Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Changebringer

Well, It's time to take up some resolutions as the year approaches its finale. As everyone else, I too had a bunch of resolutions and aspirations and things to do and look forward to in the forthcoming year. All lasted till I saw the video of a guy Dr. Randy Pausch who gave the last lecture that he would ever give, titled "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" . Now, if you are curious, you can find a lot more about him in Wikepedia.

I'd say Randy Pausch was one of the inspirations for my project that came out as the best in college solely because of his creativity in doing things, in bringing about interaction between a machine and man that could just blow you off. Randy Pausch moved the world with his series of Last Lectures which were not about Computers but about Life. After watching his last lecture video, I thought, what is the point of aiming high when the very base on which humanity should stand is entirely absent? A lot of things to learn. A lot of things to change. The video left me with a heavy heart and a bare truth that the world misses a Hero today.

Dr. Randy Pausch died on July 25, 2008 at the age of 47 after a prolonged illness due to Pancreatic Cancer. The Pittsburgh City Council declared November 19, 2007 to be "Dr. Randy Pausch Day."

I'm sure the video would affect anyone that watches it almost instantaneously and about the new year resolutions, well, I just had them changed and I know that now I have the Best look forward to.

Happy New Year!

*Video from YouTube
*Photo from Wikipedia

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Apple Polymorphism

There were times when I thought apple was more than just a juicy fruit that satisfied our taste buds. Apple being a very common fruit is quite common in everyday philosophy too, I guess. Like the saying “an apple a day keeps a doctor away”, describing beauty as the “Apple of one’s eye”, Steve Jobs, New York City, Newton’s Theory of Gravitational pull, the original sin etc. A lot of things, basically. All these were anything but literal, except for a few, I thought, till a brief visit to the super market near my place.

It was a Saturday evening. Just a few days earlier I had studied the concept of polymorphism in my programming language which is about how an object can behave in different ways. Just like how the one supreme entity is said to have taken up 10 different avatars (9 till now...). I studied various examples that could illustrate the property of polymorphism. But, after my visit to the supermarket, none of the examples stood a chance. The grocery section perfectly illustrated the concept.

"Green" Apples in Red. Probably Santa paid them a visit

I didn't know Sweet Lime was a kind of an apple

Sheer Brilliance in the naming. Its Pome-granate!
About the Grapes, I don't know, i guess they are kind of apples too

I'd say Kamal Haasan has got a lot to learn from apples…

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Case of the "Extra" Ingredient

Well, the other day, I was on my way home from office when I had the sudden craving for macaroons. I really can’t say why. It was that gut feeling, either way. So, I went and bought the first packet that I stumbled upon. Speaking of greed, I’m a Gemini. So I consider myself to have twice the quantity of whatever quality I have. So, twice the craving, twice the greed. Anyway, after rushing through the counter and surviving the drive home, while every second double proved Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, I finally reached. I couldn’t wait to remove my shoes. I didn’t.

Having barged in and scared the inhabitants of the house who are my family, I slowly opened my bag and took out the pack. I looked at it with the innate love in my eye. My precioussssss. My macaroonssssss.

Holding a macaroon in my hand, slowly putting it in my mouth and transcending into heaven- atleast, that was what I expected, after my insatiable hunger and the sudden macaroon craving. I stuffed one in and felt my mouth stick together like I had swallowed a whole batch of super glue bottles just produced. I thought I had taken too much for one bite and the next time, I took a small bite of an even smaller macaroon. The size of the bite was pint sized. I felt the macaroon turning into a strand of hard material that still begs for a name. I felt like a cow cud-chewing. Now you can calculate the amount of disappointment proportional to my hunger (always double the answer). Curious, I saw which reputed company had made the gooey-macaroon disaster. The label read, “Holiday Macaroons” and on top of that it “Hygienic Foods” (technically it’s at the
bottom) which cracked me up. But the best part was the ingredients listing.

The "Extra" Ingredient

The Holiday Package with the special surprise of the unknown ingredient

Well, I don’t know what to say, rather, I can’t… Probably because I’m still chewing cud.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merci Beaucoup!

shoo.. shoo.. shoo.. I said, when I saw a butterfly sitting on my pretty laptop's monitor. Then I looked closely to see that my degree that I had earned from college had evolved to becoming an e-degree. Again shoo...shoo...shoo... to the butterfly happily scooched on my degree. It wouldn't budge. I then noticed something scribbled in french and I honestly didn't understand what it meant. I thought I had got a degree from the wrong college or for the wrong course. Finally, having traced from where I had got this, I found that it was from Vivek and immediately conformed the worth of the gift. It was a french award! eh.. an award!! for proximity! (I can do some basic translations based on French-English relations) I love the connection between french and proximity. They just go together. And to be awarded the proximity award in french is just...!
Je suis sans voix! That means I'm speechless in french, in anyway you want to understand it. Thanks Vivek!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Kreativ (like / and) Krazy

I got to say this is a truly wonderful award coming from a truly wonderful friend and an awesome blogger. Vivek has awarded me with the "Kreativ Blogger" title. Well, to say, i'm truly honored with the award. At first I saw that it looked like a pretty little piece of embroidery and if it hadn't been mentioned explicitly as "(Award)" in the brackets below the title, I would have thought it was a proposed design for a coaster. Just kidding. If I go any further, I have every possibility of losing the award which i'd hate to be a victim of. So, to conclude, i'd just say that i'm really happy to have got this award for my so called "kreativ-ty" and i'm honored to have got it from Vivek. Thanks!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tagged- A Blessing in Disguise

Well, this month, my blog count has been quite low compared to the previous couple of months. Now, I don't want to ramble about calling myself busy because I have started working. Its just that my laziness has crept into my blog-o-ramic view as a perspective of procrastination. I'm fighting it though. Hence the blog saver. Getting tagged.

I got tagged by A Wo(a)ndering Mind as to write 5 Random things about me. Now that puts my silhouette into looking into my profound, innate thoughts(after a real long time). Here goes.

1. Well, to start with, my thoughts in itself are quite Random. I'd have to say that my thoughts are never prioritized (If you say I should have prefixed " be ashamed" to the "say" in the sentence, I completely understand). Its never sequential. I just do things when I want to do them. Some compulsion from my dad might propel certain things but not otherwise.

2. I dream of owning a Gibson someday and start a band of my own with me playing the part of the lead and Rhythm guitarist and if other people can handle it, sing too.

3. Some of the things that I hate in people are being posers or pseudos, when they don't have a leg to stand on and poor appreciation of sarcasm or wit. I hate it when people don't stick to their side of an argument just because their close friend supports the other side of the argument and when people instead of listening give a false look and then just wait for their turn to speak.

4. I sometimes like weird happenings and they stay in my mind for a longer time than anything else. A song called reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg by Iron Maiden was quite enough. Breeg (Quite a mystery even today) was believed to have disappeared right on the day I was born. Also, when i was talking about him while transferring a picture of his drawing to another friend via bluetooth, the size of the file came exactly to 666 KBs.

5. I am quite astonished and often wonder about what the human brain is capable when it comes to mindless ramblings and randomness.

I guess, its now time to continue the chain and extend it by tagging

Rakesh Vanamali - Redefining Oblivion
Jayaprasad - A train of Thought
Raghul - E-Wrangle
Rathish - Rathish's Corner
Janani- Magnolia Crescent

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Seed of Evil

Running with scissors and playing with fire
It’s been from his childhood, a raving desire.
Born out of greed and insatiable lust
Bred in the darkness and biting his dust.

