Those brats in the neighborhood!!!

Kids aged 6-10 are – if I’m not to be unkind – the worst. They’re like those Energizer bunnies from Hell. Limitless appetite for destruction. I ought to know, I’ve been a victim more times than I care to count.

First things first. I’m a very tolerant fellow when it comes to kids. I know they have limitless energy. I also know that thanks to the traffic and the kidnapping for ransom scenarios here, parents wish to keep their kids where they can either see them or where they know the kids will be safe. Which is usually the street they live in.

My problem? My house is right at the end of one such street. Which makes it the perfect target for hits with a ball when playing cricket. Bonus points if you hit the car parked outside. My poor car has had more hits than the house, everyone hates the car except me.

I wouldn’t have minded even that – my car’s a toughie and can take endless hits from a 10 year old’s tennis ball. One fine day, they decided to play with a cork ball. The end result – I get home and the sight that greets me is a shattered rear windscreen and a bust tail light. A plethora of dents on the bodywork where the ball hit was aesthetically unpleasant to behold as well.

One of the kids squealed in response to my thunderous, murderous looks and told me it was the neighbors’ kid who did it. All of it. So I made the kids’ dad pay for all of it. His dad in turn gave him a good beating for the financial loss he suffered too, which explains why the kids no longer use my house or car for target practice.

Then since cricket in the street got banned by the parents, they started a competition to see who could leave the biggest scratches on the cars parked around the place. My car’s bonnet bears silent testimony to their success. As do quite a few other cars – no car was left unscratched. Result? They all got a hiding from their parents this time, since their shiny new cars suffered horribly. No playing in the street – was the commandment issued by the parents.

So now they’ve taken to screaming at the top of their shrill little voices “Uncle agayey, bhaago” (Uncle’s arrived, run!) whenever they see yours truly approaching. Since I’m the one with the irregular hours and if I catch them playing at games that may damage anyone’s property, I have carte blanche from their parents to beat the shizz out of them. I usually catch them wreaking havoc with the plants and bushes outside the houses. Once I even managed to catch a kid busy peeing in my little garden as if it was personal toilet. Marched him with his trousers down and little butt wagging (accompanied by much laughter by the other kids who tailed me) straight to his mom and well – what happened wasn’t pretty. These days, I merely growl menacingly and they run off.

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Politics

Before I begin – let me make one thing very, very crystal clear. I don’t like politics and politicians. Any of them and all of them. Individually, in groups or any other prescribed manner.

I’m usually too wrapped up in my work to bother about politics, unless it affects me directly in some form or manner, like an increase in income tax, a hike in fuel prices or some similar stuff.

I can’t help hearing them though – or their political supporters. Dad, for one, is a very avid follower of politics. Then, practically every member of my country on twitter and Facebook is hell bent on making their views heard and the story doesn’t end there.

Our problem is our passionate belief in politicians we see as our leaders.Leaders who cannot stop bickering among themselves long enough to pay attention to where the country is going, guided by the corrupt bureaucracy. The leaders all want to govern – and to do that, they’ll play every dirty trick they know of.

Including inciting people to hatred based on geographies, ethnicities, religion and families. We have Pathans, Punjabis, Baloch, Sindhis, Mohajirs, Memons, etc etc etc but no Pakistanis.

I’ve been privileged enough to live in the UAE and spend some time in other places. UAE is composed of 7 independent states that came together to form a single state. Yet, no Emirati is ever heard telling others that he’s a Fujairite, a Dubaiite, or any other -ite for that matter. Same goes for the Indian. Ditto for the Brit and the American. Why? Their leaders don’t use these tricks to garner their support.

Yet us Pakistanis don’t ever say we’re Pakistanis. If someone does ask us – we respond, I’m a Pakistani but basically a and the listener who’s usually a foreigner is like – what do you mean? He / she gets a full explanation after that, desired or not.

So people, please don’t follow your leaders blindly. Know who you are and where you’re from, certainly. Respect the others as you would want to be respected yourself. Unite as a nation under one flag and don’t stay divided under people who do not have your best interests at heart – only their lust for power. Which is absolutely nothing without you.

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Short Stories 1

Ladies and Gentlemen. Unlike my other blogs, this write-up is going to be slightly different. Like John Grisham, I’ll try my hand today at short stories even though it isn’t my forte.

