Friday, November 14, 2008

What's in a name....

Has it ever happened to you that when you look at a person you feel that person should be called a certain name? Do you feel that a person can look his or her name? Confused? Let me give you an example. When I first joined work, in the bus (yes my office provides transport, one of the numerous reason I am still working in this place) I saw this guy who looked very Punjabi (To all the Punjabis out there…I love you guys, Please do not take it personally) He wore branded jeans and branded floral shirt, a big metallic watch (also branded) to office. The shirt and the jeans were a size smaller or he had just expanded since the time he had bought it. He always wore Rayban shades, most of the time they were perched on the forehead or hung from his shirt pocket. His face was/is/will be always …round, and he had coloured hair. One look at him and I decided that he must be a “Gaurav” and believe it or not his parents also thought the same. See what I mean. Some people just look their name. Like Mrinu looks like Mrinalini, or Piya looks very Piya.

So some people look their name and some don’t. Yes, some don’t. I’m sure you and your friend at some point in your life must have said this “She should have been called…instead of ….” Or “She is soooo much like a …..” (Fill in the blanks with the suitable names)We all have ‘code’ names for people. If you don’t, then perhaps you lack the imagination which is another issue altogether. Anyway, coming back to names, like everyone we also have names for almost everyone. People who we like generally get good names and people whom we don’t like get names that suit their personalities (or so WE think). Nice names range from DIVA (because she behaves like one) to JB (initials of a name) to Goddess (because she is one) to Dan (short form of a looooong name) to The Lawyer (simply because of his profession) and so on and so forth. Most of these names are for friends, some get to know their ‘code’ names, some don’t but in any case they don’t mean any harm.

Funny names are fun. Sometimes these names become so common that one forgets the actual name of that person. Our workplace is full of them. I shall elucidate.

Blockage- Imagine a tall fair pretty girl with beautiful long hair. Add some extra kilos to her. Now imagine this pretty lass with a heavy baritone. And we have Miss. Blockage for you. Wondering why she is called Blockage? One fine day she found out that poor little Mrinu was having cold. So she took it upon herself to enquire about her health sweet I know but whatever!) And always one constant question (in that baritone) and in a matronly way “So how are you today? Mrinu(feebily) “ Ok” blowing some more into the napkin “ And the BLOCKAGE?” The emphasis was always on the word Blockage. For the longest time whenever Mrinu thought about her all she could hear around her was the word “blockage” in that tone.

Matka- It’s not difficult to guess why a person is called that. Obviously for his physicality. This man happens to be a marketing guy who makes our life miserable by piling more and more useless work on us. And it doesn’t help that he looks and behaves like a ‘matka’. He is short, fat, and dark. He can’t speak a word properly and almost squeaks every sentence. And yes just like a matka his head is empty. He lacks substance. His actual name happens to be Arjun Agarwal but our team fondly calls him Matka. So much so, that once in a meeting Joe (my team mate) almost called him “Mat” and stopped at the right moment with us glaring at him. In his defense Joe said later “I just couldn’t remember his name. None of us call him that!”

Ishaan- Remember Ishaan from the film Taare Zameen Par? We have our very own Ishaan at work. He is a friend. But he doesn’t know he is referred to as Ishaan. Why you may wonder? Well, he is special. Or as Mrinu would put it “a little tara on the zameen” .The guy is a certified geek and has no qualms proclaiming that. Although 24 years old but he claims he is not more than 6.And is very proud of that. Awwww, our little Ishaan…He gets excited seeing gross pictures, enjoys toilet humour and loves to play ‘missed call, missed call’ on Gtalk when bored. Just like the Ishaan in the film, our Ishaan is totally ‘Bindaas!’

Purple Hair Giant- The name explains it all eh? This man is the most fascinating creature I have ever met. When I had first joined office he used to have long pink hair. He is about 5.10`, huge and had French beard back then (he recently shaved it off, revealing he has no chin) had long purple hair, which slowly turned shocking pink, and wears only shades of dark blue or black. Wow! The man had the hots for our Nandu for the longest time (another story for another time) He went bald in the middle maybe in the grief that Nandu had rejected him the 44th time. Is over friendly with the entire office and thinks he has the coolest sense of humour. Me thinks, he is just plain irritating. Current status is that he is dating Blockage and has lost 2 kgs. Ah love!

CUJ King-He used to go in the same bus as Mrinu’s. Quite the looker, he attracted a lot of female attention (Our ex-colleague Nida and Mrinu also being ‘one of them’). But CUJ king was hot only till the time he kept his mouth shut. The moment he opened it err…let’s just say lot of dreams were shattered. On his Orkut profile one of the most frequently used word is “CUJ” Eg: ‘I don’t like books cuj they r boring’, ‘Cuj am hot!’ etc etc. Yes, he meant ‘because’ or maybe ‘Cuz’. Once he had come to our bay to meet Nida and Piya had started singing ‘Kajrare’ loudly. We all were in splits CUJ it was funny!

