Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Inside Out..

First break of the day and i am here bloggin'.. This 108 is really becoming a pain..Neway ppl around me are playing some lovely songs so its time for a post on Muzik..Dedicated to Mr.Gravel

The biggest lie you ever told - your deepest fear ’bout growin’ old
The longest night you ever spent - the angriest letter you never sent
The boy you swore you’d never leave - the one you kissed on new years’ eve
The sweetest dream you had last night -- your darkest hour, your hardest fight

I wanna know you - like I know myself
I’m waitin’ for you - there ain’t no one else
Talk to me baby - scream and shout
I want to know you - inside out
I wanna dig down deep - I wanna lose some sleep
I wanna scream and shout - I wanna know you inside out
I wanna take my time - I wanna know your mind
Ya know there ain’t no doubt - I wanna know you inside out

The saddest song you ever heard - the most you said with just one word
The loneliest prayer you ever prayed - the truest vow you ever made
What makes you laugh, what makes you cry
What makes you mad, what gets you by
You highest high, your lowest low - these things I want to know

I wanna know you - like I know myself
I’m waitin’ for you - there ain’t no one else
Talk to me baby - scream and shout
I want to know you - inside out
I wanna dig down deep - I wanna lose some sleep
I wanna scream and shout - I wanna know you inside out
I wanna take my time - I wanna know your mind
Ya know there ain’t no doubt - I wanna know you inside out
I wanna know your soul - I wanna lose control
C’mon n’ let it out - I wanna know you inside out
Ya gotta dig down deep - I wanna lose some sleep
I wanna scream and shout - I wanna know you inside out
Tell me everything...

My all time favorite BA song as a few of you would know too.. We've played this Q&A game, haven't we ;-)

Weekend roundup

Saturday:
Highly uneventful. Woke up late, had a lazy late lunch and then worked out of K2. This lappie is making me a workaholic. Shopped at Landmark to encash the GV :-) Am not revealing what I bought for obvious reasons but two observations that have been nagging me ever since..

* There is a brand called HiDesign which sells men's wallets for Rs. 1795 (and that was the cheapest range on display) Now who on earth would ever buy that ?

* Giftwrapping papers at Landmark cost Rs 50 - now isn't it free at Shoppers Stop ?

Sunday:
Avani Avittam.. How I looove this function...Now don't ask me too much about the religious significance of this event - all I know is that this is the day every year all Brahmins pay homage to their ancestors and rishis and recite the Vedas..More on it here...When we (Appa n me) were in Trichy, I still remember how we used to wake up early, take a bath, wear the veshti and angavastram and leave for Akhilandeswari school where Mani vadyaar would organize the ceremony in hugeee batches..Twas a sight seeing chotu chotu kids with vibhudi all over their faces and body trying sincerely to narrate the mantras..And then memories (not so fond though) of the Ganga snanum (in our case Cauvery snanum) in the break...Finally the cries of "Dakshina Dakshina" (those were the times when I even considered a career as a Pundit looking at the collection) All this would take a good 3 hours and what awaited us at the end would be a very very sumptuous meal..At SP we had vadyaar cum student So-So who used to religiously download the mantras from the net and then get us Tam Brahms lined up for the ceremony. This year things were a little low key since everything happened at home but Mom's food was as usual awesome.. The vada and urlakezhangu kari were superrrrrrrrro super... mmmmwaah Mom :-) And I can't wait for Gokulashtami..Can I please be the Krishnar and walk across our house.. Pleaseeeeeeeeeee...

Later in the evening one of my good friends Sumit had invited me home since they had arranged for a Puja at their place. Now ever since my folks moved in, I’ve become so domesticated that Sumit's been cribbing like crazy that I’ve forgotten my old friends. Not wanting to give him another chance to complain, I heartily accepted the invitation. It was a proper Rajasthani function with the pundit from Ajmer regaling us with stories of his travails in Rameshwaram. There was a lengthy story recitation where I learnt about the mahatv of the tulsi leaf :-) Finally cut fruits and Puttu were distributed as prasad. Now have to add something here on Surabhi Bhabhi. For starters, she's an amazing cook and makes the best paav bhaji I have ever eaten. But more importantly, she's an amazing mix of a person with modern outlook and traditional values. She gets along fabulously with Sumit's friends like Andy and me and even accompanies us for movies..At the same time, she is also deeply rooted in tradition. If women of my generation are like her, then we can all be rest assured that the future is in safe hands. wotever.....satyanarayan ki jaiiiiiiiiiii :-)

Surfed the net and checked mails late yesterday evening. AR is coming to town next weekend. That's definitely bad news.. She is such an incorrigible shopaholic that I better watch out. The last time she came over here I ended up trying out and buying some rags that only SRK and Sallu wear in the movies.. stuff that usually makes me go “Yikessssssss..kya pehenthe hain log"

Chal this post has become too long now :-)

Monday, August 30, 2004

Personality tests

When there's loads and loads of work and jes 24 hrs to do it and you think the world is gonna crash, Meg's blog is jes what the doctor would order for you..Was browsing thru one of her posts and found some really amusing personality tests.. Well worth the 15 minutes i spent.. Maybe its got to do more with the results :-)


Which HP Kid Are You?

Starch
You are starch. You are rigid, opinionated,
hard-willed and not too friendly about it. You
keep people out of places, or you keep them in,
and without you a lot of things would collapse.
hopefully you'll never have the authority to
burn people at the stake. Sir. Ma'am.

In Which of the Greek Gods are You, i am Poseidon, Greek God of the sea :-) Read more here

And in Which Nigerian spammer are You? i am MUSA IBRAHIM, AN ACCOUNTANT WITH THE NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORP. YOU WISH TO REMIT $21 MILLION TO MY COMPANY FOR SAFEKEEPING. YOU ENJOY BICYCLING AND TYPING IN ALL-CAPS :-)))))

Megs, yeh dil maange more :-)))

Plainspeak...

Promiscuity in Bangalore, best workplace in India, sex habits of Chinese women, hottest British male... Its that time of the year when opinions are being sought on every damn topic under the sun..Of course, as long you, the paying public, continue to lap up all this needless information, magazines will continue to flood you with such crap..But one such survey which helps in deciding the fate of a million Indians every year is the one on top B-schools of the nation. I just read one in BusinessWorld and I think the time's ripe for me to spring excerpts of my take on this to my unsuspecting readers.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the post below reflect the stance of a "highly biased but understanding" author who is only all too willing to reconsider certain "new factors" if "suitable convinced".
...as on 29th Aug, 10:14pm

Any purportedly scientific survey which reckons that its arrived at its final conclusion based on factors like faculty strength, research, consultancy, admission, networking and placement is fundamentally flawed.

For example, I know a friend of mine who passed out from IIM-C..When quizzed on what his salary was, he casually remarked that he had won for himself 14 lpa.. Knowing fully well that he worked at a place which was 18th in the Best Workplace pecking order (Hint Hint) I demanded an explanation.. and then the cat came out of the bag..He mentioned that he had found himself a girlfriend at C who earned 8 lpa..Now I have no problems with C using that figure for highest salary but I definitely have a problem if C is gonna use 14 lpa for both him and her when calculating the mean :-)

Lets check out faculty strength next...There is this wonderful story doing the rounds that a senior faculty at IIMA who was on deputation to Insead passed away recently.. IIMA however continued to pay him a princely sum of Rs 8000 every month and used his name in their brochure till his grandson who was giving CAT found out the error..Needless to say, at last hear A was looking for more such martyrs :D I guess I could rubbish all other factors too if I so desired but then thats not the purpose of this post.

Let me come down to the actual methodology I have adopted for my survey.. Very simple..I spoke to tonnes and tonnes of prospective students - male and female, poets and engineers, chachas and kiddies, old economy mamas and BPO babes.. I have taken care to get the sample size right so don't even try dismissing me on those grounds...And aftersome really naughty conversations, I have come to realise that there have to be different kinds of rankings for different kinds of people.. Just like 16 year old women like Dove, Lux and then Pears and 80 year old granddads choose Dettol, Hamam and Lifebuoy and a 26 year young dude prefers Mysore Sandal 150g, Mysore Sandal 75g and Mysore Sandal 200g :-) Though the idea of different survey rankings found favor with my sponsors (did I forget to mention that my survey results are coming out in India Today next week??) since they could sell more magazines for two consecutive fortnights, my focus group clearly told me that the reading public wants one summary survey and its results. So here I go... with justifications wherever I felt appropriate...

1. IIM-A: Simply because A is the first alphabet and when Phoren companies make plans to recruit here, they are simply asked "Do u want A, B or C guys?" The unsuspecting phirang thinks it refers to grades and plumps for A and thats why A rules and Welligkar (W) suffers :-)

2. IIM-C: I know B comes before C but there's something about this place..For starters, its got loads of engineers (read: very intelligent people) and so if u are also intelligent (read: engineer) India's intellectual capital is the place for you...Long live Bongol !!

3. IIM-B: For the guys, its the 3Bs - beer, babes and beautiful weather.. For the women, its just the J (will leave you to figure it out)..Btw, this insti also hosts a variety of rock shows throughout the year.. they don't seem to study much here but still get jobs..Good ones too..

