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Monday, February 28, 2005

I'm back 

Have you ever lost touch with someone for months/years and then suddenly tried getting back in touch with them? Don't you think it scares them? Every time anyone tries to get back in touch with me after a long time, my immediate reaction is "Why?" ... "Why now again?" ... "What does he want?". Yeah! I don't have much hope or faith in human virtues and always question the inner motives. You can call me a creep and ... well, you can just call me a creep ... it's totally up to you.

What annoys me most is when people I'm completely out of touch with call me and ask me for someone else's phone number. That's like the most annoying and insulting thing. If it was someone asking you to solve a major crisis for them, even if you feel it's selfish, you still feel good abt being of some use to the person. Also, you can then bitch abt it later, saying, "X called me after six months and wanted me to solve his Algebra homework. He is such a prick. I still did it though." How bright a picture that paints of you! You can't do the same when they ask you for a measly phone number. That's hardly anything to boast abt. What makes it even worse is when you don't have the number they are searching for and they just hang up instantly. It's like spelling it over the phone that "Yes, that was the ONLY reason why I called you."

So, recently when someone called me after one and a half years (seriously!) and asked me, "Hey, are you in touch with Y, I haven't spoken to him in a while. It'll be good fun bugging him. Do you have his number?", I don't have to spend words expressing my disgust. No I dint have Y's number, but I didn't tell him that on his face. "Hey I have it in my diary I think. Can you hold on for a minute?" Obviously he did. So then I came back to my computer and typed out one of my many blog posts for the day and then went back to inform him, "You know what, I was wrong, I don't think I have the number of Y." Needless to say, the two of us wouldn't be speaking for another two years. Blah!

Profundity # 109 

It doesn't matter if you are odd as long as you finally get even.

A Man of Few Words 

A chat I had this afternoon and Ari's wonderful post reminded me of a zillion situations where two people, who speak different languages, show off their limited knowledge. So one of them tries to impress the other with the few words he/she speaks of the other person's language. I've been a player on both sides of the spectrum. I know how to say "f*ck you" in at least ten different languages and am also well versed with the one-ten counting system in these tongues. So I've literally had conversations with people where I first counted one to ten for them and then offered them sex, something which, I believe, doesn't exactly create the best first impression. In my defense, I once had two girls who came up to me and told me that they speak a little bit of Bengali. In quick succession they told me that they loved me ("ami tomakey bhalobashi"), that my dad was an ass ("tomar baap gadha") and the name of a Bengali sweet that they wanted to eat ("Rosogolla khabo"). You never know how to react to these things - so you smile and this gives the speaker the impression that they indeed are multi linguists. So don't be surprised if some of these people put this "skill" on their resume. However, to be perfectly honest, in many jobs you just need to count from one-ten and then ask everyone else to "f*ck off". So that's not too bad!

To end this post I have to mention Toomar, the extremely witty and charming rafting guide we met two years back in New York. The girl asked us to teach her one greeting and one expletive in an Indian language. Kind that we were, we taught her to say Hello ("Namaste") and "dumb arse" (a crude Hindi word that I shall refrain from using). Fifteen minutes later another raft full of Indians went past us and Toomar looked at them, bowed and said "Hello". Needless to say the family was mighty pleased and started exchanging warm smiles when Toomar gave another smile and called them "dumb arses". Sweet words of nothing!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Oscar Musings and good old DK 

The Oscars are over. The Aviator flew high and the Million Dollar Baby delivered it's share of punches too. The Incredibles did incredibly well while Chris Rock rocked. Spiderman Two too won an award.

Now any kind of awards ceremony implies a certain amount of friendly speculation, guessing who the winners will be, and the Nandy family is no exception. Bubin meticulously makes us express our opinion before every awards (be it Geetmala Bengali Music awards, Filmfare, Grammy, Oscars - everything) and every time Mummum wins; coz Mummum has her unique style of predicting the winner. "So who do you think will get the best actress Mummum, X or Y?" "Well," Mummum will begin. She'll then close her eyes and see them perform mentally. "I think X will win but I think Y deserves the award." Impeccable policy. If X wins Mummum smiles and says, "I told you X will win" and if Y takes home the trophy Mummum will still give the winner's smile and add in, "Well everyone thought X will win but I told you that Y deserved it more." :) Mummum you are a darling.

While on the topic of Oscars, it's a known fact that lotsa greats have been neglected by the Academy and if I was to hope that one man, who's never occupied that podium, is given a chance I'll hope from the bottom of my heart that it is Dr. D. K. Dutt - my high school Mathematics teacher. My high school had a policy where every morning some teacher read out prayers. Whenever it was Dr. Dutt's turn he thanked EVERYONE and EVERYTHING ... and I mean EVERYTHING. I'll end this post with what I think will be DK's acceptance speech. "I want to thank the Academy, Warner Brothers, my supporting cast and crew, my wife, my children, the limo driver who drove me here, the tailor who stitched my suit, the old barber who gave me a hair cut, the fisherman who caught the shrimp I ate for lunch, you sir in row one seat A, you sir in row one seat B, you madam ..." :)

An Honest Confession 

I'm sitting and watching the Oscar Awards right now and I was as surprised as any of you reading this to find out, that once again this year, I wasn't nominated for anything!

Match-making 

I woke up this morning with memories trying to get the better of me. You know - one of those days where the opposition catches you off guard. The mind greeted me with a few full tosses, easy lofty deliveries that I tossed around and felt good. Some of them even brought a smile on my face. "Ah! Those were the days," I said. However, I was aware that easy full tosses meant only one thing - that lethal yorkers were lurking around in the corner ... and soon they started coming, coming aplenty. I quickly shifted to my back foot, trying to take a defensive stance. I had no plans of getting the better of these canons. I just wanted to survive their attack and put them aside; put them aside for another weekend afternoon. Sadly, the bowler knew his trade well. My defensive stance was broken with another lofty hurl. The corner of my mind leaped forward, trying to warn me that this spelt disaster. But it was too late. I was lured forward and hit the ball with all my might. I could see it rise high to all new levels of lonelisness against the blue sky. For a moment I felt good. I thought I had driven it all away to where it deserved to be; but somehow, with the corner of my eyes, I can see a fielder running, trying to catch the ball. I'm not looking but I hear the other fielders shouting. Maybe they have got me again. Sigh!

Bragging abt Ragging 

While chatting with someone this evening I remembered 'ragging stories' from my undergrad days. Ragging is no strange term to the desi population, but for the few non Indians who care to look at my pseudo confused random thoughts - ragging is pretty similar to the ordeal a freshman goes through in US before getting initiated to a frat house.

It was Fall of 1997. Four nervous wrecks were trying to make their way to the local market. They were following the Golden Rule - "try to blend in". However, the full sleeve shirts they were wearing, coupled with the oozing apprehension of getting caught, proved to be too much of a pressure on the feigned confidence.

