Saturday, April 18, 2020

My father gave me a haircut in lockdown

My father is a great man. He loves me very much. I also love him very much especially whenever I need his help. Today I told my father I needed his help and he told me money can't buy happiness but it can buy a decent haircut.

One problem everybody is facing in lockdown is that the barbers have shut shop and disappeared. But this has not stopped our hair from growing. 

This means men who in the pre-lockdown world tried to look like Ranveer Singh are now looking like Nana Patekar.

As someone who in the pre-lockdown world looked like Satish Shah (I'm really fat) due to my hair growth had started to look like Bappi Lahiri.

Since I have no gold jewelry I decided to stop looking like Bappi da. The only person who could help me now was my father. He and a pair of scissors could really save me from people asking to give them selfie as Saroj Khan.

I asked my father to give me a haircut and he said no. I asked the reason for his no. Father said he didn't have the requisite training. I said the only training you need to cut my hair is the ability to hold a pair of scissors. My father was really impressed by ability to take risks and said yes.

I told him the haircut plan. Move the scissor over my ears in semi-circle pattern and the haircut will be over.

I brought my father a scissor and a comb. My father used them to delete the growth over my ears.

I told my father that he is an awesome barber. The stupendous success of his first attempt made my father decide he wanted to unleash his barbering talent on me. He said, "I can cut more if you want."

"Do it gov'nor," I spoke enthusiastically.

My father unleashed on me all the knowledge he had collected by watching barbers cut his hair. 

The result proved my father was right. You need some training to cut hair.

I thanked my father for the haircut. My father smiled and said, "My dear son, you need to pay me Rs100."

My dear friends I am writing this blogpost to tell that Doordarshan may be showing Ramayan but we are still living in Kalyug. Please don't pay your family members Rs100 for haircut that makes you look like minister in Ravana's court. Such haircuts are worth only Rs50 and over-charging during lockdown must not be tolerated.

Friday, November 8, 2019

My adventures with an automatic cheque drop box

This happened with me yesterday.

I told one of my employees to go to SBI and deposit a cheque. The employee went to SBI, came back to shop and gave me back the cheque.

“What happened?” I asked. 

“Madam-ji in bank said she will not deposit cheque,” the employee replied. 

“Is it just my cheque or SBI has started refusing cheques altogether,” I enquired.

“Madam-ji told me to deposit the cheque in some machine,” the employee told me. I surmised the reason my beloved employee had came back with the cheque was because he didn’t know how automatic drop boxes worked. 

I sighed and took the cheque to the SBI branch. The automatic drop box I discovered in bank was just like any other PSU bank machine. There was a long list of do’s and don’t’s displayed in front of the machine. I perused the instructions. I found my cheque well behaved to be thrown into the drop box and submitted it into the mouth of the automatic drop box. 

Some whirring noise came from the machine. Then the machine swallowed my cheque. Then there was some more whirring. I patiently waited for the xerox of my cheque to come out. Then the whirring stopped. I waited for some time for my cheque’s xerox but the machine stood silent like a yogi doing savasana.

Savasana as per google means the corpse state. It took me some time to realize the reason the machine was silent because it had reached the corpse state i.e. the machine had jammed while my cheque was inside the machine. 

I went to customer service desk and explained my plight to one of the employees. The good employee came with me to the automatic drop box. He checked whether I was telling the truth or playing April fool prank on him in November. 

The employee found the machine in corpse like state as I had left it. I asked the employee can he unjam the machine. The employee shook his head. I wanted to ask the good employee can I hit the machine. This technique usually worked on black and white tv sets. May be this machine was from the same era and only worked when its masochist cravings were satisfied. 

The good employee took me back to the customer service desk. He called someone on the intercom who I believe worked in the bank’s unjamming department. The good employee explained the situation to Mr. Unjammer and Mr. Unjammer replied he was currently too busy unjamming some other machines in the bank.

I asked the customer service guy what must I do now. The customer service guy asked the same question to Mr. Unjammer. Mr. Unjammer informed me in case I deposited my cheque’s deposit slip in branch’s non-automatic drop box i.e. regular drop box then at the end of the day Mr. Unjammer will match my cheque with the deposit slip and money will come into my account.

