Nov 18, 2015

767. I think Zoya loves me

Right from my college days, I have mastered the art of window shopping. Back in the year 2001, making a visit to Chennai would always involve a Saturday spent in Spencer's Mall. I and my friends would roam around Spencers mall the whole day as though we were gonna buy the whole mall. We would have just Rs 50 bucks in our pockets.

Our usual stop would be  "Music World", where we will stop at the head phone station and listen to Mambo number 5 and It wasn't me.  We would try throwing attitude with our non sync moves. No one would notice us. After trying to garner attention for at least 30 minutes, we would finally move out of the shop when the store attendant starts noticing us.

We would then move to Landmark and spend some quality time there. Finally we would buy the Rs 5 cone ice cream from food world and sit at the entrance and lick the ice-cream and leave the place in the evening. I was the unofficial king of window shopping.

For many years, my prowess with window shopping made me an expert in the field. I exactly knew the product can be found in the third rack in any shop in a mall. My friends would ask my advice before they hit any store. This made me an instant hit among my lady friends because they were under the impression that I shop at expensive clothing and high end luxury brand outlets on a regular basis.

Little did they know that the various Ray Ban glasses that I wear every week were brought at the price "3 for Rs 100 from Burma Bazaar".

This year, NAC jewelry stores has launched their Online Jewelry shop " Stylori"[link]. Priya Anand and Parineeti Chopra launched the store and that's how I got to know about this shop. Little did Stylori realize that a master "window shopper" like me would eventually become an expert in "Online window shopping too".

I would visit the site and just spend hours and hour memorizing the ear rings and diamond studs in the pages. I have done this with many shopping sites. But with Stylori, I would be often tempted to buy because they provide amazing coupon codes. Their 1-day shipping strategy makes the customer to get their hands on the jewelry in just 24 hours.

Finally one day, I decided to buy one ear ring from the "Grand" collection at Stylori. So I finally settled for these three. But all three ear rings were more than Rs 40,000/- I checked my online bank account and found out that I needed Rs 30,000/- more to buy these ear rings.

Then I took my daughter's piggy bank and without her knowledge broke it and found Rs 245/- in it. I still fell short of around 30 grand. I was almost in tears. I did not know what to do. That is when I decided to initiate a conversation with Zoya. Zoya is the customer care expert at Stylori.

I told her that I liked their website and she said Thank you for that. I was not sure if I could ask her to reduce the price by 30000 bucks. When I was still contemplating, Zoya said " If you need any assistance please feel free to contact".

I am still unclear why she would make that offer to me. I am a complete stranger to her. Why did she make an offer like that to me? Does she know that I am already married? If so, why would she tell me that she can give any assistance? Does that mean, that she is in love with me?

Should I ask her to give me that ear ring for Rs 10,000 bucks? I am confused. I don't want to give her any hopes. At the same time, my blogger friends from Chennai Blogger Club have offered to help me by giving me Rs 30000 to buy an ear ring from the Grand collection. So even if Zoya does not help me, my friends from CBC would help me. 
Zoya! If you are reading this, please forget me. I am married. I know it will be tough for you; but you have to forget me and move on in life.

- Chronicwriter

Nov 6, 2015

766. The heartbreaking story behind my nail biting habit

Image source
Last weekend I met my college friends for coffee. We were meeting after a long time. They were both into nail art. They were proudly displaying their nails and their neat fingers and they were lovely. I had my hands in my pocket all the time. That meet was a reminder for me not to bite my nails.

Some habits never die. My granny would say "Chriz! Don't bite your nails". My mom would say the same thing. My class teachers in primary school has hit be on my knuckles with a wooden ruler for biting my nails. Nothing stopped me from biting my nails.

When my girlfriend Renu turned down my love proposal when we were in 8th standard, the reason she threw at my face was "Chriz, you bite your nails. A person who bites his nails will not be committed in life". She had one reason or the other that she slapped me with, every year I proposed my love to her. The reason she gave when we were in class 8 is still fresh in my memory.

