife got the good news, she consulted with a nearby hospital. The lady doctor out there looked happy, but she also got quite serious and asked my wife to immediately leave her job. Not only that, she even asked her to change our house, as we used to stay on second floor. She seriously asked her to avoid steps and shift to some other house on ground floor. My wife immediately consulted with one more doctor at Apollo Hospital. She was quite a well-know gynecologist with over 30 years of experience. She was pretty cool and asked her not to worry. She had a silent laugh when my wife asked her about shifting house. The doctor even told that she could very well continue her job and apply her maternity leave 15 days prior to the delivery.

We're blessed with a baby girl. Jia is now 2 years old and few months ago, we were little serious about her teeth. None of her teeth appeared even after we celebrated her first B'day. During those days we came across several people who seemed to have suffered from chronic seriousness disease. They used to terrorize us with their teeth Gyaans like "There's serious calcium deficiency in her. Some used to tell us about vitamin deficiency. But every time we visited the doctors, they seemed to be so cool. They used to say that everything was so normal about her and there's nothing to worry. For some babies teeth come up little late"

Later whenever we encountered such serious people, I used to ask them "Did you see any human being on earth without teeth?"

Well, they felt little embarrassed and usually used to change the topic.

When for the first time we noticed a tiny diamond inside Jia's mouth, we felt so happy. Well, it happened when she was on her 18th month. Now she got quite a few of them.

When Jia was 10 months old, Anjali joined back office. We had to keep her in a nearby creche for the entire day. Some serious people, particularly few very caring and sincere aunties were quite disturbed with that. Initially she cried a lot, but it didn’t take her much longer to adjust herself in such a friendly and lively environment. She made many new friends and she really enjoys her time out there. But still some people think that we’re cruel enough to keep our little angel in such a place. They seriously believe that we’re not good parents.

This post is written for Indiblogger’s "Condition Serious Hai!" contest, in association with Cadbury 5 Star

Friday, 14 February 2014

How I met Anjali - 6

We had already encountered quite a few times, and we usually met pretty far from our college campus. Guwahati university campus was a perfect heaven for me and I used to feel little safer out there. I was sure my college wouldn't be there. Also, her college, as well as her hostel was quite near to the University. But day by day I was overcoming the fear. I started to become bold. I became so daring that sometimes after dark we even used to enjoy our evening stroll in that narrow and little exposed kind of road, just opposite to few of our engineering college hostels. With time, I developed a comfort zone with Anjali and even didn’t hesitate to visit her hostel as well. 

Aha, how can I ever forget those long, stressful and also little embarrassing kind of waits inside her hostel gate. Having a cellphone was like owning a BMW those days. I think in today’s world, in exactly similar kind of situation, guys would make 100 calls or rather 100 missed calls waiting for that long. Most of the time when I used to visit her hostel, she would come and ask me to wait. Their hostel had a small waiting area and fortunately few chairs were also there. I simply used to wait and wait, totally clueless about what the hell she was doing inside. Sometimes she used to send one of her friends to entertain me, might be when she realized the fact that she's actually very late. Who knows? She might have wanted to confirm whether I had already left or was still waiting like a cow. There was a room pretty close to the waiting zone and the girls inside always used to keep the window open. It was quite embarrassing to wait for that long in such an uncomfortable environment, but with time I got used to it. Every time I got to hear those laughter sounds originated from that room, my heart beats used to accelerate. I always thought the girls were laughing at me. So many visitors used to come and go, but I continued to wait. 

One afternoon we simply entered the Jalukbari Park, the nearest park in the city from our college campus. Well, that was quite a dangerous and vulnerable place to hang around, but it didn't bother me much that time. I felt that was a totally different category of park and we didn’t rise to that level yet. That was for the first time I entered that place. It had a big pond inside and many couples were enjoying their boating out there. At first instance I thought to give it a try, but that would have been a suicide. The pond was clearly visible from the main road and it wasn't difficult to recognize the boaters in broad day light from there. Also our college bus always used to pass from there. The park had lot of bushes and I was quite fascinated to see few fancy looking umbrellas. Well, only the tip of the umbrella was visible in those bushes, but  after a closer glance I got the glimpse of two human looking species under it. Couples were holding each other tightly and were whispering. They were sitting so close to each other that sometimes even their lips connected. 

We thought to maintain some distance from such valentine kind of people. We were simply enjoying our casual kind of gossip. Anjali was born and brought up in Shillong. She said that her parents are originally from MP and they have many relatives in Raipur. 

“Where is Raipur?” I asked.

“It’s in MP.  It’s the capital of MP”

I found that very interesting and wanted to crunch some more fun out of that.

"So what is the capital of Chhattisgarh?"

She thought for a while and then replied "I think it’s Bhilai "

Then I asked her the capital of Jharkhand. She already started to get irritate.

"You came to showcase your geography knowledge or what?"

"At least you should know the capitals of all Indian states"

She asked me the capital of few North Eastern states and I answered them correctly. Then she asked me the same of few European countries and I couldn’t answer few of them. She blasted at me that even I didn’t know the capital cities of some of the well-known countries. I countered her and asked the capital of Goa. I was really enjoying the "shame-shame" game with her. Then all of a sudden she opened her water bottle and out of anger threw some water on my face. I was quite shocked and my t-shirt also got wet.

