Tuesday, December 27, 2005


December 23, 2005.

it’s the hardest thing to do. much as i can the emotional self, or feel there's nothing of that sort in me, its times like these that make the heart leap and crash out of its cage. tears don't well up that easily (should i be proud of that?) but the body shivers.

there was a time i used hate chennai. but how can you hate the place that gives you the best of friends? the ones that make you wish you always were in their midst? c called for a dinner at her place. she said it was gonna be a quiet little affair. me agreed instantly. who would not want to drive down ecr for a good evening out? :) pp was the driver. hmm small party i tell myself and am about to leave. pp says he gotta take a detour and so devil drops in. i should’ve noticed that there was more to it :) but the very adventure of getting there kind of helped in no doubt creep up. thanks to the expert directions provided by c's significant half, s.

imagine my surprise when i reach there to find the dear little ryze menagerie i hang around with! i forget whether it was a "surprise" or a "boo" that they let out, was too stunned to find them there. m and s2 pop out of nowhere. yeah, learnt how wide my jaw can drop :) was later enlightened to the fact that a bigger group was called in. unfortunately couldn't make it there. shoot! these things make one rather emotional you know. not something i usually expect to cross my path. and my hands were not trembling 'cos of age or 'cos it was a nikon s4 :) you ought to have checked my pulse then. would've shot the sphygmo through the roof!

its tough to get out of that elated mood! am born with two left feet, but would love to blame the surprise you guys sprung on me for not having danced that evening :D

thanks c, s(c), devil, m, s(witch - the christmas cake was tops!), s & pp (and of course the others who would've turned up there otherwise). it was the best farewell i could've ever expected!

'a friend is the one who reaches for your hand and touches your heart' – mail signature of a wise friend of mine.

so true! so true!

so much for the emotional outburst! can't even blog about it! but i guess its the only way i am capable of expressing it. :

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


ever unsubscribed from those zillions of promotional campaigns these banks throw at you? i for one, make it a point to do that with every institute i'm associated with (no matter how remotely). all of them gloat about the technology-savviness of their systems. but it still intrigues me.

every one of them gives you that all important 'unsubscribe' link. eagerly you follow it. in most cases you would be lucky if the page loads at first attempt. (take a hint bloke! they want to fill your inbox with the loads of stuff you can buy with the money you don't have). furiously you key in your mail id and press the all so gorgeous looking 'unsubscribe' button. poof! stage two of junk mail-list retention – the page might not load.

it might go through if there's a guardian angel watching whom you've bribed like crazy. then you see the message 'you shall be unsubscribed from our promotional mailing list in two working days. sorry to see you go… blah blah blah… but you shall still continue to receive… blah blah blah… ' what!? i still get stuff from them after all this!? oh ok. its just the statements. phew! you almost had me there! (icici bank – my favourite crib bank wants 3 days to do that) just imagine your plight were you to do this on a friday. (or thursday in the case of icici :p) they get 3 whole days (4 for icici) to clobber you with as much junk as possible! there! take that! and that! how dare you refuse the shit we throw at you! did someone ask for weekends?

now, it was so easy for these guys to put you on that list (in all probability you are on it once you open an account – system driven they say.) what makes it so bloody difficult to automate getting out of it!? it surely wouldn't take the server that long to remove one measly mail id from a list! ah! now i see it. the marketing guy wants to know who the defiant renegade is. you shall not be purged of your sins without hearing from the marketing guy.

finally, unsubscribe done. 2 working days (3 for icici) done. but you might still hear about the latest pre-approved personal loan they designed 'just for you'. why? i guess their system just forgot to get you out of the list. amnesia you know. happens. here's where you step in to fire a feedback/complaint to them.


seen those java and asp errors when you submit feedback? all that lingo Apache Servlet, SQLerror, ConnectionString, yada yada... gives one a feeling of dabbling in rocket science.

Monday, December 05, 2005

NDTV again....

this has the classic NDTV signature all over it! looks like they get trained to come out with er… ‘NDTVisms’!? :)

reporter covers a train accident (did not note where). she goes something like ‘lineman has been taken up for questioning on account of negligence. lie detector tests from forensic department conclude that he’s lying. results of the test are not made public’.

huh!? is a lie detector supposed to tell you something beyond that!?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

5 seconds

lovely lass on two wheeler. glances around checks traffic. a glance again and eyes meet. the world stops and pulse shoots. mom on pillion sizes me and scans id card. no pulse. lionesses also protect their cubs. it’s a feline nature. growl.

heaven and hell visited. 5 seconds.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


much as i love the language, its irony stupefies me. take for e.g. ‘losing his temper’. now temper is bad. a short fuse. not good. so if i have it, am not an exciting person to be around. but if i lose it, i'm still not preferred company. weird!


for some odd reason people ask me about the status of the india-sa cricket match happening today here in chennai. this bloke so very well knows i'm plugged into an iPod and NOT a freaking radio! and i dont even like cricket!

something makes me stop short of whacking him. grr…

Monday, November 21, 2005

wooster plans

at places i go by the nick ‘wooster’. or ‘bertie’ alternatively. it is my fascination with the master P G Wodehouse and his works, and more so with the character he created. but i never quite realized that the ‘wooster’ tag would fit me in more ways than one.

i mean, the way i manage to comfortably plant myself into trouble is legendary. i could very well do without wooster help! but yes, it’s the wooster brain again that comes to the rescue at most times. jeeves does not always find his intellect in the spotlight :)

it was PP’s birthday yesterday and we are all gung-ho about it. the plot was to make the old top feel like a child again. pizza hut offers a good ground to make the birthday babies feel like well, babies :) the point was to get him there. he has his own sweet plans of throwing a party elsewhere. fortunately/unfortunately he hadn’t worked on it and we didn’t actually have a place to party out.

plans to set our plot to fruition were abound since friday, only PP had to be clandestinely brought there. he should not have the slightest wiff of what would be in store for him. so stage was set for the grand trap. witch, devil, m & c were only too glad to make me bell the cat. made me the head of lying dept. and was to come up with the most outlandish ways to woo PP to p.h.

the plot: PP and i share a common love – the iBook and the iPod. so i wanted him to try out the wi-fi features at p.h. and work on podcasting. i don’t quite know how/why he agreed to check it out, but i added the extra gizmo stuff on bluetooth to just seal the plot. icing on the cake eh? precisely. poor bloke was quite enthusiastic about it, but birthdays being birthdays, he had his hands full. all these lies and when i almost thought he had agreed, came in his itenary for the day. errands to run and party to throw, no time for gizmo checking.

witch, m & c did not subscribe to this plot. they wanted a tear jerker story to make for some man-to-wooster talk. how melodramatic these women can get! like yeah right, i'll manage to get PP all the way into p.h. just to talk about a non-existent sad life. a non-existent gizmo life was so much easier to weave! the podcasting not working out is melodramatic in itself! but they wont waste their kerchiefs on that. melodramatic too.

spent a frantic saturday fielding questions from w, m & c about the plan working out. PP for one, kept dodging the meet. left me wondering, had he smelt a rat? but we ensured the cake didn’t have rat in it. freaky! come sunday, the plan was showing signs of registering a bed in the ICU. dying its own sweet death. an appointment close to PP’s place and a subsequent visit there did nothing to further the cause of the plot one bit. of course, the turn of events were potent enough to make murphy’s rule book shudder in its folds.

