Tag Archives: weird

Kyon ki aadmi bhi kabhi bandar tha….

‘Main tumhare bachche ki maa banne wali hu’

‘…..fir hum uske jahidat ke mallik ban jayenge’

‘Bahu – Yeh lo ghar ki tijori ki chawi’

Sounds familiar? Yes – Clichés from Indian soaps (well….actually any genre of video media). The iconic aphorisms created by the immensely talented writers/screenwriters/producers/spot boys who caused a revolution in our drawing rooms. These gifted scribblers discovered an inexhaustible source of permutations and combinations from the mistress-illegitimate child-amnesia-rape-death-rebirth -amnesia-vamp-seduction-amnesia warehouse. These penny for a page auteurs invented cheap plots, cheaper productions and cheapest camera tricks which would put the makers of Zee Horror Show to shame. They fathered ‘The Great Indian Soap Opera’- that dominates the prime time entertainment today (except maybe for the tearfests they call the talent shows).

Now, one cannot blame them for copying the Mexican, American or even Srilankan soaps. They never planned to reinvent the wheel, did they? They were simply ‘inspired’ by All My Children (an American daily soap which is still running from 1970). They thought that Santa Barbara is like any Ghar Ki kahani. They tapped on Ugly Betty and made her the ugly beti (Jassi Jasi koi…) – another one inspired from the Columbian soap Betty la fea.

Why am I writing this? Well- I’m a huge fan of western TV shows. Not the soaps, mind you. Entourage, True Blood, Arrested development, Six Feet Under, Scrubs,Coupling, Yes Minister, Dexter, Californication, Burn Notice are only a few of the shows that I follow. And every time I finish watching an episode I mentally recite the ‘what if this could happen in India’ prayer. It used to-once upon a time. Indian television has seen better days than today. It was never the reign of these prevailing orgies of bahus and their presumably badass saases.

Good ol’ doordarshan had shows like Circus, Malgudi Days, Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne, Nukkad, Dekh Bhai Dekh. These shows had a more creative appeal to them. They churned out a lot of talent in the form of directors- Saeed Mirza or Anurag Kashyap are prime examples of film makers who started with TV. But these shows were not soap operas. They were more real. They didn’t have the men eating dinners in three piece suits or the women dressed for Diwali while sipping the morning tea. I could identify with these shows.

A look at the TV guide today, was a real treat. These writers have brought the hyphen ‘-’ in the TV shows. A few years ago these used to adorn the films like Daag-The Fire or Dushman-The Enemy. The scribblers are now showing off their prowess over punctuation by creating names like-
Aathvaan Vachan….Saath Vachano Se Badhkar, Ek Safar Aisa…Kabhi Socha Na Tha, Jeevan Saathi-Hum Safar Zindagi Ke, Balika Vadhu-Kacchi Umar Ke Pakke Raste or Agle Janam Mohe Betiya Hi Kijo (wtf !)

**shiver**

As a part of my ‘research’ for writing this hate blog I managed to sit through a show for an entire minute. After that I couldn’t. I physically couldn’t. I actually felt like throwing up. The scene which was thrown at me was supposed to tell me how a particular phone call was attended in the house by someone who was not supposed to. The character who unwittingly attends the call becomes aware of an evil scheme. After the call ends the actor all of a sudden starts talking to himself. Now don’t get me wrong here- soliloquy is a method of acting used by Shakespearean actors, but no- this guy starts walking into the camera as if he’s angry at the spot boy behind the camera and then continues to talk at the wall behind the camera! He then makes a face as if he stepped on his own or someone else’s morning glory. What the hell man! Who does that!?! Do you talk over your shoulder to your father or mother? Does your family stand in a line in the drawing room while talking? Do you sweat every time you hear something you don’t want to?

The thing is-they conceived it to entertain an audience that doesn’t mind if it is treated as morons. Giving the audience the credit for its intelligence (or the lack of) is bad for business. Ekta Kapoor, the fairy godmother for bad actors-who have a penchant for bad acting, does this in a rather emphatic fashion. And these actors have their faces stapled to my newspaper copy telling me how a certain soap actor invokes pain in a scene by recalling how he broke his wrist when he was three.

I hear one of the cable networks is giving Hi-Def service. What the hell will you watch in HD? The gory details of a vamps makeup? The transformation of a hospital wing to the drawing room of Singhania family in consecutive scenes? The tears of a talent show contestant? I don’t think so.

I long for the day when the Indian TV shows will make sense. May be that day we’ll see pigs handglide.

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Filed under Non Fiction, Opinion

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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Close Conversations of the Third Kind: Part I – Shove me the Money

It: Welcome to CBSH. If you think you can speak in English Press ‘1’. If you are not sure then Press ‘2’. If you are sure that you cant, then press any of the other numbers.