Well, not stories. Actual events that have occurred in my life, narrated by self. Hope you enjoy them – feedback, negative and positive is always appreciated.

A small request before we begin. I’m writing this at 2:30 AM, so any mistakes you may spot are those made by my nocturnal, other, sloppy self.

Petrol

I’ve been fascinated with and addicted to speed ever since I could walk. 6 year old me used to watch cars zipping off at a 100 mph and I asked my dad one day why it was that I never managed anything that fast.

He, being my dad, replied with complete seriousness “You drink water, they drink petrol.”

Me, being me, managed to siphon off some and gave it a try. Apparently he was right. I quite believe I never ran that fast, ever.

My Ex-Boss – The Insult

My ex-boss, from whom I learnt my work, is a strict disciplinarian. My elder sister would call him a clock-watcher. I think he’s right in doing so. Until I faced his righteous wrath.

I’d been coming in a minute to a couple of minutes late each day. He wasn’t amused and did warn me gently that there would be consequences. Since he was usually threatening me with something or the other and never actually did anything (His expressed disapproval over my habits usually made me cry for hours in the bathroom and he knew it, so he was always gentle with me, sensitive soul that I was) I assumed nothing would happen and shrugged it off.

Until I saw the comic he’d posted at my desk and how everyone else was having a good laugh at my expense. Comic as follows:

A: Why isn’t Brad here yet?
B: He called in to say he wasn’t coming today.
A: Oh. Is that so? And what flimsy excuse did he give this time?
B: He gave three and asked you to choose the best one.

Suffice to say, I’m never late for work now.

The Interview

I remember going for an Interview at a Micro-Finance Bank which still rankles a bit. After a really long session of stupid questions by an inquisitive idiot who was the Head of Compliance, we were joined by the HR Manager who arrived, coffee in hand, bagel in another and proceeded to eat and drink with his open mouth and its mashed contents right at eye-level. I can tolerate a lot of things, but Papa Maqbool’s nearest and dearest draws the line at bad manners. However, since this was an interview, I answered as patiently as I could.

Until he told me to do a SWOT analysis of myself. Even though it is a perfectly valid one, that is a question I hate. In this case, it was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. My response is as follows:

Strength, I have. I work out, you see. My weakness is my intolerance for bad manners. Opportunity is you, standing right next to me and inviting a punch straight to your pretty face. Threat is, I won’t get the job and probably get hauled off by the police for assault and battery. So please, finish your coffee and bagel out of my sight and with your mouth preferably shut as you masticate.

I don’t think any interview ended that drastically. On the plus side though, I’ll never get a call from those guys, ever again.

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Appearances are deceptive.

I’ve always heard it said that your appearance is the first thing a stranger will judge you by. Its not always true – some people hold their judgement till they know you better. Others take one look and decide in yea or nae, if you’re worthy to be awarded with their confidences.

I know appearances can be deceptive. I have my own self as an example.

On first appearance (according to my colleagues and randomly met people), I’m taken for a rich, posh, spoilt and pampered member of the elite class. Add the fact that I live in one of the most expensive areas in the city, drive a car and ride a bike, am usually dressed in designer casuals and formals – I can’t blame them.

Here’s my story. I’m not dramatizing it, I’m not downplaying it. It is not a Cinderella story and I am not satisfied with what I have – I strive for more and you are allowed to call me a greedy and ungrateful little bugger. It is also devoid of my non-existent love life, so there are no girls featured here – this isn’t Wolf of Wall Street.

I was born in the UAE, in a remote little backwater village called Bidiyah. About 200 odd kilometers from that bustling metropolis, Dubai. Dad used to work in a Water Filtration and Bottling Plant called Emirates Pure Spring Water Co. as a mechanic for all the heavy machinery. Mom was a stay-at-home housewife.

I was the only son out of a total of 5 children. 4 sisters and 1 me. My dad (God bless him) had a dream – that all his children would have an education, since he didn’t have one and couldn’t progress because of this lack of education. Considering the costs of education in UAE are phenomenal, he put in 16 hour stints on a regular basis to earn overtime so that we could study in the only school 40 odd kms away. 

Which meant that after groceries and school fees, there wasn’t much left. Once a week trip to a beach 10 kms away in our family car, once a month treat (Nothing more than a couple of Dirhams – mine was usually a chocolate egg with a toy that needed to be assembled inside the egg and frankly, I bought it because of the toy – the chocolate was usually handed over to my kid sister) and that was it. No pocket money, clothes and shoes once a year on Eid, and Uniforms once a year at the start of the year. 