4. IIM-L: The IIM tag notwithstanding, you might get to rub shoulders once in a while with Mulayam Singh, Subrato Roy, Amar Singh, Amitabh Bachchan... and if you are really lucky, you might even get to hear one of Vajpayee's fiery speeches (I am sure elections are around the corner and the old man will stand again)

5. FMS/SP Jain/NITIE:
If you are from Delhi and you have a girlfriend in town, then you have to join FMS so that you don't lose her. If you are not from Delhi and don't have a girlfriend, don't worry, join FMS to get one. And that's about the best thing I can say about the place.. But of course, isn't it the most important thing?

If you are a gal then SP is just not the place for you. There is a 11 pm curfew in place and men and women stay in different hostels. However if you a guy, then SP is just the right place for you. The M:F ratio is simply awesome - there will always be women who read the first line and say "Cmon, it cant be that bad" and then shoot themselves by joining :-)

NITIE simply rocks..For one there are no rotten apples.. All of them who are in are very intelligent (u know wot I am toking abt)..Secondly their campus is very nice.. and thirdly its Mumbai yaar.. Need I say more !!

8. IIM-I/IIM-K/MDI:
IIM-I's two biggest USPs (yaaa, I know 2 kinda dilutes the U but this is what they claim) are that they are fully Wi-Fi enabled and they are the "True face of management education in India"..IIM-India...someone needs to tell them Indira Institute of Management, Ichampatti is hijacking their second USP :D

IIM-K is the IIM of Mellus, for Mellus, by Mellus..So if you are Mellu your world of management education should start and stop here :-) IIMK also offers its students a two year tryst with nature..

To be honest not a lot of info was available about this place but from whatever I gather, MDI is a must for all shopaholics - The malls of Gurgaon are some of the finest in this country.

11. XLRI:
So aptly named - XLent for Rigorous Imprisonment - an insti still caught up in its own world, cut off from rest of civilisation.. a place steeped so much in tradition that they insist on continuing with clergymen for Principals and Deans :D

...wanna read more...
Online version: 1 copy - 24$, every extra copy - 20$

Sunday, August 29, 2004

GWH - 3

SEAN
Well, are you going out again?

WILL
I don't know.

SEAN
Why not?

WILL
Haven't called her.

SEAN
Jesus Christ, you are an amateur.

WILL
I know what I'm doing. She's different from the other girls I met. We have a really good time. She's smart, beautiful, fun...

SEAN
So Christ, call her up.

WILL
Why? So I can realize she's not so smart. That she's boring. You don't get it. Right now she's perfect, I don't want to ruin that.

SEAN
And right now you're perfect too. Maybe you don't want to ruin that.

Will says nothing.

SEAN (cont'd)
Well, I think that's a great philosophy. Will, that way you can go through your entire life without ever having to really know anybody.

Sean looks directly at Will, who looks away. A beat.

SEAN (cont'd)
My wife used to turn the alarm clock off in her sleep. I was late for work all the time because in the middle of the night she'd roll over and turn the damn thing off. Eventually I got a second clock and put it under my side of the bed, but it got to where she was gettin' to that one too. She was afraid of the dark, so the closet light was on all night. Thing kept me up half the night. Eventually I'd fall asleep, out of sheer exhaustion and not wake up when I was supposed to cause she'd have already gotten to my alarms.

Will smiles, Sean takes a beat.

SEAN (cont'd)
My wife's been dead two years, Will. And when I think about her, those are the things I think about most. Little idiosyncrasies that only I knew about. Those made her my wife. And she had the goods on me too. Little things I do out of habit. People call these things imperfections Will. It's just who we are. And we get to choose who we're going to let into out weird little worlds. You're not perfect. And let me save you the suspense, this girl you met isn't either. The question is, whether or not you're perfect for each other. You can know everything in the world, but the only way you're findin' that one out is by giving it a shot. You sure won't get the answer from an old fucker like me. And even if I did know, I wouldn't tell you.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

More kirukkalgal..

Yet another survey about the best workplace came out in HT yesterday and its no surprise that Wipro is nowhere near the top.. And no prizes for guessing that Infy is ranked in the top 3.. But what is definitely shocking is seeing TCS right up there .. Now this is one survey all students of Market Research have to study in detail to learn how to ask questions such that you get respondents to say exactly what you want them to ..Wonder how many shares these HT guys got allotted :-)

anju
Originally uploaded by Jupieee.

Happy Onam Anju Bobby George... I stayed up late till 1 today morning to cheer you on at Athens and have absolutley no complaints... I thought you threw the kitchen sink at your opponents but tis unfortunate that the rest of the field was two notches better. Still matching your personal best is one heckuva achievement and the whole of India is proud of you for that..Btw, I think you are very, very pretty :-))) You remind me so muchhhh of someone I know :-)))

I have been cribbing a lot to anyone willing to lend me a ear about the crowds at ICICI's ATMs and how Citi's service sucks.. But after a visit to State Bank of Mysore today morning, I am not sure which is the lesser evil - Public sector banks full of sleepy, lethargic babus or smartly dressed, dumb women in upscale Private Sector Banks. Susie, why don't u folks open up here yaar :-(

Fida..Am yet to see this one but ever since the movie released the teasers on television have annoyingly revealed more and more of the story.. In fact, I think I can kinda second guess the twist in the climax a la' Abbas Mustan movies.. which brings us to Ajnabee, a movie I thoroughly enjoyed not only for Bebo but also for the circumstances under which I saw it..

Trime 1 - first quiz in QM - It was supposed to be a 1 hour online test between 3 and 4 pm on a Friday afternoon..3 questions of 10 marks each but 15 minutes into the test, I jes could not get anything going.. MS-Excel was giving me problems and I just could not understand the sums..Perseverance, in these kinda situations, is a wasted virtue so I jes threw my blank answer sheet at the supervisor and quit. Went straight to Chandan in Juhu, bought tickets for Ajnabee First Day Evening Show, downed a bottle and half of beer and spent an hour at the beach seriously asking myself if B-school had been the right move.

"The CAs would top the accounting papers, the Commerce grads in Eco, the well-groomed Delhi babes would rock in Comunication..So if engineers like me flopped in papers like QM, then I would have to join the poets at the bottom of the class.." After some serious philosophising (the beer had really sunk in by then) I think I decided "Acads ko goli maaro.. lemme chk out Bebo" And returned to have a ball at Chandan hooting and whistling and generally making a fool of myself...

And the better part was, I did all this ALONE while the rest of my class slogged away at Excel :-) And saving the best for the last, when the results came out, of course I got 0 but would you believe it, almost 40 odd people out of 66 got 0.. Yippeeeeeee... Atleast I didn't waste precious time.. And since that test till my last day, I have always placed a premium on my time and walked out when classes were boring or simply skipped them when they offered no value..

Current music: Manjal Poosum - Friends

Friday, August 27, 2004

I'm sorry but....

This post is gonna be more of a frustrated rant.. So in case you were looking for logical arguments or coherent reasoning, you are probably at the wrong place..

Like many of my erudite friends, I'd grown up through school dabbling with Lenin, Marx, Che Guevara and other communist relics..And looking back, I wasn't even in Bengal or Kerala at any point in time.. But the whole concept of a society where there was no divide between the rich and the poor and the state ensured that all were equal held tremendous appeal to me at that impressionable age..And the fact that Castro and his Cuba could kick-ass the world's largest rogue nation was more than ample proof that these lofty ideals worked at the grassroots. However reading more about the collapse of Eastern Europe and the fall of the USSR and watching Perestroika replaced by Glasnost slowly exposed me to the horrors of the system and incredibly so, I became a strong proponent of capitalism. Pretty soon the heights to which large corporations and moneybags stretched the "survival of the fittest" principle to achieve their ends came as a rude jolt to me and soon I was back to searching for my ideology - like a man trapped in a drifting boat desperate for a shore to land. Economics took a backseat and the nationalistic brand of politics propagated by the BJP (some choose to call it right wing extremism) engulfed me - To be honest, this was more because I had nowhere else to run away from these shameless pseudo secularists. Today I think I’ve been there and seen it all and what India needs is some practical politics - they call it realpolitik, don’t they...

C’mon, when will our politicians ever grow up..On one hand, we have a party which is yet to reconcile itself to its humiliation at the hustings and trying to create trouble whenever it gets a chance - (Gimme a break, Shibu Soren's case is what 27 yrs old ??) and on the other hand we have a ruling party which can't seem to resist indulging in juvenile sparring. And all this while a Rs 4000 crore Finance Bill is waiting to be discussed..

Then there is this truckers strike in Bangalore.. While its been really pleasant driving up and down Hosur Road these last 3 days, I still can't seem to fathom the logic behind this strike..And what about that stupid ban preventing release of non-Kannada movies for 7 weeks.. Surely I live in India and its illegal to deny me the right to see what pleases me.. C’mon, when its worthwhile I don't mind watching even a Kannada movie.. Preethi, Prema, Pranaya was good and I saw it.. But the rest of the stuff the Kannada Film Industry churns out is utter rubbish.. Ranga SSLC whatever....

Lets talk sports now.. The IOC is run by Suresh Kalmadi - a goon from Pune, Amar Singh won some elections last month into CAB and everyone knows he is a thug from UP and the IHF is run by KPS Gill, an ex-supercop but a man known more for his high political ambitions..Why is it that we do not have the right people in the right posts.. Why is it that politics is intertwined in almost every walk of life ? Was reading somewhere yesterday that Uday Hussain was so passionate about sports that when his countries sportsmen fared poorly he used to shoot them and their trainers dead..Wish the reverse was applicable in India..Just imagine if Rajvardhan Rathore was allowed to do that...

