Monday, June 28, 2010

Nutcase of a Race

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'Buddy, yo're forgettin... Lance Armstrong comes from our countree'
'Well... if you got Armstrong... we got strong arms'
'Bullshit! U sure you wanna do it? There'z laat of embarrassment ya'll be facin'
'Laat? Woh toh tumko padegi... angrez ki aulaado... we'll see'
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Those were some of the last exchanges between the Indian and American HR Managers. Excuse me!?! Which HR Managers are you talking about?

Well, it's the HR Managers working for AccentPuncture Consultants (ApC), a global organization with more than 20k employees across 30 different countries. ApC was in the process of hosting its first ever cross-continent 'sports event' for its employees. The venue was India.

...and the managers in question were throwing their pre-race tantrums. To be specific, they were talking about the cycle race that was to take place in a few days between an Indian representative and an American representative from the ApC.

That was an introduction, a prologue.

And now, it's time for the report. This comes directly to you from our journalist - Cheepad Kumar - who covered the sports event. He was well assisted by our cameraman, Jayantilaal.
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Date: 12th November'09
Start Time: 9 a.m.
End Time: 11:20 a.m.
Location: New Delhi, India
Distance: 15 km
Route: Kendi Po Colony to the ApC premises
Participants: 2
Participants' Description: Stig Heckeler, a senior consultant with ApC America, and Tukaram Janjeera, a janitor from ApC India

Key Facts
  • The event was very prestigious. Forget ApC, the participants were, in a way, representing their countries.
  • Due to the non-availability of the racing space, the contest took place on the road... in the middle of normal traffic. This is what had been told to the world; however, in reality, the Indian HR Manager wanted to make the full use of home conditions. He knew his racer would be skilled enough to handle the adverse traffic situations... and, at the same time, the American racer would not even start the race... forget about the completion bit.
  • Stig, the racer from ApC America, represented his university for a couple of cycling tournaments. There was nothing else to speak of his cycling... till the ApC race of course.
  • The Indian racer had been coming to office on his cycle since long... and so... somehow... by default... he became the first preference for the event. Smart choice, you think?
  • One day, before the race, the two participants had been shown the route, the pit stops and the finishing line. Stig was happy it was a simple straight-line route, and he did not need to memorize stuff.
  • The participants had also been warned about the impending traffic conditions.  They both knew traffic would be playing a big role in the event.
Cycles: Stig preferred a sports cycle. His favourite colour was blue. So, obviously, he got a blue sports cycle. When Tukaram was asked about his choice, he suddenly started feeling very important and became very excited about the whole thing. Anyways, he opted for his own cycle, which he was most comfortable with. On the left is the cycle that was used by Stig... and on the right is Tukaram's.

 







Participants (in their gear): We clicked the photos of the two participants just before the race began, but ApC did not want us to publish them. We have not been given any reason for the same. Anyways, we've cut the heads to at least show you the gear. Left is Stig in his cycling jersey... and a pair of shorts under it. On the right is Tukaram posing exclusively for us... looking ever so relaxed. Note that he changed into a brown pullover after we clicked the photos. Maybe this green one was his 'photo' pullover. His lower half was covered by tight and ill-fitting pants. It's good that Jayantilaal didn't capture the pants.













Helmets: The ApC made it compulsory for both participants to wear helmets. Stig asked for a blue helmet that would match his cycle. On the other side, Tuka did not want any helmet. He could not quite understand why he needed a helmet. Anyways, after being forced to wear one, he picked a helmet from one of his scooterist friends. Left is Stig's; right is Saif Ali Khan's. Kidding! Of course, Tukaram's!













Water Break Arrangement: It was decided that both riders would have to compulsorily take a water break at the 5 km mark. On being asked for their preferences, Stig chose the branded stuff... while Tuka wanted his usual.














Energy Break Arrangement: The managers had decided for another pit stop... this time at the 10 km mark. At this juncture, the participants were to be offered their choice of energy boosters. Stig was very happy with the idea of an energy break... he definitely wanted the best cycling drink around. Tuka got confused. He had no idea what to ask for. Eventually, he uttered 'khaini aur gutka'.













