Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Sweet Sixteen Misadventure

Silly crimes you say?? Eh... 

Well, out of all the silly crimes committed, this one dumb act has a special place in my heart. So dumb, that I just 
can't forget it... Gawd!!! Where is the confession box?? 

Introducing the two partners in crime (and keeping my fingers crossed that our parents don't end up reading this post) -

Keeping the font color as fuchsia to get you into the school-girly mood, let's rewind to January 9th, 2002. 

It was Arpita's 16th birthday. Sweet Sixteen they call it... And like most girls, Arpita wanted to do something SPECIAL on this day. 

Arpita and Jas were staying away from their parents in my hometown Silchar, where they were attending high school with me. So, they didn't have a supervising authority and I mostly took the advantage of the trust that my parents had on them winking.

Silchar, 12 years back, hardly had any form of entertainment like big cities. The only form of entertainment was a cinema hall called Devdoot, which occasionally played some good movies. And it didn't play several shows like multiplex theaters do. There were just 3 shows - Morning, Matinee and Evening. So, on her birthday we decided to go for a movie show, followed by lunch at a good restaurant. See... Innocent enough?? 

But it was a Wednesday and there was no way my parents would have allowed me to bunk school. So we hatched a plan and according to that, the previous day I smuggled some casual wear and passed it to Arpita in school.

On THE day, we boarded the school bus, but soon got off after 2-3 stops. It was our senior year and no one questioned us when we did so. We took a rickshaw to Jas and Arpita's apartment and changed into casuals for our Girls Day Out... 

We were on 16th heaven!!! 

Both the matinee and evening shows were out of scope, since the school bus dropped us back home at 4:00 p.m. everyday. So the most feasible plan was - 
  1. Morning show of Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum (or whichever movie was playing) at Devdoot. 
  2. Followed by some junk food lunch.
  3. Back to Arpita-Jas's place for changing back to school uniform.
  4. Back home from school by 4 p.m. like the good girl I am. winking
We reached Devdoot by 9 a.m. When it came to booking movie tickets, all three of us were novices. From the banner, we could guess that it was indeed K3G that was playing. So we went ahead and told the man at the counter that we wanted to buy 3 tickets for the 'morning show'. He gave us a dirty look while giving us the tickets. We didn't pay much attention to his reaction. We were extremely proud of our escapade and nothing could deter our enthusiasm at that moment.

There was still an hour to go before the show, so we passed time around the theater having fuchka (Pani Puri) and checking out fashion accessories at a nearby market. We were back at the theater entrance 10 minutes before the show. 

Here we again started getting glances from other men who had come for the show; so much that it was making us feel uncomfortable standing there. Yes, it was unlikely for young girls of that small town to come for movies in a theater without parents. But we were three and we thought, there was nothing wrong in watching a movie, c'mon!!!

When we were almost about to enter the hall, a man came forward and asked us if we were waiting for the 'morning show', to which we said 'Yes'. Then he asked - "Do you know which movie is playing??" Nonchalantly and in unison, we replied - 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum'. And that's when he dropped the Bomb! He said - "They only play adult movies during the morning show. You can come back at Matinee for the movie you wanted to watch..."

I can't explain the expression that was on our faces when he said that to us. But that did explain the expression on the faces of all the men who had come for an adult movie and found three young girls there as accompaniment.

We left the theater in a very calm and composed manner - as if nothing had happened. As soon as we were out of their sight, we burst out laughing rolling on the floorKabhi Khushi, Kabhi Ghum indeed... It would have been the best 'Coming of Age' surprise for Arpita had that man not revealed the secret.

We spent the time buying nail polishes and lipsticks. Dove had recently launched a new deodorant line and the Dove Nutrium soap. But at that age, that was luxurious buy and we could only sighday dreaming... Then, we had pizza at one of the junk food joint, followed by ice creams. By 2 p.m. we were back at their apartment - still laughing on our misadventure. We made the birthday girl cut the birthday cake, smeared her with the icing and wished we had a camera to capture the moment. By 4 p.m., I was back home, innocently dressed up in my school uniform. For an entire week, my parents kept wondering about my occasional feats of laughter.day dreaming