Not that we noticed it then. As kids we had something kids today can only dream of – mountains at the back of the house, an endless sea in front. Well, half a KM or so either way, which isn’t much. It was only later when I grew up and started attending school that I realized that other kids got pocket money – all we had was sandwiches. Its hard not to get envious of kids drinking Pepsi while you’re holding a limp sandwich – and kids are vicious, so we got taunted for having no pocket money and that hurt me a lot. Fortunately, even back in class 3, I used to read books and understood that money could be earned by mowing lawns. Since nobody had a lawn (It was an arid desert, folks), I had an epiphany – why not wash my neighbors’ cars? So I went around, advertising daily car washes at a Dirham. My neighbors were amused, even gave me a small step ladder, a bucket and a sponge. Dad was – well, not pleased. I got a hiding and in frustration and tears, blurted out that we needed some pocket money – which didn’t go too well. However, our neighbors included my school principal and she convinced dad to let me be – to this day, I remember her exact words. “He’ll learn the joy of earning and the responsibility of spending his money wisely” – Ms. Benjamin – if you’re reading this – thank you.

As I grew older, I worked with the mechanic who owned a small garage next door. I was 10 or 11, so it was mostly fetch and carry work and I got paid a couple of dirhams a day for my services from late afternoon till sunset. Until it was time to leave UAE for Pakistan. Which was because we couldn’t afford to get educated there – Education here is literally free in comparison. So dad and mum stayed in the UAE while me and my sisters came to Pakistan, to study. My sisters studied, I barely scraped through school and started working 3 years after I landed in Pakistan with a cousin of mine who owned a Computer store. Nothing glamourous, mostly delivering computers and monitors to clients. I was aged 15 then, learning how to assemble computers and install software in my free moments which were far and few in between. Thankfully, I am a quick learner and soon I was the one assembling systems and fixing the old ones while my classmates were content playing Need for Speed II.

When I started my BS at PIMSAT, I quit the hardware thing since my cousin was a bit stingy with paying me and landed a job via a reference at a store that did a little bit of everything – Printing, Xerox copies, computer assembly and software, accessory sales, etc. My employer noticed my language skills and put me in charge of the editing of projects that people would want to get done – usually proof-reading and formatting documents so that they looked professional. I got kicked out because I couldn’t do regular hours – classes from 9 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon left me with precious little time. 

Which left me in a bit of a dilemma since I was paying for my own education and had no desire to ask dad to pay for it. So I started teaching which paid 90% of the monthly fee. For the rest, I worked as a waiter at a local restaurant and took assignments from my fellow students for a small fee. I slept little and lived like this for six months and there were still times I didn’t have enough money to pay for my fare home on the bus – so I walked. 8 KMs each way, every day. I got turned into a loner – people thought I was miserly. I used to laugh at them and wondered what they would say if they knew that I didn’t have enough for a cup of tea for myself, let alone them. It was at this stage of life that I learnt the value of indifference – to one’s fellow man, his opinions and his feelings. Older folk are vicious too, they just hide it better. At least viciousness in children is out there for you to see – as we grow older, we learn how to become hypocrites. 

I then landed a job at the Aga Khan University Hospital. A classmate was the data entry supervisor there and wanted data entry operators. He got me and for the first time in my life, I was able to have something left over after fees and transport costs. Until the Institute increased the tuition costs and that found me in a position of not being able to pay my fees – again. I decided to quit studies then and asked dad to sponsor a Visa for me, as I wanted to study and work there in the UAE. Considering I hadn’t asked him for anything since I’d finished school, he was a bit surprised but sponsored me without going into too much details. I got there and managed to land a job first week out, with Avis. The Rent-a-car folks. Unfortunately for me, dad got suspicious due to the lack of books and after a year, there was an almighty confrontation at my grandfather’s funeral for which we were both in Pakistan. He insisted I stay and complete my education – and I did put up a bit of a resistance (Well, a lot – who likes to go back to studies?) but in the end, I did have money I’d saved up from an year long stint with Avis, so no issues there. I rejoined the Institute, bought a Harley Davidson that I took out on weekends (Bus on the other days) and managed to get a job at a call center. The irony of it all – Now that I had money (at least by my standards) I had absolutely no friends and frankly, I couldn’t have cared less. I worked at night, studied during the day and slept for 4-6 hours a day. Until a year later, when I landed a job in a bank by sheer dumb luck – in one of the most sought after departments of a bank. The words Audit and Compliance signify departments that give the rest of the banking folk headaches at the minimum and nightmares at the max.

