Month: April 2008

How the Grinch stole IPL

Everyone, who lived in Indi-ville,
Liked IPL a lot.
But the Grinch, who lived a little north of Indi-ville,
Did not!

The Grinch hated IPL! The whole IPL season!
But no one knows why, please don’t ask the reason

It could be because his medium pace bowling wasn’t too tight
Or maybe because his cover drive wasn’t still quite right
But I think, the mostly likely reason of all
Was because his brain was two sizes too small

But whatever the reason, the drive or the medium pace
He sat there in his cave, with a very grumpy face

Staring at his TV set with a sour, Grinchy frown
At the people celebrating the team of their town
He hated it when people cheered, it made his grinchy blood boil
Didn’t matter if it was a Chennai Superking or a Rajasthan Royal

“And they’re buying their tickets!”, He said with a sneer
There’s a match in town, IPL is practically here!

Then he growled, with his Grinch fingers nervously drumming,
“I MUST find a way to stop the IPL teams from coming!”

For tomorrow, he knew
All the IPL fans would gather at the stadium. And then!
Oh the noise! Oh the noise! noise! noise! noise! noise!
And then, those blasted fans, young and old, would shout!
And then they’d shout!
They would shout and holler until their voices were hoarse
They’d scream for their team and that filled our Grinch, with great remorse.

And THEN they’d do something the Grinch liked least of all
Everyone down in Indi-ville, the tall and the small
Would get together and talk!
And then they’d talk!
They’d talk about the day’s match, over much song and wine
They’d talk about the batsmen, bowlers and the cheerleaders fine
They’d talk about every wicket, six and four
They’d talk, until their throats went sore.

The more the Grinch thought of this whole Grand-IPL-Thing
The more the Grinch thought,
“I must stop this whole thing!
Why, I’ve put up with it for long enough now
I must stop this IPL…but how?! “

And then he got an idea!
An Awful idea!
The Grinch got a wonderful, awful idea!

“I know just what to do!”
The Grinch laughed in his throat
And he quickly made an Umpire’s hat and coat
And he chuckled, and clucked
“What a great grinchy ploy,
Wearing an Umpire’s outfit to trick these stupid people gives me such great joy!”

“Those fans of the IPL, those fools
Don’t they realize that the ICC always plays by BCCI’s rules?
And 20-20, what a stupid trend
Any REAL cricket lover, it will surely offend.
Why don’t they understand its all a money making gimmick?
Argh! The thought makes me feel bulimic!

But tonight! I will stop it all
and I, the Grinch will be the reason for the IPL’s downfall!

And so the Grinch, in his hat and coat so red
Cackling (so loud it would wake the dead)
Climbed down to the stadium in the little town
And not for a minute did he slow down.

Into the stadium he did sneak
(He stopped in the cheerleader’s dressing room for a little peek)
He raided the players’ quarters, like a stealthy cat
And ransacked the place, stealing every stump, ball and bat.
He didn’t even leave Dhoni’s Zandu Balm
And on his way out, even stole a cheery girls’ pom-pom

He put them in his big brown sack and did a little dance
Now there would be no IPL, no, not a chance.

“Oh those mimble-wimbles will come now!” He was grinchishly humming
“They’ll find out now that the IPL is not coming!
Oh I know what they’ll do! They’ll open their mouth for a minute or two
And then they’ll cry! Oh-boo-hoo-hoo
And that’s a noise”
Grinned the Grinch
“I simply must hear!”

So he paused and put his hand to his ear.

And he did hear a sound rising, and although
It was very very low
It began to grow

But the sound wasn’t sad!
It was…merry!
It couldn’t be so!
But it WAS merry!

When he stared down at the stadium,
The Grinch popped his eyes!
For what he saw
Was a shockingly shocking surprise!

The players were out there, playing
The bowlers were out there, bowling
And the cheerleaders were out there, cheering!

Dhoni’s bat was but a slab of wood
But even then, he was extremely good
Ishant Sharma’s deliveries had such great bounce
When he bowled off paper balls, they didn’t weigh an ounce!

And the crowd roared, they shouted and clapped
While the Grinch, he felt like he’d been slapped!

He hadn’t stopped the IPL from coming! It came!
Somehow or the other, it came, just the same!

But how could it be so? It came without branded bats! It came without fancy balls!
“It cannot be be!” The Grinch is appalled.

And he puzzled for three hours, until his tiny brain became sore
He took a little break and then puzzled some more.
And then something hit him! A revelation!
Possibly the answer to all his frustration.

