Work in Progress

by sidin in


Mon Amis,

You will bear with me as I ramble on.

Since Friday I have been sitting at home working on a book and a couple of blog posts. After some final tweaking and rewriting I can confidently say that both posts will never see the light of day. They are so outrageously unfunny that I was more than glad when my antivirus, shocked by the sheer lack of humour in them, deleted them voluntarily. Hell, every time I tried saving it my computer asked me "Do you want to save this file? Really?"

After looking for comedic inspiration in all matter of dvds, stitcoms and even a few infomercials the only decent joke I had was one involving gulab jamuns, club sandwiches and a Korean couple. Stop shuddering. So I packed my rucksack with a Bryson, a notebook and a book about the Daimler-Chrysler merger and off I set for South Bombay and the old colonial ambience of heritage buildings, narrow roads and a Reliance Webworld.

Nothing kicks off a day better than a nice traditional breakfast of McAloo Tikki and a Soft Serve Cone at the McD opposite VT. Now apparently all the restaurants in the world have signed a pact whereby they are disallowed to play the TV over the audio system. So while the audio streams Britney Spears, the TV is invariably tuned to assorted news channels. The less discerning might think that this is not so bad. But today morning the combined effect was one of Harkishen Singh Surjeet vigorously serenading a press conference with "Dont'cha wish your girlfirend was hot like me." (If you thought this was bad think again. At a Subway I once saw Sheila Dixit earnestly telling Rajdeep Sardesai, during a debate on the Criminal-Politician nexus, that infact, she liked big butts and she did not lie. Mr. Sardesai was not amused.)

It was all too much and I quickly ate my breakfast, washed it all down with a coke and a happy meal and stepped out. Right outside an oldish looking man was critically analyzing his grandson's report card. Grandson stood by his side looking a little worried. Without being too nosey I peered over the man's shoulder and tried to see how the little fella had done. Hmm.

I guess it is one of the great paradoxes of our education system that a student, whose grades clearly showed he could not speak any language, knew nothing of history, and probably thought a hypotenuse was an occupied airplane toilet, could have scored 97% in General Knowledge. Man. The kid needed help and fast. When I left the pair, grandad was just about to McGrill his McAss. (Report Card. Excellent topic for a blog. Jotted down in notebook.)

Deciding Flora Fountain was my next stop, I then whipped out my cool shades, pulled up my jeans, geared up for the long walk and hailed a cab.

By now it was lunch time and so I went into a Reliance Webworld where I could combine broadband with a snack bar and soon was logged in and browsing away. Around me were several online traders, many online gamers, and atleast ten people doing both. In a corner was a TV blaring out CNBC. There was a dignified old foreign man in impeccable shirt, jeans and standard issue Fabindia jacket browsing what looks like teenbuttslap.com. Classy.

The TV pours out a report about Bombay airport. Apparently half the employees are missing, THE conveyor belt is not working, flights are delayed by days and passengers are stranded. And now this strike too. Tut tut. The High Court asked strikers to stay away from the airports to which, in a press conference, they replied: "Blech". A quick flip of all the channels revelaed that there was a sting operation or an expose on all the news channels. (Aha news channels. I noted it down.)

Around me was a swirling mass of school kids and daytraders spewing some of the most colourful Hindi I have ever heard. Some of the best included "Hero Honda (expletive) saala (expletive) ek lakh gaya (expletive) ke (expletive) mein (expletive) diya" and of course "Take the (expletive) submachine gun you (expletive) (expletive) (expletive) little (expletive)" to which little (expletive) replied "And didnt your (expletive) ever tell you to (expletive) turn off the (first time ever word) friendly fire you ugly srawny little (expletive) (expletiving) idiot!" (In between I noticed that one of the guys on Counterstrike had the nick Lucy...)

All in all the environs were overwhelmingly inspirational. After five minutes I knew 17 different new things I could gently place in one's (expletive). But just two bits of inspiration for a blog. So I packed up and decided to see if a little walk might help. Walking down the roads in the fort area are a pleasure. Everyone tries to sell you something. And there were a lot of weird things on sale. I saw rusted horseshoes (no house should be without one), a hawker who specialised in shaving brushes and that essential footpath impulse purchase, a set of steel dongles for navel piercings. (Notice how I deftly avoided sailor jokes.)

But the real mirth lies in the ridiculously labelled pirate DVDs. They had that great british countryside sci-fi epic "The Revenge of Smith", not to mention the timeless "Highglander" a scottish man saves the world from killer hormones, and the family favourite "Jur Assic Park". (I was noting down all this feverishly.) All this in the shadows of heritage buildings with smart little steel plates outside that described the impressive history of these protected buildings. (Wait this reminds me of an old blog idea. Corrupt signage. As in stupid signboards. I have seen many including one which said "Do not chess with wild ass".)

I walked all the way back to VT and decided it was time to go home to work on some of these brilliant ideas. The life of a writer was indeed proving to be more challenging than I expected. But then with such wonderful sources of inspiration all around us why should I worry? Or as that wonderful sign in a restaurant in Wadala says: "Service our pleasure, after eating leave."

Sensible blogs in progress. Please to wait.

Sidin