Since then it has been 8 years – Until a couple of years ago when I eased off the accelerator, I was still working for 12 hours a day, 5 days a week. I completed my degree, saved enough to buy another bike (The Harley was totaled in an accident), built my house (Financial contributions from Dad and my elder sister who works at the State Bank), bought a car and while I have nothing left of my savings (it all went into the above), I’ll survive. I always have. At least today, I can honestly say that I have earned my comfortable (sort of) life and while I have had my bitter moments, I’ve always looked towards better days and worked myself to the limits of my endurance to achieve them. No day passes when I don’t feel blessed to have such wonderful parents and teachers in my life – people who let me find me feet in the world myself.

Moral of the tale is: Appearances are deceptive. Next time you see me, you’ll know just how deceptive they are. 

 

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Revenge – is a dish best served to the enemy.

I’m a fairly nice person. The catch phrase here being ‘fairly’. I’m human. It is human to dislike others for a reason and my bug-a-boo is people who are miserly even if they’re rolling in riches. When I started my banking career 8 years ago, I was unfortunate enough to be the lowest paid member of the team I was with. To add to my misery were a couple of guys who always wanted breakfast and went around shamelessly ‘borrowing’ money from everyone, myself included. So that they could have breakfast. Alone. Let that sink in. Alone. They didn’t even bother inviting us, we who paid for their breakfast! Over time, people stopped giving them anything since they never repaid. Me, being the soft-hearted idiot that I am, kept on ‘contributing’. One day though, I too – had enough. I was a bit low on funds and refused to ‘contribute’ as I needed the money to make it till pay day. They took it badly and started to make my life miserable by dumping all their work on me. Being the junior most member, I could hardly refuse them because if I did that, word would get around that I was an arrogant idiot. Even though new, I’d understood enough about the environment I was in to realize that was a definite no-no. There I was immersed in my sea of self pity, when I realised they were discussing something. I cocked an ear, to find out that they were discussing ways to make their hair grow out of their chrome domes. Did I mention they were fat bastards – and had very little hair at the back of the head which they cherished more than anything and were always thinking of getting a hair transplant but preferred the wonder oils and creams since they were cheaper. They must’ve realized I was listening, since they looked at me and asked me what I used for my hair, or ‘jungle’ as they inelegantly phrased my curly, unruly mop of hair. Lightbulb!!! I told them it was this great hair cream – expensive shit, stank like hell too but did the trick very nicely, thank you. That perked up their interest (and the interest of my senior colleagues who realized I was lying through my teeth) and they demanded to know the name of the cream and where they could get it. I gave them an address so twisted that they asked me to get it for them and I said sure, why not? Took off PKR 2,500 off of each of them with promises to get it by the weekend. Which I did. Which they went home and applied to their heads. Which resulted in me getting the scolding of a lifetime from the head of the department in front of them – and his blessings and friendship ever since in private since he too was fed up with them. Why, ask ye? What did I do? Hair removal cream, folks. Nair, Lemon. Took a whole bottle, bought a couple of obscure but cheap hair cream tubes from the medicine market near the New Challi Area of Karachi, took a syringe and injected the nasty stuff in the tubes after first emptying them and handed them over. Which they applied on their heads. And since I’d told them to keep it there for an hour before washing it off, their heads were a bit red too. And as hairless as a baby’s butt. Needless to say, I got pretty popular as the guy who you don’t want to mess with.

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An older post from October 2008.

 

My elder sister works at the State Bank of Pakistan. Cue for craziness. They’re all loony. Brilliant, but loony.

So it spells disaster when she decides she wants a car. The first time she said she wanted one, it was a Volkswagen Beetle. The 1960’s version, to be exact. The problem is, she insists I hunt around for it, and chauffeur her around, which she is bound to get enforced by my dad. (I’m a wimp in front of my family – can’t put my foot down at all) I managed to talk her out of it, as it would mean me being the laughing stock among my friends (You’re an authority amongst us in cars, and all you can think of is getting her a Volkswagen Beetle???

