Monday, December 25, 2006

Cute, Rocking Babe in blue

Met the cutest, rockingest babe today….

Today I finally put down the first draft of Chapter 1 of my third Novel “Perl and the exploding buffalo”, after months of fooling around with the plot line and scenario, and gathering inspiration to start the formal writing.

To reward myself, I decided to check out a new Rajasthani restaurant in Koramangala. The Rajasthani Thali was very mediocre. The dal bati was passable, but the gatta, gwarfali and kheechri were decidedly sub-optimal. Then I browsed around in Forum and picked up an interesting looking book “The Jesus Papers” by one of the authors of ‘Holy Blood, Holy Grail”, the guys who are now better know for bringing a court case against Dan Brown for plagiarism.

On the way back, on the first signal on the Koramangala-Indiranagar inner ring road, I saw a babe on a motor bike at the red light. Now you don’t often see babes riding motorbikes in Bangalore. Maybe in Mumbai or Delhi… I don’t know, but definitely not in the depths of Bengalooru. She had on a light blue wind cheater and scuffed jeans and practical looking black sandals. A cascade of brown hair streaked with blond under her light blue helmet. I could see a cute looking face and a perky little nose peeping out under the visor. She was really fair. Maybe a firang, but I am inclined to think she was a punju or a gujju with dyed hair. She was driving a battered looking Hero Honda, or something of that description. Anyway, it was either that or something equally infra-dig from that stable, but a babe-on-a-bike is a babe-on-a-bike. It doesn’t have to be a Harley Davidson.

Yes, she was cute, but did she rock?

The traffic indicator counted down from 40 to 30 to 20…At 10 the road was clear this babe went of like a bomb, not worried too much about the niceties of starting on green.

Yes!!! The babe rocked as well!!!

I gunned my T-bird to life on 5. To whom the T-bird has come, does not indulge in kiddi-behavior like jumping the traffic lights. It is infra-dig. The babe was still going like a bomb, but overhauling a Hero Honda with a T-bird on a straight and empty road is child’s play. Seconds later I roared past her. Then I slowed down. Would she take the bait?

Yes she did! Babe was furious at being overtaken, and squeezing the last ounce of speed from her HH, wizzed past me. Racing a T-bird with a HH on a great road like the inner-ring road is not much fun on a Saturday afternoon, when it is empty. Overtaking her again was just a matter of twiddling the throttle a bit. Then I slowed down again. For the next few seconds, we played this little game, roaring down the curving IRR at high speed.

Then my stupid helmet decided to spoil the game. I have this weird futuristic jutting out visor on my electric red helmet, which is good for absolutely nothing except that I imagined it might be a babe magnet when I bought it. It wasn’t. Trouble is, at high speeds, it catches the wind blast and rotates the helmet right around my head so that the chin strap strangulates me, unless I keep my head at a low angle. Decidedly infra-dig.

Well, I forgot to keep my chin down, and very soon I was getting strangulated. With the babe giving me a funny look, I slowed down to readjust my helmet at a more dignified angle, while she wizzed past and took the Airport road flyover. When I speeded up again, she was far away. I went on the chase, anyway. Almost caught up, but the Indiranagar signal caught me, and babe was far away again. Anyway, I had to turn right there, so I gave up the chase and mentally said a sad bye-bye to the rocking babe in blue.

I think I am in love again ;(

Dear cute rocking babe in blue….if you are reading this blog, how about a re-race? I have tightened my chin strap really tight, so you won’t have it so easy this time. Maybe I’ll throw away that damn visor as well. Anyway, I’ll let you win eventually… I am very chivalrous, that way. Maybe we can stop at Barrista and have a coffee afterwards?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Rock Day at Bengalooro Habba

Saturday the 9th was Rock Day at Bengalooru Habba, at the Palace Grounds. The BH guys attempt at being cool and rocking…but hey…a full day of the towns best rock groups, with a great sound system and comfy seating, all for free, with cheap beer thrown in…. I would be nuts to complain.

It was supposed to start at 12 Noon. I got there sweating at 1 PM. Discovered it wouldn’t start upto 2:30 PM. The place was deserted except for the organizers. No problem. Grabbed a cool draught beer at the Royal Challenger stall (at 20 bucks it was cheaper than the coke!), barged into the VVIP section with the nice red sofas and sun shades, plonked down, put my feet up on the seat in front, sipped beer and watched the rock groups setting up the equipment and tuning-up with an indulgent smile.

The first group, Ceasar’s Palace started at around 3 PM, after fooling around with the tuning-up for hours (“a bit more guitar on my monitor please”, and all that jazz). Nice wintry sunshine, everyone in a Sunday mood, everyone slightly high on cheap beer, groups fooling around with drums and guitars and not in a hurry to start playing as only a handful of spectators had assembled by then.

Caesar’s Palace eventually got rocking, and put up an energetic show. Sorry, don’t remember their songs. Wasn’t planning on this review, and didn’t take notes. They have a strong lead guitarist, strong in more ways than one – managed to break his strings and held up the show while he went searching for another guitar. They also have a charismatic bearded lead singer. They put up a decent show but didn’t set the place on fire.

The rocking mood was firmly in place and I wrote me a small haiku:-
20 bucks beer.
Loud rock music
Sweet winter sunshine
CP were followed by Galeej Gurus. This was one group I wasn’t looking forward to. I had seen them a year ago at ITPL Mall, performing teaser shows for a Bryan Adams concert. I remembered a cheerful plump guy on lead guitar with a habit of sticking out his tongue in surprise while playing, as if to say “Oops! Wrong chord! ”. They had been pretty raw and shaky at that time. I was surprised to see they had improved enormously. Plump guy was still there, still sticking his tongue out, but playing much more effectively. A stern looking second lead had been added to the team, who really played a good strong riff. The two leads had a nice little trick whereby they would get together once in a while in a huddle and play a synchronized riff, and then break away again, physically and musically. Very nice! The drummer was much stronger than I remembered as well…either he has been practicing hard or it is a new one. They also seem to have added a very enthu lead singer who put up a good show- jumping about the place and standing on the monitor and waggling his bums at the audience. Overall, a really good show!
There was also a pretty firangi lady (French?), slim and attractive, wearing loose dungarees that kept slipping and showing a generous portion of her pert bums, with chains around the waist, who put up a nice little side show, hopping all over the place, and even managing to get on the stage, taking photographs of all the groups from all kinds of weird angles. Love to get her number. Seemed to be a real rocking babe.
GG were followed by Bangalore’s “best band” (according to the press), Thermal & a Quarter (TAAQ). Headed by the ever-impressive Bruce Lee Mani, they put up a great show, as always.
By now it was getting dusk, and the crowd was building up. TAAQ were followed by an Indian-Folk Rock group called the Rahul Dixit Project, wearing colorful lungis, bandanas et-al, with a flutist, Hawaiian guitarist, tabla player et al. Interesting music, but not quite to my taste. I was sort of expecting an intricate interplay of Indian ragas on flute and rock-jazz riffs on the guitar, something like Shakti, but it didn’t quite come-off like that. But not bad.
By now, the place was properly full, and it was dark. The languid announcer was properly drunk and kept saying all kinds of silly things. Sivamani put in an appearance. Inspected his huge setup on stage and didn’t like it. Ordered it to be turned around and brought to the edge of the stage so that people could admire him better while playing. So the organizers scurried around dismantling and reassembling the gargantuan setup. Then he held up the show doing sound checks on the setup, coyly hidden behind a screen for whatever reason. Then he went around striking poses for the armature photographers. Quite acting the star.
RDP was followed in quick succession by a bunch of Rock and Jazz-Rock groups: Amit Heri Project, Gerardo Machado Network, Yantra: all competent without being spectacular. The organizers were hurrying them on and off the stage, as the crowd was getting restive for Sivamani.
Palace ground was really full by now, but most of the new comers looked strangely out of place in a rock concert – they looked as if they had strayed in from a kanada/ tamil/ whatever Film Music Nite. I suppose they had come for Sivamani. They seemed absolutely baffled by the music.
I had been waiting, waiting, waiting since the afternoon for one band – The Ministry of Blues (MOB), in my book, the best band in Bangalore, if not in India. I had fallen in love with these guys when I attended their performance at the Rewind Centre in Koramangala, playing hard driving blues. It was almost time for Sivamani, and the crowd was getting really restive and had virtually booed out the last group. BUT…the organizers decided to give MOB a shot – just 10 minutes, precisely.
The boys strode on to the stage with their gear: Philipe Haydon (lead and vocals), Rauf (keyboard), Vinoo (bass), Kesavan (drums). No sound checks, no nothing. No “Err… s’cuse me, cud u pls increase the guitar on the left monitor a bit?” They just plugged in and WHAM!

They burned like a white hot gush of lava from the very first chord, opening with a dazzling cover of Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Chile, played at twice the normal pace: all the Hendrix riffs played to perfection on Haydon’s guitar, but at twice the normal speed.

