Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Of Porn, Popcorn and Coke



Statutory Warning: If you are a sensitive person who thinks porn is degrading, derogatory and disrespectful, then this post is not for you. I would advise you to please close this window now. This blog is purely nothing but one’s perception about porn. And this is in no way meant to be offensive or an insult to anyone, including the people who work in the industry. Read, have a good laugh, remember your old similar times and go to sleep – that’s what it is all about.

******

Webster Dictionary defines porn as a creative activity (writing or pictures or films etc.) of no literary or artistic value other than to stimulate sexual desire. I agree to the creative part but no literary or artistic value, Hello?

Today, we are going to talk about porn. Yes, I like to blog about sensitive and the most interesting or rather “dirty” topics sometimes. Ask why? Well, that’s how I roll, biatch! People blog about almost anything and everything but I have never seen one blog about porn. They might be scared that it would affect their “good-guy/girl” image if they did. Well, don’t blame them; the “society” labeled it as a total blasphemy. But I don’t care about society, so I don’t give a tiny rat's ass. So when I asked myself, ‘Why not blog about porn?’, the Barney Stinson in me shouted out – Challenge Accepted! And the other two things, popcorn and coke – that’s just to complete the title. Popcorn – you can grab some if you want and coke – well, don’t grab that please as this is not porn. I know, lame joke. Let’s get back to the topic. I will try to keep this post clean… ish.

And before you continue on, admit the fact – You have watched it, at least once in your life. And it was awesome!

I vaguely remember the time once when I asked my dad as to how I was born. He simply smiled and told me that he got me from the flea market for a very reasonable price. I believed him then, but later something did not fit in. When I was a kid, I also believed that if a boy kissed a girl, she would become pregnant. And I was so much scared of this fact that at one point I was even scared to kiss my doll. Yes, you heard it right. It was a beautiful doll, but let’s not drift away from the topic here. A few years later, when Mr. Mathew started explaining the human anatomy in biology class, I felt that something was not right; somewhere, something didn’t seem to fit in. And it was when I watched my first porn at the tender age of 13, everything fell into place. Just like that. And from then on, I never looked back.

Where I got my first porn? Well, that’s a complete different story. If you must know and I am not proud of this fact, I got it off from my dad’s collection [God help me if he is reading this]. Well, I borrowed it actually when he was not around and without his knowledge. Back then, compact discs were just arriving and people had everything on tapes or cassettes. So it was hard to keep these things concealed from the young budding talents. But my dad was a genius; he labeled the cassette after some dude’s wedding which made me all suspicious, you know. I thought why he would save all these wedding cassettes of people we didn’t even know. And that suspicion made me steal or “borrow” one of his cassettes one day and that one courageous step opened the gates to the magical world of Narnia for me.

The next step – friends. Bryan Donnell and I have been buddies since childhood; well we have been best buds since the time I can remember. We were partners in crime and there was nothing that did not catch our attention except books, unless it had nice pictures on them. When I told him of my heroic act, he simply patted my shoulder and said “Been there, done that.” Guess I was a tad late. Cassettes were not an option for us as it was big and hard to conceal. And so we discovered a next, but more powerful source – the Internet. Everything we needed was right there, just a click away. Growing up in Muscat, one of the Gulf countries, we had limitations but it was challenging at the same time. Everything is blocked there by the government. But we had some of our usual favorite ones that we used to check out, some which the service providers failed to notice and some which were not known or which had decent names. Back then, we both used to take a cab to a place called Tharmad and visit a café there just so that we don’t end up being caught by someone we knew. I remember once, while we were “browsing”, a junior from our school came with his dad to say ‘Hi’ to us and then checked out our system to see what we were doing. Fortunately, Donnell’s Hotmail inbox was open and we did not have tabbed browsing back then. The things we used to do, man, I miss those times. I miss Floppy disks.

College times were better as we were past that age barrier and it was no longer illegal; well, nothing is illegal until you get caught. The first time we all got together was when Jebin Mathew got his laptop to the hostel to do some project. Poor guy didn’t know that some of us had different ideas and intentions to use it differently, for different purpose. And just a few weeks after we all started college, we were gathered in Jebin’s room one night to watch porn. I remember, very vividly of the scene that night – a dude getting it on with a chick in a public restroom. But the funniest part of the whole thing was that after a few minutes, I heard the door slam open and the next thing we know, Arun Raj was running for the toilet.

Hostel scene was amazing. Every Saturday night, the whole hostel, seniors, juniors, everyone would gather around the small TV set, not to watch cricket or football but just because the local cable operator would run some A-rated movie. Saturday nights were when the whole hostel came to life under one roof. And it was awesome. The day-scholar scene was completely different though. They had something called T-series going on; compact discs labeled with a 'T' followed by a serial number passed around by many dudes, T stood for “Thundu”, the local slang for porn. I remember the first one I got was T-24. I was brokenhearted because I missed out the earlier installments and nobody knew where the other 23 discs were. Well, those were times. There are many memories, but let’s get back something else about porn.

There is one thing about porn though that I want to talk about in this post. And Racism. There is a connection between the two. What I mean to say is that whenever we want to watch one, we always go for the ones with the white or black folks in it or the good looking folks. Admit it, they tape it better, they act better, they look better and they have awesome story lines. Nobody wants to watch the third-world country porn or the ones with the ugly folks. Some people are so racist that they prefer only the fair skinned ones in them. The others are like the social outcasts of the porn world. Admit it. Well, even I do; I don’t care for the skin tone but I do prefer the good looking ones in the ones I see.

