The other night I met up with Pastrami at this Copper Chimney in Worli. The one just down the road from the Food Court with all the Shops, Atria Mall. "Man whats happening with the test match..." he idly wondered while I silently sipped on a long, cool Kingfisher pint.
As I have stated many many times on this blog I am not really that big a cricket fan. Of course I love it when wonderful things happen like Dwayne Leverock or random spontaneous coach slapping. But otherwise I indifferently flip past the cricket channels.
But this was not an opportunity to be missed! So what if I did not like cricket? I had to show him my GPRS!
"Wait one moment Pastrami!!!", I muttered politely so as not to upset that upper middle class restaurant ambience, "let me check on my GPRS enabled Sony Ericcson P990i mobile ph... I mean smartphone..."
The P990i was my latest value-for-money gizmo.
I have this philosophy of, among many other things, buying gadgest and gizmos. Now make no mistake, I would love to own the latest in gadget coolness. If I could, I would buy the iPhone. I have no qualms about saying that. But the thing is this freelance writing, magazine editing lifestyle cannot afford such lascivious pleasures. So I work on this principle called 'phased lag purchasing', i.e. buying a gadget as soon as something new has come and made it technically obsolete.
By then prices have fallen, bugs have been ironed out and the customer service guys have the spare parts for it when I sit on it/drive over it/pour beer on it.
"What?! You bought that aged monstrosity? Pshaw!"
"Whaddaya mean aged! Its the flag ship Sony phone man!" I protested. "Also you have to pay for dinner..."
"Of course I will dear friend... but till it is nothing compared to my Blackberry Curve..."
He reached into his pant pockets to pull out his Blackberry.
(Pause to ruminate on that unwitting pun.)
But I immediately pressed a few buttons and powered up my web browser. I must get the match scores before his Blackberry! I must! My manhood demands it!
"Go on, try all you can. My Curve will beat the crap out of that chunky piece of obsolete miniature electronics..."
Thumb! Thumb! Scroll! Scroll!
"Oh yeah?!" I retorted weekly
"Oh yeah!" He bellowed with restraint so as to not to trouble an adjacent table of what looked like auditors going by the way they were splitting the bill: "Yes but alcohol has separate VAT rates you know..."
"We are losing the match. Just two wickets to go!" I screamed triumphantly mildly startling people around with unintended unpatrioticity. (Dispatriotism?)
Triumph! Blackberry Curve my foot. Go P990i go!
"Whatever dude! I was checking my push mail. You've heard of push email haven't you?"
Pastrami was beginning to play dirty.
Of course, when you think about it, it was hardly a fair fight from the very beginning. His Curve was an office perk. Mine was bought after fighting through the crowds at Alfa in Irla market. I had to beat some of them away with my old Nokia phone. Connecting people on their temples and all that.
So really any way this worked out, in the end I would be the victor. At least in spirit.
But then it dawned on me. The P990i has push mail. And more!
We paused while nibbling on some starters and sipping on iced tea.
"Oh yes I have push mail. This phone has that. But I don't need it. I just use the Gmail application I downloaded and configured... Ha!... by the way excellent hara bara kebabs no?"
"Exquisite... You get Gmail on your phone?"
Mine was a masterful counter-attack. Not unlike the Dragon variant of the Sicilian Defence. Pastrami could afford anything he wanted. But fiddling with the technology in his gadgets was just not his cup of tea.
"Oh and did I tell you I have a 2 mega pixel phone??!!..." I jabbed.
"Hmm... you have a camera eh?" Pastrami said.
"Indeed. I just snapped a shot of that kaali daal. Want me to bluetooth it to you?"
I was piling it on. He had bluetooth I guess. But how to activate with one hand! (His other holding one small piece of kofta precariously perched on slice of naan! I had touch screen. Crack scene!)
"I am eating dude. Play fair. Outstanding Kofta. You must try it!"
"I am not going to fall for that one Pastrami! GUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!" I gestured to him in a polite manner trying not to raise a scene in the restaurant.
"No seriously. Its good. I'll finish all of it otherwise."
We munched in silence. He ordered those baby gulab jamuns they have at Copper Chimney. We slurped in a sugary fashion.
Then suddenly out of the blue he turned the Blackberry Curve screen towards me and it was playing a full length video of a sitcom.
I was beaten. I had not bought an extra memory stick yet and had no space to carry anything remotely approaching a respectable video.
I went into a quiet funk.
He paid and we walked out.
"My Blackberry Curve kicked your stupid Sony ass writer boy!" he slurred out of the corner of his mouth as we waited for the valet.
While I enjoyed dinner, especially the not paying the bill bit, it was bitter to lose again to the investment banker. He had the money, the lifestyle and now this!
"It's ok. Don't take it to heart!" he said as he walked towards his car. "Why don't you write a funny blog about it? Ha ha ha..."
And then I had a brainwave. I tuned towards him, looked at him face to face and said in a deathly murmur: "But you can't do THIS can you banker boy?!"
And with that I withdrew my stylus, poked him in the eye and dived into a waiting black and yellow taxi.
And then I wrote a blog about it.