Category Archives: Humour

MTV Inside Story: The 12 Best Kept Secrets of MTV – II #Humour

Recap: MTV is not one of those regular, boring, filthy rich companies where all it takes for the organisation to succeed in life and make truckloads of money is a few hard working employees, a few hard working bosses and a few hard working coffee machines. NO. Because at MTV, there are no few hard workers… at MTV, *everyone* is… hardly working.

So then it’s empowering to know what is it that makes MTV India the world’s No 343,2459243th ranked brand, and how we have managed to sustain (a mind-boggling) over 14 fans (not including employees’ relatives) in India for all these years. In last month’s issue, I revealed to you the 6 secrets of MTV’s energy… *our* energy – including the Sutta Break, FREE Coke machine (true story), Madira, ex-employees, Jose (and Ramesh) and the mysterious Vault. The rest of the secrets are for your eyes ONLY. DO NOT SHARE THEM WITH ANYONE or the world *will* come to an end in 2012.. because of YOU.

7. The Table Tennis Table

When you find alliteration in a MTV magazine, you know that it is possibly the most important thing ever written. But the table tennis table at MTV is not just an important literary device, it is also the most important reason the employees at MTV exist. It is not a mere form of entertainment for them, no. It is, in fact, a way of living.

Time itself stops at the table tennis table at MTV .Why do you think the attrition rate at MTV is so low? Because the thought of getting to play table tennis during the lunch break, before work, after work, and of course, during work is what drives most employees to come to MTV and STAY there. It inspires them to do their work faster and often, better, so that they can play table tennis without being disturbed. In fact, healthy professional rivalry at MTV stems from this very fact – “if I perform better than my colleague, I’ll get to play MORE table tennis than him and hence, I will rule. Lols.”

Apart from longevity, satisfaction and inspiration, at last count, the table tennis table at MTV has been widely acknowledged as responsible for employee loyalty (both to the company and to their respective spouses), high employee attendance at work (some employees even come on weekends to play table tennis) and of course, the perception of the world that all the points given before are because people at MTV are working hard. HA! The world will never find out (except the 14 of you reading this) that it is the table tennis table that keeps employees happy… and of course, the Digital team.

8. The Digital team

What is the digital team, you may wonder? Is it a team of robots that secretly works at making MTV a better place to live in? Is it the only team that knows how to operate Facebook? And why in the world is it more important to the survival of the human race, than all the other teams at MTV like the hot intern team, the canteen admin team or the team responsible for selecting bikini models for Splitsvilla?

Yes, all these questions are justified… if you live under a rock! No, not under Dwayne Johnson, but under boulders from the time everything was analogue. Ladies and gentlemen, the Digital team at MTV is the solution to all of life’s problems. It is the team that has brought to you, the MTV India facebook page, the MTV India Twitter handle, The MTV Roadies facebook page and MANY more!

It is the reason because of which over 3 million (yes, million) lovelorn and desperate teenagers in India get up in the morning, log on to the internet and comment on a MTV post with lines like, “Hi gals, add me as friend if you are good person” or “Gals, m Haryanvi boi, so add me add me add me add me.” It gives a sense of hope, a sense of community and a sense of virtual sex to the many, many digital fans of MTV (And of course, I work for the Digital team but that’s just a coincidence, obviously). The hope that these pages give to MTV fans is almost similar, if not less than the hope that the songs from the IT department give us employees, that yes, the world may just survive 2012.

9. Songs from the IT department

If there’s one department in every office that actually embodies hope in human form it’s the IT department made of up of computer engineers, bachelors in computer applications, NIIT graduates and all other people in India. Apart from the love for computers, they are united through one hope: That the girl they “proposed to” will say yes someday, even if she… err.. got married 10 years ago.

And that’s why you will sometimes see notes like “Boy loved girl but couldn’t tell girl, she got married and he died” on their notice boards and songs of Kumar Sanu and Sonu Nigam about unrequited love emanating from their hub. Of course, every now and then you’ll hear other hopeful songs like “Taakat watan ki humse hai” or “Ae mere watan ke logon” and feel inspired to be Indian at work. Although I have to admit, if there’s anything that inspires MTV employees more than these songs, it’s the promise of a new office.

10. The promise of a new office

After my job interview for MTV, two things were instrumental in my taking up the job – a) The free coke machine and b) The promise of a new office in Andheri (which is close to where I live and where most of the people in MTV live… but mostly, close to where I live). This was in October 2010. As we enter 2012, we have yet again been promised – for the 45th time – that we are shifting this month.

