Mostly Thoughtless

Tam Brahm, thank you ma'am

Monday, April 23, 2007

Brahmins in Bangkok - Part 0

Many of you may have heard of the phrase ‘So near, yet so far’, and some of you may have even used it, in a variety of situations. However, if you are, like me, a government certified, pure and unadulterated Tam Brahm boy, and you wish to truly understand the meaning of that phrase, then you must visit Bangkok.

A couple of equally pristine Tam Brahm friends and I happened to do exactly that for three glorious days last October, in our desire to see more of the world and expand our admittedly narrow horizons. We had heard that Bangkok contained a lot of culture, and that while some of that culture involved giant temples depicting the Buddha going about his daily activities – sitting, standing, reclining, calling in sick to work, watching TV etc., the rest of it contained friendly, young, naked women of low morals. Our primary objective in going to Bangkok was to take in all the culture that was lying around there, unattended, in all these temples, and return to India safely, without being affected by the rest of that unwanted culture involving the naked women. We were, after all, good Tam Brahm boys.

Before I get into the finer details of our trip, let me first give you some background. Bangkok, though it sounds like someone with very limited command over the English language crudely telling you to engage in sexual intercourse, is an actual city situated in Thailand. In fact, I have heard, from reliable sources, that it is the capital city, although it seemed pretty lowercase when I was there myself. Anyway, what you need to understand from this paragraph is that Bangkok has a rich history, filled with lots and lots of culture and tradition. You will also need to understand that Thailand is an extremely religious country. They, and by ‘they’, I'm obviously referring to the citizens of Thailand, called the Vietnamese, take their religion very seriously. I am still not sure what that religion is, but whatever it is, they take it seriously. They also have immense respect for their King, whose name is Bhumibol Adulyadej. Quite unbelievably, no one, not even their bloggers and talk show hosts, ever make fun of him, in spite of that ridiculous name. I later learnt, and you will too, that funny names are an integral part of Thai culture.

Oops!! In the previous paragraph, I forgot to give you the most essential information regarding the background of Bangkok. The city is, not without good reason, known as Asia's sex capital, and is filled with innumerable establishments of dubious reputation. These shady joints function under the disguise of normal, respectable businesses, like massage parlours, saunas, hotels, houses of parliament etc. but behind closed doors, their true colours are revealed, as are certain personal body parts, and all kinds of disreputable activities take place. Last year, in late September, a group of soldiers who were in the Thai army, which if you ask me, could well be another of those shady establishments, staged a coup and overthrew the ruling government, causing a lot of tension in the country.

So here we are finally, the stage is now set: It’s October, in 2006. The sex capital of Asia is still struggling to come to terms with the military coup that took it by surprise just weeks ago. The tension in the city is palpable, and getting ready to palp it are three Tam Brahm boys: Swaminathan a.k.a Swami, Krishnamurti a.k.a. Goach and Vinod a.k.a me.

(To be continued (if I feel like it))

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Wedding Blogger

Dedicated to Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai.

Abhishek, it was a fair fight and I must admit that you turned out to be the better man at the end. Congrats, dude. Have fun.

Aishwarya, baby, I just wanted to let you know that I’ll never forget that one hot night in 2005. Whenever you need me, just mail vinod dot g at gmail dot com. Muah.

Unless you’ve been in a coma all these days, or even clinically dead, you probably know about this already - Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan got married yesterday, and here’s the shocking part, TO EACH OTHER. According to press reports, this was the biggest Indian wedding since the Vijaykant nuptials in 1990. It took place over the last couple of days, and many of you people who have jobs probably didn’t want to take the whole day off to watch the proceedings live on the television news channels, preferring to get back and watch live coverage of the Ash-Abhi wedding night instead. So this blog, to show its gratitude to all three of its loyal readers, decided to put its own life on hold and cover the entire event for you. So, if you’re ready, here we go:

16:00: So, after many months of speculation, here we are, ladies and gentlemen, inside our very own living rooms, because none of us have been invited to the big Bachchan-Rai wedding which is taking place in Mumbai as we type. After all these months of planning, preparation and unnecessary press coverage, are you all excited right now? No? Well, yeah, neither are we. But as we watch the crowds milling around the Bachchan residence and crazy fans climbing up on nearby trees to catch a glimpse of the goings on, the excitement is slowly building up inside us and we are finding it really hard to not change the channel.

16:05: The question on everyone’s lips right now is what will Aishwarya be wearing at the wedding? Really, everyone is asking it. It was also one of the questions on ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ last night. The contestant didn’t know the answer, so he decided to take the audience poll. All the women voted for option C: Kancheepuram Saree, while all the men voted for imaginary option E: Nothing.

16:10: Of course, having dealt with the entertainment world for so long, this blog knows that the question itself was fundamentally wrong. With celebrities, it’s not a question of what they're wearing, but who they're wearing, as in their designers. In this particular case, the entire Bachchan family, including the family dog Buster Bachchan, is decked out in Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla. Here, we don’t mean their creations. We mean their actual skin. Both of them were killed and their skins removed during the sangeet ceremony yesterday. The flesh will be served at the wedding dinner tonight.

