Thursday, June 30, 2005

If you can dream it, you can do it

I dreamt it here.

So blog's gonna take a break till Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Just like that

Someone gave me a pink gerbera at work today.

"What's this for?" I asked, quite surprised.

"Just like that." Came the reply, punctuated with a smile.

I looked at the flower in my hand. It was the prettiest flower I'd ever held in my hands.

And suddenly, it felt like someone had given me a hug just when I really needed one. It totally made my day.

Once in a while, we all need a hug.

Or a pink gerbera.

Just like that.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The people we pick

No matter how strong or independent we believe ourselves to be, the people we choose to include in our lives can make or break us.

Saturday, June 25, 2005


When I was a teenage schoolgirl, I worshipped this 20-something female who lived in the neighbourhood. To me, she was 'The Goddess of All Things'. She looked fabulous, was really smart, dressed well, carried herself with amazing grace, and did all the right things. She was the perfect grown-up, and I would hang around her all the time, telling her every now and then HOW KHOOL I thought she was, and how much I wanted to be like her.

Today, I had the opportunity to see the other side. Here's the full story.

I woke up really early this morning as I had to go and volunteer at a fund-raising event organised by the Student Volunteer Corp. I was running late, my Filipino maid was cleaning the house, and my housemate was still asleep. I knocked on my housemate's door and bellowed, "Hey, I'm off, can you pay the maid once she's done?" My housemate mumbled something back. "She'll pay you." I told the maid, as I rushed for the door. The maid looked at me with astonished eyes and after struggling to express herself (her English is not very good) said, "So apter I pinis, I knock her?" I had no time to laugh. But I wanted to say, "Yes, you knock her, girl. You knock her out and do whatever you can to get your money, but I gotta run now!" (This actually has nothing to do with the rest of the post, but it was just very funny.)

So I reached the Youth Park and set up my henna stall. A large group of teenage schoolgirls was also volunteering at the event. A giggly bunch of them came to my stall and plonked themselves on the chairs around me.

"Are you the henna girl?" One of them said with a smile.

"Henna girl? Errr.. yeah, I suppose I'm the henna girl!"

"Can I get something done on my wrist?" One of them asked shyly.

"Sure! What design do you want?"

"Could you just write 'Linkin Park' on my wrist?"

"Err... Just write 'Linkin Park'? Ummm.... all right!"

As I wrote the words on her wrist, she said, "Ok, that is just SO KHOOL! You're just SO KHOOL! You're the first grown-up I've seen who can spell 'Linkin Park'! All the others spell it as 'Linking'! Can you imagine that???"

Ah well. I really had nothing to say.

"So where is your shop located?" Another one asked.

"What shop?"

"Your henna shop?"

"Oh, I don't have a henna shop. I just do it for fun, and once in a while for fund-raising."

"Really?? What do you do then?"

"I'm the editor of a children's magazine."

"Really??? That's just SO KHOOL!"

Another girl came along and asked hesitatingly, "Can I get henna done? But I don't have enough coupons, am down to my last 1-dollar one!"

"No worries. Come, take a seat." I offered.

"Ok, you just ROCK! Doesn't she?" She asked as she dropped the coupon into the sealed box. All heads nodded in unison.

"Are you a local Indian?" Another one asked. She was a local Indian.

"Nope, I'm an Indian from India."

"Oh! So you must know Hindi! And you must know Bollywood movies!"

"Yes, I do."

"So what do you think of Zayed Khan?"

"Zayed Khan? Well... I think he looks better in real life than in his movies."

The girl suddenly made a dash, almost upsetting my table. In a minute, she was back with two other breathless Indian girls.


"Oh my God NOOOOO! Really?????" The others gushed too.

"Yes, I have."

"Who else? Who else?" They chanted excitedly.

And I had no choice but to recount what the Grand Hyatt knows.