I am writing this blogpost to suggest SBI’s management that they must appoint at least two personnel per branch in the unjamming department. This will ensure any machine doing savasana can be repaired quickly. However, in case SBI’s top management finds my suggestion ludicrous then I request them to regularly service their machines so that the machines don’t stop working when customers are using them. 

To sum up
SBI is the best bank in India in wasting its customers’ time.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

A conversation I had yesterday

The shopping complex in which I have my shop is owned by a seventy year old man. He is old in age and quick to get angry. Due to his nature some shopkeepers are more resentful toward him than they are toward Modi-ji for implementing GST. 

This is the conversation I had with, Mr.Complex-owner, owner of the shopping complex in which I have my shop yesterday.

After lunch I like to sleep. If I was working in an office then I would have called my slumber as power nap. But since I am a small shopkeeper in a small town... my post lunch sleep is called sleep.

However, owning a shop has its own perks. I have an inflatable pillow and as mattress I use old newspapers. In case if I have to ever spend a night in jail then at least I won’t have much trouble in sleeping. 

I own a hosiery shop. This makes me an underwear salesman. And since due to recession it seems a huge part of population have decided to go commando I like to sleep after lunch behind one of the sales counters. 

Yesterday I was woken with a man shouting in my shop. The man was asking where is the owner of this shop. At first I thought this was an irate customer who wanted to tell me about the holes in his underwear. Then I heard the man shout the same question and realized it was Mr. Complex-owner who was prowling for this daily dose of skirmish. 

I beckoned one of the employees to stay silent. One of my other employee however revealed to Mr. Complex-owner that I was hiding behind sales counter. Mr. Complex-owner peeked and found me in supine position watching youtube. 

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Just nothing. Just trying to take a nap,” I replied.

“Why are all the lights of your shop shut off?” Mr Complex-owner asked.

“Because there are no customers in the shop,” I replied.

Mr. Complex-owner looked at me how Amitabh Bachchan must look at people who are eliminated in the first round of KBC. 

“So what there are no customers? Switch on lights so customers can find your shop,” Mr. Complex-owner thundered.

What’s the point in burning electricity during day time? I wanted to argue. But I didn’t. That’s because I am very bad at arguing. I am so bad at arguing that people with holes in their underwear berate me for selling them bad underwear and I can’t even tell them the fault could be of the soap used for washing clothes. 

Hence, to maintain to my sanity I decided to avoid the city champion of arguing and switched on couple of light bulbs.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Living a day without internet

Ask me what is the main goal of any website? Lots of people will say the main goal is to sell your personal info. I deny that. The main goal of every website is to make you addicted to that website. I realised this last night when I watched videos on youtube till 5 am. The videos were funny, educational and interesting but I didn’t sleep all night (although I did watch few videos on how to sleep early).

Now depending upon the amount of sleep deprivation a person’s mood next day could be groggy, grouchy or grumpy. Now being a normal person I had all the three moods during the day and sometimes at the same time. I am not a misanthrope but without my night sleep I become the guy who supports Hannibal Lecter for eating the people he despised. 

My attitude during the day was of a guy who overnight became a beggar from millionaire. Everywhere I looked I saw people reading, writing, forwarding, and deleting whatsapp messages. Everyone was happy except me who was exiled from the wonderland of social networking for not having any data credit to access internet. 

It’s now midnight. Thanks for reading my blog post. I have to go now. Youtube is waiting for me. I will go to sleep as soon as I have watched all the interesting videos on youtube. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I found a fake listing on Amazon

This happened with me on 15.04.2018, Sunday. I wanted to read Dan Brown’s Origins so I went to Amazon to buy a copy. Amazon told me the book after discount is available for Rs358. It also said that some other vendor on its platform is ready to sell it for Rs340. I calculated that it meant I could save Rs18. Nowadays for Rs18 one can’t even get a good pavbhaji but one can get a decent scoop of ice-cream. So I decided to save money for ice-cream and ordered from the cheapest seller. 