16:15: Some of you may be wondering how the two unfortunate designers were killed, whether there was violence, any bloodshed etc. We would like to assure all of you that there wasn’t a single drop of blood spilled. The victims were murdered by being tied up and made to watch ‘Umrao Jaan’ on DVD. Their blood, which was later removed by a medical process known siphoning, will be on the wine list tonight. However, there is no need for alarm. The blood has been tested for HIV, by having Richard Gere and Shilpa Shetty take a sip each and kiss each other.

16:20: I don’t know if you’ve heard but there was a bit of controversy at the Bachchan residence yesterday when a bit-part actress named Jhanvi Kapoor slit her wrists outside the gate, claiming that AB junior had dated her for a while, promised to marry her and then, ditched her for Ash, breaking her tender heart in the process. Onlookers noticed that she was waaaaaaayyy hotter than Aishwarya.

16:25: Getting back to the big wedding, the baaraat is supposed to leave from one of the Bachchan family residences in Juhu – ‘Jalsa’ (Tamil speaking readers will have realised that this would’ve been an apt venue for the wedding night) and go over to the other Bachchan family residence in Juhu – ‘Prateeksha’, where the actual wedding ceremony will be held. This leads us to our second big question of the day: Why do the Bachchans need two family residences in the same locality?

16:30: Traffic has come to a standstill in Juhu because of the crowds and the proceedings are so dreadfully slow that we feel this may turn out to be an extremely long blog post. So from now on, we will be reporting only at fifteen-minute intervals. Meanwhile, talking of painfully slow, does anyone understand why that Venkatesh Prasad has been made the Indian bowling coach? The BCCI is run by a bunch of morons, I tell you. In fact, I think Aishwarya should wear Sharad Pawar this evening, if you know what I mean.

16:45: There are three buses, sponsored by the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, parked outside ‘Jalsa’ to take the family to ‘Prateeksha’. Things are finally getting underway as the buses start leaving the house. They’re exiting through the gates now. This is all tremendously exciting, folks. There’s bus 1, there’s bus 2 and there’s bus 3. They are now out on the road. The crowd is going crazy. Now the buses have started moving again. If we had to guess, we’d say they were going at about 0.125 kmph, but we don’t have to. They’re taking a left turn now, into a neighbouring gate. I don’t understand… What the hell is happening here? Oh, we’re at ‘Prateeksha’ already?? Cool, that wasn’t very far…

17:00: The traffic jam caused by all the press vans and people is stretching out 5 km on either side of the road now as the family is getting off the buses, one by one, to go into the house for the ceremony. Abhishek is wearing a gorgeous cream and gold sherwani. His cute little nephew Agastya is wearing the exact same outfit, probably made out of the left-over material. Both have flowers hanging in front of their faces like tiny curtains. This is a tradition in all North Indian weddings, because otherwise people would see the drool spilling from the groom’s mouth. Papa Amitabh looks like someone just farted right under his nose.

17:15: There’s another big event that’s happening in Mumbai this evening. The selection committee will be meeting with the cricket board, to select the Indian team that will lose the one-day and test series in Bangladesh next month. There is a lot of excitement about this crucial meeting as cricket fans all over the country are anxious to know the names of the chosen few who will get to fail miserably in the upcoming tour. Don’t worry, we will keep you updated on that meeting as well.

17:30: The guest list for the Ash-Abhi wedding is extremely long for a private function, but very impressive. All the five-star hotels in Mumbai are filled to capacity, as are all the four, three and two-star ones. Bappi Lahri alone needed an entire hotel to sleep in, and another one for all his jewellery. There is simply no accommodation available for anyone else. The situation is so bad right now that the famous Dharavi slum colony has started renting out rooms. However, none of the invited guests are able to get to the wedding on time because of the massive traffic jam on all sides.

17:45: All the family members and invited guests are currently inside the house. As the television cameras aren't allowed to go in, we have no idea what’s happening in there. Meanwhile, the BCCI meeting on the other side of the city is also in full flow. According to latest reports, Sharad Pawar has already drunk three cups of tea and eaten an entire packet of Marie biscuits. Selection Committee head Dilip Vengsarkar was angered when Pawar slipped a twenty-rupee note into his hand and asked him to run down and buy him another packet.

18:00: Nothing is happening here at ‘Prateeksha’. It looks like everyone is still inside. Apparently, the priests who were supposed to perform the ceremony couldn’t make it as they are still stuck in the traffic jam, which now extends all the way to Lonavla. Everyone had started to panic, before they realized that Sooraj Barjatya was among the guests. The renowned director agreed to do the ceremony, but insisted that Abhishek and Aishwarya first have a major misunderstanding which is cleared up thanks to the sensitive and clever actions of the family dog, Buster Bachchan.