In a while, I had a raptured audience at the stall, who then proceeded to ask me everything else about my life. Every now and then, a new girl would join the group, and the whole cycle would be repeated. "Ok, you have to listen to this! She is an engineer, who works as an editor, and she's really smart 'cos she came here on this really KHOOL scholarship. And she does henna for fun and fund-raising, and she's seen like a million Bollywood actors in real life, and she knows how to spell 'Linkin Park'! And look at her earrings, they are just SO KHOOL, and so are her bangles. And don't you just love her nails? She's just SO KHOOL!"

The other stall holders were giving me very amused looks. I could not even tell the girls that it really wasn't "SO KHOOL" and that their "KHOOL idol" was actually embarrassed to bits about all that gushing.

But then I remembered my early teens.

And I finally knew what it felt like to be considered by teenage schoolgirls as 'The Goddess of All Things'.

Friday, June 24, 2005

The 'G' word

Sometimes, on the way back from work, I look out of the bus window and wonder, "What will I blog about today?" And panic strikes me that I've run out of blog content, and hence, thoughts. How horrifying.

But then everything turns out all right. Either I get a 'bloggable' thought during the journey. Or when I reach home and read the comments on my previous post, I get ideas and often, inspiration for my next post.

All this banter between Sahil and Soldier about gay shirts reminds me of the first time I encountered the 'G' word, and so I've decided to blog about it. (And oh, this will also be the first of the posts I had planned to write, inspired by Siddhu's post about his first day at college.)


Who is the most naive person you have ever known?

If I'm asked this question, I would answer, "Myself. In my first year in Singapore".

18th July 1998. I'd just landed in Singapore. I reached my hostel, and was greeted by this rather scary-looking guy sporting a ponytail. "Oye, freshie hai!" He yelled to his friend, and then strode towards me. Quite intimidated, I took a step back, and almost stumbled and fell.

"Hi, I'm XYZ. Don't be scared of me. 'Cos I'm gay." He grinned.

"Errr.... hi..." I stammered, rather taken aback.

The only "gay" I knew back then, was the "happy and gay" kind, and so I was extremely puzzled as to why this strange guy was making it a point to express to the hapless freshie that he was a happy person.

"I'm a happy person too!" I thought to myself, "But you don't see me walking up to complete strangers and going, 'Hi, I'm Sayesha. Don't be scared of me. I'm happy.'"

So I gave him a rather peculiar look before walking away.

And that was my first encounter with the other kind of gay.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

What a match!

Many many years ago, I bought a pair of green earrings from a roadside stall in India. I really adored them, but they matched with nothing I had. Finally, I gave up and convinced my parents that I needed to buy a dress that matched the earrings. I bought one. Everyone thought I was nuts to have bought a dress that cost 3500 rupees to match earrings that cost seven rupees.

Fast forward many many years later. Today.

I went to the beach for dinner. Saw this irresistibly cute little bitchy... errr... I mean beachy skirt going for a bargain. Bought it. But it does not go with anything I have.

Now I gotta buy a holiday that matches it.

Hopefully, this one.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Farewell. And by the way, you rock!

Every time there's a resignation at my workplace, a huge A-4 sized farewell card is circulated and everyone writes stuff on it about the resigning soul.

The things I write on those cards set me thinking. I highlight the very best things about the person. And all these things I write are genuine things I feel about the person. I praise the person and disclose all the qualities about him/her that inspired me. I even find small things I appreciate in people I don't like, and write it down on the card.

And it's the same with everyone. No one writes stuff like "Thanks for making my life hell when we were working on project X." or "I can't tell you how relieved I am that you're leaving!" or "Good riddance, man! Thanks for resigning!" or "Yeay! No more of you tomorrow onwards!"

It's always, "You liven up the office!" or "Will miss your bad jokes terribly!" or "Can't imagine the team without you!" or "Thanks for the great work in project Y" or "Project Z would never have been a success without you!" or "Thanks for helping me out when I was new." or "All the best for your new job."

And as I think about it, I realise something. That somehow, the things I write on the farewell cards are things I would probably never say in person. These kinda words are disclosed only when a person is leaving. I say that from personal experience too. Because of Dad's frequent transfers, I've had to say 'Goodbye' to a lot of people. And every time, I would come to know of good things they thought of me, just when I was leaving. And often, the stuff they wrote on farewell cards or said at the airport or train station came as real surprises.