The new office is inspirational for a number of reasons but only one of them matters the most – It will be closer to Lokhandwala. Which means, the number of hot chicks who are struggling models and reality show aspirants who will come to our office, in short tops and shorter skirts, will increase 10 times! That’s obviously a good thing for the employees and the IT department, but it may just make Cynthia mad.

11. Cynthia

Cynthia is the second most powerful employee at MTV after Haresh Chawla, the Viacom18 boss. And since Mr Chawla is hardly ever at MTV, she is the most powerful employee at MTV. It’s not the fact that she assists Mr Chawla that makes her powerful, it’s the fact that employees have come and gone, bosses have come and gone, interns have come and gone, but Cynthia has stayed on… to terrify generation after generation of new employees and interns.

On most days, she may be seen doing any of the following bizarre things: a) Threatening to send an intern/new joinee to jail because he drank beer during an office party, b) Threatening to send an intern/new joinee to jail because he work chappals to office, c) Threatening to send an intern/new joinee to jail because his hair is longer than the length that she has specified or d) Cutting the hair of an intern/new joinee because he didn’t listen to her the last time (true story).

But as all stories go, Cynthia may be tough from outside but she’s one of the nicest people to exist in MTV, in Mumbai, in India as well as in the world (and I don’t say this because she may kill me when she reads this). She was, in fact, singularly the coolest thing about MTV for the longest time until…. Noise Factory happened.

12. Noise Factory

Yes, dear fans, the last and most important best kept secret of MTV is this magazine that you hold in your own hands. It is such a secret that there is a Noise Factory branded cabinet at the entrance of the office but it’s always empty. It is such a secret that there are over 3000 people on our Twitter and FB handles but they don’t know Noise Factory is a magazine.

It is such a secret that no one outside of our 14 fans know of its existence. In fact, it is such a secret that no one outside of the 14 people on the credits page in the beginning know of its existence. And YET – Noise Factory is the coolest thing to have happened to MTV, the magazine world, the youth of this nation, and to the world in general. And by not sleeping during the length of this column (and not sending me hate mail yet), you have approved of it. THANK YOU, dear fans. THANK YOU, all 14 of you! 

Note: This column first appeared in MTV Noise Factory in January, 2012

Read part I of the post here: https://tanejamainhoon.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/mtvsecrets1

Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.

MTV Inside Story: The 12 Best Kept Secrets of MTV – I #Humour

IT’S NOISE FACTORY’S ANNIVERSARY ISSUE!!!! AND THAT’S WHY IT’S OKAY TO USE CAPS LOCK AND EXCLAMATION MARKS AND COME UP WITH ATTENTION-GRABBING HEADLINES SO IT MAKES THIS ALL LOOK REALLY IMPORTANT SOMEHOW!!!!!

But truth is, while you may think it is MTV Roadies, the Splitsvilla babes, Anusha’s hotness, Raghu’s bald head, Rajiv’s bald heads or all the other bald “heads” for that matter, that are responsible for MTV doing so well, there are other mysterious elements at play in making MTV what MTV is – by which, I obviously mean, AWESOME. Here are the 12 things about MTV knowing which will make you powerful and super-heroic (but will still not help you qualify for Roadies… Thank God for that!):

  1. The Sutta Break & The Grey Chairs

For all those who think that people don’t do any real work at MTV and only chill, party, stare at Splitsvilla models and discuss Raghu’s iconic acting career, you are right. That is all we do… *at* MTV. And that’s because all the real work happens *outside* of MTV – during sutta breaks. Interestingly, all of MTV’s best ideas have happened while sitting on chairs owned by next-door ad company, Grey. Because obviously, we can pay money for Ayushmann to take off his shirt and dance in MTV Grind (and to Jose to NOT do the same), but we can’t afford our own chairs outside the office.

So, to understand how exactly how work happens, here’s a totally-not-made-up conversation that signifies the origins of MTV Splitsvilla:

Dude 1: (on seeing a hot chick from Grey exit the building) Dude, that chick is hot

Dude 2: Yeah dude *takes puff from cigarette*

Dude 1: I wish that hot chick had many hot chick friends and they could be in a house alone with me and they could fight over who gets to be with me and all the while, they’d be in bikinis.

Dude 2: Yeah dude *takes puff from cigarette*

Dude 1: I’d call such a house Splistvilla because, you know, it would be a villa and I’d totally be doing Splits in my room as a form of physical exercise.

Dude 2: Yeah dude *takes puff from cigarette*

Dude 1: OMG I THOUGHT OF AN IDEA FOR A TV SHOW!

Dude 2: Yeah dude *puts out cigarette*. Now let’s go celebrate by getting ourselves FREE COKE.