“Maybe the IPL”, he thought
“Isn’t about the glitz, glamour and fame
Maybe, it has been created, out of love for the game!
Them Indis love their cricket, we all know they do
And everyone wants more of what they love, don’t you?
They want their cricket, they want their thrills
They want to see tested, every player’s skills
So even if there are a million ads,
A thousand TV babies, moms and dads
So be it tests, one dayers, t20s or even ones with a taped tennis ball
Every game’s a game, no matter now small! “

And what happened then?

Well in Indiville they say,
That the Grinch’s brain grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his brain didn’t feel so tight
He whizzed into the pitch and its harsh white lights

He brought back the bats!
He brought back the balls!
He brought back the stumps!
Yes, he returned everything he stole, he gave it all.
And then, to celebrate Grinch’s great change of mind
He got to bat, and this time,
His cover drive was mighty fine.

-Originally Seuss-Rhyme by Coconut Chutney

Crash – 2.0

The chutneyfied xerox machine strikes again.

Me and driving have a very, very closely assosciated history. I think I can say with confidence that I am a good, if not great, driver, more so because I have had the ghastly experience of driving in the infamous Chennai traffic. I do believe that I have undergone many traumatic experiences trying to figure out what the Autorickshaw driver in front of me was trying to do, not to mention the frightful Metro water lorries. Of all the noteworthy incidents that happened last summer (When I was deemed qualifed by the local RTO to drive in India – one of my most significant achievements), the most memorable one would easily be the time when my beginner’s enthusiasm (popularly known as ‘aaruva kolar’ in Tamil) got the better of me…and the car.
It was my first time on the road, without a middle aged man having a great deal of adipose deposits operating the car simultaneously. There was no ‘L-board’ on the car, upon strict instructions from my cousin. Apparently it was a ‘prestige problem’. I had my driver sit next to me (half-wincing, he was scared, I don’t blame him) for the required moral support and one twist of the key later, I was in control. Half a kilometre into the ride later, my driver realized it was safe to partially open his eyes. Which was the start of all my woes. He began giving me instructions to ‘speed-u’. Which I did. And then he decides that I was going too ‘speed-u’ and asked me to ‘brake-u’.
Which I did.
The price for my obedience?
A nice dent on the car, courtesy the befuddled man on the bike who had no choice but to run into the car thanks to my braking skills.
And out of nowhere, almost as though they had been paid for it, a crowd gathered and started asking me questions in a way that would have put any FBI agent to shame.
My driver just sat there, unflinching. He was obviously a man of past experience, and by the looks of it, knew how to handle such delicate situations.
He brought the window down and looked at the angry mob.
Just as I thought he’d say something carefully diplomatic and explanatory, as one would during terse situations like this, he simply said “Ponga da, poi velaya paarunga, vandhutaanga….thu!”
(roughtly translates to go mind your damn business)
He quickly brought the window back up and said “speed, thambi speed”.
Which I did.

Muhahaha. My sister is one total loosie, she just proved it. Let me tell you the story of:
Chutney’s crash!
So anyways, we had gone to pick up Queen Bratty-I-will-not-come-by-bus-yuck-yuck in her client’s office. She made me and Amma wait for like, forever. And then she comes all pish-poshing tugging on her NEW NIKE BACKPACK (unfair unfair unfair! her backpack costs more than what she gets a month from her office. She just showed up with it one fine Saturday from Office. Appa should have never given her a CREDIT CARD) and flippity flipping her hair. She was flipping her hair so hard that one peon-in-brown-uniform got scared and opened the main door for her.
So she comes walking upto the car and asks amma if she can drive the car.
Amma said ok.
So she starts the car blah kablooie and drives upto the main road ok-ok. And then on the main road:

Driver: 3rd gear, 3rd gear
Amma: Yes, 3rd gear. You can go little faster. But if you want go slow.
Chutney: Huh?

We were picking up speed!
And then suddenly:

Driver: 3rd gear 3rd gear
Amma: Slow slow!
(I wasn’t taking much notice. Too busy seeing billboards. 😛 Haiyya, ice-cream! :D)

My sister suddenly applied the brake and KABLOOIE! One guy on the bike just crashed!
Oh man, it was like in TV! Suddenly all these people started surrounding the car and asking questions, while my sister looked more perplexed than a Monkey who had too much Mango chutney.
And then after some calming down of those people and telling big fat lies like my sister already has her license, we were free.

My sister got plenty of strawberries and cream. (Strawberries – long lecture; cream – super scoldings)

Now that’s what I like.

