Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Crazy Cabmate - True Story #10


Goldfish


Cabmate: "I can't believe my goldfish survived 13 days without food :)"

(Me (thinking): "OMG! That's criminal!")

Crazy Cabmate - True Story #9


Art of Living


Cabmate: "What do you think of Art of Living?"

Now these are the kind of questions that I absolutely hate being asked. I despise answering them too.

It's a little like "What do you think of Baba Ramdev?". What are you supposed to say? Your honest opinion is only going to lead to a debate.

I chose to give an irrelevant answer.

Me: "Art of Living? I think they are good marketers"

Cabmate: "You know, you should attend one of their workshops. It will make you a calmer person"

Me: "You know me. I barely talk. I'm as calm as someone can get"

Cabmate: "You know, many years ago, I attended one of their workshops in Delhi. And I stopped smoking. For a week"

Me (puzzled): "Aha?"

Cabmate: "I'm going again now for another Art of Living workshop. It's next to your house. Why don't you join me?"

Me: "No Thanks"

So, my cabmate arrives a week later - looking 'calmer'.

Our car gets stuck in peak hour bumper-to-bumper traffic, for a bit.

The driver and I are puzzled as we hear loud heaving sighs from the backseat.

We turn around to find my Cabmate performing some weird breathing exercise, with his eyes tight shut and left nostril closed with his right hand. He repeats this process, interchanging hands and nostrils, a few dozen times.

It's hard to not laugh. Or to not want to pull out your mobile phone and shoot a video of the situation. But I choose not to.

20 mins later we arrive at office. I step out of the car and walk to the elevator, only to realise that my cabmate hasn't walked out of the car yet.

I head back to check on him.

He's still annoyingly loud - snoring in his sleep though!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Crazy Cabmate - True Story #8


Fishy


There are days when I choose to work from home or days when I choose not to take the office cab home.

On those days, my cabmate runs personal errands with the office cab.

Cabmate: "Hero, today, I feel like eating fish"

Driver: "So?"

Cabmate: "Can you take me to the Fish Market?"

Driver: "But that's not on our way. It's in fact, way out!"

Cabmate: "Its ok. You take me there"

Driver: "No Sir. I can't do that. I can drop you half way and then you can go"

My cabmate was apparently upset but chose to take up the half-way offer anyway.

Conversation next day:

Driver: "Sir, how much fish did you buy?"

Cabmate: "2"

Driver: "2 kilos?"

Cabmate: "No.Two fish" (sic)

Driver (dumbstruck): "How much was it there?

Cabmate: "50 INR each"

Driver: "How much was your 3-wheeler ride?"

Cabmate: "60 INR"

Driver: "How much does the same fish cost near your house?"

Cabmate: "60 INR each :)"

Do the math.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Crazy Cabmate - True Story #7


Inconceivable


If you're an out-of-towner, finding a place to live in Mumbai can be extremely difficult (and expensive).

Most neighborhoods don't want bachelors, spinsters, young couples, etc. And to top it all off, there's the ruthless brokers who are out to rip you off.

As I tried to make sense of all this madness, my cabmate tried to reassure me with his insightful words:

Cabmate: "You know, actually, all this is not such a big deal"

Me: "Eh?"

Cabmate: "When I was newly married and new to Mumbai, I stayed at a 5-star hotel for 45 days"

Me: "WOW! On Company Expense?"

Cabmate: "Yes: :) :) :)" (Grinning ear to ear, extremely proud of his 'achievement')

Me: "What's your point?"

Cabmate: "Once we found a flat, we didn't really buy much stuff"

Me: "Well, you need the basic stuff, you know...."

Cabmate: "Ya. Some people were moving out of the city and we bought their second hand stuff. Fridge for 2,000 INR. Washing Machine for 2,000 INR. And we didn't buy beds. We only bought a mattress"

Me: "Eh?"

Cabmate: "We bought a bed only once we conceived our child :)"

Friday, July 01, 2011

Crazy Cabmate - True Story #6


Three Free Nights


Cabmate: "What are you doing this vacation?"

Me: "I'm going to Goa"

Cabmate: "Oh nice. Where will you be staying?"

Me: "Some shack"

Cabmate: "Shack? What's that? I stay only at 5-star hotels"

Me: "5-star hotels? On company expense? :P"

Cabmate: "Ya. So, what is a shack?"

Me: "A shack is very basic accommodation but it's usually right on the beach. Since it's the season, shacks will be expensive too"

Cabmate: "Oh? How much?"

Me: "Off-season shacks that cost 1,000 INR a night cost 4,000 INR a night in the season. But, I've managed to find an awesome place for 1,500 INR a night. The only thing is, they expect one to book for at least 14 nights in a row. And we are staying for 11 nights. So, we decided to pay for 3 extra nights"

Cabmate: "Link me to their website later"

I do that dutifully.

