Monthly Archives: July 2005

Hogwash

Howling was a worried author. Though her books were appreciated by the masses, she hadn’t been able to reach quite the same level as a certain Mr.Erle Stanley Gardner. and she was quite sure that it was mostly due to the one star character that Gardner had created – perry mason. yes, thought Howling, that was what she needed – an iconic character. she didn’t want to take the competition head on, so the character couldn’t be a lawyer. there was only one profession that could offer the same kind of thrills, mystery, sex and intrigue – a private detective. and thus was born Parry Hotter. Parry, a take on Perry, and Hotter, because Howling thought hes character would be, well, a much hotter proposition in the market. and what followed was

Parry Hotter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Donald Chump had everything – money, power, hair, a successful reality show, but in spite of all this, he was a worried man. Women hated him. In spite of all the pheromone perfumes and pickup lines that his staff wrote for him, he simply couldn’t woo a woman. But he still had some hope, for legend had it that a philosopher in ancient Greece had found the secret of what women really wanted, and had capsuled the secret into a stone. Chump was told by his advisers that if it existed, there was only one man who could get it for him – Parry Hotter. Chump only told him two words – You’re hired!! And thus begins Parry’s journey to Greece and its past. Will Parry get the stone? Will Chump become a lady’s man??In the very first book of the series, Howling has created a character that looks all set to become an icon for generations to come.

Parry Hotter and the Chamber of Secrets

It is said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. In the second book of the series, Howling has raised controversial questions on America’s legislature, the Clinton administration and the nation’s esteemed judiciary. Parry Hotter has been hired by certain politicians to investigate rumours about the secret happenings in the presidential chambers. As he gets sucked into the vortex of political manipulation, lust, greed, scandal, sex and power, the tension mounts. Will Parry get his cover blown? Or will he get the job done?

Parry Hotter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

In this new novel, set in the war torn middle east, Howling has tried to take a moral stance on global issues. Parry Hotter has been enlisted by a rebel group to help its leader escape from the heavily guarded military base at Azkaban. Battling double agents, regime loyalists, lookalikes, and deadly arab damsels, and torn between loyalty to his nation and global sympathy, Parry has to decide – is he saving a tyrannical dictator or an old man who stood up to the most powerful nation on earth?

Parry Hotter and the Goblet of Fire

Its a threat as old as the world itself. Countless people have fought it and countless have succumbed to it – drugs. In his new adventure, Parry Hotter is on the trail of a mandarin who holds the secret to the most potent drug in the scene today. Known as the goblet of fire, the addictive potion has already killed thousands and is well on its way to destroying millions more. as parry hunts the mandarin of death from the jungles of colombia to the beaches of goa, and the drug infested streets of hong kong to the teeming nightlife of London, he comes face to face with the troubles of a generation, which is in search of itself. Can parry douse the fire thats eating up an entire generation??

Parry Hotter and the Order of the Phoenix

In her stunning new novel, Howling brings Parry full circle. Thanks to Parry, Donald Chump is now quite a lady killer. But in his quest for more power, he has created an army of deadly female assassins. With the help of the Philosopher’s stone, he has manipulated them to having only a single mission – helping Chump become the most superior power on earth.  From models and actresses to princesses and heads of state, chump continues to lure more and more women into his army of assassins. He has named them the ‘order of the phoenix’, for the sheer lust for them could make men rise even from their ashes. As the world awakens to the threat of Chump, it becomes evident that there’s only one man who can save the earth from the clutches of Chump – Parry Hotter.

Parry Hotter and the Half Blood Prince

Parry Hotter has retired from his life of adventure. But even he cant resist a challenge, especially when there’s royalty involved. The young prince of England is ready for his coronation. All of England is in joy, but a dark cloud is in the horizon. it has become known that there’s someone who wants to assassinate the prince. As a pall of gloom envelops the royal family, it also becomes known that the villain in the piece is none other than the illegitimate son of the prince’s mother and her businessman lover. Raised by his grandparents after his parents’ horrible death in a car crash, he is known as the half blood prince.