Any Other Requirement: Stig was unsure what that meant. What other requirement? He declined. However, Tuka knew what he wanted. He wanted to carry his tiffin box. He said that it helped him shoo away pedestrians. The American HR Manager agreed to this absurd demand.

Race-Day Events: We now bring to you the events captured by Cheepad Kumar. He was on his motorcycle with Jayantilaal, covering the event. Here are the details of the event... in the words of Cheepad himself.

1. Even though the race started at 9 a.m., Stig was first spotted at 9:12 and Tuka at 9:14. Because of the extreme traffic conditions, it had become impossible to spot the two racers earlier. I must say it was bizarre to organize the race in the middle of heavy traffic... and during the office hour.

2. At 9:20, apparently, Stig was leading the race by 12 cars, 18 bikes, 2 buses, 3 scooters, 12 other cycles, and 28 pedestrians. This may sound like a huge difference, but surprisingly, it was only 30 metres that separated the two racers.

3. Stig had never raced in such conditions. But to his advantage, he had prepared for all this. He had clearly been told what to expect on Indian roads... and he knew that vehicles could be found on his left and right and even above him. The thing that worked in his favour was that he hardly understood any of the abuses hurled at him for getting in the way and, at times, overtaking some of the 'engined' vehicles. No distractions!

4. Tuka stared at all the women he possibly could. Be it on the road, in buses, at home windows... just wherever they could be found. At the same time, a lot of women stared at this fair-skinned guy in racing gear... coming from nowhere... going nowhere.

5. At 9: 40, Tuka, around half a km behind Stig, took a left turn. Now that was not part of the race. However, three minutes later, Tuka was found back on track. It was later realized that Tuka took a diversion to return the helmet to his friend, who was about to leave for work... on his scooter.

6. Stig took his water break at 9:50. Tuka took his at 10:02. This clearly indicates Stig was ahead at the 5 km mark.

7. At the 8 km mark, the leadership changed hands. There was a heavy traffic jam on one of the red lights... and all Stig could see was the big butts of the guy on a scooter. There was no way out. However, when he glanced towards left, he could not quite believe the scene. Tuka was carrying his cycle on his head... and walking on the footpath meant for pedestrians. 'Cheater, cheater', he shouted. People around Stig couldn't quite understand what was happening. And so, we had a new leader in the race.

8. The next stop was the energy break at the 10 km mark. Tuka made it at 10:25 while Stig, who clearly had some catching up to do, was there at 10:34. Tuka took the khaini, rubbed it on his left palm, mixed some choona... and stuck the whole thing in some random corner of his mouth. A couple of Americans who were present could not quite understand what that was about. They suspected it to be some performance-enhancing drug. They wanted to complain. When Stig came, he took his energy drink and left in 20 seconds. It was more like a drink between two heartbeats... than on a break. He knew he needed to catch up.

9. At 10:40, Stig banged into a family... well, a family on a cycle. A man, his wife, and three children were going somewhere on a cycle... when Stig hit them from behind. Apparently, someone in front had pressed his brakes for no reason, and a chain reaction of breaks engulfed the lane... which ended when Stig hit this family. He said, 'am saari'. The family man stayed quiet... while his wife thought the stranger had passed a remark about her saari.

10. At 10:50, the mudguard of Tuka's cycle came off and started rubbing against the front tyre. Repair time! Tuka managed another 20 metres before he stopped at the Bittu Pincher Wala. Well well... the leadership changed hands again. Stig passed Tuka without noticing the events at the repair shop. A point to note—this shop was 3 km away from the finish line.

11. As soon as Tuka got the necessary repairs done, he restarted at full throttle. The only thing was... he didn't know where Stig was. At the same time, even Stig did not know where Tuka was. But we knew where they were. Stig was a km away from the finish, and Tuka was a km away from Stig. 