2. The FREE COKE Machine

It is both an irony and an encouraging sign of dogged determination (or not) that the most physical exercise MTV employees do every day is climbing the stairs to the first floor, so they can have FREE COKE. The free coke machine is MTV’s best-kept secret.. I mean, *literally* – the free coke machine is tucked away in that dark corner of the first floor open terrace you’d usually bury dead bodies or sexual harassment cases against Siddharth… or umm… both. So each time you make it to the corner, you feel sinful, badass and grateful-to-be-alive, all at once. And to celebrate, you have the FREE COKE! And in case FREE COKE…umm… COCA COLA, or the more hardcore, FREE THUMS UP, just won’t cut it, it’s best to wait for the beer and breezers to flow.

3. Beer, Breezers and Madira

When the people at MTV aren’t combining national holidays with weekends so they can go to Goa and get drunk, they do the next best thing – don’t go anywhere and get drunk right at office! No, no, there’s no need for all of you young, impressionable and morally upright readers to get scandalised at the thought of this – the HR *does* have good reason to give away free beer, breezers and every now and the occasional Tequila shots.

I mean, when there are so many legit occasions to celebrate… like Roadies finale (the fact that it’s getting over, yes), new show launch, Christmas eve, Diwali eve, India cricket match, summers, monsoons, end of the month, Friday, end of the day and just-because-we-can. Obviously, we don’t do it every day, you know, we are cool like that. (And also because, for every day, there is Madira – the shady bar-cum-restaurant that smells like Delhi, opposite the MTV office, which serves alcohol in the morning too, just in case ex-employees drop by and we obviously *need* to catch up with them for a drink).

4. Ex-employees

It is interesting to note that 50% of the work that’s done by MTV’s employees is actually not done by MTV’s employees – it is done by people who quit MTV. This only makes sense because these ex-employees, in their time as MTV employees, would also look up to employees before them, to save them. This may stem from the fact that none of us have any clue about what we are doing (except Ramesh). And by the time we understand what to do, we realise that we deserve much more money for doing it, so we quit and work for freelance. But not all are like that, obviously. That’s precisely why the other 50% of the work done by MTV’s employees is done by Jose (and Ramesh).

7. Jose (and Ramesh)

For all those who don’t know Jose, he’s the only existing MTV VJ who was at no point connected to an MTV reality show (or connected to someone *from* an MTV reality show.. *cough*). Which obviously means that he is the only one who knows what he is doing. Which is obviously why he hardly spends time at MTV anymore. But even the few seconds that he spends every other year at the MTV office are responsible for the greatest TV shows that… you’ve never seen. Those TV shows will come at a time when the audience is intelligent enough to understand them.

But when I say the above, I am not talking about Ramesh, who is already more intelligent than the audience and everyone else at MTV – because he has the best job ever. No, it’s not applying oil to the bodies of Splitsvilla contestants (because such a job doesn’t exist L). It’s the next best thing – he is in charge of ALL THE MTV GOODIES. And no one knows where they are kept… the apparent existence of a ‘godown’ is mere speculation. Maybe it is because of him that The Vault exists? It shall never be known…

6. The Vault

Yes, we do have a vault at MTV. And no one knows why it’s called The Vault because the most precious thing it contains are remnants of food and drinks left by people who come there for “meetings” but actually just want to sit on the bean bags (what it does NOT contain is money collected over a period of time for Raghu’s hair transplant, nope). The only other precious thing that The Vault contains is time… because this is the second place where time comes to a standstill inside the MTV office. The first place is, of course, the….

TO BE CONTINUED

(*insert mysterious haunting orchestral music*)

Note: This column first appeared in MTV Noise Factory in December, 2011

Read Part II of the post here: https://tanejamainhoon.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/mtvsecrets2

Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.

MTV Inside Story: A Fan-tastic article #Humour

Today, I want to take a moment and be grateful towards the people who’ve made it all possible for us to be awesome at MTV. No, not my Mommy, Daddy, chaiwallah, etc; no, not the molested goat from MTV Bakra; no, not Raghu’s shining bald head and no, not even the bikini girls from Splitsvilla. Okay wait, maybe the bikini girls a little bit. But mostly, *drum rolls* it is YOU, oh ye awesome fans. *Breaks into Anu Malik’s classic, ‘Kaun main? Haan tum! Bas tum? Offo!*

Over my extremely entertaining and overly satisfying tenure at MTV, which is bound to result in me being paid more money than Anil Kapoor has chest hair, my interactions with MTV fans have resulted from having my photo clicked (because no ‘famous person’ was available.. .not even Siddharth) to getting friend requests on Facebook like “Hi frend, add me, m Haryanvi boi” (True story) to being told very seriously that my ‘sar’ and ‘g**nd’ are one and the same thing, because I work at MTV.