"Hey freshers," we heard a voice scream. "Yes! You four boys," he confirmed. We tried to ignore the shouts till the raging volume became so loud that pretending to be deaf would only make us look dumb. Soon we found ourselves in a small room, where three guys in lungis (Indian clothing item resembling a ... hmmm ... towel) sat awaiting us.

"You sex?" one of them asked me.

The next ten seconds witnessed a deluge of thoughts cross my mind. I had no idea what the grammatically flawed sentence meant. He probably was questioning my virginity but I couldn't help but wonder if the sentence was actually a proposition. Thankfully, for me the answer to both these questions was an emphatic "No!". I think the guy meant the first option because he got down from his bed, smiled his scarily white teeth out and said, "Good, good, me too!" The worst kind of camaraderie spirit had been kindled and I could feel the heat of the situation.

The next 30 odd minutes saw my self respect being diced into tasteless mince meat. I shall save the details and even the summary of the torture, but just imagine this - one of the other three guys being butchered with me in that slaughter house was Arvind Aiyaar, a six feet two inches tall and fairly wide man. The least embarrassing part of the "event" took place when Arvind was asked to perform an exotic belly dancing act to assist my crooning of a "rustic" number. Do you really want any more details??? Do you??

"What are you writing?" Sid asked me. "My blog," I told him. "On what?" he fired back. "You Sex?" I retaliated. He's dumb struck.

Night time musing 

It just struck me that a happy person believes in teeth for tat.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Just a Call Away 

I was checking my blog's stats counter and saw that someone reached my PG rated site while searching for "lonely housewives wanting sex" (I had written a post on spams some time back) while another search query that led to this site was that of "matrimonial ads". Now, I was just wondering - What if both these queries were made by the same guy? Can you imagine how devious and far fetched this ploy is? There's some creepy perv out there who's first searching for "matrimonial ads" to find a wife for himself. Then, after marriage, he'll bore his wife with his lecherous acts till she becomes a "lonely housewife" and then he can fulfill all his fantasies right at home without spending a penny.

"What made you suspect the husband in the first place," the nerdy assistant asked.

"I can't say it was elementary dear. Not even secondary. It was more of a tertiary thought. The footprints gave him away," the detective said, while eating a piece of the mystery all by himself.

Sad Story 

Well, I spent the second consecutive weekend-start in a Night Club. For anyone who's been reading this blog for sometime, the information that I can't dance for nuts (or any other exotic delicacy), is no mean surprise. So I spent my time talking, drinking beer and observing people. 40% of the people who come to these clubs are couples, 40% come to hook up, 10% come for music and fun, while the remaining 10% are what I call the "Saddies" i.e. sad sad people who look sad and make others feel that way too and here's a five point technique to identify them:

  • The guy-guy dance: I've figured that lotsa girls go clubbing in groups and perform dance moves that put their sexuality under question. But but but - no one ever complains if two girls are dancing against each other. I like to call it aesthetically horny. However, if two guys are dancing with each other and going up and down alternately while facing each other - that's SAD.


  • The You Can't See Me date: A lot of guys who come without a girl and remain that way, sneak up behind a girl while she's dancing with her friends, and start dancing "with her". The girl has no idea abt the guy's presence but the guy revels and pretends that the two are together. This continues till the girl turns and ignores the guy, who then goes to be a "pain in the back" for someone else.


  • The Swaggering Types: This is my favorite. A lot of men spend half their days in the gym, sport a tattoo, gel their hair, lock up their smiles and arrive with their mean looks. These single men then walk around the club thinking everybody is looking at them. They are easily recognized by raised eyebrows and a swaggering walk ... and the fact that they keep walking in circles around the place, so you see them a zillion times.


  • The Crotch Dancer: I don't care how cool you are but if your trademark move involves continuously playing with your genitalia in an almost attempt to itch it - I'll call you Sad.


  • The blogger: Oh! There are no qualms on this front. If you get drunk on just two bottles of beer, sit on a sofa observing other saddies and blog abt it the next morning, make no mistake abt your saddie quotient :)


  • BTW, the author (presumptuous self addressing) can also write abt Club Fashion Dos and Dont's and the Top Five Club Make Out Styles; but respecting the average age of his readers (10-15 years) shall not do so :)

    Friday, February 25, 2005

    Love Coupons - a simple solution to a complex problem 

    Yes! Love makes you a different man! You do things which you'd never do, if it wasn't for that someone hushing next to you in a sweet voice, saying, "Won't you do this even for me?". Bingo! The last sentence is like saying "You better do this if you wanna remain with me" and boy, does it work! Take a certain graduate student in Southern California for example (now who could this be?). I've been told that he challenged his manhood by sitting through a screening of How To Lose a Guy in Ten Days and later topped it by actually wearing pink trousers once - for that "special someone". In defense of this special someone, it is rumored, that she accompanied Mr. Grad Student for Daredevil (which even he regrets) on none other than Valentine's Day ! There are countless other examples; like Ms. Special being forced to listen to Hip Hop and Mr. Grad Student eating tofu with everything (and he means everything). Sadly, things dint work out for them and they now sit and regret why they ever did these things (or do they?) :(

    Every time a relationship ends, one person feels more cheated - feels that he/she got the raw deal - feels he/she compromised/sacrificed more. This leads to bitterness and I had to come up with some idea to solve this crisis :) So hola! Ladies and gentleman, be prepared to be greeted with the idea of the century - Love Coupons!!!!!

    Love coupons will cost nothing but have the individual's name engraved (or printed) on it. They'll come in different denominations (but you don't pay to get them). So every time your girl friend, X, asks you to sit with her for Legally Blonde, you charge her Love Coupons worth $10/screening. Similarly when X accompanies you for dinner at your stamp loving friend's house, she'll charge you coupons at the rate of $5/hr. If the relationship works out - GREAT! These coupons are worthless then and I suggest both parties burn them before the wedding date. Sadly, if things turn sour, then both parties should bring out their coupons, calculate the difference and whoever's at an advantage should pay out. That's it - so now when X asks you to go out with her painful cousin, you can simply charge her coupons worth $1000. That'll make her think twice before leaving you later :)

    P.S. This whole thing makes me think of European Football Club exchanges. Once can actually buy out someone else's boy friend by paying the $500 he owes the girl :)) A win win situation for all.

    P.P.S. We are all eagerly waiting for the ultimate name in relationships - Gamemaster G9, to shower us with more info on this topic.

    While on Rap 

    While on the topic of rap and hip hop has anyone noticed that there is no scope for medium sized people in these fields. You have the stars using 'big' in their names like Fat Joe, Notorious BIG, Big L and there's also an abundance of the 'little' ones like Lil John, Lil Scrappy, Lil Kim, Lil Bow Wow - then how come we don't have any medium stars like Medium Madness, Middle Man Mayhem etc.? Anyone listening?