Next, she wanted a Ferrari. Thank God, there are no Ferraris around here. Not that we can afford one anyway. Problem solved.

Now, she wants a 1983 Toyota Celica GT. She’s hunted one down, and sent me to investigate. I’m a die hard fan of bikes but know my cars as well – Give me Triumph Inline 3’s and Lotuses any day, but that Celica GT??? Gimme a break.

A little info on the Car. Celica’s are wannabe race cars. They have it all. The suspension. The handling. The looks. (Not everyone admires them, but they do have a limited appeal). What it does not have – Power & Torque. As it uses a 2 Liter, naturally aspirated petrol engine, you can’t expect miracles. But it’s reliable, looks unique in Karachi, and is a blast to drive. The original go kart for people like me.

The car she’s searched – Looks clean enough, the interior could do with a bit of work, but the cinch – It’s engine, powerless to begin with – has been replaced with a Diesel! Yes! A 2 Liter, no turbo / naturally aspirated – diesel!

God has a weird sense of humor. Why me?

And me, being the nice brother I am, am getting it for her. (I afraid she’ll kick my butt if I don’t comply – She’s 5’2″, I’m 5’10” and she still wins as I can’t fight back as per paternal rules – and she plays dirty – hits in all the wrong places – like a punch to the back of the jaw, stepping on the feet, you get the drift…) On the condition that she learn to drive, and If she wants to learn, she’s gotta learn it in the car she’s buying – since I’ll drive her around for only weekdays. Maybe I’m not so nice, heh heh.

Its a sports car. Means the seat is low, the pedals are way down there, and I’m guessing she won’t be able to look out of the car if her feet are on the pedals, and vice-versa. hopefully, that is. God is usually on the lookout for such shenanigans on my part, and does his best to over-set my well planned schemes…..

It’s worth a try, though….

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20 Rules in any Office.

1. Rule 1. – The Boss is always right.

2. Rule 2. – If the Boss is wrong, see rule 1.

3. Those who work get more work. Others get pay, perks, and promotions.

4. Ph.D. stands for ‘Pull Him Down’. The more intelligent a person, the more hardworking a person, the more committed a person; the more number of persons are engaged in pulling that person down.

5. If you are good, you will get all the work. If you are really good, you will get out of it.

6.. When the Bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.

7. It doesn’t matter what you do, it only matters what you say you’ve done and what you are going to do.

8. A pat on the back is only a few centimeters from a kick in the butt.

9. Don’t be irreplaceable. If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.

10. The more crap you put up with, the more crap you are going to get.

11. If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it…

12. When you don’t know what to do, walk fast and look worried.

13.. Following the rules will not get the job done.

14. If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.

15. Everything can be filed under ‘Miscellaneous’ .

16. No matter how much you do, you never do enough.

17. You can do any amount of work provided it isn’t the work you are supposed to be doing.

18. In order to get a promotion, you need not necessarily know your job.

19. In order to get a promotion, you only need to pretend that you know your job.

20. The last person that quit or was fired will be held responsible for everything that goes wrong.

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Doctors!

I’m a peaceable sort of chappie. I get angry on occasion and have even been known to fight – quite brutally. Like ‘broken bones and dislocated jaws’ brutally. Even then, I am usually the guy who doesn’t let anger blind him and try to avoid fights where I can get beat up.

Since that would entail a) telling the parents and b) going to a doctor to get stitched up.

Of which, I dread b) more.

Telling the parents is relatively easy with a “He started it, what was I supposed to do? Lay down like a wuss?”

Going to a doctor – yikes.

Don’t get me wrong. Doctors are nice blokes – the proverbial kindly healers and I’ve yet to meet one with a bad bedside manner. Unfortunately, I tend to regard them with a bit of awe.

Actually, they scare me. I get tongue tied around the doc and am hard pressed to explain what pain I’m experiencing. I stammer I blush and in general make a fool out of myself. You may call it a fear of making a fool of myself in front of people instead of just doctors, but then, why is it just doctors I’m afraid of? Specially the feminine variety – the young, dashing feminine variety?