In evening I got a call from Mr. Cheapest Seller.

“You booked this Origins book from Amazon, right?” the Cheapest Seller asked.

“Yes, I did,” I replied. 

“The book we have is much more expensive than what you have ordered. You won't be able to afford it. Cancel your order.”

I think the original price of Origins’ hardcover copy is Rs799. I don’t know how the online vendor found out my financial position but I want to assure everybody who is reading this blog post that I can afford to spend Rs799 on a single book. However, if the vendor doesn’t want me to sell the book at the ordered price then I think I will take my business somewhere else instead of dealing with unscrupulous people. 

I wanted to tell the seller, “If you don’t want to sell the book at Rs340 then you shouldn’t have listed it on Amazon. Please don’t negotiate price after the order has been placed. I think this is cheating and I can’t trust any Amazon vendor anymore.”

But I didn’t

It was Sunday evening and I like to wait till Monday mornings to start acting grouchy. I told Mr. Cheapest Vendor that I will cancel the order and I did it as soon as the phone call was disconnected.

Thanks to everyone who read this blog post. I hope you have a wonderful day and don’t have to deal with a fraud online vendor ever. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Learning to make Omelette

I am old enough that little kids call me uncle. I am fat enough that sometimes teenagers call me uncle. I am not yet bald enough that I would refer myself as an uncle but I am working towards that goal. (I shampoo my hair only once every week.)

When somebody is old enough to be called an uncle then it means he has occupied earth for several years. This means the person has spend some time on earth learning essential survival skills like riding a bike, getting a job and avoiding aunties during marriages. 

However, there is one lacunae in my survival skill set. I don't know how to cook. I know the year is 2017 and boys must spend time in kitchen but I have a mobile phone and enough salary to order from restaurants. 

Since today is Rangwali Holi so all the restaurants in my neighbourhood are closed. This means to kill hunger I have to cook my own food. As a bachelor I am an expert in making yummy bachelor food dishes likes Maggie noodles and Maggie pasta. I can also make tea but I will have to first google for recipe. 

The reason I learned to cook omelette was because of my mother. Like any other normal mother she called me yesterday on Holi and instead of wishing me Happy Holi proceeded to ask about my eating plans. Since restaurants will be closed tomorrow she was concerned I would eat a dozen plates of Maggie noodles. 

I made the mistake of telling my mother the truth that I don't plan to eat twelve plates of Maggie noddles tomorrow. I just plan to eat Maggie for breakfast, lunch, supper and dinner. This made my mother remind her son that during my last home-visit she had added some utensils to my luggage.

My mother asked since you have tava and spatula then what is stopping you from making omelettes. The answer to that question as per me was lack of eggs but I didn't want to make my mother angry. She would start a lecture on why good food is important for health and end it with blaming Maggie for making her son retarded.  So I took omelette making instructions from mother and bought eggs. 

As per my mother the recipe for making omelette includes chopped onions, chilli, pepper and eggs. I guess this is how normal people make omelettes. As per me the easy bachelor omelette recipe is to break two eggs, whisk them, add salt and red chilli power. After that you pour the concoction on hot tava and eat with bread whatever comes out.

Thanks for reading my blog. 


Sunday, November 18, 2012

The haircut

I am an introvert. It doesn’t mean I hate people but only that I am not really good at conversations. I don’t talk much when I am with my friends and avoid talking with strangers assuming they all are Amway agents. I have always wished my barber to be an introvert like me and to me it seems it’s not love but haircutting where opposites attract. 

Today being a Sunday I decided to read few filmi magazines and hence visited a barber. When my turn came the barber asked me to sit on a chair and I told him I want a haircut and a shave. This should have been the end of discussion but unfortunately it seems ability to speak non-stop is an essential requirement for working in a Men Saloon. 

The barber half-way through the haircut asked me where you live sir. I wanted to say just do your job but the guy was giving me a haircut. Such a curt reply may lead the barber to shape my hair like David Beckham and I think I don’t have clothes to go with such a stylish hairdo. Unable to afford a new wardrobe I told the barber where I live and the barber told me he lives just 2 kms away from my home. In reply I said, “No wonder it’s such a nice locality”. 

