Friday, April 08, 2005

Boardroom Material

Since this was the last day of the 'orientation programme' here, it was very free and people just sat around chatting in the conference rooms. I was surprised at the bullshit people say and the correlation between how much people talk and how much sense they make. One guy was was spewing a lot of 'information' but none of them were factually correct. For instance, He was saying that if India was not populated and was like America or Australia, we would have been 'pushed to some desert' like the Europeans did in those places. I don't know about that claim, but what he told next was shocking - the natives of Australia were 'Africans', they were very advanced till some 60 years back and now they are just pygmies - his exact words. They may be negroid, but they definitely are not Africans, or pygmies, for that matter. He also gaveout some other information, which were as ridiculous as this.

There was also this guy from Nigeria - actually an India whose (grand)parents migrated to Nigeria and this guy came back to India for work. He told about one guy who lived in a shanty across his housing society and bought a lexus and other cars, built a mansion in just one
year. He told that he did just one 419 job and got about 20 million US Dollars!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

My Dreams

I have read a lot of stories about how peopl dream about supermodels and actresses being their girlfriends. I too had one such dream, sort of. But, it is a very sad story :'(

A few days back, I had a dream with French supermodel Laetitia Casta in it. I go up to her (in my dream) and say that she was the most beautiful woman in the world. She then did something very bad, she pinched my cheeks and said 'oh, how cute'. Not only that, I look down and saw I was dressed like Asian Paints' Gattu . Oh! The horrors!!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

What to say? - 2

Thought the roaming would be only a negligible irritation but things turned out to be much worse. This guy wants to go shopping and doesn't want to go alone, so he calls me up. On the railway station he tells me some 'rules of engagement in Mumbai' like how to get on the trains, how to avoid pick pockets, etc. He is nothing like the star dude as a tourist partner. First, I had to wait 30 minutes for him to meet me at the station. With his watch 15 minutes faster than the Indian Standard Time, effectively he comes 45 minutes later than the time he told me. Looks like this guy is a compulsive shopper. He must've stopped at atleast 20 shops to 'buy' things (he did not, at the end). So, I drag him to the station and have a 20 minute discussion on where to go - Manish market (Fort area) or Heera Panna (Haji Ali) , for his digital camera. 'All markets are closed on Sundays', I tell in vain! Finally, we decide to go to Manish market (where atleast the clothes stores will be open). After we get down at Marine Lines, he decides he wants to go to Heera Panna, for which you must've got down at Mahalaxmi, a few stations back. I decide I won't give any directions to him from now on.

We go out of the station and take a cab to 'Heera Panna Market'. The cab driver hears just market and takes us to Crawford market (where the markets actually start). We walk down a street and search for HP Market but not before a diversion - he stops to buy bags, in a shop across the street. I drag him again. I think, maybe there is really this market here which I don't know about. Wrong! He thinks each street is a market and searches for HP anywhere. After asking some people on the street, they tell us to go to Haji Ali (I knew it!) Next, we had to decide about how to go there - take a taxi and pay 60 bucks or take a taxi to churchgate and train to Mahalaxmi and again a cab (35 bucks). He tells me not to be 'miserly' and pay just 15 bucks (ie per person) extra and go there 'comfortably'. The taxi driver says it will be atleast 25 or 30 Rs from Mahalaxmi to Haji Ali (actually, it is 5 minutes walk). I say, we can go to Manish market instead that is just at the end of the street. He thinks Crawford market is manish market and insists it is closed. No reasoning! Finally, we decide on that taxi and pay Rs 40. After a few more distractions and lot of time and money spent on icecream etc, we reach HP just to know that it has been closed. There, he just walks across 5 lanes of traffic instead of using the underground crossing. I rush behind him to make sure he is not dead (and got almost run over by a bus in that time). Not only that, when we are walking, he suddenly disappears. I panic, and then find him gawking wherever there is a crowd (norm in Mumbai). He is one of those tourists who think just because he knows the language, he can survive anywhere.

He now wants to go back to Andheri. In Mumbai Central, I hear a lady scream just a train pulls out of station. She actually fell down from Virar Fast! Poor lady, hope nothing happens to her. On the train back, the guy sees Vile Parle station and says he wants to go to Alfa, 'the best shop in Mumbai'. Now amused rather than irritated, I go with him to 'the best shop in Mumbai', as he says. We take an auto to Alfa. He shows me where the shop is and instead of going there, sees a Dollar Shop down the street and runs inside. He spends close to an hour looking at all the things and decides to buy a set of coffee mugs, a cooking set (he has no kitchen), and other assorted stuff. When I didn't want to buy all those, he tells I am 'conservative about my money!'

Well, it is his money and he can spend it as he wants to. I couldn't take it anymore and leave him still shopping. He must've blown a pretty penny on that shop itself. I am afraid to ask what else he has bought there. I don't want to stop him either, for he is the guy that keeps the economy running nowadays :D Just another reason why I don't want to share an apartment with him. He will buy all kinds of junk and expect me to pay half of it. Whew!

What to say?

Just had a tiny irritating phone conversation with one of my colleagues (not official matter, though). This guy sends me a text message asking me to go someplace with him. I take bath, dress up and make a phone call to him. He tells he wants to go to south Mumbai. He tells he will be at Andheri station in about 1 hour. Since it is a fairly big station, and lot of traffic, I tell him take a ticket to Churchgate to meet me at the terminus end of the station. That way, we can take the train directly and avoid the crowd, also it will be easier to spot each other. This guy adamantly insists I meet him at the east end of the station (because it will be easier for him.) He tells you want me to go to one end of the station and come back?

He tells me that he might want to go to Manish market, which, according to him, is way before Churchgate. Actually, you can get down there and take a cab (Rs 20 max)to go where he wants. I try to reason with him, I have stayed in Mumbai long enough to know how to get around this city. But he stupidly refuses to even listen to me (Huffs and puffs, in the phone itself) and says since he is new to Mumbai, he doesn't know much and has to ask people just to get around. What about all time I spent in Mumbai? Is this guy really that thick?

Never mind! I will just meet him where he wants to and let him have the way. Will he then realise what is happening and I am just trying to reason with him? Even Don Vito Corleone can't reason with this guy! :D