Pigeon one and two- Two women look exactly the same but aren’t related. They both go in my bus, and have a neck like a pigeon and round eyes. They both love to be on the phone 24/7. Cannot sit properly and keep kicking and adjusting their seats through out the journey, love to disturb others around them but hate being disturbed. Pigeon One is taller and Pigeon Two stares a lot! Off late they have become bummies and are performing together for the upcoming office bash. I’m eagerly waiting for their event.

Verbal Abuser- Ex- colleague Nida’s fiancĂ©. Uses abuses like punctuation marks in his vocabulary. But only in front of guys. In front of girls, he is full of ‘Lucknowi Tehzeeb’. He slips only when he is drunk. Ah.. can’t blame him, it’s the alcohol talking. His ultimate dream: To challenge every able bodied guy for a fight. He claims that he can win every single match.

LL aka Luscious Lips- My boss. Has fat lips (well taken care of with moisturizer) which are the most prominent feature of his face followed by huge nose. Simply gross.

Bus Bhaiya- Sweet guy, goes in my bus. Also a friend and is the mushiest guy on planet earth. All his Gtalk status messages are dedicated to his girl friend. Mrinu had a tiny crush on him which Nandu found hard to digest and said “But he is our Bus Bhaiya”. You know, some guys just give out that brotherly vibe and he is one of them.

I’m sure by now you must have got an idea of what I have been talking about. There are names for almost all weird characters and our office is full of them. And I haven’t even started with my college and school list.

Disclaimer - We aren’t uppity. We are just a tad bit sarcastic and yes, have a sense of humour. Our kind. All the people mentioned above are nice people and we don’t hate them. They provide us with a lot of entertainment and I have to admit, office would have been quite dull without them. So, to them!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Notes from the diary of a Could be Roadie!

It all started when I heard that Dheeraj, a red haired wannabe model at work had registered for Roadies. Roadies, as you all must be knowing, is a very popular reality show on MTV, which selects a bunch of foul mouthed, skimpily clad youngsters who ride on bikes, fall off it, get cosy with each other and travel and see good places in the daytime and bitch and vote people out in the evening time. Of course, the channel thinks they are running a classic adventure series with daredevil stunts (read scripted).

Anyway, the auditions in Delhi were cancelled as rowdy Delhiites did ‘tod-fod’ in the venue. Result was, people could fill the form online and then be chosen. While I have never really harbored feelings to be a part of any reality show ever, but the fact that I could fill up a form online was making me curious to know how would I fare if given a chance (read a very easily accessible chance).

I filled up the form with very true answers, and sent it knowing they didn’t want ‘suljha hua’ youngsters like us, as Anjali puts it. Well, all you had to do was click on submit. So there.

I received a call a few days later from “Preeti from MTV” saying I had to get an extra pair of clothes that wasn’t branded for my auditions as my form had been short listed! Surprised and now a little worried (because it was fine till I was sitting on my workstation and filling a form online… Now it meant more work!) as I am the kind that sits on the sidelines and judges these funny people who want to be on TV. Now I was suddenly on the other side. And it was a little scary.

Morning of the auditions, 6:30 am
I dump my plans to go for the audition, because I had a sleepless night, and when I did sleep, I dreamt of two very decked up PYTs bitching about me on national TV, saying that I take too much space on the bed and that I eat ‘bhat’ on a road trip and that I have no fashion sense. All true by the way.

Still the Morning of the auditions, 7:30 am

I am sitting in the car with Baba, who had made sure that I went for the audition by saying, “We get to be young only once, so you must explore the world beta.” I felt like I was being taken to the butcher house.

As I entered the venue, I revived, feeling I should make the most of my day. Straightaway, I made a friend, Divyanshi. She insisted that this was the first time she had come to audition and that she had been partying all night. Her very pressed hair and a butterfly clip and nicely done features didn’t say so. Another girl, Nancy (or Harpreet) joined us, saying her nose had a small fracture thanks to the bottle that had hit her on the day the auditions had got cancelled. She had come for these auditions, yet again. Some enthu.

Soon, we were made to stand in a line and a camera swooped past us and we were asked to cheer very loudly and scream ‘Roadies’ at the top of our voices. When the camera came near me, I shyly waved at it. I still don’t know why.

Then came the ‘heroes’ (I say it in the plural form because there are quite a few in that category…You will surely know them all in due course of time) of the show, Ayushman. He came and asked some guys to prove it that they were ‘real mard’ by making them do push-ups. Even some girls did it. Don’t know what they proved.

