Sunday, February 1, 2009

sob sob, tusk tusk, 'tis time to move on!

even tho i love the single sign on being an avid google fan, i have decided to move on to wordpress, and hence forth you can find all my writing at

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Eat all you can, for tomorrow you may not have a mouth!

This was one of those dinners where you meet a lot of people, friends of friends of friends. We were all chanting, when suddenly I hear someone say, you know it’s easy to laugh, but do we ever care what the good lord has actually prescribed for us, he actually wants us to pray right now, Allah is merciful, but we have to repay by thanking him and bowing to him. Now I consider myself very tolerant, but when somebody rants like that, attempting to make the whole gathering a sour one, I make it a personal point to tell them soliciting and preaching in public is bad manners, they can take their religious tantrums to wherever, anywhere, but the table that I am sitting on.

Excuse me, I say to him, lifting my wine glass, you were saying, this is the first time I look at him closely. He is of an Arab descent, has a short beard, drinking water and eating a salad, why did he bother coming to this dinner any ways, I say to myself. Yes Sir, you, you were saying. I inquire, he says, we should pray, all this is no good if we don’t thank Allah. Everyone goes into a silence. They start staring at him, he’s repeated the A word twice. I see, I said, so what would happen if do that, well Allah will be pleased with us, and then, well on the day of judgment, we will be passed and allowed to enter heaven, and then, then it will all be good, he says. So that’s where you get your seventy virgins? I ask him, yes, he says. What are you going to do with the seventy virgins? I ask him, I am not supposed to ask such ridiculous questions, Allah does not permit that, I see, I say. So, that would mean that you live in heaven; you have everything you want to eat, and freedom and safety and security and seventy beautiful women, to donk, right? Asstaghfurillaaah, he cries. There will be no such filth in the heavens, he says. Woah! I say, what do you mean there will be no such filth, you mean to say sex is filth, but of course, it is a method of reproduction and nothing else, the lust in it will not be there and there will be no reproduction. So tell me I ask him again, since there is no filth, there is probably no poo or pee either, but of course, he smiles, heaven will be completely pure and clean of any manly ghastly excretes.

This is getting interesting, I point to his flies, you know good sir, what you have in there, serves two purposes, you pee with it, and you donk with it. And since you will not be doing either of the two acts, you definitely are not going to have that in heaven. He thinks, it’s a possibility, no sir, it is an eventuality, you will be without your most prized possession in heaven! He thinks, well I wouldn’t call it my most prized possession, I cut him short, your god has been unkind to you, he has been magnanimous to me! The Arab is confused, this was not what he was asking for when he yearned on this debate. Everyone around is either giggling, or nodding, or smiling, some have their hands on their mouths, others are blatantly laughing out loud. So here is the deal good sir, I’m not letting him go this easy, first of all, I cannot live with 70 virgins, two reasons, who the hell is going to teach them everything, it’s hard enough teaching one virgin something, what do you do with freaking 70 of them, and even more difficult is the notion that well there is nothing there to be looked forward to. I raise my hands, stare at his flies, he looks left, and then to the ceiling, I am sure he is asking for divine intervention, expecting god will fight for him where he has not been able to fight for himself. So let me tell you this good sir, eat all you can now, for tomorrow you may not have a mouth to eat from, Salut! And I throw the tequila shot down, amidst applause in the background…

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Chinese Adventure

The Overcoat

When the plane landed at Beijing, and the pilot announced that the outside temperature is -08 deg centigrade which is around 22 Farenheit, I knew I need to go shopping. When I get to the terminal, this guy asks me for a Taxi, moment of caution, when in China or Asia Pacific (Singapore is an exception) never even talk to these people, they will rob you in day light, I refuse his offer, and walk out of the terminal. It is extremely windy, although am wearing a thermal, regular clothes, a suit, I feel as if the wind is running through my bones, my nose starts running, and instantaneously freezes, it probably snowed the night before. I walk over to the public taxi stand, where they had these old Volkswagon taxis, I show him the card that reads the hotels address, he turns and starts driving. The drive from Beijing Airport to the city is one of a rich blend of recent economic progress and decades of poverty. I reach the hotel check in, and make my way to the familiar fashion mall, which is about a two block walk.

While it was a freezing walk, the mall from inside is very comfortable. I walk to the area where they have men’s clothing. The walkway is full of Italian and French designer label rip offs. The quality is a rip off too, and then so is the price. From previous experience I know to offer 10% of whatever the initial price is quoted by the shopkeeper.