18:15: While we wait, let’s take a minute to talk about the notable absentees from the wedding guest list. Salman Khan was not invited because of his err.. past with Aishwarya and Shah Rukh Khan was not invited because he’s been stealing Papa Amitabh’s jobs. We were going to mention Viveik Oberoi also, but we realized that he isn’t notable.

18:30: THEY’RE OUT!! Finally!! The wait ends!! And the news is that legends Sachin and Saurav will not have to suffer the ignominy of more humiliating defeats at the hands of Bangladesh because they have been rested for the series. There are a few new players in the squad, whose names we don’t know and frankly don’t care about, because they will be dropped soon. Meanwhile the wedding is still going on. It’s been more than four hours now. This makes sense, once we remember that it’s Sooraj Barjatya running the show.

19:00: It’s finally over, folks. Phew! Abhishek and Aishwarya are now a happily married man and wife. Viveik Oberoi has just announced that he will soon be tying the knot with bit-part actress Jhanvi Kapoor. In a letter addressed to Abhishek, he reportedly wrote, “You married my ex. Now I’ll marry yours. Take that! Ha!” to which AB Jr. responded by saying “Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha”

To wrap up this live coverage of the Abhi-Ash wedding, this blog would like to wish the new newlyweds a happy married life and raise the third, fourth and fifth big questions of the day. How many children will Ash and Abhi end up having? What will their names be? And most importantly, who will they wear?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Welcome to Mostlee Thottlessse

Today, we are going to talk about an issue that affects every single Indian, regardless of race, religion, age, caste or gender. Well, actually, it does take caste into account, and older Indians won’t really be affected directly but yes, it is still a highly critical issue.

For a couple of years now, the Indian Government, and in particular, Arjun Singh, aged 223, has been working very hard to increase reservations and quotas for the backward castes in educational institutions. You’ve probably read about this effort in the newspapers, or caught it on TV news channels, right after the headlines about Shilpa Shetty’s life (“Richard Gere kisses Shilpa”, “Shilpa hits back at Sena protestors”, “Passing crow shits on Shilpa’s head”, “My hair is OK, Shilpa assures her fans” etc.) But don’t worry, nothing’s going to happen anytime soon. Everybody’s just waiting for Arjun Singh to croak, after which the other politicians will just scrap the whole proposal and go back to doing what they were doing previously – taking bribes.

My personal opinion is that this quota issue is not a bad idea. It’s a really bad idea. However, with some major modifications, the proposal could end up greatly benefiting our glorious country. At the very outset, instead of students, quotas should be enforced on the usage of numerology. Excessive usage needs to be taxed, and repeat offenders should be punished. Everybody should be allowed to apply numerology to their names only once, and even then, only 10% of the letters in the name may be modified. For each additional letter, the changer would have to give up 50% of their total personal wealth, to Shilpa Shetty. This law should be enforced strictly and immediately. And to prove that they’re serious about this, the government should first hang Ekta Kapoor without trial.

My mind was recently alerted to this issue when I happened to watch the trailer for the new Himesh Reshammiya movie, which is titled ‘Aap Kaa Surroor – The Moviee – The Real Luv Storee.’ Seriously. This is the kind of knuckle-headed thing that I’m talking about. In this particular case, it was probably done to bring luck to the film, and to distract the audiences from the fact that Himesh is criminally insane, and looks like an import from Neptune. That’s also why he wears the cap, to keep his antennae folded in place.

Here’s how this numerology thing works, it’s pretty easy actually: First you associate every letter with a number, A-1, B-2, C-67, D-174 etc. Then you take people’s names and add up the values. And then you ask them to add an ‘A’ at the beginning, an ‘H’ at the end and throw a couple of ‘E’s into the middle. Finally, you charge them Rs. 1,250 as consulting fees. This is going on all over the country and causing a huge loss of national productivity. It is a widespread problem in Sri Lanka also, but there they use calculators. Otherwise, they’d never be able to solve Warnakulasuriya Upashantha Jayawardene’s numerological problems.

Another related and disturbing trend currently sweeping the country is the application of astrology to everything. We definitely need some kind of reservation for the topics that can be dealt with using astrology. Weddings are ok, but that’s pretty much about it. I am especially concerned about this Ma Prem Rithambhara who claims to be able to predict the outcome of cricket matches. Every day on ‘Extraaa Innings’, which in itself has two unnecessary letters, there’s a small segment called ‘Ma Prem Rithambhara predicts’, where this weird astrologist lady comes up with predictions like this: “In today’s match, Australia will beat Ireland but the latter is also capable of causing an upset, in which case they will sense a satisfaction. There may or may not be some rain. Australia’s score is likely to be 200-400 and for Ireland, it is likely to be 100-300. India is not likely to win this match. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s house is most likely to be demolished, so he should immediately apply for property insurance.”