But I do not completely ignore the others. I do occasionally check on them to see how they are doing. For e.g., occasionally, I do check the Russian scene to see whether there have any that are made for a sane or normal  person or the Japanese scene to see if they have still removed the blur effect. And occasionally I do check out some local Indian stuff to see how my people are doing. Well, if you would like to know, they keep disappointing me every time. Here’s why: terrible camera work, stupid sound quality, crappy lighting, poor acting skills, no plot and don’t even get me started on the set. I mean nobody, not even the people in the video would know how the whole thing started. And if I did find one with an average quality, which would be rare, the pick-up lines the guys use in them would have me go, “Dude, you kidding me? You seriously think that would work?” But it does, only in that world. And halfway into watching the Indian thing and I ask myself, “Wait, where is the fucking song? Did I miss it?” Ah, the stereotypes. Don’t you just love them? The only country that does not disappoint me anytime is Brazil. Ah, I know what you're thinking.

There’s another thing about porn – the music. Some of them have these incredible music tracks which make it more interesting. I remember once I saw this one video where a guy picks up a lady from a park by playing a song and strumming the guitar and I was so moved by the song that I use to watch that porn just for that song. And my buddies would ask, “Man, you watching that porn again? Are you in love with the dude?” Nobody would believe me if I told them I watched a porn movie many times because there was a nice acoustic song in it, one with the same strumming pattern of Wonderwall by Oasis.

People get offended when someone mentions porn, especially women. Oh, so you think reading “50 shades of Grey” is fun and this is not? Come on, grow up. A picture speaks a thousand words and a motion picture, 24 pictures per seconds. So do the math and you will see which one will give you more words, if that’s what you’re after. And women, your boyfriend or husbands watching porn doesn't mean that he is cheating on you; consider it as him taking theory lessons. I once told a female friend of mine that I watch porn and she told it was disgusting. I told her it was not. I told her that it was actually set in the Shakespearean times and the sets were awesome and so was the story line  much better than her favorite flick ‘Twilight’. She ended the discussion by calling me names, but I didn't care. We are still very good friends though.

I know many would consider porn as degrading. Some say it is degrading to women. To them, I ask – She is doing it too right? It is not degrading; only if you make the disgusting ones, then it is. So if you ask me whether I watch porn, I would openly say, I do. It’s better than watching it secretly and then lying about it. The world is changing. I mean if a country like India can accept a porn star like Sunny Leone, other countries can do much much better. But think about it, everyone has watched at least one and enjoyed at least once in our lives. And if you have not watched one, there is seriously something wrong with you. And the only solution to that – watch one!

Image Courtesy: http://podblog.blogs.hopkinsmedicine.org

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Orgy of the Mannequins




DISCLAIMER: This is a piece of fiction. The title of this post came to mind mind first when I was window-watching some mannequins in front of a store. With the title in hand, I worked out a story. The story can continue on after this or can end here itself with this post, leaving the rest to suspense. I hope you do enjoy the story. Do leave your comments and let me know how it is. Cheers!


Whenever I walk past Uncle Sam’s tailoring shop along the Upper Cross Street in Chinatown, I would always stop for a moment to look inside his shop through the glass windows. Uncle Sam would be busy working behind his tailoring machine. He would lift his head up for a moment, look in my direction, give me a broad smile and a nod, and then return back to his work. He must have realized within a few days, even without looking at the old grandpa clock hanging by the wall, that by then, it was already seven in the evening. He knew me as the guy who would drop by his shop everyday evening and look through the glass windows for some time; he knew that I always stopped by to look at his mannequins and I kind of had an idea that he knew about it because he would return back to his work quickly after the smile and the nod, head and hands down, immersed completely into each and every punch the machine needle made on the cloth, letting me watch his mannequins.

The first time I stopped by his shop was when I suddenly realized, out of nowhere, that I had forgotten to take my room keys from my office drawer. I turned around to return back to the office just in time to see an old man at work through the glass windows of his shop. The name of the shop was ‘Uncle Sam’s’, which I assumed was his too. It was a normal sight, just like any other person would have been behind that machine stitching clothes. But there was something inexplicable about the sight of that entire store and the man behind the machine that made me stand there for a few moments and watch him work; it was a scene torn right out of a fairy tale, a mysterious fairy tale. And suddenly my eyes drifted to the side of his store where all the mannequins stood, right behind the glass pane.

That was when I realized that I would be stopping by the glass window every day. The sun was just going down the Far East Sea and there were these thin rays of light that went piercing through the glass panes. The mannequins were positioned standing in such a way that from the spot where I stood, I could see a ray of light that went straight through the glass and landed on her face, all of a sudden making her the brightest of the lot. She was no more concealed or lost among the others, and that one sight of her that day made my heart skip a beat and I was lost out of breath for a moment. I had never seen anything as beautiful as her.

And from then on, I would stop by Uncle Sam’s tailoring shop every day after work, when the town church clock strikes seven. It would be sunset by the time and there would be tiny rays flooding by, which made the whole scene dreamy. The first time Uncle Sam spotted me, he looked at me for a few moments before returning back to his work. And once I saw that he was back to his machine, I turned around to look at her. This kept repeating the following three days after which, when Uncle Sam saw me through his glass windows, he smiled at me and gave me a nod. I finally had my approval and that day, I remember standing there even several minutes after all the rays had vanished and she was getting back to being just another mannequin among the lot; she still had a tinge of a glow for some time even after the rays were gone, just like the moon. I thought of standing there till the dawn for the sunrays to come flooding by again but by then, the shop would be closed and Uncle Sam would have closed the drapes.