The crowd was stunned into an awed silence. The show was blown apart. The last chord of Voodoo Chile slashed through the moonlit night and there was an abrupt silence. The crowd, for the first time that day, got on its feet and screamed its approval. Even the Film-Nite bunch. Without a pause, MOB launched into a Gary Moor number, followed without a break by another hard blues number. Haydon came to the edge of the stage and did all the Hendrix tricks: playing with his teeth, behind his back and between his legs. Public went wild. The last song ended abruptly in mid chord, and before the crowd could react, MOB had packed up and stalked off the stage. The crowd was bewildered. What happened? Then they got their wits back. “More!!” they screamed. The languid announcer was back on stage. Do you want more MOB or Sivamani? Crowd in a quandary. So Sivamani was announced. But MOB had already stolen the show.
Sivamani walked on to the stage in a curious garment – something like harem pants and a turban. He brought with him a troupe traditional dhoti clad temple musicians from kerala, with long dholaks played with curved sticks, a huge arcing horn, and cymbals.
This looked like it might be interesting!
It wasn’t. After the MOB, what followed was bathos: the juxtaposition of the sublime and the ridiculous. Frankly, I never “got” what Siva boss was trying to achieve. He had this huge percussion set, with every imaginable form of percussion instrument. He walked around in circles in this setup, playing what sounded to my lay ears like fairly basic rhythms – generally the sickening dhum-da-da-dhum rhythm used by wedding bands all over India – you know the one I mean. And these temple drummers faithfully copied whatever he did, tapping it out on their drums, while their horn kept wailing short irritating cries. Siva boss played this simple rhythm on every instrument – bongos, snare drums, electronic drums, tablas, kettle drums….and the temple troupe kept pace. The rock crowd was as mystified as me, but the Film-Nite crowd went wild every time the dhum-da-da-dhum was played. There is a certain, very large, section of the Indian populace, which goes into a delirium and starts jumping up and down and clapping whenever dhum-da-da-dhum is played, and the Film-Nite gang obviously belonged to it. Rockers DO NOT belong to this group.
This painful scene went on for about an hour, after which Siva boss mercifully called it a day. Was it some form of acoustic comedy? If it was, it was a pretty bad joke. I had come for this because Sivamani was supposed to be this famous percussionist whose photos come in the papers once a month, playing for the president and what not. Now I am not sure what exactly he is famous for. Anyway, it was a free show, so I laughed it off and went home after that. If I had paid money for this show, I would have been seriously annoyed.
A pop group called Bandish was supposed to follow, but I didn’t stay for it. This is apparently another of those new groups that play Hindi pop-rock, and I avoid it like the plague. That probably sounds snobbish, but I don’t care about being politically correct, esp. on my own blog. I like Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey as much as the next man, but these groups are the pits. If they insist on singing in Hindi, they should at least brush up their Hindi diction and write decent lyrics. Their anglicized Hindi and trite translated-from-English lyrics makes my stomach churn.
Anyway, MOB’s ten minutes made the whole day worthwhile. That, and the cheap beer!

Who said Bangalore is cool?

Bengalooru Habba…

Had a blast this week. An amazing super-duper fantabulous week. Bangalore is so hot it is just shades away from going to Hades. Culturally, I mean. The weather is cold and blustery and everyone’s catching the chills. I had three of them, back to back, over Nov-Dec.

Sunday 3rd Dec: The week blasted off with the Sunday Jam free rock concert by Bangalore’s brightest. It takes place on the first Sunday of every month, usually at Gurunanak Bhavan off Cunningham road. This time, it was at Chitra Kala Parishad– CKP to the cognoscenti, where the budding Bangalore artists get trained.

At the same time, there was a presentation by Kundan Shah of his latest Hindi comedy flick at Bangalore Film Society.

What is more, Bengalooro Habba (BH) also got underway, and there were Hindustani and Carnatic classic music concerts all over the place.

Like a true Libran, I couldn’t decide which one to go to until 6 PM, after which it was anyway too late…I would never have made it to either given the traffic at that time. So I sat at home feeling like an idiot. Actually, to be honest…I was still recovering from the last of the chills and couldn’t get around to moving ass.

Monday 4th Dec: BH in full swing. Flute recital by Pravin Godkhindi at Ambedkar Bhavan followed by a Hindustani vocal by Kaushiki Chakravarty. Godkhindi was nice, and tried out some fancy stuff like intermixing vocal phrases with the flute, and switching dynamically between a concert flute and a common flute, but the net effect wasn’t terribly impressive. Wish he had just stuck to playing straight music. Fellow Bong Kaushiki was amazing! Her vocal pipes are obviously of a high order, and she soon had the plaster falling off the ceiling. She has an amazing octave range, from deep bass to crystal clear high notes. She looks ridiculously young (and pretty), but she sang with the panache and pizzas of a doddering old prima donna. The only irritating thing was the smug, self-satisfied “Look…I know I am good”, expression on her face. But I guess that is a Bong failing. And when you are that good, I suppose you have earned the right to be smug.

Tuesday 5th Dec: My day off from concerts. Prepared for a presentation in my French class next day. But lots of stuff going on at BH.
Wednesday 6th Dec: Went to St. John’s Auditorium in Koramangala to see “Bunny Brunel and the Jazz All Stars”, a multi-national jazz-rock group. Took the 500 bucks seats. Was disappointed to see that it was on the balcony, not in the main hall. But didn’t feel like shelling out 1000 or 1500 bucks for the more expensive seats for a bunch of guys I had never heard of before, esp. now that I am not working. Most of the cognoscenti seemed to have the same idea, because the balcony was packed and the main floor was virtually empty. Actually, it was a pretty good move, because from the top, you could see right into Vergil Donati’s drum kit, and see what he was doing. The All-Stars consists of Bunny Brunel (French) on Bass, Mitch Forman (US) on Keyboard, Frank Gambale (Aus-Italian) on lead and Virgil Donati (Aus) on Drums of Heaven (just joking). Each of them is apparently a star in his own right, reading their impressive CV’s in the handout. They started with a bang, and these guys played mean, hard driving jazz rock. Brunel was impressive with a firm and authoritative baseline, which was the foundation for the groups sound. But the man who truly impressed was Vergil Donati.

He was billed as “the world’s best drummer”, and he lived up to it. The man was truly awe-inspiring. He looked like the god Shiva presiding over the drums, he literally "looked" as if he had six arms and legs. "Looked", not just "sounded". You could actually see 6 arms and legs. The sound was that of 3 or 4 world class drummers playing simultaneously, each a different, and complex, rhythm. The crowd was stunned into reverent silence. It sounded like a Russian artillery battery doing shelling practice after a few too many vodkas. A lot of Thrash Heavy Metal drummers practice the rat-a-tat-tat rolling thunder effect on the bass drums. Well, Vergil baby sounded like three different simultaneous rolling thunders. And not just the monotonous rolls of the average thrash drummer either, there were three complex syncopated rhythms going on at the same time. That was just with his feet. His arms were meanwhile doing amazing things with the high hats and cymbals.

On some of the “slower” pieces, which were still a good sight faster than the fastest pieces of most other jazz groups, Virgil filled in time by juggling with his drum sticks, playing across, and other antics, all the while playing at a speed that would have left other drummers exhausted.

Truly a mind-boggling, awe-inspiring performance. It is probably the only concert I have seen in recent times, that truly deserves that adjective - “awesome”, which is the only adjective that kids nowadays seem to know.

Thursday 7th Dec: Back to BH Hindustani classical recitals at Ambedkar Bhavan. A lovely sitar-cello recital by a Mallu-Dutch husband wife duo, Shubhendra and Saskia Rao. The lady was trained in western classical music on the cello, and having fallen in love with all things Indian, switched to Hindustani classical. I believe she is the only Hindustani classical musician who uses the cello. It was a revelation hearing her...the ragas sounded so grand and majestic on the cello. It was counter-pointed by playful flurries of notes on her husband’s sitar. They looked really cute playing together. I liked the way she sat back and smiled smugly at her husband, every time she played a particularly impressive phrase. And each time he gave her a quick smile and she got back to playing looking like a pampered child. All very sweet and homely.

It was followed by a wonderful Dhrupad recital Gundecha Brothers. They had an unusually long and impressive aalap, which was remarked on in the press, so I won’t repeat it. But what stuck in my mind were their brilliant, electric yellow sherwani’s and the saintly expression on their faces (I wonder what was going on in their heads, in reality?). Along with the two pretty young things wearing bright red and white salwar kameez playing the tanpura at the back, it created a visual treat as well. The one on the left was especially pretty. I wonder if anyone has her number?

