Sunday, 30 March 2014


The following is a story from 12 years ago, when I was a college student. Life was carefree...well, almost. A typical day involved attending lectures, hanging out at the college canteen with our friends-circle, making plans for the weekend, watching those plans go down the drain since everyone dropped out one by one, music, mimicking professors...basically doing what any regular B.Com student worth his/her salt would do. Another major difference in those days was that I had a nice crop of hair, which eventually disappeared into thin air. More about the hair in another post.

Anyway, the story goes as under:-

It was 5 pm. I was supposed to meet the gang - Sundeep, Akhil, Brian, Saloni and Namita and Pete - only at around 7.30 pm at the newly opened lounge. But the fact that I was excited about this outing meant that I'd finished my evening bath (my second for the day) by 4 pm, and I'd finished dressing up by 4.30. Thereafter I'd spent all my time greasing my hair with the newly-purchased hair gel and trying out new hairstyles. I'd only been thirty minutes into my hair grooming when the phone rang.


"Chris?  Pete here."

"Hey Pete...ready to go?"


"Did you shave Pete? Please don't come looking like the Yeti."

Pete's profile:-
There is a famous phrase that goes 'Cleanliness is next to Godliness'. Not everyone lives by this adage though. There are some of us whose relationship with personal hygiene is restricted to placing our hands under running water for less than a micro-second. One example of such a chap was Stinky Pete. He was a nice guy. Quite brilliant, he's someone who puts all his efforts and a lot of time into a task. However, personal hygiene was never his forte. His appearance was always shabby. He rarely ever shaved, so much so that whenever he did arrive with a clean-shaven face, no one would recognise him but for the horribly tousled hair on his head. There were rumours doing the rounds that he wouldn't bathe for days together. Even though he was part of our friends-circle, nobody wanted to sit next to him because sometimes the smell would be overwhelming. As a friend, I once confronted him about this. Only after long deliberation did he finally confess that he took a bath only once in three days.

Back to the story:-

"Well...yeah. I'm at the hairstylist's."

"Good. So what're you wearing."

"I'm gonna dress well Chris", he said, sounding a tad nervous. "Say...erm...are you busy right now?"

"No. Why?"

"Can you meet me at the departmental store? Need to pick up some stuff."

I looked at my hair. Still unsatisfied with the styling, I said rather reluctantly, " dude. Really sorry. I'm getting ready...need to go for a bath."

"Ohh..alright." He hung up.

I felt a little guilty about this, but soon went back to worrying about my hair.

Excitement brought me to the entrance of the pub 15 minutes before the decided time. I was taking a good look at the crowd entering the outlet when someone tapped on my shoulder.


"Wassup?", the voice sounded familiar.


I looked at him from head to toe. He was impeccably dressed. White tees on blue jeans was usually a fool-proof combination. He had a smart looking sports watch on his left wrist and decent sports shoes on his feet. Best of all, his hair was trimmed short and his ugly-looking stubble was gone.

"What happened to you dude?", I said visibly perplexed. "You look so different."

My smile told him I was impressed. "Like it? I got all of these from the departmental store."

"Good job man. I hope this is a change for good."

He simply laughed it off.

The rest of the group arrived in bits and pieces, but well before time. All of them were shocked to see the change in Pete. He couldn't have been happier.

We entered the pub, hoping for a great evening.

However, by 8 pm, everyone was back to keeping a safe distance from Pete.

He approached me when he couldn't bear it any more.


"Mmm...yes", I said, holding my breath.

"I thought things would change today. What's wrong now?"

"I don't intend to be mean Pete", I said, quickly running out of breath. "But I need to ask you something."


"Did you have a bath today?"

"Why would you ask me that?", he said in a tone that was almost accusing. "Don't you guys see the change?"

"Well", I said, still struggling, "It was a good idea to go to the stylist and buy new clothes."

"Then what is it?", he barked.

"You see, Pete", I said, ready to put the argument to rest, "The idea was swell....but what about the smell?"

Moral of the story: Save your social life. Bathe daily.

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Monday, 24 March 2014


This is the first time I'm doing a film review. I was privileged to have been one of the many bloggers invited by IndiBlogger for a special screening of a film made exclusively for MTV. Multinational biggie HUL and MTV have come together with a unique concept called MTV Films. The concept will feature six films, each made by a distinct Bollywood film-maker and showcasing the philosophies of distinct HUL brands. The screening was held on 21st March 2014, at Courtyard by Marriott, Andheri East.

