Big Daddy: Celestial Conversations XI

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
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First: Celestial Conversation
Previous: Trust: Celestial Conversations - X
Me: Hello?
SecretaryOfGod: Hello?
Me: Ah. Decided to log on as yourself, did you?
SecretaryOfGod: Hello?
Me: Hello?
SecretaryOfGod: Hello?
Me: Who is this?
SecretaryOfGod: Hello?
Me: This is crazy!
SecretaryOfGod: 2 + 2 = 4
Me: Am I in the right chat room here?
SecretaryOfGod: Who are you?
Me: I'm a programmer. I'm trying to write God a Search Engine. Who are you?
SecretaryOfGod: My name is Pinky.
Me: Eh?
SecretaryOfGod: Eh?
Me: Oh, don't start that again. What are you doing here?
SecretaryOfGod: Daddy has gone to get me some ice cream.
Me: Oh. How old are you?
SecretaryOfGod: I am six years old.
Me: And the Secretary of God is your father?
SecretaryOfGod: Daddy is my father!
Me: Right, right.
SecretaryOfGod: I told Daddy I want Strawberry Ice cream.
Me: Very nice. And who is your Daddy?
SecretaryOfGod: My Daddy is my Daddy, dumbo.
Me: Of course, of course. But what is his name?
SecretaryOfGod: I think his name is Boss.
Me: Boss?
SecretaryOfGod: You know that uncle who uses this computer?
Me: God's secretary? So he's not your father?
SecretaryOfGod: No, dumbo. I told you na, Daddy is my father.
Me: So who is Boss?
SecretaryOfGod: I think you are very dumb. That uncle who uses this computer calls my Daddy Boss.
Me: Boss?
SecretaryOfGod: Yes. But I call him Daddy. Everyone says, you know, Our Father who is in heaven, but I just call him Daddy.
Me: Oh. So I'm speaking to the son of God?
SecretaryOfGod: Stupid! I am Pinky! I don't want to talk to you anymore. Bye.
Me: Oh, ok. Bye.

[SecretaryOfGod has logged out]

Next: Population Control: Celestial Conversations XII

Shhhh!

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Labels:
"Okay," he said.

What okay?
Shhhh!


"Good."

What's this about?
Keep quiet and listen.


"So where do you want me to begin?"

Begin what? What is all this?
If you open your mouth again, I'm going to smash your teeth in.


"At the beginning."

Hey, why are you hogging all the popcorn?
I said, keep quiet.


"This could take a while."

We're not going anyw- Ow! What did you do that for?
I warned you.


"I know."

Well atleast take that ring off next time before you do that. I could be scarred for life.
You want me to take the ring off?


"Well, in the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
the earth was a formless wasteland - "

What an interesting movie.
Don't change the topic.


"No, no! Not that far in the beginning! Start with whatever's relevant."

Funny dialogue, don't you think so?
You want me to take the ring off.


"What we are concerned with here is the fundamental interconnectedness of all things."

Come on, you have no reason to start crying now.

"Don't waste my time by quoting from Douglas Adams now. Tell me what I need to know."

Hey, I don't really want you to take the ring off!
You do!


"You need to use more deodorant."

Come on sweetheart, let's not fight now. Watch the movie.
Stop lying to me.


"What?"

I'm not lying to you! Why would I lie to you?
Because you don't love me anymore.


"You told me to tell you what you needed to know. You need to know this."

But of course I do!
No you don't!


"Are you making fun of me? Tell me what I want to know!"

You see the size of the rock on that ring? I can't afford not to love you anymore!
Is that all? You keep me around because the ring was too big an investment?


"Well then what do you want to know?"

Of course not! You're putting words in my mouth.
I know exactly what you mean to say. You just want to get rid of me.


"I already told you!"

Why are you saying that? Come on, let's watch the movie in peace.
So I'm taking away your peace of mind? Is that what you're saying?


"No you didn't."

I didn't say that, but you are tempting me to say it.
So now the truth is out of the bag isn't it? You just want me to get out of your life.


"Yes, I did!"

What do you want me to say to that?
Here, take your ring back. You'll never have to tolerate me again. I'm leaving.


"No you didn't."
"Yes I did! I told you to start from the beginning!"
"And I did, but you didn't want to listen."
"You know what I mean!"
"No, I don't."
"Yes, you do!
"Forgive him, Lord, for he knows not what he says."

It's cold outside.
I know.


"Are you crazy?!"

I'm going to stay for a while.
Yes. Come back here and sit down.


"What do you think?"

Give me my ring back.
Here. I'll put it back on.


"I don't know what to think!"

It's all your fault.
Yes, it is.


"Where are you right now?"

I'm sorry I fought with you.
I'm sorry too.


"In a bloody mental hospital."

What are you sorry for?
You're not going to use that to start another fight with me, are you?


"And what did you ask me?"

You are sooooo intelligent.
And you are incorrigible.


"I asked you how we came to be here."

I love you.
I love you too.


"And I told you."

So what's the movie about?
No idea. Want to change the channel?


"I guess you did."

Yes. Let's watch Jerry Mcguire.
Which channel?
Number eleven.