Me: (press 1).

It: If you are a victim of our credit card franchise Press ‘1’. If you are a victim of our banking franchise Press ‘2’.If you want to learn about our other schemes Press ‘3’. If you want to know whether you are a victim yet (status enquiry) Press ‘4’.

Me: (press 1)

It: If you are still having fun then Press ‘1’. If you are slightly bored then Press ‘2’. If you are really bored then Press ‘3’. If you are really really bored then Press ‘9’ to talk to one of our helpline executives.

Me: (press 9).

Please wait till I transfer your call to….

It: Hello Sir. My name is Sivanna. How may I assist you?

Me: Yes. I made my credit card payment on time,  still you guys charged a late fee for it.

It: Ok Sir, before we proceed, may I have your Credit card number.

Me: Its XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX.

It: I’ll reepeet Sir- XXXA XXXB XXXC XXXX.

Me: No! Its XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX.

It: Yes Sir. Sorry for that Sir. Am I talking to Mr. Sankeeeet Kulkarni?

Me: Yes you are.

It: Yes Mr. Sankeeeet before we proceed I’ll just do a security check.

Me: Ok.

It: Yes Mr. Sankeeeet can you please confirm your date of birth.

Me: 12/12/1985

It: Yes Mr. Sankeeeet can you please confirm your baniyan size.

Me: 95.

It: Are you sure Mr. Sankeeeet? Because our database entry does not match that.

Me: What? Then what size matches with your database entry.

It: I’m sorry Mr. Sankeeeet, but I’m not at the liberty to tell that.

Me: Try 90.

It: Yes that is correct Mr. Sankeeeet. Now could you tell me your neighbours’ maiden name?

Me: Which one?

It: Which what Mr. Sankeeeet ?

Me: I have four neighbours.

It: Any name will do Mr. Sankeeeet. We have all their names.

Me: How about Mrs Kadambari Shete?

It: That’s correct Mr. Sankeeeet. Now, when did you pay your bill Sir?

Me: I paid my January’s bill seven days in advance.

It: (Delayed reply) Yes Sir,  your January’s bill was Rs 666.

Me: I know that! I paid the bill.

It: I am glad to hear that Mr. Sankeeeet. So how can I help you?

Me: Why the hell am I being charged a late fee?

It: Please hold the line Mr. Sankeeeet till I transfer the call to my colleague in Billing.

Me: Then who are yo……

(A musical busy tone which will make Mozart shoot Beethoven before hanging himself )

It: Thank you for waiting Mr. Sankeeeet. I am Namiththa. How can I help you?

Me: I don’t know. How can you help me?

It: Hello?

Me: Yes. I was enquiring about an unjust late fee charged by you guys.

It: Ok Sir. Before we proceed I will require the complaint number Mr. Sankeeeet.

Me: What complaint number?

It: Mr. Sankeeeet a complaint number is required to raise this issue with the billing department.

Me: Then what department do you work in?

It: I work in the Billing Complaints department.

Me: Then give me a complaint number.

It: Mr. Sankeeeet you don’t have the complaint number yet?

Me: No.

It: I’m sorry to hear that Mr. Sankeeeet, but you will have to call the Complaints Department to get a complaint number.

Me: So I have to complain to get a complaint number.

It: Exactly Sir! I mean you have to follow the regular work procedure.

Me: Why can’t you give me a complaint number?

It: Mr. Sankeeeet because the Billing Complaints Department deals with billing complaints while Complaints department deals with complaints in billing.

Me: How are they different?

It: What?

Me: Never mind. So how do I get the number?

It: Please hold the line till I transfer your call to Complaints Section.

Me: Wait a sec…….

(I wish I was Mozart)

It: Thank you for holding the line Mr. Sankeeeet. I am Anand. How can I help you?

Me: Why thank God you asked me! I needed a complaint number.

It: Most certainly Mr. Sankeeeet. But before we proceed I will have to do a security check.

.


.

.

.

It: Mrs Kadambari Shete is correct Mr. Sankeeeet. So how can I help you?

Me: Well, I paid my January bill seven days in advance. Which clearly was a mistake. And I was punished for it. Then I made another mistake today by calling you guys. So I really have no idea how you can help me.

It:

Me: Hello?

It: Yes Mr. Sankeeeet. I was just entering your complaint.

Me: I need a complaint number.

It: Yes Mr. Sankeeeet. Your complaint number is IM2STUPID4U. Please write that down.

Me: I am too stupid for you?

It: That is correct Mr. Sankeeeet.

Me: Now what do I do with it?

It: Please hold the line Mr. Sankeeeet till I transfer the call to Billing Complaints.

Me: I’ll be glad too…..

 

 


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Filed under Fiction