I have, in these obviously beautiful and heart-warming interactions, learnt about everything from the various kinds of English prevalent in India (the most popular one being the one in which you addzzzz ‘z’ tozzz everythingzzzzz… lolzzzz) to how apparently I need to “blast myself”. From all these lovely experiences though, I have successfully been able to identify the 5 different kinds of fans! Yes!! *self applause* *bows* Here they are:

  1. The Hardcore fan

My favourite kind of fan. They don’t make them anymore :’) <— khushi ke ansoo. The hardcore fan is the rare species that loves your brand so much that his sole purpose in life is to stalk the crap out of all your pages, the pages of VJs and even its employees. Yes, I said “HIS” sole purpose because girls, umm, have a life. And no, I haven’t offended this fan by dissing him because he’s THAT loyal. Anyone who can survive eight seasons of Roadies and even *volunteered* to write a Roadies blog, had his happiest day when Raghu acknowledged himby making eye contact, has quit jobs that paid him real money to join MTV, and can now be seen gloating about it all in Noise Factory… yup, nothing can possibly affect him now in life.

2. The Emo fan

This is the kind of fan who PMSes even if it’s male… especially when it’s male, actually. He’s the person you avoid in social events, in professional events, on the streets… you get the drift right? Because if and when he manages to catch you, what will inevitably follow is any one of these:

a)      I miss MTV of the good old days.  (Translation: I miss Shenaz Treasurywala)

b)      Are you guys still doing Roadies with that bald dude? (Translation: I HAVE APPLIED 30 TIMES! WHY DIDN’T YOU SELECT ME?)

c)       Why are there so many reality shows on MTV? (Translation: I miss Shenaz Treasurywala)

d)      Aren’t you supposed to be a ‘music’ channel? (Translation: Hip hop videos have nudity in them)

e)      WTF was MTV Grind? (Translation: I miss Shenaz Treasurywala)

3. The Greedy fan

The fan who wants gifts, merchandise, passes, tshirts, your brains, liver, and everything that comes with it. Will take part in every and any contest and spam you with answers until you make sure he gets to see anything from a MTV shoot to you digging your nose at the MTV office so he can update his Facebook status saying, “I SAW THAT HAPPEN LIVE! I AM SO COOL.” But of course, there’s a silver lining to having him – you get to take screen shots and show your boss, “See, I made that happen for him! I am so cool!”

4. The Pseudo fan

The pseudo fan is obviously the most annoying kind. They’ll pretend that they aren’t really fans of MTV India and are wayyyy too awesome to give any kind of crap about it, but will line up first on hearing any of these words: “Free”, “Giveaway”, “Grind”, or “Shenaz Treasurywala”. Most of the times, they are found working at MTV, so we shouldn’t say more bad things about them.

5. The fan who doesn’t know he’s a fan yet

If you like dissing MTV Roadies, Coke Studio @ MTV, MTV Grind, MTV Unplugged, MTV Splitsvilla, MTV Stuntmania or any other MTV show… you are still talking about “MTV”! By definition, you are a fan. Thank you very much!

 

Note: This column first appeared in MTV Noise Factory in November, 2011

Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.

MTV Inside Story: Intern-al Affairs #Humour

There are a very few times in my life that I’ve hated movies, even though they are my first love. The first time was when I landed up in an engineering college and realised that colleges don’t look ANYTHING like the ones in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Main Hoon Na – the only hot chicks in our college were found in the tikka masala at the dhaba beyond our college walls (true story).

The second time I hated movies was when I broke up with my first girlfriend (it was mutual, I swear) and only later realised that unlike the movies, in real life if you try to get back your girlfriend, she calls it ‘stalking’. And informs her new boyfriend. Who looks like Godzilla in size, but is a shade uglier in appearance. And who tries to kill you and eat you up.

The third time I hated the movies was when I started working. You see, I was always under the illusion that there’s a bevy of young and hot chicks, traditionally called secretaries, who’d do anything to work under you (figuratively speaking) because you are young, successful and let’s face it, awesome (and by you, I mean me).

Since I haven’t invented Facebook, at my age the only secretary I meet is the pot-bellied, balding uncle who collects my building’s maintenance fees from me every month, against my liking, of course. And so, I didn’t mind settling for young and hot interns who’d someday be young and hot secretaries and the world would be a better place to work in.