I think this is all getting to be a little too much. I think we need to pass some serious legislation stating that the only people allowed to change their names are those who are currently in witness protection programs, and under special consideration, those who’re cursed with genuinely horrible names, like Ma Prem Rithambhara. At this point, some of you may be thinking: “Wouldn’t that be grossly unfair? What if these numerological changes actually help these people lead more successful lives? What if, by implementing these strict measures, we are actually depriving them of their only chance to attain true happiness?”

The answer to that question is this: Consider Tushar ‘Tusshar’ Kapoor. Now here was a fine, strapping, young man with one dream - that of making it big in the Hindi film industry. He had all the charisma of a squirrel, but that didn’t stop him from dreaming, because apart from being strapping, he was also extremely stupid. But then, people discovered that his father was legendary ham Jeetendra, implying a complete and utter lack of cinematic talent genes. And if that wasn’t enough, he had Ekta Kapoor for an elder sister. We are talking about DNA so lousy that it had just a single helix structure. So here we have a situation that just cannot get any worse, and that whatever poor Tushar did from this point on would have to necessarily improve his life. So he went and got his name changed to ‘Tusshar Kapoor’. After the change, the new and improved Tusshar Kapoor has acted in four highly forgettable movies, all produced by his sister, which were so pitifully bad that even Jeetendra has now disowned him.

This very mistake, of adding unnecessary letters to one’s name, is being repeated by a number of young people in this country who could instead be spending their time on far more worthwhile activities, like kissing Shilpa Shetty and halting the spread of AIDS among truck drivers. This dire situation will change and our great country will improve if numerology and astrology are completely abolished, unless Jupiter and Saturn are in the sixth and eighth houses respectively, in which case the world will end this very evening.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

300: Prepare For Gory!

Over the last month or so, millions of people all over the world, including me, have been witness to the unbelievable feats of a unique set of people. We have watched in awe and applauded these brash, macho, courageous, gallant, superhuman and above all, yellowish creatures who seem to stop at nothing to defend the glory of their proud nation and to mercilessly massacre their enemies. I am talking here, of course, about the Australian Cricket Team.

Ha Ha Ha Ha, just kidding!! I was actually referring to the Spartan army in the new Hollywood blockbuster movie ‘300’, which gets its name from the total number of visible muscles on the upper torso of a Spartan soldier. The movie had a powerful effect on me, as I’m sure this blog post is now having on you. Raise your hands, all of you, who are now picturing the Australian Cricket Team taking the field wearing only copper helmets, red capes and black abdomen guards. Thank you.

If you didn’t know it already, the movie is based on the legendary Battle of Thermopylae, in which 300 gallant Spartan soldiers fought bravely against one million lily-livered faggots of the invading Persian army, and kept them at bay for three whole days, while the rest of Greece was busy with the Olympics. The Spartans were lead by their fearless King Leonidas, played in the film by Gerard Butler, whose only previous claim to fame came when he was the only British actor NOT considered for the role of James Bond. The Persian Empire was ruled by the 8-foot-tall, dark and handsome Xerxes, also known as the ‘Bling-King’. Reputed historians from all over the world agree that, if not for his unquenchable thirst for power, Xerxes could’ve had a major impact in the NBA.

Now the Spartans were a tribe of real men, so manly that if Hulk Hogan had lived in Sparta, he would’ve been a nurse or a fashion designer. In Spartan schools, young boys were trained in the art of war. They were taught never to retreat, never to surrender and to torture prisoners of war by locking them up in a room alone with Navjot Sidhu. They were also trained in the art of manliness, by being forced to fight against wolves, down multiple barrels of beer, watch football and fart loudly in public places. Not much is known about the Spartan women, but paintings from the period reveal that they had abundant chest hair. The Persians, on the other hand, were open-minded, extremely horny and willing to experiment with their sexuality. So, when they heard the Spartans crying, “Only the hard and strong may call himself Spartan. Only the hard,” they just had to visit Sparta to check if it was true. So, they decide to invade Greece.

King Leonidas, after hearing about the upcoming invasion on CNN, gets all excited about getting to kick some Persian butt. So, following the official protocol, he asks the Oracle, played by a sexy, writhing young woman covered with only a piece of thin white cloth (Wachowski brothers, please note. You suck.), whether it would be a good idea. Using her prophetic powers, she tells him no, it would be a very bad idea and that everyone would die a bloody death on the battlefield but adds that many centuries later, the movie adaptation of their story would make loads of money. So, Leonidas signs a lucrative deal with Warner Bros., gathers 300 of his best soldiers and goes to war against the invading Persian army.

They march north towards Thermopylae (Greek for ‘pile of thermos flasks’) to stop the Persians from entering Greece. The Persians, whose Air Deccan flight had been delayed due to operational reasons, arrive looking visibly tired and angry. They ask the Spartans to drop their weapons and save the movie producers the money to be spent on special effects for the computer generated battle scenes. Leonidas responds to this suggestion by first smirking, and then screaming, “Persians!! Come and get them!!” probably referring to their luggage that was still on the conveyor belt. The Persians rush forward to collect them but the Spartans break the locks and open them up to reveal lacy women’s lingerie and inflatable dolls. The embarrassed and enraged Persians immediately sound the battle cry. And so the war begins.