For example, take the time I went to see a doctor after a particularly funny fight. The reasons behind the fight were a case of mistaken identity, it’s a long story. The short version, I got bit by a bloke – right on my chest. A rather deep bite, which bled a little and my colleagues got a bit anxious lest I contact rabies or something. I have no idea if that is possible but in the unlikely event their gloomy predictions come true, I consented to visit a hospital. As luck would have it, the only doc there was a ‘Oh my!’ sort of personable popsy I wouldn’t mind being seen on a date with. This is how it went.

Me: Er… Hi.

Doc: Hello, what happened?

Me: I… I got bit.

Doc: Oh, that’s bad. Where did you get bit? In the leg, or on your hand?

Me: Um… actually, I got bit … er… um…

Doc: *raising an eyebrow* where?

Me:  *points a finger at my chest*

Doc: Would you mind showing me where?

Me: Ah… sure! *proceed to take my shirt off* Here!

Doc: *Looks at the bite, raises an eyebrow, smiles* Your girlfriend must’ve got pretty excited, I guess.

Me: *without thinking for even a second* actually, it was a guy…

Doc: You’re gay?

Me: No, of course not! *Proceeds with declaration of heterosexuality and a narration of the fight*

Doc: Oh. Most handsome men are gay, you know. You look gay.

I had no answer to that, so I left it at that and got the bite cleaned and taped up, a jab with the needle and shuffled out of the hospital feeling really low at being considered gay by the doc.

Death, where is thy sting.

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Published elsewhere…

Before I came to WordPress and started blogging (Or rather, was gently prodded into blogging), I used to write simple stuff. On a place called Netlog. Which is now called Twoo, and is apparently a dating site. This simple stuff started way back in 2008, six years ago.

So I thought I’d occasionally rescue some stuff and dump it here. This is one of those simply written articles. Well, quite heavily edited, as I used to be quite careless with my grammar.

Date:25 February, 2009

Title: Today’s Page from my Diary…

Regular text is me talking to myself [actions performed are denoted in square brackets] 

8:00 AM: Oh bugger… F***ing alarm…. where is it? Ow… Bloody bedpost….ah here it is. [presses snooze] 

8:10 AM: Oh this Gawd awful noise… Why are snooze buttons timed at 10 minutes… oh shit. Wake up, asshole, or you’ll be late for work! [Into the bathroom to brush my teeth] 

8:15 AM: [turns on the shower] Ohhh SHIT! Ooooohhhhh this is friggin cold! Why didn’t I fix that water heater? 

8:30 AM: [Exits the bathroom] Do I have time for breakfast? Nope, skip breakfast. [Back to the room, opens closet, takes out clothes] Okay… this looks clean – and the colors don’t clash. This is fashion for the day. 

8:45 AM: [Exits flat] Oh shit. My keys…. where did I put ’em last night? [Rushes in again, searches quickly] hang on [rushes to the motorbike in the parking area, finds them still there in the ignition from last night] God! I love you, you’re a pal, mate! 

8:55 AM: [Riding like a madman to get to the office 10 km away by 9 AM] I’m gonna make it! [Doing 100 kmph on the 35kmph limit road on my 125cc] 

9:00 AM: [Parks bike, rushes into the office] Hi guys! – hang on – be right back guys! [forgot the keys in the ignition again] 

9:02 AM: [Back in the office] 

10:30 AM: C’mon, Ali! Lets go for a smoke.[Grabs underling, gets out – he’s been signaling for a smoke for the last 20 minutes] 

10:40 AM: [Back in the office] 

10:45 AM: [Still trying to explain to the boss that 10 minutes for a smoke doesn’t mean slacking in work – more like a necessary mental booster] 

11:00 AM: [Give up, the asshole is never wrong] 

1:00 PM: Lunch time! Let’s go! [Grabs Ali, since the bugger has been signaling that his eyes are popping out as a result of starvation – Besides, I’ve had no breakfast either] 

3:00 PM: [back from lunch] 

3:15 PM: [Trying to explain to the boss that since both me and Ali are kinda skinny we need time for lunch since we  need all the food we can get] 

3:30 PM: [Why do I even bother trying to explain anything…. f***ing wanker] Wanker…. 

3:30 PM [Pleading to the boss that it wasn’t him I was calling a wanker – Even though he’s a prick] 

3:31 PM: [Goes out of the boss’s office] Oh bugger. There goes my appraisal. Still, same day, same shit. Happens every day. [Console Ali it’s not his fault – he needs food like everyone else – Sod the boss – he’ll get over it] 

4:30 PM: [Out of the office on a small break] Ali! Three guesses, mate – What is that thing that has a pinch of tobacco, rolled in paper with fire at one end and a fool at the other? [Listens to his answer] Do we have it? Then lets go! 

