In 2008, when I was working for Siemens, a friend from college asked me why my blogposts had become so irregular, if I was overworked and that stopped me from blogging? The truth was I wasn’t overworked. In fact I was one of those lucky people who would always take the office bus back home. Everyday. For 8 months that I worked here. So what had changed?
I write only when something bothers me, or I get a chance to think about something which I think is path breaking or something. Yes, go through my past posts, most of them are life altering :P. No, seriously, I would rather not write at all than write substandard stuff. There is something about a 9 to 5 job that I sincerely believe, kills creativity.
I wonder if I should get a job that pays me to only think. I wonder if there are any jobs like that. I wonder if they are even called jobs. Also, would I want to be paid a monthly salary for thinking? I mean, I understand the pressures of a job that needs me to come up with ideas on a regular basis. And I hate deadlines. I like freedom. I would suck at blogging if I had to write a column in a newspaper or something.
But thankfully I don’t get paid for writing this, you don’t get paid to read, but this system works, and beautifully so! :)
When I was young, a couple of times my father took me to buy shirts for me, he usually ended up buying really sober shirts. I am talking shades of grey, navy blue, bottle green and other such pastels. I hated not having a chance to wear sky blues, bright reds, yellows, light greens and other such attractive colours. I wasn’t a fair kid. I was dark and such colours didn’t suit me. Or so I was told. Yes, back then, dark didn’t signify sexy as it does today. I think it was around the 9th standard when I realised how attractive some women found tall, dark boys. I haven’t looked back since. Yes Yes.
Anyway, the point being, somewhere down the line, I became my father. My taste in things became defined by subtle. I remember when a friend of mine took us Sweater shopping (He had a car and he was tired hearing us non-Delhities complain about Delhi ki Sardi… Btw, it’s a serious issue and should not be used to write songs and such). While my friends tried on different sweaters, stylish ones, the ones with brand names on them, the ones with weird punch lines on them, I bought the simplest one available in the store. My friends exclaimed – Dude this is something your father would buy! They didn’t know my father’s taste. What they meant was, my taste in clothes wasn’t in line with a 24 year olds… It was more in line with a 55 year olds’
First I thought it was only clothes, only later I learnt, slowly but surely I was turning into my Dad. It wasn’t such a bad thing. Initially it was the clothes, then came the kind of car I wanted, the kind of friends I wanted to hang out with, then the kind of woman I wanted in my life…
Then I saw it – I had started appreciating CLASS.
CLASS. What is class? And what makes something classy?
I have spent hours thinking on this topic and this is what I have come up with – Class – If you don’t get excited by it the first time you see it, but are interested the right amount, if you don’t get bored by it the thousandth time you see it, but are still interested the right amount, it, my friend, has CLASS…
Yes, there. I know. Genius. You can sit down now. Yes, all of you. Please stop clapping. I don’t deserve it. Okay. Seriously.
I can extend it to anything and everything.
Let’s start with cricketers. Ladies, don’t stop reading you might like the guy I am talking about. The first time we saw Dravid back in 1996-97, we were interested. I was only 10 back then and since we had no cable TV at our place, had no idea of any series played outside India. There was this series being played in England if I remember correctly and Dravid had hit a century. I saw that match late in the night at my cousins’ place. Dravid had become my cousin’s favourite overnight. His exact words were – “dravid ki place pakki ho gayi next 10 saal ke liye.” Yeah, big words coming from a 10 year old. I couldn’t see it. He was good, but good wasn’t enough. My favourite was Mohd. Azaruddin. He was the captain. I figured the best player became the captain.
I am still not a Dravid fan. I think he gets too much attention from the fairer sex which I think is completely unwarranted for the quality of his looks. That makes me like him even less. Yeah, I am jealous like that. Cant help it. The point being even after playing for 15 years and after numerous jokes being written about his slow strike rate (I ll share the jokes below) I still find it interesting to watch him bat. There is something about his demeanour, the calmness, the strength… His strokeplay is flawless. He has CLASS.
Now the jokes –
How to kill a Lion?
Ans. Make him bowl to Rahul Dravid. He will make 1 run in 120 balls, the Lion will die of boredom.
Who has the strongest teeth in the Indian team?
Ans. Rahul dravid. Kyonki who bahut ball khata hai.
Hah ha ha…. Lol.. I can go on and on but it doesn’t seem right making fun of someone who I just described as having class.
Movies have class. Just how many times have you guys seen Andaz Apna Apna and not gotten bored. Can you believe it wasn’t successful at the box office? I am sure people might had been interested, just not enough. But today, it’s a cult classic. Chupke Chupke is another favourite. Dharam paaji’s best performance I feel. Paaji toh aise bol raha hoon jaise mere behen unhe rakhi bandhti hai.
