Category Archives: Fandangle

The Quintessential 80s (or 90s) ‘Western Music’ Compilation Tape: Chennai Style

Sometime during the early 90s, I was sitting on a wooden barricade at the YMCA grounds in Royapettah, dragging on what I thought was a Wills NavyCut (an hour later, some hazy faces told me it was “grass”). 13AD was playing the opening riff of an English song that obviously had an impact on Phillip Cherian who was getting ready to explode in drooling delight. “Wow…O…God…mmm….mochaan*…fuck” were his words, I think, though not in that order. Not too impressed with me being not too impressed, Cherian berated me in classic peter english – What? Fuck…mochaan, what? You don’t know “Sweet Child O’Mine”?. I think I might have nodded and then fallen off that barricade..
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Multi-tasking with James

The last 10 days have been hectic; time spent poring over mysterious plots and its associated numbers. And I needed the weekend to recharge. On the couch, taking care of my Netflix backlog. But I also had things to do: the laundry for instance. Cleaning. Phone calls. Pedicures. I could multi-task, but I was wary of getting too involved in the separation of colors & whites that I might miss out on getting all choked up about little Damian or not chewing my fingernails as John Leguizamo tried to track down a serial killer.

So I watched the Bollywood action thriller, James, instead.
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It takes guts!

Women think I am the Invisible Man. It’s the only irrational explanation I’ve come up with for all the glazed looks that seem to focus on a point 100 yards behind me. Yet, after all these years, I have never learnt to take a hint. I still casually brush my hair so it falls over my eyebrows, like I half-expect them to run their fingers through it as they pass me. I cease to walk. I swagger. And most importantly, I turn into a human vacuum as I suck the air from a 100 meter radius and tuck my tummy so far back in that people behind me suddenly catch a glimpse of my belly-button. But even this move does not hide my ugly girth, and needless to say, it only gets uglier when I let the air back into the atmosphere and quickly turn into a hot air balloon.
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An Appeal to my core visitors

Dear Seeker of ‘Priya Mani Cleavage’, ‘Mallu Aunty’ and ‘Tamil Sex Kadhaigal’ etc.,

First of all, thanks for keeping my sitemeter ticking, and….
Hold ON. Do NOT reach for that “X” button. I need you to spend more than 0.01 secs on my site this time. Please perv-bhai, hear me out.

So yeah, sorry about not actually providing you with snapshots of Priya Mani’s bosom. I would ask her, but common sense tells me that is like walking straight into a colossal lawsuit. Which incidentally provides the perfect segue into my actual appeal.
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On to Madras – 2

Washington-Dulles airport is like one long-ass stationary treadmill. I trudged 18.3 miles to get to Concourse C from where my Lufthansa flight to Frankurt departs. Gate C02, it said on my boarding pass. Like Carbon Dioxide, I thought, foolishly proud that I still remembered ChemistryOne-o-One 101. Sitting here now, trying hard to breathe in O2, I realize that it could be some kind of sordid message that the Lufthansians are trying to send. Or it could just be that the lack of oxygen in my system is bringing out the paranoia. Bottomline: Like some famous weakling once said, I have the lung capacity of a 1 year old.
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The Enterprising Salesman

A friend, on a visit from Indiana, calls me from his rental car. He wants to know where the nearest Enterprise Rent-A-Car location is, so he can drop off the car. It’s a Sunday, so not many locations are open.

Google gives me a number and I make the first call.

“Yeah, I’m calling to find out if you guys are open so my friend can drop off the car he rented from another Enterprise location.”

“That’s alright, he can keep it over the weekend. Weekends are free. Tell him to return it Monday”
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Pai Ansari, Pai

A true-blood Tamilian male (or even a MBCM* like myself) would take offense at a comedy routine by Aziz Ansari where he calls our language “obscure”. But only for a second. Ansari goes on to say that if he ever decided to employ Tamil to hit on SriLankan rapper M.I.A, his pick-up line of choice could be the Tamil interpretation of a never fail classic – You have nice breasts . But Ansari’s Tamil, being of the Udit Narayanan variety, takes a hit in translation and fizzles out into an innocent Tarzan-fascinated-by-Jane’s-anatomy observation. He points to his chest area and says..

Unakku, Inge, Romba Nalla Irukkudhu (For you, right here, it’s awesome)
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Desi Muzak

Where I live, a good Indian restaurant is as much of a rarity as a good Kumar Sanu song. And South Indian? Fuggedaboutit! So it was with much fanfare that a local version of Udipi, that brand name synonymous with lip-smacking South Indian food, was opened in the area. I don’t know about lip-smacking, but compared to the sambhar at a local Punjabi place that tasted like Chicken Makhani sans chicken plus sambhar powder, the Udipi version was easily forgiven for its own failure to comply with standards set by its predecessors back home.

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Friday Night Stats

TIME magazine listed 50 websites they thought were “cool”. Predictably enough, I checked the ‘Blog’ section first and thus, retraced my steps back to the Fug-Girls blog.
All alone on a Friday night, in an effort to re-activate the frizzled grey cells after a torturous work week, I thought to myself, “Wow! wonder how much more traffic this brought to their site”. So sadly enough, I checked out their Sitemeter stats, just in time to read “Total 7,999,500” at an “Average Per Day 78,000”.

Start Countdown Timer to 8 million hits – 11:14:20 pm

Stop Countdown Timer at 8,000,012 – 11:23:40 pm

Read and weep, Ad-sense freaks.
Read and laugh, all those who thought, “Got to be the dumbest 9 minutes ever spent on a Friday Night”. (In my defense, I’ve heard Salman Khan was conceived on a Friday night).

Remembering Vividh Bharathi

National Panasonic radio

Imagine growing up on an audio collection where almost every cassette sleeve had tiny portraits of Mother Mary and/or JC woefully staring back at you, decked in costumes born out of some underpaid artist’s garish imagination. Well, thanks to my Dad’s single-minded taste in music, I didn’t have to. Aatmeeya Geethangal, Aatmeeya Naadhan, Swargiya Naadhan, Nammude Swargiya Aasrayam etc. were the chartbusters playing on repeat in my house. Don’t even bother trying to figure out what all that means. Just know it’s the business mantra of the ruthless Mallu Devotional Tape industry that translates to ‘Blessed are the musically challenged, for their misplaced faith shall line our coffers.’

So that’s why when I say, “Thank God for Vividh Bharathi“, I really REALLY mean it.

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