The moment I laid my eyes on her, I knew that it was not the last time I would be stopping over by the store to watch her. She was one of the mannequins that stood by the glass door, most of her body concealed by the others except from the chest up, quite inconspicuous to a random eye passing by. She was different; her clothes too were carved into her body unlike the others and she stood there with her hands covering her breasts; an angel carved out of a white precious stone. Every time I looked at her when the sunrays lighted up her face, I was beginning to understand what beauty was and each and every time I got lost. Her face made me realize that perhaps beauty was under-rated. And I would go back to my apartment and lie down on my bed at night thinking about her, waiting for the next evening. Even after all these days of watching her from the outside, it had never occurred to me to go in to Uncle Sam’s after the sunset.

-***************-

November was up on the Calendar, which meant winter had already begun. The daylight would be shorter which meant the sun would be gone soon before seven. I could already see that the rays were vanishing sooner than before and hence I started my evening walk after office five minutes earlier. It was November 1st and I left my office just in time to get a cup of tea from Aunt Breda’s café and walked down the Upper Cross Street to my favorite place on earth. I reached Uncle Sam’s tailoring shop to find the drapes shut. The sign on the door said ‘Closed’. I was disappointed. I dropped the cup of tea in the trash can by the street and headed off to my room. I couldn’t sleep that night.

The next day, I got up off bed before sunrise and went down the Upper Cross Street to Uncle Sam’s. The shop was still closed and the drapes were still shut. I wondered where he was and why has he not opened the shop. I was disappointed. I stood there wondering why I was feeling so disappointed; after all she’s just a mannequin. I went to work with a heavy heart. As the clock struck 6:30PM, I was out of my office. I got my usual tea from Aunt Breda’s café and walked down the lane to Uncle Sam’s. And I reached the spot just in time to see the sunrays lighting up her face again. I stood there admiring, each and every second of it. I wanted to tell her that I missed her. I waited until the rays vanished, sun went down the sea, and the glow finally faded away from her face.

Uncle Sam was still working when I entered his shop that day. He had a small bell fitted to his door which made a sound when I opened it. He looked up from his table through his round spectacles and gave that familiar broad smile when he saw me and then returned back to his work. I smiled back and walked towards him. Uncle Sam was doing some sewing work on a red cloth and his machine was still, probably stitching a curtain for some home. He looked a bit different from inside the shop; the pot belly was obviously concealed behind the table and the machine. He wore a white shirt with a sleeveless black sweater on top. I went and stood near his table.

“So finally, you have decided to come in.” Uncle Sam said, head down, still concentrating on his work.
“Yes, finally.” I said.
“What’s your name kid?”
“Kevin. And you are Uncle Sam right?”
“Yeah, you guessed it right.”, eyes still on his machine.
“So, you don’t have many customers here, do you?”
“What makes you think that?”
“I haven’t seen many people come in.”
“That is because you roam outside my shop only at seven. My customers come in during the daytime.”
“Oh. Glad to hear that.”
“So Kevin, what shall I do for you?”
“Well, nothing actually. I came in to tell you that you have a very nice collection of mannequins.”
“Thank you, kid. I know that you have been looking at them all these days.”
“How did you figure out that I always stood outside your store to look at the mannequins? I mean, you would return to your work soon after you smiled and then never look back.”
“Well Kid, I don’t think someone would come every day at seven in the evening, stand outside my shop, just to see an old man at work.”
“That, I agree”, I said with a smile. “But I am really fond of one particular mannequin of yours, Uncle Sam. The…”
“The one lady behind with her palms on her shoulders and the rest covering her breasts?” asked Uncle Sam, looking at me for the first time during our conversation.
“Yes. How did you know that?” I asked, surprised.
“Well kid, let’s just say that you are not the first one.”
“So you mean there were other guys too?”
“Yes kid, but not many. I guess there were two other guys, almost your age. Both of them liked my collection, but the lady was the one they were fond of.”
“Oh, at least there are two people who share my frequency. Do you mind if I go and take a closer look at her, Uncle Sam?”
“Well, I don’t mind if you take a look at my mannequins. But I don’t know if you would be able to the see lady from the inside.”
“What do you mean, Uncle Sam?” I asked, quite surprised by his response and still not looking back at the mannequins.
“All I am saying is that you won’t be able to take a closer look at something that is not there in the first place. Go ahead, see for yourself.”

I turned around and walked slowly towards the mannequins. As I reached near the glass window, I looked at the mannequins placed together in different positions. I scanned one by one searching for the lady who was placed behind the other mannequins; the one lady with the palms of her hands on her shoulders and the other part covering her breasts. To my surprise I was not able to find that one mannequin whose clothes were too carved into her body. I stood there with utter disbelief.

Uncle Sam came behind me and placed his hand on my shoulder. I turned around, with the look of unbelief still written all over my face.

“But Uncle Sam, I knew she was here. I am sure I saw her from the outside.”
“I can understand kid. I can understand.”
“But how is it possible?” I asked and turned around to face the mannequins.
“Did you notice that my mannequins are placed in irregular positions, Kevin?” Uncle Sam asked after sometime.
“Yes”, I said.
“Did you notice that there are ones that are standing, ones that are sitting and ones that are in bent positions?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Well, I came up with this design and positions. I like to consider it my masterpiece. Do you want to know the name of my masterpiece, Kevin?” asked Uncle Sam.
“What is it?” I asked looking at Uncle Sam.
Uncle Sam spread out his hand in the direction of the mannequins and said, “I call it ‘The Orgy of the Mannequins.’”
"But why?"
"Oh, it's a long story kid. It's a long story."