At that point, 11:15 a.m., Stig seemed to be the clear favourite. Standing at the finish line, just outside the ApC premises, Americans were extremely pleased on sighting Stig a couple of hundred metres away.

The Indian contingent had already started abusing Tuka; they even planned to fire him.

Anyways, just 50 metres were left... and Stig could be clearly seen in the left-most lane. The whole of his right was occupied by a truck and a tractor, moving exactly at the same speed, blocking the whole traffic.
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40 metres...
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30 metres...
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20
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10
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Finish!!!
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...and we had a winner - Tukaram Janjeera - representing the Indian ApC.

Wait... err... how come?

Thankfully, Jayantilaal clicked just at the right time... for you readers! We've highlighted Tukaram in the pic.

Damn! He was holding onto the tractor that had just overtaken Stig... and so he won... making the Indian ApC proud... and the American ApC clueless!

What an event... what a finish!
:o
~~Cameraman Jayantilaal ke saath, Cheepad Kumar~~











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Monday, June 14, 2010

Just One Peg Please

The Pee-paa-k family was a wealthy one. They owned a highly fertile land in some obscure village of Haryana. Moreover, in addition to being known for their land earnings, the family was regarded for having the most unique surname around. The only problem, if ever there was one, was the fact that they were uneducated.

It was because of this lack of education that the father accidentally named his kid 'Peg'. He had been fond of foreign names. And when this child was born, he approached one of the tourists for getting a suggestion on... an English name, maybe! The tourist, in complete apathy and inebriation, said 'Peg' and walked away. The father liked the sound... and thus, we have a Mr. Peg Pee-paa-k—the central character of this story.

Now then! Peg, unlike his father, completed his city education and with good grades. With the exception to his name, he was a decent fellow on all counts. Peg could manage a job in the city, but he chose to go back to his village. He wanted to teach. He wanted to teach the adults... so that they could make something better of their lives. Who knows... maybe Peg did not want another case of such stupidity in naming a child.

He advertised his 'classes' for a number of days. The age limit for eligibility was +35. I clearly remember it was the first day of school and three students turned up. Here's a description on the students and their first classroom words:
  • Lakkad Singh (Carpenter, 36) - Waah waah... furniture kitna achcha hai class mein...
  • Subjee Singh (Vegetable Seller, 40) - Class ke baad yaha maal bech lunga thoda...
  • Dhishoom Singh (Wannabe Local Goon, 34) - Koi aunty nahi aayi?
Peg welcomed his students before introducing himself. Although he was disappointed by the turnout, he was kind of happy to at least make a start. He was even amused to find them sharing the same last name... 'still, much better than mine', he thought.

He began his first session with some basic sounds and pronunciations. His students fared well in their pretest... except the fact that none of them could pronounce the name of their teacher. The best, actually the worst, they could manage was a subtle... Pig Sir...

An hour that day and the school was over. 'Slow and easy to start', thought Peg. His day was okay... except for some bullies from Dhishoom and a gross manifestation of his name.

The plan for the next day was A-B-C-D. Peg educated his students about the importance of A-Z and how it formed the base of the English language. His students seemed to agree with him. Peg instructed the students to repeat after him... and expected them to memorize simultaneously. The students nodded.

Peg began...

A for Apple (Students, chorus: Aeee faaar Ayappal)...
B for Boy (Chorus: Bhee faar byee)...
C for Cat (Chorus: Seee faar Kate)...
D...
E...
F for Fish (Chorus: Effh faar Pheashhh)...

...until Peg wondered, 'do they even know what these things are?'

He asked if the students knew the items in the A-B-C-D. The students nodded in unison. Although impressed, Peg still decided to take a mini test. What is fish? Fish kya hoti hai?

Here's what the students said:
  • Lakkad - Lakdi banane ki FEES...
  • Subjee - oFFIS ke bahar sabji bechta hoon mai...
  • Dhishoom - kele pe ladki FEESliiii...
Ahhh, said Peg. He was happy he enquired in time. 'It wouldn't work this way; they don't know anything.'

