Why I Love Dives

 

1. $3-$5 for a pint!!

2. Almost always 50+ years old. Love, LOVE the ambiance – the old wood, the worn-out leather seats, the regulars, the friendly bartenders.

3. The li’l notes patrons pin on the walls, carve into the maturing wood, hide somewhere in one of the corners of the walls.

4. JUKEBOX. YES, PLEASE.

5. Conversation with… everyone possible.

 

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Why I Dislike Macy’s (Herald Square)

 

Well, I’m not too much of a shopaholic; I think I barely fall in the category, to tell you the truth. However, I do need to go and buy stuff occasionally, as we all do. So, I landed up at Macy’s the other day to buy some outerwear (winter approaches *brrrr*) and literally had a headache-inducing time. Here’s why:-

Macy's (Herald Square)

1. Macy’s is undergoing some sort of renovation – ALL HELL HATH BREAK LOOSE!! Half the display shelf cabinets are locked and one can’t even see most of the products or touch the and inspect them while browsing. In case one wants to see the product up-close, the utterly snobby Macy’s staff take their own sweet time in a) Noticing the customer b) Acknowledging the customer’s request and, c) Actually opening the God-damned cabinets! As if this weren’t taxing enough, the customers (due to lack of space) crowd around the area like they’re at a fish market and don’t let people pass by! (In hindsight, the customers’ may be milling around the area because someone has finally opened the coveted cabinets!)

Due to the renovation, half the escalators are not working and none of the elevators are working. Restrooms have been relocated to the BASEMENT and the MUTHAFUKIN’ SEVENTH FLOOR!!!

2. The Sales’ Reps are downright rude and do not pay any attention to the shoppers. Why are they hired? To lounge about and sample the stupid perfume strips they ought to be handing out to all the customers? No one’s at the changing room section to assist, either?!

3. The unfriendly folk at the counters not only behave unprofessionally with the customers, there is utter un-professionalism in the conversations between employees as well! A Mexican rep was yelling from one end of one of the sections to someone over at the other end, “HEYYYY!!! WHERE YOU AT?!” repeatedly while others were getting startled. If one wants to get a glimpse of the ghettos, one may come to this Macy’s.

In one of the sections, cashiers were chatting away with other staff members while doe-eyed tourist customers stood around, waiting confusedly.

Such things have happened earlier as well at this Macy’s but, the recent experience at the store has left a bitter taste in my mouth. And a headache. The management ought to seriously consider HR training for the staff and treating their customers well.

 

Get Out of My Way When I’m Getting My Sweat On!

Right. So this is a rant on all the pathetic and irritating aunties in my colony who have made my exercise routine excruciating because of their daily dose of dumbassery. For the uninitiated, middle-aged ladies in India are referred to as ‘aunties’ and it is common for these ladies to go for morning/evening walks in their respective suburbs.

These ladies are a peculiar species in their own way. They’re mostly housewives who spend the entire day yelling at their maids (household help in India is common) and over-feeding their darling children. They’re bored, undoubtedly. Come evening, they turn into salwar-kameezNike donning ninjas and hurry to meet their counterparts for their awesome “evening walk and chit-chat” sessions. Oh, and most of them carry flowery napkins to soak up their imagined workout sweat and frequently check their cellphones, which are generally worn as pendantesque accessories, like the three solid gold chains around their hippo necks aren’t eye-catching enough.

Anyway, once you get over this overwhelming sight, you notice that the aunty brigade takes up the entire road as they “walk”. Yes, the whole ten feet of road is occupied by these domestic cows as they sashay rhythmically down the lane. As it is they walk at a speed of roughly 2mts/hour, with breaks at regular intervals to catch their breaths and gossip some more – because it’s soooo difficult to saunter and jabber at the same time.

These Mrs. Khuranas and Mrs. Thiagarajans don’t give a damn about the loner jogger as s/he attempts to squeeze past the lady army and jog on steadfastly. They graciously deign to move for cars and autos and very grudgingly so for scooters and scooterettes. Please, hear our pleas! We’re here to use the roads, too!

For the love of God, please have mercy on us loner joggers, we need to maintain a pace to build our stamina, we need to work up a sweat and thin down. Isn’t that the point of exercise, really?

Sidebar: I really wanted to put in a picture but, as I searched Google Images, I found mostly aunty-centric porn. Did not know that’s a rage. Indian men’s taste sucks big time.

What’s Happening to Us All?

I see all these women hurrying along footpaths, their pastel sarees bunched up just enough to expose their Paragon chappals and Metro sandals, one eye in front as they search their sensible sienna handbags to whip out their cell phones and call up someone or the other.

I look around and spot a sea of middle aged, salt-and-pepper haired men on the parallel road, primly dressed in collared, half-sleeved striped blue-and-white or just plain blue shirts ending at sensibly bargained Rs. 95 pleather belts holding up their charcoal grey trousers. They look left, then right and then left again… at least a few do, as they cross the road at different intervals dodging the odd autorickshaw threateningly honking and return the glares of rotund, curly-haired, mustachioed men on pistachio green Bajaj scooters.