PP in the meantime sifted through a zillion fliers trying to get a place for the party. my hunch is, all those places got a whiff of the menagerie he was bringing with him. almost everyone refused to entertain his requests. the cenotaph road dhaba express manager though was made of sterner substance. he agreed to brave our group and had the tables set. only, as the wooster plan would have it, we did not turn up there!
convinced that the p.h. plan was a washout, c suggested that PP be made aware of our devious intentions. so the plot unwraps before his gawking eyes as he drives his cousin at the airport, dropping me off enroute. i guess the diabolic nature of the plan made him miss a few turns and i was no where close to being dropped off! a trip to the airport for no particular reason is therapeutic at times. it helps one introspect and realize a whole lot of other things one does, again, for no particular reason.

strangely enough, spilling out the truth about the plan had a more favourable effect on PP than the plot. left me wondering about the effort i expended in spinning the damn yarn! damn w, m & c! PP instantly agreed to having a jig at p.h. so there i was, furiously getting back to messaging everyone about the change in venue and how the plot succeeded! until which time i was furiously messaging everyone about why the plot failed. thank god for free sms! prepaid service, thou has a valiant supporter of thy cause in me! so now, with the sudden turn of events, i got to be the em cee. again, for no particular reason! see? i told you the introspection helps.

of course, the confusion did prevail. part of the group were told to get to dhaba express while the rest were headed to p.h. truly devious eh!? >:) but PP was polite. he managed to get the rest to p.h.. shoot! what a spoil sport! would have been so much fun to find them at d.e. and no party happening there!

finally, with much fanfare, we have a good time at p.h. over pitchers of cola & ice tea (at least p.h. had got the tea part right. they need to work on the ice though) and some smacky pizzas to hog :) did we forget the cake!? naah! fed PP well with cake, with minor goof-ups in hand-to-mouth coordination. my hand, PP’s mouth. it was nice to see PP’s face smeared with a creamy pink moush & beard. nice fashion statement that ;)

ah! alls well that ends well. the wooster plan being a success after all! thank you devil, witch, m & c!

Monday, November 14, 2005

lessons in probability

during one of my trips to bangalore, hailed a rick to get back home. normal affair that, but was only too pleased to find a rick-chap who agreed to go my way. got in with great gusto only to have something hit my head. hard. distinctly remember a cracking sound. looked around to find a lamp that was inches short of being called a chandelier. ‘thoda hallu chado saab! dekh ke! chot laga so?’ yeah sure… its just everyday that you find ricks with ceiling lamps.

‘You have confused the unusual and the impossible’ – Psmith. (Mike and Psmith, P G Wodehouse)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


looking out
shaukhat ali/khan (i couldn’t care less) – he’s the prime minister of pakistan (i think, that doesn’t matter either). news channel interviews him as he surveys the earthquake hit parts of kashmir – the pakistan side. was intrigued by his choice of words. he called this side of kashmir ‘india occupied kashmir’. nothing quite wrong with that, we call the other side ‘pakistan occupied kashmir’. (it hurts at times when these terms get used so frivolously) what set it apart was he referred to pok as ‘azad kashmir’. he may be just a politician trained to talk that way, whether he believes in it or not. but even that doesn’t matter. it’s the inherent underlying assumption that hits.

i am not an authority in history, so don’t know what the status of kashmir ought to be. neither do i recollect the outcome of the plebiscite. but what do they mean by ‘azad kashmir’!? of course, they would want to make kashmir independent of india, but would they let it stay that way? just a thought. scratching this one gives me a headache.

looking in
the more pro-hindu parties (or their leaders, because they want to stay popular with their party followers) believe that we need a temple at ayodhya. so out goes a mosque. did we hindus have a dearth of temples to visit? or is it that this particular temple will provide us with some special powers that will deliver us from all our sins? (once we manage to segregate what acts comprise sin) with the temple made, are they now going to force us to visit it, just ’cos its been made? damn it! we’ve slogged our butts out on this one! you better pray there! what happened to all the altruistic options of an education institute or a hospital? too condescending for their egos?

there’s something i surely fail to notice. i agree.

"We are all ignorant, only about different things" - Mark Twain.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


  • learnt that pouring hot water in a PET bottle distorts it irreversibly. now it looks like its been molested!
  • NDTV still sucks. "Live" reporter bugs passenger about cancelled train. "why did you want to go to bangalore?", he asks, "any urgent work?" his luck, he didnt ask me that...
  • weather is pleasant, the low pressure has given chennai the rains it so much deserved. chennai never looked so good. sad, other places are being ravaged.
  • office building is one of the tallest in this area. can see greenery all around! Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 21, 2005

from the archives

November 30, 2004

did something different yesterday. left office a bit early - like 6.00 pm.... i know... sacrilege! :) promise not to do that again!

anyways, went to see Hulchul. i suggest you guys go for it too, in case you already havnt! on the lines of Hera Pheri.... total madness! i think in all its got abt 15mins of seriousness.

then hit the local restaurant for a late night dinner. we were pleasantly surprised to be served 'complimentary' sweet when we were just about done. i really had the looneyness to ask the waiter "why the show of magnanimity!?". he was only too kind to oblige..... he said something that meant little short of 'leftovers'. 'remaining' was the closest english word he could muster. '3hours stay. 2 hours over...... later spoil' me and my inquisitiveness! wonder how many hours had passed his 2 hours!!

if you hear from me tomorrow, you'll know i've survived the 'remaining'.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

telemarketers ahoy!

much as the world hates telemarketers, i have taken a fancy to them. especially here in chennai. for one, they are quite courteous and come with no urge to push the product into your hands. their intentions are purely entertainment in nature. your entertainment.

XYZ Bank: "Sir, calling from XYZ Credit Card division..."
me: "Uh.. no thank you"
XYZ Bank: "Ok" *click*

the call lasts all of 8 seconds, solely based on your ability to prolong it. (next time i shall follow that "uh.." with a "hmmm...") but leaves you with a very good feeling at the end of it. you dont have to shout/abuse the caller at the other end, quite politely (and gladly) he/she agrees to put the phone down (in most cases beats you to it) and also gives you that much appreciated power break in the midst of work :)

Saturday, October 08, 2005

its the cell phone this time...

nothing personal against chinese goods (i am talking gadgets here) - i think they make them real good. the unsettling part is when someone lets them develop the software too. and they have to confess, their profeciency in English, or the lack of it, is nothing to write home about. but definitely to blog about :p finally got down to setting up GPRS on my moto A760. some of the messages i encountered in my tryst:
  • GPRS enable. Please waiting....
  • Hutch GPRS connect successfully
  • MMS message sending successfully
  • (tried deleting an unsent MMS) MMS is sending... (it never did let me delete that message!)
  • GPRS disable. Please waiting....

i will hunting more messages. Please waiting....

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

neighbour's envy

watching a movie could make you feel relaxed at times. but this was not one of those times. chanced upon "My Wife's Murder". did not have the faintest clue about the flick. that it was a hindi movie was an amusing revelation. that it was a ram gopal varma film did nothing to influence an urge to watch it. but feeling of not wanting to do anything was enough to get me going.

first things first. why such a title!? no one-difficult-hindi-word-with-an-english-explanation names? secondly, looks like suchitra krishnamurthy is on a comeback into showbiz. pity such a pretty face was chucked out so early in the movie. that sure sent my enthusiasm on a tailspin. i also started hating onida boxes. but i wonder where they get them made... pretty tough. they dont rip even when you pull them with dead bodies in! not a very good sales pitch that :-p

verdict - but for the onida box, quite indifferent.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

photo blog

Muir Woods, CA.

this in the midst of a concrete jungle!? heavenly :-) Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 30, 2005

office conversations

something that transpired between the tech lead & me when i just came in last week. was trying to get my m/c moved to a new location (my prev location was taken while i was away)

TL: has your m/c been moved to the new place?
me: nope. spoke to IMG (our office help junta) they said it would not be done till 3pm as there were no assistants around
TL: why till 3pm!?
me: 'cos its rahu kalam till 3pm. its not auspicious to move the machine during that time. might create problems in the proj later.
TL: aiyyo! but today is thursday... rahu kalam starts at 5pm!
me: (speechless)

was explaining to a colleague how the iTrip works

me: its a small FM transmitter, an add-on that transmits the iPod output at an FM frequency.
bloke: what does that do?
me: (i suppose radio transmission was not enough. it was made to accomplish bigger things in life) any FM receiver in the vicinity of 5-6ft can receive whatever the iPod transmits
bloke: so that requires bluetooth right?
me: (speechless)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

chow time

i prefer not looking up the canteen menu before having my lunch. more often than otherwise its a scary proposition. holds prospects of terrible damage to one's appetite! its usually more fun to scan it on the way out. you know, kind of lets you play "match-the-following". today they had something called cappathi and jaalfrazi. on other days they offer "barota". am i glad i dont read it beforehand! :-)

civic sense

always thought this city lacked sensitivity. all that concerns these people is their larger-than-the-world egos. was watching an ambulance desparately trying to wade its way thru traffic, sirens bellowing. not one wretched soul gave way. all they wanted to do was get past the signal before it turned red.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

games people play

game #1
its this thing about strollers that gets to me! somehow its a stand out feature of desis in the US. like a sign of social image. bigger the image, bigger the stroller as one would like it to be. in most cases one can find the baby's stuff spilling out of it (with more underneath) and the baby itself in the parent's arms....!

they no longer come on four wheels. its a complete 8 wheeler! a trailer is whats lacking. a bonanza if the mom conceives twins. can see the gleaming mom as she pushes the stroller around. the pride is not in having a cute/chubby baby. its more about getting to push that HUGE stroller around. i would love to let her lug my luggage cart around till her heart's content!