4:40 PM: [Back in – Boss gives us a dirty look, but says nothing] Look at the idiot – why does he even bother trying to reform us? Hasn’t been able to do it for the last 3 years, what makes him think he’ll manage now? 

5:30 PM: [Phone rings] Yes? Oh, right’o, boss. I’m on my way. 

5:31 PM: Why does that bugger give me work when it’s time to leave? Honestly, I’ll shove it down his throat someday…. 

8:00 PM: Thank God [Shuts down PC, leaves the office – Last one out] 

8:02 PM: [Left the keys in the office]I hate keys….when will we have biometric systems on bikes? 

9:00 PM: [Enter the party at a friend’s house] Of course I’m late. Why shouldn’t I be? People of consequence always arrive late. [Get hit on the head with a bottle for impertinence by mine host] Ouch. Thank your lucky stars you’re a girl – I don’t hit women [Get punched in the stomach – hardly fair, I’d say – he’s no featherweight, mine host] Fine, fine. What there to eat? No I don’t want a knuckle sandwich. Oooooh food. Yummy. Hey, Lemme go ye louts! 

12:00 PM: [Home sweet home] Now for that programming project … 

2:30 AM: [Am hopelessly lost in methods, exceptions and classes] Oh screw this. I’d rather be a rat’s ass. 

2:50 AM : [Watching YouTube] Yawn. 

3:00 AM : Lemme check Netlog…. 

3:10 AM : [Snoring my arse off with the Laptop under me – no, I’m not humping it] 

8:00 AM: F***ing alarm…

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Accidents…

They happen. Every time we go out, the risk of having a motoring related accident comes into play. Doesn’t mean I won’t go out though.

Oh no. I will. In rickety contraptions this fiend maintains with his own three hands. Namely, an accident prone Honda CG-125 motorbike and a “Please get me there and back safely” Mitsubishi Lancer from 1991.

Actually, both are quite nice. The motorbike is a hoot to ride and fast, nippy and sure footed. It does tend to get crashed into – specially when I’m on top.  The car is – well, its fast, comfy and the air conditioning works. Oh, and did I mention it has a very nice boom boom stereo that manages to shake a few windows? 

The motorbike was out of the showroom when I bought it. I’ve managed to crash it once, and get it crashed into quite a few times. (Read: I’ve lost count of how many times). Net result is – its a bit of a wreck now, six years later. The chassis is unstable, the front end is unstable, so’s the rear end, it grinds a few gears and the chain rattle is incessant. I still manage to ride it though – to the rev limiter. 

The car was bought from a careful old man who had it in a pristine condition – as soon as it came into my hands though, people started crashing into it. Er, and yes, I crashed it once too. At least once is forgivable, right?

Apparently I’m not the safest chap to be around with. Things tend to crash into me, but I had no idea of the magnitude of my abilities as a moving disaster until last week. I got crashed into, while on my motorbike, by a 20 ton, out of control, passenger laden bus. Yes, you read that right. A friggin’ 20 TON, 10 wheeled bus! No direct crash, though – otherwise I’d have been the very much late and unlamented Shiraz. It hit a small compact, which got stuck in its front. Next was me, standing in a corner and minding my own business, hit by a glancing blow from that itty bitty compact which effectively decimated the motorbike and left me with a broken heart at the mournful loss of my beloved two wheeler and a leg that felt as if I’d broken every bone in it – no surprise, my knee got caught between the tank and the car that hit me with the tank being the worse for it. I didn’t pay much attention after that but the next thing I noticed after picking the motorbike up and hopping about on one leg like a stork was quite a few more wrecked cars, motorbikes, a Rickshaw or two and then a few more motorbikes. A few minutes later, after experimentally flexing my leg a bit, the relief that my motorbike was still rideable and my leg was still in one piece without broken bones, I made off home. 

The parents were not amused. Net result – the bike is now officially banned. So now I drive the car to work, get caught in traffic and generally curse the asshole driving the bus a lot for landing me in this predicament. 

One hopes that my parents will eventually realize that I’m to be trusted and will turn up alive regardless of the tendency towards getting crashed into, like a bad penny.

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