We were all lead to a huge hall and divided into 8 boys and 8 girls for the Group discussion round. I had Divyanshi with me who seemed to like Nikhil Chinappa even more than I did. I silently cursed her. Into the GD room, we sat on a semi circle row chairs and the judge (Sagar from MTV Productions) said “Sab hindi mein baat karenge. Topic hai live-in (so much for his Hindi!) Mujhe yeh nahi dekhna ki kaun right hai ya wrong, mujhe bas apke behaviour ko dekhna hai.”

And the boys started off….They babbled loudly and endlessly about how everything is fake, and love is a time pass and nobody cares about emotions anymore and that ‘sab chalta hai’. One guy said, “Live-in mast hai, because ‘love shav’ kuch nahi hota, all that we need is sax. (yes u read it right) Sax mil gaya, to sab mast hai.” To that, a very quiet guy who sat next to me, looked wide eyed. He seemed scared at the mention of the word ‘sax’. I wonder how he was short listed for even the second round.

From the middle of nowhere, in barged Raghu, the man himself, Mr.Roadie personified. He entered with his arms outstretched, as if he was already holding the imaginary collar of an imaginary boy. His fingers then magically fitted into the collar of a boy sitting in the GD room and just like that, he was whisked outside.

And we heard. “Saale, B**********, tod-fod ki thi tune? Baap ka auditorium tha? Ja, jaa ke apne gunde dosto ko bol ki Raghu Dilli mein hai. Dum hai to aaj tod-fod kare. Sorry bol saaaaale!”

The poor boy, whose face was inches away from Raghu’s, stuttered, “Sir, maine to kuch bhi nahi kiya tha. Mujhe police ne do latth (read stick or cane) maare, to mai khundak kha gaya, aur pathar uthake tute huye khidki mein de maari! Sach sir”
“SORRY BOL B*******”

He said sorry and entered the GD room looking like he had wetted his pants.

I had forgotten by then if I supported the concept of live in or not. Also, the judge couldn’t hear anything properly, so he asked us all to speak one by one. While all the boys ranted about ‘time pas and sax’ the girls were a step ahead. I was the only other person who said that live-in couldn’t ever be a healthy concept. Except some cases, living in lacked a certain respect a relationship demands. People feel more like commodities.

The girl next to me who looked petite and quiet like a mouse with pink gloss, had this to say, “I think living in is great. If given an ‘opportunity’ I would definitely live in.” I felt sad for this creature who wanted an opportunity to live in. Tsk tsk…

Another girl with brown hair and a weird blue bandana had nothing to say but loved interrupting everyone with “all this is crap, sab chalta hai, live-in bhi cool hai” one liner.

The GD got over and the judge asked us to wait for eternity till the results would be put up. The ‘sax’ guy turned back and announced, “Nothing personal people!”

Once out, we realized why it would take till eternity. There were now atleast 800 people lined up in front of different rooms, all giving auditions. We were seated in a hall where one girl with ‘Diwali mela’ beaded hair came and said, “You know, I am an expert in street plays, so I was very efficient in managing the GD in my batch…blah blah”

I wondered how people can talk about themselves to absolute strangers and that too for hours. Saw Raghu asking one of the production staff what to do with a particular guy who had come to audition. When told to scold him, he began his usual bashing routine with this fellow who didn’t even know what he had done! I half wished to take an auto back home, itching to begin my blog post, I was mentally so done with this whole reality show business.

Four hours later and several smses between me, Nandu and Anjali, and pecking at Divyanshi’s alu parantha wala lunch later, this cute production guy who wore chappals and had three eye brow piercings announced we could see the results.

But before that, we had to huddle up together, shout Roadies again in front of the camera…I wished I had some vodka to enact this part for MTV. Ayushman, the host announced, “Guys, we received 50,000 forms from Delhi and shortlisted you 810 people. So Congrats! But now, we will be announcing only 10 people, who will be interviewed by Raghu HIMSELF! So here is the list!”

The girl who wanted an opportunity to live in was selected. The “all this crap” girl was selected. The street play loudspeaker was selected.

Suljha hua Mrinalini wasn’t.

My new friend Divyanshi looked like she had failed her 12th boards! I tried to make her see logic, tried to tell her that 10 in 810 dint mean she was dumb or not worth it, but she refused to blink or talk or laugh. The guy who had been bashed up by Raghu in my GD room came up with a shining red Swift and asked, “Lift, anyone?”

I sang ‘Sinngh is King’ along with the fm radio in his car and got dropped till home. The only other thing I did was tell the two people (him and Divyanshi) in the car that it was ok if they weren’t Roadies. They could earn and be respected people even now.

They didn’t believe me.

And that, my dears, is life :p

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