Peg thought of two options... (a), he continues the usual way, explaining the meanings on the way... or (b), he uses words that are known to his students. A minute later, Peg thought of a third option - (c), he'd explain the sound and ask them to come up with words. C, he finalized.

Peg explained how the sound system worked and gave them some examples. Next, he informed them of the assignment—he would say the alphabet along with its sound, and his students were to give him words from their personal dictionaries.

Can you guess what happened next? Well, next, we had three amazingly absurd versions of the alphabet. I say absurd, but I know they were the most relevant ones for the people in question. Take a look below. This comes to you direct from the students.

(Note: These are samples... the complete list is right at the end of the post... for reference.)

Carpenter Lakkad Singh's responses included...
A for Aari...
B for Baksa...
...
D for Dehaadi...
...
G for Gutkaa
H for Hathoda...
...
N for Namastey Ji...
O for Ozaar...
P for Paechkas...
...
Peg had to control himself big time. He could not stop laughing the first minute but was in awe of Lakkad Singh the second. It was brilliant. Lakkad had grasped the sounds so well that he actually managed to create something that can be termed as 'Alphabet for Carpenters'. Peg was very happy; he had a bright student. Next, he turned to Subjee Singh.

Veg seller Subjee Singh's responses included...
A for Aaloo...
B for Beans...
...
D for Do Kilo...
...
H for Hari Sabzee...
O for O Madame Ji...
...
Q for Qaraari Moolii
S for Sabzeeeeee Layyyyy Lowwwwww....
...
Y for Yashomati, Humree Biwiii...
...

Whoa! Subjee Singh had stunned Peg. He not only caught the correct sounds but also the perfect words... most of them. 'This is brilliant.' Peg was equally impressed with his second student. He had realized he was teaching a class of at least 2/3rd brilliant guys. To be honest, he did not expect much from the last student... but the last student's turn it was.

Wannabe goon Dhishoom Singh's responses included...
A for Aawara...
B for Bhai...
C for Chiknaa...
D for Don...
...
K for Kutte Kamine...
O for O O Jaane Jaana...
...
S for Supaari
...
X for XXX Filam...
Y for Yawn Shoshan...
...

Brilliant were all the three students. They just needed some education on the sound system... and within half an hour, the class was able to produce three new sets of the English alphabet.

It was the day learning had taken place... more in Peg than the students. He went home and reflected on the day. Something terrific had happened. Peg realized that:
  • Not getting the right 'start' does not make anyone less smart... people often learn more in real life than in classes.
  • Education, with relevance, is much more fun and retention oriented. People he thought to be uneducated came up with stuff he couldn't dream of. Only because they spoke of the stuff they could relate to... given the total comfort zone!
  • Education is necessary for all, adults and children. After all, only an education-seeking wannabe goon would say 'H for Hey Bhagwaan and not Hathiyaar'.
That does look like the end of the story, but it isn't!

The classes went fine and the school gained mileage... and Peg did manage to teach a lot of adults. They made good use of the learning they gained from the village adult school @ Pig Sir.

Peg, just like his father, had become a notable public figure. He was loved by villagers... so much so that two of his first three pupils named at least one of their kids... in utter respect for the teacher... PEG!

------------------------------------------THE END------------------------------------------------------

Reference: Only for those interested in the complete set of alphabets produced by the students...

                                                                              Keep Learning!
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About the Post

Team This post was published by me as a team member of The Wordsworth Legions for the SUPER 5 round of Bloggers Premier League (BPL) – The first ever unique, elite team blogging event of blog world - hosted by GingerChai.com.

The topic (category - humor) I had been assigned was 'A Humoros Post on Adult Education'.




GingerChai.com - Bloggers Premier League...and this post won the 1st prize in the category mentioned above!!