I think that's enough for this time...

GWH - 2

SEAN: Do you have a soul-mate?

WILL : Define that.

SEAN: Someone who challenges you in every way. Who takes you places, opens things up for you. A soul-mate.

WILL : Yeah.

Sean waits.

WILL (cont'd) : Shakespeare, Neitzche, Frost, O'Connor, Chaucer, Pope, Kant--

SEAN: They're all dead.

WILL: Not to me, they're not.

SEAN: But you can't give back to them, Will.

WILL: Not without a heater and some serious smelling salts, no...

SEAN: That's what I'm saying, Will. You'll never have that kind of relationship in a world where you're afraid to take the first step because all you're seeing are the negative things that might happen ten miles down the road.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Kirukkalgal....

"Never judge a book by its cover"
First impressions do count for a lot with me..But thanks to SP, I’ve learnt to be non-judgmental so there have been more than a few occasions when my perceptions of a person have drastically changed after knowing them over a period of time.. But seldom has it happened that someone I knew very well did something that was totally unexpected...something that made me feel so insignificant and worthless. Yesterday was one of those rare, rare occasions...

AN, I know blood is thicker than water and I can understand what you must have gone through..And believe it or not, whatever happened in the past is not something even I am proud of.. And considering things have been anything but amicable these last 18 months, it was very brave of you to do what you did yesterday. While most of us (me included) would have been more than content sorting it out over phone or mail, I really appreciate the trouble you took to apologise in person... Mebbe there is something I can learn from this..Sorry I could not join for dinner but I hope the food at Casa Picola was good :-)

Moving on.....Was sieving through some really old mails yesterday night and chanced to see one from Pranav, my roomie and best buddy from SP days..Pranav, as my batchmates from SP will testify, was the quintessential charmer - a guy no gal could resist.. And this was partly due to his varied interests like walking (there are no bylanes in Andheri where he hasn't left his footprints alongwith the "season's flavor"), guitar and horoscopy.. I can't think of a single woman who hasn't shown him her palm, had her future read and then accepted to go out for a dinner/movie date with him :-)) Chalo bahut tareef kar diya..The mail which I saw yesterday was one in which he seems to have actually devoted some time in reading and analyzing my kundali :-) And you know what, he has predicted that I will get married by Feb 2005 :D Since the customer is late today, I was joking about this to Tom and surprise of all surprises, this is her take on this...

"Kaise aashiq ho aap? Aakhir intezaar bhi koi cheez hoti hai........Aashiq to woh hote hain jo kahe... "Tu aa mat, par aane ka wada to kar..............hum tere intezaar mein hi jilenge"

Arre waah waah.... Waaki Chhupa Rustom nikle aap...Lets compile a book of ur shaayris, Tom, and have a reading session at Crosswords...ROFLLLL :D

Ok, onto some serious stuff now...Raksha Bandhan is around the corner and I've yet again run short of ideas for gifting.. Have two adorable cousins, Vardini and Janani who are absolute dahlings.. so junta, suggestions plssssssssss..

And yes.. Sibeee, Senjey, Sendosh, Enend, Dheevya and all my Mellu frends... Onam Aashamsagal……………Thanks Bhabhi for the coaching classes :-)

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Random Ruminations

World Tennis magazine once described the "perfect tennis player " as having the arms of Martina Navaratilova, the hands of Stefan Edberg, the shoulders of Gabriela Sabatini, the torso of Ivan Lendl, the mind of Michael Chang... and the legs of Steffi Graf. I happened to catch some repeat footage of Federer's Wimbledon triumph this year and its time they redefined this "perfect tennis player" In fact the best quote I’ve heard about Roger came from Vijay Amritraj during this year's championship "Federer is extremely fluent in 5 different languages besides tennis"

Moving on....After Harsha Bhogle, its now Gayatri Iyer..

What would you call a person who completes her MBA studies from a top institute like IIM, Lucknow and instead of going for a stable job gives up everything in favour of music? Definitely a music freak! Yes, that's what you can describe the 20-something years old Gayatri Iyer. Despite no family background in music, Gayatri has risen today to be one of the most promising voices of the film industry, having sung for composers like Anu Malik, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Anand Raaj Anand & Himesh Reshammiya....read more....

Dunno much about the songs she has sung so far but she sure is a looker...And her tresses...*sigh* ...If only i had scraped through L and not landed up @ SP :-P

Ouimaaa... Just back from lunch and chanced to meet TV now..Its been quite sometime since we caught up and has he put on weight (now looks whos saying that) 3 minutes into our conversation, we got down to talking about the greatest binding factor between us: Cow-Bull :-p CB, as i delight in explaining is a true test of one's vocabulary and analytical abilities. The way it is played is as follows:

Player A thinks of a five letter word say FLIRT. Player B has to guess this word within 20 chances. He starts off with guessing BRAVE. Player A compares BRAVE with FLIRT. In case there are any common alphabets in the same position he counts then as 1 bull and if the same alphabet is present in a different position then its counted as 1 cow. After comparing all five alphabets, as in this case, he comments that its 1B 1C (I in same position and R in different positions). Then Player B guesses CLEAN. Player A responds by saying 1B....And this goes on till the 20 chances are up or the word is cracked

(FLIRT)

DRIVE - 1B 1C
CLEAN - 1B
HOUND - Nil
SLATE - 1B 1C
FIEND - 1B 1C


(Note: this is where analytical skills comes into play - a casual look at guesses 1, 2, 4 and 5 could easily mislead one to believe that E is definitely there..)
.
.
.
.
FLIRT - 5B (game over)

Rules:
The word to be cracked should have no repeating alphabets since the clue then given will not be unique as to which repeated occurrence it is referring to. Another rule that is religiously followed is only common names - no proper names.

Now why all this hullabaloo about Cow-Bull.. Coz i don't think there is anyone on planet Earth who plays (or atleast used to) this game better than me... TV, who introduced me to this game, was good but i was always a notch better. Together there has not been a single word we haven't cracked..OUIJA included :-)) Raising a toast to you, TV, for discovering the champion in me :-))

Susie Derkins, I simply loved that JPEG u created..so am taking the liberty of uploading it here.. Danka :-)




Tis a pity it doesn't show up well :-( To get a clearer viewclick on the image

Current mood: Lazy
Current music: Suna Na from Jhankaar Beats

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Yet another sob story

Avan nokinaan avalum nokinaal...Kangalum kangalum kathisandai pottukondana. A few darting glances – a shy smile – but then she turned away. He looked down at the magazine in his hand and tried to concentrate on the statistics staring at him – for the fourth time…in vain…What stared back at him were not numbers but images of her. (Business World never ever made sense to him anyway) He could even hear his heart thumping and smell the sweet perfume wafting from her seat …His heart ached…. Was this the “real thing”.. Peeking from the corner of his eyes, he chanced to see her open a book. “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”.. He felt a strange warmth….this woman was intelligent and classy... Last week she had been listening to Tchaikovsky... He felt giddy….And then he caught her stealing a quick look at him.. His joy knew no bounds. This had to be it. And then it happened….Her eyebrows twitched up and she let a collective gasp of relief.. She silently chided herself for something and then turned and gave him a look... A look that he was only all too familiar.. A look that clearly said
Yes, now I know who he looks like….my boyfriend’s best friend XXX…

Yet another love story nipped in the bud... Yet another dream quashed at the start :-)

Dedicated to Susie - my loyal reader cum virulent critic :-) Idhu eppdirukku ?

Points to ponder

Its the year of Presidential elections in the US and nothing is more fascinating than following press reports in nations more interested in the outcome that the average Joe on the streets of Manhattan. While India has still not made its preference clear (the typical Nehruvian indecisiveness) most of Europe save USA-B (Blair speaking in the House of Commons is increasingly sounding like Bush's stooge) seem to have no qualms in openly rooting for Kerry. More interestingly our friendly neighbours China and Pakistan have chosen to remain totally neutral and seem to be playing their cards really close to their chest. Talking of Pakistan, barring the Khaleej times which seems to have a lot of Indian writers, nothing from across the border leads me to believe that journalists are given a free hand at work. Most of the writing is insipid and reeks of a strong offical stance - makes me wish i had rather picked up GOST (yaaawn yaaawn)

The Olympics: Politics, the fake bike accident, dope scandals and India's lousy performance nothwithstanding, i think Athens has been a good show so far. Major Rathore and India's first silver in ages, Micheal Phelps' rich gold haul in swimming, India's hockey match against Australia, Japan's tremendous surge as a sports superpower and Gebrsellasie beaten in the 10000m have been the higlights so far..If only Anju George wins a medal, it would go a long way in salvaging something for us...

Am feelin' very hungry now...which reminds me..Was lunchin' yesterday at T8 FF and was unfortunate enough to get a seat overlooking the lake and lawns below.. 'Unfortunate' because from my vantage point all i could observe were couples and more couples.. Some lovey dovey sharing food from the same plate, same holding hands and walking ON the grass and some staring at each others eyes and dreamin' :-) Aaj kal this workplace is becoming more and more of a park/resort..Does nebody even work here other than me? As i was in deep contemplation, sensing the reason behind my prolonged silence of 7 secs (do i speak so much?) Kau asked me if i was jealous. (The bugger's getting more n more nosy..or am i becoming more n more predictable) Needless to say, i laughed away his question but hey, am i really J... Hmmmm.. Maybe :D

Current mood: Pensive
Current music: Beethoven's 9th Symphony

"For seven and a half years I've worked alongside President Reagan. We've had triumphs. Made some mistakes. We've had some sex ... uh ... setbacks."
--Vice President George Bush

"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe."
- Governor George W. Bush, Jr.