None of these stopped me from biting my nails. Yes, I have a fancy nail cutter. I use that once in a while. But I do not know how my hand finds its way into my mouth and even before I could notice, the teeth would have bitten off the nails from all my fingers.

There have been times when my teeth have bitten some portion of the skin on my fingers. They are painful times of my life. If people ask me "Have you experienced pain in life? I could of course give that as an answer". That answer cost me a job in one of the job interviews. (Namakku naakkula sani)

All bad habits have a dark reason hidden in some part of history. My nail biting habit also has a historical reason for its intrusion into my life. The incident happened in the year 1988. I was 6 years old ans was studying in 2nd standard. Renu was my bench mate and I was in love with her. My childhood nemesis Shabir who was also in love with Renu was also my bench mate. We would do different antiques to win Renu's attention.

Renu loved people who could play the drums. During school days, our wooden benches were the drums and our fingers were the drum sticks. Shabir and I were good in making rhythm sounds on the wooden desks and we would imagine ourselves to be Tabla exponents when we make sound on the benches. In order to add tone to our rhythmic patterns, we grew our finger nails. 

I had long nails, which I concealed from the teachers with great difficulty. You can't conceal long nails and pregnancy for a long time. But I was successful in concealing my long nails for around 3 months. One day when the class teacher told all of us to lie down on our desks and sleep, we all obeyed her. I could not sleep. The rest of them slept off. Suddenly I heard a snoring sound.

I looked around to see my friend Sunitha snoring big time. To stop her from snoring, I pinched her nose. I did not realize that I had long nails. she started to bleed and she woke up with wailing noise. I immediately put my head on my desk and pretended to sleep. Sunitha did not know who pinched her nose. Her crying sound woke up everyone. I was still lying down on my desk. To delete all evidences, I immediately bit my nails in my fingers.

The teacher came rushing to Sunitha who was bleeding from her nose. Immediately the furious teacher shouted "WHO DID THIS?". We were all silent. Then the teacher took a close look at Sunitha's nose and saw a cut and she exclaimed "AH! SOME ONE HAS PINCHED HER. ALL OF YOU SHOW YOUR HANDS". We all extended our hands and the only person who had long nails was Shabir. He was immediately punished with some caning. Renu also gave him a very bad look. This is how my nail biting started.

The very next day, Renu came to me and accepted my love proposal because she felt that Shabir was not worth it.. I was so happy and as I was a gentleman for a 6 year old, I decided not to hide the incident from Renu. So I immediately told the truth to Renu that I was the actual culprit. I thought that when I told the truth, Renu would feel happy and have more trust on me. But it backfired. She immediately screamed at me and said  "I HATE YOU" and ran up to Shabir and hugged him. That is how their love life bloomed. Yet another heart break for me at that young age; but I was game for it as I had suffered many heart breaks before that.

Today as I type this post, I am typing this with pride that I have not bitten my nails for the last three days. It is a record of sorts for a person like me who bites his nails all the time. But I am finding it difficult to type these words with my little grown nails. So I am going to BITE MY NAILS.

- Chronicwriter

Oct 22, 2015

765. Sehwag the dark knight of the 2011 world cup

Sachin Tendulkar is my favorite cricketer of all time. Sehwag is my second favorite cricketer. I have dedicated two blog posts for Sachin in this blog. When I came to know of Sehwag's retirement, I felt sad because I personally feel that this mad hitting opener still has lot of batting fuel left in him.

The 2011 world cup is known for Sachin's farewell gift by the Indian team, Guru Gary's love affair with the India, Dhoni's last ball six. Among all the great performances there was this one guy who was silently responsible for India becoming a power machine in that tournament and that one man is none other than the Nawab of Najafgarh -Virender Sehwag.

I watched all the matches India played in that tournament; all the matches are still fresh in my memory. Sehwag sent chills down the spines of all the teams with the manner in which he unsettled the opposition bowlers. This blog post captures India's performance against all the teams in that world cup and the reason why I feel that Sehwag made a huge contribution for India's world cup win.