Friday 8th Dec: A German jazz group, the Wolfgang Haffner group, sponsored by Max Muellar Bhavan, playing at the Chowdiah memorial hall. Went crazy trying to access the hall. It is easily visible from the dramatic curving road along Sankay lake, but boy, it doesn’t seem to have any roads leading to it. Got there eventually, late, but they were late starting as well, so no loss. They played some nice neat jazz. Nothing spectacular, but nice and melodic, with lots of electronic effects. Germans seem to go in for that a lot…remember Kraftwerk?

Saturday 9th Dec: But...the week was topped off by Rock-day at Bangalooru habba. This deserves a whole another posting, so no more here.

And it doesn’t end here…next week, The Shakti concert featuring Zakir Hussain and John Mc Laughlin, and DEEP PURPLE on Sunday!!!

Is Bengalooru hot, or what?

Being Funny in French -5

The last lot of funny french dialogs for my 1B exam. The Viva is tomorrow. Hope it works out well!

Dialogue 1 – Agence de voyage

- Bonjour monsieur. Est-ce que je peux vous aider ?
- Bonjour ! Je recherche une destination passionnante pour mes vacances
- Quels sont vos loisirs préférés, monsieur ?
- Je n’ai jamais vu une course de taureaux. J’aimerais la voir une fois dans ma vie.
- Mais bien sûr, monsieur ! Je peux vous offrir notre voyage-olé : une semaine en Espagne avec les billets pour la corrida.
- Ça a l’air intéressant ! Ça coûte combien?
- 500 Euro tout compris. C’est un prix spécial !
- 500 Euro ! C’est trop cher pour moi!
- Combien est votre budget, monsieur ?
- 10 Euro.
- 10 Euro ! Vous pouvez aller gratuitement, peut-être ?
- Oui ! Bien sûr ! C’est possible ?
- Naturellement ! Mais, vous devriez loger dans une remise de bétail.
- Ça m’est égal.
- Et il faudrait aller par un camion de bétail.
- Ça m’est égal. Mais, est-ce que je verrais la corrida de près ?
- Bien sur ! De tout, tout près !
- Et est-ce qu’il y aura d’autres activités ?
- Oui, vous pourrez jouer avec le torero. Il vous chatouillera par une épée et vous devriez courir.
- C’est incroyable !
- Vous aimez notre offre ?
- Mais oui ! Comment c’est possible ?
- Naturellement, nous vous enverrions en tant que un taureau !
Dialogue 3 – Vacances avec des amis

- Allô Martin ? C’est Ramoo ici !
- Quel Ramoo ?
- Ramoo, ton ami en Inde, Naturellement ! Combien de Ramoos connais-tu ?
- Oh non ! Mon Dieu, pas lui encore !
- Ecoute ! Je vais venir en France pour mes vacances en mai.
- Mais pourquoi ? Tu devrais travailler plus.
- Naturellement, je logerai chez toi.
- Ça Alors !
- Dis-moi, qu’est-ce que nous ferions en mai ?
- Le nouveau sport en France, c’est ‘Le Suicide’. Nous ferions le suicide.
- Ça a l’air intéressant !
- Oui, c’est très intéressant.
- Qu’est-ce que je dois faire avant mon départ ?
- Tu dois t’entrainer bien, pour te suicider.
- Comment on le fait ?
- Il faut trouver un puits.
- Un puits….bon…
- Un puits très profond. Très, très profond….
- Bon, je le trouverai. Et puis ?
- Et puis, il faut sauter dans le puits.
- Bon, je sauterai dans le puits. Et puis ?
- Quoi puis ? C’est tout.
- Bon ! C’est très facile ! Je le ferai.
- Très bien ! Alors, en mai ! Au revoir !
- Merci ! Au revoir !

Dialogue 7 – Réserver une place pour le spectacle

- Spectacle spectaculaire, j’écoute.
- Bonjour monsieur, je voudrais réserver une place pour la danse des fées.
- Excuse-moi monsieur, mais, est-ce que vous êtes une fée ?
- Pourquoi ?
- Ce spectacle est seulement pour les fées.
- Je ne suis pas une fée, mais je suis un apprenti fée.
- Bien ! Vous voudriez réserver combien des places ?
- Seulement une. Je suis une fée seule.
- Et où voudriez vous vous asseoir ? Il y a des places de roses, des places de pissenlits, et des places de lis.
- La place la moins chère, s’il vous plait.
- C’est la place de pissenlit. Et quand ?
- À la pleine lune prochaine.
- Bon ! Je vous ai réservé une place de pissenlit à la danse de fées à la pleine lune prochaine.
- Où est-ce que je trouverais le billet?
- Vous trouveriez le billet à la sortie de la forêt noire. Vous pourriez l’acheter par la carte de crédit.
- Merci. Au revoir.
- Au revoir.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Being Funny in French -4

Here is a humorous French piece I wrote on Munich and the Oktoberfest for my 1B term project at Alliance Française. We were supposed to write a long essay on our favorite city, and we have to read it out during the exam in December. Naturally, I chose Munich, my favorite city in the whole world (after Bangalore, of course). Naturally, as a budding humorist, I had to try and make it funny. I hope it doesn’t come off as if I am making fun of Munich or the Germans. I really love Munich, it is my second home, and I truly admire Germans. I am sure my German friends will take this harmless bit of leg-pulling sportingly.

The English translation is below the French version, for the dumb-heads who don’t understand French (learn it! It is the most fun language in the world – weird but fun).

A million-billion two-fifty thousand and a half thanks to the gorgeous and mesmerizing La Laxmi, my somewhat overpowering French teacher, for correcting the grammar and laughing at my silly humor, and making me fall in love with French. One of these days I plan to write a French essay on her, when I am out of the range of her gun.

Munich, les Allemands, et l’Oktoberfest

Munich est une belle ville. J’aime Munich. Munich est plein d’Allemands, pour je ne sais pas quelle raison. Mais, j’aime les Allemands.

Munich est une ville sérieuse. Les Allemands sont un peuple sérieux. Ils font tout très sérieusement. Ils travaillent sérieusement. Ils jouent sérieusement. Ils mangent sérieusement de la glace. Ils font d’amour très sérieusement. Une liaison amoureuse des Allemands est comme une réunion d’affaires. Une réunion d’affaires très dure.

Munich se trouve dans la plus belle région d’Allemagne. La rivière Isar traverse Munich. Il ya a beaucoup de lacs et de forêts au tour de Munich. Le parc national Brechtesgaden est à côte de Munich. Munich est à côte des Alpes. Si vous habitez à haut d’un grand appartement, et si le ciel est clair, et si vous aves bu une bière, vous pouvez voir les Alpes sur l’horizon. Si vous avez bu trois bières, vous pouvez voir les Alpes quand le ciel est nuageux, aussi.

Au milieu de Munich est l’Altstadt. Altstadt signifie la ville ancienne médiévale. En fait, le vrai Altstadt a été détruit pendant la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale. C’est vraiment la reconstruction de la ville ancienne, la nouvelle ville ancienne. Au milieu d’Altstatd est la place Marienne. Au milieu de la place Marienne est le Rathaus. Rathaus signifie la mairie. Les Anglophones les appellent la maison des Rats. Les Allemands n’aiment pas les Anglophones.

Tous les jours, à midi, une danse des marionnettes de bois à lieu au-dessous de l’horloge du Rathaus. On appelle la danse des marionnettes le Glockenspiel. Les Anglophones disent que les rats pourchassent les marionnettes. Les Allemands vraiment n’aiment pas les Anglophones.

Munich est très célèbre pour le Glockenspiel. Les touristes viennent de partout dans le Monde pour voir le Glockenspiel. Il dure cinq minutes. Apres les cinq minutes, les touristes se demandent, pourquoi ils sont venus.

Munich est aussi fameux, ou infâme, pour le camp de concentration Dachau, et parce que Hitler a commencé sa carrière à Munich. Mais, on ne le discute pas avec les amis allemands. Si on veut qu’ils restent les amis.

Munich est célèbre aussi pour l’Olympia-Zentrum, le musée Deutsches Museum, le jardin Englisher Garten, et le musée de BMW.

Mais, Munich est le plus célèbre pour l’Oktoberfest. J’aime l’Oktoberfest.

L’Oktoberfest est la fête d’octobre. Elle a lieu en septembre. J’aime les Allemands.

Les Allemands aiment L’Inde. Les Indiens aiment les Allemands. Quelques Allemands, au moins.

Les Allemands ont emprunté beaucoup de choses indiennes. Ils ont emprunté même la fête des Bengalis (ou de Bongs), le Durga pûjâ. L’Oktoberfest est le Durga pûjâ des Allemands. L’Oktoberfest a lieu une semaine avant le Durga pûjâ. Les Allemands sont toujours pressés.

Pendant la Durga pûjâ, les Bongs de toutes sortes rendent un culte à la déesse Durga. Pendant l’Oktoberfest, les Allemands de toutes sortes rendent un culte au dieu Bacchus. Les Bongs portent les bons vêtements et noient la déesse Durga dans l’eau boueuse. Les Allemands portent les bons vêtements et ils se noient dans la bière boueuse. Certaines disent qu’ils s’immergent au niveau des cochons. Je ne suis pas d’accord. Je dis, ils s’immergent presqu’au niveau des cochons. J’aime les Allemands.

