Monday, November 30, 2009

Fan Email + Suggestion for future release!

My letter to famed author Chetan Bhagat and more importantly my first ever "I am your big fan" email!!

Dear Chetan,

This email will probably get into your already-full-mailbox as one of those zillion "I love you Chetan, you are the greatest writer of all times" fan emails but I still felt the need to write to you.
I must admit I am not really an avid reader; in fact, I am not much of a reader at all... I must have done some 10 books in my entire life! Until I discovered your writing that is.

I don't know if this will really make you happy but I finished 2 of your books - "2 States of my marriage" & "Five Point Someone" (in that order), thanks to a friend who coerced me into this. I won't get into how thrilled I was except state that the "2 states..." took me about 2-3 days to finish and I did the "FPS" between 10PM-4AM (Nov 30-Dec1) and still managed to get to office by 8AM today. For somebody who loathed books, that's saying quite a lot!

If only, I had the same quantum of dedication into those CAT tutorials, I would have tamed the bloody entrance exam 3 years ago and got into one of those blue-blooded institutes and become a blue-eyed boy of my folks... I still haven't given up the hope but who cares; as long as I don't make it, I have to live with the Loser tag ("L" caps) anyway.

I will stop whining now.

You give a whole new definition to easy reads. I really like your cynicism and sarcasm - 2 styles which I think you should maintain (not that I know a lot about other styles of writing anyway).

I also have a humble suggestion for your next book:
How about an idea which deals with a loser (say, like me, for instance)
a) Who knows what he wants to be in life but doesn't know how to get there... or is just too lazy to get it done!
b) Somebody who is from a non-blue-blooded college
c) Has spent donkey years working for an MNC (a term which means nothing more to him than a 3-lettered acronym); for whom career is more of a means of livelihood than a "passion"
d) someone who doesn't have much of a love life
e) someone whom at the outset is just surviving and not really Living!
f) someone for whom cricket means more than just a sport
(the protagonist of this proposed book-idea uses his knowledge/skills which the current day job gives him + his passion for cricket "to emerge successful")

On the fly, I even thought of a title for this book: "6... life beyond boundaries" (in keeping with your style of using numbers in titles) - the number has a connect with cricket and also refers to those 6 pain-points in the character's life...

I am sure there are enough of such people around us so you can be assured of an exponentially growing reader-base!! I know that's not your idea of writing a book, but am just hard-selling my idea here :)

However small I may feel in stature, I would make a bold suggestion: I am willing to script this for you, if you think it's worth your time...

If you are still reading until this point,
1) Firstly, I like to thank you for it
2) If I have done enough to elicit a response from you, I would consider myself as the chosen one for the day! I will perhaps flaunt it to my friends and even put it on my CV :)

Awaiting a response... but more eagerly awaiting your next release (by which time I promise to complete "3 mistakes of my life" and "One night @ call center"!)

Chetan Dixit
Bangalore (India)

PS: It's amazing how a person who was so insignificant in your life just a week ago can make you do such things as write fan emails. I have never ever done that!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

It's only about money, (not) honey!

June 20th: I submitted an application to open a Demat account with a private bank. From that time till date, I have been running from pillar to post like in a govt office... sometimes for providing additional proof of address, additional proof of identity (somehow I am facing this crisis for quite sometime now (read, duplicate signature, thumb-impression and impression of every other visible part of my body!

August 29th: Form status: "Under scrutiny/under processing".

Welcome to the internet era of banking where everything is at your finger tips except the elusive bank manager's mobile number!
What's surprising to see is that the branch manager gets the status of a CEO of an MNC. People get up and almost sing the bank's anthem when the branch manager makes her grand entry with a laptop, speaking on the cell phone pretending to be busy. She heads straight into her enclosed cabin and continues to discuss about her day's grocery needs while the rest of the staff thinks that she is discussing about the going-forward strategy of agro-related business of the bank!

One will also notice a govt-office-like-apathy where the customer is asked to wait until the manager finishes her (grocery-related) discussions.
Talk to the staff about lack of customer service and you will get a grin which makes you feel stupid. More irate customers are sent to model-like personal bankers - a strategy which works for 90% of the male customers. People will forget their problems (well, at least their banking problems, at least for a moment).

So, what makes a successful bank: Top-class marketing, glittering air-conditioned offices, hot-looking clerical staff, busy-looking manager... And customer-centric service? Oh Yes! the customer is at the center (butt) of all jokes!