As he battles the vested interests of tabloids in search of scandals and former royal employees turned bestselling authors, the world expects magic from parry, but has he met his match this time??

until next time, i can see brickbats and broomsticks chasing me…..

Update: If you liked the above, you might also want to read Hogwash – The Finale

Ad Mad World…

Advertisements, that which are used to market things we may or may not want… but now, television commercials have become a source of entertainment all by themselves, irrespective of whether theproduct/service is interesting to us at all.. and so, that got me thinking, do we relate to ads in the same way that we relate to fellow humans also…
We have the ads that are about the things we have to live with the mobiles and service providers,which are essential for us on a routine basis… kinda like relatives.. dont necessarily have to like them, but not exactly disposable either.. of course, among these we might find some ads that we love, just like some cousins/aunts/uncles etc who are special to us and nice people who happen to be relatives…
and then there are ads, which may not have any relation to what we want, but we still like them and may even adopt the product/service because of this liking.. like friends… of course, the friends hopefully last longer than the particular ad campaign…in general, we most usually like the ads that have a bit of humour in them, or the ones that give an emotional tug, or the ones that remind us of us… i guess we relate to people in a similar kind of way…
yes, i am into marketing and am working a lot these days, work which includes ads… and yes, it would have been still okay if it reflected only in the posts i write, but when, during introductions, when i respond to ‘Hi, i am Xyzee’, with a ‘Hi, I am stressed’, i guess there is a problem somewhere ;)
until next time, does it all add up??

The English have gone, but….

Remeber the scene in ‘Pretty Woman’ where Julia Roberts goes into the swanky clothes store and gets politely thrown out, because they serve only a certain elite clientele, and she certainly didnt fit that profile. i remebered it too, a few days back….
The city has got itself a new eatery, perfectly located at the most happening mall here… the name of the restaurant is that of the first ‘real’ train that ever ran in India,and they have a theme that matches it, complete with a section that looks like the inside of a railway carriage, and bells which are sounded regularly, followed by announcements.. the music,is of course, instrumental, thankfully old hindi tracks… and thats enough of description..
So, we landed up at the reception, partially wet from the rains which insists on keeping me company these days, where we were met by a very neatly dressed lady… we were given a ‘top to bottom’ appraisal and obviously we werent impressive enough (well, what can a faded jacket, denim, a beard without a moustache for company, and a ‘got wet in the rain’ look muster!!), for she politely said that we would have to wait for at least an hour before she could get us a seat… nice try, ma’am!!
to be fair, there was a crowd there, and i would have been happy if that was the reason.. but the guys have taken the ambience very seriously, and were behaving with us, exactly the way the English used to, with a contempt underlying all words and actions…
once upon a time, we got the British to do it to us, but these days, we do it all to ourselves!!
until next time, i guess its only food… for thought…

Playing Favourites

I once had a tshirt, a full sleeved one with wide horizontal black and red stripes.. it was my favouite tee, around the time superman was my fave superhero.. and this one looked like one of the costumes of lex luthor. i used to wear it a lot, to the point where someone commented that it had somehow got stuck to me….
a few years later, when i was asked whether it could be thrown away,i replied with a nonchalant yes. i was told that the reason i was asked was because of my near obsessive relationship with it, until a few years back… ‘That one??!!”, i responded, and immediately set about destroying photographic evidence for the association, and since that was my ‘best dress’, the evidence was considerable.. as the years have passed, i have come to realise that this was not an isolated phenomenon. i guess all of us do it, at different stages of life, cutting of our association with many of the things we used to cherish till only a few years back.. in most cases, we dont mind the growing up, we get tired of the stuff we have been loving for quite some time and in fact go to some extent to exile the memories, but sometimes the wheel turns all around, and we end up yearning for the ‘evidence’ that can bring back the memories…
and all this is not just limited to inaminate things like books, clothes, food, music, hairstyles..its evn with people… there are times in our life when we dont acknowledge people who might be closely associated with us, and there are times when we repent this, and when i am a little older, i think i’ll have more ‘times’ to add on.
the concept, i think, is called growing up, and it works on both kinds of things – the ones we used to love, and the ones we are used to loving….
until next time, ‘now playing’ what favourites?