    My Current Obsessions 

    I had to promote these two things, though I'm not sure if they need any promotion. The first in Monk, the hilarious detective series on USA network. It's one of the rare mixes of novel storylines, brilliant performances (Tony Shalhoub had already bagged the Emmy and Golden Globe) and excellent humor. I'm totally smitten by it. Subs and I've been watching non-stop DVDs and will very strongly recommend it.

    The second thing that's keeping me occupied is Eminem's Mockingbird. I dunno if any of you like hip hop but irrespective of your liking this song should be heard. The song deviates from normal hip hop rhythm to almost sound like a desperate lullaby, sung by a father and not a rap superstar. Brilliant!

    Asian D-lite 

    Now for those who don't know us, the fact is that Subs and I are basically news loving people with a global outlook. Why else would the two of us tune in for Chinese News on the International Channel last evening? Ok! Who am I kidding! The fact is that Subs and I are bored grad students. We don't care much for the news. Subs just likes Asian women and that's why we were watching the show. The two of us tried making sense of the show till we realized that only one lady was talking (that too with a stoic expression) and the other one was just nodding aggressively. That's when we had this idea of sitting in the university shuttle, putting on a vulgar expression and talking in a fictional language with a few English words sprinkled in.

    "Essha neee plu plu finki winki. Very hot! Very very hot! Hmmmm! gulu zugu zugoo. Big Big! Very very big masho! tasho ni poopool. Waki wapa. Two girls and five boys pupu. Fukoou two girls.! Gulu booloo. Thrinko Very hot!"

    Obviously the way people's minds work - a few people will object. Some will even call us crude. The mothers will ask their kids not to look at us. Someone will even threaten to throw us off the bus. That's when Subs will start crying. I'll then explain to the people in broken English that we are from Sundarbans in India (we are called Sunder Bunnies) and that Subs was saying:

    "He is feeling very tired. It's very hot! Very Very hot! He even had a bad exam. Big big! Very very big paper! Nobody will pass it. Only two girls and five boys will. Just two girls ! Very depressed. Plus it's very hot!"

    Seeing the crying Subs and hearing his sad story some Asian girl will come and apologize to Subs and marry him and we'll all stay happily together in one house. Obviously, because of the new entrant, all of us will save on valuable rent! What say?

    Thursday, February 24, 2005

    A Colorful Interview 

    Ari recently asked me to post something on the extremely colorful professors we had in BITS. There were a zillion stories that came to my mind. So I rewinded a little bit to reminisce abt teachers from high school and a zillion more stories came to mind. So I rewinded a little bit more, just a little bit more, and this story came to mind.

    The year was 1982. I wish I could describe how green the grass was and how fresh the winnowing breeze smelt. Sadly, I don't remember any of that coz I was only four years old. Mummum was preparing me for the big bad kindergarten entrance interviews. I've been told that I was trained just a little bit more than what dad was for his engineering examination. Mummum dint want to take ANY chances. So I was taught everything - counting numbers till a zillion, saying "Good morning" when I entered the room, saying "Thank you and Bye Bye" when I left it, "My name is Sagnik Nandy and I stay in 79/28 ...", ..., everything. The actual interview went pretty smoothly I believe (I don't recollect one bit of it). The principal of my school was especially taken aback by my dexterity with colors. I knew that the egg was white and the orange was orange. The cherry topping came courtesy Mummum again. I was carrying a purple bag with me (why? why?) and Mummum had anticipated that the principal might ask me the color ... and he did ... and I answered, thereby bowling over the brilliant Mr. Mason with a yorker. Yada yada yada - the school gave me admission.

    Two weeks later my dad's friend's son, Bublana, was scheduled for an interview in the same place. Bublana's father, Arun Uncle, asked Mummum abt my interview and Mummum mentioned the color trick. That's it. For the next two weeks a four year old Bublana was taught every possible color that existed - red, green, blue, yellow, burgundy, lilac, maroon, what not! Sadly, like my laptop, a child's mind has limited memory. Bublana it seems forgot everything else but these colors. If rumors are to be believed, on the day of the interview Bublana kept saying colors of everything. They showed him a number card and asked him what number it was and he deftly replied "Green". The letter A with an Apple drawn next to it was identified as "Red". The final blow came when the principal showed Baby Bub the picture of a colorful umbrella and asked him what it was. Without a blink, the little boy said, "Rainbow Color" (and I'm not making this up).

    Realization :) 

    I was very pleasantly amused yesterday when someone perceived my acceptance of under achievement in a particular area as an act of humility :)

    Nothing - seriously 

    When I took the film making class, two of the fellow students did a film that was supposed to poke fun at artistic cinema. The film was an absolute farce with no meaning whatsoever, but done in black and white, with a serious undertone and slow background music. Surprisingly, a lot of people tried to infer meaning from the film, till it became evident that it was just a sham (I'm not joking but they had a man, sitting in a kangaroo costume that was tight around his crotch, talking to a girl). This made me re-realize that once you are famous you can pretty much do anything you want and people will wear their clever buttocks off, trying to see sense in what you do (this is what I feel abt some of the modern artists' paintings). So here are some lines I came up with that sound profound (at least to me) but have absolutely no meaning. So, I can't even say - enjoy :)

  • Insanity is a virtue of self motivated destruction.


  • A receptive mind has a deceptive hind.


  • The modern man has managed to subdue the neanderthal instincts that led to the eviction of human subjugation.

  • Control your anger before it becomes uncontrollable; for then the man is beyond control.


  • ... and finally a poem ...


  • I sit and watch
    They walk by
    They sit with me
    I walk by
    Bye bye.

    The Generation Gap 

    Well, well! I alluded to the increasing Generation Gap a few posts back and some of you kind souls agreed. Things are changing so fast now that we almost have bi-annual generation gaps. "Look at her, she is wearing pants that were cool in August and it's February now! She so needs a makeover," you hear the lip pierced, arm tattooed, hair braided, bra showing, six pocketed, high heeled teenager exclaim. So here is a list of some of the many changes that people from my generation (and I'm not that old) can identify with. I belonged to a time when:

  • The word multiplex sounded like a psychological disorder.

  • The World Wide Web wasn't that wide.

  • Reality TV was a distant reality.

  • Having the same girlfriend for five years meant you are the man. Now having the same girlfriend for five years means you are gay.

  • A "few people" wrote "diaries" as opposed to "everyone" writing "blogs".

  • Mahesh Bhatt directed movies as opposed to giving interviews.

  • The word metrosexual didn't exist.

  • Pagers existed and were supposed to be cool.

  • Cafe's served coffee and not Internet

  • Salman Khan was shirtless and acted as a college kid - Ooops! Salman is still shirtless and acts as a college kid. I guess some things never change :)

  • Wednesday, February 23, 2005

    Blog List Updated 

    Well, I'd been thinking abt doing this for quite a while and finally kinda did it (this is what made me do it). "Kinda" coz I'm sure I have missed some out. When it comes to blogs, I still go the old school way and just visit things from memory (no I still haven't indulged in blogrolling). So this list is mainly for others who visit my blog so that they can find similar blogs. I had a good mind to arrange the now-long list of links (it's visually jarring) or at least give them more appropriate names (like Ani or Happy) but that shall be done when I hit a new level of boredom.

