27 May 2009

This one was sitting in 'drafts' for quite a while... until I chanced upon a similar article from a friend of mine; realized she's published this before I did and she's gonna get all the patents and become rich and rule the earth tyranically until all humanity dies. Very soon, I also realized that I publish my own articles and I don't really have to care how similar my article is to hers. And finally, I also realized that if I don't publish soon enough, Blogger is gonna start charging me in dollars for every post I publish. 

Perplexed? Baffled? Mystified? Bamboozled? Let me clear the air a bit. So this goes back to 2008. The global aviation industry was getting poorer by the day. Just as I was hinting my chances of going to the Americas, they hit upon this novel idea of charging a fee for my checked-in baggages. At a time when my funding situation was as well known as what genitals my unborn kids are gonna have (can't I write anything straight?), and I was trying to save up whatever I could, and I was hitching on this evil plan of asking my dad for my share of the property, out of the blue comes this news - "Pay up 15 bucks for your checked-in bags" ... and I had two of them ... and I had to make a transit in Newark ... that makes it 60 bucks (quick mental calculation; 60 dollars x 50 = 3000 INR). Freakin' 3000 bucks to get MY bag into their dumb cockpit ? And would they promise me to bring it safely to Pittsburgh? No they don't! They charge you freakin' 3000 bucks and you gotta HOPE that its gonna come with you. 

Venue: Bangalore Airport (BIAL) - Grabbed onto 2 trolleys from the ocean of trolleys all around... one for my luggage, another just because I like pushing trolleys and standing on them. Reminds me of those banana carts. 

Venue: Kingfisher Airlines - grabbed onto a bottle of water given to me with a million dollar smile from a beautiful air hostess (Mallya - you rock dude!), coupled with sandwich and some delicious sweet (remember, all this for a 90-minute journey to Mumbai).

Venue: Continental Airlines (Mumbai) - phew! This plane is filled with senior citizens with uniforms... perhaps there's a contingent going to America to live their last days chanting the holy Bible. Oh! Wait a minute... they ain't pilgrims, they are air hostesses of this freakin' aircraft! Grandmoms with tongues lashing out at Asians and granddads with popping pupils spitting fire if you try to call them. Mallya's air hostesses perhaps would let me sleep on their laps if I had requested so... these may ask me anytime to step out of the plane in mid-air just because my skin ain't bleached. 

Food was out of the question... I got snacks for lunch, snacks for dinner, no on-demand food, and water, drinking water, was scaled down to a tiny cup... the same cup in which you drink coffee in a fast food restaurant. Atleast, Indian restaurants fill the coffee upto the brim such that you gotta suck the top layer up before you actually drink 'em. Here, dare ask for a second cup of water and perhaps the airlines has to shut shop!

Venue: Newark International Airport - Few trolleys arranged in a line. A tiny quarter slot above it. I try pulling the trolley with all my effort... perhaps American trolleys are very heavy because they use solid iron to build them... after all, they are bloody rich. Or are they? What the heck? 3 dollars for a trolley? Do I get to take them home with me? Or is the 3 dollars inclusive of the lady standing behind it? Quick mental calculation (3 dollars x 50 = 150 INR). 150 bucks to rent a trolley! Isn't my transition supposed to be from a third-world country (as the Americans like to believe) to a first world one? Or have I taken the wrong plane and entered Sierra Leone? Welcome to America!

Venue: Pittsburgh International Airport - 3 dollars again! RIDICULOUS! This was just the beginning. So, all those hulla-gulla about airlines cutting down on a leaf of lettuce as a cost cutting measure wasn't exaggeration after all. The fun ride begins here...

Scaife Hall cafeteria saves up on tissue paper. Initially, one tissue paper was split into two. Now, tissue papers are stacked up in such a way that you can pull only one at a time. All those bunch of free black spoons, forks and knives piled into a big basket are things of the past. Cafeterias have invested on a mechanism in which you gotta press a button, and only one spoon falls at a time. Noon conferences don't have pizzas anymore. In short, America is going bankrupt! Automobile companies are depending on Asian companies to save their asses. Its short of impossible to get a credit card OR a loan. Crime rate is on the rise again. People are holding onto their chairs to withstand the cyclone of layoffs all over. 

Looks like we'll graduate and start applying to Indian companies and pray that they take us. Reverse brain drain... wouldn't that be so amazing? Well, its not so easy, but not impossible too. When America gave to the people, it gave away more than it could sustain. And now, it holds onto everything so tightly, it even tries to deny people what rightfully belongs to them. Like this news about charging people a fee for peeing inside the plane. Perhaps this is the American way of ensuring people drink less water and ergo, profit the aviation industry, ensuring low flight costs. Perhaps I would be allowed to pee only half the quantity if I pay half the fee (to ensure even the not-so-well-off people can use their elegant facilities). I can barely fit into their toilets (for those who don't know me, I'm pretty thin) ... once I fit in, I can't even turn around, my back is stuck to the door ... and pretty much the door grazes my face when I try opening it... and they expect me to PAY for this wonderful experience. 