"yay yay! my hubby is phoren return. he got this stroller (its not a pram!) for our baby!"

game #2 (literally!)
spotted this guy in a rick. laptop open and a frenzy of fingers flying on the keyboard. laptop... while in a rick!? of course, what else would he be found doing.... playing solitaire :-)

something tells me this list will grow :-)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

dont rub it in, scrub it out!

is it so difficult for us to look at pakistanis as just neighbouring countrymen!? is it a dictum somewhere that if we speak of or to a pakistani the issue of border dispute and war has to be brought up? there might be scores of examples pointing the other way (and am glad there are!!) but my eyes fell on some idotic posts and has had me peeved to the level of disgust.

just sample this discussion forum (link will open in new window). it is supposed to be a harmless thread talking about indian cars and how much a pakistani chap likes the designs... this chap 'kavs' as he goes by, has to underscore the rift between the two countries! i admire the pakistani chap for not playing along and changing the course of the thread :) thankfully, one of them is sane :p

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


watching this documentary on NatGeo about hidden amazon tribes. (for once i am watching something informational!) there's this tribe zoha or something that rhymes that way who are kind of close to nature. i mean in every sense of it. naturists, every one of them. male, female included.

woman making a nice headgear from a local bird's soft white feathers. now here's the commentator's interpretation: that is the way the women distinguish themselves from the men. eh? bunch of skinny dippers need to distinguish between the genders through apparel accessories!?

but there was one little thing that caught my attention (no pun intended here!) if the tribe, in its hunt, manages to find an animal/bird that managed to survive their hunting expedition, then catches the creature and makes it their pet! yes, they dont eat it. its brethern are ingested but not the survivor! pet monkey wearing a tiny necklace made of another monkey's teeth. how comforting for this pet!

ok. now i get back to the show. really interesting this channel :) pity its on paid access in chennai.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

freedom of (from!?) intelligence

having observed how much of attention is given to the details in the things here, it got me thinking about the people behind these ideas. must be quite smart and intelligent! yeah... sure!

just a handful of incidents that were enough to shatter my illusion :-) never have i found the goofiness of the people here manifest itself in a more convincing manner!! what do you know, they actually take pride in it :-)

was flying a domestic sector here on united. for most americans, flying is quite matter-of-fact. if its too far to drive, one would rather fly. so there, stage set. a bit of turbulence in the air and we were all asked to buckle up. happily belted to the seat and dozing, i hear the steward, pushing his cart up the aisle, reminding people to remain seated. stopping right behind my row, this chap squats on the plane floor (apparently, thats what the crew does if they are away from their seats during turbulence) and makes this interesting quote to the passenger behind me. "you know how difficult it is to convince people to remain seated during turbulence!? its dangerous to stand at such times! but i am told people in india fly that way!" boy! did that wake me up or what :-) had me sitting wide awake... part bewildered, part guffawing :-) should i have corrected him? naaah! he's lesser a menace with his ignorance! :-p

in america, theres a lot of importance given to 'personal space'. (must've sprung from that deep rooted zeal for freedom in every sense.) while in queue, the person behind you could very well be two paces away. they'll patiently wait their turn till you are done (must really appreciate this one.) not to forget the gazzillion "oh! am sorry!!", "oh! pardon me!!" etc thrown in for good measure were they to be in your way. yeah, its all about personal space. fiercely protected and respected. thats why you have shows like the jerry springer show (fail to recollect the channel that airs it). yawn! another show... well, no :-) its not another show :-) if there's anything thats the cause for emotional angst, get it all out at this place. you can tell him your problems (son hating his mom, girl wanting to marry her drug addict boyfriend who hates and abuses her, etc.) you name it, he's got the stage set for you. literally! he comes with his bunch of bouncers (you need those hulks when you dont want an uncle to fight with his nephew before national tv!) and a HUGE audience. yes, there's a waiting line for people who want to witness this madness!! they even throw in a "coming right after the break... xyz settles score with his estranged mother.... all this and more after these messages" .....!!....?? but do not forget... personal space is very much respected here :-)

oh yes, quite a convincing display of intellect here :-) but this one was an overkill. saw an ad for an optical reader card. a credit card sized magnifying glass with a tiny little light on one side. cool thingamajig, but what caught me was the way it was advertised. well, where do you use stuff like this!? how about reading the restaurant menu card? or something better.... your cell phone keypad!! :-)

Saturday, August 06, 2005


got my first dose of what an emergency meant here in the US. jolted out of bed at 7:30AM on a saturday morning thanks to a fire alarm. not a very pleasing wake up call let me tell you!

a fire alarm with the sorest of throats! first i cursed myself for having forgotten to not keep an alarm only to realise it never rang that way. i had even yanked the power cord out, totally futile. it hadnt even blurted as much as a hiccup. i had clearly chosen the wrong opponent.

checked for all probable sources of smoke/fire in my room and having acquitted myself of the deed went onto the next course of action - evacuating myself. these caution signs that they flood the place with sure come handy! the messages get thrown at you in such regular intervals, within a day you would have it by rote! and when the real emergency presents itself, you can steer yourself to safety with your eyes closed. i can bet no one reads those signs at such times!

step 3 in life-saving activity was to get out of the room and out of the hotel itself. what if it was a really bad fire!? what if the whole place came crashing down. the american disease called 'extreme paranoia' hit me too. wanted to grab by baggage and scoot but ended up picking just the room key and my passport. i have been making up to my iPod for a while now. it is rather disappointed at me.

when you have an alarm blaring this loud, there is only one thing you can do - just get the hell out of that place. thats what i've been trying to tell my iPod. oh, my colleague did show me the other way - blissfully sleep through it as if nothing ever happened!

must've taken about a couple of minutes for the fire department to turn up, but was surprised no cops/ambulance tagged along. i must stop watching these action movies!

anyway, in the end it seemed like much ado about nothing. no smoke no fire no emergency. was it a hoax? or a prank? if it were a prank... felt really bad for the old man literaly limping his way around (but that babe in night dress looked so enticing! he he hee... sigh! thank god for small mercies!) ;-)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

sqaure sir!?

of late, this thing has had me baffled to no end. i mean, whats the big deal about it!? go to the barber, get that hair cut, walk out as a creature with a semblance farther away from a primate. that was all i thought there was to getting a haircut. now with such an approach, i surely seem to identify with a primate!

this time around, i did succumb to the calls of making myself look 'presentable' (just stopped short of gift wrapping myself). its important, etiquette training tells us, how clients perceive business executives from their appearances. i was also told that i was a business executive (thats important too). so i shun my friendly neighbourhood barbershop and go to some place that oozed with a good measure of finesse. these guys know how to make a primate look like human (or, as i would like to believe, the other way!)

savvy place this Green Trends. kavin care runs it, and its infested most of chennai. i thought it was a levers' misdoing. the salon cashier corrects me with "thats ayush, sir!" at least he knows his competitor! am glad :) as i step into the operation theatre, surgeon steps in, apron on, covers me in a black robe (was that to prevent the agony of seeing so much hair being lost or to act as a dandruff mirror!?) everything about that place seemed stylish - the rates included! i had ventured here on my roomie's suggestion (this better be good!)

to do justice to the charge, i tell the surgeon "make it reeeaalleee short" and he replies with a surprised, "full short sir!?" me thinks, is there more than one way of interpreting what short meant!? or was there something called 'half short'!? "yes, full short." "but it wont sit sir." i tell him i'm used to having my hair stand on end, but he doesnt get it. he asks, albeit reluctantly, "square sir!?". excuse me!? square!? did not know geometry had a role to play in this. nor was my mental status deserving such an interrogation! but the chappie was kind enough to explain, it was the finish on the back of the head that he meant. aah! did anyone ever bother about such things!?