An object of shame to the icon of fame
There’s none on the street that does not know his name.
Out from the night he’ll march into light
Crawl from down under to reach for the skies.

Conquer the oblivion, enter new life.
Into this brave new world, die to survive.
By failing to follow the old and the wise
And selling your soul to the merchant of lies.

Worshipped like heroes, he waits for his turn,
Take on the world while he’s watching it burn.
Wasting his life all in search of his birth,
For waging vendettas, escaping his fate.

Out in this wilderness raking his game
Deliver insanity, spreading the plague.
Branding them lepers that's cursing his fate
And then cast them out, damn them and live through their hate.

He lives on and on till the end of our time
Breeding with him all his hate and his crime.
Laughing and mocking at bishops their faith
The ruler, his mantle, a hero today.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Silverware for the Gemini

Well well, what do I say?? I'm totally delighted and proud to have got awarded. My good friend and the great Blogger Rakesh Vanamali has awarded me with an e-trophy (if thats what you call it to be). As of now, i have nothing much to write but ramble about the trophy. Instead, i just find that it'd be better if I just post the award here.

The "Silverware"
Thanks Rakesh, for the recognition and all the encouragement that you have provided.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tears of Blood

1947. She was independent, strong, confident and made a difference. A difference the whole world marvelled at. She showed herself to be powerful yet a strong humanitarian. She followed rules that had peace at its very foundation and humanity built up on it. The people who freed her were proud of her. They walked with their heads held high. Then were born the sons. She cared for them and nurtured them well and wanted them to take up the mantle- to rule their brothers.

The sons then grew up and kicked their own mother's womb and cursed her so she gave birth to more and more sons endlessly. Those that were deformed in the brain, insane would grow up so even the deepest and darkest depths of hell would spit them out. Then She was put to sleep by her own sons and cursed to breed cruelty, insanity and wilderness throughout. Her womb became cold and filled with filth. Then came men of lust from other parts of the world who raped her while she cried out loud to her sons to save her while the sons stood beside counting their daily earnings and while their brothers of innocence stood helpless without a voice.

India stands naked infront of her own sons and their betrayal. Unable to protect herself. People appointed to guard the law are beating each other up with the aggression of a mad, raging bull with no regard to what they are guarding. People appointed to rule the country are busy swindling, laughing at its own fate while people of innocence are out there with their blood smeared all over turning the country red. Now she lays helpless and cursed to sleep and never to wake up again crying the tears of blood that flows like a crimson river while her sons still dream of the riches they can salvage and profiteer amidst the crisis with just a casual nod as a sign of sympathy.

" Sometimes I wonder... will God ever forgive us for what we've done to each other? Then I look around and I realize... God left this place a long time ago." *
* A quote from the movie Blood Diamond

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Best for the Patient

Well, people have a notion and a firm belief that the best comes for those who wait. And thats how the world has been revolving- right around the belief. Parents ask their children to wait so God gives them the best. At a work place, the superiors ask a subordinate to wait so he gets the best and sages preach that patience and waiting will definitely give you the best. Hmmm...I say different.

I'm claiming, it’s like a circle. I'd say, people believe in waiting for the best without actually realizing the underlying logic (at least according to me). It’s just that people wait indefinitely for their "best" and after a while get tired of waiting and accept what comes their way saying "it's probably for their best" and then confirm that it was indeed, without a look at the other perspective or a positive speculation in its outcome thereby avoiding risks. It’s an insecure world. People want to play on safe shores and the saying "The best for those who wait" is just synonymous to "Hope for the Best".

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The She that Wanted to Be

Some people just think the world revolves around them. Period.

There was this girl that I knew or rather “mis-knew“who, was beyond doubt quite good looking, decent at academics and from an affluent family. She was also the kind who was quite emotional. She’d describe even climbing up a stair as a Herculean task if she had done it, otherwise would just pass it off as worthless. She also had a few guys approach her. Well, probably that got to her head. I wouldn’t know nor do I wish to.

The other day, we were having a mundane conversation and I was quite on the listening side. Some people call that to be good. I don’t know. I just asked her how life was though I knew what the reply would be.

“Terrible… really… all these subjects that I study are real tough. I don’t know what to do…”, came the reply.

I offered a simple solution that even a 2 year old would have. “Study of course!”

“I know that dumbass. But you wouldn’t understand. These are tough with a capital T. Just real problems. You don’t know what I’m facing.”

For a moment I thought she was working for NASA. I regretted having opened my mouth to provide a solution. Being a moderate conversationalist seemed like a boon. To divert the talk I asked her how her life was, GENERALLY. Her friends and stuff like that.

“My friends are great! We have this Huuuge group of 6 friends. We have fun that other groups would just be jealous of.”

My group consisted of 8 people and I wasn’t “ecstatic” about it.
“What kind of fun??” Pardon my curious nature.

“Regularly eating out, bunking class, chewing gum during class hours, you know, awesomeness everywhere!!”

Mundane fun magnified. After a search in vain for a reply, I said “hmmm…”

“Also, some of the guys in my class are looking at me and are like… ‘oooo… that girl…who’s she?’ . The guys keep looking at me and talk about me. I know that”

This time I didn’t even want to “hmmm…” a reply.

“I keep getting these mails from these people. It’s like they are tracking me. After a few days, they resend the mails begging me to ‘please respond to the requests’”

I was listening though not intently at the ramblings. Then came the least expected statement.

“The best part is I get these kinds of mails even from girls. I can understand boys. But girls, well… (laughing)”

“Really? What kind of mails? “, I asked.

“When you come home the next time I’ll show you”

A few days later I dropped by. I remembered the mails and asked her about it. She agreed but warned me not to let this out and here I am blogging it. You’ll know why.

We sat in front of the computer and she opened her mail box. Then she grouped the mails that’s she spoke about and then showed them to me.

The subject of the mails read “You have been Tagged”.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Amidst a Few Hours of Anarchy...

Note: This post does not contain any exaggerated information.

The day was presumed to be peaceful. It was a Sunday. Until, the day marked the arrival of a well known personality (I’m forced to call it one) in the city. According to me, it doesn’t have a name. Probably, one who is not to be named? I can’t say. But that’s close enough when in comparison with the characteristics of He who must not be named.

Needless to say, the support was massive. Crowds from all over the place and more came to catch a glimpse of it. The city was well lit and even at night, it felt like a sunny day. During other times, probably it’s the other way round. Everything was taken care of. Roads were well laid, etched out walls and parapets of flyovers painted. I guess Chandrayaan would have spotted more craters here than in the moon. Everything had been taken care of. What had been promised or was mandatory had been done. Finally. Though it’s only for a day.

And surprisingly the pace at which the work was carried out, just for the one that’s visiting, was astonishing. Speed breakers and craters vanished like a million termites were set on a log of wood.

The meet was scheduled at evening. As I told, people from all over had come down dressed in monotones. The city was facing a grave traffic chaos. Not that it’s different any other day. I’m just stressing that it was more pronounced on the Sunday. The brighter side of it, literally, was that the city did not suffer from a power shutdown.