Chetan's decision: Go back in time. Head back to nationalized banks. Rest assured that your money is safe with the Aunties and uncles of nationalized banks than with the "honeys and sweeties" of a private bank!

Disclaimer: No offence is meant and none should be taken. I have nothing against honeys and sweetys in general. Just that I don't like them playing with my hard-earned money :-(

Friday, August 28, 2009


The setting is as follows: I am in a party or a social gathering, there are 5-8 people; some known, some relatively lesser known and some strangers.Everyone raises a toast... the party begins...

Couple of drinks later, people get cozy, comfortable, sit back, relax... strangers begin to look like friends and sometimes vice versa!

Generally I avoid crowds which are nasty so drunken revelry is a no-no for me.

The conversations begin.

People come up with their experiences, usually around the college/hostel days (these are probably the only times I miss hostel life), women in their lives, job/money-related etc.
People I would have known for a long time say something which I know isn't true at all and when I ask them when this happened, they either tell me that I wasn't around when this happened or some are audacious enough to say "I had told you about this, dont you remember?"

What surprises me the most is that under the influence of high-spirits people come up with the most fictitious experiences - straight from a novel they'd have recently read. All they have to do is replace the protagonist with themselves. Story is anyway built by the original author!

Stories such as "when I was driving in the US at 100mph, I managed to hoodwink the cop and not get a ticket". Others such as "that girl was trying to impress upon me but I never fell because I had more
important priorities", "I was offered at realy high-paying job - almost twice my current - but I didn't take it up because I didnt like the nature of work", are also quite common.

I am really not sure why they do this but for some it's more of a compusion to lie. Habituated drunk liars if you will!Perhaps they do it to grab attention or even impress upon someone...

So, I have decided that the next time I come across such agonising liars I will warn them that "Faking under the influence of alcohol" is a punishable offence. I will take the liberty to kick them on their bottom so that I get to the bottom of the real truth behind the apparently Fakexperience!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A case of forgotten identity

It was a busy Monday morning and I had to rush to catch the office bus. I am usually late; running to catch the office bus is one of my cheap thrills.

Many a times I miss my office bus, catch the speeding 600K Vayu Vajra coming right behind(, get down at the sight of the office bus and board it. I have my little challenges in life - getting to office is one of them.

So in the rush to get to office, I forgot my access card. And the story begins.
I try to enter the gate as usual and the security stops me...

"Saar, Id card illa" he says smilingly.

In my 6+ donkey years at work, I had never forgotten my access card. But this small little incident made me think.

It made me think that although I have put in 6 years*260 days/year*8 hours of work at this place, I am still an outsider. I still need a supporting infrastructure (the card) to prove my identity. Very few recognise me by face - talk about downside of working for an MNC. On the contrary, about 15 years ago, when my dad took us to his office, we were all given a warm welcome. There were hardly 100-120 people in the office, so everyone knew everyone.

I could, however, walk in to the office with a duplicate ID card...

And thankfully my lunch group had no problems recognizing me - a curly-haired, wheatish complexion, rotund figure. This is the picture they have of me, with/without the ID card.

So, there isn't much of an identity crisis - just a temporary loss of it. So, no sweat! :-)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's about time!

Yes, folks! It's that year of the millenium, that month of the year, that week of the month, that day of the week and that hour of the day... the moment has arrived!
Chetan Dixit who seems to have an opinion about many things in life - about what's right/wrong, what's white/black, what's true/false - will start blogging starting from Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 at 12Noon. {Hindu Calendar: Virodhi nama samvatsara, dakshinayana, varusha rutu, shravana maasa, krishna paksha, budhavaasara shubha nakshatra, shubha yoga :-)}
"What's so special about the date?" some might ask."What's so special about Chetan Dixit's blog?" ask a few others. The answer to both is the same: Nothing!
Thru' this medium, I promise to share whatever I think, whatever I do, whatever I say, whatever I want, whatever I feel... but of course, I will share only the share-able things. Thru' this medium, I also want to let people know that I too can think - something which I have found hard to prove. Thru' this medium, I will try to show off whatever "talents" I have - going by the saying "if you got it, flaunt it"!Thru' this medium, I will try to popularize myself.And finally thru' this channel, I will get to understand what my readers (if any) think about the topics that are of interest to me - Does he/she think the same way I do? If yes, good for them. If not, GOD BLESS THEM!
Expect my Next blog: when the synapses in my brain make the right connections next time around.