But then, as is usually the case, life has happened. Over the course of 3 years, and roughly 30 interns, let me take you through the different types and kinds of blood-sucking, over-priced, hard(ly) working, annoying, egoistic, and usually very, very male interns I’ve had to deal with in life:

  1. The Important

This type of intern, usually found in the South region of Bombay, considers himself to be a gift to mankind. He was born not to be an intern but the king of all interns and their masters everywhere, and is merely doing you a favour by allowing you the opportunity to be his boss… until, of course, he decides to buy you and make you slave. He will come when he wants, do what he wants, since he’s just spending some time with the mortals to learn the ways of the cattle class. If you are lucky and have puppy eyes, he may even offer you a job at his father’s company. As an intern, of course.

2. The Sicko

This kind of intern is usually… umm… not found in office at all. Not because he doesn’t like to work or is shirking work or has another intern job to pay his bills and feed his widowed mother and blind sister, but because he’s ill. It’s apparently always a mysterious disease that has the same symptoms as that of ‘faking it’, but is, in fact, a real disease, that only allows the intern to turn up for work two days of the week. For the entire duration of the internship. Until he’s found another job that requires him not to be sick because there are hot female interns as colleagues. True story.

3. The Sacrificial

This is the intern who’ll consider all his options when he’s given some menial, but obviously meaningful work (in the larger scheme of things). And once he realises he doesn’t HAVE any options, he’ll do the work, but not before informing you how it’s only genuine people like him who do such work, because they believe in the greater good (money). He’ll talk about all the sacrifices he makes by taking the train to work, by giving up on eating from his favourite Pav Bhaji stall because there isn’t one near our office, or by not taking up a job with the rival company whose employees were willing to strip to employ him – just because he likes you! Usually, he’s found eating Pav Bhaji outside the same stall once he discovers there IS no more money for him, since there’s no money for YOU either L.

 4. The Over Qualified

This is the kind of intern who’s plain embarrassing to work with. Not because he breaks out in an item number every now and then, no, but because he’s usually older than you are, and wants to intern for reasons that range from ‘profile building’ to ‘mid-life crisis’. He’s usually the worst kind of intern to have, because, you find it strange to give him work that you’d usually give your slave. Also, you are scared he may beat you up if you don’t treat him right. He usually goes back to his real work once he finds an office hottie who makes him realise that money is, after all, everything!

5. The Go Getter

The award for the most annoying intern ever goes to this one. This intern is the most enthusiastic, happy, willing to work and eager to shine guy ever – except that he wants to work and shine at the job YOU are doing. He doesn’t want to do work given to him because, obviously that work’s for an INTERN and not for someone as awesome as he is. Instead, he wants to do your job because that’s where his real skills lie, and it doesn’t matter that you had to make coffee for the security guys on your way up to this level – because he is smarter than you and he won’t have to go through that route. Until, of course, you fire him because it’s not legal to bit*hslap people at work.

These are just the basic type of interns out there to destroy your peace and happiness for the money YOU give THEM. There are obviously many more interns out there if you look harder, and I’m willing to bet they’d do the same for free. Now if only the intern was a hot chick, I’d totally not mind any of this at all. *HINT*

 

Note: This column first appeared in MTV Noise Factory in October, 2011

Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.

MTV Inside Story: Hair today, gone tomorrow #Humour

Let me start by giving you all some background: Growing up, people used to call me ‘Anil Sami’ because I was hairy and fat – I was like the Anil Kapoor version of Adnan Sami. I have had *real* conversations where friends have asked, “Yo what up dude! You look even more awesome than usual. Have you been trying to grow a beard?” and I have responded, “What up man! Not really, I’ve just not shaved this morning.”

Out of all the unmentionable nicknames given to me all my life, the ones that, unfortunately, *actually* had some semblance of truth were ‘Bhaloo’ and later ‘Papa Bear’ (and not ‘Lo*uchand or ‘C**tprakash’). In fact, I have had friends – girls – give me ‘Veet’ for my birthday. Veet is a hair removal cream. So yes, the point is, I’ve been hairy all my life.

And then, I came to MTV.

I don’t know what it says about the awesomeness that is the MTV office (or ahem, about me), but  on my first day at MTV, it wasn’t the kickass colourful wallpaper that caught my eye, nor all the hot chicks roaming around in bikinis (maybe because there were none… #FAIL), nor all the Roadies posters with Raghu and Rajiv looking even angrier than usual (Tees Maar Khan had happened), and not even all the badass looking Noise Factory magazines being ogled at by only like, everyone. No. I distinctly remember… the first thing I EVER noticed about MTV was, “Woah. SO. MANY. BALD. DUDES.”