I’m so adorable when I’m evil no?
Vanilla Vats signing off!

The NY Times talks about the single thing most taken for granted in driving – shifts.

I was sitting in a conference room at a publishing company in New York City (not The Times) last week when an editor poked his head in the door.A hot new sporty hatchback had been dropped off for him to drive to a studio for a photo shoot.
But there was a problem: the car had a manual transmission, and the editor couldn’t drive a stick.
At first everyone in the conference thought he was joking. He wasn’t. His magazine isn’t a car magazine, so there’s no professional reason for him to know how to drive a stick. But I’d always thought it was a basic life skill, like rock, paper, scissors, and shuffling cards. I’d always taken it for granted.

Growing up in India, the land of the feared Ambassador cars, its impossible not to learn driving without shifts and a couple of crashes.
Driving Pundits will tell you that shifting gears is what makes driving the experience that it is. The control of the engine and making it go vroooom, is quite a heady feeling. However, mastering the stick is no joke – it takes time, and a very patient Ramu-Driver.

But I suppose Automatic transmission’s biggest argument-in-favour would be the fact it allows multi-tasking. For the Indian Driver (chauffeur for all you pompous ones), this would mean:

->Time to ponder about the next swear word he’s going to use
->Time to observe Namitha’s movie posters with the required concentration
->Time to discuss the Indian cricket team with the “Saar”
->Time to think about whether he should get Samco Chicken Biriyani for lunch or not.
->Time to roll the window and get a better look at the “Super figure” crossing the road.

But, as them ‘chauffeurs’ will tell you, with wide grins, that they do precisely this when driving, come-what-manual.

Hat tip:
NY Times

I think I’m really really proud of the this series. It wasn’t easy, but I think I did justice to you guys. Tell me if I didn’t and I’ll tell you that you’re wrong.


I had a perfectly perfect idea for a post. Honest. It had all the elements of a chutneyfied post – a normal day, normal weather, normal people doing normal things and making normal small and ofcourse, my incredible talent to disrupt it all. But as I typed, I realized it would be normal. It was then that I decided I’d do something out of the ordinary. So instead of me writing the post, I
figured I’d write, rather ghost write in the same style as some of my favourite bloggers.
Hopefully, you’ll figure out what happened.

Cha! I konjam messed up yesterday. Already I’m a bit nervous when it comes to driving in traffic but yesterday I really goofed. What happened was that I was nice a minding my own business and driving. I saw this girl on the road. She was super pretty! So I decided I’d brake to get a closer look. What I didnt notice was that one loosu was behind me on the bike. Damaal! he crashed into my car and fell off. And in seconds one big crowd gathered around me and started shouting at me and all. Pah! Any normal guy would have got samma tense. But since I’m sooooo special na, they let me off. Ram’s charm 🙂
What else, that was my exciting story of the day. As usual I looked orey sexy and spent twenty minutes in front of the mirror. Now that I don’t talk with loosies and all, I get more time for important things like this 😉
Seri, sleepy now. I’ll go taatchi.

Yet another entry into the Shenoy Book of Records. The 156th entry into the aforesaid Bestseller would be “Disruption of traffic for the 34th time for no apparent reason.” The 33 other stories, I will save for another day, but this one story, I promise is the stuff legends are made of.
It was a splendid day, and I was cruising in my Bentley Lookalike, the Maruti 800. As I was performing one of my expert maneouvres (namely, trying to move the gear stick) I realized that I had forgotten about my car’s mammoth horsepower decided that it would be a good time to test my Bentley 800’s Ferrari-speeding capabilites. They were indeed excellent. I realized that my car could now go at 40 km/hr without sounding like a horse on a treadmill. What I didn’t realise was there was a good man admiring my car (which I don’t blame him for, who can resist its ultra super good looks) and was so mersmerized that he was following it in his bike in order to get a better view. And in order to help him in his noble quest, I braked. And he got a super view indeed, including the stuff in my car’s trunk, a bonus privilege that I so generously added. He gave a squeal of excitement, and before I knew it, an entire horde gathered to fawn over my car. And boy, they were an excited lot, I could tell from all that swearing. It took some time for them to calm down and let me go again. My car has that effect on people. Oh well, yet another day when Narendra Shenoy adds excitement to the mundane life of the middle class with his happening lifestyle.

There’s a part 2 to this, with some of my other favourites being featured, along with the original story. Coming very, very, soon!

Now playing: Aerosmith – Dream on
via FoxyTunes