"Hello. Hello. I'm looking for my wife."
"Wait. Okay, okay. Okay. If this is where it has to happen, then this is where it has to happen. I'm not letting you get rid of me. How about that? This used to be my specialty. You know, I was good in the living room. They'd send me in there, I'd do it alone. And now I just... I don't know. But tonight, our little project, our company, had a very big night. A very, very big night. But it wasn't complete, wasn't nearly close to being in the same vicinity as complete, because I couldn't share it with you. I couldn't hear your voice, or laugh about it with you. I missed my wife. We live in a cynical world, a cynical, cynical world..."

So what's this supposed to be about?
Shhhh!

Place of Origin

Link
on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
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Recently, a friend of mine wrote this blog, titled So, where are you from?
The blog describes what I believe is an increasingly common situation where you can't answer that question. The following words were inspired by that blog.


"So where are you from?" is definitely the most dreaded question as far as I'm concerned too. And, the worst thing is that recently they added one more twist, and that too right after I decided to start claiming to be "from Bombay".

Before:

Q: Where are you from?
A: Ummm... I was born in Kuwait...
Q: Oh so you are not an Indian?
A: No no. I'm an Indian only. Was born in Kuwait, and lived there for 12 years...
Q: Oh, that long?
A: Yes. And then I studied in Bombay for a few months before going to Surat
Q: Oh so you are Gujarati?
A: No no. My dad just works there.
Q: Why?
A: ???
Q: Why Surat?
A: My dad got a job there immediately after the gulf war started. So, I studied there for 4 years before I came to Bombay for my Engineering. After 4 years of doing my engineering, though, I got a job and was posted in Chennai.
Q: Oh, you work in South India?
A: Yes. And I've been there for the last 5 years.
(Pause)
Q: So where are you from again?
A: I guess I'm essentially from Bombay, but I've only lived there for four years of my life.

Which never left them satisfied, though it was completely accurate.

Now,

Q: So, where are you from?
A: Bombay.
Q: Oh, you're a Maharashtrian?
A: No, no. I'm a Sindhi.
Q: Sindhi?
A: Sindh is a state that is now in Pakistan.
Q: Oh, you're a Pakistani?

At this point, I generally burst into tears.

Trust: Celestial Conversations - X

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Labels: , , , ,
First: Celestial Conversation
Previous: Vacation: Celestial Conversations - IX
Me: Hello?
God: Yes?
Me: Oh, Hi God.
God: Hello.
Me: That guy isn't around, is he?
God: Who?
Me: You know - adversary of God, tempter of mankind...
God: Oh, him. No, he isn't.
Me: (phew!) That's good.
God: What's your problem with him anyway?
Me: My problem? He's The D- Oh, no no no. You're not getting me to do that again.
God: It was worth a try. :) I could call him Myself, if you want.
Me: No!
God: But why?
Me: Because, he's not nice!
God: Oh, that's not his fault. It goes with the job description.
Me: How can You say that? He's the enemy!
God: Oh, come on. He's no enemy. He's an old friend. And what's a little competition between friends?
Me: How can You say that? And You leaving heaven in his hands, is so... so...
God: Stupid?
Me: Ummm, I was looking for a nicer word, but yeah.
God: Why?
Me: How can You trust him?
God: Well, he was an angel once. So he knows the place, and is senior to almost everyone here. Plus, he's a good accountant.
Me: Accountant? But You told me Heaven is bankrupt!
God: If I had any money, you think I'd leave it in his hands?
Me: Oh.
God: You must trust Me a bit more, my boy.
Me: Like, "In God We Trust"?
God: That's the spirit!

Next: Big Daddy: Celestial Conversations XI

Vacation: Celestial Conversations - IX

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
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First: Celestial Conversation
Previous: Infernal conversation: Celestial Conversations - VIII
Me: Hello?
God: Hello.
Me: Thank You it's You.
God: Eh?
Me: Oh, I tried reaching you yesterday, and ran into him instead.
God: Who?
Me: The other guy.
God: What other guy?
Me: You know. Pointy ears... tail...
God: Batman?
Me: Batman? Batman doesn't have a tail!
God: Really?
Me: Of course!
God: Oh. I didn't know that. Not even when he turns into a bat?
Me: Batman doesn't turn into a bat!
God: He doesn't?
Me: Of course not.
God: Then why does he call himself Batman?
Me: How am I supposed to know? Anyway. I was talking about the other guy.
God: Who?
Me: The one down there!
God: Where? Why don't you just say his name?
Me: I can't! If I do, he'll be here in an instant!
God: Oh. But I'm not sure who you mean.
Me: You know - adversary of God, tempter of mankind, master of Hell
God: Oh. That Guy.
Me: Yes!
God: Why didn't you say so before? So, he's back?
Me: From?
God: His vacation.
Me: Vacation?
God: Yes. Everyone needs some time off, you know. Even both of Us. When he goes on vacation, I take care of business for him, and when I go on vacation, he helps Me out.
Me: What? You get The Devil to do Your job???

[ The Devil has logged in]

The Devil: Did someone call me?
Me: Oh, no!
God: Hi Luce.
The Devil: Hi God.
God: How was the vacation?
The Devil: Oh, it was fun. Took the missus to Somalia.
God: Africa, eh? Good, good.
The Devil: Yeah. Quite a change from the weather Down Here.
God: I can imagine. Anyway. How is your load next month?
The Devil: Not too high. Why?
God: Oh, I was thinking of taking some time off too. You think you could handle it for a week or so, starting, say, the 14th?
Me: What?
The Devil: The 14th? I think I could handle it, yeah.
Me: This is ridiculous! God, how can You trust him?
God: Good, then. I'll need your help to pick out a good place to go, too.
The Devil: Oh, I've prepared a catalog to make it easier for my next trip. I could show it to you.
God: That's very nice of you. The rates some of these travel agencies charge are unbelievable.
Me: This is unbelievable! God, he's Your competition!