Why is it that we always wait till the farewell before we tell people what we really feel about them? Do we end up saying all that's in our heart only because we know that we're not going to see the person again? If so, why are we scared of facing these people after telling them what we feel?

Why does the good stuff have to wait till the farewell?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Un-bear-able day!

I had a sucky day at work today. It's a rare occurrence, but when it happens, I tell myself to breathe easy and think of the good things about my work, such as the letters I get from kids. They are the best things about my job, and they can turn a horrible day into a wonderful one, just by causing me to break into a smile, and often, hideous laughter, getting me curious stares from colleagues.

For example, check this one out:

"Dear editor, polar bears are left-handed."

The brevity of the letter over-rode the gravity of the matter, and I managed to sneak in a chuckle before googling the extremely weird statement. Well, turns out, according to Google, the young bloke was right!

And I wondered -- which moron had the time to go and discover that polar bears are left-handed (or left-pawed or whatever)?

And more importantly, what on earth can be the consequences of a polar bear being left-handed?

Monday, June 20, 2005

Strip co-ed

On saturday, I went with two friends to Strip co-ed. Going by the sound of it, and especially for those who have started to believe that sleazy places in Singapore are Sayesha's weekend haunts, let me clarify. It's not as bad as it sounds. Strip co-ed is actually a unisex concept salon located on Orchard Road, and we had gone there for a pedicure.

Well, I had never gotten a professional pedicure done before, so I was quite enjoying myself in the comfort of the huge bean bag, with my feet soaking in the warm water. However, what startled me was when the salon owner came over to us and handed us copies of FHM! When she saw the puzzled look on my face, she said, "Oh! We just converted this outlet from a 'guys only' to a unisex one. We haven't had time to buy any girly magazines yet!" So the three puzzled gals, having nothing better to do, picked up an FHM each, and flicked through pages of utter nonsense as the pedicurists pedicured away.

My pedicurist was a total lost soul. As she filed my nails, she said something that I did not understand. Seeing the questioning look on my face, she said, "Sorry, ah! My English no good!" Trying to be funny, I said, "That's all right, my Chinese also no good! Ha ha ha!" She obviously wasn't amused.

Giving me a polite nervous smile, she turned to the guy who was pedicuring my friend's foot and said something in Chinese. The guy said, "My colleague here says, 'If it hurts, please let her know." I said, "Don't worry about it. If it hurts, I'll scream really loudly." The moron turned to her and did a word-to-word translation, and the poor girl gave me such a terrified look that I actually pitied her for having me as a client. "Stop cracking bad jokes with strangers, Sayesha, and go back to looking at the busty women in the magazine!" I sternly reprimanded myself.

When we stepped out, we saw this huge poster for 'Boyzillian', which is the guys' version of a Brazillian. Apparently, it's the new 'in thing'! Ouch! Even the thought of a Brazillian or a Boyzillian makes me grimace. Would you get one done??

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The K-bar experience

A friend and I decided to go sing at a Karaoke bar today, something we'd been wanting to do for a long time. Now Singapore's full of K-bars, but I had two conditions -- it should be a non-sleazy one, and should have a good collection of Hindi songs. She called up a few K-bars, and we chose the one that sounded not only non-sleazy but also promised a large selection of Hindi songs.

Well, turns out, their so-called "large selection of Hindi songs" made me want to tear the place apart brick by brick. The songs were pathetic imitations of the originals, sung by people who do not even know Hindi, and the videos were really seedy ones with secondary school students dressed up in saris and kurtas, and behaving funny. The boys were looking at the girls in a really shady manner, and the girls were acting all coy in a creepy sorta way. Yikes. (Wonder if their parents know they're in such videos!) What's more, the lyrics were not only horrendously incorrect but badly spelt too!