for 17 years, not once did my friendly neighbourhood mumbai barber put me through so much of cross questioning. such permutations and combinations in hairstyles were intuitive to him. or maybe he was used to following my mom's instructions for 3 years prior to that :-) he would dare not question her idea about how her son's head should look. he was used to working his sickle in silence.

where was i? aah yes, the short square cut. for one who hates cricket, i must confess, this jargon does come handy at times! the surgeon was concerned about how i looked. i was concerned about saving precious dollars, $15 (plus tips, sorry gratuity) isnt a very pleasing price to pay when you part with something thats yours! its one of the preparations we guys have to do before a trip to Sam's land. i could see those cents jingling in my pocket with every mm of hair that fell on the floor! go baby go! cut more! its harvest season!! until... stop! this human now does look like a primate!

surgeon looks at me with a helpless.... sir, i told you, it will not sit! baah! am used to it! does it even matter!?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


got tagged by pranav. here goes... :)

Three names I go by:
1) Pradeep
2) Prads (all college friends)
3) Peep (Family)

Three Screen Names:
1) wooster
2) roark
3) code

Three things I like about myself:
1) being practical
2) determined
3) sarcasm

Three things I don't like about myself:
1) fickle-minded
2) lack of sensitivity
3) lazy to the bone

Three things that scare me:
1) narrow passages
2) metal door handles and taps (extremely prone to static!!)
3) my temper

Three essentials:
1) freedom
2) space
3) a convertible car

Three things I like in the opposite sex:
1) their eyes... oh my!! ;;)
2) that soothing voice
3) their ability to understand you amidst all the incoherent talk

Three things that I want to do badly now:
1) fly
2) swim
3) sleep

Three careers I am considering right now:
1) IT Consultant
2) photographer
3) deep sea diver

Three places I'd love to go on vacation:
1) switzerland
2) andamans
3) kerala backwaters

Three kids' names I like (Why?):
1) dinku
2) peep :D
3) pubby :D :D

Three things to do before dying:
1) sky dive
2) become CIO of a fortune 500 company
3) walk in a rain forest

Three people who get to take this wonderful quiz (!!!):
1) still searchin'
2) vinay
3) sabita (so glad you started blogging!) :-)

Thursday, July 14, 2005


i love taking jabs at the media. ample opps to catch them unaware :-)

there was this news piece by NDTV the other day (i target NDTV the way hackers get at microsoft)... reporter was covering a police firing on unarmed villagers in rajasthan and goes on to implicate the villagers for creating a havoc.

reporter: "it is unthinkable to even imagine..." some emphasis!

this reminds me of one more of their goof ups. it was delhi and in winter.

news reader to live reporter: "so tell me, when will the delayed flights be allowed to leave on time?" .....!? we can question the need for a live reporter some other time. :-)

of course, we can catch all their goofiness when they 'let us know they are goofy' during an end-of-the-year-laugh-your-ass-out snippet.

Sunday, July 10, 2005


honest word of caution. dont watch DUS. not been able to find a reason why that movie was made in the first place. it seems the director anubhav sinha used to make music videos before this. probably he should've stuck to that. i for one would've never bothered to find out about him or his works. can they make hindi movies so predictable!? ok. its a suspense movie. a suspense where you know that if a not-so-popular actor is staring at you for more than 2 seconds, there will be a bullet through him at the third. a suspense where the 'secret agent' placed in canada is murdered and substituted by a vamp in front of the audience. extreme edge-of-the-seat action this.

not to miss the heavy use of electric guitars for EVERYTHING. someone told the music director there isnt any other instrument ever made. feels like you are sitting through a linkin' park concert. of course, its quite a treat to find the visual effects go overboard. suddenly, for no apparent reason the frame zeroes in on the eyes of one character and slides out. a new found graphics effect that the director wanted to flaunt. what a waste of a 70mm frame! and a la X-Files, they HAVE to tell you the location of every scene. rather gripping.

Q. what do you do if there's an engagement in the morning and you have a flight to catch at night?
A. keep singing and dancing till its time for your flight.

Q. how do you add a twist in the tale, when all you have to do is see off our brave duo at the airport?
A. make the newly engaged go onto a lonely trail. that way they get kidnapped by terrorists.

NBA pros can take a tip or two in slam dunk from our stunt masters. hero 1 passes grenade to hero 2. hero 2 in turn catches it, removes pin and throws to hero 3, who happens to be airborne on his bike. hero 3 catches the grenade mid air, right at the spot when he's above villain's sun roof. hole in one! score!

if all four heroes leave the same house and reach the same stadium at the same time, why arrive in four different cars, all parked out of line, one behind the other? and looks like Ford expects movies like these to help it earn brownie points the way james bond did for aston martin. cant even say ha!

so why would anyone want to watch this movie? well, they would if they didnt have a prior booking for any other movie and have driven 30kms out of the city with the purpose of watching a movie come what may!


Friday, July 08, 2005

computer 101

learnt a few things about computer hardware yesterday. firstly, its important to clean your computer regularly. if not, you might end up giving a roach a free bangalore-chennai trip.

just as important - if the cd drive is stuck (quite possible if its not used for a year), using a knife and a pair of scissors to jerk the tray out is a very very bad idea. it screws up the knife edge. homes hardly double up as operation theatres. not advised. but now i can gladly warn "don't try this at home" :-) oh yes, there's that tiny little hole one can poke a wire into to eject the tray. but that works only if the eject button fails. what good is it when the motor has given way? could hear the overawed expression of my roomie... with the thinner end of an incense stick into the drive's pinhole he cries out "its pushing me out man! its pushing me out!" hated breaking the news to him; thats what the switch is supposed to do to that stick.

it was a valiant fight the drive put up. refused to open up! but the scissor and knife episode (which is a bad idea by the way) did have its effect and the tray relented. managed to yank it half way out. made sound like a ratchet. (cd drives have ratchets too!?) thats where it put its foot down. a real stubborn ass! could hear the motor hum everytime we tried to eject the tray. yes, the tray moved too. about half an inch each way. sliding a cd into the drive in such a state was suggested. but having had similar experiences with floppy drives, my knowledgeable self quickly dismissed it without argument. utterly preposterous. we might as well continue yanking at the tray. i did contemplate using my foot for support. but then, it wasnt my drive. taking the drive to a repair store seemed most intelligent at this stage :-)

why all this ado? well, wanted to install the dsl modem driver and get going online. a flash of brainwave hits roomie and decides to get the cd contents onto his flash drive from a local cafe, only to realise that windows98 requires a USB driver too :-) and where does one find this driver? i ask my roomie. "why, its in the drive itself!" of course! where else :-)

Monday, July 04, 2005

walking the plank

* graduating from b-school
* getting a job of my liking
* living on my own
* doing things i liked most....

hmmm sounds like fun! but relatives think otherwise. or maybe they think i've had too much of fun! i have begun to dread the weekend trips i make home. wanna give them a lowdown on my life, the office party, the long drive i went on, the new friends i made here in chennai, et al. but they beat me to it. sometimes i wonder if they can see the happiness on my face and read it all. 'son, we think its time you settle down. we have this proposal coming our way and....' i blurt an exasperated 'what the...!' and hear no more. i say they are jealous! the whole bunch of them.

by living true to Darwin's theory, they have done their bit to this world by furthering their blood, but now they insist on me following suit. my brother getting married last year, hasnt advanced my cause one bit. of course, the countless sinister looking and sounding 'beta, you are next!' that followed soon after. and to think of it, i consider them my well wishers!

they claimed logic in their demand. 'look, there are so few eligible girls in our community nowadays!' i wonder if i missed some early-bird bonanza or am at a clearance sale. attending a cousin's wedding was no less a nightmare. 'you are their second son is it!? what are you doing now?' seemingly harmless question this, but 'running away from you!' is the best answer one can give. have a polite, jaw-aching conversation with relatives i wouldnt care to remember and hear them talking behind my back 'you know, he's done his MBA. he just returned from the US. his elder brother is married too.' hullo! am i invisible!? by now i am feeling like a sitting duck, or a bleating ba-lamb at the butcher's block. raise my head either way and find huge bindi-stamped mercenaries giving me that snearing look...