Sehwag raises his bat after
scoring a century against Bangladesh
Match 1: India vs Bangladesh

The first match of the 2011 world cup was played between India and Bangladesh. The match was played in Dhaka. The Bangladesh team had the crowd backing them. The Bangladeshi captain won the toss and elected to field. Sachin and Sehwag walked in and as usual Sehwag took the strike.

Shafiul Islam ran up to bowl the first ball. The crowd backed him with a thunderous roar. In came the ball at 145 kmph. Sehwag moved back and slapped the ball through the cover. The first ball of the world cup was dispatched to the boundary in no times; there was pin drop silence in the ground. That was Sehwag's way of silencing the crowd.

He reached his 50 with a towering six down long on and reached his 100 of 94 balls. Then the butcher used his bat as a butcher knife and ravaged the Bangla bowlers and reached 175 of 140 balls. He equaled Kapil Dev's score of 175 in that match.

He singlehandedly delivered a death blow to the Bangladeshis and India moved on to play the remaining matches riding on the thunderous opening provided by Sehwag in the very first match

Match 2: India vs England

India faced England in their second league match. It was a high scoring match which ended in a tie. Both the teams scored 338. India was lucky not to lose that match. Strauss literally took the match away from the Indians with a calculated chase. India batted first and with a magnificent century by Sachin, posted 338 on the board.
Sehwag unleashing a cover drive against England
But that huge total was possible because of the launchpad provided by Sehwag in the first 8 overs. When Sehwag got out in the 8th over of the Indian innings, Indian scoreboard read 46 for 1. Sachin was batting at 10 of 21 balls. Sehwag hit 6 bullet fours to reach 35 of 26 balls. The match is now known for the centuries and the manner in which it ended. Very few realize that such a huge score was possible because of the tempo set by the Delhi Dynamite-  Viru.

Match 3: India vs Ireland

India's score in the first two matches were 370 and 338. The rest of the teams plotted plans to slow down India in the first few overs. In the third match, India faced Ireland.

Sehwag gets out against Ireland

Ireland elected to bat first and scored just 207 runs on the board. When India came to bat, Sehwag hit the first ball he faced for a four. In all the matches in the tournament, he opened his account with a four.

He was out in the very next over for a paltry score of 5. India finally huffed and puffed and crawled over 207 with much difficulty.

Match 4 : India vs Holland

India played Holland in their 4th match of the tournament. With two better oppositions (Bangladesh and England) India had the opportunity to bat first and put huge scores on the board. But with teams like Ireland and Holland, India had to chase. The Dutch were bowled out for 189. The Indian's chased this total with ease.

Sehwag in a murderous mood against the Dutch
Sehwag got India off to yet another flyer by hitting the first ball for a four. He scored a breezy 39 of 26 balls that included 5 fours and two towering sixes. By this time the Indian fans started to believe that Sehwag will score the first ball he faces for a four.

Match 5: India vs South Africa

Sehwag Slaps Steyn for a four
Then India played against the South Africans. India scored 296 and the South Africans chased down the total in the last over.

The Indians could have put a total of 400 plus on the board after a 142 run opening stand by Sehwag and Sachin.

Sachin went on to score a century with Sehwag thrashing a 66 ball 73. From 267 for 2, India just collapsed to 296 all out.

For the fifth match in a row, Sehwag opened his account with a 4; that too of the best bowler in the world Steyn.

Steyn took 5 wickets in that match; but Sehwag toyed with him in the first few overs.

India's opening wicket partnership in that tournament was one of the last 100 plus opening wicket partnership between Sehwag and Sachin.

Match 6: India vs West Indies

India defeated the West Indians in their last league encounter. Sehwag did not play that match because of a knee injury. India had three more matches in the tournament.

Quarter finals: India vs Australia
A cross over picture of Sachin and Sehwag!

