Tips for surviving Mumbai’s local trains.

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Prepare….

Tip No. 1

In case you have to travel to office for the first time or are going on a date someplace that is accessible easily only by train, carry a deodorant stick/can in your bag.

If it is the morning, there are chances that you’ll stumble out at your destination smelling like you just came out of the gym, in gym-wear that is not your own. Not only does a deo come in handy in such a case, a kerchief sprayed with deo can also be used to safeguard your nostrils from that stagnant air inside the morning local, when a few generous gentlemen who, knowing that you skipped your breakfast to catch the train, decide to let you have a whiff of what they had last night. (Fainting is not an option as you won’t fall, but only succeed in rubbing your face into the sweat soaked back of the passenger standing in front of you.) Of course, you need to first master the art of finding your own pocket, digging into it for your precious handkerchief and bringing it up to your own nose; all this while you are at the receiving end of a force equivalent to a 100 Dolly Bindras per square inch from all sides.

Tip No. 2

The mind is the ultimate master.

Surely, when you are packed like salted (because of the sweat) fish in a can, the only part of your body that is free, is the mind.

And an hour in such a condition teaches you mastery over the mind like few teachers can. That includes the power to mentally scratch that unbearable itch in that otherwise usually reachable area. Or letting that trickle of sweat imitate a straight drive down your back towards your ..err.. pavilion end. Learning to make playful faces at the fly hovering around your face because you are straitjacketed, or ignoring the guy behind you trying to make a mini wind tunnel around your neck with his breath; or even mastering the nuances of various facets of Indian music (read Sapna Awasthi, Altaf Raja) are all examples of the total meditative control that travel in a Mumbai local teaches you.

Tip No. 3

Waiting for the train to come to a complete stop is not a particularly bright idea. Nor is it wise to go in all guns blazing while the train is just arriving at the platform. Timing and positioning is key here and it comes with practice and a few bruises.

Not feeling particularly brave one day ? No problem, just spot the meanest looking, fittest guy waiting on the platform and stick to his back like a leech when the train arrives.

Do not, under any circumstances, try to climb on to the rooftops. Chuck Norris met his match there and Rajnikant suffered a cold that kept him at home for 2 days.

It’s easier still if you befriend a regular group of travelers who take the same train every morning – this bonhomie makes sure that your new found friends (with benefits?) will find another inch of space for you that could mean the difference between feeling like a superhero every morning and a chance to jiggy-wiggy with the electricity poles whizzing by outside.

Tip No. 4

After you learn to time the jump, make sure you can differentiate your reds from your greens. Many a time has a greenhorn jumped with great enthusiasm into the coach of a halting train and half-exulted in delight till realization dawned that it was a ladies-only compartment.

While some of you noobs (and people from Delhi) might be wondering, “So whats the big deal ?” (or even secretly saying with a Ranjit-like smirk “Really baby ?”), remember – women in ladies compartments could also consist of fisher-women, policewomen and housewives who practice Jeet-Kune-Do (a Sunny Deol inspired martial art) as a hobby. So, show some respect to the women (if you are from Delhi, I know, you should shift back to Delhi) and stay away from the green stripe marks. At least on a local train.

Tip No. 5

The footwear is important.

There is only one kind of footwear that matters out there – cowboy boots with little spikes attached to the rear. Just kidding.

However, one of those trekking shoes with a thick sole will ensure that your feet not only get treated with respect, it can also mete out treatment to ill-behaved shoes if need be. (How dare they disrespect 5 cm of sole ? Take that you puny little formal shoe, and that.) Just be sure the guy standing next to you is not wearing a better one.

Tip No. 6

I saved the best for the last. Just like the boss level in every good video game, there is a legendary beast called the Virar local. It has been known to make grown men nervous and little children wail like they were made to sit and watch Geoffrey Boycott bat for all 5 days of a test match.

