Sunday, June 26, 2011

What's going on right now

1) I just started watching Dexter. Just finished with season one, but its awesome!

2) I was once again able to find the new blog of a fellow blogger, which I enjoy reading. You've already changed your blog thrice this year, and if you're reading this, this is a request to not change it again.

3) I got new bluetooth speakers, Creative D100. I know its early, but I think this is love at first sight.

4) My internship ends tomorrow, and I head back to college in a weeks time. I actually liked my internship, going to Court and everything. I might be cut out to be a lawyer after all. Plus it always helps, when there's a young, pretty lawyer in your office.

5) The Feedjit bar on my blog tells me that my two posts, 'Random thoughts about lack of girlfriend at 11PM' and 'The Friend Zone' are the most widely read. Turns out that people surfing the World Wide Web do enjoy reading about my issues with women (or lack of). I'll try and write more about the same, but I'm going through a nonchalant, 'I don't give a rats ass'-type phase. Its kinda nice. Don't worry though, I'll go back to my depressive, self-deprecating ways, soon enough.

PS: If you do enjoy reading about my miseries, it wouldn't hurt to comment. I would like to read your advice/opinion.

Beer and Bombay

Okay so you might have heard that the Maharashtra government has increased the drinking age in the state to 25 (Yo jackasses, stop f***ing around and do something useful for a change). And while that does piss me off, I'm not gonna go all 'if we can vote at 18, marry at 21..blah..blah', every celeb has already said that in Bombay Times, and they tend not to take my view on such things. So I'm gonna focus on happier things and tell you that I decided to stage a non-violent protest, a satyagraha if you will, by drinking everyday after work for an entire week. Drinking aside, Gandhi would be so proud :D
Accha, anyways, so here's a list of places I visited that week. All of them are in South Bombay, mainly around Fort and Colaba. If you are from Bombay, you'll probably already know these places, and in case you aren't from Bombay, or haven't been to any of these places, they're definitely worth a visit. I've listed the prices of beer, and the quality of the food at each place, in case your interested. Also, I haven't included Leopolds since in everyone knows about it, and in my opinion its more hype than anything else.

1) Cafe Universal

So this is like a nicer version of Leos. Like most old cafes in Bombay, this too is an Irani cafe. It looks like an old-British pub (obviously, its close to 90 years old), but its still got a distinct Irani touch. This is cheery cafe, where you don't really go to get drunk, rather just to hang out. Beer is slightly expensive at Rs. 450 bucks for a pitcher, but be smart and order the the 3 litre pitcher for Rs. 750. These are served in tall cylindrical tubes, with an ice filled central core, and taps at the bottom to serve yourself. The food here is absolutely amazing. If you like beef, you should definitely try the burgers and the Hamburger Steak with Cheese sizzler (yes I'm a blasphemous Jain). Why I like this place more than Leos, is because its a lot less dingy, its got much better food and the staff is friendly.

2) Military Cafe

This is by far the shadiest of the lot (yes, shadier than Gokul). But if you're into old world charm, its all there, and apparently the owner thinks the same because he hasn't bothered renovating since its inception which was around a century ago. But on the brighter side, this place is dirt cheap, and you get fantastic food. The Keema Pav is heavenly, and the beer is sold at barely 20-30 bucks above cost price. Plus you can get a bottle of London Pilsner for just 100 bucks.

3) Gokul
Aah, the quintessential, shady, popular, crowded bar which every city has. This is where you go, essentially, to get sloshed. Its got very reasonably priced booze. At first look, it does seem like a 100% male kingdom, but there are enough women upstairs, in the A/C section. Plus, most people appreciate the fact that you can smoke inside. Its dingy as hell, but its part of the charm, or so I'm told. Foodwise? I have no idea, because Bade Miya is right across the road, and why would you eat at Gokul when you get amazing kebabs and roomali roti a couple seconds away. But if you're in Bombay, you'll definitely hear about Gokul. Its the one place where everyone goes.