Are they ready to compensate me for that torturous journey across the security check where I am a hard core criminal carrying weapons of mass destruction in my teeny tiny baggage (if I kill people with my socks and underwear ... why allow them in the first place?)? Are they ready to compensate me for that uncomfortable journey wherein I can't move my legs... my neighbor is stuck to me as though we were Siamese twins... the plane drones horrendously throughout the journey? Are they ready to compensate me when they ask me to pay up for any food I order on plane... I can't reach my bag of food as its impossible to move my arms... and they don't respond when I call them? 

There are a million other things America can do to save costs! Keep that extra leaf of lettuce in the sandwich ... but STOP the DAMN war ! Give me more water to drink but remember to SWITCH OFF your lights at the end of the day. Let me pee in peace but buy more FUEL EFFICIENT cars. Save me the trouble of collecting quarters for your stupid trolleys but STOP polluting the planet. 

Meanwhile... some distance away... Ryanair (a European airline giant) is cooking up a 1.43USD fee for letting people empty their bladder in their plane to generate revenues. And thus one stupid goat follows another stupid goat... which follows the second stupid goat... which follows the third stupid goat... which follows the fourth stupid goat... which follows... 

(Also see - Post Bush Era)

Oh superman! The greatest Kryptonian ever... stronger than the strongest... faster than the fastest... you can lift a car with one hand... you can stop a bullet in its path... you can fly at speeds faster than light... you have the power to move entire planets... your visionary powers stay unsurpassed... your intelligence stays unconquered... 

Oh superman! What would the world do without you... you are needed everywhere... you are needed by everyone... you brighten up the lives of people... you make the earth a wonderful planet... but...

But who brightens up your life? What do you like? What don't you like? Who makes you laugh? Who makes your living wonderful? You make us happy but do you cry alone? Who do you go to when you are sad? Tell me... has anyone remembered to make you smile today? Anyone?

26 May 2009

Definitions of single on the web:

·         Individual: being or characteristic of a single thing or person

·         Existing alone

·         Unmarried: with relation to status, sex and parenthood

·         Lacking a partner; solitary

The last definition really intrigued me! I’m Suhas; 24 years, 7 months, 26 days since my birth. If I’m right about my prediction that my lifespan is just around 50 years, I have lived half my life. And I have lived it in solitary confinement if you will.

I often questioned myself … is the world’s population an odd number or an even number? Today, I can safely say, it is an odd number.  Every person on this planet has found a partner … if not, they will eventually. I was created perhaps as this ‘joker’ character … a joker is a not-so-good-player in cricket who’s the odd person and ends up playing for both the teams as his presence hardly makes a difference to any team.

According to the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, NCHS, there were 2,208,000 marriages in the US in 2008. And this is just marriage … the remaining people are mostly unmarried couples. So with such chilling statistics, what the HECK will people like me do? Oh! Wait a minute … there are no people like me… it is just me and me alone!

But a little bit of introspection clears the air a bit. Do I really need a girlfriend now? Don’t my lab rats do everything a girlfriend could possibly do? Ok, maybe not in the true sense. But then, from giving me free phones to taking me out for their lingerie shopping, I am getting everything I wished for. Do you guys (especially those who have never shopped with girls) have a frikkin’ clue about the varieties of dresses a girl’s section have? It is not just about the color or the design boss… it is about the material; it is about the cuts; it is about the transparency; it is about the length (or the lack of it); the girl’s section is a world of its own. It is like the closet of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’… a hidden magical world where dangerous things can happen (like shopping beyond your credit limit).

And it is not just about shopping. Girls tend to be possessive and expect their puppet (spelt boyfriend) to be possessive… about them of course! I DON’T have to be possessive at all. Or better put, I can be possessive about different people on different days. Or you might think I am getting the definition of being possessive wrong. But who really defined the time period of possessiveness?

And there is a certain degree of comfort talking to committed individuals. They open out to you trusting that you won’t flirt with them considering their commitment status. They have a vent to bitch about their boyfriends which is pretty amusing to hear. And there’s no effort needed to impress anybody… be unshaven, wear yellow pants, have a bad hair day, pick your nose, drink through your nostrils … and still nothing changes!

But then… yeah, there’s always a BUT; which is the BUTT of all problems. Life gets too boring if things remain calm and smooth all the time. Happiness has to be as transient as sadness. Both happiness and girlfriends are to be handled, in life, with equal poise. And it is always nice… the ‘one’ person, the ‘one’ next to whom you sit by default when watching a movie or in a bus; the ‘one’ person’s popcorn … the only popcorn you ever wish to share from; the ‘one’ person whose hair you want to feel; the ‘one’ person whose hands you want to hold and take long walks on beautiful evenings; the ‘one’ person whose hug can comfort you even if India has lost a match; the ‘one’ person who is always the ‘one’ and nothing can replace that.

To me, the ‘one’ is and has to be arranged … love is a gift I am yet to receive… I’m Suhas; 24 years, 7 months, 26 days since my birth… and I think I need to go do a Western Blot now (anti-climax ain’t it?)