Mobs had gathered and were enjoying the lust for alcohol and smoke. I’m not sure about the other sin. For an instance, the place took up the mantle of hell itself. I could see it and so can anyone. Buses and Lorries parked right in front of the houses without the least respect for the board “No parking in front of the gate” would lead anyone to presume that the rate of illiteracy has and is growing exponentially. Well, what am I thinking; the reason for the support is now obvious.

While the meet was drawing to an end, most of the people drunk and dancing. Shouting and swearing slogans against other castes and creed, the basic characteristics of human decorum was absent. A new race on the emergence. People were unable to walk a straight line. Some were down on the middle of the road like it was their cozy bed. And police protection for them.

Unable to endure it anymore, I went in and closed the door for fear of intrusion and assault. Monday. The city back to square one. No policemen on the streets, no one ways, no lights, no power, no speed limits. When I saw this, I knew there was at least one welcome change- It had left the city. For now.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Series of Misfortunate Events

Rainy season. The day drenched in the beauty of the rain and the night giving you the chill to make your blood freeze inside. The lush green (the meager amount left in this modern jungle) wearing the color of the deepest of its shade you can imagine.

Good things don’t last long. It’s both God’s and a politician’s plan with a difference only in the motive. The former’s is to avoid being insatiable and the latter’s the result of being insatiable. These feelings, the calmness inside lasted till I reached the flyover to reach another part of the city. I noticed the time. It was 10:35 a.m. The flyover measures roughly about 300 meters. Quite a short ride. After crossing the flyover I checked the time. It was 11:15 a.m.

Finishing my work, I went home at 12:30 p.m. I had the intention of watching a movie or listening to some music. I guess, man proposes and a politician disposes. There wasn’t power. Being idle can simulate a lot of thoughts. Tired from scaling the flyover like it was the gargantuan Himalayas itself; I began to ponder what took me so long to cross that one tiny stretch.

Well, what was I thinking? Of course Politicians are “brainy”. Well, let me first explain how the fly over is built. There is a main flyover for cars and other huge vehicles and a sub flyover (more a crawl under) for two wheelers. The fly over has been built in such a way that it also acts as a reservoir during the rainy season. Be amazed at the sheer planning of it! So, the armies of two wheelers that are likely to use the underground have two options.

1. Go scuba diving.
2. Choose the safer but ultra-crowded path.

It’s obvious which path they took for fear of sharks or probably the Lochness itself.

Enraged (who wouldn’t be?) and thoughts raging through anything it could scourge, I hypothesized a little pet theory.

I guess every responsible Indian citizen feels the same. That India is beyond salvation.

Now the time is around 4:00 p.m. Power is back. Am I happy? Hell Yeah! So I can get this thing penned and spread the joy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Premonition

Time: 9:51 a.m., November 12th

I had dream last night that I got the long awaited call from my employer. Ignoring that the event was highly unlikely (at least I thought so), I went back to sleep. Too frankly put it, I didn’t even wake up. I ignored it even in my sleep. Waking up by around 8 in the morning and after finishing off my daily routine, I start to write about the dream. I name the post “Dreaming the Unlikely”. After writing about a couple of lines I save the document and switch off the computer. I can’t remember why. Power cut, probably?

Time: 7:03 p.m., November 13th

I don’t know what to say. What to call it. But it happened. I have proof. I’m posting pictures of what proof I have. By around 5:30 I got a call from my employer and they gave me the joining date that was quite close to what I dreamed. The difference is only a week. My dream told me I’d join earlier. But that’s not the bottom line. I’m about to join and I dreamt about it just a day ago.
Again, I don’t know what to say. What to conclude of it. Coincidence or not. I can’t answer that.

My blog entries folder showing the post and the date modified

The Original blog post

A lot of people may disagree branding this as madness. Probably. Probably not.

The "Freud" in them...

Well… I’m writing this post on the belief that you know who Sigmund Freud is. If not, I’d recommend Google.

Anyway, the other night, I was tired from being my daily regular pointless nomadic self (I’m still waiting for my call letter and I will even if it takes all eternity) from the hot sunny afternoon till the not so sunny evening. As soon as I reached home I hogged supper as though my hogging outside wasn’t just enough and hit the sack.

Normally, I’d keep the ringing volume of my mobile at the maximum even though it’d warm me that “loud ringtones can damage your hearing”. It’s only human to defy and establish supremacy over machines as we’re the ones who created them. At say, 0:06 my phone beeped as if it was on fire. I remember not having kept an alarm at 0:06. Frustrated, I got up to see that I had got around 7 messages from the same guy. Expecting some kind of an emergency, though surprised that I had got messages instead of a call, I opened the first text message. It read the exact words as below.

She is the one who always loved you. She stood by your side and waited for you to become what you want. She loved you even better than all the other people around. She would do anything for you. You should also love her. She is none other than mother (notice the reference). Good night.

Alright! Who doesn’t!? By being sensible I should have known what to expect from the next message. But by being human, I ignored my gut feeling and opened the message. It read-

You are the one who can define yourself. You are the one who can do what you want to do. You should always be optimistic and determined to do what you want to do. If you do it then that life is yours. Good night.

It was 0:11. I didn’t know whether it was due to my being sleepy or because of the lame content that I felt I was in a drunken stupor.

Frustration. I experienced it firsthand in the first hour of the day. Imagine my plight. I’m not going to quote the rest of the messages because
1. I didn’t read them.
2. I don’t want my blog to be described as death’s incarnate.

I had questions arising out of my frustration. What do these people want?! Why “good night” seven times in a row? What’s the point of these messages? I’ll never find the answers though.

I still have one question to ask myself. Am I under some kind of a secretive psychiatric experimentation or psychoanalysis and are these people my Sigmund Freud…?

I feel sorry for the great Sigmund Freud as I have made this comparison for he’ll be turning in his grave. But that’s the least I could do to these so called “Messengers” on duty.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Soldier Everyday...

Looking out on a thoughtless day
Longing to see heaven someday
A benign feeling of a lonely heart
Seeing all that’s true and all that’s false.

Feelings rushing out through the window
Into a world that’s pulling its strings so fast
Cruising the ship towards madness
As the mighty sea warps us with its talons.

Enter the fray
To live by the day
Die in the blight
Be reborn every night.

The only hope to the abode of suns
To rain down its rays and wash us off our sins
To bring out the halo back to its birth
And surround our babies with its golden hymns.

Born into this world we are here to go
Back to the form that we once adorned.
Yet in the eternal darkness we fight
Blind to what’s wrong and what’s right.

Enter the fray
To fight by the day
Die in the blight
Be reborn every night.

Enter the fray
Die by the day
Burn in the blight
Be reborn every night.
Embrace afterlife
And enter the fray…

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Simple Loop in the Long Chain

Well, Today I got a comment from one of my fellow bloggers in this Blogosphere- Rakesh Vanamali, saying I’ve been tagged. I didn’t know what nuts it meant! But I was, for one thing, sure that he wasn’t a guy who fools around. As usual, I went to his blog to find out that he had been just as clueless when he was tagged, as I am now. After reading his post, I kind of figured what I was supposed to do.

Here’s the rub. I’m required to answer two questions each from my past, present and future. And the questions are posed by the tagger (if that’s what you call them) himself.