    Limit tending to engineering 

    Flashback in hazy black and white - Years ago (I was around 4-6 years old/young then) they asked me in kindergarten what my dad did for a living. Now mom had taught me, along with my name, age, address, favorite color and nursery rhymes, the fact that my dad was a Mechanical Engineer. I believe I dint even think for a moment, looked at the highly overweight Mrs. Gabriel, and told her with a whiff of confidence that my dad was a "mechanic". I still remember that Mummum was very disappointed/agitated/tense once I narrated this incident (probably expecting some kudos from her) to her, coz apparently a mechanic is different from a mechanical engineer. Sadly, Mummum still doesn't realize that herself.

    The main story begins - every time anything stops working in the house (ranging from a toaster to the television) my mom expects Bubin to fix it on his own. "What kind of an engineer are you?" she'll begin, "the shower is leaking and you can't even fix that." Bubin would try to fix the shower, ensure that it drips even more and then call the plumber. "You are absolutely useless. I wonder how you cleared engineering," Mummum would indulge in banter. Once in a while Bubin tries to explain that he hadn't exactly taken Introduction to Plumbing 102 in college but Mummum doesn't care much. Her logic is simple - "If you can't do her chore, you aint an engineer no more" :)

    Now the same thing is coming back to haunt me. "The computer is so slow. Why can't you make it fast?" she asks me earnestly. "Mom, that's coz we bought it in 1945 after the Quit India movement. You should be happy that the museum hasn't yet seized it. Why don't you buy a new computer?" I protest in vain. "You are just like your dad - just an engineer by name. Both of you are of no use to the house. What did you learn in ..." Suddenly we are interrupted by the sound of gushing water. Bubin has failed to fix the shower again, making it worse in the process. "Now, I have to call the plumber again," Mummum says, while running towards the bathroom, "I think I should have married a plumber."

    Sisterly advice
    Just after I mentioned that advice is available aplenty, my li'll sis showered me with some more. She is four years younger to me and calmly told me, "What you need Dadan is a good date. One that begins with nice food for dinner and ends with nice coffee for breakfast"!!!! What has become of the new generation :((

    Tuesday, February 22, 2005

    My evening creation
    It's a crazy proposition
    With so many supposition
    And a range of inhibition
    Going on, goin on.

    I'm so full of trepidation
    So deep down in inhibition
    Falling prey to repetition
    Going on, goin on.

    This song's my rendition
    My mind seeking salvation
    A result of desperation
    Going on, goin on.

    It is a tricky situation
    No scope for recreation
    Badly need a deviation
    Going on, goin on, goin on ...

    Wishful thinking
    How I wish that people were half as generous to me with their money as they are with their advice :)

    The Road Taken, yet ...
    A list of ten things I think all (most) of us have done but don't openly talk abt (at least without a good story backing it up) :) Correct me if I'm wrong.

    1. Googled our own names (once, twice, ...).

    2. Totally assumed and believed that someone has a crush on us without ever confirming.

    3. Hoped we had ordered what somebody else had ordered during a restaurant dinner.

    4. Farted in public and still pretended to get disgusted by the creep who did it.

    5. Imagined ourselves in the protagonist's role while watching a movie.

    6. Felt we are smarter than someone who consistently did better than us in class.

    7. Realized in the middle of an argument that we are wrong but still continued to defend our opinion passionately.

    8. Looked into the mirror and thought "You do look dashing tonight.'

    9. Read a book and thought that we have what it takes to make a great author.

    10. Read a blog and thought - "Why didn't I think of this?" ...

    It's gonna be a while
    Another wonderful "true" (if Subs is to be believed) anecdote that I heard:

    Some Indian student who had just arrived in the US was taking driving lessons. On the first day of his lessons he came and stopped near a STOP sign (the painted one). Knowing not what to do, the good boy waited on and then waited on and then waited on ... till a desperate instructor asked him, "When do you plan to leave?" "Just after my PhD," our man replied.

    Monday, February 21, 2005

    Introspection
    Something I read made me ask these questions ...

    1. Would I like to be friends with someone exactly like me?
    Ans. Yes. However, I'll probably get into some nasty fights with me too. Specially coz I get mood swings and I get pretty depressing then (and a tad bit philosophical too). So I wouldn't want to be around me when I'm feeling low BUT I'd definitely love to hang out with me when I'm happy.

    2. Would I date a girl who's just like me?
    Ans. Eeeew! Please. We are just "good friends". Next question please.

    3. If I was gay would I date a guy just like me?
    Ans. No. I don't think I'm what gay guys look for. I'm untidy, don't have much a of a fashion sense and spend less than two minutes for buying shoes. So, definite NO!

    4. If I had a marriageable daughter, would I let her date someone like me?
    Ans. No again. I'm still unsure abt what I wanna do with my career. So I don't want my apple-pie to hang out with a guy who doesn't know what he plans to do to bring in the green bucks. "Baby, stay away from that creep. I like that other guy in your college a lot more; the one who you think is gay but plans to join his dad's business straight after college. I don't like that PhD chap one bit. Get it?"

    Hmmmm!

    Marriage - the key to all locks
    I have a few friends who are married. Some of them are students like me, while some of them work. Some of them know how to dance while other don't. Some of them like movies while others prefer sex; BUT all of them have a wife and quite a few of them think that's something that makes them superior. I call it - "strife by wife".

    The other day I met this guy who I used to know quite well for a while. We used to discuss food, movies, women, ice cream and all other cool things till he got married. Now, he HAS to behave differently from me. If we do the same things then it's like him agreeing that marriage had no value add for him. So he has to add the "I'm married angle" to everything! Whether the angle is the right angle I dunno, but it does make heads turn 90 degrees.

    "Hey, you should see the flies we have in our house," I said. "Man, you all should learn to be more clean. I'm telling you, after marriage your wife won't tolerate it. You should check out my house." Dong! Married Boy - One, Sagnik - Zero. "Hey! Wanna come for a movie?" "Hmmm! Dude, I think I'm too old for regular movies. You'll understand what I'm saying once you get married!" Dong! Married Boy - Two, Sagnik - Zero. "Man, you should get married. Home cooked food is sooo much better." Dong! "OK! That joke was silly. Dude, you all should behave your age. Get married ..." Dong! Dong! Dong! That was a shot below the belt. Sagnik knocked out by married man! Crowd exults! Married man's wife comes and gives the champion a hug. Sagnik looks around for some single female sympathy in the audience while the referee counts next to him, "twenty three and still not married, twenty four and still not married, twenty five ...".