Uncle Sam patted on my shoulders and went back behind his table to do his work. I stood there, still in disbelief, wondering is this all were a dream.


Image Courtesy: http://www.thecitythatneversleepsin.com

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

That One Girl I Never Saw Again


I met Priyanka way back in 2003 on a flight back to my hometown from Muscat. A sassy eighteen something with specs which complimented her oval face, wavy black hair let loose, classy blue sweater and one of the prettiest smiles I have ever seen on a girl. She sat there with a book in her hand but was lost in thoughts. She was my co-passenger. Yes, that’s right; you always hope that your co-passenger is a beautiful person, your age and that night, everything was in my favor. I don’t exactly remember all the things that we talked about, but there are a few which still remains in my memory. And I will honestly try to tell you almost closely, if not exact, the dialogues in particular.

Oman Air was scheduled to take off at 23:00 and we reached the airport at around eight. I had just finished my high school and was returning back to Kerala for college. My parents came to see me off and that was the first time I flew alone. Luggage check-in went without much trouble and I got in the plane with my backpack which contained a letter from my friend Jitu who had asked me not to open it until I was miles up in the air and a cover that contained a bottle of Johnny Walker which I got from the Duty free for my grandfather. Trust me, doing your schooling in a foreign country and leaving the place and your best friends when you are eighteen hoping that you will see them someday in some part of the world takes it out of you. I got into the plane expecting a dull ride that night and I thank all my stars that I had Priyanka to help me through it.

I checked the seat number on the ticket and advanced inside. I remember it was somewhere in the middle. I reached my seat to find a beautiful girl sitting in the seat besides where I was supposed to sit and she was lost in thoughts. I told myself – “No, this can’t be true. She is beautiful and she is my co-passenger? Something is wrong, definitely.” But it wasn’t. An air-hostess confirmed too. I put my backpack and the cover containing Johnny Walker in the flight cabin and sat down. She was still deep in thoughts.

Minutes later, the flight took off and after a while we were up among the clouds. The captain announced it was safe to remove the seat belts. I reached for the earphones and plugged the jack to listen to the song playing on the screen in front of me. But I couldn’t hear a thing. I tried re-connecting and whatever tricks I knew at that time to get some sound out of those earphones. But I failed miserably and given my state of mind at that time, I let out a curse – “Stupid fucking earphones”.

I heard someone giggle by my side. I turned around to see Priyanka and her smile. I was lost for a moment but I held control.

“You know, probably those earphones may not be working. You need to ask the airhostess for new ones”, she said with that smile on her face.
“I think I should. Thank you” I said after getting back to reality.
“You are welcome.”

I called for the airhostess and asked her for new earphones. She gladly gave me another set and made sure to check it herself that it was working or not. I plugged the earphones to my ear and started listening to the song when a voice within me told – ‘What are you doing? You have a beautiful girl sitting next to you on a four hour flight and you are listening to music? How often does this happen to you? Talk Damnit! She is friendly; she was the one who asked you to get new earphones.” So I took off the earphones and made my first move.

“You know that you weren’t supposed to hear what I said, right?”
“Yes, I know that, but couldn’t help it. Don’t worry, I curse all the time.”
“Like what?”
“I am not telling you that.”
“Well, at least you do. Fair enough.”

A moments silence.

“Let’s start over. Hi, I am Vijith”
“Hi, I am Priyanka.”
“So you are on the way to Kerala”, I asked. I remember this pretty perfectly well because that was the moment I realized what a stupid question I had asked and that was the moment I realized how bad I was when it comes to talking to girls.
“Unless the pilot decides elsewhere”
“Yeah, right. Stupid question. So where in Kerala?”
“Cochin. And you?”
“The capital city, Trivandrum.”
“Oh great. So are you going for vacation?”
“No. I just finished school. I am going to do my college there. What about you?”
“Same here. Which school did you study in?”
“Indian School Muladha. You?”
“Indian School Salalah.”
“Hey, I have been to your school for the Arts Fest.”
“Oh I see. Did you win anything?”
“First prize for mime. Yeah, we have got a great mime team.”
“Congrats.”
“Thanks. I like your school. I like Salalah. It is just like Kerala, greenery everywhere. Have you been to my school?”
“No, I haven’t. But I know about it.”
“Oh, I see. You know, I was the Head Boy of my school.” I said. I remember saying this because that was when I understood that I was trying to impress her.
“Great. I was the Head Girl at my school too.”
“Same pinch.” I didn’t pinch her. I used to say that a lot when I was in school.
“Same pinch back.”
“So your parents are not travelling with you?”
“No. They are still in Salalah. It’s just me. My uncle will be picking me up.”
“Same here. My grandfather will be picking me up and the bottle of Johnny Walker I got for him, which is inside that cabin.” I said pointing to the cabin.

And then we talked for some more time. And then when it reached that awkward silence, she returned to her book and I plugged on the earphones again. Five minutes into the song and I remembered the letter inside my backpack. I got up, took the letter out of my backpack and went to the flight toilet. Jitu, while handing the letter to me asked me not to cry while I read it. So I thought the toilet would be a good option as I didn’t want Priyanka to see me cry. It would ruin my tough-boy look. And also this was when I got impressed with airplane toilets - You can check out more about that HERE.

