Tag Archives: Movies

Arrested Development 1

I owe my self-pity to my inertia. I owe my inertia to my indecision. I owe my indecision to my complete lack of inspiration. Amen.

-Adbhut Bhave

And now for something completely different. I just started a sentence with a conjunction.  Apparently I can do that. The last time when I tried this, the result was abysmal. I just googled that last word. I tend to do that. To look clever you know. Not that I’m not. At least I think I am. Well let’s just say on most days I’m as clever as I am on the rest. There, I did it again.

I have a chilled beer next to me while I write this. And I’m enjoying it. I also have Explosions in The Sky bursting in my ears. The song playing right now is called The Moment We Were Alone. Incidentally I’m alone right now. And as usual I’m bored. I’m out of TV Shows and movies to watch. I finished watching Breaking Bad, Coupling and The Wire in the last few weeks. I watched Kick Ass last night right after watching Gus Van Sant’s enthralling film Finding Forrester. I’m a mile away from inspiration. The Wire was a nice find. It’s a brilliantly crafted HBO crime drama that ended a few years ago. Nothing more to say about it other than WATCH IT BEFORE YOU DIE!

On the brighter side I made a remarkable breakthrough in my research today. I am a graduate researcher by profession nowadays. I now know what I’m doing/ supposed to be doing/going to be doing in the coming months. It’s good to know what’s in store for you. The sudden dip in uncertainty is a welcome change. Oddly unsettling feeling though.

Coming back to the only constant in my life-beer. I’m a beer bottle collector now. I have a collection of thirty six different beers (empty beer bottles). The legality of this collection on campus is questionable. Admitting it on the internet is not. This collection has been a combined effort between yours truly and a fellow beer enthusiast-my roommate. We split the fortune spent on beer each month. And trust me when I say fortune. The one I’m drinking right now is called Boulevard Wheat. It is a cheap wheat beer with a very nice bottle. The most distinguished beer in my collection till date is called Rasputin. It is a dark lager with a mild bitter taste but a bitter-er hangover.

The song playing now is Yasmin the Light. If you have stuck around till now, go ahead and check it out. It won’t disappoint you.

Anna Hazare broke his fast today. God bless that man. I wonder what he ate first.

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Filed under Absurd, Film, Non Fiction, Opinion, stupid

Let there be Beer….

[This is a post about beer. Inevitably, it contains a lot of beerhetoric. It does not intend to challenge anyone’s take on alcohol consumption nor does it promote alcoholism. It is a product of an unhealthy urban youth’s genuine fascination about beer.]


“A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it’s better to be thoroughly sure.” -Czech proverb.

My fascination about beer can be traced back to my childhood. When my dad used to entertain his buddies, there used to be beer in the house. My brother and I used to have a laugh watching all the uncles make their half-hourly pilgrimage to the loo- each one longer than the one before. That time I didn’t get why all of them kept on drinking this particular aerated beverage knowing fully well that they’ll have to ‘go’ again before grabbing the next one. It seemed so pointless. The whole exercise seemed ridiculous. It was one of life’s greatest mysteries for me. But in time when I started doing such pilgrimages on my own, some how life was simple again.

The truth be told- my dad bought me my first beer. Not a sign of bad parenting but purely awesome parenting. A fact my drinking buddies hate, as they have to go through an entire stack of mints before going back home, while I have to go through only half of it. My first impression of beer was- absolute piss. But like most Coen Bros’ movies, it grew on me. I’ll always remember the first pint that I actually managed to enjoy. A feeling of unfounded joy had washed over me. My jaws had clenched and unclenched with every sip. As the can in my hand started feeling lighter, so did I. It was the best 40 bucks I ever spent.

Most of the times, beer invokes extreme opinions among liquor enthusiasts. You either like beer or you don’t. And you can’t just like beer. You love it. A mild acquaintance with beer is like being half pregnant. It is impossible. Once you develop a taste for it, it has a power over you. It is not addiction. I mean I won’t sell my treasured watch just to get hold of a pint. Its just that every once in a while, the mysterious unsettling feeling that nags you day in and day out can be easily fixed by a chilled glass of refreshing beer. The feeling of guilt or rejection can be washed down just as easily. One can even cleverly say that a beer in hand is worth two in the fridge.