Les Bongs portent des vêtements traditionnels comme des dhotîs et des saris à la fête. Les Allemands portent des vêtements traditionnels comme des lederhosen et des dirndls à la fête. Certains ne portent rien. Un gros allemand qui ne porte rien n’est pas beau à voir. Ils sont arrêtés rapidement. Il gâche l’image. L’Oktoberfest est après tout, une attraction touristique.

Le dirndl est une robe longue et bouffante, qui cache tout ce qu’on veut voir. Je n’aime pas le dirndl. Il est célèbre parce qu’une fille, qui s’appelle Heidi, a fait un film sur le dirndl, ça fait longtemps. Heidi était une fille bête.

Les hommes portent des lederhosen et les femmes portent des dirndls. Normalement. Aujourd’hui, on ne sait pas très bien. Quelques hommes essayent de porter le dirndl. Ils sont arrêtés rapidement. Il gâche l’image. L’Oktoberfest est après tout une attraction touristique.

Le lederhose est une culotte de cuir très serré, qui laisse exposer les jambes. Un gros allemand en lederhose serré avec des jambes poilues est une vision alarmante. On ne l’oublie pas facilement.

Quelques femmes essayent de porter le lederhose.

C’est un vêtement curieux. Il est tellement serré, qu’il arrête la circulation du sang. La derrière se démange. C’est impossible de faire pipi. Après un peu de bière, C’est impossible on ne fait pas pipi. On boit beaucoup de bière pendant l’Oktoberfest.

Les femmes veulent pisser toujours, de toute façon. Elles ont la plomberie défectueuse.

Une fille sexy en lederhose serré, dont la derrière se démange, qui veut pisser désespérément c’est une vue intéressante. C’est pourquoi, très peu des femmes portent des lederhosen. En fait, j’ai ne jamais vue une fille en lederhose. C’est seulement mon fantasme. J’ai un fantasme fou.

Le Durga pûjâ a lieu dans des grandes tentes dans plusieurs champs en Inde. L’Oktoberfest a lieu dans beaucoup de grandes tentes dans un champ à Munich. Le champ s’appelle Theresienweise. Aller à l’Oktoberfest s’appelle « Auf der Wies’n «. Les Allemands aiment aller « Auf der Wies’n «. J’aime les Allemands.

Les tentes sont pleines de gros Allemands, qui boivent très sérieusement la bière et dansent sur les longues tables minces. De nombreux allemands ivres dansant sérieusement sur les longues tables minces, est une vision alarmante. On ne l’oublie pas facilement. Mais, j’aime les Allemands.

Pendant le Durga pûjâ, on prie à Durga, on rencontre des amis, on se parle et on mange bien. Pendant l’Oktoberfest, on boit. Et on boit. Et on boit. Ensuite on fait pipi.

De temps en temps on mange aussi. Ils ont ce grand pain tubulaire, en forme d’un cœur. Il s’appelle Brez’n. Il a un goûte bizarre comme rien d’autre sur la terre. Il est fait par des boulangers qui boivent de la bière. C’est pourquoi, ils oublient de l’enlever du four à l’heure. Il goûte comme le liège brulé. Les Allemands l’aiment. J’aime les Allemands.

Ils mangent aussi le poulet rôti. Il s’appelle Brathend’l. Un bon million de poulets reviennent à Durga pendant l’Oktoberfest. Durga est très occupée pendent l’Oktoberfest.

À l’extérieur des tentes, on prend un bratwurst d’Oktoberfest extra-long. C’est une saucisse avec un mètre de longueur, qu’on met dans une baguette d’un mètre. Il a l’air très drôle quand on le mange. Il a l’air comme… .Il a l’air comme…. Il a l’air comme on mange bratwurst d’un mètre. Quoi d’autre ? Que pensiez-vous? Votre fantasme est fou.

Après on mange, on pète.

Tennyson a pris l’inspiration pour ‘le charger la brigade léger’ après il visitait l’Oktoberfest.

« Cannons à gauche, Cannons à droit, salvaient et tonnaient. «

C’est très alarment. On ne l’oublie pas facilement.

La vie a beaucoup de cycles. La vie a beaucoup de rythme. Le cycle de naissance et de mort. Le rythme du tonnerre et de la pluie, et le gazouillement des grillons.

Le rythme l’Oktoberfest est : boire-pisser-péter
Le cycle l’Oktoberfest est : boire-pisser-péter

Je menti, il va plus profond.

Il va :
….et ainsi de suite, ad nauseam.

Ad nauseam est le Latin pour « jusqu'à on a envie de vomir ». C’est très approprié. On a très envie de vomir à l’Oktoberfest. Le cycle d’Oktoberfest s’arrête quand on fait :

Apres qu’on vomit, on va chez soi. Si on peut marcher. Autrement, les amis nous portent. S’ils peuvent marcher. Autrement, les gendarmes jettent le tout dans la poubelle. S’ils ne sont pas ivres. Ce n’est pas agréable, de passer la nuit dans une poubelle allemande pendant l’Oktoberfest. C’est très alarmant. On ne l’oublie pas facilement.

Quelques Allemands ne s’arrêtent pas, même après qui ils vomissent. Ils reviennent dans les tentes. S’ils les ont quittées premièrement. Quelques Allemands ne sont pas très agréables. Mais, j’aime les Allemands.

L’Oktoberfest est un grand évènement touristique pour Munich. Il engendre l’argent égal au PIB d’un petit pays.

L’Oktoberfest a 7 million visiteurs toutes les années.

6.6 million litres de bière sont bus à l’Oktoberfest. C’est suffisent pour laver plusieurs troupeaux d’éléphants. Plusieurs troupeaux d’éléphants très heureux.

7 million litres de pipi sont pisés a l’Oktoberfest. Ils ont les pissoirs très grands. On peut s’y perdre.

Vous pouvez poser, pourquoi 6.6 million litres de bière et 7 million litres de pipi ? D’où vient le pipi supplémentaire? Une bonne question. Ils viennent de la citronnade et du jus de pomme. Quelques pervertis fous les boivent. Ils sont arrêtés rapidement. Il gâche l’image. L’Oktoberfest est après tout une attraction touristique.

1 million mètre cube de méthane sont pétés à l’Oktoberfest. C’est suffisant pour l’électricité d’un village indienne pour une année.

Pour finir, j’aimerais dire:

Vive la bière!
Vive Munich!
Vive les Allemands !
Vive la France !
Pourquoi France? Parce que je veux un peu de notes.

Munich, the Germans and the Oktoberfest

Munich is a beautiful city. I love Munich. Munich is full of Germans, for some reason. But I love Germans.

Munich is a serious city. The Germans are a serious people. They do everything seriously. They work seriously. They play seriously. They eat ice cream seriously. They make love seriously. A German love affair is like a business meeting. A very grim business meeting.

Munich is in one of the most beautiful regions of Germany. The river Isar crosses Munich. There are many lakes and forests around Munich. Munich is close to the Alps. If you live at the top of a tall apartment block, and the sky is clear, and you have had a beer, you can see the Alps on the horizon. If you have had three beers, you can see the Alps even when the sky is cloudy.

In the middle of Munich is the Altstadt. Altstadt means the old city. In reality, the real old-city was destroyed in WW2. This is in reality a reconstruction of the old city, a new old-city. In the middle of Altstadt is the Marienplatz. In the middle of Marienplatz is the Rathaus. Rathaus means town hall. English speakers call it the Rat House. Germans don’t like English speakers.

On all days, at noon, a dance of wooden puppets takes place under the Rathaus clock. This puppet dance is called Glockenspiel. English speakers say the rats are chasing the puppets. The Germans really don’t like English speakers.

Munich is very famous for the Glockenspiel. Tourists come from all parts of the world to see the Glockenspiel. It lasts for five minutes. After the five minutes, the tourists wonder why they came.

Munich is also famous, or infamous, for the Dachau concentration camp, and because Hitler started his career here. But one doesn’t discuss this with German friends. Not if one wants them to remain friends.

Munich is also well known for the Olympia Zentrum, the Deutsches Museum, the Englischergarten, and the BMW museum.

But, Munich is most famous for Oktoberfest. I love Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest is the feast of October. It takes place in September. I love Germans.

The Germans love India. The Indians love Germans. Some of them, anyway.

The Germans have borrowed many things from India. They have even borrowed the Bong festival, Durga Pooja. Oktoberfest is the German Durga Pooja. Oktoberfest takes place 1 week before Durga pooja. The Germans are always in a hurry.