I went inside the toilet and read the letter. To be honest, I felt sad, but I didn’t cry. Given a circumstance where some fat guy would have been my co-passenger instead of Priyanka and I had a boring flight until then and had nothing to uplift my spirits, I would have wept like a baby. But I did not as I was on Cloud Nine, quite literally. Jitu, I am really sorry. I know I was supposed to cry. I cried when I read that letter a few days later, I swear.

I went back to my seat and sat down. Priyanka was still into her book. I wanted to start a conversation but I didn’t know if I should disturb her or not. Finally, I decided to go for it.

“What are you reading?”
“Oh, it’s a Sidney Sheldon novel.”
“Aren’t that guy’s novel a bit raunchy?”
“What do you think I am reading it for?”
“Nice. I like that. Hey, you know I just went to the toilet. Do you want to know what I did in there?”
“No. That’s gross.”
“No, it isn’t. You see, my best pal Jitu gave me a letter which I am supposed to open and read only on the flight. I went inside to read it.”
“That’s sweet. Wish my friends had given me something like that. So what did he say in the letter?”
“Here, read it.” I handed over the letter for her to read. Jitu – Yes, I did that. Sorry man, I was trying to impress her and I was pretty naïve at it. I will make it up to you.
“Hmm. He is your best friend.” She said after reading.

And we talked throughout the flight. And somewhere towards the end, we exchanged email addresses and phone numbers. She told the number was the home phone number of her uncle and she will be staying with him. I gave her my grandfather’s home phone number. When the flight finally, came to halt, I was disappointed. We got up; I picked up my backpack from the cabin and followed her outside. We were at the baggage claim point when I realized that I left the Johnny Walker inside the cabin. Grandpa was going to be pissed at me. Then, I had to make a choice – Johnny Walker or Priyanka. I went for Priyanka; that whiskey would have been harmful for grandpa anyway. I told her that I left the bottle inside and she told me that there was still time and I check with the officer and see if I could get it. I told her there is no use.

After we collected the luggage, we walked towards the exit where she found her uncle. She introduced me to her uncle and we said goodbyes. That was the last time I saw her. She got inside the car, waved at me through the window and went away. I stood there among the crowd with my backpack and luggage replaying the entire events that happened. Gosh, I felt good. Suddenly, I heard grandpa calling out my name from behind. I took my luggage and went towards the people I knew.

Priyanka was the first girl who gave me her phone number on the first meeting; well, apart from my friends, and the first girl who introduced me to someone in her family. She was the first stranger whom I tried my charms on. We exchanged a couple of mails but then lost touch. She told me that she had gotten into CUSAT, a university in Kerala. I wonder where she is now and I wonder if she would stumble on to my blog and read it. I lost the paper where I had written her contact and I have no idea what the password was for my Hotmail email account I used back then. But that was one heck of a journey, my favorite. Every time I get on a flight, I do think of her and wonder where she is. She must have been married by now with kids or maybe have chosen a job of journalist and is still single.

Wherever she is and whatever she is doing, she will be the Priyanka to me, the cute girl with specs and a magnificent smile that I met in an airplane. Priyanka is that one girl I never saw again.

Image Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/iareef/4505929594/

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Simple Dream and the Filthy Rich Dream


Everybody has dreams. Without dreams, there could be no hope, I believe. Or passion. Or even courage. Or even Victoria’s Secrets. Oh, imagine a world without it. I meant 'dreams' mate but I like the way you are thinking. Let’s return to the subject, shall we?

Dreams – well, I have many. But I wouldn’t like to bore you with the ones where I put on my mask and roam around the city in my Batmobile tumbler fighting crimes or living in one of the tallest hills in Scandinavia as a Viking and fighting the flying dragons and sea monsters with my axe. And neither would I want to tell you about the dreams where I start a magazine called ‘Playboy’ and gets listed in ‘Forbes – The Top 10 Influential Men of all Times’, because it gets a bit personal there, you see. But I would like to tell you a simple one and a lavish luxurious filthy rich one.

The simple one first? Okay. This is the kind of dream where one day I will quit my boring job, buy a 1959 vintage Classic Gibson Les Paul, and tour around the world with my band or play at the local pubs. I will have a small but spacious caravan for myself. It would contain a cozy bed from where I can watch the latest movies on my small home theatre system having morning tea, a few guitars, a piano, a nice wardrobe with my black leather pants collection which I would obviously wear for band performances and a mini bar where I get to prepare myself a drink. And even a small refrigerator filled with beers. And for company, I will have a German Shepherd named Floyd.

Man, what a life would that be. Not a single care in the world. I won’t have to pay my rent as I live in my caravan. No electricity bills or water bills as I will be using the caravan battery, which will require frequent changing and I will be able to afford that as I have my regular gigs at the pub. And I could always use the pub restrooms or could even go pretty much primitive, if you know what I’m saying. Now, that’s what I call – ‘life’.