As in martial arts, learning to get into (and out of) a Virar local takes years of devoted learning (which platform, which compartment, what time, what is the allowable margin of positioning error before the train comes to a complete halt), self-awareness, brutal stamina and an ability to zone out for at least 1 hour at a stretch. So if you get that chance to go onsite to the US for a year, say no to the US and say yes to the Virar local – this conditioning prepares you for life in ways nothing else can.

You see, Virar is where the western railway line terminates. So people (hordes, millions, billions, entire populations of Papua New Guinea) boarding those trains have imbibed the 1+ hour journey as a part of their lives. Young children in Virar and Vasai go and practice on crowded local trains after they’re finished with their homework in the evenings. Women knit woolen with one hand (the other hand grabs the handle you see) in it. The menfolk give fitness tips to aspiring actors and westerners recreating films from the Greek-Trojan era.

Yes, you will have the courage and stamina to ride it one day but till then you’ll have to contend with the Borivli fast. That, for the time being, should be adequate net practice.

P.S.: Prepare to be scared here.

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Tears of Joy

Today, I feel like Alok Nath, Nirupa Roy, Geoffrey Boycott and Venkatapathy Raju, all rolled into one.

Today, I know what it must feel like when, as the proverbial doting father in a Bollywood film from the 70s, your little child grows into a strapping young lad/lassie by the time the credits have finished.

Today, I know what it must feel like when, the neighborhood mausi (aunt) comes running in breathless and tells you (the widowed mater), “Aree o Kamla, dekh tera beta aya hai” and you rush outside to find him after years of studies and struggles  – gleaming, decked out, in a police inspector’s uniform. No less.

Today, I know what it must feel like, when the parents from a scene in Bollywood’s 70s to the 90s come and stand in an aerodome’s balcony-cum-viewing area to welcome their daughter who had been sent abroad, watch her come back, all transformed into a ravishing, ultra hot woman with a big straw hat and a foreign degree rolled in her hand.

And I surely know what it must feel like, to start the day off with a 300 ball half-century and then race to a century within another 100 balls. Or take 0 wickets in the first 4 days of a test match and scalp 2 priceless wickets of tail-enders on the last day.

Tears belie my joy and happiness today. For today, garnishednonsense has crossed a 1000 views. In 2 years, out of which more than 1 year was spent in hibernation. Talk about learning to crawl before you start to run.

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Observations of a social networking spy

You have done it quite a few times, haven’t you ? See somebody’s birthday reminder on facebook and for the life of you, can’t even remember the last time you spoke to that person. Yet you type out a “Happy Birthday dude!” and get a “Thanks ! 🙂” in return. Like clockwork. And considerably boring as well.

I sometimes wonder whether we are wasting too much energy (not your fingers, the energy that powers some remote server that stores your perfunctory birthday greetings inside some remote data center owned by the technology behemoths) in getting people to exchange mundane niceties under the pretense of social networking. Most of the routines are as predictable as a Venkatapathy Raju stock delivery. I might be wrong, but haven’t you come across the following types one time too many on your social network ?

The newly weds/The new parents

The wedding ring with the hands slightly out of focus. The eyes, tack sharp in focus with the smile getting pushed into bokeh-land. Followed by photos of the honeymoon(not quite what you’re thinking). Usually in Thailand, with one mandatory photo of the lady’s hands around the guy, whose free hand is extended towards the camera held in reverse to take that stereotypical photograph. Because everybody else in honeymoon land are also on a honeymoon and are too occupied to click photos of other couples.

And the “Silly girl and 127 friends like this” bit. Along with the “You guys look perfect for each other” comment. 2 years down the line and there will be a photograph of the new born with the nausea inducing “Looks soooooooooooooooo cute ! (kiss emoticon)” comment.

Rude comment highly recommended, if just for kicks. “Such an ugly kid! (Yuck emoticon) I should’ve warned you guys on the day of your marriage itself. Do not create any more of your kind.