4) Alps Beer Bar

This is my current favourite place. Its a 2 minute walk from Gokul, and a lot nicer. Like Universals and Military Cafe, its open, but the ambiance is nice. Posters of classic rock bands cover the walls, and usually classic rock is played in the restaurant too. Like its name suggests, you get only beer, and a 1.5l pitcher is available for Rs. 360. Pretty reasonable if you ask me. Its got good fish & chips, and the sizzlers are well made too. Like Leos, and Universals to a slightly lesser extent, this is a back-packing tourist as well. So you can go in expecting a cute European chick.

So these are the places I frequented for an entire week. If you want to explore further, there's always Leos, and Mondegar is pretty great. But honestly, I'd take Universals or Alps over these two any day.

PS: No I'm not an alcoholic. I drank on principle. And because college friends were interning in the same area. If you're looking to keep blood alcohol levels low, its not a good idea to meet them after work everyday.

PPS: I know I've been writing infrequently in recent times, but the internship has kept me pretty busy. It ends tomorrow, so I promise to write more often.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Strange Encounters

I'm in the mood for one another one of my rants, though this time it is slightly more on the philosophical side of things. So if you do continue reading, don't expect cheap comedy. Anyways, I'm coming back from work this evening, sitting in A/C Bus, opposite a pretty good looking chick (4 seats in the new A/C buses face each other).And, like always, irrespective of whom you are sitting next to in a bus, you hardly ever strike up a conversation, and this was no different. So the bus journey continues, and at some point of time this Bong chick, must be roughly around 23-24 years old, sits next to the good looking chick. She begins to talk on her phone to someone, loudly enough for the two of us to hear. It was this really retarded thing about how she managed to get a job in some company blah blah blah, how she would keep her personal life separate from her professional life blah blah. Believe me, it was really funny. And the good looking chick looks at me, and the two of us just burst out laughing. She got off sat the next stop, but this entire incident got me thinking. What would have happened if we got to talking? Would we end up knowing each other, become friends? Would life be slightly different a few months down the line? And this got me to thinking an even deeper question: What determines the people, mainly the friends in our lives?

Its quite perplexing actually. I've got another example, another story to tell. Around two and a half years ago, I went for this really mediocre MUN. I ended up chatting with this one girl who was the delegate of France. After the conference, I forgot all about her and continued my normal, everyday life. Now, exactly two years ago, when I'd gone to give the CLAT (entrance test for the National Law schools), I met her. Turns out we had a few common friends. So we began talking, she got into NLS, i got into NUJS, but we are pretty good friends today. It seemed highly unlikely at the time of the MUN, that a couple of years down the line, we would actually be good friends. There could be a thousand ways in which we might not even have met, yet somehow we are friends. And this is not one stand alone incident, just one of many. Hypothetically, if I had got into NALSAR, just by getting roughly 5 marks more, my life might have been completely different. I would have a completely different set of college friends.

I'm no longer in touch with any of my 10th grade group of friends, yet in touch with most of my closest friends even if they are continents apart. And some of these are people I never thought I'd be friends with. What makes your closest friends at one point of time, your really hated acquaintance and the person you might really detest, a really close friend? And this is not restricted to friends. Think about the person you might be dating. Could you always imagine that the two of you might be dating? Ive seen the people who are completely incompatible with the other person, date for long periods of time. A girl who otherwise might not even have looked at the guy twice, and vice-versa. What determines all of this? You might call it your own decision. I even makes sense, that its always upto you as to whom do you want in life. But theres a good chance that the closest people in your life might not have entered in your life at all. And what controlled that. The first time you randomly spoke to some person, and somewhere, some connection struck. That wasn't your decision. Like I said, it was completely random. But what changed?

