Sunday, November 22, 2009

U know when Indians have been in the area for too Long when...

Living in Bay area where every other person is an IT professional or an Indian, or belongs to an intersection of both, I started noticing the subtle changes in the Stratosphere around me. From the Sugarcane juice/Golgappa stall in a thriving market complex, to the bawling kids in the poshest of restaurants, gentlemen we surely make our mark and don't believe in keeping it subtle.
Anyways you definitely know we Indians feel at home -

1 - When local Costco Supermart starts selling Haldiram Snacks, Rotis, Ready to eat currries and several brands of basmati rice.
2 - When your neighbourhood is as well lit as Christmas during Diwali season and your neighbour mesmerized by diwali lights starts asking if Indians celebrate Christmas early?
3 - When there are several local teams and cricket tournaments held and websites are made to track. Hmm... nice mix of cricket and Tech.
4 - When in a plush upmarket residential community. You find the Property manager mentions "Weekly Indian Movie screening" as one of the Key differentiators.
5 - When Ustad Zakir Hussain settles down in Bay Area; claiming the area makes his creative juices flow. Wonder, how he managed to keep it alive back home.
6 - When Raj Abhyankar (No, not at all related to Lucknow University MMS Kand), stands for Local Mayoral post election and almost wins it. ***Updates*** - Another Asian across Himalayas snatched the seat from him.
7 - When at the local temple folks bring their automobiles to crush lemons by the tires and break the coconut to celebrate the buy.

8 - When at the same temple, prior to entering the prayer hall you see vast amount of footwear strewn around in a pattern which most believe can only be created by a stampede. Everybody gets to play "Find your shoes" and "Mix and Match" for free once the Aarti gets over. This all happens despite the large shoes racks placed next to entrance. The only warning that seems to be partially effective is the one displayed.
9 - When folks go to local supermarket store and as a matter of fact, ask the surprised store clerk where are Curry leaves, Fenugreek, Jaggery, Cinnamon and Cumin powder?
10 - When people crib about the non availability of Veggie Dishes in the continental dinner menu.
11 - When the most popular dishes in a fusion Thai restaurant is Roti Prata and Indian Mei Gurang. Now Indian Mei Gurang... never heard of this one in India, anyone?
12 - And lastly, when you see nervously smiling firangs in expensive black suits and their spouses in Armani cocktail dresses gingerly squatting for a traditional South Indian Wedding reception meal. All wearing a brave expression on their faces, already turned red by various delicious and extremely hot curries and trying real hard to tackle the mounds of rice using their fingers as silver wares. This one totally reminds me of the first time I tried to handle tofu with Chopsticks and ended up in transforming the "Fried Tofu" into "Flying Tofu".

Friday, August 21, 2009

Carbuyers guide - 2

Off late, I was talking to one of my friends about general catch all. The kind of phone calls that you should make periodically, to make sure they know your last name in case you need some dough or a recommendation on your Linked in.

Well, thats not the point.The point is during the course of discussion, she casually mentioned that her first car was Audi... Audi as in AUDI... The thoroughbred German Steed... which commands top moolah even in recession times. my retinas widened further when in the same breath she mentioned as she required a "small car" so she settled for A U D I... Barely able to hold back the feelings of Awe n excitement.... I truncated the call citing some real bad reasons...
But, even as I cut the call on my blackberry (free with ATT connection) and looking down at my 8 year old trustworthy Altima (I live on 2nd floor u c), I couldn't help thinking of how this buying behavior didn't fit in with my earlier research article.

I spent some time in deep thought and enlightenment dawned upon me the next morning when I was gulping down pancakes with dollops of butter. So, If you are still with me, please read on...

We Indians, Sir have deeply ingrained sense of social hierarchy. Consciously or unconsciously we apply it to most of the aspects of our life. Be it village Sarpanch buying the first Tractor in a village or the reverence for the Politicians with Royal heritage. We will keep on yearning for the objects of desire

Some time back, Indian media made a great fuss about a "Rajmata" who died at a ripe age in a foreign land. Did I get my Civics wrong (...ahan... Not the car but the woeful subject in High School), didn't the titles get abolished with cessation of princely states. But, still the "Rajmata" title was plastered all over the internet news channels as if she still was ruling India.