'you are well educated, have a decent job. what more is it that you want to do!? whats wrong in getting married!?' eh? what? do i even need to answer that? i am sorry, but i would like to know if i am the only one who fails to see a logic chain in that. its like finding rakes with SE and NW on the same train but i get a feeling i am in a minority. of course, there's that random dose of senti from grandparents thrown in for good measure. 'as long as i can move around, i would like to do so and see you married.' what the...? but they are not done yet. there still is that last gasp of life left in me. parents are only glad to pitch in. 'son, if there's someone on your mind let us know. we are quite open to all these things nowadays' aarrggghhh! by now i am counting the hours for my train back to chennai. but i must say, my parents seem to be more optimistic on this matter than i am!

friends until yesterday who evoked an eye of censure through dad's bifocals are today pieces of human treasure. all them are either betrothed or have gone ahead and taken the plunge. examples of ideal sons is what they represent today!

it was rather amusing to watch my group of friends at a friend's wedding. almost every one of them present there with their significant other (certainly better) halves! i could hardly contain my pleasure when i told them about my latest escapades, weekend getaways... somewhere through those tanned faces i saw a shade of green creep up :-) my ears began to take shape of that of Mr. Spock. 'man! we (it no longer is 'i') would love to do such trips yaar, but.... she is busy when i am free and...' poor bloke gets a whack before he could go any further. ouch! told them about the andaman trip and the other treks that i've lined up for myself. never knew they had such long tonuges. wow! so many red carpets :-)

Thursday, June 30, 2005


had been to the Tata Crucible Corporate Quiz regional eliminations and finals today. always had bloated impressions of my quizzing skills. it is that way before every quiz and gets deflated as quickly soon after. this time it deflated with a difference. i think the quizzing standard was way under par. now i know why people like parnab mukherjee dont even raise an eyebrow at such things.

the business quizzes back in college (parnab mukherjee used to grace it) used to leave me answering as much as 3-4 qts from a boquet of 20. here i managed 8. dont think that i've added much to my corporate gyan over a year, though it has always been on my wishlist. but this performance was a morale booster of sorts. maybe i can get good at this!

i subscribe to ET everyday. its time i start reading it too.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

pulsed and nonplussed

just about everything about mumbai gives one an adrenalin rush! stepping out of the arrival gates, mumbai fills your lungs! a deep breath 'pranayam' just extended my longevity by that much! had it not been for the distance, a walk to saki naka would've been the ultimate nectar. settled to getting drunk in its air.

was glad somethings never changed. the comfort of coming back to all that was so familiar, so warm. however strenuous it might seem, living in these environs comes as second nature. the traffic filled roads, potholes thanks to the rains, wobbly autos and cars wading their way through. people oblivious to these little obstacles in their lives, all they had to do was get to work. they seemed to be walking on water. little kids loaded with school bags twice their size, covered in flowery raincoats right down to the toes. looking like miniature jayalalithas. amma would be proud of this fan following :-)

i was there to attend an engagement and a wedding. but for a moment had forgotten all about it. oh yes, the e. and w. revels are a blog post on their own!

out to catch the early morning flight back here. the wee hours too have something distinctly mumbai. 4:45am and i am walking towards the main road. there's a auto chap at the turn. all he can see is my silhouette. a lanky figure with a bag on one shoulder. and he doesnt wait for me to reach the main road. try stopping a rick in chennai. wave out when he's 10ft away; he'll be crawling on the road but would still stop 10ft ahead of you. soon am off to the airport once again.

the santacruz stretch of EE highway never looked so beautiful. a medley of 5 taxis performing a ballet as they race down the banking. looked like an indy car race in silverstone. out emerges the prima donna BMW behind me cutting across like a knife through butter. but the peasants are not humbled, they have their pride very much in place. eventually they all turned at the same airport. my auto included.

while my flight was being readied, heard a rather lifeless bark from an air sahara crew, "sahara passengers to bangalore!". dont know what made her sad. maybe that she was to stay here at the airport while her fellow crew members got to go there! i am told that airline counters at gates have PA systems that help reduce stress on the vocal cords. apparently she wanted to make a point. the walkie-talkie only made her look more important. she was sad no one took notice of her or her call. passengers headed to bangalore anyway were moving to that gate. but i had heard her, even though there was little i could do.

jet airways is not in the LCC category. here are people who have pockets deeper and its imperative that they show it. ironically i have found more bluetooth enabled phones at chennai central railway stn than at the international terminal. i should have checked it here. they maybe on an official trip, but would still show that 'air of superciliousness'. they HAVE to pick a pink paper, wear thin rimmed glasses and have black coffee. an occupational hazard in a way! for me, i had my priorities. a screwed up playlist and lack of sleep in that order. but jet provides breakfast which i have already paid for! cannot afford to miss that, so held eyes wide open with toothpicks. could hear aerosmith crooning in the background "dont wanna close my eyes, dont wanna fall asleep..."

as the plane taxis down, the air crew starts its drill. reminded me of the PT sessions from my school days. good exercise to the wrists and the waist as they show where the emergency exits lay. but heads were still into the pink papers. hmmm, we just rolled past a plane that said 'global peace ambassador'. wonder what that is. got to google it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

pulse mumbai

feeling Mumbai in my veins Posted by Hello


i think its a nexus between the airlines and the taxi operators. they keep their flights so early in the day, the cabbies rake in a rather healthy moolah! all excited, albeit grogy eyed i reach the airport saturday morning 4am. my first air deccan flight! lest i be categorised as the 'nouveau riche', i must insist that this mode of transport was enforced on me. absence of teleportation and circumstance are my scapegoat. but with the iPod plugged into me, i did not quite come across as a chap who has stretched his pockets to make this trip. stares moved from the paper ticket to the iPod and then to me.

probably the first flight out of kamraj domestic airport for the day was DN 613. LCC is the lingo air deccan (AD for convenience) has taught the indian traveller - Low Cost Carrier. the thriftiest of the travellers will feel at home. in time for check-in, i come with the most abyssmal expectations from AD. free seating a la general compartment, delayed flights, old aircrafts et al. first dose of suprise came in the form of a boarding pass WITH a seat number on it! but was left wondering why a sticker with a seat number was attached onto the boarding pass which already carried a number!! ever since i bought this ticket, cost cutting was so engrained in my head, i found this a wasteful expenditure, not to forget a wasteful activity too. the chappie at the counter is also paid to stick those tags onto the passes. extra cost. i am not asked my seat preference. this must be the free seating i was told about.

move on to security check. not one to have had problems in this part of airline journeys, was rather amused to be pulled to the side for 'detailed inspection'. turned out, the iPod had stirred the security personnel's brains. i've seen it to do to one's heart, but this mental connection was new to me. i gathered, the connection was new to the security personnel too. with a pleading eye he turns to his superior, apprehensive hands holding the iPod and a bleating "saar!". would have gladly inquired what was choking him, but my sight was set on the iPod. almost hit myself for putting it in the bag for the X-Ray! the security superior though casts an omniscient eye from afar and okays the junior to let me go. i would rather have him not look at the iPod that way! humpf! world peace restored, the junior hands me back my precious piece and am off on my way.

the essence of a low cost flight did not quite hit me till i found two seemingly rustic men climb aboard. long kurtas, over-washed dhotis and matching yellow turbans to boot. skins well tanned in the summer sun. i must remind the reader here that i had to stretch my pockets to make this trip. now i need to remind myself to ask my boss for a raise, or probably hone my agricultural skills. the emphasis on cost saving was further drilled into me when the flight purser reminded us to not assume that the life jackets were freebies. also, help them bring to book those who considered it so! boy! i am now a vigilante too! her reasoning was infallible. the more we deprive them of their life jackets, the more they spend on getting new ones, the more we spend on our tickets. rather potent logic. i understood it without the need to be told again. by now i was quite convinced that AD was serious about saving money, but wondered whether the flight crew would charge us for a smile. i suppose they do, but i was on a cost saving trip too! did not want to find out.

the interior seemed quite well made, i had imagined electric chairs with straps for seat belts. but my iPod was acting up. it showed 4 instances of Rock and 5 of Slow Rock. must be the Real Player's handywork. had connected to it the previous day. damn s/w screwed up my playlist. i was no longer interested in the decor. but such maladies hold little fort against a slumber induced by a 3hr sleep the previous night. drifting off into the clouds, i am stirred by the sweet scent of a woman's perfume, fresh bread and coffee. maybe i was dreaming but i do recollect having seen a food trolley go past me. the air hostess chose not to disturb me. bless the soul! back to my slumber and this time jolted wide awake by turbulence. pilot crackles into the PA system asking us to belt up. blast his soul! yeah, he would know what was going on, but i did not and i certainly was all (blocked) ears! we were almost near mumbai. i think of all the rain clouds there and tell myself it must be these that created the shake. telling me that something i had so longed for, is finally here!

mumbai. i am back! but the screwed up playlist was disturbing me. i need to get to the nearest iTunes and fast!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

colour ocher?

prads: colleague returned from his trip to mumbai... has coloured his hair ochre... looking like fowl
frnd: i dont even know what color ochre uis
frnd: is it the orangish looking color?
prads: something like the output of a bad tummy
frnd: aiyooo

peaceful weekend

should say, it was one of those frutiful weekends. you plan so much in advance, like a week before and to have it materialse - has its own pleasures. much like a dream come true. anything you get to do beyond that, is added attraction.