The next question barber asked was what do you do Sir. I wanted to say currently I am working as a Gigolo. However, I was unsure if the barber understood this particular English word and I have no idea what a Gigolo is called in Hindi. So I told the barber about my work and the barber told me if the payment is good then it’s not a bad thing to do. 

The barber asked me few more questions and I dexterously replied all thereby ensuring I got a haircut appropriate for a guy who works in an office and not a rockstar. I left the barbershop hoping google will be able to answer one question which I have been asking myself ever since I started chatting with the barber and the question was how to cut one's own hair. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

My mother is addicted to TV serials

My mother is obsessed with the saas-bahu shows. For her the time between 7:30 pm to 10 pm is more sanctimonious then her pooja time. During this time she is glued to tv like you and me when Sachin Tendulkar is batting. With so much tv watching I have started fearing she will soon start weighing more than the sofa on which she sits. 

I remember when I was a child my mother told me money cannot buy happiness. She then proceeded to tell me stop watching cartoons on tv and study because no studies means no good marks which meant no good college which meant no good job which meant no good life and wife. I think I must tell her to stop watching tv but unfortunately she doesn’t have any homework to do. 

The reason I think I don’t like my mother watching so much tv is because I have slowly become jealous. Sometimes I think my mother cares more about Aanandi (of Balika Vadhu) than me. Her tv obsession makes me believe she is more interested in the life of people in Big Boss house than the people in her house; people who eat her cooking and wish they could order pizza instead of eating dal-roti-sabji every night. I think the only reason my mother watches so many cooking reality shows is to learn how to properly criticize my dear wife’s cooking. 

The biggest problem arises when India plays a day-night cricket match. We have two TVs in our house and she being the boss of the household orders me to watch the match on the smaller tv which I think my parents purchased when I was in school. It’s so old that I think it must be solely used to watch saas-bahu shows. Watching a cricket match on it is nothing short of a torture to me whereas in the next room my mother is learning tips on how to be a perfect monster-in-law. Things like this make me angry and motivate to write such blog posts. 

Another problem I have noticed is my mother is highly susceptible to ads. My home has every biscuit that is advertised on tv. I think we are the first people in the colony to try the exquisite new flavor of a biscuit that costs just one and a half times more than the regular one. It’s not that I have a problem with eating new variety of biscuits everyday but what I really want is some pizza chain to open shop near my home and start advertising heavily on tv. 

To sum up

TV was invented to pass time and not to ignore your family members. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How corrupt are we?

Watch any news channel on TV and they are talking about corruption. Read any newspaper and it’s full of graft charges. Log into twitter and you find people who believe every party is corrupt and full of criminals except the one which they support. 

As a common Indian I am angry and more than angry I am baffled. How did I vote for such cronies who treat politics as a business? It’s not that India is a unique country facing corruption on such a rampant scale. If you think our Indian politicians are bad then just look at Pakistan. 

It’s not that corruption became visible just in the last few months or years. I am sure when my father was young the politicians were corrupt and my father indulged in mini-corruption by bribing the ticket checker in railways to get an unoccupied berth, I too have done the same few times and looking at the way corruption has become part of the government machinery I think my children will do the same (unless they joins politics, get elected to public offices and become beneficiary of some railway quota so that instead of mini they can do real corruption. Unfortunately, this is highly doubtful because I plan to educate my kids and try my best to keep them away from criminal elements.)

Every third or fourth day Arvind Kejriwal comes on tv and says this politician is corrupt. Congress says Kejriwal is BJP’s agent; BJP says Kejriwal is Congress’s agent; and Digvijay Singh (using the time tested foreign hand theory) says Kejriwal has got a contract from foreign agencies to clean Indian politics. I don’t trust anyone of them because as a common Indian one lesson I have learned after so many years of disappointment from our leaders is that never to trust them. The foreign hand interested in damaging India is usually imaginary and most of our problems remain unsolved because our politicians waste time and resources on foreign trips.