In the quarterfinals India played against the mighty Australians. The Aussies scored 260 batting first with Punter scoring a hundred. Bret Lee ran up to bowl the first over when Indians began the chase. Lee bowled a couple of 145 kmph deliveries and beat Sehwag. The tension built around the stadium and when Lee bowled the 3rd ball of that over at around 150 kmph, little did he think that it would be bludgeoned to the boundary with the ball reaching the fence in less than 2 seconds. The cameras could not capture the speed at which Sehwag hit that ball. He did not score much in that match; but for the 6th time in a row, Sehwag had opened his account with a boundary.

Semi finals: India vs Pakistan

No foot movement; but ball goes for 4
That brings us to the much awaited match of the tournament; the semi finals against the Pakistanis. India batted first. Umar Gul bowled the first over with Sehwag on strike. The first two balls were a little wider and Sehwag let go of one of those balls.

The third ball was bowled at a faster pace and Sehwag stayed like a statue with no foot movement;brought his bat down like a rogue wielding his hammer and connected the ball. The ball raced to the boundary like a bullet. He scored 38 runs from 25 balls that included 9 fours. In other words 36 of those 38 runs were through 4s.

It was a match in which he cemented his feet and smashed the balls to all corners of the ground. Commentators always criticized his lack of foot movement and his poor technique. But Sehwag always silenced them by letting his bat do the talking. It was always a joy to watch him bat. The confidence he gave to the entire country when he was at the crease is something that only an Indian fan can relate to.

The finals: India vs SriLanka

That is some sort of record for opening the score with a four for 7 consecutive times in any tournament, which was never ever set by any other batsman in the world. I don't think someone will ever beat that record in future. Sehwag fell for a duck in the finals against SriLankans; but who cares!!! Because the rest of the team mates did the trick in that final and won the world cup for India. The tournament was opened by Sehwag with a four and closed by Dhoni with a six.

If we think about that world cup, people talk about Yuvraj Singh's man of the series performance, Sachin's centuries and Dhoni's captaincy and his last ball six to finish the tournament in style. We would not be talking about any of these things, if Sehwag had not given them an opportunity like that with a blistering opening act he gave them throughout the tournament.

We all remember this picture. Did you notice the dark knight taking the victory lap in one corner? He was also playing in his last world cup. He was never the center of attraction; but he was the corner stone and the greatest entertainer India has ever produced in cricket
He demoralized the opposition bowlers, emotionally toyed with the fielders by beating them with fours, totally unsettling their strategy and gave a wonderful cushion for the rest of the Indian batsmen to play on. In any street fight or even in wars between countries, the side that delivers the first blow has a high chance of winning the fight/ war, because if that blow is a powerful one, it will totally unsettle the opposition and the remaining blows are just customary ones to finish them off. Team India had one such soldier who always delivered the first blow. Now that person has retired from the game.

Today we have talented openers like Rohit Sharma, Rahane, Dhawan who can score big hundreds; but I have not seen anyone who can stand like a rock and totally unsettle the opposition with his bat like the Nawab of Najafgarh - Viru "Sehwag".

A note to Sehwag:

I will miss you Sehwag and I am sure the entire Indian fans and cricket lovers around the world will miss your simple and stupid batting.

- Chronicwriter

Images collection :
Research collection : From World cup memories of watching it on TV,  Score confirmation from Cricinfo

Oct 16, 2015

764. Maggi Noodles is an Engineer

Maggi Version 2.0 is entering the market again. This is like Rajini's re-entry as MGR in the movie Sivaji with the motta boss look. Hostel girls and bachelor girls are going to go crazy again with this news.

- Chronicwriter.

The Maggi version 2.0 story from ET

Nestle India, maker of Maggi noodles, on Friday said it has received test results from all three laboratories mandated by the Bombay High Court to test Maggi noodles samples. "All the 90 samples, covering 6 variants, tested by these laboratories are clear with lead much below the permissible limits," the company said in a statement.

""In compliance with the orders of the Hon'ble Bombay High Court, we will now commence manufacture and will start selling only after the newly manufactured products are also cleared by the designated three laboratories," it said. 