The lovebird

An offshoot of the first kind, these people forget that social media is not exactly their private couch. So you are bombarded with photos from every date they go on. Their album count on facebook will put the largest Mersenne primes to shame. The only people who like and comment on their photos are they themselves, usually with kiss emoticons and mushy messages that could make the late Yash Chopra stir in his grave.

The poet

Incomprehensible paeans and eulogies, usually for broken hearts. Sometimes, an added layer of encryption, with verses written in a local language, make it so incredibly dense that you’d be better off teaching your cousin to solve problems in integral calculus.

The photographer

Camera companies must be really patting themselves on the back. DSLRs so cheap, you could swipe a credit card and buy two dozen of them magnificent shutters and still have money left over to buy a couple of lenses. No wonder there are as many ‘Weirdo Photographer’ pages on social networks as DSLRs in the market. Each one thinks he has the potential to end up as the official Vijay Mallya calendar photographer someday. Or atleast a couple of national geographic awards in his kitty.

Do yourself a favor and put in a “Dude/Dudette, this photo compeletely violates the law of thirds. Also, next time, use a higher shutter speed, lower f-stop number and under-expose by 2/3rds of a stop along with spot metering and remember to totally avoid the auto exposure bracketing.” comment. That ought to throw Weirdo Photographer off his balance (ignore the pun) and earn you some good karma.

The bored networker

Often seen playing games or falling prey to the latest marketing gimmick. Signs up for every fake free t-shirt contest and iphone/imac sweepstakes and misleads others into signing up for one too with a “Wow ! I got my free t-shirt, you get yours here as well“.

Or relentlessly sends invites to the latest slum-building, brick-laying and puzzle solving game. If you accidentally stumble on to the game, you will find they are light years ahead of the nearest competitor (the ones who, like you, must have given up after the first visit) among your common friends; which probably is the result of hundreds of office hours spent chasing the wrong objectives.

The stalker

I honestly think the friend recommendations of unknown people you see on your facebook page are the result of a profile visit from strangers. How else can you explain a totally random “Murthy Manickavelu” who looks suspiciously like a south Indian film actor or a slick haired “Ranjith Nair” showing up as a possible friend, when you don’t share a single mutual friend. Again, this is a problem that must be endemic if you are a female.

 

There you go…some of the most common types I’ve seen on my facebook account. Comment below if you find a category I may have missed out on.

P. S.: No offence meant, to be taken in a lighter vein only. 😛

Of small matters on Valentine’s day

On the occasion of yet another valentine’s day passing by (now I know what it feels like to watch a 5 test cricket series that ends without a result), I got a phone call from a girl. Her english was impeccable, she was courteous while speaking and she sounded kinda cute too. A little too harsh of me then, that I refused. “Ma’am I don’t want another credit card, I already have 3 from the past three years.” Heart-breaking for the lady, I know, but what to do. There is only so much joy that you can derive from having a credit card and not crossing your limits every month like your committed friends do.

So what do you do to shrug off the effects of the pink vapors pervading the atmosphere everywhere around you around 14th of Feb ? Like my awesome self, you can go bag 2 high-profile client meetings in a single day, tell the boss with a crack of the knuckles that it was just you warming up for the year ahead and walk off in to the sunrise (night shift you see). Not everybody’s cup of tea though. How about buying one of those men’s magazines that tell you about fitness secrets to ‘explode’ your arms, reading and re-reading that body language article to discern what that cutie in the cubicle across yours might be hinting at from the day you joined. Still doesn’t sound right no ? I know, I know. It usually ends up in a round of drinks in a friend’s house. What starts as a celebration of the single-dom of 4-5 men usually culminates in a re-assessed narrative of each one’s love story (one, that like Dodda Ganesh’s test career, never really took off).

Here is what I did. I lazily debunked all those theories about ‘locus-of-control’ from my MBA days and settled down for one of those balmy movies that remind you of how delightful Indian cinema used to be.

Chhoti Si Baat‘ is one of those Basu Chatterji gems that is perfect for a long afternoon.