Here's how I sounded like as I tried to sing using the lyrics off the screen:

"Arre re arre ye kya hua, koi na bey... huh?? What?? Bey? Errrm... Arre re arre banda... huh?? Banda?? Ban ja apsana... what?? Apsana??"

By the time the four hours in the torture chamber were up, I had made up my mind to buy my own Karaoke system asap.

I hate it when Hindi songs are mutilated like this. As if the senseless remixes are not enough already.

Hate it hate it hate it. Aaarghhh!

Friday, June 17, 2005

The man. The scene. The dialogue.

One of the most amazing dialogues I have ever heard was in the movie Tum Bin ("Without you"). I know a lot of people who haven't even heard of the movie, but there are parts in it that have dragged me into deep thoughts long after my nth screening!

Here's the scene:

Guy offers to stay in the hospital and look after the girl's dead fiance's father. Strong, self-respecting and self-reliant girl declines with a curt "Tum jao, Shekhar. Jab sahare ki zaroorat hogi tab main maang loongi." ("You can leave, Shekhar. If I need your support, I will ask for it.")

Guy leaves.

A minute later, he is back with a cup of coffee for the surprised girl. He hands her the cup and says, "Jaanta hoon aapko sahare ki zarootat nahin hai. Main toh sirf saath dene aaya hoon!"
("I know you don't need support. I'm here only to give you company.")

The way the character Shekhar breezes through this scene -- whoa! It gives me goosebumps every time I watch it.

The scene is the essence of how a guy should treat a new age independent woman.

Why don't the newer movies have such characters, scenes and dialogues anymore?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Girls' night out

I hang out mostly in an all-guys group.

But sometimes, there's nothing quite like a girls' night out.

A couple of days ago, Starbreez and I planned to go on a midnight shopping spree at Mustafa Shopping Centre. She said she would pick me up at midnight, and the delightfully punctual girl was there at my doorstep exactly at midnight.

Hours of senseless shopping. Bollywood DVDs. Make-up. Bangles. How girly can you get? Finally, in the wee hours of the morning, we headed home, feeling really happy. The sense of achievement we had gave us a high.

In India, I woudn't even dream of two girls going on a post-midnight shopping spree by themselves. Which just makes me so sad.

Yes, I do grumble about Singapore now and then, proudly saying things like "Hamaare India mein toh aise nahin hota hai!" ("In India, it's not like this!")

But once in a while, I do take time off to be grateful for my life in Singapore.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Sayesha on MC

A friend once said of people like us who live in a foreign land, away from family:

"It's only when you fall sick that you realise how alone you are."


But I believe it works in two ways.

When you fall sick, you also see how much everyone around you cares.

I am sick today. Also a bit homesick. And at the same time, overwhelmed by how much people care.

A beautiful song from the movie 'Refugee' comes to mind. Words that have been my source of courage many a times.

"Jo gharon ko chhor ke hain chale...
Unhe kya daraayenge faasle..."

(Roughly translated as "Distances do not scare the traveller who has chosen to leave home.")

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


I finally got the letter of acceptance for a Master's degree course in Mass Communication at NTU.

Though the application process is not rocket science, I was actually apprehensive whether I would get acceptance or not. I could imagine them looking at my application and going, "Pehla degree toh barbaad kar diya, ab kis muh se doosra lene aa gayi?" ("After wasting one degree, she has the cheek to come back for another?")

So I was very excited to see the letter. Early this morning, I took half a day off work, and made my way back to my alma mater for the registration. I had to literally travel across the country to reach NTU. After the long bus-train-bus journey, I was finally there. Many things had changed, and many were still the same. And suddenly, in one massive rush, everything came back to me.

Moments from seven years ago trickled back. The huge campus where buses transported you from one hostel to another. The lecture theatres and tutorial rooms. The roof walkways sprinkled with the pretty bougainvillea plants. Some familiar faces. The cleaning lady who used to greet me in Chinese early in the morning before my classes. I would answer her greeting in English, and she would not understand a word. I would nod, and she would nod back, as if both of us understood what the other had said. The library where we caught many a nap, trying to study the maha-boring engineering textbooks. Canteen A where we used to gather for a short break from studies and end up adda-maroing for hours.