The thing about Fashion Mall is that all the shops are “manned” by teenage girls, clad in jeans t shirts and red standard sleeves-less Jackets. I come across one over coat, which I really liked, I should look like Dick Tracy wearing this, while I am admiring the coat, the girl that is manning the shop walk over, you like, velly guud. I turn, shes hardly 12 I think. You like, she says again, I’m supposed to be a negotiator, I don’t like, I say, me show you anothel, no, how much is this, 1,000 RMB she says. Hmmm, 100 I say, she starts laughing, I smile, whats so funny I say, she says, you want 100 RMB, I got this muffler for you, no thank you I want an over coat, oh that is for 1,000 RMB, so how much will you give it to me for, for you, ummmm, she thinks, 800 RMB, 200 RMB I say, ooooh come on, 800 is gud plice, here, let me tly it on fol you, she helps me take my jacket off, and put the coat on, I look at myself in the length mirror, and make a face as if I don’t like it. She says, you no like, me hap anothel. No, me ok with this, so how about 300 RMB. She thinks for a while, 500 she says, last offer, I go back to my initial experience, 10% of initial price, and settle at 50%, so this is good right, okay I say. She smiles, says something to the girl in the shop next door, oh my God, I’ve been had, I should walk away I say to myself.

Excuse me, I changed my mind, I say to her, as she is putting the coat in a case, she looks at me inquisitively, what, she says, I no want it, she frowns, you no want it! You no want it! And then she goes crazy, as I quickly walk out of the shop, she follows me, screaming at the top of her voice, I look left, and I look right, each and every person is looking at me, and smiling, I smile back. I focus on this tile on the floor in front of me, I wish it would cut open and I could sink into it right this very moment. The girl is following me still. Screaming still. Just as I am about to touch the tile, she catches on to me, and hits my back with both hands, I don’t turn around, just turn the corner, and keep walking, she stops at the corner. I turn another corner, and no one here knows what I have been through.

So I see the same overcoat at another shop, and I start the bargain all over again, the deal ends at 450 RMB, so I went through all of that for 50 RMB hmmmm

The Taxi Driver

As I am paying the girl for the overcoat, I receive a call from Yang, she wants to have dinner, discuss some things over before we go into the meeting tomorrow. I tell her the hotel that I am staying in, she says she will be there in half an hour if its okay with me, seems like a plan, I should be able to get back, take a warm shower and get ready for dinner.

Half an hour later, I come down to the lobby, and pick up one of those cards that they have at the reception that you give to the taxi driver. As I look around, I turn, and the over coat swirls behind me, I am so looking like Dick Tracy right now. Yang is here, she is getting out of a Taxi, I rush out, so we can continue in the same Taxi. The bouncer tells me we can’t, we will have to wait for the next in line Taxi which should be around any second now. We kiss our hellos, I tell her how its too cold here, but I like the city, the smog and the pollution is crazy, but the buildings and the roads are impressive, the taxi arrives in the mean time. She takes me to this place where they have the Peking Duck, and the dinner is another story which I will tell some other time, let me rush to the journey back to the hotel.

We step out, she says, lets go for a pinyin, have you had that, I know a good place near your hotel, I’m game, we hail for a taxi, one stops, we hop in. The driver is nothing short of 80, and looks cranky by his looks, Yang tells him the hotels address. He has no clue where the hotel is, the car in the rear starts honking, the driver starts driving. She tells him the hotel address again, he says God knows what, she keeps talking, he keeps shaking his head. She turn to me, what an ass, she says. Do you have a card of the Hotel, that has a map on it, well, actually, I do. I hand her the card from one of the pockets of my overcoat. She takes a look at it, and talks to the driver. The driver leans back, I look forward. My harrowing eyes see a red light upfront. The driver pulls his spectacles out of his pocket, and starts observing the card, he is muttering something by the by. The red light is getting bigger, there is a string of cars waiting in line for the light to turn green. The cars are getting bigger, I start pointing to the driver about the upcoming danger. Yang is screaming to him, he puts the card on the front seat, and looks up front. Instantly he coughs, and screams, and hits the breaks, the car slides, I know we are going to hit, so does Yang, so does the driver, and hit we do. We ram into the car in front of us, my head bangs into the seat in front rather lightly, I’m pretty much okay, so is Yang, and so is the driver. He doesn’t say a word, opens the door and steps out of the vehicle. Both of us follow suit. He steps forward to look at the loss. The car that we’ve hit is also a taxi. Observing the loss, the driver steps back, unlatches the boot, and walks over. We step back and observe, I look into Yangs eyes and she is just a confused as I am. The driver open the boot, and takes out a Baseball bat. I am more confused, so is Yang. He takes the baseball bat, and screams and runs towards the car in front. The driver in the car is screaming something as well. We slowly start to nudge towards the sidewalk. The driver crashes the bat into the car in front, and then aims for the driver. He ducks, and then starts running. The driver follows him. We look for another Taxi, find a bar, and go have the pinyin over a good laughter.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

An offer you can refuse!

