Monday, 29 October 2012

Branson Bug

What if i tell you that my first words to Sir Richard Branson were, "I LOVE YOU !!". Would you judge me ?  At at high profile private party , where India's travel industry's creme de la creme are present , sipping expensive champagne and delicately feasting on caviar, i was swept off my feet standing right in front of my role model, Sir Richard Branson. I looked around me, and it seems like everything is in SLO-MO.  The women giggling, men in tuxedos, the diamonds, the glitter.. looks like the dinner scene in the movie Titanic.
And, I behaved like a teenager meeting her rock-star idol. Just like how i suppose, 12 year olds react to Justin Bieber. Richard says, "Aww.. I wish i could hug you.. But i have the flu bug".
Guess how i responded to it. :-/

"Flu bug.. thats fine.. its Branson  Flu Bug"   (Jesus Christ.. what was i thinking )    Well, who cares about catching a flu bug when you have branson bug in you .. ? 
He blushed and threw flying kisses at me.. 
That evening was memorable. I not only did meet the guy but also interacted with him and got a HUG from him..  I admire him so much.. Thank my stars to have been able to be in the same room as him.   

Love you Branson,
Your No.1 Fan 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Coffee turns sour..

Business is all about connections. You meet people, all sorts of people, connect , bond and remain in touch for mutual benefit [In most cases just benefit].  If lucky, these meetings could become casual , acquaintances will become friends, friends shall become good friends. But this is rare to find in the corporate world, since everyone is just about money. If not to bring you down and take your place , then stamp over you and go ahead.

I meet many people. The Good , The Bad , The Ugly. At a recent coffee meeting, I met a person i once had the highest regards for.  When you meet people for the first time, you consciously look for that common playground. Once you have found that level playing field, then the conversations flow.
So we at this fancy place, order has been placed, pleasantries have been exchanged.  and then BHAM..
Nothing turns me off more than having to converse with a stingy or a show-off. And this one is a "SHOW -OFF".   My face turns purple, my eyes begin to pop, my hair begins to curl out of frustration. Why God why, why bundle my admiration in a highest regard bag and swing it to the Show-off wall ?
A person who mentions about his wealth 348 times in 2 hour conversation is [pardon me] the poorest of all. Unless , he bundles all that cash, diamonds and land papers to his grave made of platinum. No, i take that back , not even then.
Excerpts of our conversation  rather BOMBS thrown over at me :

" i love five star palace hotels "
[now i am a person who has slept on a concrete bed, stained bed sheet in Gokarna and paid Rs 100 for a night and consider that as my best trip so far]

Now how will this ever work ??  My face turns purple, my eyes begin to pop, my hair begins to curl out of frustration.

"My extended family are all jewellers.. so diamonds have been pouring in our homes since a very young age "
[now i am a person who picks up pretty looking stones from the beach and make them in to rings.. Gold makes me puke]

My face turns purple, my eyes begin to pop, my hair begins to curl out of frustration.

"Mahesh lunch home looks dingy.. I prefer SOMA for south Indian , You know SOMA right ? its in Grand HYATT"
[when a candy falls on the floor/ muck / dirt , i dust it and eat it]

My face turns purple, my eyes begin to pop, my hair begins to curl out of frustration. My face turns purple, my eyes begin to pop, my hair begins to curl out of frustration. My face turns PURPLE, my eyes begin to POP, my hair begins to CURL out of frustration.  Grrrr

A little later, my mind has blocked that voice registering into my brain. all i hear is this..

[blah = fart noises]

" Last nite... blah blah blah blah , AUDI.. blah blah blah , my SOLITAIRE fell... blah blah blah .. my HERMES BIRKIN bag blah blah blah  i stayed in TAJ LAKE PALACE .... blah blah blah.. but they didn't give me the PRESIDENTIAL SUITE.. blah blah blah.. i will sue them and sign the papers with my MONT BLANC pen  blah blah blah blah... my LOUBOUTINs oh i love them... blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah...  "  

Its a shame you don't live my life. All i wish is you get to live it one day and that day should be soon.