English July

i have always believed that it all balances out, sometimes in the end, sometimes much before that..and it applies to evrything, from the micro level of a person’s life – his career, personal life etc to the macro level – in terms of cities, states, nations, politics and everything else big and small that we see around us, and then, even further to the things that we may not even be seeing or understanding… and last week actually reinforced the idea a bit more….
If there has to be one place that can be termed as the most ‘happening’ these days, it has to be Great Britain. First it was tennis. In all the Grand Slams, if i had to choose the one i enjoyed most, it has to be Wimbledon.. it must be the grass, and the sheer power and excitement that it generates.. yes, it is only the surface we were discussing.. and if one would have thought that nothing could match this excitement, London got the news that it had to set the stage for the Olympics 2012. Considering that it happens only once every four years, and is undoubtedly the best place to showcase athletic ability, that, old boy, could turn out to be a much more exciting ballgame!!
And just in case one thought that at least the weekend would be uneventful, Silverstone had the scene set for the British Grand Prix – Alonso, Raikkonen, Schumacher….exciting would be an understatement.
And with all this happening, London had a blast, literally, and unfortunately, quite a few of them….
Until next time, i guess it isnt just the English weather thats unpredictable….

Of Parents and Children…

A generation which believed in arranged marriage, the security of government jobs, which hated being in debt, looked forward to the coke cans brought by relatives who were lucky enough to go abroad, whose aim was a home by the age of retirement, who made annual trips to their ‘native place’ in second class railway compartments, for whom Bombay was the land where dreams could become reality, who heard live commentary of cricket matches on AIR, who went to the airport with family to receive or see off those rare people who were fortunate to go abroad, who forwarded the lovemaking scenes in movies because they were shy, who accepted that bureaucracy had to be oiled with bribes, for whom Amitabh Bacchhan was just an angry young man trying to fill the shoes of his predecessors in vain, who belived in getting home by 6’o clock,whose only idea of balance was the kind they had at the bank, and maintained a work-life balance without realising it, who believed they were lucky enough to get the Rin shakti and taste the thunder, and would get confused with anymore choices than available in the market, for whom the movies and a dine out were rare occasions to be savoured, who believed in making pickles at home, for whom razors were blades, and who would be appalled at ‘that time of the month’ being advertised, and for whom the only discs were the flying ones their kids played with, or the ones that were suddenly supposed to land from space one fine day, just like Subhas Chandra Bose who would reveal himself from anonymity one day, who had to carry their entire water supply on train journeys, who firmly believed that a woman’s place was at home, whose only idea of shares was the kind they would be getting from their parents, who still hadnt quite decided between capitalism and socialism, who believed in keeping their refrigerator in the living room coz it was a status symbol, who could look out of their windows and marvel at the sights that nature made, whose mailboxes got full only when the entire family went for vacation, who believed in one life-one job, whose retirement plans included staying with their offspring, who made financial plans for their parents as well as children, who loved having their kids on their lap, and looked in wide eyed amazement at the silly things their grandchildren did, a generation with hardly any choices…