At first, it was a passing joke between me and my friends – how Raghu and Rajiv were, in fact, communicable diseases. Because bloody every third person was bald, and as a consequence, angry and mean. It seemed that we had entered the matrix but instead of fighting to save the world, we were all preparing for Roadies auditions, step one of which was: lose all your hair, and step two was: grimace. (Step three, by the way, was: Teri ma ki @#$!#@!$#%@ #$%!$!@#$!@#%!$#^#^()#$%*)

But then, something strange started happening. Initially, I thought I was being paranoid. That it was all IN my head and not ON it. But then, the signs began to show. If I’d be with my friends in a car on traffic signals, little beggar kids would say to them, “Aye Hrithik Roshan, paise de na! (Oh Hrithik Roshan! Gimme some money!” or “Kya Akshay Kumar lag raha hai! Kuch paise de na! (What Akshay Kumar you are looking like! Gimme some money!” But when my turn would come, they’d say, “Aye UNCLE, paise de na! (Oh Uncle, gimme some money!).  No, not Hrithik Roshan, not Akshay Kumar, not even like a Govinda. But UNCLE.

I’m 24 (JUST turned 25 but because this article is set in the entire year, I’ll say 24) but one of my evil bas***d friends has started playing this game over the last few months called, “How old do you think Nikhil is?” And NO ONE GUESSES ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE TO 24. My maid has started charging me more money because she thinks since I’m so old I’d be earning a lot, my mom wants to marry me off “while there’s something left there” and my barber suggests a hundred different solutions “that can produce gardens on barren land”…  because I’VE STARTED TO LOSE HAIR too!!!!!!!!!

The curse of the bald twins struck me swiftly and unexpectedly, but from what the mirror suggests, it’s here to stay. Things have become so bad that sometimes, when I’m in an office meeting with some of MTV’s senior bald employees, while they are talking, all I can think of is, “He’s bald, he’s also bald, even he’s bald, and he’s also bald. THIS is my future too *insert tears*” And then I start imagining what bald-hairstyle would suit me… should I just shave off everything on my head or should I crop my hair to porcupine-type length so it seems like I’ve done it on purpose? Or how about, I just DIE !@#$!%$?

Now everywhere I go, I can see bald people. Who don’t seem to care that they are bald. Except for Dr Batra who’s screaming from every newspaper, magazine and hoarding I can see around me to “act, before it’s too late!!” I find myself staring at my old pictures where I was young and rash and didn’t tell my hair enough what it means to me. I’ve also found myself paying close attention to shampoo ads on TV. I even remember shampoo slogans and punchlines and can now identify which shampoo can help my hair to be “jadon se mazboot.”

But all of this is in vain, because apparently, research shows that after the age of 22, an average male loses 100 hairs per day. Only, in my case, the male has… umm… already lost. So I’ve now decided to stop whining over it all, and turn into Raghu for all practical purposes. I’ve started abusing random people in my office asking them, “Tune kiya kya hai life mein bho1#@$%!$% ke.” I’ve also started picking fights with anyone and everyone screaming, “Roadie banega!!#$ Hai g**nd mein dum?!@#$.” And now instead of ‘Hi’, I greet everyone with a grunt.

I’ve also started growing a French beard… err… I’ve already grown a French beard even though I started yesterday. And that’s the bloody curse of the bald twins – hair all over the body but not where it matters the most.

 

Note: This column first appeared in MTV Noise Factory in September, 2011

Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.

MTV Inside Story: Balle Balle! From Lokhandwala to LA! #Humour

It took me a trip halfway across the world to realise how worthless I am. Yes, technically, all my years as a money-less writer-type should have helped me reach this obvious conclusion long ago, but then again, I was hobnobbing with the likes of Bappi Lahiri and Annu Malik in those years (true story), so my thinking capabilities were destroyed by their awesomeness.

But when, in June 2011, six months into joining MTV, I got the chance to go to Los Angeles (Hollywood, baby!!) to do an interview with Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz for their upcoming movie, Bad Teacher, I calculated my life’s worth by this formula:

My life’s worth = Justin & Cameron’s time/ My time

=  Time Justin & Cameron’s gave me for an interview/Time I spent going to LA + interviewing Justin & Cameron + Coming Back from LA

= 4 mins 41 seconds/120 hours

= 0.00006504

This complex mathematical equation can be explained in simple terms as: My life is worth roughly 0.007 % as much as the lives of Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz. Although this is a depressing fact and should push me to do something more worthy with my life like audition for Roadies than whiling it away calculating its worth (since Raghu’s life is worth approx 1234676123970209143 as much as that of Justin and Cameron’s lives – because THAT’S the no of people who want to be ‘a Roadies’), there are two things that stop me from doing that:

a)      I went to Los Angeles for FREE!!!!!!

b)      My hands touched Cameron Diaz’s hands!!!!!!