The milk in my cappuccino turned sour that minute this conversation started.. Sour from the shit you speak.. sour from the bubble you live in.. sour from your stinking guts.. This meeting is over..

I storm off that five star place, drive to a dingy stall on the corner of the road.. order for a cup of cutting chai.. and i am back in heaven.

EAT DIAMONDS.. and POOP PLATINUM... for all i care

Monday, 8 October 2012

When 686 muscles in your body scream ADVENTURE !!

This is where I was  just 24 hours ago.. Look again.
I, now understand , how Neil Armstrong might have felt stepping on the moon. Ofcourse he didn't have to deal with 4 hours of a dangerous climb , 2 falls & 1 serious case of fatigue attack to get up there.

This peak where i am standing, is Kalsubai,1646 meters above the sea level, the highest in the Sayadhris. Named after a woman, whose story was never explained to us. Believe me we tried getting into the bottom of the "i won't wash the dishes" lady time and again. But in vain.  Along with sore muscles we came back with doubts, " why was she considered GOD ? "  "why won't she wash the dishes ? "  "if she aint a GOD, then why the temple right at the top ?"

{BGM: Rocky}
An actor, a director , a media guy , a dancer , an assistant director, a banker and I decided to climb Kalsubai. Started of our climb at 3.30 am. Now there is something about us, our online research gave us lot of info about climbing this mountain but in the Day. Now , the Rajnikant in us made us start in the night !
Since , none of us one was familiar the route, we had to find a guide. Time was spent googling , just dialing, researching contact numbers of guides. Apparently ,we got a few, but none of them agreed to trekking at night. [hmm.. now i know why] We did not take this as a sign at all. All hell bent on climbing at an odd hour with no natural light, we spent time on getting extra batteries for our torches. The guide's refusal got me thinking , a person who can probably do this blindfolded refuses to climb at night.  So when we got to they foot of the hill, we had no guide and perhaps no idea what we were to go through. 

A sleepy chap woke up as we contemplated what to carry and what should be left in the car. And agreed to be our barefoot embodiment of a mountain goat. 

Four hours, 2345 breaks , crossing of streams barefoot, 2 litters of water & gatorade later we caught a glimpse of the top. 

The sun rose at 6.12 am. The colors of the skies were magical.  The cold breeze livened up every cell in our body. And why not , after all we were standing at the top most point accessible to human kind in the state of Maharashtra. [yeah baby] The clouds below you look like cotton candy, the lake was calm... A sight i will always cherish. 

It felt amazing. My body aches as i type this post, but the pain has not made my ear-to-ear smile vanish.

I promise, every hardship you endure during your way up there and descent will be forgotten.  Pack you bags now.. and head to Bari. 

My Tips to Kalsubai Trekkers

Please Note : I am no Milkha Siingh, no sportsperson, not a brilliant swimmer and not a GYM freak.

If you are any of the above, then this trek shall be a cakewalk for you..

These are tips that the other blogs miss out on. 
  • First and foremost, DO NOT believe all the other blogs / websites that state that Kalsubai's rate of difficulty : "Simple and Easy".
  • When you reach Bari Village at night , make some noise, until a local wakes up and asks you if you whether you need a guide. Trust me you do.
  • You will FALL. once maybe even a couple of times.
  • Do not lose focus when you see a little girl half your size, thin , barefoot  trek up the mountain  and with a giant nimbu paani can over her head.. DO NOT. Your morale will be crushed, you will hold your breath until she is out of sight to not let her know of your panting. So , my advise, when you spot someone , look the other way, admire the flowers ,  distract yourself, sing a song.
  • If it rains... Its your BAD KARMA. Trekking up the dried up water streams is as it is difficult. With rains this shall be highly dangerous. So before you head off to Kalsu, feed the poor, help a blind man cross, or atleast respect your elders.
  • You will TAN. [Psst : Fair and Lovely ke naye offer main ab milega 40% extra. HURRY !]
  • every time you see a giant boulder at a height and you think  'thats it.. that has to be the peak' .. you will be deceived. This will happen 3 - 4 times. Keep Calm , and keep Panting.. 
  • You will be BITTEN by some exotic insects. once twice maybe even a couple of times. Take those friends along who will give you some sympathy for it. ;-)
  • It takes ages to get to the first metal stairs.. and i have reasons to believe that these are the ones that must be in HELL.
  • if going up is a BITCH , then mind you getting down is a Super BITCH.  [Reasons: Mention 'Please note']
  • Having 3 glasses of wine on the night of the trek will make Nausea your new best friend.
  • Wear a t-shirt which has name of your home city printed on it. Every stranger takes keen interest on where you are coming from. It is just something they ought to know or else their life will not function as normal. And while all your concentration is on avoiding moss laden rock, questions are not well received. 
  • You will not be able to go to work the next day. Take two days off.
  • Spot the 'mountain goat ' of your group. ADMIRE THEM.
  • Travel with friends you love. Fatigue is worthwhile when shared. :-)

