Tagged with " Humour"
Mar 28, 2008 - Society, urban    No Comments

Yuppie suits, here I come

I have promised that I will not write about my work which is ultra boring and at times, bring me to tears. Believe me, writing emails to accountants “educating them about the effectiveness of regular IT maintenance” can bring tears to the most hardened soul, but I soldier on.

What gets my goat more than the accountants’ never ending questions is the super human confidence of the consultants and the way they throw acronyms. I am willing to bet half my salary that they use them so much that they can no longer differentiate the acronyms of their own company, the vendors’ and the clients. After every long and grueling meeting with consultants’ I vow to become a consultant myself. After all, when you can’t beat them, you might as well join them and make a decent living. When I shared this idea with a friend, she discouraged me and said that I can never be a good consultant. The reasons she cited are listed below.

  • I actually care about implementation of the policies.

  • I hate writing long reports.

  • I do not call hopping in the plane and going to another city ‘process flow’.

  • I do not use words like diagnostic period, successful value creation and synergy.

  • Being a cynic and pessimist, I can never utter the phrase win-win, even if someone is pointing a gun at me.

  • I never use bullet points.

Oops, I just used the bullet points. There might be some hope for me. Yuppie suits, corporate speak and fuel guzzling vehicles, here I come.

Mar 27, 2008 - Uncategorized    No Comments

sucking-at-maths contest

A friend, who is preparing for GRE, and I were quibbling who suck at mathematics most. I thought I am the undisputed suck-at-maths queen while he thought that no matter how much he practices GRE mathematics, he just won’t be able to pass muster so he should be crowned king of all things hating mathematics.

In order to win the argument, I said that I must have been a suicidal wreck to read economics in bachelors because of my obvious lack of mathematical genius and how I used to get mathematics related nightmares. He then asked what are the mathematics related nightmares like. Honestly, I have never had nightmares where a maths monster attacked me and tore my limbs apart. The worst Maths related inconvenience I have had was an upset tummy and insomnia before every maths exam since grade 7. But it got me thinking that if there were a maths monster how would he look like? Would he have a nose that looks like derivation sign or a square root? Would he have a name that rhymes with trigonometry or calculus? I don’t have the imagination to create a maths monster so the crown goes to my friend.

Haris, you win. You are the king of all mathematics fearing beings.

Mar 26, 2008 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Killing me softly

I have had what you call a chick-flick week.
Not only did I watch three Jane Austen films (Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion) in a row (ok, I am demented, I get it), I also watched Jane Austen Book Club, a book about five Californian women and a man who form a book club to discuss the works of the celebrated writer but also had the ulterior motive of improving their love lives after taking cue from Ms. Austen.

But the chick flick which I am certain would be soon made into a Bollywood musical is not any of the above mentioned films. The film that is sure to see a hindi remake is Katherine Heigl, James Marsden starrer 27 Dresses. Heigl plays a selfless woman who helps out her girl friends by being their bridesmaid – a horrendous 27 times. In addition she plays adoring PA to her hotshot boss who’s blissfully oblivious to his employee’s infatuation. Her beautiful sister comes along and gets engaged to the boss and then enters Marsden, a cynical wedding reporter (is that an oxymoron or is that an oxymoron?) who wanted to do a feature on a woman who is always, always, always the bridesmaid but ends up falling for our heroine and they all live happily ever after.

It has become a standard practice of late that every successful romantic comedy (or the not so successful romcoms) soon sees its Hindi version. The most recent was Partner which was very loud, crass, yet yawn inducing copy of Will Smith’s Hitch. So cheeky have they become that they call lifting every scene frame for frame, mere inspiration! Some are so shameless that they even copy the name of the film (Mere Yaar Ki Shadi Hai was a bad remake of My Best Friend’s wedding).
So be ready to see Rani Mukerji or some other actress like her (can’t have a glamazon in that role) reprising the role of Hiegl as the self sacrificing shareef heroine silently in love with her smooth and suave boss (probably John Abraham – seriously, cant think of anyone else who fits the bill of good looking yet vacant and single dimensional). Enters the glamorous young sister (could be any of the former models or pageant winners) who makes the suave boss fall for her. Now, who is going to save our heroine from the cold clutches of impending spinsterhood; a cheeky but extremely good looking Saif Ali Khan who wins her heart and make her realise that there is more to men than just being ridiculously rich and good looking; they have to be smart and witty along with being ridiculously good looking. They hold hands and walk into the sunset … or whatever.
Shit, I actually wrote the plot of a bollywood masala musical. I seriously need to get a life and do something other than watching escapist cinema. It is killing me softly; before I know it, I would be dead, at least intellectually.
Any suggestions people???
Mar 24, 2008 - quirky    No Comments

Professors strike back

Students have been ranting about their professors since time immemorial. Of late, they are doing it online on rate my professor.