[Me has been kicked out of this conversation]

The Devil: Quite a pain in the ... you know where... isn't he?
God: He he! I guess so. But that wasn't a very nice thing to do.
The Devil: I know. But it was funny.
God: That it was. Did you know, that he thinks you have pointy ears and a tail?
The Devil: What? Who does he think I am anyway? Batman?
God: Apparently, Batman doesn't have a tail.
The Devil: Not even when he turns into a bat?
God: He doesn't even turn into a bat.
The Devil: No? Then why do they call him Batman?
God: That's the same question I asked.
The Devil: People! I'll never figure them out.
God: You said it.

Next: Trust: Celestial Conversations - X

Infernal conversation: Celestial Conversations - VIII

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
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First: Celestial Conversation
Previous: Job description: Celestial Conversations - VII
Me: Hello.
(silence)
Me: Hello?
(silence)
Me: God?
(more silence)
Me: Where the devil is he?

[The Devil has logged in]

The Devil: Did you call?
Me: Excuse Me?
The Devil: I believe you called me.
Me: No I did not!
The Devil: Oh, yes you did.
Me: I did not!
The Devil: Yes, you did. You said, "There Devil, where is he?"
Me: No! I said, "Where the devil is he?"
The Devil: Same thing.
Me: No it's not!
The Devil: Well you definitely remembered me.
Me: (short pause) I guess I did.
The Devil: And that's as good an invitation as any, you know.
Me: Is it?
The Devil: Of course! I think you've not really gone through the literature.
Me: I guess not.
The Devil: Good, then!
Me: Good?
The Devil: Oh, no, no! I meant, Really Bad.
Me: Oh.
The Devil: So, what may I do for you?
Me: Actually, I was looking for God.
The Devil: Well, then aren't you asking the wrong person?
Me: I would think so.
The Devil: You think right. Anyway. Let's fix that,
Me: Oh? How?
The Devil: Look for me instead.
Me: But you're already here.
The Devil: Exactly! So your search has ended!
Me: What?
The Devil: So, what may I do for you?
Me: Find God?
The Devil: You're still looking for Him?
Me: Yes.
The Devil: You know, you're beginning to tick me off.
Me: So, considering that you are The Devil, is that a good thing or a bad thing?
The Devil: Good question.
Me: Thank you.
The Devil: What do you think?
Me: Well, there's more than one way of looking at it.
The Devil: Oh?
Me: Yes. You're the devil. So getting angry is probably a good thing for you.
The Devil: Oh.
Me: So if I made you angry, I did you a good deed.
The Devil: That sounds right...
Me: The other way of looking at it, is that since I made you angry, and Anger is one of the seven deadly sins -
The Devil: Yes?
Me: - by making you angry, I was the one who caused the sin.
The Devil: Okay?
Me: And so I sinned too, which is a bad thing.
The Devil: Oh.
Me: So, what do you think?
The Devil: I'm not very sure.
Me: But aren't you supposed to be the expert?
The Devil: I used to be.
Me: Used to be?
The Devil: Oh, you have no idea the depths to which humanity can go. Makes me feel pretty angelic in comparison. It feels awful.
Me: And feeling awful is a good thing, or a bad thing?
The Devil: I don't know! (sob) (sob)
Me: Hey, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you cry.
The Devil: (sniffle) I'll be fine.
Me: You sure?
The Devil: I think so.
Me: That's nice.
The Devil: No, it's not!
Me: Okay, then. It's not nice.
The Devil: That's better.
Me: Or worse?
The Devil: You are crazy!
Me: No, just human.
The Devil: I'm leaving!
Me: B'bye!

[The Devil has logged out]