The maker of Maggi instant noodles said it has conducted over 3500 tests representing over 200 million packs in both national as well as international accredited laboratories and all reports are clear. In addition to these, various countries including USA, UK, Singapore, Australia and others have found MAGGI Noodles manufactured in India safe for consumption.

"Nestle will continue to collaborate with the FSSAI, the apex food regulator and other stakeholders. 

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had banned sale of Maggi noodles nationally citing excessive lead levels more than the permissible quantity of 2.5 parts per million, mislabelling on packs which declared 'no added MSG', and selling Maggi oats masala noodles without product approval in June this year.

A Rs 2,000 crore before the ban, the recall exercise of Maggi noodles has cost Nestle Rs 320 crore and another Rs 1,270 crore in brand loss according to global valuation consultancy Brand Finance. 

Source for the Maggi version 2.0 story : [ ET - newslink ]

763. The Ervamatin secret

Have you seen the Ervamatin ad on TV?

The ad claims that you can stop hair fall in 2 weeks of usage and you can also grow new hair within 2 months of using it. In 6 months time, you will have like Bob Marley it seems. They also show client testimonials with photo proofs.

Ervamatin manufacturers claim that they produce the medicine from one of the finest and rarest herbs which are only found in the Amazon forests. 

I did a google search and found to find how the hair of the people in Amazon forest look like? I got this picture which I have posted here. People in Amazon forests in deed have thick and long hair.

I am balding and hence I am thinking of buying this product. As a matter of fact, I have been telling for the last 8 years that I am balding; but I am not.

My friend Robert used to pour Ervamatin oil on his palms, rub them and then apply it on his hair. As a result , hair grew on his palms. That was indeed a scary sight.

If I ever buy this oil, I will use gloves on my hands. I don't want to look like Anil Kapoor. One question that I have after watching this ad is "Why don't they reveal the name of that rare Amazon herb?" Are they scared that I will go all the way from Chennai to the Amazon forests, pluck the herb and apply it on my head?

Note: The robert story is not true.


Oct 13, 2015

762. Tamilnadu Government buses

A month ago, a Tamilnadu state Government bus made it to the headlines in Kerala, when a woman who was sitting inside the bus fell on the road through the bottom of the bus. Luckily she escaped from being run over by the bus. 

Critics claim that the condition of the Tamilnadu government buses are pathetic. But Chronicwriter and his team did a top secret survey on the buses and came up with an amazing discovery. The buses are in good condition. 

All these buses have a reason for being pathetic. They are made to look pathetic; but all these buses are in a disguise and they serve a purpose. Look at the following six buses

1) Drunk bus: If you travel in this bus, it will give you the same feeling that only a drunkard experiences. If you do not have enough money to buy alcohol and drink, all you have to do is travel in this bus. You will have feel giddy.

2) The side stand: Why should only bicycles,scooters and motor bikes have side stands? Why should the two wheelers have all the fun? The buses should also have a whale of a time

3) The Piles seat: This is a CSR activity by the government. It is specially designed for those who have piles. If you don't have piles, if you sit on it, you will get piles. If you already have piles, eat pilex. That is what my friend Robert eats.

4) The ladies gym: This special ladies bus is designed in such a way that it starts only when the ladies give it a push. It strengthens the arms of the girls which in turn helps them to protect themselves from rapists

5) The submarine: We won't tell you the technology used by our buses. All our buses are submarines

6) Mountaineer: You want to become a mountaineer? Just travel in our buses. You can even conquer the everest easily.

If you think that the Government has only the above 6 varieties of buses, you are in for a big surprise because there are many more types of theme buses that the Government has released. 9 of them are displayed in the below picture.

1) Rain theme bus : If we rain theme hotels and discothes, why not a rain theme bus?
2) The burning bus : If the people of my state get angry, they burn buses and our buses serve that purpose too
3) No footboard travel : To avoid people from travelling by footboard, we have introduced the bus without footboard
4) Emergency exit : In case of emergency, just jump out. This is for extra safety
5) Easy chair: This is different from the push back seats. The easy chair seats automatically dislocates your spine and enables you to utilize your medical insurance for some ortho surgery
6) Fresh air for legs : Why should your face alone get fresh air? Your legs are also a part of the body and they need fresh air too.
7) The rain theme bus DJ : This is the guy who makes all the music
8) Sunny Leone bus : This is a glamour bus. It has a covering that does not cover anything
9) Hitting the sack : The sack seat helps you to understand the poverty in our Nation.