Saturday: the much looked forward to Wodehouse Talk happened at The Corner Bookstore (Abhiramapuram). It seems they have such talks every month on books. but it would take a genius bigger than Wodehouse himself to pick one book of his and discuss his marvel. am still envious of one of the loonies there. old chappie, displayed a personal letter from Plum himself! i can merely reconcile with the fact that i was born a mere month before Plum died. having a quill in hand for purposes other than waving it in gay abandon was a far cry. sigh!

the evening had a marvelous end with a peaceful gathering with a bunch of friends and a midnight walk by the beach. the cop made it a point though to have the place cordoned off by the time the clock struck the hour. will try and get there earlier the next time.

Sunday: not one to take focused interest in such things, agreed to go for it since a friend asked. it was my second play. evam Indrajeet, a must see. they have plans to hit other cities like bangalore and mumbai sometime down the line. "your life in 3 acts" is how they put it. quite true to their claim!

eventful and peaceful at the same time! memorable weekend this!

Saturday, June 04, 2005


in a place where no other season is known, it is misleading to say 'summer'. gives an impression that another season exists. it should be simply called weather. someone asks you 'how's the weather?' and you say, 'as ever!' mind you, you cannot say 'hot' because 'cold' would then be a possibility! consistency is the key. would take a moron some effort to flunk a match-the-pairs test and miss out with 'summer' and 'chennai' in the list!

nevertheless, "summer" (i shall use it for the knowledgeable few to relate to) in chennai, is euphemism at its kindest! furnace, 24x7 open-air sauna, barbeque city, are more realisitc terms. this is one city that holds immense business potential for fashion too. one can design a spring-summer collection and expect to sell it all the year round! no clearance sale required to bring out a change.

no other place offers you a more compelling reason to land up in office on a saturday! thank god for thermodynamics, we now have air conditioners! people of chennai can learn a new concept - winter.

Friday, June 03, 2005

sorry for the delay in response

i am compelled to put this here. i would have probably left this as a frustrated customer and maybe even forgotten about it over a period of time. but companies, in their urge to remain in the high visibility range, have a way of reminding you of their stupidity, ineptitude, what have you.

i am happy that the bank keeps me informed about my account balance. but could they just leave it at that? i mean, send me the statement and stop! i dont want to know whether they have loans to dole out or credit cards that clamour for my wallet space. ICICI Bank has now taken a new fancy (yes, they think they are doing me a favour.) i can list myself under a "Do Not Disturb" category which will protect me from their telemarketers and cold callers. i have heard of a hafta* system thats prevalent in some places. but ICICI has a catch. i am supposed to call their call-centre (they call it phone banking) and plead them to leave me alone. its their way of punishing me for not letting them bother me.

Citibank lets you do this via email. its probably less of a hassle, and i might still argue that. but ICICI excels in "customer service". and they take pride that Outlook Money puts this customer service as one of their strengths. i say, Outlook has a wonderful sense of humour!

i simply love ICICI's customer service :-) i mean, it gives my understanding of this world a new perspective.

exhibit 1. log on to their secure net banking site. i have to insist on the term secure 'cos it uses my unique customer id (something the bank identifies me by) and a password the secrecy of which is my responsibility. now i ask them to change my communication address. they promptly reply after 4 days stating that they cannot change my address 'cos of security reasons. hmmm. i remind them that i am transacting through their secure website. it takes them another 4 days to remind me that communicating with them through secure netbanking is well, not secure!

exhibit 2. before i get charged for a credit card i never needed, i decide to cancel it. report to work late one day, make that dreadful trip to their branch and get rid of the plastic. a signboard "credit cards" overjoyed me. so i walk up straight to the "customer care executive" sitting "just for me" and ask him to just cancel my card. he actually isnt worried about losing a customer (it was not the end of the month, he could still hunt new prey). he merely tells me that branches are not authorized to cancel credit cards. it has to be done only through their call-centre. oops! sorry, phone banking. leaves me wondering, was this guy made to sit here just to direct people to ICICI's call centre!?

the most entertaining part of the whole deal while writing to your ICICI Bank account manager through (secure) Net Banking is that they seem to have a reply template in place. (and i love this part) All their mails have a common opening line. "Sorry for the delay in response...."

* hafta - protection money

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

iPod recipie

1 wax candle
1 iPod (preferrably mini or higher)
collection of ghazals on the iPod e.g. jagjit singh, hariharan, etc. (add more as per taste)
a power failure*
a relatively good voice to sing along

on power failure, light wax candle and place at centre of the room.
switch on iPod and play ghazals by the candle light.
mix well and garnish with cool breeze in the midst of a moonlit night.
sing along with the selected artist for added taste.

Serves: 1 (serves more if those around can sustain the listener's sing along)

Note: Music afficionado can experiment with other collections like instrumental, new age and celtic genres.

* a similar scene can be recreated by switching off the lights, but such thoughts dont arise until one encounters a power failure.

puppies at my feet

many a time i wished for a quiet evening, where i could be all by myself; no one to disturb or bother me. well, considering my ability to have a decent conversation with any normal human being, i ought to be having lot many such moments!

nevertheless, last saturday did bestow me with such a privilege. it was nearly sundown when i hit the trail towards the beach. being a weekend, it was bound to be crowded, but i was alone :-) one might find most of the chennai populace at the shores of Elliot's on weekends. that day it did not matter.

waded through the crowd to a sea-side cafe coffee day and got myself a comfy cold coffee. sipping at it, made my way to the waves. cold coffee in hand and breeze blowing at my face, felt like i was gliding over the sands :-)

stepping into the water was much more surreal. waves coming in rythmically, relentlessly, religiously. the sea seemed calm that evening. the waves were being kind. the wet sand tickling the soles and the waves playing at my feet. it was like little puppies romping in between! all so playful :-) under the spell of the soothing waves i look up and see a cloudy sky, no sign of the moon. so i stand there agog, admiring the patterns of the clouds, and the waves get me unaware. yes, some puppies are the naughty kind. they tug at your feet and bite your shoes. this one simply drenched me.

the evening ebbed and the tide grew. stronger breezes and faster waves could only fill the heart with more joy. their eagerness to play with me, like they knew i would be with them. joy enough to make me sing my heart out. "Woh Shaam Kuch Ajeeb Thi..." and "Aap Ki Aankhon Mein..." filled my senses and my very being! The rhythm of the waves to the flow of the songs... could heaven be elsewhere?

i wished for this to never end. but it was my own undoing. i carried my cell phone with me....