The lavish and the luxurious and the filthy rich one? Come on, everybody has got filthy rich dreams. Don’t tell me that you have never ever dreamt a life of a millionaire. Don’t tell me that you have never even for once thought how it would be to go to the most happening place in town on your Lamborghini with Diane Keaton, Cindy Crawford, Megan Fox and Eva Mendes by your side or spending a sunny day in your $10 million yacht just because you wanted to get away from the city or having a dinner with Sarah Palin at the top helipad of Burj Al Arab and landing there in your customized copter and most expensive designer Luis Vuitton suit or even having the President of the United States throw a bachelor party for you in Vegas. And please don’t ever tell me that you haven’t dreamt of having the most luxurious bungalow with the most famous porn stars occupying the positions of your house maids or never even thought of walking down the aisle in your custom tux designed by Ralph Lauren to collect the Oscars for the Best Actor for your moving performance in Edward Scissorhands. I am sure about the Porn stars maid thing for guys at least. For women, I bet you would have dreamt at least once being lost in a room with money, costumes and jewelry. And perfumes.

Well, back to my filthy rich dream. Of course I do have many but I have come up with a definite list for me to action as soon as possible in case some unknown relative of mine leaves his legacy of one trillion dollars in my name or if I happen to win a lottery of the same amount. I know there is no lottery with that kind of an amount as the prize, but hey, it’s my dream. So imagine one day I am left with one trillion dollars, even after numerous generous donations I make. Here are something that I would splurge on or so be my plan of action.

I will first get a nice bungalow near to the one where my favorite Hollywood girl lives. I will get the most amazing wardrobe filled with all the leading top brands and on the door, I will have a picture of Barney Stinson and every time I open it to get some dress, it would tell me ‘Suit Up’. My bathroom will have this new kind of shower thingy which sprays water from the top and sides and I will have a karaoke system installed [Super bass and able to record the track with my singing so that I can play it later and the mic will be water proof] so that I can sing while in shower. I will have a swimming pool right inside the house with my pet Dolphin ‘Hendrix’ playing away to glory. I will have a home theatre room with the most enhanced 100 inch screen with 4D effects and a cozy sofa and a beer bucket filled with beers brewed from a beer company I just bought. It’s called ‘Wasted’ by the way. All the lights and equipment will respond to my voice and I will have an underground study room, the same size of the whole house where I will have my Iron Man suits and Batman suits and the Batmobile Tumbler. I will also have Jenny, the female version of Jarvis.

In my car shed, I will have a gray Lamborghini Reventon, a white Audi R8, a yellow Chevrolet Camaro [Bumblebee touch], a black Hummer H2 and a black Ducati 848. There will be pictures of Vin Diesel and cars and chicks on the walls. I will have a helipad in my back lawn where I will have my customized copter parked. Of course my German Shepherd Floyd would be there too.

I will have a private vacation home near to the sea where I can spend my evenings in my balcony with my favorite Hollywood girl Scarlett Johansson whom I accidentally bumped into while jogging one morning and watch the sunset together with Floyd and Fennie [Scarett’s dog] lying nearby. I will have a yacht too, a white one named ‘I do’, just like the one Gail Wynand had in ‘The Fountainhead’; if you have read the book, you will know the reason why I had named it so. From my private beach vacation house, I will have an under passage which will lead to an Underwater world park where Scarlett and I could watch the sharks and the sea life.

My social life would be the most discussed topic on Entertainment tonight and E! I will be seen at the most expensive restaurants, pubs, private events, award ceremonies with celebrities. Obama would occasionally fly down to my residence for some homemade tea and cookies or beer. Even though I am a lazy ass, I will have a gym at home and Mike Tyson would occasionally come to train me. I will be invited to all of the Playboy’s private parties. I will start a Hard Metal Café and show Hard Rock café what music a pub needs to play based on its name. Mark Zuckerberg would tag me in his photos on Facebook and so would Hillary Clinton. I will buy a hotel and a casino right in the middle of a city. I will create an empire for myself.

Well, there are more and more things that I would do, but do you really think the second life would be great? If I were to answer honestly, I would go with my simplest dream, the first one. The reason is simple – In the first dream, I am Vijith and I am happy. But in the second, I am somebody else. There’s lots of money and stuffs and to keep track of it is a pain in the tushie and I will never have the privacy and space I want. So if you ask me, I will go with my simplest dream. But hey, there’s no harm in dreaming the filthy rich one once in a while, but I guess it’s better we let it be just a dream.

But can I have Scarlett Johansson in my simplest dream? And Charlize Theron? And Elisha Cuthbert too? What?! What is the problem in dreaming?!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

When Vijith got a Hair-Treatment!


So, few weeks back, I was walking around the malls in the IT fare in Singapore looking for a camera to buy. And suddenly out of nowhere, appears this beautiful girl, dressed as a sales woman and she comes over to me with a smile. I was mesmerized by the way her lips curved that I stood staring at her, completely oblivious to what she was telling me. I was mostly unaware and fragile to an extend that after fifteen minutes of what I remember was just plain talk from her side and just plain appreciation of beauty from mine, I was standing there with a coupon for hair treatment at one of the outlets of Yun Nam Hair Care Centre. But the most impressive thing was that even though I had no idea of what was going on, I landed up with a pretty good deal; a one time scan and treatment which would normally cost $300 was there in my hand for just $8.

I was at first skeptical of whether I should have gone for the hair treatment or passed it on to one of my female friends; but then, decided to give it a try for three reasons. One - I would have something to blog about; two - I have never had a hair treatment before and hence wanted to experience what it felt like and three – I would get to see the whole thing from a woman’s point of view and why they are into it so much.