- Chronicwriter

761. Narendra Modi and his Nelson Mandela Joke

Tamil film audiences would be familiar with the joke associated withe picture displayed here. It is a scene from the Tamil movie thottaal poo malarum. A blind car driver says to Vadivel that he looks like MGR. This comedy scene became a cult sensation. Dialogues from this movie are still being used to tease and make fun of people. "Thambi, You look like MGR" is a popular meme in social media.

A few months ago, Kalyan jewelers expanded their operations in Chennai. The Sivaji Ganesan family and Big B were roped in to act in their promotional ads. In one of the advertisements, actor Vikram Prabhu says to big B that he looks like his grand dad "Sivaji thaathaa". This again became fodder for social media enthusiasts as they linked this with the Vadivel comedy.

Recently Prime Minister Modiji referred to Parkash Singh Badal as the Nelson Mandela of India. When I first saw that tweet from the PMO twitter handle, I thought it was a joke. But later I realized that Prime Minister Modi was indeed being serious in his claims. Social media satire artists got busy and started making memes out of the statement. Susuji used this to roast our dear Prime minister. I got reminded of the Vadivel joke and the Vikram Prabhu joke.

I tried to under stand if there is any similarity between Badal and Nelson Mandela. So I looked up his name and started reading about Mr. Badal. Just like Nelson Mandela, Mr Badal has also been in jail; but unlike Nelson Mandela, Mr Badal spent his time in prison for some other reason ;)

What ever be the reason, our prime minister is the best prime minister in the world and he knows what is best. If he says that Rakhi Sawant is mother Teresa, I would still believe it. Morgan Freedman is happy in some part of the globe


Oct 8, 2015

760. A candle becomes a time machine

I was driving back from work when my mobile phone rang. I pulled the car to the corner of the road, picked the phone and it was my Dad.

"Hi Prason! (He calls me Prason. My friends call me Chriz) There is no power at home. Buy some candles when you come home"

"But Pappa! We have the invertor"

" I know! But there is a power lay off at our place because of some problem with the transformer and the electricity guys are at work. The power will be restored only tomorrow"

That made me realize that we do not have even a candle or a matchbox at our house. I rushed to the near by store and bought a pack of candles and a box of matchsticks. With sophistication creeping in, little did I realize that basic amenities like a candle and a match box have slowly faded away from my life, except when I have to buy them to celebrate someone's birthday.

When I reached home, it was already dark. My 3 year old daughter greeted me like she always does. She did not understand why all the lights were off. She was like "Its not time to sleep, but why all the lights are off?". It was difficult for my little daughter to even fathom the thought that the Government could pull off a trick like this once in a while.

So we all sat in the drawing room and lit a candle. My daughter immediately asked whose birthday it was. I had to tell her that it was no one's birthday ; but we had to light the candle because of lack of light. It was amusing for her because according to her candles means birthdays.

She was even more amused to see the hand shadows that were done on the wall. With hands, we started creating shadow images of bird, dog, a man with the hat. This game took me back to my childhood days when my sister and I would create shadow images with our hands on the walls. Back then, the power cuts were an every day incident and we had only petromax lights or the candle lights to give us lights in the evenings.

We have learnt for exams in candle light. The greatest romantic dinners back then happened in candle light. Today this has become a concept and people pay a huge sum of money to have a candle lit dinner in a restaurant. But during those days, we had candle light dinners everyday.

All it took was a candle to transport me back to my childhood days and the fun we had during those days. Now when I look at the molten candle in my drawing room, I have that smile because it gave me back some of my greatest childhood memories.

Do you remember your childhood candle light days?