Two days later, he walks up to me in office and says "I need to talk to you"

Me: "Sure"

Cabmate: "I'll take those 3 Free nights :)"

Me: "........"

Cabmate: "Ok? :)"

Me: "No. That's not possible"

Cabmate: "But don't say 'No' without even checking with the guys"

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Crazy Cabmate - True Story #5


Longest Train Adventure


Leave Travel Allowance (LTA) is among the standard perks that most Indian employees get from their employers.

The abbreviation stands for Leave Travel Allowance. What it means is that IF you travel on leave, it entitles you to a claim of the Flight/ Train/ Bus Ticket expense(s).

If you don't claim this money with original bills at the end of the financial year, the employer deducts tax from your LTA eligibility. This usually means you lose 30% of the amount.

Now, the truth is that most Indian employees don't really take much leave. So they fake bills.

But my cabmate's even better.

Six of us from the office are at lunch and the topic of "Where are you heading for your vacation?" comes up.

Teammate: "Kerala"

Cabmate: "How far is that from Mumbai?"

Teammate: "24 hours Train Journey"

Cabmate: "Oh? That's all?"

Teammate: "Eh?"

Cabmate: "You know, last year, I was searching for the longest train journey in the country...."

Now this is intriguing because we've never really imagined my cabmate to be a traveller. And we are all ears.

Cabmate: "So, friends, basically, I book tickets on the longest train journey in the country. Once I have a printed copy of the ticket in my hand, I just cancel the tickets online :)"

Friday, June 10, 2011

Crazy Cabmate - True Story #4


Fresh Vegetables


Long before I had the misfortune of 'getting to know' my cabmate, there were a handful of colleagues who had survived the ordeal.

There were three of them (plus the cab driver) on a peak-hour journey that would take 1-2 hours to office or back.

On their way was a bustling market where the city's fresh produce for the day would arrive - vegetables, fruits, flowers, seafood etc.

One fine evening, when traffic was at its worst and tempers were rising, Cabmate decided to take matters into his own hands.

Cabmate: "Driver, stop the vehicle near the market. I want to buy some fresh veggies"

Colleagues: "Eh?"

Driver: "Okay?"

Cabmate: "Give me two minutes. I'll just come"

Colleagues and Driver, a little shocked, but still playing along: "Okay"

Traffic can be a mess in the city with undisciplined drivers and general lack of road sense. Typically, in such a situation, a 2-minute wait can get you 10-minutes late.

Twenty minutes later, once office cab's lost it's time advantage, Cabmate arrives - with four bags of fresh veggies in his hand and a satisfied grin.

Cabmate: "This market has the cheapest, fresh veggitaables :)"

Friday, June 03, 2011

Crazy Cabmate - True Story #3


Thrifty


Cabmate: "Have you watched any movies recently?"

Me: "I'm not really into movies"

Cabmate: "You know, I got this really good deal from a movie renting portal"

Me: "Aha"

Cabmate: "As an introductory offer, for the first month, I get 30 Movies - a movie a day for a month - at 1 INR. They even send a guy to deliver and pick-up the DVDs :)"

Me: "Ah. So, you're going to take an annual subscription after that?"

Cabmate: "No. I'll watch those 30 movies for 1 INR and then cancel my subscription :)"

Friday, May 27, 2011

Crazy Cabmate - True Story #2


Delhi Silly


Colleague: "Delhi is a very unsafe city for women"

Cabmate: "Ya. I'm from Delhi and I agree"

Colleague: "Yea?"

Cabmate: "Ya. You know, even average looking women can't walk peacefully on the streets there"

Colleague: "Ah..."

Cabmate: "Really. I mean, even my wife can't - she's just an average looking woman"

Friday, May 20, 2011

Crazy Cabmate - True Story #1

Here's to the Crazy One.

Grapevine

It's 9:30 AM at Office.

My Cabmate and I are practically the first walk-ins of the day at the Office Cafe.

When it comes to breakfast at the Cafe, there's always something good to choose from: Fruits, Cereal or Indian Cuisine.

Fruits are either Australian Kiwis or Mexican Apples or Californian Grapes, on most days.

(You get the drift? Basically our employer doesn't shy away from spending on us.)

While I decide on what to eat, my cabmate walks up to the Cafe Attendant with a big bunch of luscious Californian grapes and says "Hero, store this away in the fridge. I'll take it home in the evening".

Ok now, honestly, I pretend not seeing or hearing any of that.

But within seconds, my cabmate realizes that I am witness to what just happened.

If he is embarrassed, he doesn't let it show. Instead, what he does say immediately in his defense, is worth a pat on his back.

Cabmate: "You know, I have a 2 year old daughter. She is learning ABCD. And today is G for Grapes :)"

Monday, January 10, 2011

Big Ban(ne)d Theory

After years of annoying near and dear ones with experiments on my guitars, it's time I urged you to put on your headphones to check out these raw home-made mixdowns :)

Latest tracks by hypnotype

If you like what you hear, shout out :)