Like father, like son :-)

Monday, August 23, 2004

Yet another silver for India...

...at the (Wipr)Olympics :-) Curious? Read on.. Warning: Modesty was never ever my strength so if u've had enough of me bragging about my tall achievements in previous posts, this is exactly where you stop reading.

Since you have chosen to continue, you are either seriously interested in my exploits (extremely unlikely) or you are just plain nosy..Either way i like you :-) Remember i mentioned sometime back that i used to be a quizzer. One fact i forgot to mention then was that though i won my first quiz in Std 6, i didn't win any after that :-D So in effect, that was probably my only ever single-handed quiz victory. (Team wins don't count much esp: when you are just another cog in the wheel) Why this confession now one may ask? I am just trying to build credibility before i make the astounding statement that is to follow now.

Today, I've just become the second best quizzer amongst 31700 people :-))) The Masaki Nagaos, Richard Garnicks, Werner Goertzs and Walter Oertmullers have all been crushed... Lemme explain.. Suno na.. plsssss.. Havta tell someone...We had this 'Xpose the Pix' online contest last wednesday (whoever coined this term needs a crash course in copyrighting) where photographs of three famous Olympians, their sport and national flag were supposed to be revealed in 4 steps. And hey, i got all 3 right with the first set of clues itself. (pat on my own back) All those afternoons of playing A QUESTION OF SPORT finally paid off. Quite honestly, I thought my knowledge of the Olympics was pathetic but people around me seem to be worse. Anyway a win is a win and i am on top of the world - well almost except that there is this one bugger above me... How i would dearly love to murder him :-)) Neway waiting now for the Internal mail announcing the winners which should catapult me to celebrity status :-)) My phone is gonna keep ringing and the mails are gonna flow in like crazy.. sha la la la...

ps: I wrestled with the notion of disabling comments for this post since i am sure there are certain elements who will say mean things ;-) But then i also love fan mail so u know-wot-to-do now.. Be nice to me and fill the comments section with feel-good compliments (Jupe, u r sooooo shameless)

The perfect Sunday

What a nice way to start off a holiday - woke up only at 9 am and watched all the movie countdowns - Raj, Sun, Vijay..everyone of them :-p Uske baad left for my cousin's place where I had one of the best lunches for a looong loong time - Tom, here's that long pending mention in my blog - ur vengaya sambhar was supero super :-)) Then drove down with them post-lunch to check out their newly purchased flat ..Since theirs was still under construction, chanced to see the model flat...Exquisite decor, lovely furnishings, excellent woodwork, matching curtains and cushions in the spacious bedrooms..Baap re, the house looked more like the executive suite of a plush Five Star hotel..Hmmmm...

...how can a Sunday be complete without the mandatory evening movie..Caught up with Rads who had just moved into B'lore for her third rotation in Wipro-GE.. Now Rads is one of the few women I really respect(ed) in my batch..Doesn't speak much but when she does, makes a lot of sense..Can't say that about most of my batchmates, can I :D Neways after booking tickets to see Shrek2, we had an hour to while away so chatted up over coffee where she filled me in on her career and impending marriage finally ending up gossiping abt other "interesting ppl" in GE :-)

The movie itself was an absolute riot and I don't remember enjoying anything as much as I did here :-) Rib-tickling one liners, heart warming senti, superb animation, intelligent screenplay... There was even the typical Bollywoodish triangle: the ethereal Princess Fiona, the handsome but obviously stupid Prince Charming and the fugly but true Shrek :-) name it and the movie had it all..My only grouse was that the garrulous "Donkey" didn't get to hog all the limelight, "Puss-in-boots" with voice-over by a delightful Antonio Banderas got that honor. And hey, watch out for the simply rollicking soundtrack - especially Livin la Vida Loca and Ever fallen in love... I guess its a fair statement to say that Shrek2 is as lively and entertaining as Shrek1 and doesn't that say a lot..

If all this wasn't enough for the day, then Boro vs Arsenal on ESPN just rounded off what was a memorable Sunday. Winning is everything - granted... but there are ways of winning.. There is the Chelsea way of scraping off 1-0 results and then there is the Arsenal way of turning on the style.. Though I would dearly love my Men in Blue to win the League this year, I have no doubt anyone would grudge the Gunners another year at the top if they play as well as they did yesterday at Highbury.. Trailing Boro 1-0 at halftime and 3-1 later in the second half, Arsenal came out all guns firing and Pires, Henry, Bergkamp and co: wove their web of magic to seal the match at 5-3. Its 42 matches now without a loss and everyone says they havta lose somewhere down the line.. I don't see it happening in the near future... Not if they play like they did yesterday... Wowwwwwwwwwwwww !


Saturday, August 21, 2004

Up and Down and Up...

What a day its been so far...Never knew i could go through such a varied range of emotions all within 24 hours.. Hold it.. make that 16 hrs coz theres still some part of the day left..

Woke up at 6 am...An upset stomach...Paes and Lee lost 16-14 in the final set.. I was totally gutted.. the day coudn't have started worse, right?? Since i was expecting some visitors i could not even go out..Rent a movie?? The Manchurian Candidate was not available - the strike is still on so Fida and Shrek2 were ruled out...Signs and divine intervention be damned - Need to move on.. So caught up with Hum Tum...finally...

But Hulllo... Wot was all that hulla about...The movie is no great shakes.. Okie, I have never visited Amsterdam, Paris or New York and really appreciate being taken on a tour of these places for a cool Rs 15..But hey, shooting a movie abroad just because the producer had a 20 crore budget is plain juvenile.. Cmon boss, kahaani mein locations ka bhi significance aur contribution hota hai..

Some other random observations.. Abey yaar, why on earth did Rani have to mess up with her hair style in the first half - short hair is an absolute no-no with me :-(((( Why do women get so worked up when men open their purses/bags? (Ms Murthy, any answers??) Did the movie really need those supposedly funny animated characters? What in the name of Jesus H Christ was AB(Jr) doing in that guest appearance? And those lousy jokes stolen straight from the Internet...I could go on and on...But ya, its only fair that i also mention what i liked about the movie..Saif was cool, the blizzards of Paris were awesome, Kiron Kher and Rishi Kapoor were cho chweet, Jatin-Lalit's music fit the mood - even "Chuck De Chuck De" sounded tolerable ...Where was i... Ya, besides these i thought DING DONG was cute and that imaginary arranged marriage conversation was very mushy ;-) Okie, lets get this outta the way.. The movie is a mized bag.. 3 stars out of 5 but still... When Harry Met Sally rocks.. and will always rock.. Meg Ryan..ahem

*sigh*

Why am i here in office (K2 thankfully) on a Saturday afternoon..Got stood up for an evening "date" so checking mails and trying to get someone to chat with me.. Sins of the past seem to be catching up!! Hello, India lost to the Kiwis in hockey ?? Why do my prophecies always come true? And whats this - Sachin will miss the whole of the Videocon Cup - Yesssss...this means DK will play..Go Tambi Go !!

Yippeee.. Just got a mail from a dear old friend and its good news..na..great news..It seems to be the season of children everywhere. After Tom told me about how Ashish and Twinkle had adopted a kid, another friend of mine Vaibhav has finally gone ahead and found the one for him..Its been 3 years since i saw him months before his wedding and we've been in touch only over mails exchanging notes on orphanages - I haven't even dropped in to have bhabhi's khaana so no chance of becoming the kid's godfather :-( Hey, did i forget to mention that the kid's name is Avantika and she's just 2.5 yrs - Ram uncle can't wait to see her :-))) Anyway gotta ask him how he went about doing it..Maybe i should give it one last shot.... Hmmmm...

Just read some reports in the press that Fida has had a decent opening.. God God pls let it stay so..Let Ken Ghosh do well..G, i hope u r praying for us.

Its started drizzling again.. and i feel like going out and having garma garam vada paav and cutting chai and then a small dance in the rain like Revathy does in MR :-) Or maybe i should just go home and listen to AAO NA.. Sadhna Sargam simly rocks in the sargam *sigh* should have learnt music :-( Neway...

Ge Ge Re, Ge Ge Re, Ge Re Ge Me Ge Re
Re Re Sa, Re Re Sa, Ni Sa Ni
Ghunji Si Hai Sari Fiza Jaise Bajti Ho Shehnaiyaan
Leherati Hai Mehki Hawa Gungunati Hain Tanhaiyaan
Sab Gaate Hain Sab Hi Madhosh Hain
Hum Tum Kyun Khamosh Hain
Saaz - E- Dil Chedo Na
Chup Ho Kyun Gaavon Na
Aao Na.. Ao Na... Aao Na... Aao Na...

Tan Man Mein Kyun Aise Behti Huyi
Thandi Si Ik Aag Hai
Saason Mein Hai Kaisi Yeh Ragini
Dhadkan Mein Kya Raag Hai
Yeh Hua Kya Humein Hum Ko Samjhaoo Na...(2)

Sab Gaate Hain ...Khamosh Hain
Dil Mein Jo Baatein Hai
Hoton Pe Laoo Na
Aao Na... Aao Na...

