Friday, February 23, 2007

Tales of an Indian Barber

I am in the mood to write today, and so I decided to post a quick blog to thank and reward all my readers for sticking to my rantings for more than 6 months now :)!

2 days back I had my hair cut, and have been feeling low ever since. Every month when I get my hair cut, its soo terribly done that I spend the next few days repenting my look. By the time that I get used to my *new* look the dreaded day approaches when I go to my *hairstylist * again!

I analyzed my feelings and I realized I never had these depressing feelings when I was in India. Indian barbers are world class! You don't tell them numbers, and esoteric style names. Even before you go to a hairdresser in Uncle Sam's land, you need to learn their numbering convention!

I soo vividly remember the first time that I went to a hairdresser out here, and she asked me which number do I want. I thought it was *pick -a-number* kinda game that I was playing, and I chose zero (After all, am from the country that invented it ;) !!). Without blinking an eye lid she took out a mean looking machine from her toolbox and in no time did my head look like a barren land. I mean, before I could shout stop, she was done with her job and was expecting me to pay her 15$ with a tip for her stupendous work. I still have night mares about that lady with the machine and I wake up in the middle of the night pulling my hair (pun intended ;) !).

Your experience with an Indian barber is otherwise (I don't feel like calling my barber, an hairdresser, somehow it makes him wear a tie and jacket in my mind, and it doesn't quite go well with his trademark dhoti :) !!). You go in and you are greeted by your name. The fun part about barbers is that they not only know you, but they also know your entire family tree (the male ascendants only!). He will tell you about the latest movie gossips, and cricket stories by the time you comfortably settle in the chair. Then he just gives a quick look at you, and gets down to his business. I bet there is a software built into his head which he uses to decide what style will suit me the best. I can imagine him visualizing a bald me, and dragging and dropping various hairstlyes onto my head to decide what suits me best :) !!

After the awesome haircut is done he gives a pleased look, and without asking, pours a gallon of hair oil on your head. Thereafter he starts a ritual fondly called *head massage* in which he starts playing the beats of the latest Bollywood movie on your head. Then he holds your head and moves it in so many directions that for a moment you feel that you are sitting in a roller coaster. After everything is done, you give him a dollar (tips included!) and you walk out happy for another month before you return!!

This blog is dedicated in its entirety to all the barbers who have cut my hair. I bow down in respect to thee :) !!!

That reminds me, statistically, I have spent almost 25*12*0.5 = 150 hours (almost a week!) in the barber's chair and have had my hair cut at least 300 times!! Wow!!

Celebrity through notoriety

This is a funny example of "what you sow is what you reap!".

To proclaim my blatant love for cars, I have purchased 4 toy cars and have kept them in my office cubicle for everyone to admire. Earlier I had kept them on top of a cabinet so that everyone who passed by my cube could see them. One fine day, I saw that one of them was missing, only to find out three days later that it was hidden by a friend of mine who tried to play a prank on me.

However, he isn't aware that over the three days, I did a lot of frantic searching for the car, before I declared that it was "stolen". Also just to take care of the rest of my cars, I moved them from their original location. Doing all this attracted a lot of attention of my regular visitors and a few of my colleagues.

Finally, now that I have my car back, every now and then whenever an old visitor comes back, the conversation naturally drifts towards my stolen car, and then I have to explain how my friend had hid it as a practical joke and how he gave it back to me. And the result is, ahem, everyone wants to know who he is :) !!!

I never imagined I would give so much negative publicity to someone without intending to do so. But this is just another example of how negative gets highlighted in our society whereas the good things go unnoticed.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Heavy duty

Belated Valentine's day wishes to all my readers! I actually forgot to wish everyone of you yesterday so I thought I do that today. I pity the guy who has to buy expensive gifts for his girlfriend/fiance, I have no such expenses :) !! (Yaa, I know I am that "glass is half full" guy :P)

Today I read a news about a very heavy baby born somewhere in Brazil. Lucky guy (got press coverage)!! For those of you who don't know, I too came close to competing for the title of India's heaviest baby (when I was born ofcourse :P)!! But the media in India when I was a kid was soo bad that they did not bother to report me. Else today you all would have been proud to have known me :)!!