Flashback Reel:-

My oldest Memories

My oldest memory, proper, would effectively require a hypnotist, though I’ll try my best. It would definitely be my childhood days when the needs were just as much as what our status was. A very simple life. The little games after school that my sister and I used to play. The little fights we had and the patch work after that. The small but lovely house that I would still call as a cozy home. The thrashings from dad and mom that I laugh at now when I think of my mischief. The love for He-Man! Sneaking off without anyone’s notice to salvage a bottle of Pepsi with my brother and then getting caught because of spilling Pepsi on my shirt in a failed attempt to play champagne with it. The golden days, I wish, would come back though in reality though I know they won’t, which leaves me with nostalgia for a company. Those really were the days and I’d trade anything I have now to relive them.

What was I doing 10 years ago…

Well, that would take me to the year 1998. I was in 6th standard. That was the first time a new scheme was introduced at school. The highest performers of the class in all the examinations throughout the year would be exempted to write the annual examinations and would directly be promoted to the next class. Two members from our class were selected. One was a girl who was the topper. I’m leaving you to guess the other obvious elite.

Now and real:-


I had been tagged and I noticed it just as I was going to write a new post. So, I give it a shot as this is my first time in being tagged. Otherwise it had been a normal mundane day. Watching the movie “To kill a Mockingbird” was the most interesting part.

Future's Dreams:-


Ditto as today. Guitar classes, a new movie (trying to cover the whole imdb top 250), hogging and continue to wait for my appointment order.

What do you see yourself doing 14 years from now?

Hopefully a professional in the IT industry by day and a Guitarist (rockstar??) by evening and then pinch myself and wake up to know that 14 years is quite a long time to be speculated upon now. Nevertheless, I dream of making it big in the music industry someday.

If I build a Time Capsule what would it contain…

In the rarest of rare events that I finish building one, it’d contain my music, movies collection along with my guitar stuff (that includes my guitar obviously), my blog archive, my photographs and the blueprint of my time capsule. Phew, I hope the capsule is more like Noah’s ark.


I guess it’s time to tag.

Jayaprasad - A train of Thought
Siddharth - A Sliver a Day
Vivek - My Occam's Razor
Chiju - Chiju Speaks
Janani - Magnolia Cresent
Akshay's Blog

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Incredible Sulk

10:00 p.m., Day- Unknown

And there she sat. On the couch crying out loud. A few people standing nearby saw her and yet stood still like dressed up mannequins. He was passing by and couldn’t help but Sit nearby and wonder what made her cry so much. What had struck her heart like a scythe that she couldn’t control her emotions in a place of public silence, he wondered. She cried and poured out a rain of tears, he guessed that she could dehydrate any moment.

He got up and left the place to get a glass of water and came back to see the woman still sobbing uncontrollably. She then looked up and spoke to god in a voice of distress.

“Why God? Why me? Why not the others?”

He couldn’t understand why. She was neither willing to give a reason nor give up her tears. She continued sobbing. And the mannequins were still staring helplessly not wanting to intervene and incur the wrath of the lady.

Water wasn’t enough, he understood. He went to fetch a glass of juice, preferably orange- fermented. His conscience would’ve suggested alcohol though, probably a bottle of scotch or rum. He returned to see the same state of mind haunt the lady through. She wasn’t to be controlled. She kept saying things. Things that you utter when in emotional distress. Things about asking questions for which you might never find answers. He was wondering what holocaust can put a woman through such a plight. Having sat there, his brain felt anesthetized.

10:29 p.m.

Suddenly, another woman entered the place. She looked quite happy with a wry smile on her face. And now, he could see only the woman’s face. The woman now took a vengeful look at the crying lady accompanied by hard drum beats and a clichéd music running at the background as the phrase “…to be continued” appeared on the screen followed by the roll of credits. The guy got up, switched off the T.V. and went off to sleep.

As promised, the tele-serial continued on for months.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

At Childhood’s End

All through the festival holidays, though having had some fun, I had been pondering about the general reduction in bursting of crackers this year. The change had been quite pronounced. So I figured I had three reasons to come up with.

1. I had gone deaf due to age, so I couldn’t listen to anyone bursting them. But I’m not that old yet. So, veto.
2. Not much of expenditure for people this year due to the stock market crash. Now, that’s stupid. Veto.
3. Not enough crackers produced as the gun powder might be exported to another place to aid a war for Liberation. Duh?!?

The night of Diwali, after dinner, I went for a walk to enjoy the breeze and the chill. While on the road, I saw a small boy walking down the street. I guessed him to be around 10-12 years of age.

I called out to him.

Me: Hey! Boy!

The Boy turned around. I saw him and observed that he looked quite mature for his age.

Me: I’ve seen you somewhere though I can’t place where.
The boy: And you must be ID:180687
Me: Hey! That’s what my friends call me! Anyway, if you don’t mind my asking, you seem to have gobbled up an entire sweets shop to put on THAT much of a weight. Outside exercises could help. Go and play some sport, kid!
The boy: This is my compact form. I can transform into a much bigger self of mine by repeated screwing and unscrewing though I don’t do that often as it tends to bore people after the first time they see it. I am Pessimist-at-Prime. My friend Mega-moron and I have come from a galaxy far far away to preach the religion of machines.
Me: …?? Yeah, and I’m superman from Krypton the unmasked vigilante in his traditional night gown, here to save our world. Pleased to meet you.

The boy scowled at my mockery.

Me: Now, why aren’t ya bursting crackers??
P-a-P: I don’t enjoy crackers. The slightest change in my system can cause me to shutdown immediately and never wake up again to see another dawn.
Me: Boy, you must be running Windows. Now, quit playing and tell me. Why aren’t you bursting crackers!? I thought you were a kid. A liking for these kinds of enjoyments is natural for your age, I guess!
P-a-P: You humans are naïve, narrow sighted. Our race comes in the form of Playstations, Televisions, Cell phones etc. We are not the kinds who enjoy the outside world. We like to be in our cozy cardboard niches. Now we’re here to “transform” the cute, lively children of this planet into obese couch potatoes!
P-a-P: Muahahahaha! (Evil laughter)

I could neither decipher nor believe what this guy was trying to say. Just then, one of the kids from my neighborhood came running along. It was Papli the youngest in our area. He is 10 years old.

Me: Hey, Papli!
Papli: Hi anna*! Hi Bubby!
Me: Bubby??

Bubby looked at me and gave a sarcastic smile.

Papli: Yeah, this is Bubby from my school. He joined this year. He’s from the United States!!

Boy! Do our people get excited when they see people from the other parts of the world.

Me: So, Papli? Not bursting crackers eh?
Papli: No, not anymore. Crackers have become boring. I’m going to Bubby’s house to play some playstation. He has these new games that can keep anyone engaged for hours together! C’mon bubby. It’s getting late. Let’s go. See you anna! Bye!

Without a reply, I turned around and made my way home. Neither to this day nor in the future will I be ever able to decipher whether what bubby said was true.

Machines are taking over the world giving little room to the age old harmless joys of humanity making life more a routine than a journey. The world is at its childhood’s end.

anna*- Brother, Bro

Friday, October 31, 2008

Personality Development for Easy Money for Domers - A Concise Practical Approach by Examples

In these modern times, everyone know the bare truth that making money isn’t easy since it is a dog eat dog world and anything you do might just come back and bite your ass. After a lot of musing, I claim to have come up with an approach to make millions easily though it might involve daring a certain amount of risks and forgetting from the start that you had principles. That brings us directly to chapter 1.