So when the woman from the Care centre called me on Wednesday, I asked her to fix the appointment the coming Sunday, at 18:00. And on Sunday, I was all dressed up by 5PM, walking around trying to decide if I should go for it or not. Given the male genes in me, this was a too-much-girly thing to do; I mean, I can't tell my friends,"Can't come for the beer session dude, got a hair appointment". But on the other hand, given the Indian mentality, this was a low priced coupon and I should make use of everything that the Care Centre offered me. And finally, the Indian mentality took the precedence over the male genes and by 6, I was at the Yun Nam outlet for Hair centre waiting for my appointment with the Hair consultant and the only thing I was concerned about was that there was not even a single guy waiting.

I was ushered into a small room containing a table with chairs on opposite sides and a computer and was asked to wait for a while after the lady at the reception took down my details and checked my Employment Pass for identification. The receptionist placed a tray with a cup of hot water, cracker biscuits and napkin. There was a surveillance camera on the ceiling and I looked at it and said a ‘Hi’ to whoever was watching me or whoever will after it was taped. And in two minutes a lady walked in, introduced herself as Kelly and took the seat opposite to me, behind the table.

She was in her mid-30s, as was what I could gather from her looks. She took out a form from her file and laid it on the table and started asking me questions while filling it at the same time.

Kelly: How do I address you, Mr Vijayakumar?

Me: You can call me Vijith.

Kelly: Ok Vijith. I will need to ask you a few questions to fill this form before taking the scan.

Me: Fine by me.

Kelly: So, have you had any chemotherapy in the past?

Me: No.

Kelly: And STDs?

Me [surprised and a bit embarrassed]: What?! No.

Kelly: Have you had any hair transplant in the past?

Me: No.

Kelly: Have you ever colored your hair?

Me: Never.

Kelly: Do you wash you hair everyday Vijith?

Me: I do. Yes, I do.

Kelly: Do you have dandruff problem?

Me: I have never noticed dandruff on my hair. So I am guessing, no.

Kelly [in a tone of challenge than a statement]: We will see about that. What shampoo do you use?

Me: I use L’Oreal, for Normal Hair.

Kelly: And do you change your brand frequently?

Me: Depends on the model.

Kelly: I am sorry?

Me: I mean, sometimes. I used Dove before this; whichever I can get my hands on, precisely.

Kelly: Have you attended any hair treatments like this before?

Me: No, I am a virgin at this.

Kelly: Ok, so we have filled up the form. Now, you are entitled for a hair scan and a treatment with the coupon you have purchased. But before we start the scan, let me tell you something about hair treatments and what we do here at Yun Nam hair care.

She took out a file and turned the page over to a picture which I believe was the magnified anatomical structure of a hair and the root. She started explaining the various parts of hair and its growth cycle. I listened for the first five minutes where I understood that more than one hair can grow from a root and its life span can go until 6 years, but carelessness can reduce it to just a year and maybe a few months, after which I went completely blank. So there I was sitting opposite to Kelly playing ‘Hey Jude’ by Beatles on my head while she was trying her hard explaining the biology of hair.

Kelly: So, are you ready to take the test?

Me [Pressing the pause button to ‘Hey Jude’]: Sorry?

Kelly: Can we take the test now?

Me: Yeah sure, if you feel so.

So she turned on the monitor of the computer, which was a touch screen, entered my appointment id and pressed enter, which showed my details. She took the small scanner attached to the computer, which looked somewhat like the handle of an egg-yolk mixer, walked over to my side and placed it on my scalp.

Kelly: You see, that is dandruff and you said you did not have dandruff problem.

Me: Well, I never see the powdered version on my shoulder when I wear black shirts like on TV.

Kelly [placing the scanner on some more parts]: You see, there are more and it is all over your head. You have an oily scalp too.

Me: But how can that be? It has been ages since I used oil on my hair.

Kelly: Ok Vijith, let me tell you some more things about the hair. [Oh No, here she goes again]. There are two types of dandruffs. First type is the dry one. This is the kind of dandruff that you see on your shoulders when you see wear a black shirt, like on TV. Let’s say that you have this kind of dandruff; then you will have to go through with our treatments. Second is the moist one, which sticks to your scalp, the one you are having. You will have to go through with our treatments for this one as well. This type of dandruff is hard to remove as it goes off slowly. Many washes will be required and sometimes there is no guarantee even. That is where our treatment comes into act. Let’s say you take our treatment, which is three treatments after this one, if you sign up for $300; you come in every Sunday for three weeks and after that you will see a considerable amount of dandruff gone. Then you can choose to continue or not. Let’s say you choose to continue; then we will have some more treatments at discounted prices offered only to our customers. You will see more reduction. Let’s say you do not choose to continue, there are more chances that the dandruff will comes back and you will be back to the same stage.

Me [After having counted ‘Let’s say’]: Ok. I have another question. What if, and I say this hypothetically, what if I shaved off my hair? Won’t the dandruff sticking to my scalp go away?

Kelly: Why, you want to shave your head? I can do that.

Me: I meant hypothetically, Kelly.

Kelly: If you want, I can shave your head. I am a head-stylish too.

Me: That is impressive, but no, thank you.

Kelly: Well, for your information, it won’t completely. There might be traces of it remaining in the pores and the chances are that it will come back, once your hair grows back again.

Me: But I cannot come back here every Sunday for hair treatment. How will I go for hash run?

Kelly: What is hash run?

Me: It is an event happening fortnightly where we run for beer. I cannot miss all that beer.

Kelly: Well, let’s say that you do not want to continue your treatment by coming here. There is still an alternate way. We will give you the products and instructions on how to use it. You can do it at home following the same.

Me: You want me to follow a procedure everyday of applying some things to my hair before I take bath every day.