It's almost 12 years since that day.don't use fuchsia font color any more. School uniforms have changed to corporate formals. Nail polish, lipsticks, soaps and Dove deodorants are more necessities than luxuries. We give a 100 calorie-conscious-thoughts before having a pizza or an ice cream. I do own a big camera now. And to speak about my parents - these days they wonder more about when I'm going to get married...
But even today, we thank that good man from the bottom of our still-innocent-hearts. If not for him, we would have witnessed a real 'Dirty Picture' even before Vidya Balan acted in one tongue

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The LinkedIn Proposal

On Friday June 7, 2013 I suddenly decided to pay a visit to my LinkedIn account after almost one and a half year. I'm a really lazy person. So when I got into a comfort zone (read Job), I decided to stick there (so far). Then one day, out of sheer instinct and boredom, I decided to update my profile and accept the 200+ connection requests that had been lying pending. Let me describe what followed via a timeline. So here goes - 

8:28 AM: I boarded my usual Thane starting local onward to CST and started accepting the connection requests. Most were from people from reputed organization – some known, some unknown. But as it was LinkedIn where the purpose is to make professional connection, I never gave a ‘careful’ thought as we give before accepting friend requests on other social networking sites. 

(In a way, it’s a lot like Indiblogger where you hardly know anyone personally, still there is a mutual trust based on professionalism and the common passion for writing.)

8:58 AM: The train reached Dadar and by that time I had finished accepting all the connections.

9:06 AM: Right after passing Byculla, I got this mail from a guy from a reputed IT firm of Pune (Since I have nothing against the Company, I prefer not to reveal its name) –

My eyebrows started rising as I passed from the 2nd to the 3rd line, and by the time I had finished reading the small yet insolent proposal, I was fuming. Had it been on Facebook or the once-upon-a-time Orkut, I would have just ignored it. On LinkedIn – I just couldn’t. It had been just 8-10 minutes since I had accepted his connection and there he was proposing to me, quite probably because we shared the same surname.

9:12 AM: I reached CST with a determination to get back at this unwanted and unprofessional Ashiq. How dare he misuse a professional network??!!

My attention span to my regular work at office was highly disrupted that day.  As Facebook-worms we are, the screenshot of the mail was uploaded on FB before midday. Friends reacted - some found this hilariously ‘epic’, whereas others felt outraged.

5:00 PM: I finally replied to him. Again, since it was LinkedIn, I tried to be as much polite to him as possible. This is a screenshot of the FB post -

10:00 PM: I got a reply from this guy saying "Expression can be done anywhere if felt from heart". Ignoring his poor usage of English, I thought of asking him if his heartfelt expressions are automatically generated by just seeing a girl's profile pic; or by knowing that the girl has the same surname. If that be the case, you can easily assume how many Bengali/Nandi girls he would have tried his luck on, before me. Man! He is an insult to my Nandi clan and I feel so damn ashamed of him.

But this time I decided to ignore the message as I wasn't interested in a conversation with him; or rather I was afraid I will lose my sarcastic demeanor and start abusing him. So I removed him from my connection and decided to forget the issue.

Sunday, June 9, 2013, Post Midnight: The comments were flooding by now and some friends even shared the post, determined to find this guy.

2:00 AM: I was contacted by a friend of mine saying he found this guy on FB. Bingo!  My friend had messaged this guy on FB asking if he had proposed someone on LinkedIn 
(Ouch! Wrong Move). And he told him - If that was him, he wouldn't be surprised if the rejection to his proposal lands up on his wall within few days. Now, I don't know if there was anything more in their conversation, but shortly afterwards, Mr. Now-Infamous-Nandi deleted/deactivated his FB profile. Quite simultaneously he sent me another mail on LinkedIn saying "It was mistake to add u in my friend list. Try to give value to person".

  1. First and foremost it reminded me of a good old saying - "Ulta Chor Kotwal ko daatein"...Who does not have the basic values - was it me or him?
  2. No one gets such 'Free ka Publicity' for such an Ill-English-Proposal. Show some gratitude Dude! :P
  3. LinkedIn - as I have been repeating throughout - is a professional network. It does not have 'friend list'. If anyone thinks they are making 'friends' by adding LinkedIn connections, they are hugely mistaken. And even if you consider them 'friends', do maintain the professionalism.
  4. Well, sometimes we got to tell such coward guys - "Wrong Girl this time..."

P.S. No, I haven't abused him back yet.