Ab Koi Duri Na Uljan Koi
Bas Ek Ikrar Hai
Ab Na Kahin Hum Na Tum Hd Kahin
Bas Pyaar Hi Pyaar Hai
Sun Sako Dhadkane Itne Paas Aao Na...(2)
Sab Gaatein ...Khamosh Hain

Ab Mere Sapno Pe Tum Hi Tum Chahoo Na
Aao Na... Aao Na... Aao Na....

Ghunji Si Hai ...Gungunati Hain Tanhaiyaan ......Aao Na Aao Na....

Friday, August 20, 2004

SE7EN.1

The lone bulb at the far end of the corridor flickered dimly..There was an eerie silence in the whole wing - save the constant humming of the washing machine.

Thank God, its finally back - my pile of dirty clothes has almost assumed Himalayan heights but all that can wait till tomorrow. There are better things lined up for the evening...

Sauntering back into the room, I checked my watch for the seventeenth time (or was it eighteenth) and could not believe it was already half past eight. What was holding her...Women were so stupid..Pranav will be back any moment now and he'll take over the computer - things have to be finalized before that.

With one eye firmly fixated on the icon at the bottom right corner of the monitor, I tried in vain to scan through the newspapers to see if any new restaurant or eatery had sprung up in the neighborhood where we could eat out tonight.

Knock Knock

“Who’s that?”
“Abbey saaley, door kholna.. kya kar raha hai ?”


The last thing I wanted now was a mad Bengali and his post-mortem on what had gone wrong a few hours ago.

“Dada, I know we should have gone all out in those last few minutes but I hope u remember that it was raining hard and I was slipping so often.”
“Open the damn door, man.”
“No way Dada.. See, I know we should have won but I did my best.”
“I wasn't gonna talk about it now - I wanted to ask when we are leaving for dinner. “
“Sorry but I have a date for the evening. ”
“You dumping me? ”
“Not the way I see it.. I made these plans much earlier.. Now goooooooooo. ”
“Who’s the bitch ? ”
“Buzz off mate. ”
“*()&*(^&(*%^%&”


Creeping stealthily towards the door and affording myself a quick peek, I checked to see if Dada had left.

*sigh*

The football match earlier in the evening had been a total disaster till the last few minutes - by sheer bad luck we had drawn to play without Tee shirts and within few minutes of the start, OPS had scored.. and then it started pouring. The soggy pitch and the very physical defensive tactics employed by the opposition had only added to my woes. I kept slipping at crucial moments and muffed an easy tap-in. To make matters worse, she had been watching this all along from the sidelines. Damn. Never one to break her Wednesday evening routine at the library, why was she here today. Half time had come and gone in a flash and we were soon staring at the barrel of defeat. It was Now or Never.

Minutes before the end we had earned a free kick just outside the D. As our best man Tanmay lined up to take it, I had positioned myself at the far post knowing his ability to hit the ball a long way. And just as I had expected, the ball floated long and deep towards me..Rising up in the air to deflect it towards goal, I suddenly saw the huge frame of a defender ahead of me. Left with no option, I produced the faintest of nudges at just the right moment, one that would have made Nesta or Cannavaro proud, and before anyone could say Gezhundheit, the defender came crashing down, the ball hit my forehead and landed at the back of the net. The opposition protested but the referee stayed put and the goal counted. A few minutes later the final whistle sounded a draw - while everyone trooped off dejectedly since the result meant IM winning the Cup, I was secretly thrilled that I had redeemed myself in front of her eyes.

Bang Bang Bang

”Oh gawd.. Who’s that ?”
”It’s me Pranav..Are you asleep ? I have been pounding at this door for the last two minutes. Is everything alright ? ”

Dragging myself off the computer, I ambled towards the door and opened to let my room mate in. Not so surprisingly, he had brought along a huge pile of books. Nerd.

”Hey, you not going out for dinner ? ”
”I am expecting an important message on IP - just lemme know will ya... ”
i said avoiding a direct reply.

Settling down into my bed, I pondered over the way events had shaped up the last few days. The OB project grades had come out the day before (Yet another paper where Pranav had topped -its getting so boring) and though I had just managed to scrape a B-, she had come over and discussed in detail the feedback we had all received. And then all those smiles she had been throwing at my smart observations during our field trips - surely they meant something.. Besides there was also the coffee she had treated me at Barista..Well, my entire Marketing group - Saakshi, Shrikant and Pranav - had been there but still didn't she choose to sit besides me..And she definitely seemed interested in me...After all, she had good taste..We would make a good pair, Ms. Pretty-n-Intellectual and Mr. Funny-n-Smart :-) But no way was I gonna make the first move. Let her.. and i am pretty sure its gonna be today..She was there at the game after all.

”Finallyyyyyyyyyy”

Rudely stirred from my deep thoughts, I woke up to see an excited Pranav typing away furiously at the computer

”All fine ? ”
”Yayaya..Looks like the fish has taken the bait.. ”
”I don't get it.. ”
”Check out this conversation”

PranavKhanna: What the hell makes you so smart?
Lets-talk-business: I wouldn’t go for coffee with you
PranavKhanna: Listen - I wouldn’t ask you
Lets-talk-business: That is what makes you stupid
”I still don't get it... ”
”U r pretty dumb, aren't you.. Those are exact lines from LOVE STORY.. ”
”Shucks..so cheesy... ”
”Dude, u r not really getting it, are u ? I think I just got myself a date with the most desirable one on campus.. Yesssssssssss.. Check this”

PranavKhanna: :-) Thanks so when and where ?? :-)
Lets-talk-business: 9:15, GH ke saamne and I prefer the Juhu wala Barista ;)
”Whatever man..I don’t like such mushy crap.. Where did u learn all this ? I thought all u ever did was read books.. ”
”What books do u think I read in the library ;-) ”
”Neway all the best for your date with whoever this Lets-talk-business is... ”
”Thanks dude...I am sure Preeti and I will have a rollicking time.. ”
”Wait...Who did you say you were going out with... ”
Preeti.. Kyuun ? ”
Preeti Mehra??”
”You know any other in campus??”
“Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !!”

The Numbers Series - Part 3

15 more posts to go so i need to tie up all loose ends.. so for starters let me finish this series..

4 pick up lines that DEFINITELY do NOT work :-p

* Bond. James Bond.

* Well, I'm here. What's your second wish?

* Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?

* I bet you 100 bucks you're gonna turn me down.

psst: now don't ask me what works ;-)

3 Hobson's choices I've faced...

* When my friends ask me to order either Bhendi Masala or Palak Panneer (saw THE LOUNGE yday and Karan Johar says he hates Bhendi too.. am not so sure i wanna be in such illustrious company now)

* When ZED decides to go on a date but insists on me helping him decide between the PINK and the YELLOW shirt

* When i've had to choose between WWF in Ten Sports and Chess in DD Sports (ESPN-Star black out time)

2 Little Johnny jokes that rock

Little Johnny came into the kitchen where his mother was making dinner. His birthday was coming up and he thought this was a good time to tell his mother what he wanted for his birthday.

"Mom, I want a bike for my birthday".

Little Johnny was a bit of a troublemaker. He had gotten into trouble at school and at home. Johnny's mother asked him if he thought he deserved to get a bike for his birthday. Little Johnny, of course, thought he did. Johnny's mother, being a Christian woman, wanted Johnny to reflect on his behavior over the last year.

"Go to your room, Johnny, and think about how you have behaved this year. Then write a letter to God and tell him why you deserve a bike for your birthday."

Little Johnny stomped up the steps to his room and sat down to write God a letter.

Letter 1:
Dear God,
I have been a very good boy this year and I would like a bike for my birthday. I want a red one.
Your friend,
Johnny

Johnny knew that this wasn't true. He had not been a very good boy this year so he tore up the letter and started over.

Letter 2:
Dear God,
this is your friend Johnny. I have been a pretty good boy this year and I would like a red bike for my birthday. Thank you.
Your friend,
Johnny

Johnny knew that this wasn't true either so he tore up the letter and started again.

Letter 3:
Dear God,
I have been an "OK" boy this year. I still would really like a red bike for my birthday.
Johnny

Johnny knew he could not send this letter to God either so he wrote another letter.

Letter 4:
Dear God,
I know I haven't been a good boy this year. I am very sorry. I will be a good boy if you just send me a red bike for my birthday. Please! Thank you.
Johnny

Johnny knew, even if it was true, this letter was not going to get him a bike. By now Johnny was very upset. He went downstairs and told his Mom that he wanted to go to church. Johnny's mother thought her plan had worked, as Johnny looked very sad.

"Just be home in time for dinner," she told him.

Johnny walked down the street to the church on the corner. Little Johnny went into the church and up to the altar. He looked around to see if anyone was there. Johnny bent down and picked up a statue of the Virgin Mary. He slipped it under his shirt and ran out of the church, down the street, into the house, and up to his room. He shut the door to his room and sat down with a piece of paper and a pen. Johnny began to write his letter to God.

Letter 5:
God, I
've got your mama. If you want to see her again, send the bike. Signed
You Know Who.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
" Little Johnny - I Like Your Thinking "
A teacher asks her class, "If there are 5 birds sitting on a fence and you shoot one of them, how many will be left?"She calls on little Johnny.
He replies, "None, they all fly away with the first gun shot"
The teacher replies, "The correct answer is 4, but I like your thinking."
Then, Little Johnny says "I have a question for YOU. There are three women sitting on a bench having ice cream: One is delicately licking the sides of the triple scoop of ice cream. The second is gobbling down the top and sucking the cone. The third is biting off the top of the ice cream. Which one is married?"
The teacher, blushing a great deal, replied "Well I suppose the one that's gobbled down the top and sucked the cone"
To which Little Johnny replied, "The correct answer is the one with the wedding ring on, but I like your thinking."