The Spartan soldiers use the phalanx formation, also known as the attacking 4-4-2, and some really astounding special effects to fight off wave after wave of Persian attackers, including silver-masked magicians, an angry rhinocerous, some agitated battle elephants and a couple of hideously deformed circus freaks, all of whom have the fighting skills of a washing machine. For the next few minutes, the screen is a mix of red and brown and body parts go flying around and blood splatters everywhere. Xerxes, impressed by the Spartan fighting spirit, personally approaches Leonidas, gives him a shoulder massage, and promises him a full-body if only he would kneel down in front of him and do you-know-what. The Spartan king politely declines, saying instead that he would make the bling-king bleed. At this point, the film’s dialogue writers were fired for going overboard with the sexual innuendo.

Xerxes gives Leonidas a shoulder massage while the latter considers his proposal

Finally, the Persians, after displaying the intellectual capabilities of cabbage for nearly three-quarters of the movie, suddenly turn into cunning military strategists and surround the Spartan army on all sides. Xerxes demands their surrender, asking Leonidas to service him once before he died. To this indecent proposal, Leonidas replies with the immortal line: “This will not be quick, you will not enjoy this, and I am not your Queen!” and later realising that he was looking at the wrong page of dialogue. Before he can find the right lines, the bling-king orders his archers to fire and all the brave Spartans are killed in a violent downpour of arrows.

The movie ends with shots of the Persians celebrating their hard-fought victory. Of course their celebrations will stop soon enough, when they march on from Thermopylae and come face to face with opponents who are deadlier, more efficient and far more terrifying: The Australian Cricket Team.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Secret Diary of Gregory Stephen Chappell, aged 58 and 2/3

Thursday, March 15th

We arrived in the West Indies a few days ago and I am very happy with the way things are progressing with the team. We have already played two warm-up games against the Netherlands and the West Indies in which I used my tactical acumen and strategic brilliance to steer India to convincing victories. It also helped that both the teams were drunk when they took the field. The facilities here are pretty good, which is very surprising considering none of the Caribbean countries are in Australia. At both the matches, I was given a big desk and comfortable chair in the team dressing room where I could play Minesweeper and watch porn on my laptop without any disturbance.

Wherever we go, the players are being mobbed for autographs and photographs. But nobody has asked me for one yet. I don’t understand why. Maybe they’re all just in awe of me because I was such a great batsman and captain during my time. Ya that’s probably it. I must work towards alleviating their fear and making myself more approachable. And I must also become more photogenic so that they ask me to pose for photographs. Maybe I should learn to smile.

Friday, March 16th

We play the minnows Bangladesh tomorrow. I hate them because their country is closely related to Bengal, where Sourav comes from. One of the greatest moments of my life came when I gave the finger to some Bengali fans in that shithole Kolkata. Anyway, the Bangladesh team is not very good at all. After we thrash them tomorrow, we will then play some team called Bermuda on Monday. I wonder why they have named themselves after loose shorts. They have a really fat player in their team, who grosses me out completely. I may be 58 years old but I am still fit as a fiddle, like I was throughout my stellar career.

Lots of NRIs have come over from the United States to watch us play. They have gifted the team a number of boxes containing different kinds of sweets. Some of them addressed me as ‘Lavade Ka Baal’. I asked Sachin what that meant and he told me that they were calling me the ‘Saviour of Indian Cricket’. With utmost modesty, I thanked them and accepted their wishes. They are right, you know. The Indian team would be crap without me. These NRIs appear to be very nice people, inspite of being software engineers. I think I will allow the players to eat some of the sweets during our post match celebrations tomorrow.

I also practiced my signature all through the practice session so that I would not freeze when I’m asked for my autograph. Preparation is the key to success. My elder brother Ian was a panelist on Sony Entertainment Television today. He said that no one had any doubt that I would help India beat Bangladesh comfortably. He also told me that Mandira Bedi was looking gorgeous today. Both of us are in love with her. Our younger brother Trevor loves Charu Sharma.

Saturday, March 17th

We lost today. Unbelievable. I am still in a state of shock. The players have disgraced my name completely. How will I show my face in Australia hereafter??? This is turning out to be a complete disaster. Sehwag failed again today, but Rahul likes him very much, so he cannot be blamed. Sourav was the only top order batsman to show some resolve. He scored 66, but his strike rate was extremely poor. I think that’s why we lost the game. He should be dropped from the team immediately. Without a doubt, the highlight of the match was when I instructed Rahul to bowl Sehwag from the eastern end in the afternoon. My tactic worked beautifully as two Bangladeshi batsman got out after being blinded by the sun’s reflection of Sehwag’s bald dome.