During Durga Pooja, Bongs of all description worship the goddess Durga. During Oktoberfest, Germans of all description worship the god Bacchus. During Durga Pooja, Bongs wear nice clothes and drown Durga in muddy water. During Oktoberfest, Germans wear nice clothes and drown themselves in muddy beer. Some say, they submerge themselves to the level of pigs. I don’t agree. I say, they submerge themselves almost to the level of pigs. I love Germans.

Bongs wear traditional Bong costumes like dhotis and sarees to the feast. Germans wear traditional Byrish costumes like lederhosen and dirndl. Some wear nothing. A fat German wearing nothing is not a pleasant sight. They are quickly arrested. It spoils the image. Oktoberfest is after all a tourist attraction.

Women wear dirndl and the men wear lederhosen. Generally. Nowadays, one can never be sure. Dirndl is a big white billowy petticoat which hides everything one normally wants to see. I don’t like Dirndl. It was made famous by a girl called Heidi who made a movie about it a long time ago. Heidi was a very silly girl.

Some men try to wear Dirndl. They are quickly arrested. It spoils the image. Oktoberfest is after all a tourist attraction.

The lederhosen is a tight leather half pants, which leaves the legs exposed. A fat German in tight lederhosen with hairy legs is an alarming sight. One does not forget it easily.

Some women try to wear lederhosen.

It is a very curious garment. It is so tight it stops the blood circulation, it gives you scratchy bottoms, and it is almost impossible to pee wearing one. It is impossible not to pee after a few beers. You drink a lot of beer at Oktoberfest.

Women anyway want to pee all the time. They have faulty plumbing.

A sexy girl in tight lederhosen with scratchy bottoms, desperately wanting to pee is the most interesting sight on earth. That’s why, very few girls wear lederhosen. Actually, I’ve never actually seen a girl wearing lederhosen. It is only my fantasy going wild. I have a very wild fantasy.

Durga pooja takes place in one large tent in many fields across India. Oktoberfest takes place in many large tents in one field in Munich. The field is called Theresienwiese. Going to Oktoberfest is called “Auf der Wies’n”. Germans love going “Auf der Wies’n”. I love Germans.

The tents are full of many fat Germans, grimly drinking beer and dancing on long thin wooden tables. The sight of many drunk Germans dancing grimly on long thin wooden tables is a very alarming sight. One does not forget it easily. But, I love Germans.

During Durga pooja, one prays to durga, meets friends, talks, and has nice food. During Oktoberfest, one drinks. And drinks. And drinks. Then one pees.

Occasionally, one also eats. They have this huge tubular heart shaped bread called Brez’n. It tastes like nothing on earth. It is made by bakers who drink beer. That is why, they forget to take it out of the oven in time. It tastes like burnt cork. The Germans love it. I love the Germans.

They also eat roast chicken. It is called Brathend’l. Many million chickens return to Durga during Oktoberfest. Durga is very busy during Oktoberfest..

Outside the tents, one gets extra long Oktoberfest bratwurst. It is a meter long sausage in a meter long baguette. It looks very funny when you eat it. It looks like…It looks like…it looks like you are eating a meter long bratwurst. What else? What did you think I was going to say? Your fantasy is running wild.

After eating, one farts.

Tennyson got his inspiration for the charge of the light brigade after visiting Oktoberfest.
“Cannons to the left of them, Cannons to the right of them, volleyed and thundered”

It is very alarming, indeed.

Life has many cycles. Life has many rhythms. The cycle of life-death-birth. The rhythm of thunder and rain, and crickets chirping.

The rhythm of Oktoberfest is: Drink-pee-fart.
The cycle of Oktoberfest is: Drink-pee-fart.

I lie. Actually, it goes much deeper than that. It goes.

….and so on, ad nauseam.

Ad nauseam is Latin for “until you get sick”. This is very appropriate. One gets very sick in Oktoberfest.

The cycle of Oktoberfest stops when you go:

After you vomit, you go home. If you can walk. Otherwise, your friends carry you home. If they can walk. Otherwise the police throw the whole lot in a garbage can. If they are not drunk. It is not nice to spend the night in a German garbage can during Oktoberfest. It is very alarming. One does not forget it easily.

Some Germans don’t stop after vomiting. They go back into the tents again. If they left it in the first place. Some Germans are not very nice. But, I love Germans.

Oktoberfest is a huge tourist event for Germany. It generates money equal to the GDP of a small country.

30 million liters of Beer are drunk at Oktoberfest. It is enough to wash several herds of elephants. Several herds of very happy elephants.

35 Million liters of piss are peed at Oktoberfest. They have very large pissoirs. You can get lost in them.

You may ask, why 30 million liters of Beer and 35 million liters of piss? Where is the extra piss coming from? Good questions. It comes from Apple juice and lemonade. Some crazy, perverted people drink that too. They are quickly arrested. It spoils the image. Oktoberfest is after all a tourist attraction.

4 million cubic meters of methane is farted at every Oktoberfest. That is enough methane to light a small Indian village for a year. It affects global warming. They should have a small Indian Village at Oktoberfest.

Finally, to end:

Viva la Beer!
Viva la Munich!
Viva les Allemand
Viva la France
Why France? Because I want a few marks in my French exam.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Being Funny in French -3

Here is a set of funny French dialogs that I have prepared for the final viva of level 1B at Alliance Française, which is next month. They are longer, funnier and more elaborate than the 1A dialogs. Obviously, my french is improving ;)

I’ll post the translations one of these days, if anyone is interested.

Comments from other students at AF welcome. You can use these yourself, but only after I am done with my exams in december!! Please let me know how it goes if you do use them.

Comments from native french speakers will be highly appreciated!

Dialogue 4 – Le Magasin

Ah Monsieur ! Vous vous intéressez à notre collection de négligées ?
- Oui. Ils sont très chics!
- Merci! Vous cherchez peut-être quelque chose pour votre femme ?
- En fait….non…
- Ah ! Je comprends ! Vous cherchez quelque chose de très sexy, ne c’est pas ?
- Oui. Très sexy et très court, avec fourrure, s’il vous plaît.
- Bon. Nous avons celui-ci, c’est à la mode cette année, mais un peu cher.
- Je ne sais pas….La couleur est un peu triste
- Nous avons aussi celui-là, c’est le négligée classique.
- Bien ! Il me plaît ! Mais, je le voudrais essayer.
- Bien-sûr, monsieur ! Mais, où et la belle femme ?
- Quelle femme ?
- La femme, à qui vous donnerez le négligée.
- C’est pour moi !
- Pour vous ! Mais vous êtes un homme !
- Alors ?
- Mon dieu ! C’est un type bizarre !
- Quoi ?
- Rien ! Mais, bien-sûr monsieur. Vous pouvez l’essayer.
- Merci. Où est le salon d’essayage ?
- C’est derrière vous.
- ……
- Ah Monsieur. Vous voudrez acheter le négligée ?
- Non, j’ai changé d’avis.
- Mais pourquoi ? Il vous va très bien !
- J’ai envie de quelque chose de plus macho. Vous avez peut-être des négligées machos ?
- Je suis désolée, monsieur…
- Bon. Au revoir.
- Mais, vous avez déchiré le négligée !
- Alors ? Votre vêtement est de mauvaise qualité !
- Il faut payer 100 euro, s’il vous plaît.
- Ça Alors ! 100 euro !! Vous êtes folle !
- Autrement je dois appeler la police !
- Bon ! Bon ! Je paie ! Voleurs ! Escrocs !

Dialogue 5 – Deux semaines en France pour travail

Allô ? Martin Dupuis ici !
- Allô Martin ! C’est moi.
- Qui ?
- C’est moi ! Tu ne me reconnais pas ?
- Maman ! Tu es encore vivante ?
- Idiot ! Je suis Ramoo !
- Quel Ramoo ?
- Ramoo, ton ami en Inde !
- Je ne sais pas un Ramoo en Inde.
- Mais tu as dit, que tu ne vas jamais m’oublier…
- J’ai dû être ivre. Mais, est-ce que je peux t’aider ?
- Je vais en France la semaine prochaine pour la réunion internationale d’éboueurs à Nice.
- Tu es éboueur, alors ?
- Mais oui ! Tu sais ça!
- Ça Alors !
- Que dit la météo pour la semaine prochaine ?
- Il fera très, très froid. Les températures iront de vingt degrés au-dessous de zéro. Il y
aura de l’orage, de la pluie. Peut-être il y aura d’ouragan aussi.
- C’est parfait ! J’aurai le weekend prochain libre. Tu as quelques suggestions, ce que je
pourrais faire ?
- Il y a beaucoup, beaucoup de poubelles à Nice. Tu peux faire une petite recherche des
poubelles françaises, peut-être. Il y a le musée de détritus à Nice, de plus. Tu peux le
visiter, aussi.
- Bon ! Ce sont les belles idées ! Je voudrais faire des courses aussi.
- La Galerie Lafayette est pleine de détritus, mais trop cher.
- Cela me va…Merci pour l’information.
- De rien.
- Naturellement, je logerai chez toi.
- Quoi ! Ça Alors !
- Je vais venir chez toi le samedi prochain le matin. J’ai ton adresse. Alors, à samedi !
Au Revoir !
- Non ! Non ! Mon Dieu ! Non ! Allô ? Allô ?