1 small message for my readers
You must all be really vela if you had the patience to come down till this one here but still here i go.. Love u folks !!


Thursday, August 19, 2004

Mars vs. Venus

If Men are from Mars, then Women (esp my dear mom) are definitely from Venus. Been reading my first book in this series written by Allan and Barbara Pease about how men and women are different and reflecting a lot to see if these sweeping generalisations make any sense to me...and guess what - U bet, they do. Narrated below are some of the choicest exchanges that have occurred at home this last one month :-)

"So you have a lot of friends whose B'day is in August?"
To be read as: There are 8 Birthday cards lying in the room unused - why don't u send them to people (i have this fetish for good cards)
Hmmm!

Pranav gifted you that lovely coffee mug - You should take it to office and use it.
Mommmmmmm, I love that mug and i love Pranav too - of course in a totally assexual way !! But that mug can hold 1 litre - wot will ppl think if i take it to the pantry - pls try and understand!

My god - half your wardrobe is BLUE...Btw, do u realise that there are certain shirts i have never seen you wear - and its been a month now - if you didnt like them, why did u buy them?
(to myself) (^&*%^$^$)(&(

Dei, that lipstick and nail polish you brought from SP after convocation, wots it still doing here - shall i give it away to Aunty X's kids?
Noooooooooooooooooo
Then why dont u dispose of it?
(sheepishly) I might need it when I find someone :-)
Ayyo paavum andha ponnu !

Okie, all those magazines in the second rack, some of those BWs are a year old - if you aren't reading them now why dont u put them in a carton and throw it in the loft. Saves space and looks neater too.
Ufffffffffff

Why do i see books on that rack near your bed? Don't we have such a big book rack?
But Mom..i read them every night.. there is no need to keep them back along with the rest of the books..and pls, same with the walkman too..Why does every damn thing have to be so goddamn organised?

There is so much i need to teach you - your bed sheets have to match your pillow covers - see how nice they look now..
(*&*(^&*%^$^$&$ - like it matters..
Did you say something?
No

That fourth rack in the showcase - do you need that last bit of gift wrapping paper, what about that chart sheet - surely u dont plan to stick those Bollywood heroine posters on them and hang them on the wall... and hey, what are all these Planet M bags doing here.. Can i use them for hanging it out for the milkman to drop the packets ?
Tell me honestly, if i am of no use to you for a few days, will you throw me out :-p


I know all this sounds like a crib but believe me it isnt.. One doesn't know the value of things until one starts missing them. One just doesn't need to do an MBA to become a good manager - one just needs to be born as a woman. Mom, the maid servant hasn't come for the last 3 days and the hall looks like a pig sty, i couldn't find spoons to have dinner yesterday, the geyser seems to have broken down yet again and all my kerchiefs are missing. SAVE MY SOUL - Come back ASAP.... All is forgiven :-(((

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Chaos... Utter chaos...

Cold bedroom...Ustad Allarakha cassette????? No morning coffee...Will Paes and Bhupathi win??? Sunaina rocks...No mail from Ohio...Boring job...Lousy start to day....7G Rainbow colony...not Exams again...17 more before i shut this down..I hate internal MSN since i can't customise my status messages...IP2TEL and VoIP solutions...Lovely fwd...phone call from Chennai..Life is beautiful..found out one more smart function in excel..online French and Mallu....Wait, i've got mail..Wipro is the best...Sachin Mulay...Ayyyoooo...

Rs 500 given, Rs 20 South Indian, balance Rs 480...Its raining again, wish i smoked...laptop charge is low...Can i take a break? Nooooooo...call up Strand book stall...Someone please come online on YM...call from Mohnish.. wow, some decent stuff at last..Ash sizzles in Shabd.. who cares...Popcorn Khao mast ho jao...POP CORN...stupid Nasser...Amazing Mohanlal.... Kilukkam... Back to Frost and Sullivan report... Shouldn't i fill my GnOs atleast today? Found it before Kau - She's Nikita..not Nitika..Next is Julia...Shucks, back to farming and hunting.. Conf call at 6 pm... waitttttttt... cancelled? yesssssssssssss...

When was the last time i left at 6 pm...Pick up Ajay's Caliber..Havta shop at Foodworld tonight..Phelps vs Thorpedo vs Hoogie....Rava idli....more reading up on Mars vs. Venus.... Damnnnnnnn...forgot to book tickets for Pondicherry..Locker keys mil gaye...version 1.8 of "the mail" looks OK..yeh mera prem patr padkar ke tum naaraaz ...Gagan Ajit scored... thank God...Friends time... Yippeeee...DD Sports commentary sucks...The Indian express are playing...Allez India allez...uffff, its 1:30...ET padna hai kya? You need someone older and wiser...i am 17, going on 18...yaaawn...lights off.. Zzzzzzzzzzzz

One more day of meaningless existence in this planet...will things be better in Saturn?

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Kyuun!! Ho Gaya Na...

...is one of those movies

* whose basic storyline has been beaten to death a million times before but is still finding takers

* which has no strong reasons for being recommended but is still a must-watch for insufferable romantics like me

* that is high on gloss but lacking soul

* that is filled with lighter moments that will have make you *smile* but fails whenever it tries to get the viewer emotionally involved

* which has a very pretty heroine and an extremely endearing hero who unfortunately do not share great screen chemistry

* where the sum of the parts is much lesser than the whole

The Waah Waahs

# Yes, the much publicized on screen smooch between the real life lovebirds is very much there but is thankfully very aesthetically treated :-p

# SEL's music simply rocks.. Since I have already gone ga-ga here, will give this one a skip now

# Vivek Oberoi as Arjun is totally at ease as the easy-going, bratty cynic while veterans like Om Puri, Rati Agnihotri and Tinnu Anand lend ample support

# Aish's lovely, curly tresses as seen here or here or here.... :-)

# The dialogues (Vivek shares the credits here) are witty, winsome and sometimes downright sentimental - chk this out "Pyaar ke liye waqt ki nahin sirf ek lamhe ki zaroorat hai"

# The camerawork and choreography for the songs is captivating

# The follow-up to the Birthday party scene is mind-blowing - this is one scene where both Ash and Vivek were totally in their elements.


The Naah Naahs

# AB as Raj Uncle in his over-the-top comic avatar , Aishwarya "Mannequin" Rai as Diya and the Suneil Shetty cameo

# The very slow screenplay

# 15 minutes of madness after the interval at the orphanage

# the highly melodramatic Queen of Sheba game in the pre-climax

# the highly irritating product placements - Castrol GTX and Ceat


What left me pondering...

?? Wasn't it brave of Diya to have bared her heart to Arjun without knowing how he felt about her?

?? Seeing no response from Arjun, was Diya right in running away without seeking the truth?

?? Was it fair on Arjun's part to not let go and follow Diya back?

...so many more questions... Kyuun!! ho gaya na..mein senti :-)

Monday, August 16, 2004

Independence Day evening movies - a roundup

After visiting a newly married friend yesterday evening, I left my damn mobile at their place and discovered to my chagrin that the lovey dovey pair had taken off for a movie-dinner outing. Since most of my contacts/friends info was stored in it, all plans for the evening were ruined. (Baddy, am really sorry) Trudging back home disconsolate, I ordered food in and switched on telly for yet another of those loooong couch-potato sessions. Besides alternating between the Olympics, EPL footer and cricket, I managed to see almost 5 movies...and here's my take on them..

Zee Cinema: HAHK
Chaahe public kuch bhi bole, mast picture hai yaar..I love HAHK. Yes, it has most of the character artistes I dearly despise - that sugary Alok Nath, that horrible hammer Anupam Kher, that goody-goody Reema Lagoo and that godawful Mohnish Behl.. But what works for HAHK is without any doubt the wonderful screen chemistry between the lead pair - the almost dreamlike romance between Madhuri (who is as beautiful in this film as anyone could ever look) and Sallu. Other honorary mentions that contribute to making HAHK a classic would have to be the wonderful songs (that song..Pehla Pehla pyaar hai..*sigh*), Sooraj Barjatya's deft direction and the absolutely incredible feel-good factor associated with almost every damn scene. Hey, the bhabhi character of Renuka Shahane was also awesome - is somebody listening? ;-)

Zee: Deewar
Critics panned it for the shabby treatment of a topic as sensitive as PoW..The box office receipts were not so flattering as it failed to evoke the passion of a nation which is so used to jingoistic fare like GADAR..And so Deewar landed up on Zee yesterday night. Though I had seen the movie at the halls a month back, I could not hold back from seeing portions of it again. And no prizes for guessing why. Sanjay Dutt. Awesome. As the tongue-in-cheek criminal with a serious identity crisis, Dutt delivers a sterling performance proving yet again that he is one of Bollywood's most versatile actors. Akshaye Khanna is passable and KK Menon is good but not as good as he was in Chhal. And well, AB is AB. No comments :-)

Jaya TV: Kaadhal Virus
Lousy - absolutely lousy - after that wonderful Idhayam, its been steadily downhill for Kadhir and Kadhal Virus is proof that the man needs a break. Someone needs to tell him that big budgets and super hit songs do not make a successful movie. Which brings us to the music of KV - for me, it has two of ARRs best tunes..That lilting Sonnaalum Ketpadhillai sung so evocatively by Unnikrishnan and SPBs soulful Vaazhga Vaazhga..