    A Bad Break Up
    Someone said to me "I had a very bad break up" and I figured that I've heard that phrase being used so many times in the past. BUT, but, but - I've never heard anyone say, "Hey, you gotta listen to this. I had such an amazing break up. It was sooooo much fun. We decided to do it again." No, that never happens. Break ups are always bad and yet we remind people that our's was bad. That's how stressful I guess the whole thing is. Reminds me of something similar we all do in school. After our quintessential exam goof ups, we come out and say, "I made such a stupid mistake." Have you ever heard anyone say, "Hey, you should check out my Calculus paper. I made such a clever mistake." No, that doesn't happen either. A mistake, by virtue of being a mistake, is always stupid and yet we say it.

    "Hey, there," the inner voice interrupted me. "Just a sec!" I replied. "Lemme just publish this post."

    "This post is so stupid and it's a mistake," the voice hummed. "Tana na na na na ..."

    Sunday, February 20, 2005

    An Observation, a question and a comment
    I'd seen it in a bunch of English movies and TV shows earlier and yesterday I noticed it in person - girls often go to the restroom together. From the little I've gathered from the visual medium (no first hand experience of this) - women have a far greater comfort zone inside restrooms - they exchange opinions on how boring the evening was till then ("Rob looks slightly down today, do you think it's because of work?"), ask each other a few make up related questions ("That's a nice shade of lipstick, where did you get that ...") and stuff - basically if you've seen enuff English movies you must have seen the basin area, with the mirror in front, being use as a conversation zone for sure. Men on the other hand (and this I know from personal experience) are far more wary inside a toilet. We go, blah blah and we're back. Rarely would you see two men whisper after dinner, smile and say "We'll just be back from the toilet. Excuse us." The men reading this know and the women reading this know now that we almost NEVER have a toilet tete-a-tete. If at all anything, we refuse to even acknowledge the fact that everybody needs to use the toilet. The other day, during my skiing trip, I needed to give my hands a prolonged dose of hot water pouring and almost every man who came into the toilet gave me the "He came before me and why's he still here look." It was almost like I was guilty for using the basin for that long. Is it just me or does this actually happen in practice? If it does happen - well, interesting social phenomenon!

    P.S. Toilet Trivia (it doesn't get any crappier): Does anyone know abt the origin of the word 'loo'?

    I am a Disco Dancer
    I spent a considerable part of the evening in a night club with two million people dancing around me. For a change I had company for my non dancing state, where a girl taught me a lot abt night club dos and donts (e.g. if you are a girl, then cleavage is a must and if you are a guy, you have to buy the girl drinks). I also spent some time checking out what kind of dance moves are "in". So, ladies and gentlemen, get ready for a whirlwind tour of all steps rocking:

  • Drums in the air (unisex): This one's simple and requires li'll training - just pretend that you are playing drums above your head on an imaginary drum and move your head, pretending you are enjoying the tune.


  • Getting a seizure (women): This one's a lady's favorite. Some girls were doing things which looked humanly impossible to me, it's like they were short of breath and the whole body was shaking. Word of advice - don't try this at home - with or without supervision.


  • Where's my earring (women): This one's another simple but groovy step. Just pretend that you've dropped your earrings on the floor and gently move around, looking down on the floor, as if you are searching for it. (No! it's not on the left, no, it's not on the right ... repeat )


  • I've lost my girlfriend (men): The single man's delight. I noticed that lots of men were alone and were trying to pick up women. This one's for them. Move around the club looking confused in circles, stop random women on the way, spend 30 secs with them wondering if that's your girlfriend and then leave for the next one.


  • Missed my Workout, So let's do some lunges (women): Once again, this one's for the wild ones and ONLY if you are without a guy. Go find a pole, hold on to it and start doing crazy lunges. Up ... down ... up and swirl.


  • Seeing all this I had to come up with my own move. So I suggested the "geek keystroke move" where you pretend to type on a key-board in mid air and every now and then turn (as if you are on a swirling computer chair). Seeing this, the girl standing with me said that if I did that move again, she'll refuse to recognize me. Like all great works of art, this move wasn't recognized initially :((

    Saturday, February 19, 2005

    T-Shirt idea
    I run!
    I walk!
    I eat!
    I sleep!
    i Pod!

    Now that I've succumbed to shameless brand endorsement - any takers?
    P.S. For those who like to quiz - does any one know what the T in T Shirt stands for (it's a really cool trivia)?

    No problem
    Rakesh lured me to having dinner in an "Authentic Chinese Restaurant" tonight. What I dint realize was exactly how authentic this place would turn out to be. We saw items in the menu that I thought were only found on Fear Factor (Rakesh ordered an intestine dish!). Yanyway, the lady who took our orders dint speak any English - and I mean "any" English. After "pointing" to the item that I wanted to eat, moi tried to ensure that the chicken-dish had no bones. I'm providing the summary of the conversation and yeah, I'm dramatizing it a tad bit BUT 95% of it happened:

    Me: Does the chicken come with bones?
    She: Bones.
    Me: Does it have bones?
    She: Bones.
    Me: I want no bones.
    She: Yes.
    Me: Yes? Does it have bones?
    She: Yes. No bones.
    Me: No bones, right?
    She: Yes. No.

    At this point Sid assured me that there would be no bones of contention. I agreed.

    Friday, February 18, 2005

    Quick Questions
    1. Was the initial prototype of the e-mail called "Alpha Mail"?
    2. Will the first paid e-mail service be called "Fee Mail"?

    Can you (hand)le this
    The bouquet and cactus posts have made me ponder deeply on the various "customs" of love and suddenly, some of them seem very funny (to be completely honest, I've indulged in some of them and have no right to poke fun at them but ... I still will :) ).

    Take the age old "oh so cute" tradition of holding hands. "Let's hold hands and walk ... together," she said with sleepy eyes. This almost seems like a precursor to "Sir, I want to ask you for your daughter's hand. Yes, I've already tried it out and it's good and now I'm sure that I want it."

    I've always been a more "hand around the shoulder" person. It's easier for the guy, specially if you are taller - you get a good arm rest - its like ur little walking stick before you finally get the stick. BUT NO, women like to hold hands coz they don't like any additional responsibilities on their shoulder :) So they end up doing one of the two - (i) the "lemme hug your hand with both my hands and put my head on your shoulder" move OR (ii) the "you just hold my hand" move; and both these techniques are difficult for the mankind (or the kind man).

    It's easy to see why the former technique is uncomfortable - your body slants, thanks to the head pressure, and the "use your hand as pillar" grip, where the women normally pull your hand down, isn't that comfortable either. On the other "hand", the problem with the "just hold hands" ten-tacle grip (two sets of five finger combine) lies in the fact that men are normally taller than women. So either the guy has to bend slightly, or the girl has to lift her hand. Now, the moment this struck me, I looked around campus for doting couples and in 8/10 cases the guy succumbed to the pressure. Also, in my case, G used to be a much faster walker. So there were times when I'd literally get dragged along. All this has made me come up with a brilliant business idea - a small rope with two hand gloves on both ends. Both the guy and girl can wear one glove each and walk. (a) The rope will give enuff freedom to not bend hands (b) You still walk "hand in hand" and (c) there is no restriction on the hand swing either. Bravo boy! You've finally come up with a million dollar idea.