Now as you start drinking it more often, you start learning the finer nuances of the art of beer drinking. You can tell what variety of peanuts goes well with which brand. Which beer when served cold is best with rock n roll. The number of pints it takes to catch up with already drunk lunatics. It is almost an exact science. You can tell so much about a person from the way he drinks beer. If he gulps down the first couple of pints and starts looking for the basin- he’s a greedy rookie. If he doesn’t touch the cold sparkling glass for half an hour- he has recently visited a dentist. And if he steadily keeps the pints coming, we have a true pro. There are so many! I’ll save the others for my stand up routine.

One thing that I have expertly noted is that beer has never been out of fashion. Scotch was and always will be a royal drink. But it has had its share out of the limelight when the Russians brought with them the colourless and allegedly odourless vodka. With the tequilas and bourbons fighting their way up the liquor menu, beer has remained like an interesting looking regular at the end of the bar. This guy (the regular) is always on a first name basis with the bartender. And by one look at him you know that this fella is well travelled and has many a story to tell. This is a drink I can identify with. It is cheap yet rich. It is not pretentious or overtly ostentatious like most cocktails which I believe are lemon juice in different costumes. In its simplicity lies its sophistication.

Beer renders the drinker with a presumed sense of well being, which in some cases leads to a hilarious chain of events. Beer can cure despondence, shyness, overconfidence and even constipation. This brewed social lubricant is responsible for a sizable percentage of promotions, demotions, friendships, marriages and divorces. It can make a Yashraj movie almost bearable. It is known to start conversations wherein people actually talk a lot about nothing. A few pints later, they can be found quarreling over the same nothing. Too much of it however is not advisable. Overindulgence of beer in one sitting, most of the times makes the drinker profess his love for a nearby commode the next morning. I have a string of heartbroken commodes in my wake.

In my experience I feel that Kingfisher is a neighbourhood hero. Corona is a supermodel on the cover of a glossy magazine (complete with a slice of lemon). Khajurao, Godfather, Thunderbolt, Spencer10000, Haywards Black, Ambero, King’s, Canon 10000 and Tennent’s are thugs with a heart of gold. Heineken is an expensive consultant with valuable experience. Carlsberg and Tuborg are the cousins who are raised abroad. Foster’s, Budweiser and Tiger are regulars at the comic bookstore. Tsingtao and Suntory are my friends from China.

You see, I cannot write enough about beer. Beer amazes me to no end. I love beer. I have a waist pouch to prove it. And I don’t mind it. I think of it as a tattoo to remind me of the (too many) good times I’ve had.

Vote for Vijay Mallaya.

[Last weekend I missed an opening of a pub in Pune which has one of India’a first home brewing facility. As blasphemous as it sounds, I did not attend this and missed a great deal of fun and frolic. Bidi loves teasing me about it.]

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Filed under Lifestyle, Opinion

A Bullet from my Valentine

It’s not easy to get a girlfriend in Bangalore. It’s even harder to keep one.

She used to work in my office. To put it in a better way-we worked together. She was a developer and I a coder. She was funny, sexy, cool, and confident and I was not. She was on her way up and me-lets just say I wasn’t.

When she agreed to go out with me, everybody showed genuine disbelief. Myself included. I just stood there with a loss of words and came up with something silly like, ‘Cool!’. She had giggled. They always do. But then I made what I call a super awesome comeback and made her giggle a little more and fixed up a date. And that was that.

‘She’s using you man!’, Wilfred had told me when I had broken the news to him. He sat next to me in the office. He loved football and loved Amisha Patel even more. He had an opinion about everybody and everything. He was a gossip queen. And also he lied a lot. “No she’s not. And even if she is, I don’t care”, I had replied with all the annoyance I could summon in two seconds.

But seriously I didn’t care. I really didn’t. Her ex was a finance guy who worked on the seventh floor and had an MBA degree from a shady institute whose name sounded like Sunny or Happy or something cornier. He liberally used double entendre right from the cafeteria to the boardroom. But the guy apparently had a way with numbers and the guys on the tenth floor were happy about it. ‘Mr. Bottomline’ as he was affectionately called by the female staff, had relentless pursued her and she had relented. But they had broken up in six months. Apparently someone from HR too, had relented-much later than her. I knew this because Wilfred knew this. And Wilfred knew everything.

Our first date was like most first dates-uncomfortable, tense and at times embarrassing. For me it was all three. But she didn’t mind. She gave me a two out of five and asked me to promise her that the next one would be better. And I did. And it was. A Shahrukh Khan movie, a stroll in the mall and a dinner in a Punjabi restaurant. Safe. I was in and she was too.