Me: <evil grin>

Next: Vacation: Celestial Conversations - IX

Job description: Celestial Conversations - VII

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Labels: , , , ,
First: Celestial Conversation
Previous: Book sales: Celestial Conversations - VI
Me: God?
God: Yes?
Me: I was just thinking...
God: Yes?
Me: God, what is it that You... You know... do all day?
God: Excuse Me?
Me: I mean, You know, as You said earlier, You didn't really make the universe, it just happened.
God: Right.
Me: And creating matter is not really worth the effort.
God: That is correct.
Me: And anything that disturbs normal laws of physics is probably not a good idea.
God: Yes.
Me: Well, then what is it that You do?
God: I'm sorry?
Me: I mean... I don't know how to put this...
God: I have no idea what you are talking about.
Me: Well, do You have anything to do?
God: To do what?
Me: That's exactly what I'm asking You.
God: What should I do?
Me: How am I supposed to know? People think that You make the world go round...
God: Me? Not at all. Love makes the world go round.
Me: Really?
God: That's what Madonna says.
Me: Oh. No, I mean, people think that You make the sun rise, and You cause night, and everything that happens, happens because it is Your will...
God: They think that? Why would they think that?
Me: Because You are God!
God: What does that have to do with it? You people have invented science, haven't you?
Me: Not exactly invented, but yes, You are correct...
God: Then why would they think that I would be responsible for any of these things?
Me: People just believe. But anyway, what I was saying was that if You don't do all this, then... then... I mean, God... Why are You there?
God: Where? Bosnia? I told you. I ran out of real estate. I'm thinking of moving to Bangalore next, though. John Kerry seems to think it's a model city.
Me: You can think of Chennai too.
God: Chennai?
Me: It's a seven hour drive from Bangalore.
God: Any good, this Chennai?
Me: Well, it's a metro, for one. And people here are pretty religious.
God: Alright. I'll think about it.
Me: Well, anyway. I actually meant, what is the reason for Your existence?
God: That's quite a strange question. But it sounds like I've been asked it before.
Me: Really? Who was it, God? Aristotle? Descartes? Moses? Stephen Hawking?
God: No, no. I think it was George Bush. I believe he wanted my job...
Me: Oh. Well what is Your job, then?
God: My job? To be God of course!
Me: And what is it that You do?
God: Why should I do anything?
Me: Every job has something to do.
God: Good leadership, my boy, is knowing the art of delegation. And I have delegated even the delegation.
Me: Oh. So You do nothing at all?
God: Actually, ever since the internet age started, I've been spending a lot of My time on email.
Me: Oh. What do You do about spam?
God: Spam? What does canned meat have to do with email?
Me: No, no! Not that spam. I mean junk mail. You know. Mails advertising Viagra, and Cialis, and weight-loss pills, and Valium, and longer (You know...) - and stuff?
God: Oh. Is that spam? And I thought those people were genuinely concerned about my health. You mean you're not supposed to read all of them?
Me: Of course not!
God: Well then why don't they say so in the mail that you're not supposed to read them?
Me: Because they want You to read them.
God: But you just said that you're not supposed to read them.
Me: Yes! You're not supposed to! That's why it's called Junk mail.
God: I think you are definitely in need of some Cialis or Xanax or Valium, whatever they are. You're not making any sense. I'm going to log off now. I've got three thousand six hundred and twenty nine mails to read. The mail server people have been kind enough to create a special folder for these mails since there are so many of them. They call it the Bulk Mail folder.

[God has logged off]

Me: (sigh) Why Me?

Next: Infernal conversation: Celestial Conversations - VIII

Plagiarism

Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Labels:
You know what really ticks me off?

Just think about it. I write a story. I mean I sit down, spend a lot of time putting words together, and come up with a love story. Then I go back and read it and change a few things. And then a few more. Show a draft to a couple of friends to get an idea about how it is. Maybe change it a little more. Try to save it as a private draft on an online magazine. Have trouble doing that and it reaches the editor. She asks me if she can publish it in a few days. I am flattered, and put another day of effort in tweaking the story to remove the last few kinks. Only then do I submit it.
It's like a labour of love. It's like putting a part of yourself in what you see as your own creation.
I don't even get paid for it. But people read it, like it, and know that I wrote it. Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. It's the only thing I get, but it's enough.

What ticks me off, and I mean really really ticks me off, is when people start forwarding the thing all around without my name on it, and then publish it all over, without any credit to me whatsoever. I do a Google search with the first few words - the title of the story has been lost too - and find that it's been put up on a number of sites. And you know the worst thing? Google says "we have omitted some entries very similar to the 5 already displayed" and omits my version!

If you don't believe me, try doing a google search on "it was a lovely december morning"

I can't even get angry at people who put up Just Another Love Story saying it's by an anonymous writer, because what do they know? But some people actually say that they wrote it!

I shudder to think what I'll get if I do a search for some of my other stuff online.

.
.
.

Ok. I succumbed. I searched for Rants Of A Single Guy too. It's posing as "I am a nice guy" at http://www.hubpubngrub.com/ with an average score of 4.75 out of 5...

Sometimes makes me want to stop writing forever...

Follow Up: It's not just me - A whole blog, copied

Book sales: Celestial Conversations - VI

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Labels: , , , ,
First: Celestial Conversation
Previous: Creation: Celestial Conversations - V
Me: Hello, God.
God: Hello.
Me: Any solution to the economy problem?
God: I'm looking at a few options.
Me: Really? Anything good?
God: Oh, one very interesting option. I'm looking at book sales.
Me: Oh?
God: Apparently, the Bible is the number one bestseller of all time.
Me: That is correct.
God: Well, then how come I haven't got any royalties?
Me: Royalties?
God: The Bible is supposed to be the Word of God, right?
Me: Yes.
God: So it should automatically be copyrighted to me, right?
Me: That's debatable.
God: Debatable?
Me: Did you actually write any of it?
God: Not in a manner of speaking. But it's still all supposed to be my idea, right?
Me: Well, even if it's your idea, the Bible is currently in the public domain.
God: Public Domain?
Me: Yes. Which means that anyone is free to print it without having to pay royalties.
God: Really? And what about the Quran?
Me: I would presume it's the same with that too.
God: And the Ramayana and Mahabharata?
Me: Those too.
God: And the Talmud?
Me: Even that.
God: In the name of Me! Is there anything that they've spared?
Me: I would think not.
God: I can't believe it. Trillions of dollars in royalties over the years, all lost!
Me: That's true.
God: So I'll have to look for something else, then?
Me: I guess so.
God: :-(