Even cars have class. I have always loved Mercedes in all its models, except the estate version. I think the Germans don’t do it justice when they buy the estate version – I mean seriously, it’s like a girl has beautiful legs but chooses to wear long skirts to hide them. (Many more objectifications coming up, feminists, don’t sue me) I cant think of a car that’s more subtle still makes as powerful a statement. I thought my fascination with Mercedes would end after I spend some time in Germany. Almost every third car in Germany was a Mercedes. Even Taxis were Mercedes for crying out loud. That should have ruined the image in my head right? That is what we were taught in our Branding class at MDI, gurgaon.
But it didn’t.
Even at the end of one and a half years, I still found cranking my neck to see a Mercedes drive by. This, after I have ridden in almost all models that Mercedes has to offer. I have been driven around in a C class, an E class, heck, I have also been driven around in a S class. Yeah, most of the last statement is to brag.
The point being, class just holds your imagination. It does something to the brain cells responsible for love and respect. Most advertisers will tell you, that is an awesome combination. So will most politicians and Kings of the yesteryears. (There is no practical way to ask the kings of the yesteryears. Most of them are dead and even if they aren’t they wouldn’t be interested to talk to us common people.)
Class can be attributed to cities too. Delhi enthrals anyone who lands at the T3 at Indira Gandhi Airport. The T3 is probably prettier than Paris Airport. You then take the escalator to the Airport express. The Airport express service in Berlin, London and Paris cant match the beauty of the Delhi Airport express combined (I know because I have used the service in all three cities). Then you take a taxi on the wide roads of Delhi continuously being amazed by the stop signs and the cycle tracks. Only to be disappointed by it’s public bus transport, lack of rules, cycle rickshaws, old Delhi, litter and lack of civic sense among people. Don’t get me wrong. I am one of those few native Mumbaities who really likes delhi. I love it for the freedom it gives me. But you will get bored of it. Very soon.
Mumbai on the other hand will piss off a tourist. What is so great about this city? It’s more than crowded, also dirty because of the exact same reason. The roads are patchy, the trains crowded, don’t get me started on traffic jams, it’s humid all the time and I don’t even get to see Shah Rukh Khan in spite of spending an entire afternoon at Bandstand. But once you spend time in the city, they city grows on you. And you fall in love with it. Very soon. That’s class.
My boss in my German company was rather flamboyant, high flying executive. He was roughly my father’s age and had quite a few of his qualities. To be honest, I saw a bit of myself in him and I am sure he did too. I was amazed when I first met his wife. I don’t know why, but I had assumed that she would be, well, at least half as flamboyant as he was. She was as plain as they come. Then I thought what if I didn’t know my father, what if I worked in his firm and one day had a chance to meet his wife, my mother. Wouldn’t I be amazed to see how simple she was? I would!
What was going on? How did these flamboyant men end up with such simple wives?
My boss’ wife was lovely. She was simple, her clothes, jewellery, expensive, but only to the trained eye. She was warm and in a room full of people made me feel special. She was warm and welcoming. I could see why my boss, an Australian, fell for her, a German. I could see the similarities in my mother and her. What exactly was happening here?
I was talking to a fan the other day who is now a friend. She asked me if I have a list of qualities I would want in a girl. I do! I think all men like me do. I am sure if my dad, my boss and I had to make a list of qualities, we would end up with almost the same lists. The reason why I didn’t include any of my male friends is that I don’t think any of them has reached the same level of maturity as I have. Burn! No?
There was this German colleague of mine. She was one of the very few women I have certified hot in the first 5 minutes of meeting her. She wore spects and the fact that she was blonde and light eyed and everything helped matters. But once I got to know her, she got boring. The more I got to know her, the more boring she got. I had no idea what had changed. She was complicated, troubled, shallow and demanding. She probably lacked class.
She was the complete opposite of the kinda girl I wanted. I wanted a girl who you would easily miss in a crowd, but remember forever, if you were lucky enough that she would talk to you. She would be selfless, her happiness derived from giving. She would be beautiful, the kind that it makes your day just by looking at her. She would be calm, in the stormiest of storms. She would be caring, when the world doesn’t care. She would be the kind who makes the world a better place and makes this life worth living. She would… she would have class.
And I know there are boys reading this on their computers and wondering if there are any such girls out there and I say, maybe one on each continent. That seems about fair. The definition of class : A study of cars, movies and girls
Editor in chief arshat chaudharyCurrent Issues: berlin, best movies of 2008, delhi, london, mercedes, mumbai, paris, Sonali bendre 8 letters to the editor Links to this post