I turn away and glance inside a share auto; two men – probably in their thirties, sit and make small talk on big issues. The one near the window has a leaky pen in his shirt pocket, the off-white cloth stains as he speaks, the royal blue ink seeps into the coarse cotton threads, deeply; three twenty-something college-going girls sit opposite them – wide-eyed, fresh-faced women, eagerly discussing something appropriately scandalous about a batch-mate – perhaps her boyfriend sexts her during class, perhaps she does. Their hurried whispers escape through their hand-cupped mouths as their guilty, sweeping glances search the auto for a knowing look or an admonishment. Hoping no one overhears or understands their wanton gossip, loaded acronyms are gleefully passed on among the trio; childish, mean giggles ensue.

The driver in front looks ahead, unimpressed by the snaking line of metal-on-rubber boxes of which he’s a fragment; he sighs as another long day comes to an end. He looks over at the sidewalk, smoothens his wiry hair, or what’s left of it and leches at buxom and lithe women alike as they pass by the share auto.

Barely halting to notice the Lord Hanuman sticker on it’s bumper, the ladies walk as they tuck their frazzled hair behind imitation jewel adorned ears as the loosely strung jasmine flowers twisted around their untwisting hairknots hang on limply, they do notice the mundu-clad, beady-eyed driver and the two thirty-something men who’re ogling at them with equally dispassionate boredom now that something more interesting than today’s share market small talk has caught their fancy. They look ahead, their nostrils slightly flared and, silently busy themselves in searching for something, anything in their sensible sienna handbags; they walk on.

The light turns green; we move on, too.

Things Girls Need to Do Differently

Take More Risks – Girls are generally prone to play it safe when it comes to their own needs, perhaps because they have been taught to argue sparingly and maintain a comely attitude. In addition, since they’re conditioned to think with restrictions and indirectly made to feel inferior, self doubt lingers in most girls‘ minds.

Doubting and belittling your goals so that you don’t come across as demanding, aggressive or impulsive is idiotic. It is even more idiotic to think not taking a risk and being a good person are the same thing. It’s important to look at the Reward-to-Risk ratio when one is contemplating doing something but, not doing anything is just plain cowardly.

Stick to Your Guns: From the time they prancing around in their pretty pink pinafores picking pansies and periwinkles to braid into their pretty blonde braids, girls are chided for ‘unpleasant’ behavior like making noise or being unkempt. Once an adolescent, parents have earlier curfews for them and tend to keep a stricter eye on the teenage girl. In most cases, girls tend to stick to the rules and pride themselves on being prim and proper or ‘good girls’.

But, in the workplace or in major decisions in life, these very parent-controlled limits tend to puncture holes in girls’ confidence and their analytic ability thus, making it hard for them to persist once they’ve decided on something. Girls need to believe in themselves a little more and learn to care a little less about things that are minuscule in the larger picture. Today, it is stupid to expect a girl to be a doormat. Also, please don’t be afraid of being disliked if it’s in lieu of something you’re passionate about and which will bring obvious value to your life. Sometimes, you gotta hold on.

Avoid Being the Damsel in Distress: There’s no Prince Charming on a ‘Tide’ white steed coming to rescue you. There’s no need to behave like a delicate darling and run to someone when anything remotely challenging comes your way. It’s cheap, parasitic and irritating, to say the least. Get a hold of yourself, be your own damn savior.

When I Feel Like Punching People

You know those people who’re bloody annoying most of the time – they’re the inconsiderate, mean, nasty, gossip-mongering irritants who make your day foul, at least for a while after you’re done interacting with them. You think to yourself, why the heck am I talking to these good-for-nothings when you’re in the middle of a long, pointless monologue  -y conversation with them. Here are some of the characteristics of these irritating idiots and their annoying and pathetic problems :-

1. Whiners: All they do is whine about how they’re stuck doing something they didn’t want to. Or what somebody did to them. Or how their Ramen noodles always get burnt. Or how they got stood up – again. Well, why don’t you guys gaze inward and see where the real issue lies? Stop blaming everyone but yourself and quit making everyone else’s ears bleed.

2. Victims: These folk just want to blame someone and differ from ‘Whiners’ slightly as they think everyone is against them. Why, you ask? Well, obviously because everyone’s jealous of them/ takes advantage of their ‘good nature’ and because as they so succinctly put it themselves, ‘Nice guys always finish last’. Um, no. The only reason you finished last is because you didn’t run fast enough. Deal with it. Move on.

3. Arguers: In a previous post, I mentioned how a conversation often becomes an argument, a chance to be ‘right’. Arguers are the other half of that dialogue. Everything is a pet peeve and every topic has to sway in the direction they agree with. These folk just rant and rant and rant till you feel like you’re about to snap and slap them hard.

So, what makes you annoyed when interacting with another person?