Arun Pradeep – the Protagonist

Arun (superbly portrayed by Amol Palekar) is a shy, unassuming young man who is smitten with Prabha (Vidya Sinha, ethereal) whom he sees everyday at the bus-stop.

Conditioned by circumstances and his own personality, he fails at

Prabha – the woman of Arun’s dreams

every attempt to woo the woman of his dreams. The hurdles are his own inability to confess his feelings to Prabha, a rival – Nagesh’s (Asrani) superior social skills and a woeful lack of confidence. He ends up consulting roadside soothsayers, horoscope and personality building magazines before packing up his bags to engage the tutelage of Col. JNW Singh (played by Ashok Kumar, a show stealer in every scene and a delight to watch). Col. Singh, realizing that Arun’s love is pure and innocent in its intention and consummate in its devotion to Prabha, little by little, polishes off Arun’s insecurities and turns his feeble personality around.

Turning your life around is an art – so says the Colonel

The second half of the film, where a very changed Arun comes back and wins over Prabha is a sheer delight in the way it contrasts his previous attempts (his lunch date, his duels with Nagesh over table tennis and chess, the comeuppance of  the swindling garage owner) to win over Prabha.

This film has immense replay value and the reason behind its timelessness is a question I’ve pondered over, many a time. What stands out for me though, over the refreshing humour, the inherent simplicity in Chatterjee’s handling of the script and the chemistry between all the actors, is inspiration. The importance of believing in oneself and the ability to change oneself in order to win something.

While Chhoti Si Baat does seem to heavily draw inspiration from School of Scoundrels, it is in no measure inferior to the original. Wonderful acting all round,  with lilting music and tightly paced narration, it is no wonder that the film is a classic of Indian cinema. What delights me even more is watching the story unfold against the glorious backdrop of a South Bombay when it was not the teeming metro it now is. From the iconic BEST buses and bus-stops, to Chicken a La Pouse at Samovar restaurant in the Jehangir art gallery, to the Gateway of India and the office spaces (reminds me of my dad’s western railway office at Churchgate) – it is a little bit of a tribute to the beauty of Bombay as well.

Ah well…another 14th Feb and another blog post down. Till the next blog post then.

P. S.: You can watch the entire movie on Youtube here.

Ye Commerce !

Online shopping has made life so convenient. I ordered a dress for my niece’s first birthday and it was delivered to them in the USA exactly 1 day after the occasion  Today, I was thinking of ordering a shaving cartridge from flipkart. Wait a minute, did I just say shaving cartridges ? Is it a sign of laziness ? I don’t think so, more of a desire to realize savings. Hmm..won’t those savings be applicable on every such item available online ? Quite possible. Imagine a typical scenario in the not-too-distant future:

Mom: “Chintu !! That stupid kid is playing video games all day. Did you order rice, tur dal, salt and vegetables like I asked you to ?”

Chintu (switching from masalaboard forums to the e-commerce grocery site): “Mom, I’ve already ordered. e-kirana.com is saying it will be delivered within 1-2 days.”

Mom: “Curses. You better order some pizza or something online for dinner.”

And people are writing reviews for these items of daily use as well. One sincerely hopes rediff does not set up such a shop online, every review there will degenerate into an argument on religious platitudes. The brain’s spark plug lights up yet another imaginary, but plausible scenario.

Venkat: 23 Aug 2012

Rating: 5 stars

Review: “Kudos to neighbourhoodstore.com. I had ordered these eggs on the 20th and got them on 21st. Wow. Never expected such quick service and in such good packaging. Really hats off(sic). I already had one boiled egg and it is so tasty, absolute value for money.”

1 day later.

Venkat: 24 Aug 2012

Rating: 1 star

Review: “Please ignore my earlier review. I wanted to cook breakfast today and noticed only now that 3 eggs in my order were broken. I called up neighbourhoodstore’s customer care and asked them to ship 3 eggs but they said it must’ve been broken due to carelessness on my part. Don’t know what I am going to eat for breakfast today. Never buy eggs from them again.”

