Almost Always The Truth

This blog is about small incidents which have occured in the life of Neel Arurkar. Neel also writes about his family and friends in this blog.

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Location: Mumbai/Bangalore/Pune, Maharashtra/Karnataka, India

I am what you see :-)

Holi Bumper(Updated 14th Nov)

Monday, December 26, 2005

Hookah And Beer @ Hypnos

Last Friday, most of us from our project team went to Hypnos. We were accompanied by Osama, who works as an intern with our team and Owen, who was spending his last few hours before his flight to NY. Hypnos, which serves Mediterranean fare, is the best amongst the pubs that I have visited in Bangalore. Apart from the food, I like the ambience and the Hookahs. Well, I do not smoke cigarettes and if this is to be believed, Hypnos serves tobacco free hookahs. The hookah that we ordered was mix flavoured. A couple of puffs later, I could smoke the hookah without coughing. This was my second time with the hookah and this time I had made a note of all the hookah etiquettes. This site has quite a few of them, the most flouted one being When sharing a hookah and you're done smoking for the moment, place the hose down on the table for the next person to pick up. Don't pass it directly. The other etiquette Don't take too many photos in a hookah lounge, it disturbs the atmosphere was also flouted by Keyur who took 100 + photographs. A few of them, that are intended for all kinds of audiences, are here.

The Hookah, supposedly tobacco free

My experiments with the Hookah

That's my wrist watch

Monday, December 19, 2005

Taram Ching

Like all the other politicians, Dharam Singh wants to rename Bangalore to Bengaluru(or Bengalooru). Sick. Sick. Come 1st November 2006 and the name change will take effect. These politicians who have no other work to do have already renamed the city I love the most from Bombay to Mumbai. And now they are doing the same to the city which is second on my list of cities that I like. Ooru in Kannada means a village and the name change will ensure that government will find itself at ease while answering questions relating to Bangalore's poor infrastructure post 1st Nov 2006.

People : How can you explain the poor infrastructure in the city? It takes us 2.5 hours to travel 15kms.
Govt : City? What city? It is a village now. Forgot we renamed it on 1st Nov?We are infact about to start work to break down Hosur road and convert it into a mud road. It has been suggested by a Jnanpith award winner. You will have to use bullock carts to commute. And that way we can feel more closer to our culture, our tradition.
People : So how will we reach to our office in Electronics City?
Govt : Oooh! So you are the IT guys. B******s. You land grabbers. Most of you come from outside the state and speak Hindi. For your information, we are about to raise down all the companies in Electronic City and convert in into farmlands. That way we will feel more closer to our culture, our tradition.
People : (throw branded footwear at the govt)
Govt : You should not throw branded footwear at us. Remember the bill that we passed last month. From now on, you should only throw cow dung and pig dung at us. That way we will feel closer to our culture, our tradition.

Enough is enough. For how long should I tolerate these stupid politicians? For how long these people will continue to appease masses(there are people like that) by changing names and making them feel them closer to their tradition and culture. And I cannot do any thing about it. I have decided to rename Mr. Dharam Singh to Taram Ching. And I want that to be a democratic decision. Please cast your unbiased vote.

Please Note : Looks like Dharam Singh himself has voted. Before this guy voted, the results were 26 in favour of Yes and 3 in favour of No. Ignore that rigger.
dt : 23rd Dec 2005.
To the rigger : By overwhelming majority, he has been renamed Taram Ching

From Dharam to Taram
Do you support my decision to rename Dharam Singh as Taram Ching?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Neal N Nikki

Me : Hello! Can I speak to XYZ?
The other end(ToE) : XYZ is not at home. Who is this?
Me : Neel
ToE : Who?
Me : Neel
ToE : Anil?
Me : Neel
ToE : Sunil?
Me : Neel... November Echo Echo Lima
ToE : Is it just Neel? Or something like Neelkant?
Me : ( bang the phone..f*** you)

This has been the typical conversation I have been involved in n number of times. Neel is quite an uncommon name in India. There are two types of people in India. Those who can understand my name and those who cannot. After more than 20 years(exact number of years not written to hide my age), I can arrive at a conclusion just by looking at the person whether he or she belongs to the first or the second category. For those who belong to the second category, the not so secular people wonder if I am a Hindu or a Christian. Some are direct. Are you a Christian? Others are not so direct. Like the mother of this pretty girl I happened to meet on Ranade Road.

Pretty Girl(PG) : Hi Neel! Mom, this is Neel.
Me : Hi! Hello Aunty.
PG's Mom : What is your surname? (Surname can provide leads about one's faith)

Then there is this league of people who tell me that I have a sweet name. It is. That is precisely the reason my parents named me Neel. On second thoughts, all four letter words are sweet.

There is one more way in which I classify people - People who spell my name as Neel, Neil , Nil and Neal. The ones who spell my name as Neel, do so because they know me. Those who spell it as Neil know Neil Armstrong. And the ones who spell it as Nil are illiterate SoBs. The fourth type of people who spell it as Neal is non-existent till now. But I am sure that the movie Neal N Nikki has been released, this tribe of people is going to outnumber the rest. Though people will spell me as Neal, this movie is doing me a great service in the sense that lesser number of people are going to indulge in the conversation like the telephonic conversation that was posted above. As a token of appreciation, I have decided to watch this movie.

Trivia :
1. As part of my research I do before blogging, I have learnt that Neal in Neal N Nikki is the truncated version of Gurneal.
2. I have never met my namesake.
3. If you happen to be my namesake or almost namesake(Neal,Neil or Nil), I would like to meet you.
4. If you happen to be Nikki or Nikita(Nikki in the movie is truncated version of Nikita), I would still like to meet you ;-)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Atithi Devo Bhavah

Integrity - This implies that the person does not cheat the tourists and charges him a fair price for the service. This is one of the guidelines on Atithi Devo Bhavah which means Guest Is God, is a new campaign promoted by the Ministry of Tourism, India. Last Saturday, I was at Mysore and this private bus guy, I suppose, had not seen the TV commercial in which a cab driver is shown cheating a foreign tourist. This guy almost cheated us before he was caught. We wanted to go to the Brindavan Gardens. We were waiting at a bus stop, when we saw this bus with the board saying that it goes to Brindavans. Before popping in, we asked the conductor whether the bus goes to Brindavans and he asked us to get in. We purchased tickets for our destination and were looking out of the windows as tourists usually do, before inquisitive Vihar asked the person sitting on his seat how long would it take to reach Brindavans. To our surprise we were told that Brindavan Gardens were exactly in the opposite direction and that the bus had started from Brindavans. We got up and demanded the money back from the conductor. The conductor asked us not to worry and he would take us to Brindavans on the return trip, which meant not only we would have to pay him more money but also that we would spend an hour more to reach our destination. The conductor even refused to stop the bus. But one shout from Swapnil and the driver stopped the bus and the conductor handed over the money. After we got down, I showered the choicest of the abuses in Marathi, which I am sure he did not understand but knew were some abuses. In return, the sob hurled abuses in Kannada with such a conviction that no one would believe that he was at fault. Tourists are meant to be cheated.