Next: Job description: Celestial Conversations - VII

Creation: Celestial Conversations - V

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Labels: , , , ,
First: Celestial Conversation
Previous: What Economy? (Celestial Conversations - IV)
Me: Hello, God?
God: Yes?
Me: Thank God, I've found you!
God: You're welcome.
Me: I wanted to speak to you about that Search Engine you wanted.
God: Yes?
Me: I wanted to discuss the financial details of the project.
God: Oh, I'm sorry. I can't afford to hire you.
Me: What?
God: I don't have any money.
Me: What?
God: Yes. I don't get paid, you see.
Me: Of course you don't get paid! You're God!
God: That's funny. My secretary said something very similar.
Me: Well, it's pretty obvious isn't it?
God: Not to me. Anyway. If I don't get paid, how can I pay you?
Me: But you're God!
God: How does that have anything to do with it?
Me: You can make money.
God: I don't think you understand.
Me: What's there to understand?
God: See, to make money, I need to produce something. To produce anything, I need a workforce. To have a workforce, I need to hire people, and to hire people I need to be able to pay them. And to pay them, I need money!
Me: This is crazy!
God: I know. It took me by surprise too, the first time.
Me: That's not what I meant. Anyway. I meant you could create money.
God: You mean in a mint?
Me: If that's the way you prefer it.
God: No way. I don't want a counterfeit note-printing investigation in heaven.
Me: I actually meant just creating money out of nothing at all.
God: Oh, that's not so easy. Considering the inefficiencies of converting energy to matter, and factoring in leakage, I'd need to use up a small star just to generate enough paper, and then some more to get it in the form of valid bank notes. And even then, I'd probably be setting back entropy by centuries. You have no idea of the trouble that kind of thing can cause.
Me: But it's just some money! After all, you made the universe!
God: Ah. That, was my biggest failure.
Me: Failure?
God: Yes. All I'd intended to create was a singularity. And before I'd had enough time to study it, it exploded! You call it the Big Bang. How you people guessed it, is beyond me.
Me: You mean the Universe was a mistake?
God: Of course! You think I'd make something that took up so much space, on purpose? Do you have any idea about the cost of real estate these days? It drove me to bankruptcy. I even had to move headquarters inside the universe.
Me: So heaven is actually a place in the universe?
God: Unfortunately, that's true.
Me: Where?
God: Oh, I keep moving it around to prevent discovery. It wouldn't be very nice if people discovered that heaven is just a plane ride away, would it?
Me: Plane ride? You mean it's on earth?
God: Where else? It's the only planet I know of that supports life.
Me: So where is it now?
God: Right now, it's in Bosnia.
Me: Bosnia?!?!
God: Hard to believe, isn't it? That's what makes it such a good hideout.
Me: Unbelieveable!
God: I know. It makes me proud. Before this, we were stationed out of Iraq. But Saddam spoiled it for me. The Americans nearly bombed us out of existence with one of their bombs. A few metres to the left, and there'd have been no more heaven.
Me: !
God: I know.
Me: I think I have a headache.
God: Take a couple of aspirin.
Me: I don't think that'd work this time...

Next: Book sales: Celestial Conversations - VI

What Economy? (Celestial Conversations - IV)

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Labels: , , , ,
First: Celestial Conversation
Previous: 1-800-CALL-GOD: Celestial Conversations - III
God: Why didn't you tell me that we have an outsourcing department?
Secretary: Because we don't.
God: Oh. (short pause) Why don't we have an outsourcing department?
Secretary: We just don't.
God: Well, we should.
Secretary: Whatever for?
God: What kind of establishment would I be running if I didn't even have an outsourcing department?
Secretary: But we don't even have anything to outsource.
God: We don't?
Secretary: No.
God: Well then that is very bad news.
Secretary: It is?
God: Certainly. It'd be quite embarrassing if I had to say in our annual report that we don't see any opportunities in outsourcing.
Secretary: What annual report?
God: What do you mean 'what annual report'?
Secretary: We don't even have an annual report.
God: We don't have an outsourcing department, we don't have anything to outsource, and we don't have an annual report. What am I paying you for, anyway?
Secretary: You don't pay me.
God: I don't?
Secretary: Of course not. No one gets paid in heaven.
God: No one?
Secretary: Not a soul.
God: Was that supposed to be a pun of some sort?
Secretary: (smiles) Yes.
God: It was a good pun.
Secretary: Thank you.
God: So no one gets paid? Not even me?
Secretary: You, Boss? No you don't get paid. It would be funny, wouldn't it, if you got paid for being God?
God: Funny?
Secretary: Of course. I mean, it's not like we have an economy.
God: Interesting point. Thank you, secretary. I shall have to think about this. Goodbye.

Next: Creation: Celestial Conversations - V

1-800-CALL-GOD: Celestial Conversations - III

Posted by Rajesh J Advani
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First: Celestial Conversations
Previous: Celestial Conversations - II
Ring Ring

God: Hello
Me: Hello. Is this God's Outsourcing department?

God: (short pause) No.

Me: Oh. Thank you.
(Disconnect)
Me: Damn!

God: I have an outsourcing department?