Some bright chaps, from a techno background usually, will go one step further and add some structure to the review.

Smartguy_l33t: 29th Feb 2012

Rating: 3.5 stars

Bought veggies from desiveg.com

Pros:

  • Nice packaging, perfectly frozen
  • Fresh in taste, fresh in color, fresh in flavor
  • Everybody at home pleased

Cons:

  • We were supposed to receive 100 gm of mirchi-dhania free. It seems they forgot to pack this.

Add to that the whole ‘integration with social media’ thingimijig and you have a veritable cornucopia of readership delight. The social media addendum will usually be in the form of scrolling text in a small social media box (or twitter box, don’t know what they call these things) in a corner of the e-commerce website.

Jatin from Faziabad just ordered a FTC Flutterby One X !!
“@jatinthedude: Yippee..smartphone world, bow to my knees.. #latestsmartphone #FTC”

Bhopesh Patel from Secunderabad just ordered Khaakra+Farsaan and Fafda+Jalebi!! “@Bhopeshthedude: Suu baat chhe”

Neha Singh just ordered a tennis set.
“@nehacutiepie: Yaay..pink tee, pink wristband and pink shoes. all set to rock the tennis court”
Nagesh Nagababu and 127 others like this.

Yawn…dear reader, I should think that is too much bland boring content for one day. Now why don’t you go read the intellectual conversations on rediff for some real entertainment. Until the next blog post then.

An idle brain on Youtube

With nothing else to keep my mind active right now, here is a post that I thought might be useful to millions of office goers who, coincidentally, have nothing else on their minds too. I conjured up a list, in no particular order, of the 10 most imaginative pieces of song writing that lyricists in the Hindi film industry have been able to come up with. If any of these songs are your favorites or this post hurts your sentiments in any way, I might add a short disclaimer – no offence meant. There.

10. Who can drive audiences crazy with just a doff of his cap ? Who can put tenors to shame and single handedly divert millions of dollars in to otolaryngology research ? Please put your hands, mikes, caps and nasal polyps together for aapro very own Himess Bhai in this particularly brilliant song which goes like this.

“(Female voice)Ladies and gentlemen, here’s presenting a philosophical research that has been conducted on mangoes, incorporating in it romance, humour and fun

(Himesh starts belting, you start getting goose pimples…)

Jab tum jaati ho” (hundreds of goose pimples),

Jaldi nahi aati ho” (millions of goose pimples),

I miss you baby” (gazillions..shudder)

Like mango” (epileptic fits, like Purbi Joshi in this video..watch it watch it)

9. This song, by a lyricist who went by the name of Sameer, and epitomized the whole pen is mightier than the sword cliche. Ever heard of a film called ‘Josh’ in which Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai play siblings ? There is a song in it which starts off like this:

Kitna pyaara hai ye pyaar… Pyaara Pyaara” (Yes yes, take that Himesh)

Hua hai pehli baar, hota hai ek baar, phir na hoga…ye dobara” (Take that Mills & Boon)

Hai mera dil, churaake le gaya, churaane wala…mera kaatil

If you admit to liking this song, and if I know you personally, I don’t blame you at all. Opposites attract they say, quite unlike Aishwarya Rai and Chandrachud Singh.

8. One of my personal favorites. If ever you fall madly in love with a girl and she hates the very sight of you, this song will certainly help woo her, Bollywood style. Because this is how Sanjay Kapoor wooed Juhi Chawla in a film called Kartavya released way back in 1995. The lyrics go something like this:

Tum tunak tuna tum tunak too…Tum tunak tuna tum tunak too

Pyaar mein dil ka murga bole kukdoo koo…” (take a pause to reflect, ladies and gentlemen)

…I love you” (It rhymes !!)

…Tujhpe meri Aashiqui ka, chal gaya jadoooooo” (and Again !!)

If these lyrics are not enough for you and your lady love, why don’t you include the interlude by the eunuchs in the song too. For further details, watch the video. Your love life will be certainly better off for it, I guarantee.