Monday, May 23, 2005

selective idealism

in more crude terms its called hypocrisy. at times i wonder if i suffer from selective idealism. conform to my own set of standards when it suits me fine or when it feeds my ego well.

was on my way back home after meeting a friend. getting a rick (auto rickshaw) in bangalore is a rather intersting fete. walmart could learn a few tricks from the ultimate logistcs arrangement quite common here. all you do is ask the auto which direction he is headed. ask him if its ok with him for you to hitch hike. he may just about like you and oblige. but that particular night i was not destined for a ride home. multiple attempts at hiring a ride left me with no option but to walk it back. i am told its a 12km stretch. have not walked that much in a long time. situations have their way of presenting themselves when you least expect them. life any other way would have been a drag.

about three-fourths of my way back, one tainted soul did agree to take me home, but not before i coughed up rs.20 - that would have been close to the fare for the whole distance). attempts at going by the meter failed. i found it against my credo to succumb to his whim. i would not have insisted on the meter had it been chennai. then why in b'lore? human endeavour is always at bringing predictability in chaos. they tried it in bangalore and installed the meters, made the drivers use them. in a place like chennai where the fare meter is treated more like a vestigial organ, existance of any sort of system calls for a kodak moment. one would not expect that in b'lore. isnt it a happening place? but here i was privy to an exception.

exception? some b'lore old timers would doubt.

Saturday, May 14, 2005


per·se·ver·ance (pûrs-vîrns) n.
Steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, a belief, or a purpose; steadfastness.

this has been my picture of him from the day i've seen him. its been a year now, and my colleague has seen him for four. i call him the madhyakailash beggar. etymology will reveal that he is a destitue found near the madhyakailash temple (adyar, chennai), under a lush shadowy tree. proximity to a busy bus stop is his locational advantage. or so i presume.

never does he fail to ask for alms from a passerby. age or gender is not a point of differentiation for him. but if you are well dressed, his pleas are louder. i did catch him once in a distracted mode and tried to sneak behind him - attempting to miss getting noticed. cannot say that i was successful. spotted me from the corner of his eye and out came his cry! in hindsight i think it was my eagerness to scoot that i must have stepped heavily behind him.

but there is something that baffles me about this chap. there must be something thats kept him at that place all these years. he probably has the pavement tile too marked out as his space! not everybody donates and i am not one to add to his coffers. he is not a senseless machine programmed to sit there all day. he certainly must be making enough to help him pull the day through. in that case, why has that place not attracted more of his type? surely there are more people using the bus stop than those visiting the temple! does he have a dual clientele!? people from the temple using the bus stop!? i wonder.

big brother in your trash

Garbology is the study of refuse and trash. It is an academic discipline (a recent one for contemporary trash) ... thus proclaims wikipedia.

but can you ever imagine how much of an insight you provide the rest of the world, about yourself, with what you refuse to consume? it might provoke humour at first, but the paranoia is quite justified. read on... :-)

Friday, April 22, 2005


heard this from an NDTV news reporter as he was covering the bus service from Srinagar-Muzaffarabad that started off.

"....the security as usual remained unprecedented...."

now 'unprecedented' ought to imply something that has never been paralleled. something that hasnt happened before. and 'remain' implies that something hasnt changed, or rather stayed the same. so we have a security cover at a level that has never been paralleled, but stayed the same. hmmm.

rain on my window

in continuation to Aartz's poem.

droplets dance across the window
as i race down the road
cling to the leaves
as they bend from the load

atop the hills
smell the earth
feel the sting
span the girth

smile at the rainbow
stare at the cloud
hear the banter
they laugh out aloud

pardon my rambling
i'm just not the same
there's rain on my window
there's rain in my head

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

the return

it feels really stupid. but looks like it was meant for me to do what i am learning to do best. observe. the blimp seems soaring high, but all is not hot air.

recount of returning to india. a first trip to a foreign land has its merits. it has semblence to infantile nature. look at just about anything wide-eyed trying to absorb everything lest something might go amiss!

day 1 attempt 1. reached the airport well in advance, nothing could have gone wrong. well, murphy (no. not my client!) struck and everything went belly up. weather was horrible and could not have been crazier. could see the cargo carts on the tarmac shudder in the wind. one could rather call it a gale! then came the rain. making foot-long marks on the glass. how could anyone possibly fly in this weather!! thats right. flight cancelled and i was put on "standby" for the next one due for the day. it was like one of mumbai's suburban stations. flight timings were mere references bearing no relation to their departure time. the courteous ticketing girl tried her best to put me on a 9am flight that was to leave at well, 11:30am. but murphy wasnt done yet.

day 1 attempt 2. now the flight i "stood by" hoping to get onto was to reach houston at 2:45pm. practical sense pointed out that it would be cutting too close to the 3:40pm connection to frankfurt. hmmm. point. was in a fix but murphy came to my rescue once again :) he went ahead and delayed that flight too. so even a mere attempt of having a go at the flight was wiped out. no sweat! out i go to get me on another flight for the next day! i love these tickets that let you keep changing the dates at no extra cost! lufthansa said i had changed it 5 times already. i had lost count. all said and done, i am still in lafayette.

a minor episode worth mentioning here though. every time i reskeduled my flight called for going through security check. why? thats a long story. but by the third time the TSA chap would've assumed me to be a proven naturist! now whenever i see a conveyor i am driven by a morbid excitement to get the laptop out of its case and my shoes off! (oh boy!!) pure thrill! have enough expertise now to do it all under 30seconds. beat that!

day 2 attempt 1. day 2 wasnt off to a pleasing start either. i was put back on the 1:45 flight. murphy still wasnt happy. but on the advice of the airline staff (they said they would do it, it was my prerogative if i was prepared to subject myself to the same bout of lunacy) to put myself on standby (once again) for a 6am flight to houston. i decided to subject myself to that bout of lunacy. i unbelieveably made it on the 6am flight. the airline staff had whispered that people were lazy to turn up that early in the day. sweet lady. was looking prettier than on day 1. will drop a word of praise for her :) but Lafayette TSA took special interest in my baggage as well as me this time.

so there i was at houston airport at 7am waiting to catch a connection to frankfurt that leaves at uh... 3:40pm. kwel! had great plans of scouting houston knowing little that by the time i reached anywhere close to the city, it would be time to get back to the airport! it was a pleasant site to see the runway uh... running over the expressway below. so spent time picturising how it would have been were i to play the lead role in The Terminal.

houston airport security was just as surprised at my eagerness to strip.

a rather hasty post. to be continued....

Thursday, March 24, 2005


For the uninitiated, this was my take on a thread on Ryze.

I say, considering the population of this World, and with faith in the concept of Probability; there is a soulmate for everyone. Come one, come all! Who knows, maybe more than one! Finders keepers!! But then Probability being what it is, what are one's chances of finding the above marked soulmate?

There are two thoughts that emerge from this.

One, the possibility of having more than one soulmate. I shall overlook the criteria of age (within reasonable tolerance limits of our own) for now - it makes our hunt that much easier. We all have what has commonly been written down as frequencies, wavelengths or (physics apart), vibes that we share with people we bump into. At times, so strong are these vibes that a mirror might give a more fuzzy image. A person who can see through you more than you can, who understands you more than you do. Would we call such a person a soulmate? Let us grant that. But what about the rest of the human race? Sure there's another specimen out there with a different set of fingerprints, but similar vibes, what do we do now? This poor soul, lonely until now, is out to indulge in bigamy!

Two (an offshoot of point one), the chances of finding one, were our needs to change through time. Just added to the complexity didn't I? (Are simleys allowed here? If not, FYI, I am smiling) We are humans and our needs keep changing. Since our hearts and minds are interlinked, their needs change too. A tug-of-war between the two might end up in a change of course somewhere down the line. What about the previously unearthed soulmate? Does it cease to hold throne and succumb to a new entity with vibes to match? A New and Improved Soulmate!?

I, with my weakness for binary options, reach two outcomes.

One, have multiple soulmates (if we are convinced about defining one) and vibe with all of them, simultaneously or individualy through the course of life. Two, scrap the whole idea, be with yourself and enjoy life the way it is.

My understanding may be flawed here, but I eagerly await comments.