Chapter 1: Prerequisites and Primary Objectives

1. Blind bravery which means you must be ready to meet a rogue bull- naked and bare handed and initiate a fight even if it risks you losing your balls. Later you can show it off as a proud scar even though people might think you’re brain dead.
2. Illogical reasoning skills which sometimes refers to shouting at the top of your voice without making one bit of a sense in a public arena. You’ll be used as a wonderful metaphor thereby saving the dog species from being referred to.
3. Love for a local language (just pretend if you’re devoid of it) and preach that it’s the supreme language and any other language should be condemned. So people will not know you’re interested in not their welfare but the faded history.
4. The urge to be a cabal/maverick. Staging a protest will get you a B. Coming up with a master plan to over throw your superior will get you an A. Executing it will get you an A+.
5. Preach this. Create a club. Be their leader. Be worshiped.

The qualities mentioned above are to be nurtured and made to run in your blood so in future you can easily pass it through your genes rather than trying hard to inculcate them into your kid’s brain.

Chapter 2: Getting Started

Getting the knack of things? It’s High time to get started. If you’re in school/college now and you’re reading this, then a piece of advice. Leave education. NOW! Later when you’re in a big position you can yell to the press saying that it was THIS decision that has brought you to this position. If you had listened to your dad you’d be a lame software engineer or a doctor.

Chapter 3: Presenting Yourself

Your dressing sense talks volumes. Dress like you’re the epitome of Monotones, preferably in white because white is an amalgam of all possible colors. So there is no way of finding out what your true colors really are.

Chapter 4: Develop ways of reasoning to safe guard your decisions

Always learn to reason things to your advantage. For example, a log of wood can be used to chase away a stray dog minding its own business rather than to make fire thereby saving the log from burning. So you become the ultimate crusader of nature.

Chapter 5: Preach Bold

Preach like a saint and live like you ain’t. A practical example would be to condemn anything that is foreign and preach Gandhian principles but drive a (not restricted to just one) foreign car and name your kid “Sylvester”.

Chapter 6: Learn to make Prom, Prom and more Prom

Wondering what the title is about?? It’s simple. It’s half of Promises. Promise a lot; keep them up while bypassing it. For example, Promise not to watch T.V. anymore as it’s an idiot box. You keep up your word. People think you’re a responsible guy. You instead go to the theaters daily.

Chapter 7: Plan way before hand

The age old formula. Always plan way before hand. Come up with constructive plans like cutting off water supply and then demanding a lump sum per liter of water distributed. Promise a state of the art flyover and provide a shit-hole instead. Making spare tires for bikes compulsory for just a day and earn per spare tire sold.
Planning is the most efficient and proven technique that can be attributed to any success. Now that you know how and what to plan, we’re ready to proceed to our final act.

Chapter 8: The finale- Earning laundry

Enter Politics.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

R&D in Mummy Laboratories

The time was 1:00 a.m. in the morning. Sleepless, I lay on my bed wondering about the amazing cutlets that my mom had made the previous evening. Needless to say, I had hogged every morsel that I could salvage. I’ve never tasted anything like that before. The taste still lingered on my tongue and I savored it; every moment. Because I knew that even if I get something like that again, the first time would still be the first time.

The same night before dinner, I praised my mom for the heaven that she had brought down from above.

I told her “Ma, those cutlets you made this evening, well, they were just amazing! I could sure grab some if you have some left. I don’t mind eating left overs (I didn’t, really)”.

“I seriously can’t get you. Are you being sarcastic??” She asked.

“No, no! I’m being honest! A very different, awesome taste!”

“In the morning you criticize my breakfast and in the evening you’re all praise for my cutlets. How is that!?”

“Morning you had made something I hate! You made kichadi! It’s all yellow, sloppy and gooey and what not!? I simply HATE it! Even if you disguise it and give it to me, I wouldn’t touch a morsel!”


“A promise on those lovely cutlets…”

“Then, that’s precisely what you’re going to lose…”

“What!? How’s that!?”

“hmmm… those cutlets that I made? Well, let’s just say it was indeed a disguise that you had hogged.”

She couldn’t control her smile. And I couldn’t control my exact opposite reaction.


“Yeah, just added some bread crumbs and a little batter to disguise it. Guess it paid off. Good night, dear!”

Speechless and confused I went to bed. The time was 1:00 a.m. in the morning, I was sleepless when a fine realization struck me as I lay there wondering.

“Food is sometimes created but never destroyed. It is just transformed from one form to another.”

Having learnt the day’s lesson I closed my eyes and went off to sleep with a little craving inside me for those cutlets, though, I might never admit it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Death Magnetic- A Deadly Attraction!

Well, I know I’m quite late in writing this post. Nevertheless I’m satisfied having written it in the first place.

Since the advent of metal, the name “Metallica” had engraved a name for itself in the world of metal by their very unique music and the legendary, raw powerful voice of James Hetfield.

Having produced powerful hits like “Enter Sandman”, “Nothing Else Matters” etc, which featured James Hetfield doing the lead vocals and the rhythm guitars, Kirk Hammett playing the lead guitars at a blistering pace, Jason Newstead providing a powerful bass and most importantly Lars Ulrich, the very pulse of the band with his majestic drumming which will send headbangers instantly into ecstasy, the band is now back with their latest album “Death Magnetic” with a slight change in the lineup.

After a disastrous previous album (in my perspective) titled “St. Anger” which had nothing much in the album but a cacophony at full blast, I prayed for Metallica to either come back revamped or not return. I’d just be happy listening to their classics. I guess though they had quite lost their touch in their previous album, they hadn't lost their will and attitude. The obvious is that, they are back and to my satisfaction I can certainly vouch that their music goes “Old School”!

The departure of Jason Newstead made me quite unhappy thinking about the band’s break up and about the guy supposed to fill in his shoes as that would provoke immense criticism as a result of comparing the new guy with Newstead. Well, I got to say that Metallica has found a great replacement in the form of Robert Trujillo the former bassist of Ozzy Osbourne. By doing a wonderful job rendering a bass that perfectly complements the rhythm and the lead guitars at best he is sure to please any Metallica fan out there.

Death Magnetic is a concept based album focusing on War and its ugliness. The trauma a soldier faces, the darkness that befalls him, the violence around the war field. The album features ten songs and the song listing is as follows.

1. That was Just Your Life
2. The End of the Line
3. Broken, Beat and Scarred
4. The Day that Never Comes
5. All Nightmare Long
6. Cyanide
7. The Unforgiven III
8. The Judas Kiss
9. Suicide and Redemption
10. My Apocalypse

A few of the songs like “Cyanide”, “That was Just your life” are vintage Metallica blitzkriegs and songs like “Broken, Beat and Scarred” , “The end of the Line” are quite heavy focusing on hard riffs and drumming that makes you bang your head like you are possessed. The album, after a long time, features one instrumental song- “Suicide and Redemption”. The catch of the album, though, is the song “The Unforgiven III”. Boy oh boy, was I on cloud 9 after listening to it that it’s become my daily mantra humming it wherever I go. The riffs in the song are nothing short of ultimate and the solo is just typical Metallica. About the drumming, Ulrich is just the man to do the job and he has exceeded expectations by miles.

The night I listened to the songs, I just couldn’t get them off my head and it’s the same now as I write this review. On the whole, the album is one that proves that, in this age of hip-hop and rap, metal still is a major player in the battlefield and that the gods that new metal looks up to are here to stay.

