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Archive for April, 2007

Before I actually start this post, I must disclaim that I am not very fond of the word “Gandhigiri” – but it has come so much into the everyday parlance, that I cannot find any other alternative.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the word finds itself in the Oxford dictionary pretty soon.

For those unfamiliar with the term, “Gandhigiri” means doing as (Mahatma) Gandhi would. The word comes from a very popular (and extremely hilarious) Hindi film – “Lage Raho Munnabhai” in which the protagonist follows on the steps prescribed by Mahatma Gandhi to bring about revolutionary changes.
This involves using the path of non violence and satyagraha.

Though, I found the movie to be extremely hilarious and enjoyable, I didn’t actually think working on these philosophies would produce results in our modern, day to day life.

However, the cynic in me was silenced when I actually happened to try the technique at home for a very interesting (though trivial problem) and it produced astonishing results.
Let me enunciate as follows:

At the onset of summer, the chore that becomes the biggest pain in our house – is filling up bottles of water to store in the refrigerator.
Though the cold water is consumed by everyone, it is usually my mother and me who end up filling the water. This is actually frustrating, because we have a “Fill up water when you consume it” policy which no one seems to follow.

You will empathize with me when I tell you how homicidal I feel when I open the refrigerator to find that – not only is all the cold water over, but bottles are missing entirely – the ones which my brother conveniently bootlegs to the confines of his room.

This naturally infuriates me because not only do I NOT get the cold water which I so painstakingly filled up, but I know that after I fill up the bottles again – the same scenario will take place and I might actually end up strangling my brother.

None of the tactics to make my brother start filling up after he drank worked. No amount of tantrums, abuses, nagging ever got him to fill a single bottle.

Then, while re-filling the bottles that evening, the concept of Gandhigiri hit me.

One of the biggest and most pro-active emotions that human beings experience – something that more often than not makes someone get up and do something is that of guilt. And this is what the principle is based on. (I think)

So, I decided, to somehow make my brother feel guilty for what he was doing. (He’s human – so he has to eventually – right?)

That evening, once I had done filling up the bottles, I poured in a glass of ice cold water and took it up to his room and put in on his desk.
After looking suspiciously at the utensil on his desk, smelling it and finally taking a sip, he asked what was wrong with me.

To which I replied: “I am now embarking on the path of Gandhigiri and everytime I fill up bottles of water which YOU drink, I’ll get you a glass of water.
He was on the floor laughing and told me that there was no way in hell he was going to fall for this, and I could go and keep filling bottles till kingdom-com for all he cared.

I knew this was coming and had mentally prepared myself to go through this ritual for a couple of months atleast!

I couldn’t be more wrong.
The next day, I get back home after work to find the refrigerator completely stocked – every empty nook and corner of it – with bottled water.
My mom was as shocked as me – and told me that my brother had come to the kitchen, dug up hundreds of empty bottles, filled them up and stocked them – all without her telling him anything.
I couldn’t believe it!

It worked!!! Gandhigiri worked!
Results within 1 day (though your mileage may vary).

So, if you have similar problems, I suggest you give this a shot. The trick is finding the right angle to make the person feel guilty as soon as possible (you don’t want to keep doing this forever and look like an idiot) – like in this case offering a glass of water did the trick.
If this does not work, threatening the concerned person that you are going to blog about this usually does the trick. :)

[ Min number of posts to go till Mar 17, 2008 : 85.]

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Our family dinners are generally boring … we have a selection of a couple of places we generally go to – and as no one is particularly fond of experimenting with their food, that too is generally from a tried and tested selection.

Anyways, the incidents which took place today were far from the usual boring stuff that we end up doing. (I know I am using the words boring a lot – which I just realised how dinners generally go anyways – I mean what else can you do besides eat, drink and talk?)

In the evening, my dad comes up and asks me whether I’d like to go out for food – and being the hog that I am, the question was redundant. This time around, we decided to go to this far off place called “Chandraphool Gardens” which is a huge garden restaurant – little ahead of Dighi on the way to Bhosari.

We’ve been to this place only a couple of times – way back in the past and have always had a pleasant experience.
The place has sprawling lawns, good natural air, decent lighting and decent food – which made it a decent enough place to visit any time of the year.
And, as we had not been there off late, we decided to pay the place a visit.

So, all of us ready and 40 minutes later – turn up at the venue.
We’re surprised to see their pretty huge parking lot, full with cars – as it was a very sparsely populated place on our previous visits.

Once we entered, we realised that there was a party going on at the other end of the lawn (which is again pretty, pretty big – easily about 200 – 250 mts in length).
After being seated and having ordered the drinks, we realised that it was sort of an all – mens party – probably thrown by a guy for his co-workers who recently got promoted.
This was underlined by the fact that extremely loud, item number type of music soon started playing including “Babuji zarra …”. The sight of grown up, formally dressed (possibly drunk) men – holding hands and gyrating to these numbers was particularly amusing.

I was instantly transported to the Bihar of the movies and the ambiance and the crowd added to the effect.

Things got more interesting when two drunk men sitting on the table behind us, got up and assaulted the waiter who was serving them for no apparent reason.
The waiter fought back – but was soon over powered by the two goons who looked like some cheap political party workers.
Soon, the poor waiter was falling around, dropping plates and landed next to our table.
(Just to be clear, by assaulting, I mean – being slapped repeatedly, lots of pushing, shoving around and trying to sock the other guy in the face)

Thankfully, the manager showed up in time with a couple of other waiters to break up the fight and save the poor guy’s life.
“Perfect” I tell myself – an experience worth driving all the way out of Pune for.

All this while, my extremely charged up little brother shouting – “If anyone did that to me, I’d _beep_ him and _beep_ him and _beep_ him”, added to the entire experience of seeing a guy get clobbered. (Just to clear matters more, my little brother is not so little – he’s almost 6 feet and pretty big and probably capable of doing the _beep_ things that he said he’d do. So you better not try messing with me! I’ve got protection :))

Funnily, after the break up, the two guys get back to their seats and continue with their meal, booze and even order something more.
(If cooks and waiters spit in your food for being slightly rude to them – I’d hate to see what they must have done to their food for assaulting a fellow worker).

These two fellows might have gotten scared of being clobbered by the rest of the waiters when they stepped out – because one of them calls his other goon friends up for back up.
In fifteen minutes, four other equally goony looking men show up.

All my hopes of a goon Vs waiters show down went up in smoke when instead of barging into the kitchen and clobbering up the waiter, these guys made for the exit. Whether they paid their bill or not – is sort of irrelevant at this point I think.
However, the other families sitting around looked sort of relieved at their departure.

And if you’re wondering, the party men at the other end of the lawn, were dancing all this while – holding hands to the tune of Babuji, a Titanic Remix, a Himmesh Reshammiya number and also an “We’re going to Ibiza” track.

So if any of you people are interested in experiencing the “Bihar of the movies” ambiance, please head to Chandraphool Gardens – I’d be happy to give you directions.
This place beats the artificial environs of Horn Ok Please on F.C. Road hands down.
Brilliant experience and highly recommended.

[ Min number of posts to go till Mar 17, 2008 : 86.]

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