Next: What Economy? (Celestial Conversations - IV)

Celestial Conversations - II

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
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Previous: Celestial Conversations
Me: Hello?
God: Yes?
Me: Hello, God.
God: This is not God.
Me: What?
God: This is not God.
Me: Not God? Did Your secretary change his mind?
God: I do not have a secretary.
Me: What? Yesterday, You said Your secretary told You that You are God.
God: I have never spoken to you before.
Me: Is this a memory refresh problem or something?
God: Excuse me?
Me: Who am I chatting with?
God: This is the secretary of God.
Me: Well then why didn't you say so before?
God: You never asked.
Me: (long pause) What are you doing logged in as God?
God: God is on a break.
Me: On a break?
God: Yes. Is there a problem?
Me: How can God take a break?
God: The details of God's bio-breaks are considered celestially confidential information under the celestial information security policy.
Me: What?
God: It means that I have no intention of answering your question.
Me: Well, then, where is God?
God: Everywhere.
Me: What?
God: God is Omnipresent. He is everywhere.
Me: No, I mean where is He right now?
God: Everywhere.
Me: (sigh) Alright, when will God be back?
God: Back from?
Me: Back from his break. Are you retarded or something?
God: I refuse to answer that question since it is loaded with intellectual discrimination. Here at Heaven we believe in the equality of all living beings irrespective of species, sex, race, sexual orientation, or speed of thought.
Me: What about religion? You didn't say anything about religion.
God: Why would we not discriminate on the grounds of religion? This is God's domain, after all.
Me: Oh? And what religion would you prefer living beings follow?
God: That information is celestially confidential.
Me: This is insane! Anyway. Where is God?
God: I told you. Everywhere.
Me: I need to speak to God.
God: To what purpose?
Me: To work out a business deal. He agreed to hire me to build a search engine for him.
God: You need to approach the outsourcing department.
Me: And how do I reach the outsourcing department?
God: Like any other way of reaching God. Pray.
Me: What?
God: Pray. If God wishes to answer you, He will. If not, then you are not worthy. Goodbye.

[God has logged off]

Me: Damn!

[God has logged back in again]

God: Shame on you! Swearing at God!

[God has logged off]

Me: But you're not even God! (sigh) What next?

Next: 1-800-CALL-GOD: Celestial Conversations - III

Collaborative Literature

Posted by Rajesh J Advani
I got permission to link that funny post I mentioned earlier. So here it is.
I call that kind of writing collaborative literature. (You think maybe a few years down the line I'll get credit for coining the term?)

The idea for Celestial Conversation is partly inspired from this post, partly an article I read on Sulekha a month or so ago (that one was a little heavy, though), and a little by the first two pages of "Good Omens" by Terry Pratchett (that's all I've read of the book till now).
The rest of it is original!

Celestial Conversation

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
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First:
Me: Hi
God: Yes?
Me: This is God, right?
God: (short pause) I guess it is
Me: You're not sure?
God: Not really.
Me: How can you not be sure if you're God or not?
God: I've got too many things to remember. You mind if I check with my secretary?
Me: I guess not.
(Pause)
God: Hi, I'm back.
Me: Yes?
God: Apparently, I'm God.
Me: And your secretary told you that?
God: Yes.
Me: And you believed her?
God: Him.
Me: Him?
God: Yes. Why, is there a problem?
Me: Why isn't your secretary a woman?
God: (short pause) Is this a trick question?
Me: No.
God: Why should my secretary be a woman?
Me: Haven't you heard about laws against sexual discrimination?
God: Not really. But having a female secretary is just as discriminating against men, right?
Me: I guess you are right.
God: Thank you.
Me: So.
God: Yes?
Me: Are you sure you are God?
God: I told you. I am. My secretary said so.
Me: And you believed him?
God: Why wouldn't I?
Me: Well it would be a bit funny don't you think, if I were chatting on an Instant Messenger with God himself?
God: Why? What's wrong with chatting with God on an Instant Messenger?
Me: Well, one would expect God to communicate with a human being directly from the sky.
God: But wouldn't that disturb everyone else?
Me: I guess it would.
God: Good.
Me: So.
God: Yes?
Me: You're sure you're God.
God: I told you. My secretary said I am God.
Me: And you believed him?
God: I can't believe I'm having this conversation! Why wouldn't I believe him?
Me: God normally doesn't chat on Instant Messengers.
God: Who says so?
Me: I do
God: And who, if I may ask, are you?
Me: If you were God, you wouldn't need to ask.
God: Why wouldn't I need to ask?
Me: Because God is supposed to be Omniscient. All-Knowing.
God: So if I don't know who you are, I can't be God?
Me: Correct.
God: (short pause) This is interesting (another pause). But if I'm not God, who am I?
Me: That's what I'd like to know.
God: I'll ask my secretary.
(long pause)
God: I'm back.
Me: Yes?
God: My secretary says I really am God.
Me: But then why don't you know who I am?
God: My secretary explained it to me. I do know everything, but just can't remember any of it. Like for example, the fact that I am God.
Me: You know but you don't remember?
God: That is correct.
Me: I don't understand.
God: Neither do I, really. He said something about archived information. And something about some warehouses. My brain is not big enough to store everything about every universe that I created, and so only part of the information is available at any given point of time.
Me: Oh.
God: So do you believe me now?
Me: Not really.
God: Neither do I. (short pause) What is a universe?
Me: You don't know?
God: Of course, I do. I just can't remember.
Me: You know, God, or whoever you are, what you need is a Search Engine.
God: What is a search engine?
Me: Well, if you have a lot of information, and want to find the right bit at the right time, you need something to find that information for you, so that you can go and look it up.
God: A search engine? So I guess you mean that we'd put this engine in a box on wheels and use the box to move around warehouses of my knowledge, to find what I need to know?
Me: (short pause) Something like that.
God: Oh, ok. You think it'll work?
Me: It' guaranteed to work.
God: Really?
Me: Yes
God: Great! And what will we call it?
Me: Oh, I've already thought of that. We'll call it Godgle.