:)

Friday, June 11, 2010

kanKaal Center

The Bank of JoJoPePe opened its branch in the Chaknur village, somehwere in Haryana. Surprisingly, the bank, though low-staffed, had call center services as well. The number to their call center was advertised all over. This seems to be the story on papers. However, in reality, there was no call center. The telephone number reached the personal desk of the Branch Manager.

This concept of call center was just to lure customers. If somone did call the telephone number, a human intervention was considered divine. That's because all that existed on that number was a machine that would only irritate the callers.

Mummu, one of the bank's customers, is seen here calling the call center. He wants to ask for a new chequebook.
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Tring Tring... Tring Tring... Tring Tring... Tring Tring... Tring Tring... Tring Tring... Tring Tring... Tring Tring... Tring Tring...

The phone is picked and put on hold. There is some music playing in the background. Mummu doesn't know he'll have to listen to this music for the next 15 minutes. Moreover, after every 2 minutes, he hears this - (in the Vodafone tune) Youuuuuu and aiiiiiii, in this Chaknur village..... Youuuuuu and aiiiiiii, in this Chaknur village.....

After 15 minutes

Welcome to the JoJoPePe Bank. To continue in English, press 1. For Hindi, press 2. For any other language, please get someone who understands Hindi or English.

'1'


English. If you are an existing customer, press 1. If you don't exist anymore, press 2.

'1'


For bank account, press 1. For credit card, although we don't deal in credit cards, still, press 2.

'1'


For knowing the balance, press 1. For requesting a new chequebook, press 2. For closing the account, press 3. For closing the bank, press 4. For hanging up the call, press 5 and hang up.

'2'


Why do you want a new chequebook? For 'old chequebook finished', press 1. For 'old chequebook lost', press 2. For 'old chequebook stolen', press 3. For 'old chequebook burnt', press 4. For 'old chequebook bhow bhow eaten', press 5.

'1'


Where did you use all the cheques? For business purposes, press 1. For personal purposes, press 2.

'1'


What kind of business are you into? For kheti-baadi, press 1. For factory, press 2. For chowkidaar, press 3. For others, press some other number.

'2'


Does your factory emit gases? For yes, press 1. For no, press 2.

'1' (By this time, Mummu is getting real pissed)


(Music plays in between - Youuuuuu and aiiiiiii, in this Chaknur village..... Youuuuuu and aiiiiiii, in this Chaknur village...)


What did you have for lunch? For roti sabji dal, press 1. For roti sabji minus dal, press 2. For chaval dal, press 3.

'8' (Mummu, in anger, presses 8 to see what happens)


Sorry. We know they don't have Pizzas here. It was not an option. Please choose from 1, 2, or 3.

'1' (Mummu wants to kill someone now)

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.
.
.
.
.
Ok, coming back to the point, you want a new chequebook? For yes, press 1. For no, press 2.

'1' (Mummu is happier now)


Do you know that our bank is the only bank that has bank at the bank of river? For yes, press 1. For no, press 2.

'1' (Half an hour has passed and Mummu has started abusing the machine)


Do you promise to make good use of the chequebook? For yes, press 1. For no, press 2.

'1' (Now, the default patience limit of half an hour has passed, and the machine decides it's time for humans.)


In case you wish to speak to our customer care officer, press 9.

'9' (Mummu decides he will rip apart the officer and the bank for all this)


Our phone officers are busy at the moment; please wait.

'9' (Mummu waits for 15 minutes... listening to lousy classical music.... and presses 9 again... in disgust)

Okay, as you wish. You have been put at the end of the queue. Please wait.
(Mummu curses himself... and waits for another half an hour. Finally, the Branch Manager picks up the phone. It's time he gave his customer some service.)

Manager: Good afternoon. Welcome to JoJoPePe Bank. How can I help you?

Mummu: I think you are a fuckin... (pauses) ummm... I need a chequebook.

Manager: Sure sir. Please visit the bank branch for the same. You will get a chequebook request form. On the form, there will be a unique reference code. You need to call back with that unique reference code. Thanks. Have a good day (hangs up).

Three days later, Mummu's chequebook is delivered to the Chaknur jail.

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