She liked Sidney Sheldon, SRK, Priyanka Chopra and Backsteet Boys. She thought Metallica was a girl. ‘Is she like Madonna?’ she had enquired. Her favourite movie was Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. She liked Forum better than Garuda Mall-‘Its just better’, she had observed. She used words like ‘anyways’ and ‘precisely’ all the time. She always wore a watch on the right hand. She said that she liked me a lot. I believed her.

‘She’s still using you man. She’s gonna go back to whatshisname’, Wilfred had repeated after I had told him that I was planning an expensive date on Valentines Day. He also informed me that Mr. Bottomline had saved the company like a zillion dollars and avoided a major lay-off. The guys on the tenth floor were planning to move him to the eighth. It was that or an extended stay in Europe. That bastard. She really hated him. She always let me know how much she hated him. It was kinda amusing. I used to come up with really funny jokes about him. Funnily, she didn’t find them funny.

‘No she’s not. She told me she was over him on our last date. And besides, why would she care if he’s headed off to Europe. He’s stupid. She told me that. Mr. Bottomline- I wonder why they call him that’

Today morning I woke up with a smile on my face. It was the first time that had happened. I actually had a date on Yash Chopra’s favourite day. I had it all figured out. Right to the minutest detail. I was gonna buy 23 roses- one for each time she had gone out with the formerly worlds-most-eligible-loser. Then I was gonna take her to an expensive restaurant in Indiranagar. It was gonna be perfect.

I had managed to get real Swiss chocolates from a guy I knew in finance. She loved Swiss chocolates. She had told me that. I had bought a new shirt for the date. I did buy 23 roses. Man they were expensive! I even bought a huge bouquet just in case.

She lived in Kormangala. I was supposed to pick her up. It was tricky to make my way through the traffic not messing up the bouquet. Many people offered expletives in Kannada. I returned the favour in Marathi. Couples were already getting comfortable. Not too comfortable though. Some outfits were calling on them in the Lord’s name.

I made it in time to her place. She lived in an apartment complex. Romeos with half of southern India’s flowers were already there picking up there respective Juliets. Understandably there was a rush at the elevator. I resisted the urge to take the stairs. A sweaty and panting version of me wouldn’t exactly be a welcome sight. So I stayed in the queue for the elevator with a dozen other thoughtful individuals. I fought with a guy who had a smaller bouquet than mine. I won.

The elevator was small and stuffy. All the guys were reeking with the Axes and Zataks and Bruts. I felt like throwing up. I made a funny expression at the guy next to me who responded by finding something interesting in the elevator safety manual. Slowly I made it to her floor.

As I got out of the elevator I made my way through the hallway, trying to figure out where to go. For a moment I forgot her surname. Then I remembered. I headed to her apartment. Apartment B-23-C.

She was already at the door. She looked stunning. She was wearing a Punjabi dress for the first time since we had started going out. I had not expected that. Her hair was not tied up. That was a first too. She was wearing pretty earrings. My girlfriend looked beautiful.

She had another bouquet at her feet. It was way bigger than mine. She had a smile on her face that I had never seen before. With her head resting gently on his chest and her hand resting firmly on his bottom, Mr. Bottomline was giving himself the high five and punching the air.

Mr. Bottomline – I get the name now.

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Filed under Fiction

Close Conversations of the Third Kind: Part II – The Interwhy

Candidate: May I come in Sir?

Interviewer: Yes. Please Mr.….?

Candidate: Bhave. Adbhut Bhave.

Interviewer: Yes Mr. Bhave. Please take a seat. I am Sanjeev Pinto.

Candidate: (seated)

Interviewer: So, Mr. Bhave, as I understand you are here for the interview.

Candidate: That is correct Sir.

Interviewer: Well guess what? I am here for the interview too!

(silence)

Candidate: (delayed forced laughter)

Interviewer: (acknowledging) I see you are wearing an orange T-shirt to an interview. Do you think it is appropriate?

Candidate: Sir the red one was wet.

Interviewer: I see. (hint of surprise) Before we proceed I’d like to inform you that I’ll be taking your technical, personal and HR interview.

Candidate: Right Sir.

Interviewer: To begin with, tell me something about yourself Adbhut.

Candidate: Yes Sir. I am 20 years old. I am currently doing my 3rd year in Chemical Engineering from VIT, Pune. Pune is my hometown. I love Pune. I like watching movies, listening to music and studying….

Interviewer: You like to study? (going through the mark sheets)

Candidate: Yes Sir.

Interviewer: Oh…I see. Please continue.

Candidate: I like traveling; I like cycling, playing tabla, watching movies…music……movies.