Most of you would think that there is nothing special about this. Students do that all the time and if they are now doing it via vlog, then it is just cyber progression of an old phenomenon.

What interesting is that the professors are striking back, online of course. When academics and scholars were recently given the chance to counter student criticism posted on the website RateMyProfessors.com, a cult-hit television series, “Professors Strike Back,” was born. The show, which has professors responding on camera to undergraduate gripes such as “boring beyond belief,” made its debut in October last year on mtvU, a 24-hour network broadcast to more than 7.5 million students on American college campuses.

I thought it was hilarious and shared it with a friend who has a teaching position in a university in London (I know I know, you wanted it to be confidential, so no names here). She, very stoically, said that a teacher’s job is to impart knowledge, not entertain. If a teacher is boring beyond belief, the students just have to grin and bear it. Education requires some serious mental sweat, enduring boring lectures is part of it.

As far as I am concerned, I am against teachers oversimplifying complex concepts for stupid students (I think it contributes to general dumbing down of the society), but I have always appreciated professors who impart knowledge with a sense of humor. One of my professors, Dr. Rorden Wilkinson had just the right blend of humour, wit and intellect to woo his students. The fact that he was a looker also helped. What say?

Mar 19, 2008 - Society    No Comments

The next hip thing

In one of my previous posts, ‘Honest to blog’, I said that I was not particularly fond of the film Juno. I got an email saying that I just wanted to be hip and cool and stand out. According to that email, “Liking Juno is passé, people like it initially but those who want to sound ‘really cool’ don’t like it anymore. In fact the newest hip thing is to hate Juno because everyone likes it and makes it soooo common.”

First of all, I did not ‘hate’ Juno. I only mildly disliked it. For one thing, I used to be a smart ass kid but that was a long time back. Now I am a smart ass adult and don’t want to be around smart ass teenagers who think sun shines out of their own asses and have no regard for smart ass adults, hence the mild dislike.

Nothing more, nothing less, just the mild dislike.

Mar 13, 2008 - Society    4 Comments

Some user friendly fur and leather in Holyland

So they are going to the holy land together. For Mr. Sharif, it is also the land of sugar daddies; in plural.

According to The News, Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif have planned to undertake a joint visit to Saudi Arabia after the formation of the new government, to seek the Saudi oil facility in view of the economic crunch that could hit the country. And I thought they were going to bow down to the almighty for giving them another go at loot and plunder. After all, a man who stole 11 billion dollars from poor Pakistanis – rememberr the frozen foreign currency accounts after the Pokhran nuclear tests – and another few millions in yellow cab and ittefaq foundries scandal, and another man with the dubious title of Mr. 10% should be thanking their stars at the unprecedented stupidity of the country’s electorate which has given them a third chance.

Sadly, they are going for more prosaic reasons; seeking some petro-dollars. According to The News, “the kingdom, as it has demonstrated more than once, reserves a special love for Nawaz Sharif and is likely to favourably attend to his call for financial assistance in the shape of oil supply on deferred payments.”

This paragraph had me in splits.

Only a Jang group publication could have so beautifully put the love the kingdom has for our formerly bald leader. Needless to say, this has invoked all kind of images in my mind which has Mr. Sharif bent over, a few robe clad Arab princes and some user friendly fur and leather.

whip…. crack !!!!!

Mar 4, 2008 - Uncategorized    7 Comments

Honest to blog!!!

Let me confess, I did not particularly like Juno.

I may be the only person on the planet who is not totally bowled over either by the film or Ellen Page in this particular film (those who rate her highly after watching Juno should watch Hard Candy – she is so good, she will scare the living day lights out of you, esp if you happen to be a man in his thirties and you like to befriend young teenage girls online).

Sorry, I digressed but that’s me and branching off is life.

I have to admit there are certain lines that are uttered with such sublime irreverence that make you smile such as ‘PennySaver has ads for parents “Desperately Seeking Spawn” and the super confidence of the character Juno when she said that all the jocks really want gothic/weird /freaky girls. But at the same time, it was nothing out of ordinary, I would definitely be wary of ridiculous hype over a movie again.