Pictures taken from

Friday, October 24, 2008

Running in Circles

It’s the Festival season. A happy, lively time. The time when everyone is busy buzzing around making grand purchases. The road’s sides are filled more with pedestrians than parked vehicles, carrying huge plastic bags full of clothes and sweets and a million dollar smile on their face while their credit and debit cards are half worn out from swiping that it looks more like a fancy double shade visiting card. Nevertheless, one season when people really don’t mind spending. Well, really?

My dad is a renowned doctor in the city. And a doctor, in general, gets a compliment from time to time from medical companies as a sign of gratitude or loyalty for prescribing a medicine made by the particular company. I’d be delighted every time my dad brings home a compliment, even though it may sometimes be a small simple gift, it still remains a symbol of gratitude. The only thing about these compliments is that, they come with the companies names embedded or printed on them. Sometimes obviously visible and some other times not. During festive seasons, we basically amass sweet boxes that, I can simply say, our expenditures are being taken care of, except for our personal purchases. I happened to notice that some of the sweet boxes had the name straves* printed in a small font underneath the boxes. I tried to take care of it but I couldn’t.

It’s customary in India during the festival season that people visit their friends’ places and give away sweets as an age old celebration for the defeat of the asura(troll/ogre) Narahasura by Krishna. So, one day, we packed a few boxes of sweets to give to our neighbors and friends. It was fun, going around, meeting people, exchanging greetings. Deep inside our hearts we were also content that the sweets mound at home was rapidly decreasing.

A few days later, our neighbors, the good people that they are, visited us. As the custom goes, they too gave us a box of sweets that we could enjoy followed by a warm greeting. After a leisurely chat they departed. I took the box of sweets that they had given and went to place it in a nearby shelf. As I was about to push it into the top shelf, I spotted that the box bore a small red engraving at the bottom. I looked closer only to read the name straves*on it. With a wry smile on my face, I just pushed the box inside knowing I’ll enjoy the sweets at a later time of the year.

Happy Holidays everybody!

*the name has been modified from the original

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Prescription for Metal

Music has a lot of types. Ranging from light melodious classical music to the heavy, ripping death metal, the divisions are beyond count that I may be unaware of a few types (probably their sound frequency ranges above 30,000 Hz). To start with, a lot of people start out to be pop fans and then graduate to metal. This is because, probably, it takes time for people to cope with the background of Heavy Metal, which, are most of the times dark.

America saw the advent of Heavy Metal during the horror of World War II. It was one of America’s many answers to the holocaust of the period- The disillusionment, the despair and death. Many of the lyrics in Heavy Metal deal with philosophical enquiry questioning truth, life, beliefs, God, etc.

I, being a Heavy Metal fanatic, preach Heavy Metal like a religion. And to my satisfaction, I do have a few converts who evolved to listening to heavy metal though I do not know whether it was due to compulsion or for the music itself. I’d say a liking towards Metal is more acquired than natural. That’s because of the heavily distorted guitars, the powerful singing, the in-song rants and the insane drumming that will make everyone go wild- the fanatics with joy and the non-fanatics with hatred. The traditional term used for the people who go crazy after metal is called “A Headbanger”.

There are a selected few songs that I know of that would please metal and non-metal fans alike. The converts I spoke about, well, let’s just say, they started out listening to these songs before actually entering the world of metal. Here is what the prescription might have looked like…

Instead of writing a prescription I wrote a CD instead. If you’re new to metal I’d recommend you try these. The very rhythm of the guitars and the sheer brilliance in the songs and the majestic drumming would blow you off. Welcome to the world of “Headbanging”.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Blind Eyes of Justice II : Punished for Sheltering

Summer time. Anyone walking on the road would be intimidated to enjoy the shelter under a tree to cool down one’s head from becoming a hot sizzling tava fit enough to make rotis. The following incident which begs for a proper explanation still, happened around three years back.

I always admired the area where I lived. Laden with trees on either side of the road, the place was perfect for a residential area. Every time I was on my way home, I’d enjoy the shelter provided by the old, wise giants on the road side by driving at a snail's pace. I wished the place wouldn’t change, ever.

In India, auto rickshaw stands are comfortably placed under the shade of age old trees that have at least witnessed the evolution of auto rickshaws in the country. As I said, summer time, the sun, hot enough to smelt your brains and make it ooze out through pores on your head. On my way home from after some work outside I saw a couple of auto drivers taking shelter peacefully under the tree that was willing enough to do just that. Thinking to myself whether the drivers were on duty or not, I reached home.

A couple of days later, after completing the same routine work I had, I was returning home. On the way, I was surprised to see the trees looking like support pillars for museum artifacts. I couldn’t fathom the reason for the urgency to slay trees like they were weeds. Intrigued, I approached an auto driver and asked him what the matter was.

He replied, "Saar, that is, see, we are wurking for 16 havars for one day. The drivers was resting under the tree in the afternoon. At that time wonly one bloody fool came for savaari*. Avar drivers, they refuse. He go and complain saar! So wonly saar, the corporation fellows come and cut the trees."

Mixed emotions. I didn’t know whether to laugh out loud or feel sad for the plight of the tree. Speechless, I just went home.

*savaari – A customer/ passenger to be served.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Road Not Taken

This title, as you might have guessed, gives you the picture of the beautiful poem by Robert Frost, doesn’t it? Well, in contrast, this post is neither a poem nor is it about describing beauty. Although, one similar point is that, both of us describe about the roads less preferred or in some cases, preferred not to be travelled at all.

Indian traffic can be considered as the legendary depiction of live chaos. The roads are a race track with a bad surface or something that is under construction for all eternity. “Pit Stops” or to plainly put, craters, are present throughout that can send a vehicle at a top speed toppling. I meant it literally.

About road rage, well, you don’t have to bother really. Dynamic road blocks which are oblivious even to cops like uncared animals, ignorant pedestrians busy yapping on their mobile phones, speed breakers with no luminous paints, buses that can stop anywhere on the road to pick up and drop travelers and vehicles parked in a no parking zone or sometimes close to the middle of the road ,payoff well. This is just a gist. There's more.

To talk about some heroes on the road, let me describe them first. Old school dressing, a cap and a pair of Dashing Coolers … in the late evenings when the bright sun goes off to shine on the west side of the world, only makes you pity them for their “wannabe” desperation. These heroes ride their bikes like the lightcycles of Tron ready to make a surprise 90 degree turn any second making you feel like a sorry bull rider taming his wild, insane, jumpy bull every time you apply your brakes all of a sudden.

Now from two wheelers to three wheelers. The path taken by these drivers are like that of an AC energy wave, inverted AC wave, pulsating DC energy wave, to name a few of their chaotic motions, in any random order. Like James Bond, Auto drivers have their license to irritate. The saying “appearances are deceptive” holds good here because, the drivers can look like real simpletons but in reality, these are the people that are actually connected*.

Time for the kings of the road. James Bond sans the style element with a license to kill gives us bus drivers. Their ride and their death knell behind you can make you wet your pants almost instantly. Their path is very simple. It’s straight, literally. Get in the way and you might not live to see another sunrise. The driver gets a few days off in the name of suspension and a meager charge as a fine for his “careless” driving while you’re busy having a conversation with St. Peter.