The only consolation was that Pakistan also lost to minnows Ireland today. Shockingly, they are out of the World Cup already. But then again, what did they expect after being coached by the fat Englishman Bob Woolmer? Nobody from England is any good at anything. Bob could not even teach them to shave properly. If the Pakistan Cricket Board had any sense, they would sack him immediately and hire an Australian in his place. My brother Ian is currently on the lookout for a job. Like me, he was also a truly great captain and an outstanding batsman. Maybe I should forward his brilliant resume to the PCB.

Ian told me that Mandira was looking very depressed throughout the post-match discussion and didn’t smile even once. I felt very bad. So I wrote her a letter to make her feel better. The letter went:

Dear Mandira, my sweetie pie,

I know you must be very upset right now but you must also understand that there is a distressing lack of talent in the current Indian team, and that is why we were unable to beat the minnows Bangladesh today. Don’t worry, I am working hard on them and soon my influence will begin to show and they will start playing brilliantly. Be patient, darling, for our victory in this World Cup is certain.

P.S: I finished the ‘expert’ level in Minesweeper today. Yippeee! I will be trying Solitaire from tomorrow. Trevor tells me it’s far more challenging.

Yours always,

Sunday, March 18th

I couldn’t sleep properly last night because I was having nightmares about yesterday’s shocking defeat. I don’t know how I’m ever going to get over the mental trauma of losing to a team composed entirely of Bengalis. The Indian coaching job must be the worst job in the world. I would quit and become coach of the mighty Australian team, which has no Bengalis, but then John Buchanan’s contract is not over yet.

The Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer reportedly died last night in his hotel room. It’s a great loss for the world of cricket. He was a mediocre bowler and a pathetic batsman when we were playing, and I was waaay better than him, but it’s not right for me to speak ill about the dead. May his soul rest in peace and may god bless his family. I have already forwarded Ian’s resume to the Pakistan Cricket Board. He is sure to get the job, there’s absolutely no question about it. Brilliance runs in our blood. Genius is in our genes.

I practised my signature for two hours today, during the press conference. No one has asked me for an autograph yet. I also asked Irfan to teach me how to smile. That’s the only thing he knows to do properly these days.

Monday, March 19th

We beat Bermuda by 257 runs today, undoubtedly because of my expert coaching. I think we will win this World Cup for sure, and then nobody can deny me the Australian coaching job. The boys scored 413 runs today, which is a record for World Cup matches. I find it highly surprising that Australia has never made a higher score. Sehwag scored a hundred today. He is undoubtedly the best batsman in the team after Rahul, who hit a brilliant 7*. Sourav scored only 89. He should be sentenced to death.

I finished my Solitaire game in ten minutes today, almost as much time it took Robin to get out. It’s my new personal best. I need a greater challenge from tomorrow. My brother Trevor tells me that I should try Spider Solitaire. He knows I like insects. And because I finished the game early today, I spent the rest of my time watching a terrific movie called ‘Hose Your Daddy?’ in which my favourite actress Jenna Jameson played a firefighter. It was absolutely mindblowingly brilliant. The director must have been Australian.

Our next match is against Sri Lanka this Friday. I hate the team, because they are not minnows and I hate all the players too, because I can’t pronounce any of their names. I also hate them because they are all cheaters. That fellow Mularilaaithrathanrathan throws the ball without any shame. My noble countrymen Darrell Hair and Ross Emerson were absolutely correct to have called him for chucking but they were punished because the ICC is biased to the Asian countries. Racist dogs.

Ian told me that Mandira was looking extremely delighted and positively radiant during the post-match discussion today. He told me she was wearing noodle straps so thin that one could hardly see them, even from where he was sitting, three feet away. I haven’t gotten a reply to my letter from her so far. Maybe it hasn’t reached her yet. Stupid postal system. In Australia, the letters reach faster than e-mail.

Tuesday, March 20th

I had a fantastic dream about Mandira last night. We were kissing and she was wearing her famous noodle straps. When I woke up this morning, my pants were all wet. One of the players must have played a prank by entering my room and pouring water on my crotch. They can be very naughty that way. Trevor has given me a new DVD titled ‘The Pursuit Of Gayness’. I think I’ll watch it tomorrow during practice.

While analyzing yesterday’s match video, I noticed that the fat guy from Bermuda took a brilliant catch. After applying my astute cricketing brain to this incident, I concluded that some weight gain would greatly improve Indian fielding standards. So, from tomorrow onwards, I am going to make the players eat all the sweets the NRIs have given us. We will then field like tigers against Sri Lanka on Friday. The team physio told me I was mental, but what does he know? Moron. I’m going to recommend to the BCCI that he should be fired immediately.

The Jamaican police announced today that Bob Woolmer was murdered. They are saying that he was poisoned and then strangled with a towel. The killer must have been a complete moron, probably Bengali too, because only a nincompoop would poison his victim and then strangle him to death. Anyway, now I am scared the same fate may befall me if India was to lose against Sri Lanka. I can see the hate in Sourav’s eyes when he looks at me during practice. I have asked the BCCI to provide me with a couple of armed bodyguards. I guess I’m worrying unnecessarily though. Under my brilliant leadership, there is absolutely no way we can lose.

