Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gaga gugu

Have had the privilege of staying with a 1 year old for sometime and thought I give my expert opinion on the subject ;)

Even though the kid hasn’t gone beyond basic sounds that range from “waaaaah”, “dah dah dah” “na na” to the very complex “kot kot kot” (which do not make sense in most of the languages that we speak with him), we as adults have already started speaking to him like 2 year olds. So all “r”s are pronounced as “l”s and “s”s are pronounced as “sh”s. A hypothetical Girish Singh would now be called Gilish Shingh (I hope you get my point!).

Today, I am proposing a new corollary. It goes – “Kids speak like they do because adults do not speak like adults to them”. If you think of it, I have never seen an adult speak like an adult with a kid. We always try to sound cute and make funny noises and sounds to them (If you don’t believe me, try recording yourself when you speak to a toddler, and then later play it back!). At the time when they are trying to learn a new language they end up sounding the way they do cause we speak gibberish to them.

And if this blog post sounds without purpose and out-of-the blue for you, well it is! I have been staring at my screen for the last one hour thinking of something witty to write, and this is the only thing I could come up with!! Well, well, while I am writing I generally listen to something in the background (yeah music somehow spurts my creativity – or I like to think of it that way!). But lately I have realized that I am stuck in the late 90s as far as my music taste goes (Uncle tendencies!). To update myself with what's happening in the music scene now, I decided to listen to Lady Gaga. So rest of the hour was spent watching her videos than listening to her. Then I finally put this blog post together. Anyway, I ain’t putting any of her videos here. If you are a guy, I would highly recommend you go watch them as well. I would just put Christopher Walken’s (Don’t I love my uncles!) rendition of her Poker face here:

Christopher Walken - Poker Face

And if you don’t remember Christopher Walken, then you should see his Weapon of Choice dance for Fatboy Slim. So what is the lesson for today you ask? Next time when you write a blog post – do not pretend to listen to “new” music!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Scandal Management

In the past few months, the media has gone berserk covering sex scandals all around the world. There was a golfer, a footballer, a singer, a director, a spiritual guru, a talk show host, another TV personality and the list goes on. Now, personally I don’t really have an opinion about whether it is right or wrong or its ethical or forged. The point I am trying to make out here is sooner or later, every celebrity in this world will have to face a scandal, whether he likes it or not. This my dear, in turn is going to require an expert to handle such crisis. A new job which I would like to title – “Scandals Manager”. The person who comes in to help a fallen celebrity handle all the negative publicity that he/she has managed to garner. This professional will state his/her expertise to be – help you get out of the $hit that you got into – knowingly or unknowingly.

Money is power. And with great power comes responsibility (yeah I know Spiderman’s uncle said that!). By transitive closure ;) – With great (a lot of) money comes responsibility. And we as normal  human beings are not taught to be responsible. We “act” responsible only when we are in the spotlight.

I also would love to quote a blog post that I read about these scandals which said “It is part of the life cycle of a modern-day celebrity: Get famous, be adored, do something stupid, be scorned, apologize at a press conference, make a public show of penance, launch a comeback”.

I hereby “announce” that I am an expert in understanding such crisis. So here is Girish’s guide to celebrities in a mess. This shall serve as my resume and credentials for this role ;) !!

1) Tell it to the people who really matter to you, before the media tells them.

Yeah. If you are doing something wrong and you figure out that someone is gonna leak it, do so before that someone goes and leaks it out!

Here is a quick guide to an ideal confession. I really love the way this talk show host handled his scandal. not only did he come out in the open with it before the media went crazy over it. He made it sound so funny that most people were laughing when he confessed and apologized. If this was not enough, he also sued the guy who threatened to leak his scandal and managed to get him arrested. Its like having the cake, blowing the candles and eating it too!

2) Apologize only to the people you have hurt.

You don't owe anything to the world. I still am trying hard to figure out why a golfer in US apologized to me for his philandering. I am neither his wife, nor one of those women. My life in no way is affected by what he has done (well not really, I read a lot about his scandal online – but that was popcorn entertainment for me – I should thank him instead!)

Most celebrities don’t really owe us anything when they become celebrities. We expect all of them to be saints. And then they come out and apologize to the world to the fans and to everyone – it  sounds so fake and made-up.

And here is a quick guide on how to apologize only to the people who were affected by your scandal. The same guy again!

3) Have a conscience.

Well, I shouldn’t really be saying this. Cause if you really get a conscience, my job as a Scandals Manager is threatened. This statement is like an Oil company asking you to drive less or a Cigarette manufacturer telling you that smoking is injurious to health :) !!

4) Do not deny.

The more you try to deny the more your dark secrets get revealed. Investigative journalism makes a whole lot of money out of unearthing scandals because you like it or not we like to sling mud at our heroes.

If any celebrity who reads my blog needs a Scandals Manager, you know where to reach me :) !! Free services for first 10 callers!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

How to be a good host?

So a good Singaporean friend of mine decided to go out for dinner with me last week. And since we always had non-Indian cuisine before, he felt a bit adventurous and asked me to treat him to my choice of Indian cuisine.

For people who are in the know, there are 2 kinds of Indian cuisines. The kind that you eat when you take non-Indians out with you (the Mango Lassi and Butter Chicken variety), and the other kind which you eat when you really crave Indian food. (That reminds me; heavenly food for me is – dried fish chutney – the way my mom makes it!)

Now since he was feeling a bit adventurous, I thought I might as well introduce him to what I was totally craving for, that day. So we feasted on Chettinad cuisine. The spicy Tamil variety. The kind which requires a constant flow of tissues and water. Being the mild Singaporean he is, he just could mumble “nice”, “nice” before he broke down into a river of tears and then started appreciating the Naan.

When a foreigner starts appreciating the Naan, you can guess for sure that the main course is out of his reach. But I think the devil had gotten into me that day. To finish our hot and spicy meal, I ordered for the Madras filter coffee. Its no latte, and it is sweet and has got milk. A hot drink after a spicy meal makes sure that you cry enough to make the person sitting on the table next to you pity your misery. My poor victim bottomed that as well.


As a final treat, I made him eat Paan. I think that was just too much for him. He finally pleaded to me that this is all he could take. I could see his face turning pink, as his throat turned numb because of eating all the betel nut pieces put so thoughtfully inside the paan. It was so bad that for close to half an hour the only thing he could do was ask me if he was gonna be alright!

He bid me good bye and left for his home half crying, half choking and generally feeling very miserable. On my way back, as I recalled the ordeal that I put him through, I kinda felt bad (I mean it). So this is a guilt laden blog to apologize for the pain and agony I put him through :) !!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rebuilding temples

India is caught on the craze of rebuilding temples. Some of the most amazing temples that I visited as a kid have been rebuilt. I don’t get it. Most temples are architectural wonders of their times. They add to the awe of the premises. Rebuilding is destroying our heritage. I understand that the temples were built around the idols of the deity inside and people for all practical purposes go to pray to the deities inside the temples. But I guess, what adds to the sanctity of the temples is their ancient look and their architecture made by countless workers having toiled over years to achieve the perfection that we can derive out of machines in a minute today!

I understand most of them are dilapidated. But isn't it much better to restore them than rebuild? I know restoring would cost a lot more than rebuilding them from scratch, but I bet most big temples have enough money in their “trusts” to afford a restore!