    "You know what you have just done, right?" the inner voice asks me. "You've ensured that no woman ever dates you again."

    Grading them
    My undergrad college had relative grading - some of the professors gave their relatives better grades :)

    On Treasuring Gifts #2
    Actually, I can't blame my friend X for treasuring the bouquet (see post below) given by his lady love. Five years back, in a moment of togetherness, G had decided to give me something "special" too. She gave me a cactus branch (and I'm not making this up). It was a palm-long, bottle green branch with a zillion thorns on it. I used to keep it on my table and every three weeks, like a surprise pop-quiz, G would call me and enquire abt the branch. I used to joke saying that the gift made me feel t(horny) and made sure that I wasn't the only prick in the relationship. Aaaah! How sentimental!

    The little white puppy with a red necktie stopped licking the owner's feet. "How sweet!" the owner exclaimed. "Great!" the puppy thought, "now let's do it doggy style!"

    Thursday, February 17, 2005

    A gift for someone u love
    Two months back a guy was returning back to US from India. In the Delhi Airport a young girl was shedding a few tears for her boy friend. The guy, a tender soul, had a few drops of saline moisturizer in his eyes too. Just after repeating "I'll miss you and I love you" a hundred times, when the guy was about to leave, the girl surprised him with a bouquet of flowers. The guy promised to treasure the flowers forever, threw a few aerial kisses and left. What a sweet story, right? NO - coz the guy happens to be my apt mate X.

    For the past two months X has kept the bouquet on the kitchen table and refuses to throw it away. Not that I want him to throw away his memento BUT I just want him to keep it in his own room. A whole bunch of crazy flies come to feast on the decaying flowers every day. It's non-stop party time for them. The red is red no more, the green is crumpled and the only thing still fresh abt the bouquet is the pink satin ribbon around it. Why can't X just keep the stuff in his room? Why couldn't the girl give him something to eat - then "We" could have relished it instead of the flies. Why couldn't she give him a movie DVD - we could have all seen it? Why couldn't she just give him another girl to prevent him from feeling lonely? Do you think X would have still kept the girl on the kitchen table for me to smell her, as opposed to treasuring it in his own room? So many possibilities, yet ... ouch, another fly bites me.

    Verrrrrry Funny (with more than a sprinkle of salt)
    As I was munching into the spicy chicken combo of the newly opened Japanese restaurant on campus, I overheard the two Asian guys sitting in front of me talk.

    X: So you know Z right?
    Y: The new guy in your lab?
    X: Yes! It was soooo funny. He wanted to transfer the log file of our experiments to his machine. It was around 1.4 GB of zipped data. So he did it using SFTP over the wireless network ... even though there was an Ethernet Cable just next to my table.
    (Saying this X started laughing hysterically).
    Y: What? (Starts laughing too) Where do these people come from?
    X: Seriously. That's so inefficient. (His laughter now reached a new level of eccentricity. Food, saliva and weird sounds started spurting out of his mouth in random directions and his eyes narrowed further to invisibility).

    YES. There are places where this is supposed to be funny ... AND I STAY IN ONE SUCH PLACE :(( Whatever happened to good old knock knock jokes ??

    Just another bite
    Well the previous post on eating habits of the opposite sex won't be complete without this delightful story from my undergrad days. Our college had a girl who was (in)famous for her minimalistic eating habits (stories abt her diet control went out of control). Yanyway, a good friend of mine assumed that she'll be a safe proposition to take out for dinner. Not only do you get female company (a rarity in many engieering schools in India) but you also spend nothing on her food. Right? Nay! It turned out that the girl really dint eat anything but to give him "company" kept ordering fresh fruit juice and bottled water - giving the poor guy's wallet quite a shock.

    Myth #173 confirmed: Just coz they eat less don't mean they cost less :)

    Food and sex ... oops! I meant the opposite type
    There's a basic difference between men and women when they go to eat in a restaurant. Pretty much all men assume, after a certain point of time, that they WILL get fat, so they actually eat. Women on the other hand are far more fussy abt the amount of food their body shows. "Any extra ounce on the lower arm and the sleeveless red top I bought the other day will be left untouched." "I'm allergic to shrimp. I get pimples," she'll add. Bottom line, they care a lot more abt what they eat. With time I've figured out that the trick for the opposite sex is to eat without actually eating much. Moreover, women have mastered the art of shopping, giving them an amazing ability to question the properties of anything. "Does the chicken come with red sauce or cheese?", "Can you not add mushroom to the 'mushroom with broccoli'?", "Do you have any idea if the pudding contains low fat milk?" - I've heard them question in the past. Add to that the American joy of customizability ... and that's it! G and I used to frequent Subway and this is what we used to order:

    Me: I'll take the Chicken Onion Terriyaki six inch. Yeah! Gimme any bread. OK! Any cheese will do. Just tomatoes and bell pepper please. Yes, you can add salt if you want. Thanks!

    G: I'll take the veggie delite. What kind of bread do you have? Is the Italian herbs and cheese good? No! I think I'll take the wheat bread ... one sec ... hmmm! Okay! Yeah, the wheat bread. Give me a little bit of mustard, just a little bit. Fine! Swiss cheese please. Just two strips. Thank you. Can I get it oven toasted? Thank you. Okay. I'll take tomatoes, just three strips of bell pepper please. Yes, lettuce too. No black olives. Can you put a little bit of oil. Just a little bit ..."

    Point proven.

    Shopping for a partner
    While writing the post on matrimonial ads I figured out that we are slowly heading towards commoditizing the whole concept of marriage. We already have ads for it and pre-nups etc. are as nothing short of formal agreements. However, we don't want to be honest abt our intentions and therefore aren't going the full way. Or else, who wouldn't want to see these common sales options while choosing their partner?

  • 30 day trial period. Full satisfaction guaranteed or else returned with no furthers questions asked.


  • Get one and get another one absolutely free - offer applicable on all models, no exceptions.


  • Bring your old one in and exchange it for a new one.


  • Special sale on all refurbished products. Fresh as new. Hardly used!

  • Wednesday, February 16, 2005

    Yet Another Conversation
    The reporter presents another conversation between G and me (we've reached that point where we fight regularly for recreation):

    G: I could never imagine that you'll be this freaking creep. I couldn't ever imagine that you'll be such an a*se hole. I couldn't ever imagine that ...
    Me: Well well, at least I was full of surprises :(

    Whatever!

    Ad-marry-able
    My sister often spends Sunday mornings scanning through Matrimonial Ads in the newspaper. She has no plans of marriage but claims that the ads are highly amusing. Pummy even feels that she is qualified enough to serve as a "Marriage Ad consultant", having knowledge on innumerable tricks like - if you are short then give your height in cms, if you aren't good looking call yourself smart, if a guy earns less, then just give the number of digits in the salary etc. etc. etc.