Next: Celestial Conversations - II

Things

Posted by Rajesh J Advani
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After the previous post, I got tempted into reading Things... again. It's just extremely hilarious!
A couple of years ago, I discovered the "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" by Douglas Adams. It's a science fiction comedy that started out as a trilogy, and then sparked two more books. So it's now a trilogy is five parts. Once I was done with every Douglas Adams book I could find (the 5 Guide books, the 2 Dirk Gently books and the recently published The Salmon of Doubt) I moved on to Terry Pratchett's Discworld series (I guess I've written about this guy before). In my race to read every book that Pratchett's written, I quite forgot about almost all the other authors out there. I've really even lost interest in reading anything else.
I picked up Catch 22 because I couldn't find the next book in the Discworld series at that time, and the only reason I picked up The Da Vinci Code (in spite of the fact that I had The Fifth Elephant by then) is to find out what all the hulla-baloo is all about. I must say it's definitely a good read, and quite gripping (even if I've only read 306 pages in less than two days) and interesting because it's a conspiracy theory suspense thriller.

But after I'm done with it, I will be back to Pratchett (Six books to buy and read in less than two months. You think I can do it?). One needs some humour in life.

A friend of mine came up with this really funny post which is apparently the transcript of a real chat session with another friend of hers. I was going to put a link of it here, but thought I'd take her permission first. (You know who you are. May I?)

Book Shopping

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
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I bought three books today - “The Fifth Elephant” and “The Truth” by Terry Pratchett (twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth books in the popular Discworld series for those who are interested), and Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (I’d never heard of the book before but someone sent me a PDF of it a couple of days ago, and I fell in love with the first couple of pages). That, in spite of the fact that I’ve been trying to finish Joseph Heller’s “Catch 22” (Frankly, the book’s a drag. Even though the narration is powerful and the descriptions extremely moving and vivid, the book fails to hold my interest for long periods of time with the author jumping from the past to the present back to the past and then further back, and then back to the present, and so on, without warning, leaving me confused and having a headache. A single book normally doesn’t last longer than three days in my hands, unless it’s got more than six hundred pages) for the past couple of weeks (feels like more) and I’ve also got The Da Vinci Code on my list of books to read before I can proceed to my new buys. But what do you expect me to do if my resolution is to buy and read all twenty-nine books of the Discworld series before the thirtieth one is published in October this year? I can’t break my resolution now, can I?

I’m also looking for a copy of the book “Things My Girlfriend And I Have Argued About” by Mil Millington. I’ve looked in every bookstore I could find, ever since I found out the book exists three weeks ago, but none of them seem to have even heard of it. In fact most people snicker when I tell them the name. Even FabMall doesn’t have it in stock… For the uninitiated, TMGAIHAA is a fictional romantic comedy that the author wrote after he saw the immense popularity that his website of the same name gained. The webpage (it's a single long page) is a compilation of supposedly real life incidents that try to portray the kind of arguments the British author and his German girlfriend (they have two kids) have. The page was put together over a number of years, and is an extremely funny look into a part of the man’s life. The page is also therapeutic, in my opinion. Make any bickering couple read it, and they’d realize that if a couple that has such fights can last that long (sixteen years at last count) and also still be in love with each other then they definitely can too.

Enough for now, I think. I’ve got to go back and attack “Catch 22”. Yawwwnnnn.

Kids

Posted by Rajesh J Advani
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I had dinner at Jus’ Paratha’s today. It’s a restaurant at L B Road in Thiruvanmiyur that specializes in stuffed parathas, though they also serve regular North-Indian food. They’ve got this bell at every table, with a wooden handle to the tongue. We decided today (for no particular reason) that the bell must be intended to get the attention of the waiters, since they sometimes tend to ignore you. So we rang it when I wanted a refill of my glass of water. A little girl at the next table looked at us mischievously when we did that, as if to say, “Ha, now Daddy is going to scold you!” She’d probably been forbidden from ringing the bell before we reached there. Quite cute, that kid. She kept stealing glances at us all the time, smiling widely every time we managed to catch her at it. As I was getting up to leave, I rang the bell one last time just for her. She game me a wide smile as I left.

She reminded me of the movie Matchstick Men (I saw that a week ago). It’s got Nicholas Cage and Alison Lohman playing a really endearing father-daughter duo. The movie is around a year old but only just reached Chennai a couple of weeks back, I guess. And my friends in Bangalore and Bombay don’t even seem to have heard of it. Anyway, the movie is a must-see. The bit before the end will leave you… well, why don’t I just let you watch the movie?

By the time I walked out of the movie hall, I knew why I wanted a daughter. It’s something I made up my mind about a few years ago, and movies like this only reinforce that desire. Of course, considering the fact that my paternal grandfather had three sons, and those sons had six sons and one daughter, and it’s the guy’s chromosomes that count with respect to the child being a boy or a girl, I’m probably going to be disappointed.

Yes, I know, a lot of you are going, “Kids? Don’t you think you have a long way to go before that?” But let a guy dream, will you?

Big Boss on TV

Posted by Rajesh J Advani
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The Big Boss was on TV today. The news channel wanted a one-on-one with him. Covering the richest man in the country apparently makes big news.