I was actually the heaviest baby to be ever born in the hospital that I was born. And the doctor who delivered me was ecstatic to see my weight on the weighing scale (infact he couldn't believe my weight so he checked it on a couple of machines before telling my weight to my mom :P). Finally I was kept as a specimen for every nurse/doctor in the hospital to come and admire. So, many pretty nurses came and kissed me that day, that I was thinking to myself "If I am soo popular on the first day of my life, what am I gonna do later?!" (If someone wants to still admire one of the most heavy babies in the world, am still available :P). However all that kissing and hugging took its toll on me, and the fifth day of my life I was down with skin infection :) !! Luckily for me, I recovered before I could lose any weight and continued gaining it everyday of my life from then on.

Rumour has it that my parents developed their forearm muscles thanks to lifting me everyday. My dad was the intercontinental arm wrestling champion 2 times in a row (Hah .. I know you fell for that one :P)...

Actually speaking its a Thursday evening and my sense of humor has gone for a toss. So if you did not find this article funny, go see this video and turn on your speakers, cause you need to listen...

Saturday, February 10, 2007

For Feed readers only!

Hi guys!

This blog post is only for those of you who subscribe to my feed using a RSS/Atom Feed reader.

When I started blogging there were hardly a couple (read 2) of people reading my blog. But now I guess the count has increased to a number which I cannot count with one hand (read more than 5) :) !! So, I decided I change my feeds to a more professionally managed site (Feedburner)!

What this means to you?

If you are subscribed to my blog using an RSS/Atom Aggregator (eg Google Homepage/ Bloglines etc), the feed will go dead within a week. You will have to resubscribe to my feed using the following url:

If you were tracking my blog by visiting the site, then there is no change for you.

I am sorry for the trouble! And thanks for reading and keep commenting :) !!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Airline travel

Okay, so the procrastinating me didn't stick to my own deadline of writing two blogs before Feb end :) !! Right now, I am in the Heathrow airport waiting to catch my connecting flight. Its 2 hours from now, and 2 hours for me is too short a time to do anything... You can't sleep because if you do so, there's a chance you might oversleep .. you can't sit and chit chat with strangers (I don't need to explain why :P !!). So I decided to utilize this time to write something. I bet this is a lot better way to spend my time..

Have already had a 10 hour flight before and my entire body is aching. Airline travel is an interesting experience. First you say goodbye to your family and feel low about it... Then comes the security check and you are scanned left right top bottom with no concerns for your privacy. Your bags are probed to the last pocket, innocent looks meet no concern. Then comes the cramped airline seat. The seats are designed soo good that if they were made any smaller, people like me would prefer go standing in the flight :) !! I believe 5 years from now, all airlines will have one big floor and every passenger will have to get his/her own sleeping bag and find a spot on the floor and sleep. Business and first class passengers will be treated with respect by giving them complimentary pillows along with their bags :) !!

Then comes the nutritious airline food. The less said about it the better.... I bet most of us have no idea what we are eating. I once ended up eating up the container ...

If there is one thing that has always intrigued me, its the airline Toilet. Each time I visit it, I feel like bowing down to the person who designed it. How could some one soo efficiently squeeze in sooo many things in a tiny space of 1x1 foot? Next time you board a plane, get up in the middle of the night (when everyone else is sleeping and there is no queue to visit the heavenly abode!) and study this place. There are shampoos, creams, tooth pastes, brushes, hot/cold water dispensers, towels and any other toiletries you can think of! I bet there is a Playstation somewhere inside too, I just couldn't find it out yet.

Then come the duty free shops. I bet all duty free shop owners consider airline travellers jet-lagged idiots who have no idea of the correct price of an item. Imagine a serial shopaholic like me finds the prices on some of the things ridiculously expensive (not that I refrain from buying anyways .. there comes the idiot part in me :) !!)

Lastly comes your co-passenger. If you take a window seat, you will get a co-passenger who is horizontally challenged (read obese) and sleeps for the entire time of the flight. So you have no chance to move out. Then, if you take an aisle seat then you get hyperactive neighbours who want to get out every 15 minutes, and the friendly air hostess steps on your foot each time that she passes by you :)!!

Well all said and done, I love airline travel, cause it makes me realize I am just a population statistic in this big bad world. I am just a boarding pass holding airline cargo who is given a seat and carries with me tonnes of other mundane stuff from one corner of the world to another.

Sigh.. how depressing :( !!