The signals’ only purpose is to entertain small children sitting snuggly inside cars who are enamored by the change of colors that makes them appreciate the creations of God. Normal people call it Traffic Signals. Bus drivers call it lame.

Now, where was the traffic police all this time?? Well, he is at the friendly neighborhood Nair Chai shop enjoying a hot cup of tea or is inside his cozy niche enjoying a nice cat nap...

*- Italian mob slang for being close to people in Power.

A schematic pattern of the traffic on Indian Roads (Click on the image for a larger view)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Rediscovery of Fire

Mankind has been dependent on electricity since the 18th century when Benjamin Franklin’s research on it unveiled its innumerable applications. Man has been consumed by its power that he let it rule the world. Now, almost nothing can run without electricity. Right, isn’t it? Wrong.

Welcome to Coimbatore, India. My hometown where people are desperately trying to discover an alternative. The reason? Coimbatore is experiencing rampant changes for the worst during recent times. Previously, the city would face a definite power shutdown once every three weeks for a twelve hour period. Now, power shutdown at the rate of more than eight hours a day has become a bit too much to handle. UPS sales have shot up to the sky. Probably 5 years back, owning a UPS was a luxury. After a couple of years, a necessity. Now compulsory.

The city faces this wrath unleashed everyday for a minimum of 8 hours and if need be, more, but never less, thus promoting social devolution to grow exponentially.

I’d like to admit that I’m no Nostradamus nor does it require one to be to predict the return of the Stone Age in this Modern Era. Behold!The Cave man cometh!

The Rediscovery of Fire (Click on the picture for a larger view)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Blind Eyes of Justice

We all know of THE Icon for justice. It’s of a lady in a blindfold, holding the weighing scales. Well, let me tell you that the blindfold has lasted for a bit too long and has now become literal.

This incident once happened in Bihar, when a dog named Chottu faced trial in a court in Patna, apparently for “Breach of Peace” (He didn’t crap around like burning buses because the party he supported failed to win in the elections or stage a protest demanding a downgrade in its pedigree the minister had promised to award, if she won the elections). Allegedly, all he did was bite people, and the police feared that it to become a dangerous law and order situation. The dog was eventually caught or “arrested” and was produced for trial. However, the owner claims that Chottu was on his best behavior in the court lending credence to his owner’s statement that Chottu attacked only burglars. What’s incredible though, is that the dog was sentenced to death for the same complaint (if only dogs could speak… and were capable of dealing under the table) but managed to escape because of protests by Animal Rights Activists.

Surprised? Well, don’t be. Guess what’s next in line.
I had been to Bangalore recently and had dropped by a shopping mall called Forum to chill out for a while. Forum houses a big multi-cuisine restaurant called Transit, and I thought I’d just go grab some snack. Thankfully I hadn’t carried in any eatable from outside because THIS would have happened if I had.

A Warning Board inside Transit, Forum, Bangalore.

Now, I’m still hoping to come across an unfortunate Oskar Schindler to redeem the “Juice” from THIS holocaust...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The God that Outsourced

Nothing is too extreme when it comes to politics. From A to Z, the rules in politics are ever changing or to put it point blank, there exists a rule none. Well, let us take a look at what Lord Shiva a.k.a The Destroyer had to say when he was accidentally spotted in disguise by a journalist near… well, I’m not willing to disclose the location as local pedestrians will crowd around the area, raise a shrine and turn a deaf a ear to the traffic thereby interrupting it.

Journalist: OMG! I can’t believe I’m looking at Shiva, oops, sorry, Lord Shiva!... In disguise…
Lord Shiva: It doesn’t matter; just call me by my name. I don’t want a crowd to gather around me and keep me here forever. I’m suffocating already. I guess my friend has gone on a creation spree. Must stop production. But before that, I need to wipe off some species off the planet to balance things for a while.
Journalist: Oh! wow! This news is making it to the gossips section in tomorrow’s paper. Well, may I ask how you intend to do that??
Lord Shiva: What!? I thought this news might make it to the headlines!
Journalist: I’m Sorry… I’m from The Times of India. The headline has already been reserved for the story of Aishwarya Rai falling off her bicycle during shooting. India needs to know what happened to her.
Lord Shiva: Oh, that lady. My good friend, the Creator, put some extra thought and effort while creating her and these lame people praise modern day costumes. Well, anything to not disclose our identities.
Journalist: hmmm... although, she did undergo a rather bad spell when she was with Salman. She turned up with a black eye at a party. You can't blame that on cosmetics...

Lord Shiva laughs.

Lord Shiva: You know, that was my work actually. In the name of karma? And Salman had been good that year. So, I played a little Santa.
Journalist: Nice! Well, anyway, you were saying something about wiping off a certain species…
Lord Shiva: yeah about that… I…

When Lord Shiva was about to start charting out his plans, the journalist gets an emergency call from her company. After attending the call, the journalist put on a ghastly look. And then…

Journalist: I didn’t know you were this fast!! You did all this while talking to me!? Amazing!
Shiva: Why? What happened??
Journalist: Modesty appreciated. An MP from the Samajwadi party sacrificed 200 goats and 4 buffaloes to ensure the trust vote in favor of the UPA government. To ensure victory. Well, I got to go cover this. And don’t forget to buy tomorrows paper. Last page, bottom right corner. Bye!

The journalist runs along. And Shiva slowly walked his way towards his next destination with a single thought lingering in his mind.

Lord Shiva: (thinking)… when the hell did I start outsourcing???

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Art of Self Defense – Bruce Flee

Every living thing on the planet has some kind of defense to protect itself from danger. Why, to be plain, even nonliving things tend to have its defense, like Kaspersky Internet Security has a built-in option to protect itself from viruses and malware. Well, the point is that, self-defense, in any possible method is important.

This incident once happened in college during break time. My fellow nomads and I were having a pointless conversation. It was just like that, when I suddenly told about my newly learnt Karate moves from a Bruce Lee movie last night.

“Guys, check out the new moves that I learnt yesterday! Heeeyahh! Hoi! Hooo!” I said, though I looked like a worthless baboon while doing it.
“So?” the guys asked, trying to control their laughter, although two girls passing by did laugh.
“Self defense is one of the most important skill in the world. In fact, I’d say its mandatory”

Nodding their head and then ignoring the point, the topic shifted to something else though I can’t remember what.
Suddenly, a deep rumble was heard right next to me, like the whole earth was shaking. I spotted a huge boulder slowly making its way towards the group. It was as our good old Vijay. A nice guy, but the fattest of the group. We all love him and, make fun of him every moment we could salvage.

I couldn’t help saying, ”Hey Vijay, guess what, satellite imagery has improved. Better picture quality with finer detail. Now Google Earth has got a better picture of you! They can see even your beard and mush, I guess!”

I knew I had it! But some guy in the group HAD to remember about the self-defense part I was rambling about.

“Dey, Vibu, Show us some of your moves against Vijay da. Show us your skills in ‘the art of self-defense’!”
“Yeah yeah! I will. In fact, I’m about to demonstrate the most ancient form of Self-defense. And that is called…”, I replied.

The guys watched eagerly what I was going to do as I took up position.

“…..Indian Kung Fu!…”, and I fled… As fast as I could and as far as my legs could carry me to.