Yes, being seen in the same circles as Bappida and Annu sir (Thanks be to God) paid off in such a huge way for me that I was first hired by MTV, and then was sent by MTV for a Sony Pictures’ sponsored junket for Bad Teacher to Los Angeles (Hollywood, baby!!).

It was not only my first trip to LA, but my first trip to USA as well. And that’s not a good thing. Because I have seen so many bad popcorn flicks about bombs at airports, that I was dead sure I’d, at some point in my trip, make a joke on bombs and then be treated to third-degree frisking in uncomfortable places.

So I spent the entire length of my 24-hour-long journey, right upto my arrival at the Tom Bradley International Airport in LA, trying very, VERY hard NOT to say ‘bomb’. While it may sound simple enough, I’m so twisted in the head that I’d deliberately make the process difficult. For example:

American immigration custom’s office: How are you, sir?

Me: (saying) I’m fine, sir, how are you?

BUT Me: (thinking) I’m Mr BOMBATIC say me fantastic. BOMB. A BOMB, BOMB, BOMB, BOMB.

American immigration custom’s office: How was your flight, sir?

Me: (saying) It was great, thank you very much.

BUT Me: (thinking) It was a BOMB of a flight. A BOMB. BOMB. BOMB. BOMB

American immigration custom’s office: Oh, is that so? Where are you coming from?

Me: (saying) From BOMB…. MUMBAI. It’s called MUMBAI now. It was called Bombay earlier. But it’s Mumbai now. Hehehehehehe.

Me: (thinking) I JUST SAID BOMB!! I SAID BOMB!!! THEY’RE GOING TO ARREST ME AND PUT A TORCH IN MY ANUS NOW!!!!

The torch-thing, thankfully, didn’t take place. The very nice American officer allowed me through to Hollywood city, where I took a taxi straight up to my fully paid-for hotel, Four Seasons, on Beverly Hills. (Yes, this is called names-dropping, dawgs). My interview with Justin & Cameron was to take place in the same hotel on the following day and the agenda for the day of my arrival was: watching the premiere of Bad Teacher.

The movie was, in all honesty, damn good fun (and I obviously don’t say that because Sony Pictures’ India will see this article, feel very happy and send me on more such trips for free), and by now, Cameron Diaz’ hotness was too blinding for me to think about anything else but desperately wait for the interview.

In the moments leading up to the interview, I had thought of a million things I wanted to ask Cameron Diaz, if I’d even get one minute off the camera with her. But as anyone who’s been to one of these things (there ARE like 2-3 more from India in the last 10 years, *ahem*) would know, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to get even a minute off the camera with the stars.

So imagine my shock, when I sat in the chair in front of the two stars, and a loo break was requested by one of them. Not because even Hollywood stars, with all their money, can’t control their pee (I just found it a remarkable thing for some reason), but because I got two minutes alone with Justin Timberlake. And the cameras were off. The Two. Most. Awkward. Minutes. Of. My. Life.

Because I had thought of a million things to ask Cameron Diaz, but when Justin – the man who has, well, done Scarlett Johannson, Cameron Diaz and Jessica Biel in the past – was in front of me, my twisted brains had only ONE question for him: ‘Looking like that, HOW are you NOT gay?!?!! HOW?! HOW HOW HOW?!?!’

Yes, I did manage to control my emotions at that moment and had the following things to say to him: “What’s up, man?” But thankfully, before I knew it, time passed, and I was officially on for the interview. 4 minutes and 41 seconds later, the interview got over, and my hands got to touch Cameron Diaz’s hands.

Epilogue:

I came back to India and calculated my life’s worth. I’ve continued working at MTV and write such columns in the hope that someone will send me back to LA for free again.

Justin and Cameron went back to earning millions of Dollars after the interview. They’ve not kept in touch with me.

The interview can be seen on TV every once a while and on www.mtvindia.com/badteacher. You can also turn to Pg ( ) for a preview of its awesomeness.

Sony Pictures’ India will release Bad Teacher on August 19 and if the film works, I’ll credit this column and the interview for the film’s success wherever possible.

MTV and Raghu Ram are now planning Season 9 of Roadies.

No bombs were harmed in the making of this article.

My hands have lived happily ever after.

 

Note: This column first appeared in MTV Noise Factory in August, 2011

Watch my interview with Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz here: https://tanejamainhoon.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/justintimberlakecamerondiaz/

Watch my interview with Adam Sandler and Katie Holmes here: https://tanejamainhoon.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/adamsandlerkatieholmes/

Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.