"What the hell you did just now?"

"You stop this nonsense or else I will throw more water on you"

I was very annoyed and was getting little ferocious too. I snatched her bottle and poured hell lot of water on her. Without saying anything she immediately took her bottle and left from there. That was a little embarrassing moment and few people already started to stare at us. I also started to walk behind her and in no time she was already outside the park. I shouted from behind and asked her to come back. She took a rickshaw and was going the way towards her hostel. Immediately I started to run and jumped on that rickshaw. I asked the rickshaw guy to stop. Anjali had a quarrel with me for next couple of minutes and then we again returned to the park.

How I met Anjali - 7

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Food On Credit

It seems food and credit has an age old association. I remember during my childhood days how my mom used to buy the groceries for the entire month on credit. Every month she used to make payment for the previous month. Quite often she used to take me for her horrific monthly shopping on Sundays. By the time we returned home, Sunday was already gone. But after my 8th grade I think I was no longer useful enough for my mom, as far as her marketing was concerned. When I joined engineering college it didn’t take us much longer to fall into the trap of credit. The Dhaba close to our hostel and the cigarette shop used to maintain register for almost every hostel guys. No one ever had to worry about our food and fag. Every time when we used to receive money from our parents it used to vanish in the first or at max 2nd week of every month. But it was never a problem as those registers never disappointed us.

Years later the story remained the same. Even now days also as soon as I receive my salary it disappears within a couple of weeks, mostly in making the payment of previous month dues and not to mention about my dreadful EMIs. Over the years I've become very much dependent on my credit card and usually I don’t carry cash with me. Well, I really hate going to ATM’s and because of this lousy habit I had encountered some annoying moments. Many times it happened that my wallet went completely void without even a single penny. In such situation when I use to visit any ATM, the machine usually would be out of service. Ultimately I’m able to withdraw cash in the 3rd or sometimes in the 4th ATM I visit. Earlier it was ultimate painful as the distance between 2 nearest ATM’s was huge. But now days situation has changed. There are hell lots of banks and hell lot of ATM's, but only my account always remains deprived of currency.

I remember one incident that happened few years ago. It was a Friday night and I came home little late from office. It rained cats and dogs that night. At around 10:30 PM my wife started to prepare food. All of a sudden she realized that there was not enough gas left inside the cylinder to continue the flame. We had a private gas connection those days with a single cylinder. We decided to order food from outside and collected few restaurant menus piled up in some corner of the house. 

"I don’t have a single penny with me. Do you have cash with you?" I asked my wife.

"No, I don't have cash with me. Why are you such an idiot? You always carry the card with you. Why the hell you didn’t withdraw money?"

I looked outside the window and it was quite impossible to go out in such terrible rain. Ours is a residential area and the nearest restaurant was quite far. Also in those days I didn’t have any vehicle. Out of desperation I started to shake the cylinder. Obviously, it didn’t work. It was already 10:50 PM and I tried my luck to order food online. That was for the first time I tried such a thing. Well, I used to do a hell lot of things online but food was something new for me. I was so delighted when I came across some websites through which we could have ordered online food. But most of the sites had only cash on delivery option. Then I came across one which claimed to deliver food till 11:30 PM. The website specifically mentioned that they deliver food even in drastic weather condition and on top of that the option of online payment was also there. We were so hungry and we ordered hell lot of things. I was so happy, such a rainy night with completely empty stomach. I was already mesmerized with the tempting smell of the food we just ordered. At around 11:30 PM all of a sudden the phone started to ring.

"Hello Sir, you have ordered food through our website"

"Yes, I did"

"Thank you for using our website Sir. Actually we are extremely sorry to say that at this point of time we will not be able to deliver your order"

I was totally demoralized "Why, what’s the problem?"

"As you are aware Sir, it’s raining very heavily in Bangalore at the moment"

"But in your website it’s clearly mentioned that you guys deliver even in drastic weather condition"

"Yes sir, we do. But at the moment as you can see it’s raining very heavily. Your money will be credited to your account in 2 to 3 working days"

What a KLPD that was. Fortunately we had bread inside the refrigerator and had to satisfy our hunger with bread and pickle.

Well, that was several years ago and after that we ordered online food countless number of times. I always prefer to pay using my credit card rather than cash on delivery. Old habit dies hard you see. From last couple of years whenever I ordered food from outside, most of the time I did it online. The online food industry is quite matured enough these days and it's only improving day by day. It's a competitive market and such companies often come up with exciting offers. Few days back I came across FoodPanda and instantly liked it. The website looks simple yet so attractive. They are fully operational in all major Indian cities and they have tie up with a wide range of restaurants and several other forms of modern eateries.

Well, I always prefer Indian food and sometimes pizza's for a change, but my wife enjoys continental food a lot. Whenever we order food we usually end up in some kind of a controversy. With such a great food ordering website like FoodPanda, we no longer require to waste our time browsing over the internet for ordering food of our choice. Right from authentic Indian delicacies to all forms of mesmerizing Pizzas, from SubWay to RollMaal, from Chinese to various other continental foods, one can order just anything from FoodPanda. Apart from 11 AM to 11 PM Toll-free customer care service they also have a live chat in their website. My experience with FoodPanda was really awesome and I frequently visit their site to look for latest exciting offers.

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