The one thing about Ho Chi Minh is that everyone rides a motorcycle, it’s a never ending flow of these pranky two wheelers, girls, boys, people in shorts, people in suits, young, old all alike ride on two wheelers. The other thing are the road side bars, well they were the strangest road side bars I’ve ever seen. You see them all around continental Europe, but its like you have a big bar, that has a patio where people come out to smoke and have their drinks. In HCM the patio is the bar, inside, there are two seats, and the bottles.
So I am sitting at one of these road side bars, having a Tiger, (you have any other thing and the locals take you for a sissy) when as was expected this Vietnamese girl walks over and says something in…wait for it…bingo, Vietnamese…I obviously have no clue what she is saying, but seeing as she has pulled the chair, and is pointing towards it, I can tell that she wants to sit down. Looking at her face, I can tell by the sorry excuse for a makeup job, and the old dress with worn out hems, broken toe nails on her feet, she is one who sells her soul in redemption for a fist full of Dongs. Now this was an offer I should have refused, but then where would all the fun be, so I nudge, extend my palm, gesture her to sit down. She sits down, and looks into my eyes. Now I know she is trying to be sexy, nay seduce me, yet all she is doing is well…disgust me, she probably hasn’t brushed her teeth in two days, and brushed her hair the moment she decided to sit with the guy drinking the Tiger. I look back into her eyes, toggle my eye brows, back where I’m from this means whats up, she makes a strange face, obviously this means something else in HCM. I lean back, whatever, she can go fly a kite, or go do someone else’s flies. As I lean back, and my back has barely touched all of the seats back, another one comes over, she’s better looking, wearing a jeans that’s not as worn out as the last American soldier to leave nam, a top straight out of Stayin Alive, and mascara on her eyes that would make Madame Dracula look to shame. While she is helping herself to her seat, she says, you have a nice nose, thank-you I say, you have nice hair. Always works with the ladies, men check the face, the bossoms, the ass, and well every thing else, the hair don’t matter to us, and women around the world, well they like to be told that they have nice hair. Unfortunately, she says something back in Vietnamese, she perhaps had asked someone prior to coming here how to say you have a nice nose, and that is all she knew of English.

So there we are, the three of us, sitting, looking at each other, well they are fixated at me, and me, well I’m looking around, looking at them, looking around, taking a gulp, looking around. When silence is broken, one of them has the drinks menu, and is pointing towards the most expensive shake on the menu, I look at the price, converts to three dollars, hmph, I raise my hand to call the waitress, who looks like the dirty ones sister. When she comes, I point to the dirty one, she says what not, and I look around. The other one hits her toe to my calve, she is wearing ballerina shoes, I look at her face, she says something slowly, and then stops, and then thinks, and then says again, where are you staying, at the Metropolitan, her face droops, I make an inquisitive gesture, she says, the manager, no let me in, I smile, thank god. The other one starts chirping and long chirp, when she is done, the cleaner one says, you can get a room here, she points across the street, 20,000 dong only for the night, ahan, nice offer, and for 80,000 dong more, she and me, an even better offer. Both of them are now staring at me. I am taking the last gulp from the Tiger, I motion to the dirty ones sister looking waitress, to get me another one. she hits me with her ballerina shoe again, lets go, I motion in a nay, she starts to talk faster, and louder, the other one joins in, I smile. They are probably saying, we make you an amazing offer, what you don’t like us now, and what not, or even more likely, they are cursing at me with all their might and their limited knowledge.