MTV Inside Story: M for Music… WHAAAT? #Humour

I’ve never fancied myself as an agent of change. In fact, I am as comfortable with change as I’m with going to work, earning peanuts, getting up on Monday mornings, getting up in the mornings in general, getting up in the mornings in general and realising that I have to go work where I will be earning peanuts, getting kicked in the nuts… you get the picture. I. HATE. CHANGE.

So when I joined MTV eight months ago, I took comfort in the fact that MTV is in sync with my philosophies regarding change. Because even if there comes in a time in the near future when a giant spaceship from a galaxy far, far away filled with ugly, bald aliens would land on earth, destroy everything that ever meant something to us (including and especially Justin Bieber’s music), make slaves of all human beings (even Rajnikanth), and take over our planet, there would still be a voice coming from behind the TV from a man who looks suspiciously like them aliens, screaming, “TU ROADIE BANEGA, MA**RC**D?!?! TUNE KIYE KYA HAI LIFE MEIN BH**DI KE!!!”

There would also still be a Parsi named Cyrus… ANY parsi named Cyrus finding a reason to dress in drag, one really hot exotic-looking chick hosting anything she wants to host since she’s that damn hot, and one dude so insanely good looking that your ego would be shattered each time he comes on screen, irrespective of how highly your mother thinks of your “dashing personality and sharp features”. Yes, MTV would always, always be the same.

But then, around three months ago, an M for Miracle happened (please notice how I ingeniously use the phrase ‘M for’ in this paragraph so you get impressed and send me M for Money so I can pay my rent). Apparently – and this is strictly hearsay – Raghu gave back all his Roadies money that he’d been saving up for his hair transplant back to MTV for M for mysterious reasons. And since MTV *literally* had nothing else to put on air, they decided to put back on the music!

So with Coke Studio @ MTV, fusion music is playing, with MTV Roots, indie music has got a chance; aur toh aur, they’ve even thought of this out-of-the-box, mind-blasting idea to subtly promote music by making semi-naked chicks (and a fully-covered Ayushmann, thanks be to God) dance on it, in MTV Grind.

And ever since, life hasn’t been the same again. It rains whenever you want it to rain, the computer doesn’t hang whenever a girl says ‘Hiii’ on Gtalk, the AC is always working, the dog outside our office just had puppies and even Bani, in spite of being so hot, says, ‘What’s up’ each time she sees you in office! And if you thought that was it, here are some other pleasant consequences of these shows:

  1. 100% Employee Satisfaction: For one, all of us have realised that all the sins we’ve committed with Roadies and Splitsvilla may actually be compensated JUST because we’re associated with these shows. We wouldn’t even have to spend money to go as far as Haridwar to wash our sins, when we can easily do them in the rain sequences of MTV Grind! And that makes us extremely happy! On top of that, there was free food and drinks in the launch party of Coke Studio @ MTV, and that has added to the extreme happiness!! The exclamations are proof!!!  
  2. 100% Productivity: Considering the fact that music is now part of our job profiles, it is now NOT “hazardous to the work environment” to play music on loudspeakers in office! Also, even though it may seem that we are now doing NOTHING else apart from listening to music, we are STILL being 100% productive – because music is now part of our job profiles!! Woo hoo!!
  3. 100% Family Friendly:  The music shows have no maas and behens, no judges, no SMS voting, no auditions, and most importantly, no Raghu, so we can now (FINALLY) tell everyone (read: hot chicks) that we work for MTV! Yes, the same channel that plays Coke Studio @ MTV!
  4. 100% Genuine Fan Following: Who’d have ever thought that the answer to “Hiee, lolzz; I’m fully true Rodie4u babys, add me plzzz?” was MUSIC! With music coming back into our lives, our Facebook communities have also turned into a pilgrimage of true music lovers! Here, we will choose to ignore all those girls who liken music to Atif Aslam’s hair conditioner and answer that they are most looking forward to Atif Aslam’s performance in Coke Studio @ MTV even though the poll DOESN’T FEATURE HIS NAME.
  5. That’s it

Turns out, when they said, “Change is good”, they were right! And that’s why, YOU should change too. How, you ask? Please start watching MTV so that it gets great TRPs, which then reflects in my bank account. Coke Studio @ MTV airs every Friday at 7 pm with repeats every single day, MTV Roots airs every Friday at 8.30 pm with repeats at 12.30 am every Friday, Saturday and Sunday; and MTV Grind airs at 7 pm every Saturday with repeats in your sleep.  

 

 

Note: This column first appeared in MTV Noise Factory in February, 2011

Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.