What I find most inspirational about Juno is that the screen writer, who goes by the name Diablo Cody and just won a BAFTA and an Oscar for the script, is someone who got discovered as a writer through her blog. I must confess that it is my ultimate fantasy – to get ‘discovered’ through my blog.

The problem is, Ms. Cody got discovered when she blogged about her year as a stripper in Minnesota, which has since then been published as a book ‘Candy Girl: A Year in The Life of an Unlikely Stripper‘. If I write about my work, the five loyal readers that I have will abandon me in a jiffy. Because then, it would be all about things like poverty reduction, income generation model for youth in hospitality sector, participatory development, rural development, civic rights education and gender economics. So if I intend to get ‘noticed’ online, writing about my work would be a big NO. I either have to come up some fantastic fiction, change my profession, start swimming with sharks and blog about it or bury my dreams of discovery forever. Any suggestions people???

Mar 3, 2008 - rant    6 Comments

I rant, therefore I am …

For all you five people who read my blog, I need to rant, badly, so please bear with me.

Someone I went to college with read some posts at my blog and wrote back to me saying that I should write fiction. Honestly, for a minute, I was taken aback (I thought she was praising me and that did take me by surprise) and started fantasizing about being called the Pakistani version of Dave Barry (I know, I know, I am much better looking than good ol’ Dave – a lot less wrinkles fewer grey hair) but then came the dampener. She said that what I write is chick-lit and then went on to define chick-lit and what is considered chick-lit in da USA, as if we, in the backwaters of Pakistan do not know what it is. Ufff I wanted to scream that I know what chick-lit is, we sort of invented it. What they in USA call chick-lit is called zenana adab here; we have produced many chick-lit giants such as Zaitoon Bano, A.R. Khatoon and more recently, Fatima Surraiya Bajiya and Haseena Moin. We even had male chick-lit writers like Deputy Nazeer Ahmed for his akbari asghari saga definitely falls under chick-lit. Khawateen Digest is probably the most popular example of chick-lit in Pakistan and it has been doing roaring business since god knows when. Heck, all our mothers and grand mothers used to read them and have been doing that way before terms like chick-lit or chick-flicks were coined.

Ek tau I generally hate patronizing people, but more so when they are your age but think they know better because they happen to live in USA. As if a blue passport and living in da USA can have positive impact on one’s mental faculties. If that had been the case, we would not have had to endure the last 7 years seeing Bush fumble and mumble incomprehensively a million and one times because the smart people living in da USA would have elected a better person.

Funny thing is, what I write cannot be classified under chick-lit. For one, my wit is too dry for chick-lit, secondly, I am way too irreverent to ever write about panting chests and heaving bosoms and last but not the least is that chick-lit is always about a man, where the chick protagonist fantasize about one perfect specimen of manhood and would do anything to get him. Being the narcissist that I am, I usually write about myself. It is always about what I do, what I think and most importantly; what and who I hate. I love myself and chances are that I will stay in love with myself for a very long time. Such self love would make the requisite pinning (a must for chick-lit) almost impossible to flourish and I will continue to rant as gloriously as I do now.

I rant, therefore I am.

Feb 29, 2008 - rant, Society    12 Comments

Not quite the party animal

I have been told that there is something seriously wrong with me. Some think it is physiological, some think it is psychological and some consider it to be psycho-physiological, but the fact remains, I dread going to parties and it is deemed to be abnormal by most of my peers. I am still young, social enough to know some people and get occasional if not regular invitations and am considered quite witty (not my words) yet I am the last person who will be looking forward to a party or at least the parties with big crowds and loud music.

Despite popular claims that I am not normal, I consider myself quite normal (could be an acute case of self delusion), but I don’t enjoy parties like normal folks. My biggest flaw is that I actually expect meaningful conversation when I go to a party. Instead of talking about who is wearing what and who is doing whom, I talk about things that actually matter. Is that too big a faux pas?