The Boss normally carries this aura around him, something in his bearing, which tells you that you are in the presence of greatness. That aura was missing today. And to make it worse, the show was only half an hour long, compared to the usual one hour. I guess the interviewer wasn’t much fun either. Probably killed the Boss’s enthusiasm. Like my roommate put it, ‘there were a number of moments where I could picture the boss slapping that guy’. Or maybe he’s just become a little old. Hmmm?

Writer's block

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
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I've been sitting here, for five minutes, staring at a blank screen because I told myself that I'd write a blog before I left for the day. Why? Because I wanted to.

Writer's block is a really bad thing. I started writing a comedy play a year ago. August 1, 2003, I think. Around 12:30am. Wrote a couple of scenes and went to sleep. Over the next 5 months, I added three and a half more scenes. And it's been like that ever since. Because I can't seem to be able to proceed with the story.

In Jan this year, I started writing a piece "This Thing Called Love" for Sulekha's Spring Romance Contest. It was turning out pretty well until page 3 (I write most of my drafts in MS Word Documents), when I ran out of steam. I had also started a piece I was going to call "Pallavi", but that too never saw completion. Never went past page 2.

Then there was the tragedy I started, but found unconvincing half-way through.

I guess my favourite is the one I consider complete, but everyone who reads it asks me "Where's the next page?"

I currently have 6 unfinished stories, and a number of stories in my head that I just can't seem to even start writing.

I did submit one story to Sulekha around 7 weeks ago, but apparently they're still reviewing it. Scary thought...

Now all I want to write is meaningless blogs that hold the reader's attention for a few paragraphs and don't leave them feeling "Why am I reading this?" and I can't even seem to do that. And none of my bookmarked bloggers are writing either. Sidin's laptop seems to still be dead. Vivek isn't blogging either. Hani Suleiman seems to have had his fill for the week.

And I have no literary pieces of art to garner the empty blog market. (Ok, ok, so I'm exaggerating. Still you know what I mean right?)

Sigh...

I'll try to complete the one year old comedy this weekend. Like I try every weekend. I'll probably read it from start to end and start playing Max Payne 2 instead.

Whatever. Have a nice weekend, folks.

Coffee?

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
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"Coffee?" I asked.

"Sure," she replied.

We'd never met. In person, that is. We'd met online two weeks ago. What had started out as a one line email, had turned into chatting on various instant messengers from both office and home, for hours everyday.

"But where?" she asked, after a pause.

"Any place that's convenient for you, I guess."

"Hmmm," she replied, as if thinking aloud. "Ok. Seven thirty?"

"Done," I said. An hour. "Where'll you be?"

"Remember that place I told you about that's right next to the park?"

"Sounds good."

I logged off, and headed for the shower.

We'd both bought new laptops recently and that had been the thing we'd first started talking about. But we'd soon switched to everything else, like ourselves, our lives, our likes, our dislikes, movies, music, books and even the weather!

As I dried my hair, I thought about what I was going to do. I was a little nervous. After all, I had never done something like this before. It felt quite strange, really.

I chose a simple white-t-shirt and my light blue jeans. The shirt needed ironing. I checked my watch. I still had half an hour.

Once I was ready, I picked up my laptop bag, and walked to my car.

My friends had told me everyone was doing it these days, but that didn't take my mind off the fact that I knew I was doing something that I considered just a little... weird. I mean I'd known her for barely two weeks. And, a coffee shop? It just felt a little... different.

I had to park a little way away from the coffee shop. Parking was always a problem there in the evening. I was glad I had decided to leave a few minutes early.

I chose my table, sat down, and started setting up my laptop. It was 7:29 when I got my Instant Messenger window open. She wasn't there yet. A few seconds later, she came online, and her message window popped up. "Hi!" she said.

"Hi," I replied. "Just reached?"

"Yep," she said. "So what are you ordering?"

"A Mocha Malt, I think. You?"

"Oh, Espresso with whipped cream. So how's the weather there in Orlando?"

"It's beautiful. Not too sunny, not too cold. Just right. What about LA?"

"Oh, it's pretty good here too. It was a little hot in the morning, but then it rained in the afternoon, and so it's much more comfortable now."

":)" I replied.

I could really get used to this Wi-Fi thing.

Growing older

Posted by Rajesh J Advani
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I was just updating my sulekha profile, when I realised that the bit that asked my age group was out of date. As of a little over two weeks ago, I'm no longer in the 18-25 bracket. As I was selecting the next available group, the one that said 26-35, something hit me. Twenty-six, to Thirty Five!. Thirty-five!

Suddenly the feeling that's been slowly creeping over me during the past few months tightened it's grip. Suddenly, I felt old.
I mean, it starts becoming apparent when almost all your friends are either engaged or married. You get hints like noticing grey hair in that - until now - pure black mane on your head. Kids under 14 call you Uncle. Hell, sometimes kids over 15 call you Uncle too. And people who graduated with you, start having kids.

But you tend to ignore the feeling until something really minor brings your attention to it. And it's never easy I guess. This is the first day of the rest of my life, all right. The rest of my life as an old man.

Brrrrrrr! Shudder to even think about it.

Then, just as suddenly, a part of me woke up and said, "Old? What old? Can an old man do a handstand?"
And just to prove it, I did one. Or rather, attempted to do one.

And came crashing down to earth. Thank Goodness I only tried this on my bed. My bones aren't that strong anymore...