My second drink arrives, with the dirty ones martini glass containing iced something. The cleaner one yells, I look, she’s calling out to someone else, a hawker appears, she gives him some money, he hands her a pouched plastic bag containing some balls. Look like candies at first sight. She opens it by cracking the shell, I take a sip, the dirty one takes a gulp. A yellowish candy-like inner appears, she eats it in three goes. Im looking at her with interest, she offers me one, I take it in my hand, its slightly rough on the outside, dark green in color, with black spots, she takes it back from me, saying something again, her hands are hard, probably from working in the fields. She opens it, like an egg, and hands the inner to me, I take it in my hand, looks like a small egg, I look at it, both of them start speaking again, and then shouting again, tapping their hands on the table, encouraging me to eat it, as I examine it, I realize this is an egg, of either a snake, or a crocodile, and its been boiled, you know how a boiled egg has a slightly shaved end which is the top while the egg was being boiled. Now I could refuse this offer too, and I decide to refuse it, but they are chanting with all their might, I throw it in the air, and catch it in my mouth, and gulp it.

Both of them look at each other, give me a hug each, and the cleaner one says, one more, I say no, she says no, one more, and then you can go. What am I a hostage here, she says goto metropolitan, no need goto room, she points to the room across the road, I smile, you never know with their thugs, they may have actually forced me to goto the room. So I give a defeated notion, she smacks her hands, the other one claps them. I take a long gulp of the Tiger. She cracks the egg open, and holds it in her hand, with the other hand, she holds my chin, tells me with her eyes to hold the tiger in my left hand. I do the same, she puts the egg in mouth, and puts a finger around my adams apple, I cant gulp it, she looks at me, and motions to chew it, I smile, she keeps chewing with her gums, I follow suit. It is pretty much taste less, like a hens egg, except the yoke is bitter, I take a gulp of the Tiger, a long one, in fact I shoot it all down. The check is here, I pay up, and stand up. They give me a hug, and I decide to walk to the Hotel that night, maybe the walk will help my body digest the snake faster!

Monday, January 5, 2009

How to mend a broken heart Part II – Therapy Session

Owing to some comments in the past post, ive decided to put a reprise of that post. I’ve been told that my recipe might not “suffice” to all and sundry and while I realize that exceptions will always be there, yet I will try and cater to one more class. So without further ado, I let loose the therapy session.

1 Bottle Absolut Vodka, 1 Bottle Jack Daniels, 1 Bottle Tequila El Relingo Gold, 10 Liters water, 100 ml Pepsi, 100 ml cranberry juice, 250 grams. Cocaine, 100 grams brown sugar, 1 kg hash, 1 kg, TV, DVD Player, The Complete Tarentino Movies Collection, One Cheese Cake

Drink one liter water and take a piss.
Make ice out of eight liters
Prepare a shot of vodka with 100 ml pepsi and drink it in one go
Put on the movies one by one, any order you like, preferably shuffle them up, and then stack them!
Consume liquor shots on the rocks as per the following pattern
1. Bottoms up every time
a. a shot is fired
b. someone says fuck
c. someone talks in Japanese
2. Take a sip every time
a. A new character comes on to the screen
b. Any character comes on to the screen
c. A character leaves the screen
3. Drink straight from the bottle and keep drinking while
a. Samuel L Jackson is doing the bible recital, all three times, for as long as he is speaking
b. Someone loses a body part and blood flows out
c. Someone gets hit and is dying
d. Someone is doing drugs
4. Once the bottle of Vodka is finished, finish the Jack Daniels, and then the Tequila
Take the cocaine and the brown sugar, mix it in the cheese cake and give it to your neighbor as a gift

Drink the last liter of water and go take a piss

The total all movie duration comes out to be 12 hours, if you can finish all three bottles in this time, take a world trip, spend all your savings, do as many of your preference as you can, you’re probably going to die young!

If you puke during or after the session, do not read my blog, stop seeing me if you know me,

While the therapy is written out to depict as if one is to do it alone, that is by no means a requirement. This can be a group activity. Presence of contraceptives is highly recommended in a group activity however!

I have yet to experiment what happens when you do this therapy, and since I’ve been inspired by someone to write this, I am probably going to experiment this that someone (needless to say, liquor quantities are for one and in a gang repair therapy session the rations multiply by the number of people in the session)

p.s. I have no particular stringent brand recommendations, my suggestions are based on my personal preferences and you can choose your own type of liquor, experiment with the therapy.