    Taking cue from Pummy, I visited an Indian matrimonial site this morning and checked out the profiles of some men and women and here are some things I observed:

    1. Most men call themselves "adventurous" and "fun loving".

    2. A whole bunch of women start their personal descriptions by saying "It is very difficult to describe me in a paragraph ..."

    3. A lot of women refer to themselves in third person e.g. "Saheli did her bachelors in ..., Saheli has a big dog ..., Saheli is your dream woman."

    4. Most women want "someone who can understand me" but the men normally ask for a "beautiful homely girl with values"

    5. Quite a few people (both men and women) give their descriptions in CAPS for no reason - I AM FROM DELHI AND I WANT TO MARRY ... does this make the statement more emphatic?

    6. The most common hobby for men was "traveling" while women settled for "movies" and "listening to music". I think this will come handy - if the wife is boring the man can travel to greener pastures and the women can frequent movie theatres to avoid matrimonial cacophony :)

    Enuff research done. Now I will get back to Decentralized Computing Systems.

    Before I go to zzzzz!
    Two small incidents before I go to sleep.

  • A friend shared this incident with me and I found it absolutely hilarious. His friend, who has recently joined a company in the US, was in an elevator and his fly was open. An American gentleman, also in the elevator, whispered into his ears, "Dude, your front door is open!" The guy, having no idea what that meant, calmly looked at the gentleman and said, "That's OK, my friend is still in there."


  • The second one is a three line chat I had with my room mate when he returned home.

    Me: Guess what.
    He: What?
    Me: I dunno, that's why I asked you to guess.

  • Tuesday, February 15, 2005

    Quick Question
    If someone is screwing your mind and f**king your sanity, does it qualify as sexual harassment?

    Bitchy Tunes
    I'm currently sitting in the university food court and working. Two girls sitting next to me are bitching abt a third girl's boy friend. Let's call this third girl Annie. Now one these girls said "Annie has been dating this guy for sixteen years and still I have seen sides of him that she hasn't." Is it just me or do others see a double meaning in the line? Back to work :))

    Rated R
    Two weeks back I went for a movie with a girl I dint know too well. The movie was great until naked people started appearing on screen. Oops! They did it again. It's happened before and I'm guessing it'll happen again. Years ago when I was in high school I went to watch Braveheart alone with a girl (btw, does alone with a girl sound right?). The movie was great (I am a sucker for historical pieces) until Mr. Gibson and Ms. Someone-I-Don't-Remember went all "hey hey" in the hay. Since then the situation has led to several deja vus and I still have no freakin clue on how to deal with it?

    So, for starters, what's the big deal? Elementary Dear Watson - men behave differently in the company of men ... and women don't know that. Back in school we had gone for Species with some five hundred thousand fellow male students. Now, for those of u who haven't seen the movie - Natasha Henstridge spent very little time with the costume designer. Every time the hot bod(y) would appear on screen you could hear "Yeahs!" and "Whoas!" in unison. Then, we men also like to assume the role of judges. "Which of the two girls did you like more?" "I thought Sharon Stone over did it. I liked Jeanne Tripplehorn more ...", we succumb to our basic instincts. "Did you see her when she came out of the shower???" ... the list just goes on.

    ALL THESE THINGS ARE A BIG NO WITH WOMEN. But ... but ... but, you can't just keep all quiet either. Not if before that the two of you smiled and spoke after every scene. Not if during the courting scene you smiled, did the "looking at the screen yet slanting towards her" move and said, "So has that happened to you? You must be getting a lot of that." Not if she laughed hysterically during the scene where the guy gets dumped, came close to your ears and said, "Now that must have happened to you a lot." Nudity = awkwardness; and we have to deal with that. You can't stare at the screen - then you are a pervert, you can't look away - then she knows that you are uncomfortable, you can't whistle - then she'll kill you, you can't keep quiet for too long - then it's eerie and you can't just say "I'll be back in a minute" and run away - coz then you are not man enuff.

    "Help!" yelped the farmer boy as the naked sheep fleeted before his eyes.

    Ski Trip Photos
    Ah! Have uploaded a bunch of snaps from the Ski Trip here. Check it out if you care or want something to stare.

    Monday, February 14, 2005

    The Most Romantic Valentine's Day Story
    Amidst all the gloom and solitude, Bubin's mail cheered me up. My dad is 50+ and even now, every now and then, he tries to flirt with my mom; something that completely embarrasses Mummum. Yesterday Bubin very sweetly (or so he claims) asked Mummum for a Valentine's Day kiss. Mummum it seems dint even look at him, went to the kitchen and got Bubin a handful of Hershey's Kisses candy and said, "Have your stomach's fill." It totally cracked me up :))

    Darlings, wish you a Very Happy Valentine's Day - I love you guys :)

    Out of the box
    I mentioned marriage and gifts in a post two days back - this is more of a follow up post. When my mom and dad got married, my dad's friends gave him a big, heavy, box-like packet. Every wedding gift has a little bit of excitement and curiosity packed along with it and for mom the excitement associated with this box was even more - dad' friends, large box and heavy - what could it be, she wondered. Later the couple found out that it was a box full of digestive tonics. My dad it seems was notorious for inane gifts (he apparently gave someone a pile of old newspapers once). It was only a matter of time before his deeds caught up ... and they did. The only solace was that the newly weds dint worry abt eating out and its repercussions for the next few moths :)

    I attended 3 weddings/receptions in the past few months and noticed that there are two types of attendees - ones who know that their gift is worthy of a mention and the others who use the gift as a ticket for a dinner to follow - so they don't spend more than a restaurant meal. Now the former group wants everyone to know what they've bought, coz that's their moment of glory. In my cousin's reception an aunt started, "We weren't sure what her finger size will be but then our jeweler said that if you have any problem with the diamond ring, he'll fix it in a day. So feel free to get it adjusted to your size" she instructed the new entrant of the family. The girl nodded gleefully, knowing that a diamond ring awaited her in the box. "I told the family tanti (skilled weaver) that this shawl (cloak like Indian clothing) has to be completed before the wedding. This is a tradition for us. For every nephew's wedding, I specially get a shawl made by this tanti. It takes six months," another one vaunted. Moral of the lecture - even though my gift looks like any ordinary shawl - make no mistake.

    On the other hand, the second group of paid dinner eaters keep a low profile. They hope that the reception area, seating the couple, will be crowded, leaving hardly any time for social tete-a-tete. Then one just mixes with the crowd and makes sure that the name tag on the gift is small ... if you've paid less, it pays more to be inconspicuous.

    "So much of knowledge on weddings," the blogger thought, "When will I get a chance?" The voice inside laughed and quoted the famous Pepsi ad, "Tumhara number Ayega!"

    How to be a good boyfriend - A Valentine's Day Special
    It's time to pass on the knowledge. Having run a fast lap and unable to run any further right now, the runner longingly looks at the eager hands and motivated eyes waiting in front; and hands over the baton.