The series kickstarts with a film titled 'Sunsilk Real FM'. Written and produced by Anurag Basu, the film is directed by actor, writer and theatre personality Akarsh Khurana. The film revolves around Rhea and her friends, Saloni, Natasha and Akanksha. Rhea is the young daughter of the owner of a radio station that has seen better days. The channel enjoys no popularity with listeners, investors have lost faith, finances are bad, content is worse, and the station's employees want a hike without which they want out. Rhea's dad succumbs to pressure and suffers a heart attack. With absolutely zero knowledge about the business, no employees left to fall back on, and her dad hitting the bed, Rhea must keep the station running so as to impress and raise fresh funds from investors. Trust her and her motley gang of friends - the ever energetic and street-smart Natasha, the confused and timid, but reliable Saloni and wannabe journalist Akanksha to keep the station running. They even manage to find help from a 'trying-too-hard-to-be-funny' Chartered Accountant, two goons and an ex-employee, who happens to be Rhea's ex-boyfriend. Together, they come up with an amazing idea for content on Independence Day, wherein they play songs from all the states in India. They also fend off opposition from disgruntled ex-employees and a cop known to cause trouble. Saloni, who we eventually learn is a good singer, brings up the climax with a wonderful song that sweeps listeners off their feet and fetches the station the services of a once-popular RJ, new-found loyalty from listeners, social change, interest from investors and a new deal from Sunsilk. Most of all, it brings joy to Rhea's dad.

The story is a tad unrealistic, what with the girls learning the business in barely six hours and doing in a single day what professionals couldn't do in years. However, this can be forgiven on grounds of creative license and on the premise that the story delivers important lessons on hope, determination, out-of-the-box thinking and courage. The movie tries its best to deliver socially relevant messages going all out against discrimination, racism, regionalism and emotional bondage. The final scene where Saloni's over-protective father expresses his love and pride in her was touching. The Chartered Accountant's jokes really cracked me up, even where the intention was to portray him as a horrible comic. Another thing what was a refreshing change was the fact that the director did not dwell too much on the love interest angle of the protagonists, instead leaving it to the imagination of the viewers. The only major disappointment in the screenplay was the done-to-death "Tumne mujhe bhaiyya kaha? Oh Didi!" scene.

The music is earthy and rustic, barring the song picturised on Saloni's character. Most of the songs are devoid of too many instruments, replying merely on acoustic guitars and bongos, probably to give it a realistic feel. However, unplugged songs work for me only if the vocals are really good. Nevertheless, some of the songs had really catchy tunes, and MTV would do well to create full-fledged and refined studio versions of these songs.

The actors have all done their job well. Veteran Benjamin Gilani renders a controlled performance as the owner of the radio station. Malhaar Rathod as Rhea is composed and pretty. Preetika Chawla as the street-smart Natasha is superb. But the actor who gives a thumbs up performance is Abeer Abrar, who plays the shy, timid and extremely likeable Saloni. The actor playing the funny Chartered Accountant is also very good.

All in all, the film is one with a message and should appeal to the youth.

The film premieres on Sunday 23rd May at 7 pm. you might be able to watch the repeat telecast at other points during the month.


Tuesday, 18 March 2014


I've grown up as a Momma's boy. During my teenage years, my mom was always protective about me, and always telling me what to do and what not to do. But I never complained. I kinda liked the attention and the thought that someone cared so much about me.

Today, I'm in my early thirties. I became a Father of a handsome lil boy this November. But I realise that I'm still Momma's boy (or so she thinks). She still says things to me that she would when I was a teenager. Some of these things are really embarassing, especially when said in public.

The following are some things that, although some bystanders might go "aww" listening to, moms should NEVER EVER say to their grown-up 'kids' in public:-

  • In front of a guest whom you've already greeted - "Did you say hello to Uncle?"
  • Before you sit down for breakfast - "Did you brush your teeth?"
  • When you're sitting among friends in a casual setting - "Comb your hair"
  • At dinner time during a wedding reception - "ENOUGH!!! Don't eat more! You'll become more fat."
  • At a New Years' party, in front of a friend of hers - "Did you wish Aunty Happy New Year?"
  • At lunch with relatives - "Wash your hands before eating."
  • While you're talking to your bachelor friend on the phone, she might exclaim in a not-so-discreet tone - "Is that Rohan on the line? Why isn't he getting married??"
  • When you're struggling with a runny nose at a get-together - "Don't sniff like that! Go blow your nose!"
  • Anywhere there's half the human race gathered - "Come ___________!" (fill in the blanks with the most embarassing pet-name that your mom calls you by.

Has anyone been through worse? Awaiting your comments. Maybe it'll make me feel better :p