It was almost exhausting, as the memories flooded me in a huge rush. I had to literally go and wash my face. It was that overwhelming.

I have to admit that my four years there have pretty much made me the person I am today. From vulnerable to indifferent to the present me. NTU saw me through these transitions till I really discovered myself.

I am excited today. On some levels, I think I probably never really counted my engineering degree as part of my academic qualifications. So on some levels, my academic qualifications ended at my A levels. Now I feel as if finally, I have the opportunity to obtain university education.

Feels really great.

House Grouse

This is the most beautiful house I have ever seen.

Ahem, I live in it.

It's time for me to move out, but I refuse to do it. My housemates are not in the country anymore. One's caught in the US-MBA web, and the other's company believes in permanently keeping her away from the country. So there's Sayesha, stuck with a beautiful house but no one to share the high rent and bills with. As my
frantic, frustrating, futile and fruitless hunt for a housemate continues, I am reminded of something related and interesting that happened at work some time back.

A colleague asked me, "So whom do you live with?"

"My housemates."

"Really?? You mean you have more than one???"

"Yeah, I have two."

"You have two?????"

"Errr... yeah. What's wrong with having two housemates?"

"Wow. You can afford two??!! Amazing."

"Afford? What do you mean 'afford'? They share the rent and bills."

"They do???? Oh my god! How much do you pay them?"

"Pay them? I don't pay my housemates! Why would I pay them for anything? They live in the house with me!"

Her thought bubble - "She's crazy or what?!"

My thought bubble - "She's crazy or what?!"

Two minutes later, we figured it out.

She had heard "housemates" as "house maids".

Sunday, June 12, 2005

I cook, you eat

Had an 'I cook, you eat' party on Saturday night. The 'I cook, you eat' party is a sinister concept I came up with, because of its multi-dimensional nature.

1. It is a good way to catch up with friends. Home-cooked Indian food and a screening of 'Andaz Apna Apna' is something no guy would say no to.
2. There's really no catch, so it makes my friends very relieved. I cook. You eat. It's as simple as that.
3. It ensures that they stay outta my kitchen. I hate kitchen help from guests.
4. It is a good reason to scrub the house clean.
5. I get a good workout.

Sinister, eh?

After the movie and dinner, we had a karaoke singing session, complete with visuals. Considering that I don't actually own a karaoke system, here's what I did. Played the MP3s at a low volume, and opened up a window with the lyrics on the Internet. Increased the font size so everyone could read it, and used the mouse to highlight the words. And we sang. Talk about innovation!

While we're on the subject of innovation, I had also made low-cal gulabjamuns. But I still have to figure out the answer to a question one of the guys (who had incidentally OD'ed on them) asked me, "So how many of these are equivalent to one regular gulab jamun?" Profound. Very profound.

Around midnight, we took a nice little stroll to the beach. Sat on this huge rocky structure with the waves lapping near our feet, in the dim lights of faraway ships, and chatted away. Some of them left about an hour later, after which the renowed band 'Three Mellus and Sayesha on the Rocks' had another scintillating musical session till about three in the morning.

Finally, here's a picture of me a friend drew when I sent him the invite.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Saw that?

I was going through a folder of random photos when I discovered this! I took this photo last year at the Underwater World at Sentosa island.

I was walking along the travellator under the
83-metre long oceanarium, without a care in the world, when I happened to look up and almost fell flat on the travellator with shock! This lipstick-wearin' eerie creature was lookin' at me through the glass roof! And what's with the disapproving expression, dude??

It took me a while to realise that it was a fish and not a freakin' ghost or alien trapped in the oceanarium! Could be because
I'd never seen both eyes of a fish on the same plane before!

Somehow, sense prevailed and I took this shot so I could go back and find out what creature it was.
Found out later that it is called a sawfish.

Freakin' scary, huh?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Whom do you wanna be like?

"So whom do you want to be like?"