I'm an atheist. I don't believe in God. I don't even believe in destiny. But all this does make me wonder. Its seems to far fetched to be the work of God. But yet at the same time, it seems too strange to simply term it as chance. Maybe its both. Or maybe I'm just bored.
What do you think?

PS: I realise that the picture above has absolutely no relation to the post, but when I googled 'strange encounters' this was one of the first pictures to turn up. FAIL!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Corruption, a Baba and idiots in the Government

I don't like Baba Ramdev. There, I said it. You like him? In all due offence, you're an idiot. Of course I support the cause against corruption. Anna Hazare and Shanti Bhushan did a great job, and I really hope a strong Lokpal Bill is passed. That being said, Baba Ramdev's campaign, if you can call it that, was for a lot more than just IMMEDIATELY bringing back black money from abroad. I really doubt Ramdev know's what the word immediately means. Anyways, his campaign had other demands. For starters, he wants the government to stop the printing of currency notes of denominations 500 and 1000, as this will aid in preventing corruption (umm how?). Also he wants death penalty for all who are corrupt. Say what you will, but that's just mean. Apart from these demands, his list also goes on to include the removal of all English practices in taxation, governance, etc and switch to 'Swadeshi' (whatever that means), and of course the age-old, stop using the English language and use Indian languages as the medium of education. These are just demands from his current campaign. Previously he has claimed that his yoga has powers which cure Cancer and AIDS, homosexuality is adoption of Western culture, and homosexuals are sick people who should be sent to the hospital for treatment. All this should tell you how seriously I take Baba Ramdev. But what happened last night wasn't just wrong, but also idiotic.

How the Government should have actually behaved? Well, the fast(or protest or whatever that was) should have continued. It would have fizzled out in a day or so because I really think people like their 500 Rupee notes. The Government's actual response was to send out top Ministers, wagging their tails in front of Baba Ramdev thinking he represented the popular voice of the people. If he seriously represents all Indians, I'm giving up my Indian citizenship. Anyways, when Ramdev didn't listen, they decided to send in the Police, lathi charge the hell out of Baba Ramdev and his followers and arrest them. Till yesterday, it was my dearest ambition to force him to learn English, and make him write 'I support gay rights' like a gazillion times (perhaps kick him once or twice). But today, seeing him a broken man on television, I almost felt bad for him.

The point is, no matter how idiotic a person is, as long he is not breaking any law or is a threat to public life and safety he should be allowed to stage a protest. That is the very crux of our democracy. A person has every right to speak and act freely, its our Constitutional guarantee. The response of the government is simply put, unacceptable and frankly speaking idiot. By doing so, not only have the jeopardized their own position, but also turned a two grade hack into a hero. The saddest part is that the actual cause, the anti-corruption cry is lost in a din of political drama. And with the BJP and other political parties jumping in on the bandwagon, Satyagraha has lost its meaning.

PS: Kabil Sibal and Chidambaram, I know you guys are ace lawyers, but what the hell is wrong with you?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Old times

I met my school friends today. My best friend had finally come back to Bombay, another friend, who's now a Bangalore resident is in town as well. And two other school friends. We all live and study in different studies, meet every six months or so. As we grow older, we'll get busier, we'll meet less. But I realised something. Whenever we meet, nothing ever changes.

At the end of class 12 we were all dating different people, had similar lives, similar routines, all common friends. In that sense everything has changed. Girlfriends (or lack of), different friends, different lives, different cities, different issues. But whenever we meet, its like every things the same. The same jokes, the same attitudes, the same conversations. Its as if we are hanging out after school again, nothing to worry about, except perhaps accounts homework due to the next day.

High school was a long time ago, but somehow it seems like yesterday. Yeah, lives have changed 360 degrees, but we are the same people. Am I scared about the future? About life, about friends, about a career. Of course I am. It freaks the hell out of me. But I know that when I get a job, when I get married, when I'm all grown up, I'll still be the same person. And so will my friends. Hey, maybe growing up isn't that bad :)