Monday, March 21, 2005


chained and forbidden
when I am with you
strangled and overwhelmed
as I try to be with you
Freedom, when I run away

longing for togetherness when I am away from you
under the weight of togetherness when I am with you
Depressed and joyless
I seek togetherness
when I am away from you
I seek an escape from
Freedom, when I ran back to you

I am everything with you, I am everything without you


with a little help from Jyo :-)

Friday, March 18, 2005

ergonomics revisited - II

yes, life is sure a cake walk here in the US. but like a friend mentioned, how can one possibly walk on cake and make an easy task out of it!? what about the slippery cream and all the cleaning that one has to do later? bottomline, every attempt here is a conscientious effort at giving life a comforter. you dont need a cushion to break your fall 'cos everything is a cushion! ever wondered why it takes a show like fear factor to inflict yourself with hardship!? try a trip on the 5:43 virar fast in mumbai. will bet your adrenalin would have given you more thrills than you could have prayed for! (purists from a more rustic existence argue that the virar local is a pleasure trip)

walk into the nearest walmart to be submerged under a plethora of do-it-yourself tools. you might find anything from the odd tool-kit to a whole barbeque grill sitting there calling your attention. the kind of stuff you might find elsewhere in specialized stores, you find it here in your neighbourhood walmart. and no, i am not walmart's brand ambassador. come weekend and it is very common to find boats being hauled onto dollys and trailers and families(?) headed towards the nearest shore/river/lake. its just a part of your life! duh! do you need to be a goliath to handle all these!? excuse me no! you have tools to help you out! (nothing would stop you from doing what you would want to) probably this approach emanates from the freedom-gene code thats engrained into the american DNA. mammoth sized vehicles with power drives, power windows, power doors, intelligent sensors everywhere to allow the most immobile to be well, mobile. oh yes, nothing in this can go wrong. poka-yoke extreme! nothing is left to chance. why! you are even told that hot coffee is... er... hot :-) (just in case your tactile senses fail you, the lady at the counter will be there to remind you so)

vehicles of all sizes just abound this place. and thats another point worth looking at. the roads, if not anything else, are out to impress any newbie. with endless stretches of freeways, you could practically scout all of america on a set of wheels. i am told this mammoth network was an outcome of the US administration's plan to get the country out of the great depression. must be! seems to have worked! what further strikes me is the cost of fuel and how they manage to keep it that way!

sample this. if i were to reach houston from lafayette, LA (where i currently am) and back, a flight would cost me $800 upwrads. or, i rent a car for $150 (insurance and rental inclusive - a free estimation), fill in a lavish 20gallons ($40) and some misc expenses that would total to a reasonable $200 - mind you, for a round trip. An hour's flight with its essentials totals to 3hrs and the road trip lasts about 4.5hrs. in effect, 1.5hrs of my trip is valued at $300. 1.5hrs that i would save by letting myself be stuffed in a 20-seater jet; which i might otherwise spend crusing peacefully on the road admiring the lush landscape that abounds the freeways. i wonder which option an individual who respects his senses would take.

is it any wonder why this land behaves like a permanent magnet?

the american beauty

beauty is skin deep. yeah, sure. tell that to my boots! look around you. go to a restaurant, a drug store, a shopping mall. who would you find at the counter? a male? probably yes, provided he looks and/or talks like a female. it doesnt take a while to get a hang of people's priorities here. its obvious how pleasant it is to have a lady walk up to you, take your order, help you select your footwear/attire, or even give you directions.

in a land where first impressions mean a coup or the boot, one ought to know better. switch on the tv and you find infinite ads on anti-aging creams, slimming tablets and what have you. magic wands that would make the mirror change its face the next time you stand in front of it. did you know that your teeth grind each other when you are fast asleep!? well, scientists here know that and marketers have jackets that prevent you from gnashing your teeth while you fight your fiends in dreamsville. what would you call this? a cosmetic or a health solution?

Monday, March 07, 2005

a walk in the clouds

 Posted by Hello

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons ev'rywhere
I've looked at clouds that way...

~ Joni Mitchel

calling it a surreal experience would be understating what i felt today. yes, being confined in the metal case was a dissappointment in a way. felt like opening the door and just reach out to those clouds... touch them... pull off a piece like ball of cotton candy and bring it back home. glistening in the glory of sunlight, shining with angelic brightness and dark on the underside ready to shower itself onto the lands below... i've looked at clouds that way...

riding the rainbow

 Posted by Hello

a pot of gold on the other side of the rainbow.... am already half way up!

the rain had just stopped and the sun breaking out in the skies. the air was still wet with the rain and nature presented itself in its most gracious form... the rainbow! a giant arch of colours, bursting out from the earth below right through the skies.... could this be for real?

I dreamed I could fly
Out in the blue
Over this town
Following you
Over the trees
Subways and cars
I'd try to find out
Who you really are

~ Roxette

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

close encounters with aging

there was once a time when i used to religiously maintain my website. right through my engineering days it was the apple of my eye - for obvious reasons! duh! not that the admiration has wilted over time, it certainly has maintained its level. somewhere towards the end of the course where i had to move out of home to a land less connected, i lost touch with the site. regained it during the hiatus 'tween quitting the job & getting into my post-grad. brought it to a respectable level of finesse in web designing prevalent at that time. lost touch again when course started and have been alienated ever since.

cutting a long story short, i am trying to aggregate the changes that have taken place in a span of two years. web design & graphics are mere examples of how things that were once second nature have now become so distant and different just 'cos it wasnt under your scanner for a wink. for years i strived to provide the best presentation platform to my thoughts and ideas on the website. html was the 'in' thing - juggling with it was even cooler! then came javascript, i said i gotta have it on my site! ditto for style sheets! shift focus to other 'important' things in life... web-gyan takes a backstage and getting that degree is under spotlight. rest is history. shift focus back to the website... now php, asp, jsp and all other tlas (three letter acronyms) have come in. makes me wonder when or where did i ever miss the bus? i was good at this man! there was a time when i could work magic with my skills in web designing! jaane kahan gaye woh din....

new kids on the block will tell me i'm too old for this now. look at those wrinkles! no, not on your face birdbrain... look at the site! whoever puts up sites like those today! have i actually grown too old for this? or putting my time elsewhere just another way of looking at things?

i am a novice in my line of work. yet to draw first blood, but have been commended for being good at what i do. all said and done, i am still learning. supposed to be the young bright sparks carrying expectations of a lot many people. wait a minute here.... but i was tagged a veteran elsewhere and a young spark here. interesting aint it!?

is this metamorphosis? or evoloution? death of one ability giving rise to another? it just breaks the jigsaw puzzle into smaller pieces.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

ergonomics revisited - I

my first trip out of india and first into US. the famed land of opportunity, as most would call it. first impressions are not to be taken at face value, so i took time for the transition to sink in.

like elsewhere, people strive hard to make life simple. how ironic! you work hard so that you can be lazy! only here, they go overboard. reflected in an ad here where the boss tells his sub, "hey! we've got an Easy button to do that for us!"

its good to have a procedure for everything. everything is systematized, so right down to the T, i wonder how people would handle were the system to fail or if protocol is broken. would they know that if the automatic boarding pass ripper fails they need to tear it themselves and enter the seat info? i guess thats where one picks the phone and dials 911.

ok. i am being harsh here. is there a limit to which one 'simplifies' things? you design a handy "do-it-all" gizmo with a zillion possibilities. make it life's Easy button and hand it over with a carton load of papers as intruction manual. sure! life is so much simpler now! but in the same breath one needs to look at the sheer attention to detail given here. almost always, everything is taken care of. there should be no room left for doubt or misinformation. one ought to truly appreciate that, and probably learn from it. this is where we go to extreme limits. we end up learning more than thats needed, without applying thought.

more on this...

Friday, February 04, 2005

the jigsaw puzzle

one of the things i just love about life.... the meshing of different events.... probably something like the Chaos Theory.... at hindsight it might seem to have happened by design

the sheer randomness of life that makes it look so well planned!

Friday, January 28, 2005


wonder if anyone finds it fun to watch people. by that i mean, to see them behave in a certian way. why do they do things the way they do it, and the situation that makes them do it in the first place! of course, when one starts observing so much of it around, you come under your own microscope.... wont take time falling prey to it!!

i wonder if you are still with me! transactional behaviour - thats what i think its called. the different 'roles' people take up when they deal with the diaspora of other people that they come across everyday. the adult-parent-child behaviour. thats what its called i guess. (never quite took it seriously back in school!) why all this shit load you say? oh something rather non-descript crept up today.... was just observing the way my client was speaking to his boss vis-a-vis he would normally speak with the rest of us (i know, the 'rest of us' can be further categorized).

i agree, its pretty natural to behave so, just that i felt like disecting the observation....

Sunday, January 09, 2005

at the threshold

getting started with this blogspace was one thing. putting in some content - a wholly different ball game.

just need the right opportunity to pen in my views.

The Blimp sees it all.