Dialogue 8 – Diner dans un restaurant

- Brasserie Pierre, j’écoute !
- Allô Brasserie. Je voudrais acheter un jacuzzi, un carton d’ détergent, et un rat empaillé.
- C’est un restaurant, monsieur. Ce n’est pas un magasin.
- Alors ?
- Vous voudrez réserver une table pour le dîner, peut-être ?
- Ah Oui ! J’oublie. Je voudrais réserver une table pour ce soir, à huit heures.
- Bon, pour combien de personnes ?
- Pour deux adultes est une vieille folle.
- Bon. Pour trois adultes, à huit heures. Et vous vous appelez, monsieur ?
- Napoléon de la Croix
- Merci monsieur. Au revoir.
- =========
- Vous aves choisi ?
- Oui. J’ai envie d’un filet de crocodile avec des pommes frites et des crudités.
- Je suis désolée monsieur, nous ne avons pas de crocodile.
- Pourquoi ? C’est quel type de restaurant ? Appelez votre maître d’hôtel. Allez !
- Bonjour Monsieur ! Est-ce que je peux vous aider ?
- Oui, cette serveuse a dit, vous n’avez pas de crocodile.
- Si bien sûr monsieur, nous avons du crocodile. Mais, si peu de nos clients demandent du
crocodile, alors, vous devez commander le crocodile entier, s’il vous plait.
Il coûte 1000 euro.
- Ça Alors ! Bon, vous avez un steak de girafe ou d’hippopotame, hein ?
- Je suis désolée monsieur, mais vous devez…
- Nyaa, Nyaa, Nyaa….Bon. Qu’est-ce que vous avez ?
- Je peux vous offrir un coq au vin, peut-être ?
- Bon. Je prends votre coq au vin. C’est un restaurent très ennuyeux.
- Merci monsieur, c’est très gentil !

Dialogue 2 – Travail au stand à la foire

MV : Mode du Monde, Malade de la Vachefolle à l’appareil.
SS : Bonjour monsieur de la Vachefolle. Ici Sukhiwinder Harpratap Singh de Faridabad.
MV : Bonjour. Est-ce que je peux vous aider ?
SS : J’appelle à propos de votre annonce dans le Journal aujourd’hui.
MV : Ah ! Vous êtes intéressé pour tenir notre stand à la foire à Faridabad ?
SS : Oui ! Bien sûr !
MV : Est-ce que vous avez travaillé dans un salon avant ?
SS : La vie c’est un salon, et nous sommes tous toujours a l’exposition !
MV : Nous n’avons pas besoin de philosophe ! Vous connaissez un peu la mode ?
SS : Les femmes, elles connaissent tout sur la mode. Et je regarde les femmes tout le jour.
MV : Quelle est votre profession, monsieur ?
SS : Je suis étudiant de la vie. Je connais un peu le français aussi.
MV : Vous aves quel âge ?
SS : Chronologiquement, j’ai dix-neuf ans,
mais l’esprit, il n’est jamais né, et n’est jamais mort.
MV : Et vos loisirs préférés, s’il vous plait ?
SS : Je fais le sport d’amour.
MV : Bon ! Vous avez quelques questions ?
SS : Oui ! Je voudrais savoir, quand á lieu le salon ?
MV : Le salon dure du 15 au 30 novembre.
SS : Quelle sont les heures d’ouverture ?
MV : De neuf heures le matin à six heures le soir.
SS : Qu’est-ce qu’on fait dans le salon ?
MV : Vous devez répondre aux questions des visiteurs.
SS : Merci. C’est tout.
MV : Bon, nous nous rencontrons le 14 novembre à neuf heurs à la salle du salon.
SS : Merci, au revoir !
MV : Au revoir.

Being Funny in French -2

Here is a set of funny French dialogs that I had used for the final viva of level 1A at Alliance Française (2 months ago). I’ll post the translations one of these days, if anyone is interested.

The Dialog numbers refer to the Dialog numbers in the question paper

Dialog 3

- Bonjour, je m’appelle Ashwini
- Bonjour. je m’appelle Pashupati
- Vous allez à Paris ?
- Oui. Et vous ?
- Oui, moi aussi. Je vais à Paris
- Je suis Indien. Vous aussi, je suppose ?
- Bien sûr! Je suis Indien aussi.
- Je ne comprends pas. Parlez en français, s’il vous plaît.
- Vous ne connaissez pas Hindi ?
- Bien sûr, mais, on parle français en France
- Imbécile !
- Toi aussi !

Dialog 5

- J’aimerais te rencontrer dimanche, c’est possible ?
- C’est tout à fait possible !
- on va où? au cinéma ? au restaurant ?
- Je préfère l’ornithologie
- Bon. Où sont les oiseaux les plus belles ?
- Au collège Mount carmel, je suppose.
- À Garuda mall, aussi. Il ya les cinémas et les restaurants de plus.
- Bon. Noun nous rencontrons à Garuda mall dimanche
- D’accord. A quelle heure ?
- les oiseaux se lèvent après 10 heures.
- Bon. Nous nous rencontrons à 10 heures et demie.
- D’accord.

Dialog 6

- Allô Louis
- Allô Ashwini ! Comment vas-tu ?
- Ça va. Et toi ?
- Ça va bien. Tu es à Lyon ?
- Oui, je passe trois jours à Lyon pour mon travail
- Formidable ! Noun nous rencontrons ?
- Oui, nous pouvons nous rencontrer lundi à 8 heures du matin à mon hôtel. On va prendre le petit-déjeuner ensemble.
- C’est dommage ! J’ai une réunion à 8 heures lundi. Mercredi peut-être pour le dîner?
- C’est parfait, à quelle heure ?
- On va au cinéma à 6 h et puis on va dîner ensemble.
- Super, à lundi alors
- À lundi.

Dialog 9

- Bonjour. Je voudrais rencontrer le médecin
- Pourquoi ?
- Je suis malade! Quelle question ?
- Vous avez un problème avec votre femme ?
- Non, j’ai mal à la tête !
- C’est la même chose
- Je suis malade, je dis !
- Vous avez un problème avec une fille ? Vous avez un problème au travail ?
- Je suis malade, imbécile !!!
- Vraiment malade ?
- Oui
- Je suis désolé, je ne peux pas vous aider.
- Pourquoi ?
- Je suis psychologue !

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Being Funny in French!

This is my attempt at being funny in French! Flaubert, of course, has nothing to worry about…yet. But considering that it was written about 6 weeks into my basic French course (1-A) at Alliance Française, I think it is not a bad little piece. Maybe Flaubert WILL have something to worry about by the time I have finished up to the advanced level ;)

Dialogue avec le directeur de l’Alliance Française
Auteur : Poltu

- Alliance Française, Vinita à l’appareil, J’écoute

- Allô, bonjour madame, Je voudrais parler au directeur de l’Alliance Française

- Attendez, je vous passe le directeur

- Vélo ici

- Je ne voudrais pas acheter un vélo. Je voudrais parler au directeur de l’Alliance Française

- Je suis Rad Vélo, le directeur de l’Alliance Française

- Ah ! Vélo…c’est un nom comique !

- Oui, je déteste mon père.

- Rad n’est pas un nom Français non plus.

- Oui, c’est Allemand pour Vélo. Ma mère est allemande

- C’est un prénom drôle. Votre mère est comédienne.

- Oui, je déteste ma mère

- Dommage, c’est la vie

- Oui, Comment est-ce que je peux vous aider ?

- Je suis étudiant en 1A le matin. Je voudrais un transfert au cour du soir.

- Parlez avec le réceptionniste. Ne me dérangez pas.

- J'ai parlé à la réception. Nous avons eu un petit désaccord.

- Ah ! Vous êtes le garçon, qui a cassé la fenêtre de la réception

- Oui

- Et l’ordinateur.

- Oui

- Et le nez du réceptionniste

- Oui

- Pourquoi voudriez-vous le transfert tellement ?

- Cela ne vous concerne pas!

- Bon. Au Revoir !

- Attendez, s’il vous plaît!

- Oui ?

- J’ai un problème avec la circulation, avec mon bureau, avec ma professeur, avec ma vie. Qu’est-ce que vous-voudriez entendre ?

- La vérité

- Bon. C’est une belle fille dans le cours du soir….

- Alors, vous pensez que l’Alliance Française est un lieu pour regarder les belles
étudiantes ?

- Oui, et les belles professeurs.

- Ça alors! Tu as le cerveau comme le petit-déjeuner du chien ! Il faut le laver.

- Vieux gazon, tu as le cerveau d’un buffle mort !

- Quoi ?