7. Ever used “hmm” as fillers when you didn’t know the exact lyrics of a particular song ? Or used “something” as a filler ? Well Mika created an entire song out of fillers, titled, not surprisingly, “Something Something“. Don’t ask me what to do if you forget the lyrics of this song too, which by the way, go like this.

Tell me something, meri jaan…kar le humse ek baar…pyaar ki meethi baatein chaar…o soniye..sun le tu

Something something….something somethinggggguuu

Short disclaimer before watching this video though – blog writer is not liable for damage incurred due to jaws dropping to the floor. A certain hottie named Urvashi Sharma stars in it.

6. Certain ardent followers of Indian music and travelers in Indian auto-rickshaws will bemoan the absence of a certain gentleman’s songs. Worry no more, for, what Urvashi Sharma did for your heart; Altaf Raja can do for your mind. The lyrics of this song are from a film called Chandaal released in 1998 and starring the ‘gareebon ka Amitabh‘ (the Amitabh of the poor) aka Prabhu Ji aka Shankar aka Truck Driver Sooraj aka Cheetah aka Jimmy aka the one and only Mithun Da.

The lyrics.

Kar lo pyaar kar lo pyaar kar lo pyaar kar lo pyaar” (Make love 4 times)

Pyaar gazab ki cheez hai padh lo aaj subah ka parcha” (Love is a wonderful thing, read today’s newspaper)

Pyaar karoge muft mein ho jayega yaaro charcha” (Making love can make you the subject of discussion for free..hmm)

5. People have told me that the following song has far deeper meaning attached to it. What a bunch of conspiracy theorists ! As far as I know, this song has been recommended as mandatory listening to apprentice locomotive mechanics of the Indian Railways for quite some time. From Andaz, and starring Anil Kapoor and Juhi Chawla, sample the lyrics and tell me if you disagree.

(Female) Main maal gaadi tu Dhakka lagaa…dhakka laga re dhakka laga

Garam ho gaya engine iska, dhakka deta jaaa..

(interlude)

Waqt hai kum aur lamba safar hai, tu raftaar badha de

Manzil par, humein pahucha de

4. Ever faced a situation where you wrote whatever fluff came to your mind in one of those Civic Sciences examinations in school because you didn’t remember anything that made even remote sense to the 10 mark-answer-in-brief question being asked, and yet scraped by in that exam? Here then, is the Hindi musical equivalent of that wrote-whatever-I-remembered-and-yet-passed kind of effort. From Muqabla (1993), starring Govinda and Karishma, no less. Also an excuse for doing Mass P. T. exercises whenever you go to a hill station – watch the video for a better understanding.

Dil tera hai deewana, aiyaiyo aiyaiyo

Mana ye maine maana, aiyaiyo aiyaiyo

Tu haseen…Main Jawaan..Hosh mujhko hai kaha

Aanaji hosh mein aana…aiyaiyo aiyaiyo Aiyyo

3. Ila Arun. Eponymous with raunchy and raspy, hoarse, moaning voices. Big self-professed fan I am. That is why one entry of an Ila Arun song will not do justice to her talent.

Be it “Masti ka alam aya hai, masti ko saath mein laya hai, masti mein kar le baatein..do do aaj” (from Auzaar: the only instance in an Indian film when the hero – Salman wore lesser clothes than the heroine- Shilpa Shetty) or “Haath mein botal, gale mein gulbandh bolo kaha gaye the” or the record breaking 3453 moaning sounds in one song “Nigodi kaisi jawani hai, baat sune na meri“. Ila Arun is unbeatable.

2. Mithun Da makes a re-entry in this list, cavorting with Rambha in what appears to be a top designed to resemble tutti frutti laden whipped cream from afar, in a song from the critically acclaimed Jallad (1993), with a song that goes like this.