A generation which believes in arranging their own marriage, the insecurity of the job market,which lives a life on EMI, has difficulty deciding between diet or regular coke, whose aim is a home by the age of retirement, one each in 3 metros, who hate the fact that their hometown doesnt have an airport and so increases their transit time by a few hours, for whom reality is what you make out of your dreams, wherever you were, who see live webcasts of championships on their handheld device, who are lucky if their family receives them after international trips, forget local ones, who forward the lovemaking scenes in movies because of the overdose, whose only interaction with the bureaucracy is a tacky webpage, for whom Big B is the biggest anyone could be in Bollywood, who regularly make and break plans of reaching home by 6’o clock in an effort to get that elusive work-life balance, while maintaing a portfolio with the right equity-debt balance, who would switch to a different brand at the slightest dissatisfaction, for whom the movies and a dine out are rare occasions,because home deliveries and home theatres are so much more convenient, who actually like ‘Mothers Recipes’, mostly the packaged kind, for whom razors are like most other things, disposable,who believe that sanitary napkins were just another FMCG product, period!!, for whom discs are of two kinds- the ones you go to when you want to party and the ones that give you music and movies, like the recent one you bought , a movie about some forgotten freedom hero by Shyam Benegal; who love the idea of ‘pet bottles’, coz you actually dont need a 500 ml bottle for such a short journey, who firmly believe that a woman should be allowed to work from home, if she so wished, who rack their brains to decide which shares to invest in, who dont care a hoot if it is capitalism, socialism or bipasha basu’s jism, just so long as they have a blast, who are sligtly uncomfortable about the fridge in their kitchen coz it lacks the usual inbuilt TV in it, who watch on Windows the marvelous ‘nature’ screensavers, whose mailboxes are full and overflowing from all the vacation snaps from other family members, who sometimes contemplate whether a life is just a job to be finished, who believe in making safe retirement plans coz they know their children wouldnt have them in their plans, and make plans for their children so they dont run the risk of getting sued, who love having their children as their laptop wallpaper, and look in wide eyed amazement at the silly things their parents did…a generation with multiple choice in education, career, sex, food, entertainment …life!!

and a generation in between, that cant quite figure out where it belongs, and is, well, in between.. a generation which maybe has the options, but cant quite make the choices…


until next time, bridge the gap…

Of red and black figures….

He sat looking at the latest figures, some of them encouraging, while some quite the reverse. Now he had to make plans which would ensure that he wasnt chastised for the figures, and also reach an agreement on the next month’s figures – low enough so he could achieve them easily… both daunting tasks.
He was thankful that none of the figures were in red, that was the worst that could happen.. but even then, these were not the kind of figures that inspired people.. but he had a plan in mind,he would talk about competition, and how they used unfair methods to get the numbers they got,of how the solutions he gave were not given the kind of respect they deserved, but the Calvin kind of dialogues always got him into trouble, so he would have to tread carefully..
he believed that he could think and act for himself, but his parents had little faith in him, well, only as much faith as could be, on a 10 year old, who did all he could, to talk his way out of the dismal marks he got at school..
He was waiting to become older, when he wouldnt have to go through all this nonsense. he would start working, and then he would be able to do exactly what he wanted, and not bother about justifying to others about figures at all…..
until next time, the battles are still the same..:)

Frozen in Time

It is as though people have accepted the fact that there are lot of things they have to do, but they have only 24 hours in any given day to do them. and so, as a part of technology’s efforts to do something about it, they brought out a gizmo called media center, a comp system like no other…So you can record your favourite programs while you are out missing it.
if you think thats what any VCR worth its salt used to anyway do, you can also pause live TV, while you attend that all important call.. and after you are through doing it, you can just go back to your comp and resume the telecast of the match you were watching before you were so rudely interrupted.but there are lots of stuff i am wondering about – if the program was so important, you could have switched off your phone or put it on voice mail..okay, so you maintain that lovely balance between your work and home, so you cant afford to do either…
so you miss the match for 10 minutes… now, that stupid friend of yours, whose interest in thematch is equal to yours, calls you after the match is over and tells you the graphic details of the finish, when you are still 10 minutes away from the finish.. wouldnt that be fun?? so the options – soon after that important call, you call up all your friends and inform them that you are watching the match 10 minutes delayed, so they better not call (of course among them, theres also the friend who sends you the suspense of thriller movies by sms)… or you call them up and get them also delayed by 10 minutes… or stop having a social life, so there are no friends who can call you… or pray that Microsoft derives a way where it automatically gets your friends list from messenger and also freezes their telecast simultaneously (and therebyhave them curse you, like they curse the power supply – ” that b****** has got a call again!!), or spend more money and enroll in a course that teaches you time management, or maybe we can increase our office time and see all the stuff we wanted to see in our youth and middle age, after retirement…..
or we can stop trying to fiddle with time .. and maybe try to fathom why some things are best left the way they are..
until next time, wait and watch??