A kid approached me with an autograph book and asked me to sign it. I smiled at him. He immediately dropped the book and started crying for his mother. Kids are stupid. That’s why I dropped Parthiv Patel. I was right all along.

Wednesday, March 21st

Today’s practice session was loads of fun. I made the players eat all the sweets and then forced them to play kho-kho. Ha Ha Ha Ha! I also went and got a hair-cut today. My hair looks really smart now. I look like a balding Mel Gibson. However, my hair still doesn’t look as lustrous as Dhoni’s. I must ask him what he uses to make it look so thick and glossy. I wonder what Mandira will say about my new hair-cut when she sees me at the game on Friday.

Pakistan won their match today by beating the minnows Zimbabwe by 93 runs, thereby proving that having no coach at all is better than having an Englishman as the coach. Ha Ha Ha Ha! I’m in a really good mood today. By the way, two suspicious looking people followed me all the way from the practice ground to my hotel room. I must ask the BCCI to send the bodyguards over quickly.

I am also considering growing myself a handlebar moustache, just like the old days. I think it will make me look sexy. I am pasting an old newspaper clipping here to remind me of my younger self. Don’t you think I look handsome?

Thursday, March 22nd

Today, I gave the players a great ‘pep talk’ to motivate them for the big game against Sri Lanka. I said to them, “We will not go down without a fight; we will not vanish into the night. We are going to live on; we are going to survive. Tomorrow, we celebrate our Independence Day.” Sourav interrupted and said that their Independence Day actually fell on August 15th and then Sachin pointed out that I had flicked my speech from a popular Hollywood movie. Smartass. I told him he may have been the ‘Lavade Ka Baal’ for the last 15 years but now, I’m the only ‘Lavade Ka Baal’ around. Everyone laughed at my wit.

When I stepped out later for practice, I saw the two suspicious looking guys who were following me yesterday waiting outside my room. I knew the team couldn’t risk losing me and my strategic acumen at this crucial stage in the tournament. So I went back into the room, locked the door shut and cancelled the practice session. However, not wanting this to affect the team’s preparation, I called room service and asked them to deliver two giant chocolate cakes to all the players’ rooms. I am 100% confident that we will beat Sri Lanka tomorrow and sail into the Super Eight Stage.

I watched ‘The Pursuit Of Gayness’ in my hotel room today. There were no women in it at all. It was yucky! Will have to give Trevor a wedgie the next time I see him.

Friday, March 23rd

We lost again today. Incredibly, we are out of the World Cup now. I am highly disappointed with the team. I think this is the worst day of my life. It was a pathetic performance today. The players looked extremely tired and their movement was very sluggish, I wonder why. That stupid physio is completely useless. The cheater Mularilaaithrathanrathan took three wickets with his blatant throws. I am going to file a complaint with the ICC. All our batsmen failed miserably, except Rahul and Sehwag, of course. They scored 60 and 44 respectively. Yuvraj got himself run out in the most idiotic fashion but it was only because he had to go to the toilet really urgently.

I realized today that Spider Solitaire doesn’t have any spiders. I don’t understand how it’s supposed to be played either. It sucks. I feel Sourav was solely responsible for our defeat to Sri Lanka today. I’ll probably murder him tonight, unless he murders me first, in which case I will not. The bodyguards have not yet arrived.

Mandira will be so devastated after today’s result. It’s probably all over between us. I have a brand new DVD called ‘Thermopileup’ in which Jenna takes on 300 Spartan soldiers on a narrow cliff top. I am in no mood to watch it though.

Saturday, March 24th

I still don’t understand how we managed to do so poorly in the tournament in spite of my tactical brilliance. Ian was a guest panelist again on Sony Entertainment Television yesterday where they were discussing the issue. He assured me that he had cleverly manipulated the discussion to make it seem like the players were the sole reason for the defeat. He added that Mandira was looking magnificent, as she always does. I felt like someone had just plunged a burning spear in my heart.

Sharad Pawar called me today and told me they were not going to send any bodyguards over for my protection. He’s an incompetent idiot, and for some reason, he looks like he always has a couple of table tennis balls stuffed in his mouth. I can hear heavy footsteps outside in the hallway. And someone just knocked on the door. I am scared now. Maybe if I smile at them, they will go away.

Sunday, March 25th

After doing some extensive analysis on my laptop, I have finally identified the root cause of India’s early exit from the 2007 World Cup. The selection panel, chaired by that senile Vengsarkar is to blame completely for this disaster. The composition of the team was all wrong, primarily because Suresh Raina was not included. The old selection committee was so much more understanding. Kiran More used to visit me at my villa every evening and wait patiently while I lowered my pants before kissing my behind.