Abraham Lincoln said, “Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people”. It is us and not our enemies sitting in Pakistan who elected these politicians to the position of power. The solution to our problem is not television fights but better governance which we can have by punishing the corrupt and ensuring safeguards that public money gets spend on public and not private good. I know this is easier said than done. When my father was young he had the same thoughts and today he understands the system and finds bribery though a cancer of society ensures that the work gets done. Today as a young Indian I am writing a blog telling you corruption is bad but the next time a traffic cop stops me for violating a traffic rule I am gonna say, “Sir, I accept my mistake and I am extremely sorry. Isn’t there anyway through which we can adjust this? Thank you”.

To sum up

Corruption is the cancer of our society which is spreading because just like smokers we are doing things which are heavily injurious to our health. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sick Sunday

Yesterday was Sunday. When I woke up I found my mother making tea and my father with his nose burrowed in the newspaper. I wished my mother good morning and told my dad he needs to take me to a doctor. In reply my father moved from the editorial to the cartoon section and asked, “Why?”

I think my father is the coolest person on earth. But he also has one quirk. Sometimes without any intimation he shifts from The Cool Mode to The Homer Simpson Mode. In reply to my father’s why I wanted to say because there is a new doctor in town about whom all my friends say she is super hot. I think I must check her out. Speaking this would have made Homer Simpson strangle me like Bart Simpson. So instead of the wisecrack I said the truth. I said, “Because I am sick”.

My father took me to a more-than-a-clinic-but-not-yet-a-hospital type of place. The place had nameplates of four doctors on the door and I think they had enough degrees among themselves to cover all the alphabets of English language. Along with the nameplates there was a mention of when the medical representatives can meet the doctors and several posters about which I am sure were put up by medical representatives. The most interesting poster had a man standing behind bars with the caption ‘Doctor is not God. Beating the doctor is a criminal offence’. Not very confidence inspiring in the abilities of the doctors I must say.

Among the four doctors, the least educated one diagnosed me. He was so poorly educated that he had only four alphabets in his degree. And even among those four alphabets one was repeated. He was just an MBBS.  

When the doctor called me in, my father stood up and entered the doctor’s room. That’s my father in the Homer Simpson mode. He doesn’t appreciate the concept of physician-patient privilege. Physician-patient privilege aka client confidently means the doctor can ask me how many times you masturbate during a day and in reply I can say, “Look doc, I am a young man. I don’t have a girlfriend but I have super fast unlimited broadband connection.  You do the maths.” The doctor will never reveal this to anybody (There is some grey area. This concept might not work if the doctor decides to become a standup comedian). The doctor can tweet ‘Just met the weirdest/craziest patient of my life’ but my name will appear only in his DMs. 

The doctor did the check up and said you will have to change your lifestyle. My mind immediately went into red alert and started broadcasting at full volume the following message throughout my body ‘Do not listen to the doctor. Your browsing history is the proof that you are 100% straight. Stay that way. I repeat do not listen to the doctor’. I said okay to the doctor and collected the prescription. 

After the doctor me and my dad visited the chemist. The chemist had a look at my prescription and said, “Damn it. You should have consulted the MD.” WTF man. How serious I am that I need an MD. When did the druggists changed their profession from selling medicines to scaring the shit out of their customers. 

After collecting the medicines me and my father walked towards his bike. I said to my father there is one more thing we need to do. He asked what and gave me a look which I immediately decoded as ‘You donkey. You didn’t say yes when your mother said can you bring some vegetables’. 

I said I want to buy India Today.  My father took me to the nearest magazine vendor and I told the guy sitting at the counter to give me a copy of English India Today. In response the guy smiled and gave me a magazine which had a half nude model on the cover with the caption “Porn@home’. “WTF man” I asked myself. When did give me English India Today became a code for Debonair.  I smiled back at the guy on the bookstore counter and said, “You know ... I think I will read Business India this week’.

Yes. That’s my life. It’s full of surprises. Surprises which deeply embarrass me in front of my family.