For the record, the complete Tarentino movie collection is as follows
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Jackie Brown (1997)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Friday, January 2, 2009

How to mend a broken heart


1 silicone cone along with 1 silicone gun, 1 pair of forceps, 1 blow dryer, a sunny place, 1 brush, 1 Babyface CD, 1 CD player, 1 booking at a nice restaurant, 1 bottle of Pinot Noir (decently aged), 1 flower bouquet, 1 tissue paper, 1 pair of wine glasses, 1 roll of time sufficient for 21 to 30 days


1. Use the forceps to pick up all the pieces of the broken heart, gently place them on the tissue paper, arrange to recreate the old heart shape
2. Insert the silicone cone into the silicone gun, and apply silicone to sides of the cracked pieces
3. Use the forceps to put the pieces together
4. Wrap the tissue around the heart to hold it in place, use blow dryer to help solidify for around 30 minutes or as needed
5. Play the Babyface CD in the mean time
6. Open the bottle of pinot noir and pour into a glass - WARNING no Chardonnay or Champagne, users do it at the risk of losing the heart forever
7. Serve the glass to the owner of the heart
8. Wrap the time roll around the heart, in some cases even less than 21 days would suffice, however depending on the shock apply as needed
9. Place the heart back in the body cavity
10. Handover the bouquet
11. A little make out session is good at this time for optimum results, use breath freshener and ensure no body odor - WARNING experience tells that make out sessions yield into much more intense sessions, carrying a condom during the exercise is highly recommended - should you want this to happen, double the dose of pinot noir, or alternatively for sure shot results, keep some vodka to follow once the pinot is gone!

Monday, December 29, 2008

The boy who thought he knew what he wanted!

I make my way to my seat in the rather congested Embraer, hoping there is no one sitting next to me, and there is enough room in the hat rack, and that they have one more flight attendant on board, the one at the gate was anything but a welcome sight. However, there is no other attendant on board, the hat racks around my seat are all taken, and there is a young 10 or so year old boy sitting next to me. I move around a bit to stuff my back pack in one of the vacant hat racks, and make my way to my seat, as usual, I prefer reading Kafka to talking to the boy, who is rather intrigued by me. They make the usual announcements, the boring attendant holds the safety belt, shows the worn out laminated exit guide et al card around, and wears a safety jacket as well.
The boy looks outside every now and then, glimpses over to see parts of the metamorphosis, reads a bit, and then looks elsewhere knowing this may not be congruent to his taste. A slight jerk and the air craft starts to taxi, and does that for the next one hour, before it actually takes off.
Once in the air, the boy sort of comes alive. I knew that because I felt a tap on my arm, I look around and the boy is looking at me, as I remove the headphones, he shoots out a question for me, what’s your name? Sohail, that’s a nice name, thank you, what’s yours, Shakeem, he says. He was expecting me to complement his name, I preferred to stay numb.
So typical of African Americans, judging from the corn row on his head, I was not surprised at all. So what are you going to be when you grow up; I was expecting him to say P Diddy, or Shaggy, or some little known stand up comedian’s name, he however, had his future planned out in a rather different manner. Me, I am going to be the President of the United States of America, is that right, I replied. Ahan, and I’m also going to be the head of the treasury, the FBI, the CIA, and General Motors! Really, how are you going to handle all those jobs, no one else has been able to do that before, they have teams handling each one of those jobs, you sure you can do this on your own? I am, no one else has been able to do it, cause no black person has ever taken any of these roles, we can do things you see, I see, I said. So tell me Shaheen, Shakeem, he corrects me, my apologies, Shakeem, I can understand President, Treasury, FBI, CIA but why General Motors? Why not? he says. Well, all the others have one thing in common, they are legislatively related administrative posts, this is a commercial entity, I knew I was using terms that might be beyond his age just a little bit, one of the intentions was for him to get out of my hair, I was done with my share of intrigue and wanted to get back to my reading. Okay, here is the thing, I plan to change we do things in America, I am done with state administrative and commercial entities being completely separate; I close the book and put it in the pocket in front of me, he has my attention. You are, so what are you going to do about it, are you critiquing the capital market theory, I try to throw out lingo I am hoping is beyond his turf again, I’m not critiquing capital market theories, the best run countries in the world are the ones that have brought justified regulations by the state administration into the commercial entities, so much so as to control prices of commodities! Okay, this is no P Diddy, this kid is a Keynes in the making…what transpired was a foray of na├»ve at times intelligent conversation, the kid was obviously impressed with his new President, and listened to much conversation between his father and his friends and had adopted to the ideas of his father, whats most intriguing is the way one man can change the fate of an entire race, he actually believes that he can run all those offices and that he can change the face of the planet, but then, I recall, at his age, I was going to be a mad scientist, Batman, an engineer, an architect, a statesman, and Prince Charming too, funny how the parallels have regressed!