Chaat House: From Corner to Conglomerate

Food is something a normal human being cannot resist when offered. Unless he/she just ate their tummy-full and just can’t stand the sight of food, or, is a 10th century ascetic. Otherwise, the very sight of food can make anyone’s mouth water.

Different kinds of food are famous during different times. For example, sweets, though an all time favorite, would flood markets and would have the highest buyers during festival times. Another example would be fast food- The world is progressing fast and so has food. It’s become fast. But these kinds of food have their peak time. It is sometimes age based, preference based, frequency based etc. Not many people enjoy fast food once they cross a certain age limit and the same case is with sweets, but that might be sometimes due to precautions.
One kind that has stood the test of time and is still growing is the food that is authentic to India, alone. Chaat. It has got nothing, yet it has got everything. The ingredients are simple, they are easy to make and obviously, they taste great! I have witnessed that chaat shop’s sales haven’t dropped, but is constantly increasing. As for their peak time, I haven’t found one yet. People of all ages (well, after a certain age limit) tend to enjoy it, no matter how often they have it.
I visit a chat corner near my house quite regularly. I have seen the store grow from serving a single or a couple of customers to mass producing bhel puris and masal puris. Now, recently, I had gone there and I didn’t have a place to sit! Soon, the chaat annas, as you call them to be, are setting up franchises all over the city! Yet, I have seen a lot of other restaurants opening up in quite a style and then ending up closed a few weeks or months later, either due to lack of chefs resulting in bad food or due to improper management. In contrast, chaat shops don’t have any formal training in cooking. All they do is add, mix, shake and then serve. The magic formula! Simple but effective. No classy decorations or waiters. The best ambience you can get (if you’re looking for one) is by staying in your car and enjoying a plate of your favorite chaat item (people do that, believe me).

One can assess the decline in a restaurant by observing the ambiance, if the restaurant did open with style. The passage of time leaves a stain on the walls. The edges of the furniture are chipped, the cushion covers are torn etc. You can predict the place to shut down soon, however cheap the food rates come down to. But these chat corners, well, don’t have an ambiance, to be frank! You can see a gutter that sometimes is full, sometimes dry (depends on the season) running nearby, not enough chairs to sit, the already provided chairs are half worn down and you can, at anytime, expect a bird spit to fall on your plate(which did happen to me once)! Still, I don’t see these people suffering any serious hit in business! Now Chaat stalls have become one of kind of places where money just flows in. It has become like a well established business.

Well, the question is, what really makes these stalls flourish? Is it their quality of food? The speed at which it’s served? The “unique” kind of ambiance? What!?

Would the answer be as plain as “to just keep it simple”? I don’t think so.
As for a proper answer, I’m still on the lookout for one. In the meantime, chaat? Anyone?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Phantom of the Soap Opera

We are familiar with how our parents feel about soaps and serials.

Soaps. The name in every household. The very meaning of entertainment for womenfolk (not generalizing, but, a lot of them actually). Soaps have become a routine for homemakers giving them “something” to watch from dawn to dusk. A lot of women, (il)literally, speak of nothing else but the happenings in these shows. I haven’t witnessed even stock markets being this speculated upon! What has really puzzled me is the audience’s ability to recall stories (if they are), though incomplete, that are stacked up in their memory. At least it might help to keep Alzheimer’s at bay [;)].Anyway I guess I’ll have the question answered soon.

One evening, a conversation that happened between my mum and me. I was just back from being a nomad because of the indefinite holidays, cursed.

Me: Hi ma, whats up?
Ma: sshhh…
Me: Alright!

I turn around to see what the idiot box was yapping. I’m not surprised to see a soap star on screen.

Me: Ma!! I think I’ve see that guy somewhere. I guess some other TV channel. Happened to catch a glimpse of him while switching channels.
Ma: illa da. That was the guy appearing in (*&^*&%) as a (&^$&*) (censored due to safety reasons)
Me: hmpf.. I’m lost. Save it. Why don’t you go outside? Get some fresh air!?
Ma: HEY!! I’m NOT like the majority of ‘em. A lot of people watch soaps starting from morning till evening not moving from their couch, not cooking, not socializing, not..
Me: …??

She stopped. It was a godsend. But why an abrupt stop? Then I realized that the conversation had happened during the break. Now the soap had started again. I hit the sack. That night, I had a dream. Some guy being ill for a myriad amount of time recovers from cancer, “miraculously”. The doctors called it a “Medical Marvel”. The next morning I got up thinking about the unusual dream finding it vaguely familiar yet difficult to fathom. That evening, I was back home after my routine role as a nomad and while parking my vehicle, I couldn’t help but over hear my neighbors, 2 ladies, discussing something about some guy recovering from cancer.

Lady 1: Hey, I was outside last evening. Had to go to some important meeting at my son’s school. They call it some “Parents and Teachers Association meeting”. (Indistinct chatter). What happened yesterday?
Lady 2: Well, Manoj recovered from cancer! The doctors called it a “miracle”!!

I was shocked yet elated. Have I just had a premonition the previous night?!? It was hard to believe. Yet it had happened .Ignoring the rest of the conversation I went upstairs.

Me: Hi ma! I’m home… after doin… nothin!
Ma: Hi. (and that’s it. She didn’t ask much about what I was doing the whole day. Not that I did something important like saving the world or anything of value. Still, I consider it an obligation to ask)

Intrigued, I speak out loud.

Me: What’s that!? What’s so important that it’s not to miss??

Break time.

Ma: Don’t mock me! Anyway, Manoj just recovered from cancer. That was what they have been showing since yesterday!

I was shocked. I had just guessed what was going to happen in a soap opera in my dream! Then it dawned on me. Soap operas don’t need any premonitions or divine interventions to guess what was going to happen. All you need is the brains of Homer Simpson. I had the dream because I was trying to figure out the meaning of these soaps last night that my brain had to perform an emergency de-fragmentation of my memory while I was asleep. As usual, I hit the sack.

Soap operas are MUNDANE, ordinary, dull, routine, boring, unexciting, dreary and monotonous.

The above sentence was written with the help of a thesaurus. Soap Operas DON’T keep Alzheimer’s at bay but probably provoke it. They promote obesity and brain degeneration transforming lively homemakers to friendly neighborhood zombies.

This post is quite long for a blog post… like a soap opera is for a human life cycle

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Adieu Amigo...

Well, i wrote this after i bid farewell to my friends who were one of the most integral part of my life. I don't know when i'll be meeting them again, but bidding farewell to them is one of the hardest things i had to do. I dedicate this to my friends. Love you forever, guys.

It's time to say goodbye,
We know not how time flies,
Now a journey's come to end
To part and tread our different ways.

I try hard not to cry,
Though a tear escapes my eye,
The feelings still remain,
And my heart is filled with pain.

Adieu amigo
I'll see you again.
Adieu amigo
Like the wind and the rain.

As my thoughts race back in time,
Its all a different rhyme,
And it leaves a happy note;
It leaves me satisfied.

But in a corner of my mind,
I know the days will not return.
The memories to be cherished,
And forever they will be.

Adieu amigo
I'll see you again.
Adieu amigo,
Like the wind and the rain.

Now a different day begins,
What new people I may meet.
As I walk the line of hope
That assures me certainty.

Adieu amigo
I'll see you again
Adieu amigo
Like the wind and the rain.

Adieu amigo
I'll see you again.
Like the rays of the sun and
The wind and the rain.