Kelly: Yes. There are not much. You need to use our special oil, massage it and keep it for 15 minutes, then the shampoo and conditioner during wash and at the end, a special cream.

Me: That’s a lot of time. Do you have any other alternate solutions?

Kelly: Our treatment that you can sign up for.

Me: Can I go back home, think about it and if I do agree, give you a call back?

Kelly: Let’s face it Vijith, we both are humans and we both know that you are not going to call back.

Me: You sure do know what’s going on inside the head even huh? Well, let me put this honestly to you. I have never had hair treatments in my life and this is my first time in a beauty saloon and in just five minutes after entering through that door, I realized that I don’t belong here. This is not who I am and I am not comfortable doing hair treatments.

Kelly: Well, it is your choice and I am no one to force you. But if you leave now, you will loose your chance for the offers on our treatments. Many people have made this mistake and later had to pay the whole price for it.

Me: I don’t mind. If I really do want the treatments, I will get it at the high price.

Kelly: Well, your wish. But you should know that if you do not take care of your hair, you will soon be bald. Do you really want to walk around with all the girls ignoring you?

Me [Yeah right! As if they are all trying to get me to bed right now!]: I guess, I will take the chance. I mean, things are getting pretty easy right now. I could use some challenge. But if you want me to refer my friends to you, I will be more than happy to.

Kelly: Alright. Here are some coupons that you can pass on to your friends. Tell them to ask for Kelly. You still have your hair treatment left. Shall we proceed to that?

Me: And what exactly is that?

Kelly: It’s exactly the treatment that will help you reduce your dandruff. But you will get only one. If you want more…

Me: Yeah, I get it. Shall we?

And we went to the backside of the parlor where they had these chairs with mirrors in friend of them. She asked to move over to the other side and lay down. Five seconds and swoosh, the tap was on and my hair were all wet. She then applied some shampoo, rinsed it for sometime and then washed it again. This step was repeated with something else, which I believe was the conditioner? She then handed me a towel and asked me to sit in one of the chairs while she wrapped a gray plastic kind of cloth around me.

Kelly: Are you feeling comfortable? Do you want something to read?

Me: Yes, that would be nice.

Kelly [Handing me a copy of ‘Men’s Health]: I will get the tonic now. Sit and relax.

I sat there, browsing over the pages of Men’s Health. Have you ever come across a magazine, which you never thought might be interesting and hence never got a copy? Well, Men’s Health turned out to be one for me. Articles on Sex and how to be good in bed and the new generation women and what not! I decided to get one if I ever managed to sneak out of there alive.

Kelly returned with a small bowl containing some greenish paste. She showed me the paste and told that it is a special tonic used in China for dandruff problem. And when she put it closer to my nose to smell it, I was sure that it was Henna paste. Prabi Chettan and KK always use to put that on their head during my college hostel days. Yeah, Chinese tonic, right!

Kelly: This will be a bit cold when I put it on to your head.

Me: Ok. What do you call this paste?

Kelly: [She actually said something in Chinese, which I don’t remember; apologies]

Me: It’s very cold. Will it freeze my brain?

Kelly: No, it won’t. It will get warmer. Just wait.

And after applying the ‘tonic’, she covered my hair with a red cap. Then she pulled some kind of an alien thing, like a transparent melon, cut open from its bottom, attached to a movable arm or pipe fixed at the back of the chair and put it over my head, its void covering the red cap, which concealed my hair with Hanna paste. She suddenly noticed the frightened look on my face through the mirror and let out a smile.

Kelly: First time doing this Vijith?

Me: Yes. You are not planning on killing me right?

Kelly: No, hold on. It’s nothing. It will just warm your head and help loosen the dandruff.

And she left after turning that thing on. And slowly and slowly it started heating up. I turned around to see a guy sitting at the far end, enjoying this thing and all I could think was how in the hell is he enjoying this thing? I turned around and looked in the mirror. Covered in a silly grey cloth, a red cap and an instrument which made me look like I was having a cosmetic surgery, I felt like a girl for the second time in my life [First time was the High heels incident, if you remember]. The only thing manly was the magazine I was holding and the goatie on my chin which might confuse the on-lookers of my gender.

Five minutes passed, ten and fifteen crawled, twenty limped and after half an hour, a lady appeared and took that stupid thing off my head. By that time, I was sure that all my brain cells were dead and my head was filled with nothing but steam. She removed the red cap and asked me to go to the wash area. Failing to get my response, she shook me and helped me out of the chair. Washing the henna off and then returning back to the chair was something I felt like being stoned, but with no sense at all. Soon, she was drying my hair and applying some last tonic when I came back to reality.

Me: Where is Kelly?

New Lady: She got a new client to attend to. Don’t worry, I am a consultant too.

Me: Oh, glad to hear.

New Lady: Was your session good?

Me: Oh yes, it was abysmal!

And there you go. I finally got to use the term ‘abysmal’, which Joey Tribbiani thought was a word of appreciation and which the new lady had no idea to, because I could see her smiling from the mirror.

Soon, I got out of the store, with a bag containing a shampoo, conditioner and two tonics handed to me by the new lady, alive and with a new motivation towards life. I somehow have this faint idea that Kelly actually wanted to kill my brain cells because I didn’t agree to sign up for the treatments. I tell you man - a scan, a treatment and a bag with some beauty items for $8 is not worth the pain I went through the entire process. Not. One. Bit. And one thing remains unexplained still – why do women pay to get this pain? I guess, some things are better left unexplained. Period.

 
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