Someone asked me when I was a kid. I went through all the famous personalities in my head, but could not decide on a single person I wanted to be like.

About twenty years later, a.k.a today, I realised that the person you want to be like, does not have to be a famous personality. It can be someone you bump into on the roads or someone you see every day of your life.

Today, I scheduled a meeting with the
teacher I'd mentioned in one of my earlier posts. The subject he teaches is new to me, and since I am going to be working on a book on it, I figured he'd be the best person to get some background information and pointers from.

So I emailed him and fixed up a meeting. Went down to his school, spent a good two hours talking to him. I also got to see the models his students had made in the workshops. Seeing him view the subject as an art rather than as a science, I suddenly felt a sense of extreme excitement about this new project.

He showed me around his office, his lab and his workshop. As I watched him interact with his colleagues and students, I saw how much they adored and respected him. And at that point, all I wanted to do was to be like him. What an amazing person. How happy, how excited, how positive about life.

In my job, I meet scores of teachers who just want to complain about how busy, stressful and miserable their lives are. Not this guy. No hint of a complaint from him. Inspite of teaching at a not-so-rich school (he even showed me broken chairs and said, "Look, broken chairs!"), he told me how much he loved the place and the happiness teaching there gave him.

As we talked, I made two amazing discoveries about him.

Discovery #1
His grandparents are Indian, and he was telling me how great it felt when he visited some relatives in India a couple of years ago. "I love India. I want to visit India again." He said. "And also, all the Aishwarya Rais are there!"

Discovery #2 (This one totally made my day!)
He also graduated as an engineer in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, but chose to get into what he loved.

Woohoo! :D

Looks like I am one step closer to being like him, doesn't it?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Grand Hyatt knows what I did last summer

Woke up at 4:30 am today because I had to report at the Grand Hyatt for a major company event at 6 am! Which is why I had to quickly wrap up last night's celebration of Sinnerman getting his US visa. And how could the night be complete without more jabs on my hand by Soldier? Bas bahut ho gaya, need to put kala teeka on my hand already.

So I was at the Grand Hyatt at that unearthly hour, helping to set up stuff for the event. Dressed in black formals, hair neatly disciplined in place, I played the part of the serious, responsible editor. MC'ed the talks by various authors, entertained queries from teachers and proudly discussed the best-selling book I co-wrote, that has sold more than 22000 copies. And there I was -- so corporate, so formal.

And then it struck me.

If the Grand Hyatt was a human, it would have spoken to me.

It would have said, "Errr... you look familiar. Aren't you the same girl who...?" And I would have turned red and slunk away as fast as my formal black shoes would have carried me.

Flashback May 2004

Ok fine, I admit I was there! Along with thousands of other screaming fans. Ok, maybe I didn't scream so much. But I did camp outside the Grand Hyatt for three days, to meet the Bollywood stars who had come down to Singapore for the IIFA awards last year.

If my day started at the Grand Hyatt today at 6 am, my day would end at 6 am then, as I refused to budge from the hotel entrance till all the stars had returned after their heavy partying sessions. It was quite a crazy thing to do. And yes, I'll probably never do it again if given the chance.

But when I made a list of all those I managed to meet/see, it was all worth it. I had seen almost all of Bollywood. And because the crowd was not only made up of Indians, but Chinese and Malays as well, many stars were not recognised. It gave me such a high when people in the crowd started coming to me to ask who it was when they couldn't recognise some of the stars. I guess they knew I knew my stuff 'cos I was pretty much the first to call out their names when they appeared.

Here's the list I use to live the moments again:

Shah Rukh Khan - He was at the next table from me, having lunch with Karan Johar and Jaya Bachchan. I still remember his steely eyes as he said to me, "I'll give you three seconds to take my photo. Three seconds. Okay?"

Karan Johar - Saw him twice -- once when he stepped out of the car and waved, and once as mentioned above. How I love his work. You go, guy!

Jaya Bachchan - As mentioned above. Boy, she's the most elegant lady Bollywood has ever produced.

Hrithik Roshan - Great looks. Great attitude. And oh, did I mention great looks?