I am currently writing out a detailed report on the World Cup performance. I will present it to the BCCI as soon as we land in India. I will also create a PowerPoint presentation in order to present my views easily. I need to ask Trevor how to get the text to slide in from the left, right after I give him the wedgie.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Peer-to-peer hookup

If you’re a guy, how would you like it if someone told you that you could sit at home all day, in your pyjamas which are still wet with your drool, doing absolutely nothing, not even brushing your teeth, emitting a stench foul enough to kill nearby street dogs AND get a woman to go out with you at the same time?

Right now, all the girls reading this are going, "how gross... which woman would go out with a guy like that?" but the guys are not even in their seats right now, they’re out of the room, combing the streets, trying to find the someone who told them that and asking him exactly what they had to do to get into that situation?? What they should be doing instead is getting into the big bad world of Online Dating, which is a multi-billion dollar global industry dedicated to helping the cause of guys all over the world who have no hope of getting a date the usual way.

I’m not joking. The industry is booming in a big way all over the world and it’s easy to see why. In a flash, it has managed to neutralize man’s greatest fear when it comes to romance. Now the greatest fear a guy has when he’s trying to ask a girl out is that the girl is gonna look at him, say "Of course not, loser!!" and that everyone around, including the girl, would start pointing at him and laughing their guts out. He would be branded a loser for the rest of his bitter life, all the way to a miserable death or a long career in the software industry. But on the internet, it's different. There is no ‘everyone around’. The girl can say whatever she wants!! You can just close the window!! And maybe even e-mail her a virus!!

Starting to sound good?? Well it’s quite easy to get into it. All you need to do is sign up on a dating site or even one which offers ‘social networking’, which is what they call dating in the corporate world. There you’ll have to first fill in your profile details. This part doesn’t make any sense to me. There’s always a box saying "Looks:" that needs to be filled up. Now if someone is stupid enough to fill it up with "hideous", "ugly, with a large hairy mole on either cheek" or "resembles filmstar Vijaya T. Rajendherr", then finding a date is probably not his biggest problem. Most guys, however, know what to do with this section. If they had scars and boils all over their face, looking more like a World War II battlefield strewn with dead bodies, they’d fill in "rugged good looks" without a second thought.

Guys do this because they believe that all girls are fundamentally stupid. (I don’t. I love you all.) This is also the reason they think it’s clever to put a picture of Hrithik Roshan on their profiles. For some reason, they believe that it just won’t occur to girls that Hrithik Roshan, or rugged, handsome guys in general don’t need to get on the internet to find dates. They just have to cough and hot girls start throwing themselves at them. They could have all the intelligence of a shoebox but it wouldn’t matter a bit to the girls queuing up outside their doors. These guys have probably never even been on the internet, except maybe to order party packs of condoms in between their orgies. Online dating is not for them, it’s for the rest of us.

And it is for the rest of us, that I have compiled this Online Dating Q&A section:

Q: I could be wrong here, but aren’t ‘dates’ the fruit we get from palm trees?

A: Yes, you are absolutely correct.

Q: Then why do guys call the girls they go out with their ‘dates’?

A: Because both are best when they’re sweet and fleshy.

Q: So what exactly does one mean by ‘dating’?

A: Checking whether they are sweet and fleshy.

Q. How does one go about doing that?

A: Well, first you have to get down on… STOP!! This is going in a completely different direction. We are here to talk about the concept of online dating. So, please let’s have questions relating to that ONLY.

Q: Ok how do I pick a good site for online dating or ‘social networking’?

A: Well, considering this decision could actually affect the rest of your life, I would say you should pore over your options carefully and pick the site with the lowest membership fee. A free site would be the best option.

Q: Ok, I’ve done that. What next?

A: Create your profile and wait for the babes to start banging down your door.

Q: Oh wow, it’s really that simple?

A: No, you idiot, I was being sarcastic. You’ll probably only get messages from 35-year-old gay ex-convicts with a photo of Rani Mukherjee on their profiles.

Q: So what is the one biggest advantage of online dating over the conventional approach?

A: It saves everyone a load of time.

Q: How so?

A: Let’s consider the story of two good friends, Ram and Shyam, who are both desperate to hook up with women. Ram, who adopts the personal approach, picks out a girl, consults his astrologer and decides on an auspicious day, writes out and memorizes what he would say to her, and then, once he is reasonably confident, meets her face-to-face, musters up all his courage and asks her if she would go out with him. She turns him down immediately. Shyam, who takes the smarter online approach, copy-pastes the same pick-up line to 568 women, and thanks to the lightning fast world of the internet, gets rejected by all of them within seconds.

Q: Just out of curiosity, what was the pick-up line Shyam used?

A: "Hai swettie, you r luking marvelus honey. do u want to dating with me? dont worry i am gud luking also."

Q: Isn’t that grammatically wrong?

A: Yes. It should’ve read "dont worry i am also gud luking."

Q: Well, how does Shyam actually look?

A: He resembles filmstar Vijaya T. Rajendherr.