- Rien.

- Tu as l’esprit comme un chimpanzé non lavé

- Tu chauvesouris géronte, tu as le visage du derrière d’un babouin !

- Pardon ?

- Rien

- Tu as dit quelque chose

- Rien, rien. Attendez ! Vous-êtes d’accord, l’anglais est la langue des commerçants ?

- Bien sûr!

- Et l’italien est la langue de poésie ?

- Peut-être

- Et l’allemand est la langue des chevaux ?

- Naturellement !

- Et le français est la langue d’Amour ?

- Oui ! Oui ! Oui ! Cent fois, Oui !

- C’est un crime de chercher l’Amour dans le cours de français ?

- C’est juste !

- Vous êtes d’accord pour le transfert ?

- Oui ! Mais, qui est la fille ?

- Je ne sais pas son nom. Elle est petite, et elle a les cheveux crépu.

- Ah ! Et un nez petit et vif ?

- Oui

- Et elle a les yeux bleus-verts ?

- Oui

- Et elle a la ligne comme celle de Brigitte Bardot ?

- Oui

- Je suis désolé ! Je ne suis pas d’accord pour votre transfert.

- Quoi ? Vous avez dit oui à l’instant.

- Il ya un petit problème…Je l'aime moi-même.

- Ça alors!

- Oui

- Mais, tu es vieux !

- Oui

- Et tu es chauve !

- Oui

- Et tu es demi-sourd

- Oui

- Et tu ressemble à un babouin scié

- Oui, mais tu as un million d’euros a la banque ?

- Non

- Moi, j’en ai. Tu as un Mercedes-Benz avec un chauffeur ?

- Non

- Moi, j’en ai. Tu as un appartement dans la rue Lavelle ?

- Non

- Moi, j’en ai. Tu as rendez-vous avec la fille au restaurant demain ?

- Non

- Moi, j’en ai. Alors…Na ! Na ! Na !

- Merde !

- Oui

- Merde de chien !

- Oui

- Merde de chat !

- Oui. La vie c’est une grande merde!

- Oui

- Au revoir ! Meilleure chance la prochaine fois.

- Au revoir !

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Perl's Script

Perl’s Script

Sample Chapters: XXXXXX

I started this book about six months ago, and it has just been completed. More or less.

This was planned as a Wodehousean humor novel (google for P.G.Wodehouse if you don’t know what the term means), but transposed to Bangalore and based in a typical software company. The final product is vaguely Wodehousean, in that it depends for its humor on wordplay and snappy cross-talk. The plot however is not really Wodehousean, because it relates the tale of Hari, a middle aged middle manager in an IT company (something like myself), who loses his job in the middle of a down turn and starts a web-development company. No earls, missing pigs and stolen amber statuettes here!

In the process of starting this company, he meets a lot of interesting customers, and most of the humor comes out of these interactions: A yoga guru, a condom kingpin, and a German R&D engineer. In stages, the company takes shape.

At some point, Perl enters his life as a business partner. She is extraordinary beautiful and super-competent. Hari falls deliriously in love with her. But he is married, and so is she. At this point the novel becomes faintly autobiographical and just a little bit mushy. The story of Hari and Perl is almost entirely fictional, but some of the emotions and experiences that Hari undergoes are inspired by my own feelings when I fell madly in love with someone. And Perl is VERY loosely based on the woman I loved. Some of the dialogs and events are also based on what had happened between us, but highly fictionalized. Writing about the fictional Perl was important to me personally, as it helped me get over my sense of loss, after my true love left me. I refer to this in another post (TRLGLLH)

Perl is very central to the book, and very important to me personally. Perl’s name is spelled Perl rather than Pearl for obvious reasons: as a play on the Perl scripting language, as this is a book about software developers. The title too is a very obvious play on the same thing.

In the second half, the book keeps teetering between mushiness and humor, and ends on a positive, humorous note. I personally think this mix, which is VERY un-Wodehousean, works well enough. Wodehouse, of course, avoided mush and sentimentality like the plague except in one or two notable exceptions like Heavy Weather, which is sentimental in patches.

A slight disappointment is the German section. When I was plotting the book, I was convinced there was a mine of humor waiting to be excavated in a German gearbox manufacturer. Unfortunately, when I started writing, I couldn’t produce any laugh-aloud comic moments out of it. But it has a kind of gentle underlying humor. After massaging those chapters, I bought in some loud humor using some standard Wodehousean devices, but it is still one of the slower sections. But on the whole, it is nice in other ways, and is critical to the plot, so I have left it in. I was anyway aiming for something a more than straight comedy, unlike Wodehouse. It is something between a straight comedy and literary fiction. Unlike Wodehouse, I hope to win the Booker prize someday J. Literary fiction wins Booker prizes; comedy doesn’t, unfortunately.

Be warned: there are lots and lots of sexual references in the book. VERY un-Wodehousean indeed. No sex scenes however. It is still straight humor, without obscenity or innuendos. It is just that I don’t cringe at talking openly about sex and bowl movements and other personal matters, and joking about it, unlike my mentor PGW.

Actually, even Wodehouse makes occasional references to sex. Two incidents I remember off-hand are firstly in “Pigs Have Wings”, where Beach the butler receives a photograph with the picture of a nude woman, which goes to Earl Emsworth by mistake, and there is some banter about sex. Secondly, in “Uncle Dynamite”, there is some cross-talk about strong silent men taming proud beauties with a flick of the hunting crop on the old spot, and Sally going around in the “nood”. Of course, in typical PGW fashion, it is done in an innocent and childlike manner.

Actually, my references are equally innocuous and childlike. The only difference between me and PGW is that he must have ten such incidents scattered amongst his entire oeuvre of ninety novels, and I probably have fifty such references in the course of a single novel. But my approach towards sex is basically the same as his, playful and childlike. This is not put-on; I genuinely share the same attitude. I consider sex as something pure and beautiful and innocent, and for the life of me cannot understand the nudge-nudge wink-wink furtive attitude towards sex of most of my fellow human beings. If you read TRLGLLH, you will understand my position, that it is the final beautiful culmination of the dance of Yin and Yang, which God has based the central design of the universe upon. But I am moving into the territory of my first book here.

The status today: I had set myself a target of 75000 words, and it is stuck at about 72500 words, and I have run out of plot. It is for all practical purposes complete, were it not for this artificial target that I have set myself. Actually, 72500 is also a fairly decent size.

I have already started sending it out to publishers and agents. The editor, if I am lucky enough to get one, will anyway ask me to make changes, and I can push it past 75000 at that stage.

The great thing about comedy is that you can massage existing dialogs indefinitely and pad the novel with additional incidental dialogs, and push it past any figure you want, as long as you can sustain the humor. Readers accept it in a comedy, and even expect it.

The hard thing about comedy is that it has to be, well, comic. And that requires moments of inspiration.

If I can get a publisher, I may be working on this book for another six months until the editor is satisfied. If I can’t, I will finish it as best as I can myself, and self-publish it. In this case, it should be done in another month or so. I couldn’t possibly work any more on it: I’m already starting to get fatigued and am looking forward to the next project.

Look in again in November/December 2006. It may be available for sale here at that time, if I decide to self-publish it. Until then, you can read the sample chapters.

Sample Chapters: XXXXXX

PS: If you are an agent or a publisher, and would like the full MS, or would like to like to get in touch with me for any other reason, please post a comment. Comments on this blog are moderated, I get to see them and choose if they are to be displayed. Naturally, I will treat such comments in confidence

The Raving Lunatics Guide to Life Love and Happiness

The Raving Lunatics Guide to Life Love and Happiness

TRLGLLH for short. Pronounced Trol-Gluh.

Sample Chapters: XXXXXX

This was a book I wrote two years ago (completed mid 2005). It was at the end of a very bad phase in my life. My mother died in a fire, and I felt alone for the first time in my life. My father died of lung cancer. I was having a series of disasters in my department at work, my wife divorced me, and I lost most of my money. The worst blow was when I fell desperately in love with a beautiful woman, who I thought was my true soul mate. I was convinced we knew each other from past lives. We had a short, brilliant, exuberant affair, which blew my mind to smithereens. After that she dumped me. It is always traumatic, getting dumped. Getting dumped by someone whom you love so desperately, after you connect so deeply, is an unbelievable nightmare. I attempted suicide a couple of times. I started thinking about life. About the core truth behind happiness and sadness. About the purpose of life. This book is the result of all that thinking.

Writing this book helped me overcome most of my trauma, and reading it should help anyone else who is depressed and suicidal. It still didn’t help me get over that girl. Writing my second book and my T-bird helped me do that. I have since managed to move on in life and grow spiritually, and this book doesn’t connect to me as deeply as it did two years ago. But I believe the vision I had at the time was a valid vision, and the book contains an essential truth. It is just that the vision has been ingrained into my psyche and lifestyle, and I take it for granted now. But it will be of use to others who have not reached this stage yet.