Amitabh Bachchan - I don't like him too much but you gotta admit the man has a presence you can't ignore.

Abhishek Bachchan - Very very likeable.

Dino Morea - I literally bumped into him on the street. He's so tall that my head actually rammed into his chest. When I looked up, I was speechless! Was it really Dino? He apologised for not having the time to pose for a picture. Then he walked off, turned back and silently mouthed 'I'm sorry' again. Incredibly sweet of him to do that.

Preity Zinta - Was shopping in disguise, and suddenly ran into the hotel lobby, shocking even the security guards. I only recognised her when she took her cap off.

Nikhil Advani - Spotted him shopping for CDs at HMV. Stalked him for almost half an hour 'cos I wanted his autograph but could not remember his name. When I gave up and started walking back, I remembered the name. Could not trace him back though.

Anil Kapoor - Ok is he ever going to grow old or what??

Fardeen Khan - Hopped his way back into the hotel on crutches after the charity football match.

Saif Ali Khan - Hopped his way back into the hotel on crutches after the charity football match.

Sanjay Dutt - Smoked and smoked outside the lobby for at least half an hour.

Boman Irani
- Spoke to us for a while. He actually had time to ask me which I found funnier -- Main Hoon Na or Munnabhai.

Javed Akhtar & Shabana Azmi
- I requested them to come forward and pose for me. They did!

Ritesh Deshmukh - Was standing there looking rather sad 'cos no one recognised him. Except me of course. When I screamed "Ritesh!" his face lighted up. And everyone else started asking, "Who's Ritesh? Which movie is he in?"

Brett Lee - Apparently, he's a great Bollywood fan!

Amrish Puri - He is SO Mogambo!

Esha Deol - Not pretty. Coupled with loads of bad attitude.

Kareena - Great figure. Bad attitude.

Bobby Deol - Cute. Gentlemanly. Quiet.

Vivek Oberoi - Friendly. Not so good-looking though.

Feroz Khan - Bald. Tall. Majestic. 50-year-old women were screaming "We still find you sexy!"

Madhavan - His fingertip touched mine before the moronic security guard pushed the crowd away!

Arshad Warsi - Came back to hotel at 4 am. Drunk. Did a little dance for us when he saw us waiting at that hour.

Simi Garewal
- Pure. White. Elegant. Beautiful.

Zayed Khan
- Tall. And so much better looking in real life than on screen.

Prem Chopra - Was lunching at the Scotts Road food court with two henchmen when I asked him if I could have a photo with him. He happily obliged.

Also featured - Sharad Kapoor, Shoma Anand, Kiran Juneja, Satish Kaushik, Yash Johar, Dilip Kumar, Saira Banu, Yash Tonk, Shammi Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar, Rakesh Roshan and Suresh Oberoi

1. Screaming fan outside the Grand Hyatt
2. Serious-faced editor and author inside the Grand Hyatt

Yupp, that's me. Both of 'em.

But one thing was common in the two personas.

In both instances, people came to ask me questions about stuff I knew like the back of my hand.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Old flame

Photos from the last performance of 9Lives

Addy the guitarist (subject of at least three of my blog posts) with lead singer Abby

Sinnerman's guitar -- one of the last places where the band members' names will be seen together (We got invited backstage for the guitar-signing ceremony! Woohoo!)

And this -- another masterpiece of a shot by Sinnerman

When he mailed this photo to me, I replied, "Beautiful. Bloggable."

His reply was, "Yes, blog on it and let's see what the angulimaal Virdi says now."

Angulimaal Virdi!!! Hahahahahahahahahahahhahahaha! That was a brilliant one!

Oops, sorry yaar Virdi, don't take offence, but this was too funny for me to not post! :)

Ok somebody stop me now. I cannot stop laughing.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


When you suddenly discover that you're having the same conversation with a person over and over again, is it time to call it quits?

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Unexpected questions at unlikely places

I hate burger places. (Except MOS burger -- the spicy MOS cheeseburger is to die for!) But I digress.