I remember the last time international media was in a similar hysteria when "Princess" Diana went heavenwards at 200 mph piloted by a drunk Driver cum bodyguard cum possible pass time lover.Perhaps the Indian media was not mature enough at that point of time to ask such intelligent questions to common man. Eg - To an uninterested road side peanut vendor... "Jab Diana ki jaan ja rahi thi to aapko kaisa lag raha tha ?" and the surprised Interviwee blinded by the instant flash of limelight blabbers some similar to Ms North Carolina's answer(Answer).

Well, we still are a model community, as only the studious and the sincere of the lot are able to make through the siphon of Hyper Darwinian Visa selection process to reach Uncle Sam's Park. But only, till the time the Second Generation ripens and starts shaming even the inhabitants of Oz with their antics.

We can be sure there till then Audis, Beamers (Not the Cricket one, but the one with a price tag similar to that of an IPL team), Mercs (My personal fav...:)....) will be the cherished possessions of the hard working and non playing folks.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Delhi -6 aka The Escapades of Kala Bandar

All right folks, I never did any movie reviews. B'coz I didn't feel they were worth my time. But, continuosly facing the onslaught of crappy stuff in the name of creativity has got my goat and I am going to break this pratigya of mine.

Yesterday, I went to watch this movie known as "Delhi 6", throughout the movie I was wondering what the Hell has title got to do with the movie. The beginning of the movie looks like a youtube videoresponse to "Slumdog Millionaire" pointing out everything that is happening(or better as it should be happening). The communal harmony tone was blown through a trumpet that even a deaf(or in politically correct terms - audio challenged or still better socially vogue - Aurically differently abled) person can't ignore. The lead actress(Sonal Kapoor-D/o the great Simian hirsuite Anil Kapoor) is nothing better than the mannequin who compensates lack of acting with a pasty smile and timbuktoos between modern and traditional outfits, both ways equally boring. The protagonist/narrator(Abhishek Bachchan - S/o Big B) wore his copy righted sulking expression and danced in a way, which makes me feel that a genetic test might reveal that he has inherited something from Not so Big- D(Dharam Pa Ji)....Gosh, did his birth day by any chance co-incide with the release of Sholay.... The Ramleela actors along with other side kicks were the real gamers who stole the show with their honesty and antics.

But, Ladies and gentlemen hold your breath for the lead actor, who although not present physically, was the lead in the movie. May I present the much loved and hated - Kala Bandar(Out of sheer respect, lets call him KB ji). Be it the beginning of the movie when the Young-B was travelling from Big Apple to Matrabhoomi or be it the Climax in which he was dying wearing the suit of KB ji), be it when Young B-was saving the lady from the lech/photographer/Lala's Wive's paramour or the inflaming of communal tension. His presence(or absence) was always felt and appreciated for its influence on making the otherwise "boring to death" storyline almost bearable. Hats off to KB ji for his honorary yet valuable contribution to the movie.

But, his commanding presence(and also strong contendership for the Academy) still does not remove the pain of spending $32.75(10.50*2,Yes, I have to buy 2 tickets now+11.75 on Cola+Corn). The only scene I loved was the one in which Young B was being beaten black and blue and then shot by Mamdu(The Halwai cum Communal harmony Icon turned hardliner cum Ramleela Organiser turned attempted murder convict-Man they must have really paid big to the guy for donning so many caps). The storyline, was so hopeless that the even the casual presence(and permanent presence of his framed Pic) of Big B couldn't save it. Believe me, after wasting money on several movies of similar "Creative" movies I seriously am feeling the need to approach BBB (US equivalent of consumer forum) to find out the refund process and if any punitive damages can be awarded to prevent the makers from repating such mistakes.