It doesn’t contain any simple formula or magic trick. It is just a different way of looking at life, and understanding what is really going on out there. Stuff which your priest or mullah or guru can’t tell you, and which a New-Age pseudo would rather tie you in knots with verbiage than tell you.

It is a kind of a New-Age spiritual, a vaguely Deepak Chopraish, Neal Donaldish kind of stuff, but with a humorous touch. It is written in plain English, without all that maddening mumbo-jumbo you get in New Age books. It is also cheeky and irreverent, and happily punctures all sorts of egos. It also has a lot of controversial ideas and statements and is completely politically incorrect: I hate any kind of hypocrisy and double standards. A lot of people are gonna get very annoyed with me when it comes out!

I discovered a surprising ability to draw nice cartoons, and I have drawn a funny cartoon to go with each chapter.

It also has bits of autobiography in it, so it is a very personal book, in some senses. It also has bits of creative writing, and most of it is written as a piece of literary prose, rather than as a preachy here-I-stand-on-a-pedestal-and-teach-you-lesser-mortals self-help book. I rather fancy myself as a novelist than a Deepak Chopra/Robin Sharma clone.

I like to think it doesn’t fit into any one genre, and straddles multiple genres like a big floppy indefinable ‘thing’.

Current Status: I am still trying to get it published. I have sent it to numerous Agents and publishers without much success. I still haven’t discovered what those weirdoes look for. I know I am saying it myself, but looking at the kind of junk that gets published nowadays, I can’t believe this stuff is not considered good enough. I’ll try for another few months and then self-publish it on or something. Come back in Dec 2006, you may be able to purchase it here as an e-book or as an on-demand book. Until then, you can read the sample chapters.

Sample Chapters: XXXXXX

PS: If you are an agent or a publisher, and would like the full MS, or would like to like to get in touch with me for any other reason, please post a comment. Comments on this blog are moderated, I get to see them and choose if they are to be displayed. Naturally, I will treat such comments in confidence

T-bird and I

In the beginning, there was fear, misery, a longing for things that could not be, a lack of direction and a sense of purpose in life. In a word: unhappiness, desolation, bafflement (OK that’s three words but we’ll let that go). God saw this misery, and God was moved. And God said, “Let there be T-bird”, and the heavens rumbled, and into the life of a wretched miserable son-of-a-whatnot in the fair village of Banguluru, by the sea of Muddywala, there appeared a glorious vision of flaming red, shining chrome, and thumping piston music, and his world was never the same again.

But seriously, my life has changed ever since my Thunderbird bought me (No, you don’t buy Thunderbirds, they buy you). The internet is full of purple passionate prose deifying this wondrous bike from the Enfield India stable, and all of it is true. So here I go, adding my bit to the anthology.

In my case, I guess the effect was a bit stronger, since I upgraded directly from an aging, battered Kinetic Honda to a Thunderbird. No disrespect to this old machine. It has faithfully and uncomplainingly carried me and my women for the last 15 years. Finally, the poor dear has started showing signs of age and has cylinder compression problems, in addition to gouts, arthritis and varicose veins. I had a choice between spending more on getting the piston retooled than I would get for selling it off second hand, or getting a new baby.

Now, something strange happens when you cross forty. You suddenly realize that life has passed you by, and you will soon die, and you haven’t got around to living yet. Suddenly you lose all fears and inhibitions and start living life the way you should have, in the first place, if you hadn’t been such an ass. I had always envied people riding powerful motorcycles, but had settled for a safe low-powered gearless scooter, as it was more ‘practical’ and ‘convenient’ and ‘easy to ride’. In reality, I was scared of the beast.

So, when it came to replacing my old girl, I decided, in line with my mid-life resolution to be courageous, to buy the biggest and beastliest beast the Indian market has to offer: namely, the aforementioned T-bird. Surprisingly, T-bird and I took to each other instantly. I got used to its powerful pick-up within fifteen minutes of getting on it, and I got used to the foot gears (which I used to have nightmares about) within half an hour. I was a little shame-faced about being afraid of something so easy, for so many years.

In a day, I was ready to let rip on the highways. Oh me God! What an experience. It was like floating on air. The other junk on the road (sorry, I mean the other cars, trucks, bullock carts and whatnots) just seemed to disappear lazily in the slipstream. The wind hit me like a solid wall and nearly lifted me off my seat. T-bird seemed to be stationary. It was the earth which seemed to be revolving under it. For the first time in my life, I found myself singing Steppenwolf’s “born to be wild”. I know that’s a bit of a cliché, but I finally realized what that song was all about. Especially that bit about ‘heavy metal thunder’.

Finally, I was in a position to pay back all those louts riding the 100CC wonders that flood the Indian market, who had for years sneered at me riding my old scooter. Did I do it? No. To whom the T-bird has come, the wretches riding Hero Hondas, TVS’s and the other 100CC junk are non-people. One does not see them, they blur into the background.

Did my life change? Yes it did. Suddenly, I stopped obsessing about women, and crying at nights about the girl who dumped me. I stopped worrying about being insulted by my boss. Suddenly, women were immaterial. Bosses were immaterial. Work was immaterial. When I was with my T-bird, there was just the two of us. The world did not exist. When I was not with my T-bird, I dreamt about it. It fulfilled every need I ever had.

Is T-bird male or female? It is difficult to say. It looks beautiful, gorgeous, curvy: prettier than the most exciting woman I have ever known. On the other hand, it is also a macho beast. I used to call my old Kinetic Honda Ol’Girl, and she liked it. I tried calling T-bird Swee-Baby and hugging it, and T-bird did not like it one bit. Every time I referred to it by that name while riding, or entertained any passionate thoughts about it, T-bird hit back by stalling, skidding or nearly ramming into someone. I have changed to a safely asexual Ol’Buddy, and T-bird does not seem to mind that. I also avoid having any amorous thoughts while riding, and we get along fine. Of course, once T-bird is parked in the garage and I am safe in bed, I am free to think romantic thoughts about T-bird. T-bird hasn’t yet learnt to climb the stairs, open the door to my apartment and give me a biff on the head. Not yet. One day it might.

I do know I’ve stopped having sexual fantasies about women since T-bird came. Does that say more about T-bird’s gender or my sexual predilections?

Only one real disappointment. When I was buying the bike, I had this vague vision of long rides with babes in the great outdoors, or what passes for it around Bangalore. Till date: nary a babe. Haven’t managed to get a single babe to ride it yet. There was this special friend I really wanted to take for a ride. Just one ride. One little itty-bitty ride, to sort-of inaugurate it properly. I begged, I wheedled, I sulked, I cajoled. Nope, she wouldn’t even touch it, far from riding on it. She only deigned to look at it from a safe distance of three feet, and said, in a flat kinda voice, “nice bike”.

I thought it would be a babe magnet. I do get lots of envious looks from other people when I stop at the red lights (yes, once in a while even a T-bird has to stop at a red light), from the other sods riding Hero Honda and the ilk. All male. Babes don’t even look at it. Once in a while they look at me, when I’m wearing a nice shirt and the beard is trimmed. At me, never at T-bird. I’ve come to the conclusion that all women are daft and we men are crazy to spend so much time tormenting ourselves about them. We all need a T-bird in our life.

One little grouse. There is a silly little sticker on the petrol tank saying “you are riding a 100 year old legend”, that stares you in the face all the time. All right, already!! We all KNOW we are riding a legend. You don’t have to rub it in, in this crass fashion. It spoils the whole effect. I hope the sticker drops off on its own some day. I’m afraid of trying to remove it, in case the paint gets scratched. Please Enfield, stop putting this silly marketing sticker on our T-birds.

I do hope too many people don’t read this blog and go out and buy a T-bird. First of all, you can’t do it. A T-bird has to decide to buy you. A T-bird comes to you only when you are mentally and spiritually ready for it. If you want a T-bird to come to you, meditate, do yoga, and learn to be kind to small furry creatures and little homeless children.

More importantly, we like being a small exclusive club. It would be so sad if T-birds became as ubiquitous as those ghastly Hero Honda’s and Bajaj Pulsars. That would end the dream. Of course, the bean counters at Enfield’s Madras office might love it.

If you expected a technical review of Thunderbird, I guess you would be disappointed with this post. I am supposed to be some sort of an engineer, but at heart I am a poet and all technical specs are dross. The only thing that is important to me is that T-bird is my mysterious magic carpet that has bought happiness back to me. If you are an aficionado of tech specs, you can do no better than to go to the Thunderbird web-site:

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Hello World

Like a good software programmer, I start my blog with a hello world posting!


I am 42, a Software Programmer turned manager turned writer. I have written two books (A humorous Novel and a funny spiritual) and have started a third. I also plan to undertake freelance contract writing.

In this blog, I plan to talk about my writing carreer, provide synopsis and samples of my work, and write humorous sketches on topics that interest me.

more later...