Sun TV: Citizen
I used to be a big fan of ULTIMATE STAR Ajith till Dhanush arrived on the scene.. So couldn’t resist catching glimpses of this flick yesterday evening. Ajith and his super pot belly, Nagma and that horribly dubbed voice, Vasundhara Das's trance like expression for every scene - did I have a laugh?

HBO: Big Daddy
Agreed..Adam Sandler can be loud and sometimes obnoxious too but then this is a guy who has kinda grown on me..Though he has re-invented himself off late with sober and gentler versions (I loved 50 First Dates...don't go sheeeeeeeesh), its funny to go back and see some of his older movies.. Big Daddy, released in 2000 I suppose, was one of his earlier hits where Sandler plays a straight talking loser with a heart of gold. As usual the gags are dumb, even gross and have lotsa sexual connotations but coming from Sandler, it doesn’t quite horrify the viewer. The kid (actually "kids" since two identical twins played the role) playing Sandler's adopted son Julian "Frankenstein" is absolutely adorable and the soundtrack rocks too. All in all the movie is fultoo TP.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Just another face in the crowd - 1

They say there is no substitute for a good memory. How about native intelligence and academic excellence? Nay, not at all! Ramkumar says a good memory is a generic trait! (Shrug) No idea but its worked for me, right from childhood to the days of "aptitude tests”! So how does such a vague start about memory lead to a memoir - that's what i intend this to be a part of..someday.

Let me spin the wheel back a bit. In fact, quite a bit back! I had been a bright kid all my life! My mom still recounts how at 5, I could remember the capitals of around 90 countries including Senegal and Puerto Rico :-) I remember winning my first painting competition at 6 - I was no Van Gogh but all I did was painstakingly reproduce what my aunt had drawn for a wall painting in our house - the old Air India Maharaja!

My earliest learning in school occurred when I was in Std 2. It was poetry recitation class and I had some dumb lines to repeat - I had memorized them beautifully but still ended up finishing second best to my closest friend - just because he happened to be related to the teacher. I had learnt my first major lesson. Then there was this lady from Australia who handled Maths for us in Std 3. She had this wonderful way with all of us kids - posted stickers of stars against the name of those students who did well at school each day in the notice board. The winner after each week got a gift too! I still remember how hard I worked to submit my homework on time and neat (that was more challenging) so that I could earn my "stars and stripes".

Life rolled along peacefully for the next four years. I couldn’t have done better. I was on top of the class year after year, was beginning to excel in cricket, was winning cultural competitions throughout town and was the darling of the last benchers - the guys who usually were satisfied with "Aatha Naan Paasaayitaen" translated literally to mean - "Mom , I have somehow managed to pass" (In my days, it was more fashionable to be "accepted" by these guys than to be branded a geek/nerd) At the same time, I was growing up the "normal" way too - traveling with free bus passes, ogling at gals in mini skirts, collecting Big fun runs (anyone remembers?), watching Rajini and Kamal movies and signing other less fortunate students' report cards :-) Barring the occasional drawing exam where I just about managed to pass, (the teacher was now drawing complex landscapes which my simple mind could no longer fathom and memorise), the alarmingly regular comments from teachers that I had bad dressing sense on Saturdays (no uniform on that day) and the occasional scrap when someone poked fun of my "Venkatesh Prasad'ish" express pace bowling, I was having a ball.

This was all too good to be true - but all good things come to an end and along came Mr.Smartass in Std 6! (We’ll name no names since these are real ppl and I don’t want to be sued for libel) His father worked in the Indian railways and he had just been transferred from Bhopal. Needless to say, he was brilliant, hardworking and yes, he had a much better memory too! And so down I came crashing! I finished second best in academics throughout the year - the difference between us widening from a crack in the wall to the Grand Canyon by the end of the year. I gave up on studies feigning interest in cricket and extra-curriculars. And what did Mr.Smartass do? He followed me everywhere and beat me in everything! He didn’t leave till Std 10 and by then I had had enough of him. 8 years later in 2001, I chanced to see him in OUTLOOK and learnt that he had gone on to represent India in the Maths Olympiad, stood 25th in IIT-JEE and was pursuing his PhD at Stanford - Good riddance ;-) However those 3 years taught me the second of Life's invaluable lessons "What goes up has to come down" - I learnt and recognized the value of equanimity !

There is a silver lining in every dark cloud. Those 3 painful years also brought out the rebel in me. I started questioning a lot of facts about life - my teachers were annoyed, my friends were worried but i think my parents understood. It was at that time that I discovered the first love of my life - books! I had been part of the usual growing up - from Noddy to Jataka Tales to the Famous Five and then Hardy boys and Asterix and Tintin...but now I started turning to something meaningful and deep. I remember my first few attempts at reading serious literature were with A Tale of Two cities, Living with the Mahatma, To Kill a mocking bird, The Merchant of Venice ( I remember this distinctly coz I struggled a lot with Shylock's foul language and was na├»ve enough to ask my teacher doubts in L&D class). The more I read, the more I got hooked to books. It became such an obsession that I was soon reading Harold Robbins at night despite being clearly warned by my mom that "it wasn’t the right time" for me! I also ended up spending most of my pocket money buying books from roadside shops where I had the fortune of getting acquainted with the works of diverse geniuses like Leo Tolstoy, O Henry, Fredrick Forsyth and Hugh Hefner ;-)

All the glib talkers in the world will tell you that there are both pros and cons of studying in a co-education. At school, my "socially happening" mates kept cribbing that the pros outnumbered the cons 10 - 1 and how much they hated being holed up in a boy’s school. However at 16, I wouldn’t think of it. For me, women were sissy and a real pain "you know where". Despite having opportunities and a somewhat decent lot to choose from, I could never be bothered to engage in a decent conversation, leave alone relationship, with the fairer sex. All attempts by my close pals to set me up on "dates" were unmitigated disasters. But it was on one memorable day in July, 1994 that I discovered the second love of my life. Two of my best pals with their 4 women (2 guys with 4 women was close to a miracle in those good old days in that small town called Trichy) had fixed up a movie date. Not wanting to leave me alone they had included me in the party too. Much as I didn’t want to go, I chugged along for my friends’ sake. (To eat their popcorn and ice-cream while they cozily shared their dates' popcorn) An hour later, the women could not "tolerate the mind numbing comedy" and requested their dates to take them back home. I stayed back, watched the movie till the end and came back again to see it the next day too. For someone who had seen only Tamil and a few English films (Ben Hur, Bible and Ten commandments thanks to my Christian missionary schooling), it had been a revelation. GOVINDA had arrived and I had found the second love of my life. The movie: Coolie No: 1!

Friday, August 13, 2004

I love life??

Yeaghhhhhhhh..Wanna tear all the hair off my head...Ever felt as if the whole world is out to get you? Ever imagined how it would feel if everything you touched went horribly berserk? Yesterday was one of those days.

One of my pals Di in Chennai was leaving for the US for her higher studies on August 13th and I had made grand plans of dropping in unannounced at the airport to surprise her. Having manipulated things at office somehow to get my boss to allow me to go to Chennai on some official work, I had booked tickets in KPN and then convinced my former room mates to pick me up from Guindy on Friday(today) morning, I was happily reveling in my plans when I got an sms from her at around 6 pm yesterday asking me to wish her ATB for her flight. Rudely jolted, I called up only to find that she was actually leaving in a few hours. Shucks. And what was worse was that she had given me exactly the right details.. August 13th - and I, the fool that I am, had wrongly assumed that she had got it wrong.. Most of the software folks leave on Saturday morning (which is usually assumed to be Friday and hence Aug 13th) and still reach the US on Saturday (flying west saves a day) which still gives them a day to recover from the jet lag before Monday dawns and I had assumed that she was doing the same thing. Unfortunately my assumptions were horribly misplaced and I goofed up. I was so disappointed that it was a terse goodbye over phone :-((

Next it was time to call up my Ex-room mates and tell them I wasn't coming. Unfortunately since I had buggered them all day yesterday over plans for Saturday, one of them had already gone ahead and booked tickets for Vasoolraja MBBS for us. After being at the receiving end of a few choicest expletives, I hung up.

Thoroughly pissed with the turn of events I trudged down to the local CD shop to seek some relief by renting a movie. Julie....I surely wasn't in the mood for that kinda stuff…. Fahrenheit..na.. I finally settled down on Collateral, a movie that debuted at no: 1 at the USBO just last weekeend. I enjoyed 2/3rds of the movie that I saw - hold on - I didn’t mean 80 of the 120 minutes, I meant the two thirds of the pirated print that was visible on screen while I vaguely assumed what was happening on the 1/6th on either side. Not to mention the people who frequently seemed to be getting up and walking out of the cinema hall - GODDAMN.

Did I mention that during one of the Chennai phone calls, I had detached the Netlon and opened my bedroom window to get a better signal and then forgotten to close it thereby letting in a million mosquitoes ? And yeah, the ALL-OUT repellant stock had run out last week so I slept with 3 agarbathis burning throughout the night..And here I am at office finally at 11, not working but venting my anger on a keyboard whose S key seems to be coming off.. Godddddddddddddd save me !