Yeah, so I hate burger places. Only if I've absolutely no choice at all, and am about to die of starvation, will I go to McDonald's or Burger King. And once I enter, I don't know what to eat. Choosing a burger is like many of the important decisions in life. Everything is crappy, what do you pick?

So I quickly pick the least crappy thing, and stick to my decision without thinking further. All I want to do is for them to quickly take my order and give me the damn burger before I change my mind and pick starvation over burger.

But then even that's not as easy as it sounds. Why is it that sometimes someone says the most unexpected of things at the most unlikely of places, leaving you utterly speechless?

Once I went to Burger King. The girl at the counter cheerfully asked, "And how are you feeling today, Ma'am?"

I was so shocked at the lack of the customary "Welcome-to-Burger-King-May-I-have-your-order-please?" that I gaped at her for a while, not knowing what to say.

I didn't think I had quite the answer she was looking for.

Hmmm... let's see how it sounds:

She - "And how are you feeling today, Ma'am?"
Me - "Whopper meal."

Nope, doesn't quite sound right.

So I said, "Errr... never mind." to the very surprised girl and wandered off.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Guilty as charged

Last week, my managing editor suggested that I move into a new cubicle. I think deep inside, he was freaking out about my Toxic Cubicle theory and wanted to change the feng shui of the place. It wasn't easy to get me to move ass from the cubicle I had occupied for two and a half years, but eventually I gave in and did.

As I was clearing stuff I had worked on over the past few years, I came across an old carton full of a stack of books. I took the books out. And made a discovery. There, lying at the bottom of the carton was a thick stack of papers. About 30 copies of the same document. I felt my heart skip a beat.

Flashback December 2002

It was my first week at work. I had to make a copy of a page from a book. Nothing confidential, just some reference information on bryophyllum. I wanted to scale it down to 85% of the original size. Instead of keying in the percentage on the touch pad, I realised to my horror that I had keyed in 85 on the main keypad.

As the machine started hurriedly churning out 85 copies, I panicked. It was my first time using that photocopier, and by the time I had figured out how to stop the violent paper-puking, the machine had made at least 30 copies.

The feeling of immense guilt I had, as I thought of the wasted paper (and then the trees) was absolutely crushing. As a scared fresh graduate on her first real job, I did not dare to tell anyone about it. And I decided to ged rid of the incriminating evidence. I could not throw the sheets away, of course. That would have made me feel more guilty about wasting the blank sides of the sheets!

So I hid them at the bottom of a carton, covered it with books and pushed it under my desk, hoping that either the sheets would miraculously disappear or that I would discover them only when I had forgotten the entire incident. Well, looks like I hadn't.

The skeletons under your desk will always come back to haunt you.


A couple of days ago, I came across something that had the most potential I have ever seen in anything.

It was a huge empty shoe rack.

I get goosebumps just thinking of the endless possibilities it presented.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

A teacher who never taught me, taught me something today.

I attended a seminar on education at the National Institute of Education today. The first two talks almost killed me (what on earth was I doing listening to 'A case study on international, non-government and government schools in Brunei' anyway???).

But the last talk was special. I met someone whom I shall refer to as 'Sayesha's inspiration of the day'. The speaker was a teacher who teaches Design & Technology to secondary school students. Short in stature and boyish-nerdy in looks, this speaker not only woke me up, but he effortlessly wooed the audience. With pure passion. As he presented his case, it was more than evident how passionate he was about his job, and how much satisfaction teaching gave him. The way his face lighted up as he showed us his students' work was amazing. And just like that, sitting there and listening to him, I felt a sense of renewal within myself. All I wanted to do was absorb some of his passion and add it to mine.

I am very passionate about my job, yes. But sometimes, in the daily grind, I feel like I'm starting to lose it. And then I panic and I recover quickly, but I wonder, 'Did I lose some of the passion during the transition? I hope not!'

All of us do (or at least want to do) what we like. But once in a while, we need a little help in continuing to like it.

I hope I continue to meet such people who renew my passion for my job and my hobbies.