Chinai Chun Chun..Chinai Chun Chun” (Ancient Cantonese script found on a stone in Ooty)

Kya kehti hai Chinai Chun Chun

Dil ki dhadkan Chinai Chun Chun

Kya kehti hai dil ki dhadkan, dilbar mere sun Chinai Chun Chun

Real catchy song this one. No, serious.

1. Allegedly written by a secret agent in the days of the cold war and still containing encrypted words that spawned the Transformers series, inspired a certain gentleman to write a potboiler on the bloodline of Christ and was used as an examination question for aspiring intelligence agents is a song that by and large went unnoticed in the 1990s. Innocuously going by the title of “LML Baba LML“, sung by Alisha Chinai with Anu Malik adding extra flavor, or should we say extra 512-bit encryption, the lyrics went something like this:

LML Baba LML, Hone de baba LML..Shaam Subah LML, Saato Din LML, Sunday to Monday LML, Monday to Sunday LML” (Alice sends Bob a message encrypted with her private key)

LML ? Kya hota hai LML” (Bob asks Alice for her private key)

Let Me Love Babe…Don’t feel shy Babe” (Alice hints that Bob should use his own key and should not feel shy about it)

“GTH Baba GTH, Hone de baba GTH..Shaam Subah GTH, Saato Din GTH, Sunday to Monday GTH, Monday to Sunday GTH” (Bob unlocks the message using his public key, saves the world from a dystopian future and rides off into the sunset with Alice)

That’s all folks, till the next time at least.

P. S. By no means an exhaustive list.

P. P. S. Feel free to write in with your comments on what your favorite lyrics are. Don’t feel shy.

Aaj ka ye episode….

Flop Show
Flop Show (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Honestly, I never found Ulta Pulta funny when I was a kid. For someone who still doesn’t understand politics even in his late 20s, a satire based on politics and the Indian economy would quite obviously have been too dense back then. But Flop Show was an entirely different matter altogether. I didn’t know his name back then, but for millions of Indians, Jaspal Bhatti will forever be remembered as the brains behind one of the best comedy series on national television.

Aaj ka ye blog post therefore, dear reader, is dedicated to a few gems that I will always fondly remember with more than a chuckle, from Flop Show.

1. Doctor’s watch Episode

Bhatti as the doctor performing a primary checkup on his marwari patient (Shauq), elicits a dog like yelp from the patient. And then with great horror, realizing that his father-in-law’s watch was left inside the patient’s body during the surgery, decides to perform another surgery to remove the watch. The last few seconds of the episode, when the location of the watch is finally disclosed, is outrageously funny.

2. Contractor Episode

BN Sharma plays a thief who scans the local papers and pinpoints a shoddily constructed housing society to his protege. One of the best moments in this episode occurs when the protege implores his boss to improve his snigger, “Ustad, hasna to seekh lo“. Hilarity ensues when the contractor whom Bhatti files a complaint against, gets a commendation from the police for helping capture the 2 thieves, when the shoddy wall falls on them while they are committing the theft.

3. Ph. D Episode

Bhatti tries to off load his problematic car on to one of his hapless Ph. D students. Watch how this student tries to persuade his father to buy the car for him. In another scene, Bhatti asks Vivek Shauq about his experiment in the laboratory, to which he retorts with a straight face “Sir, chai bana raha tha sir“. Brilliance.

4. Meeting Episode

This episode is my favorite for it has umpteen moments of pure hilarity. “Ek to apne desh ke choohe bade uneducated hai, VIP ke fileon ke pehchaante hi nahi“. Bhatti’s great attention to detail ensures a seating plan for the meeting that has red points, indicating gulab jamuns and blue points, indicating where samosas will be kept. That is when his secretary asks him, “Lekin Sir, meeting ka agenda kya hoga” to which he replies “Agenda to kal bhi dekh lenge, lekin mind it, samose kacche nahi hone chahiye.

All these episodes and more can be found at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIstUOqFthY&feature=BFa&list=PLC8CC6F179F598DAA

Do take a dekko and write in about your favorite moments from Flop Show.