Friday, July 28, 2006

Something fizzy

Soft drinks here come in only one size and it is called unlimited. Once you buy a glass of soft drink, you can refill it free of cost again and again and yet again for as many times as you want. People seem to prefer soft drinks here to water. I have been amazed to see families carry home huge cartons of Diet Coke cans home from the supermarket. It’s incredible because, I was always under the impression that people here were health conscious and that soft drinks had high glucose levels and so, to put it in simple words made people fat!!! In office there is a guy who finishes almost one litre (people here measure in Oz and gallons i think - though I shall never get used to the idea) of soft drinks everyday. It is no wonder then, that he is 5 feet wide and 5 feet tall and when he walks, you'd think a wall is moving. I have been quite petrified of soft drinks ever since the infamous incident of pesticides was discovered in India in 2003. People here assure me that in the Uncle Sam's land, such a thing is impossible. Pepsi/Coke/ [your soft drink company] would have to down its shutters if something like that had been discovered. Whoa! Talk about mass discrimination on the basis of the water!!!!

Back home, there is a rather limited variety of soft drinks that are available. Here, the numbers are mind boggling. You get to choose between 30 different varieties and even as I speak, they are probably launching a new variety and disbursing it for free at gas stations (yes, I got to taste a new flavour of Coke last Friday) Vending machines are everywhere; near the super market, down the basement which no one visits more than a month, close to the parking lot, at the canteen. You're probably lost in the middle of nowhere if you cannot locate a vending machine with 100 metres (again - I believe that people use to measure distances in miles here, I have no clue how much a yard measures) of your vicinity.

Every morning I watch intently an ad on TV which says that people here are getting fatter and fatter and soon airlines are going to charge the rate of 2 seats for an obese person. Should motivate people enough to cut down on the gallons to save the miles. More on gallons and the Oz, miles and yards and pound soon....

Oh! Just a passing thought...most of the men and women who win the 100 metres sprint are Americans. When you have spent all your life counting yards, how do you beat the world to 100 metres????

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Catastrophic Concoctions

In a country where people do not leave home without a cup of coffee, I have spent an excrutiating 3 weeks without coffee. The result has been a sleepy, bleary eyed and de-caffeinated A Chatterjee with a deprived-of-coffee look on her face.

For reasons best known to the mysterious forces of nature, the coffee jug is always empty in the breakfast table in the morning, when I try to get some for myself. I watch with green eyes as everyone else sips their favourite cuppa.

When we tried to make coffee at home, somebody forgot to distinguish between salt and sugar and we ended up with a cup of very salty coffee which once again, I did not have the privilege to taste.

The other day, when we tried to make some of it on the microwave, the cup burst and the coffee flowed freely everywhere but to me.

As if to prove that when God does not will AC to have coffee, she shall have none of it, the vending machine betrayed me one morning. It has never refused to help me with hot chocolate so far, but that morning, just when I thought of giving a break to the hot chocolate ritual and go for a cup of coffee, the machine refused to dispense coffee on one occasion and a cup to pour the coffee on the other, I watched disgusted and gave up.

PS – this incident took place a week ago. Stars have changed since then. Have lunched at a coffee bar with a benevolent Italian with some fine coffee, have been to Star Bucks at a time when their coffee machine was working just fine and was just treated to some delicious home brewed coffee a short while back. To borrow an expression from the Reprobate ‘Inshallah!’

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

To the government of the greatest democracy on Earth,

Dear Sir,

Sitting many many miles away from home, and in a country that does not lay to as much claim to democracy, as you do, yet provides it the truest sense of the word, I am one of the few Indians privileged to read what I have written in this blog. Elsewhere, back home, in the place that I'm afraid I belong to, they say, you have blocked all blogs, because they spawn hatred and brew violence. They say, you yourself are not so sure why you have done it, but it seemed like a step to take to counter the resentment growing against you, as you have repeatedly failed to protect us from being blown up every other Sunday. What next? Are you going to block emails, then the Internet, telephones? Are you going to stop people from talking because that is also a medium of spreading violence? Are we going to use silence to isolate criminals and non criminals alike?

Do you even know why people blog? There are those among us, who tell the world the little things that happen to our lives that nobody would care to listen to. We pen it down here, because we can come back here and read it again and again. After a day of work, I read what my friends have written in their blogs and when I can understand that they are going through, I know that no matter how far we are from each other, we have connected. So many of us assume names and tell the world tiny things about our everyday lives that we would shy away from talking about. This is our private diary in a very public domain. This is where we bare our souls without any inhibitions!

If some people use this medium to spread violence, you've gotto stop those people, not the medium. Long back, a friend of mine used to say, the treatment of dandruff is not to cut off all the hair. I still remember how we used to laugh whenever he said that, but today I realise the truth of his words. Do you think, stopping blogs is going to stop them from finding other means of communication? What next are you going to ban? Where will you stop?

True, they say, the pen is mightier than the sword. But how do you expect to conquer the pen if you cannot conquer the sword? If you wish the curb the voice of the nation, remember you are chocking your ownself and creating terrorists within. Meanwhile, the world keeps laughing at you.......

Monday, July 03, 2006

There goes my hero

Edit #1
World Cup's over now and so is Zidane's career. It hurts that it ended in such a terrible mess. A great hero like Zidane could not even be present at the medal giving ceremony, because of this. Zidane, you will nevertheless be held in our highest esteem always and you shall still be counted as one of the greatest ones that ever kicked a soccer ball


Saturday, July 01, 2006

And all who heard should see her there,
And all should cry, Beware ! Beware !
Her flashing eyes, her floating hair !
Weave a circle round her thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,

For today Anwesha Chatterjee is going to cook today!!!!!!