The other reason is that I am not too fond of parties is that I don’t like Dubai. I have a theory that one’s popularity in the current party scene is inversely proportional to one’s fondness for all things Dubai. Be it hopping over to catch the latest Shahrukh Khan flick or a game of golf with that ‘old Indian friend; or buying that designer bag, everyone has their fair share of Dubai stories. As my Dubai stories are limited to a few hours stop overs on my way to other less commercial destinations around the globe, I feel quite inadequate at the requisite Dubai story session at the parties. While in transit at the Dubai airport, I either hide in the toilet for special persons or the Irish bar where one would never run into desi people asking questions ranging from the origins of your tribe to the weight of your luggage and if you will be willing enough to carry that last minute addition in their luggage which is carrying that bag of chocolates for chintos and bubloos.

My third reason for not going to a party is related to the second one. As I don’t go shopping in Dubai, I don’t have a Louis Vuitton handbag and one cannot go to a party without a designer bag. It is a must have accessories these days, more important than any other type of arm candy, and I usually feel like an impostor at such do-s with my functional leather bag with no designer tag on it.

The fourth reason I am not a party person is that I am against abuse, be it people abuse or substance abuse. As most parties these days are about being wasted, which is aesthetically called ‘letting go’, being the only person in command of your faculties can be extremely trying at times, especially when you have to haul people off from various stages of letting go and then drop them off.

If I had been born in any other country, I would have quit the party scene ages ago, but being a Pakistani, it comes very naturally to me to do things I am not good at. After all, seeing the politicians and strongmen, who don’t know jack about either politics or running a country, have been heading one government after another, I too have taken a leaf or two out of their books and am sticking to what I can’t do well. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I have the decency of being charming and quirky.

Feb 8, 2008 - Shoaib Malik    5 Comments

A marriage that never happened, or did it?

Will it ever end? Apparently the saga of Shoaib Malik’s marriage/no marriage continues, at least on Nadia Khan Show. While watching Ms. Nadia Khan asking 1001 questions to Shoaib Malik – the poor guy looked as comfortable as a man does before facing the gallows – various facets of the saga came up. Although not all of us (watched the program with colleagues) were convinced by Shoaib’s performance, everyone unanimously agreed that there is something seriously fishy to it.

Just a few minutes ago, I received this email which states CNN IBN claiming that a close friend of the Siddiqui family has claimed that Shoaib did tie the knot with Ayesha, but he was duped into doing so.

Talking to CNN-IBN, Kaleem claimed that when Ayesha met Shoaib online, she had shown him photographs of not herself, but her elder sister Nagma. Nagma even met the cricketer in Dubai pretending to be Ayesha.

Shoaib met the real Ayesha for the first time at a party thrown for the Pakistani cricket team at her home in Hyderabad.

According to Kaleem, far from being bowled over, Shoaib Malik was stumped at being cheated for so many years when he finally met Ayesha and he chose to end the relationship on a harmonious note. Little did he know that three years later, Ayesha would undergo a liposuction and seek a divorce.

Now this got me thinking, who is writing the script of it all? This is more filmi than most films these days. Yes, there were films like this (Truth about cats and dogs where Uma Thurman impersonated Janeane Garofalo for the affections of Ben Chaplin) but this one involves an international sports star – the captain of the bloody cricket team for god’s sake – and a cross border romance gone sore.

Knowing Mahesh Bhatt’s proclivity to all things Pakistani, I predict that he soon will be making a film on this story where he will first ask Shoaib Malik to play himself, Malik obviously cannot act to save his life so he would offer it to the other Shoaib (Shoiab Akhtar) but he is now too fat to play any thing other than heroine ka baap. He would eventually cast his ghar ka bacha Emran Hashmi to play Shoaib Malik. No actress is fat enough to play Ayesha, so whoever would agree to don the fat suit would play her. As for the femme fatale who stole Shoaib’s heart in dubai (the elder sister Nagma masquerading as Ayesha), I say Mahesh Bhatt should ask Katrina Kaif to play that role (She is the current hottie for desi men of all ages). There goes the recipe of a bollywood pot boiler.

On a side note, this story proves three things. Pakistani studs rule, if not at home, then in India. Shoba De recently called Zardari ‘the most eligible bachelor’ (Yuck) Imran Khan ruled the roost in his time as the cricketing stud for the whole of South Asia and a scrawny idiot like Atif Aslam is much loved by Indian teenaged girls . Secondly, whosoever performed liposuction on Ayesha is not good at his/her job (she still looks like she needs to shed a stone or two or may be three). Last but not the least, the name Shoaib is not good for Pakistani cricket. I see PCB changing its rules and including that any cricketer whose first, middle or last name is Shoaib will not play for Pakistan, unless he changes his name, what say?