Thursday, August 12, 2004

June, July, August

1999

June
The brand new white Van Heusen shirt stared at me from the corner of my room. The black Allen Solly trouser that hung on the hangar was screaming for my attention. So was the cute tie that I had borrowed from Arul who stayed down the wing. Everything was set except for the most important thing. Me. I was still not sure whether I needed to join the bandwagon. It was the first day of the placement season and Wipro was the company on campus. After a lot of wrangling the CIC reps had managed to open Wipro up for Chemical. Everyone in my class had been gung-ho but the news had meant nothing to me. I was one of those “focused students” who had lived my 2 years in the department praying for that job in either ICI or Reliance. But then someone told me that Wipro’s first round was a written aptitude test. Wanting to test myself against the rest of the guys in my batch, I reluctantly dressed up and appeared for the test. 90 mts later I walked out with a satisfied smug – I knew I had aced it. Mission accomplished. Little did I realize then that it meant I had to appear for the interview.

The OCTAGON is a name that is very famous in Engineering Circles. For the uninitiated, it is RECTs computer centre boasting of one of the finest LANs amongst academic institutions. Though I had shifted to the hostel from my second year under the guise of needing to utilize the OCTA better, I hated computers so much that the only reasons I ever went to the OCTA were to drink water from the cooler, use the remarkably clean Johnny and of course, check PMAIL :-) Imagine my consternation when I was told that my interview was scheduled for around 3 pm at the OCTA.

Preparing myself for a horrible afternoon, I waited patiently outside the interview room whilst student after student went in and returned narrating horror stories of how technical the line of questioning had been. While the rest of my Chemical batchmates (we were 5 who got through) got jittery I was thrilled coz I didn’t see any reason now to botch up deliberately. I realized I just needed to be myself. Finally when my turn came, it was around 5:30 pm – Plainly irritated by the long wait and horribly hungry by now, I went in deciding to get on the offensive. They started off asking me personal questions to which I answered rather indifferently. It was when they got to the technical part that the fun began. They quizzed me on the computer courses that were part of Chemical Engineering - we had done nothing but obviously the CIC rep had lied so I fibbed that I had not chosen any of those electives. They asked me some stupid question in C to which I confessed that I didn’t have a clue to the answer. Then they tried another question which had me equally flabbergasted. I tried to explain that all I knew was BASIC and FORTRAN :-) The goons who had come were either deaf or plain dumb coz the next question was in C++. It was at that point that I gave up and sat back and enjoyed myself. 10 minutes later the interview ended and when they told me I had got 128 out of 140 in the apti (the second highest score on campus) I realized what a fool I had made of myself :-(

July
After that debacle on Day 1, I knew straight away software wasn’t my future. Gave Infosys, IBM, CTS, Newgen, NCR a miss. Three weeks flew by and most of the Computer Science and Electronics guys were placed and only software companies kept coming. I thought it was time to keep in touch with aptitude tests again and so Sonata Software was the next battlefield. Their aptitude test was a refreshing change – 50 questions in 8 minutes. The questions were very simple and it was just a question of speed and accuracy. I attempted 47 and could have got two more except that I got bored 7 minutes into the test. C’mon, finding the odd man out from Monday, Friday, Sunday, January and Saturday wasn’t exactly my idea of an intellectual challenge. Needless to say I made it to the interview shortlist. Not wanting to make an ass of myself, I got updated in the break on details of the company as revealed from their presentation. My interview started off with the usual “Tell me about yourself” crap – after a short and crisp soft selling I was asked a few trivia questions since I had mentioned quizzing as one of my hobbies. They interspersed these personal stuff with a polite question or two in between on software which I muffed as expected. Soon the discussion veered around to cricket and I got a little animated. The climax was when they asked me how much a cricket ball weighed. Eager to impress, I gave them an answer in the FPS system to emphasize that I was a stickler for tradition. They could barely suppress their smiles and the interview was over. Only when I came out did I realize that my answer translated to around 1.1 kg – they must have thought I used a shot put in cricket ;-)

August
A few more software companies came by and I gave them all a pass waiting for my dream technical companies. Things took a turn for the worse the day Reliance and ICI confirmed that they were not coming and that was when I could see Software plastered all over my forehead. Within hours of hearing the bad news, I decided to sit for MBT which was on campus that day. Their aptitude test was modeled on GMAT and they had a very tough verbal section. I did pretty well but for the first time I was not sure I would make it to the interview. The pressure was surely telling and I was a very relieved man when I saw my name on the shortlist. Unfortunately they had short listed almost 24 students and the interviews started at 7 pm. I was slotted for around 10 pm and was getting more and more nervous as people who had finished their interview had nothing but nice things to say about their performance. The panel took their dinner break at 10 pm and there were still a dozen people left. Soon it was 11 and then midnight and I was tired of waiting. We tried convincing them to hold interviews for the rest of the students the next morning but since they had a flight at 8 am they declined the offer. At 1:30 in the morning, the third last candidate came out furious because his interview had been a joke - the technical guy had fallen asleep and the HR lady kept asking the same questions. I was now scared and did not want to get in. We ordered for some hot coffee and sent it in. Twenty minutes later, at around 1:50 am I got in. Thankfully the two interviewers were wide awake – in fact, Juhi Srivastav the plump HR lady was smoking a Marlboro and even offered me one. I went in for the kill and gave what is undoubtedly my best interview till date. I explained in detail about all my extra-curriculars starting from my social service to my culturals to cricket. I also confessed upfront that my software skills were limited but that I was prepared to learn. The technical guy was a Mechanical Engineer turned software engineer and he was all sympathy for me. He asked me a few bare basic tech stuff and I got most of them. After a very satisfying 25 minutes, I walked out confident for the first time about the outcome of an interview. The results were to be declared the next morning and I had a fitful sleep more out of excitement than fear. While most of my batchmates sat for the MASCOT test the next morning, I was so cocky that I gave it a skip and awaited the results in the placement room. When I saw the final list and my name in it, strangely, I felt no excitement and went about pulling the rest of the guys who had made it out of the MASCOT test. After some quiet celebrations with my closest friends, I went home and broke the news a good half an hour after I got in :-) My folks could not believe that a company had actually hired me as a software engineer – There are times when I still think I am in the middle of a dream and will probably wake up with oil in my hands in a process plant at 11 pm in Hazira - I guess there is a thing called destiny after all :-)

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Breaking News

"Love Story...revisited " starts off again after a long break tomorrow. There is a RECAP which has been put up now to help jog your memories. Hope you enjoy the series.

The SP team lost in BBC's The Challenge on Monday. That’s bad news for B schools but hey, they lost to GE Financial services which was represented by.. guess.. guess.. yes, Akshay Sovani, my junior who passed out from SP last year. Wot's wrong with other B-schools, don’t ya folks have any half decent quizzers who can atleast make us work a little harder for the booty :-))

Karan Johar's next movie is rumored to be an adaptation of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. Hey, didn't they tell him there is no scope for chiffon sarees and karva chauth there? But with KJ, you never know :-)

That's it !

The Numbers Series - Part 2

7 questions that need answers ASAP

* Where can i meet Geoffrey Boycott's momma?

* Who the f&^% is John Galt?


* How on earth did Kajol fall in love with that chimpanzee Prabhu Deva when there was the handsome Arvind Swamy waiting in the wings? (There's still hope)


* Who pushed Humpty Dumpty?


* What would happen if Quentin Tarantino got Atal Bihari Vajpayee to pen dialogues for his next film?


* If a book about failures doesn't sell, is it a success?


* Is Jughead Jones gay?


6 things to remember before you ask your parents to move in with you

* Buy a shoe rack and get into the habit of using it - Leaving your shoes and slippers aise hi will lead to looong bhashans on how disorganised u have become since u left home (and that would have been milleniums before)

* Learn to fold newspapers neatly and store it in a single place chronologically - leaving them randomnly strewn about is an absolute NO-NO

* Get friendly with doormats - Wipe your feet everytime u step into any room - it does not matter if u were just moving from the hall to the bedroom

* Update yourself on which grocery shops in your neighbourhood sells which goods below MRP

* Know the addresses and phone no: of all possible specialists in medicine who live in the vicinity - you never know when they will come to use

* Get them an own cellphone or your house a landline looong before they move in - whatever happens do NOT lend them your mobile for even a few hours :-(

5 books that i will remember till my grave

* The Hardy Boys series: That mad dash to the library during the interval on Thursdays (till std 7) and then Fridays (after std 7) to get the latest Hardy Boys book issued before Hector Arun Pinto got them - Priceless memories these !

* A Tale of two Cities: Love and sacrifice - i learnt what they meant from this classic by Dickens - Sydney Carton remains one of the biggest influences in my life :-)

* Asterix series: I love comics and more so, intelligent ones. The bard Cacophonix, that cute Dogmatix, 93 yr young Geriatrix - sheer delightful art. How i wish Goscinny had lived longer :-(

* To Kill a Mocking Bird: Who doesn't know Atticus Finch? THE BOOK which opened my eyes to a totally different world - something i read whenever i need to reinforce my beliefs - tis a pity Harper Lee never wrote another one.


* Lajja: I read this award winning piece of shit (using novel wud be an insult to the word itself) by Ms. Nasreen in English and i can safely claim that i have never chanced upon worse stuff. Clearly written with an eye on courting controversy and in the process making a fast buck, Lajja is a disaster i wouldn't gift even my worst enemy.