Interviewer: That’s good. I guess you watch a lot of movies.

Candidate: I do Sir!

Interviewer: So, what is your favourite subject?

Candidate: I like drama mostly. I’m a big fan of Sam Mendes, Innaritu, Guillermo del Toro. I hate the Yash Chopra tearjerkers.

Interviewer: I was asking about studies.

Candidate: Oh! Yes. I like Math, Chemistry. I love Fluid Dynamics a lot.

Interviewer: I see. Haven’t you flunked in all of them?

Candidate: Not all Sir! Fluid Mechanics is still in revaluation.

Interviewer: Why do you love FM so much?

Candidate: I love fluids Sir. A lot. Tea, coffee, water, Coke, beer….

Interviewer: I see. Since you like the subject so much, would you mind if I ask you a couple of questions on the it?

Candidate: No Sir. Not at all.

Interviewer: What is ‘The Bernoulli Principle’?

Candidate: Sir the Bernoulli Principle states that if the lead actor in a movie is above fifty-five years of age, the lead actress should be less than half of that for the film to succeed at the box office.

Interviewer: What?

Candidate: The Bernoulli Principle Sir. Christoph Bernoulli. The famous German screenwriter.

Interviewer: My question was related to Chemical Engineering Mr. Bhave.

Candidate: Oh! That one….it has something to do with water, two drums and a pipe, Sir.

Interviewer: You don’t know The Bernoulli Principle?

Candidate: I do know it Sir. Just not well enough to put it in words.

Interviewer: What is the unit of viscosity?

Candidate: I definitely don’t know that one Sir.

Interviewer: I see (scribbling on paper) What was the other subject you liked? Chemistry was it?

Candidate: Yes Sir. I like it a lot.

Interviewer: What is the fifth element?

Candidate: The Fifth Element is a sci-fi romantic thriller starring Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich in the lead roles. Although the movie was a top grosser it was highly criticized. The Bernoulli Principle is not applicable to this film Sir. Bruce Willis was underage.

Interviewer: I was talking about the periodic table Mr. Bhave.

Candidate: Oh! Hydrogen, Helium, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Sodium…..Sodium Sir!

Interviewer: I see. Which are the heavy metals?

Candidate: Black Sabbath and Metallica. Period.

Interviewer: I see (scribbling away) Now, we’ll proceed with the PI and HR Interview.

Candidate: Ok Sir.

Interviewer: What are your expectations from InfySOS?

Candidate: Well….I believe that my job with InfySOS should be a welcome experience. I really want to work for a company as great as yours.

Interviewer: Wow that is a good answer. What according to you is your greatest strength?

Candidate: I can down three pints of beer in less than two minutes.

Interviewer: What? No…I mean work wise.

Candidate: Oh!..Sorry Sir! My greatest strength would be C programming.

Interviewer: Well that is good. I see you have certificates to prove it (going through them)

Candidate: Yes Sir.

Interviewer: Now, consider this situation- Your friend is in love with a girl who lets say is rather promiscuous. And he intends to marry her. What will you do? Will you make your friend realize her flaws?

Candidate: Mmmm…..Sir is the lady in question very pretty?

Interviewer: What !?..Why?

Candidate: No Sir….If she is not that hot-I mean pretty, then I can show him an even hotter-I mean prettier girl, and make him fall in love with her.

Interviewer: Yes she is hot-I mean pretty.

Candidate: Then Mmmm….Sir, is she related to any of our other friends?

Interviewer: Why?

Candidate: Then the situation would be really complicated, Sir.

Interviewer: NO.

Candidate: In that case I’ll directly go to her and ask her to back off.

Interviewer: Ok. That’s mighty thoughtful of you. Well…..that I think concludes the interview. Do you have any questions for me? (scribbling)

Candidate: Yes Sir. I do. In the company’s name of InfySOS, SOS stands for ‘Save Our Souls’ right? The other guys were kinda arguing about it.

Interviewer: (stops scribbling) No Mr. Bhave. It stands for Software Outsourcing Solutions.

Candidate: Oh Ok. I did feel one of the S’s stood for software.

Interviewer: Well…..It was nice meeting you Mr. Bhave. (shaking hands) The results will be out in an hour.

Candidate: Sir, if I may ask, what are the chances of me getting this job?

Interviewer: I would say the chances are good Mr. Bhave.

Candidate: Really?!?

Interviewer: Nah….Just Kidding…..Please close the door behind you.

(A follow-up to Part I)

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Filed under Fiction