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Bon Anniversaire , la Bloggie

6th SEPTEMBER , 2011

How did i miss this date ! SILLY me !!! The day i created this blog, is a very special tor me. 
Cause thats the day , I met you... and you read me. :-).. We have made through one long year.. 

" And then I heard youYou made me long forTo be a part ofSomething that I can't seeA life that is beyondSomething that I can't fearTo be a part ofThe story - It belongs to you

Something you said wasAbout the pen and the paperYou can always write itIt is something you'll have to doGathering storiesA story - It belongs to you " 
[Written and sung by Jonsi]

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Lights.. Camera.. Action !! " Err.. talkin to me ? "

"When did not being able to relate to the persona of a mistress/ seductress become a bad thing?" I asked.
"Imagine.. this man has  brought you home... to cheat on his wife and you find a gun in his room.. Imagine.." I was told.

I repeat to myself enough times to make myself believe, "I am a mistress... i am a mistress... i am a mistress"

Last week, my dearest darling sister Sharu , pursuing a career in film-making has a task on her head - to make a short film for her school. After days of brainstorming, she realized this was going nowhere. And that is when we pressed the SOS button.   A dear friend , also a power house of talent stepped in like a knight on a white horse while we stood stranded a midst a desert storm..   [BGM : Baazigarr ohhh Baazigar... Tu hai bada Jaadugar]

And thats when , we had a script , a story , the props , location review, costume photos, the lights, check-lists (im not kidding), a gun ,fake blood and all that was needed for this film. When it came to part about acting, I was told they were looking for a bitchy character, someone who smirks more than smiles. Astonishingly , the crew believed i was the one.. and that was BULL-Tatti. Initially , i rubbed it off as a joke. I knew that in the end they'd get someone how knows how to act suitable for this bitchy role.  3- 4 hours of who is doing what.. the role of the mistress still remained undecided.

I looked at Sharu's puppy eyes, her face melted in to the cutest persuasive frown. This film is important to her, her first behind the camera experience. I had to contribute with more than just emotional support. Thats it, i stepped up..  "Lets do this mistressy thing" How hard could it be ?   Apparently VERY.

I quite literally, struggled through it. I couldnT get a single shot in one go, even if it was as simple as picking up the gun ! Thats when i knew, It was going to be a long night. At the beginning, I was told none of it was going to be difficult since its a well thought script and I was aware of each and every development along the way...

It took ages to get the shot ready. Hair make up , lights, fights.. There was not a single person in the group who wasnt battling a grudge against the other.In the meanwhile, our DOP was the center of attention and a "victim" of casual flirting. There was not a single item in that room that was not stepped/ climbed / on for a perfect shot.

The effort that goes behind making a film is just beyond a lay man's imagination. Post the shoot , in less than 24 hours the shots were selected , edited , dubbed. We got a friend to work on the sound , on the special effects, dubbing. 

Two days of being in front of the camera has made me respect every artist on planet earth ! Even so that i, now, respect my bai who usually puts up a good    'my mother-in-law died' show quite frequently.