    1. She's always right and if you don't agree that she's right, you'll be left.

    2. Everybody else's boy friend will always be better than you. They'll always do things that you don't and will strategically avoid the ones you shouldn't. So keep in mind - if things go wrong just become someone else's boy friend :)

    3. Every time she says, "How could you do this???" IT'S NOT A QUESTION. So don't even try to answer.

    4. No matter what you do, her best friend will always hate you. She might justify it by calling you a creep or can just say, "I don't know. He just appears strange!" So search for an unpleasant woman who has no friends whatsoever - that's the key to this lock.

    5. She needs more "space" - no matter where you romance; large empty parks or claustrophobic locked cars, the woman will always need more space. That's why people gift heart shaped balloons.

    6. Attention will be the driving tension. You'll never be paying her enuff of it and she'll pay you back in unkind. The only exception is the courtship period - after that the word court will only means legality. So let the gifts and compliments flow ... for that matter let them gush.

    7. She can always do better than you but she is the best thing to have ever happened to u. Accept this doctrine - it makes it easier to plead forgiveness when one of the above rules are broken.

    Shall stop at Seven - hoping that's lucky for all.

    To all those who are lonely, single and depressed on Valentine's Day
    Start a blog :)

    Sunday, February 13, 2005

    Back from Big Bear
    Ah! Just came back from my skiing trip from Big Bear. It was a mixed bag. While the sight of snow was beautiful and the experience unbelievable, moi did not manage the snow very well, specially after it got inside my gloves after innumerable falls. Shall report in detail abt the trip tomorrow. Really tired now - so shall just put up three photos from the trip. Enjoy (hopefully)!



    I dunno how Sid took this photo and neither does he :) but the unplanned effect of the light looks really neat (at least to me).



    All of us! Thanks guys for the great time:)



    Moi taking baby steps. This is how we do it! Shall put all the photos on Yahoo and link later. More blogging tomorrow (assuming body doesn't take a beating). Till then have fun and Happy Valentine's Day to all.

    Saturday, February 12, 2005

    It gets verse
    Well, it seems we are finally going for a skiing trip tomorrow!!!!! Very excited, coz - I've never seen snow - ain't that so "uncool" :) So thought of jotting down my thoughts in a "visual poem". I always felt that the visual aspect of poetry is in the mind and wanted to write something that's visual on paper. So, since I'm going to a mountain area I thought of writing a "hill shaped poem". Whatever! Have a nice Sunday!

    Nice
    Lovely Ice
    Painted with snow
    Miracles of white glow
    Hush, calm quiet serene land
    Endless mass of crystal frozen sand
    Beauty beckons us, n' the calmness calls
    The desire deepens n' the mind's image enthralls ...

    Wanted: Fake Wife
    What's common to a friend I haven't seen in three and half years, a cousin I haven't seen in four and a half years and another cousin who I don't think I've ever seen???
    They are all getting married, I'm invited to all their weddings, I can't make it to any of them and I HAVE TO BUY EACH ONE OF THEM A GIFT.

    That's it. Grrrrrrrr! I scream. For starters, I'm nowhere close to my own marriage (sob sob), secondly I don't know these people too well and thirdly ... well, who needs a third reason!

    So how did I land myself in this situation? Well, the two cousins were family affairs. One of them met me over messenger and said, "Hey, any chance that you'll be in India in February end?" Given that I was in India in January and he dint have the decency to meet me then, my chances of making a Feb trip for his wedding are pretty slim. The second cousin's third aunt or someone came to my house and gave a card and as far as my "friend" is concerned - that's a very interesting story. If this guy and I were in the same office, we wouldn't have spoken. We dint speak much in college either but thanks to the notion of an e-group we have been "in touch" it seems. So now that he has sent a mass invitation for his wedding, some clever guy has come up with this clever idea of everybody else in that e-group buying him an expensive gift. To make matters worse, the guys in US are expected to pay more for the gift. The grad student looked at computer screen and said - Grrrrr!

    So I've decided too - come Valentine's Day, I'm informing all and sundry that moi is getting married. The alibi is perfect - it was sudden but romantic Valentine's Day decision. I shall follow the lead of these people too and graciously invite them to San Diego for the wedding; shall initiate the topic of buying me a gift myself on the e-group and invite every cousin of mine and their cousins as well. All I need now is a girl to play along with me - to send back the quintessential marriage photographs to all those who "missed the wedding." It's a full proof plan - none of these folks will meet me in the next ten years. So if I'm married by then they'll just assume it's the same girl and if moi is still single - well, no one shows their anger on a middle aged unmarried guy! So if any kind woman, or even a womanly looking man, reading this post wants to join me in this ploy - Aho! If not - please wish me a Happy Marriage and since all of you are "invited", at least buy me some gift! Over and out!

    Redundancy
    is is.

    In-quizitive
    This post is dedicated to Ronny, Ani, Modi, Antara, Samit, Chitra, Ditch, Happy, Ari, Arka ... people who prevented the question mark from reaching a full stop.

    Modi asked me the other day what kind of a quizzard he was. For people who don't know Modi, he is one of the best quizzards I've ever seen. The guy quotes Shakespeare and Mithun with equal elan and I tried defining for him the different kinds of quizzards I know (what Modi thought best described him, will however remain a secret).

    The Rock Star Quizzard: This is the "cool" group of quizzing - the renegade quizzards. They always sport the slightly bugged look and hate the ones who have not been blessed with the gift of knowledge. "How the fu*k could he ask something abt the Ninja Turtles? That's so fuc*in lame," they shout. They swear by the Hitchhiker's Guide and Floyd is their lullaby for the night. It's easy to spot these people - they always hang around in a small group before and after the quiz, smoking an occasional cigarette, pulling back their hair and showing absolute disgust towards everything. If they win they say "Yeah, it was OK" and if they lose "That was a screwed up quiz. I'm never coming back here again."

    The Academics: To distort the great bard's line - "some men are born quizzards while others have quizzing thrust upon them." The academics belong to the latter category. These people are extremely bright students - the kind parents want their children to grow up and be. They never forget their history chapters, can name every country's capital and knows the scientific name of all the vegetables. To add to this already vast body of knowledge, they meticulously read the morning newspaper. For them quizzing is a natural extension of their passion. "My little one knows soooo much," the proud mother exclaims. The academics can often be seen hanging around with their school bags. They hate wasting time and are themselves hated by the rock star quizzards.

    The Silent Lovers: This group is probably the single most important reason that quizzing is still popular in India. They are the lovers of the art who don't paint too well themselves. They come for every quiz; rarely win or qualify; still they sit till the end; note down answers of interest and boisterously support their team of choice. Their faces light up when they get the occasional audience prize. On a rare day, when they qualify and place fifth, their nights lead to an extra hour of peaceful sleep. Had it not been for these people the rock star quizzards would have no audience to play for and the academics would spend a lot more time with their books.

    ... and finally The "I Quizzed Too": This is a small group who don't like quizzing, don't care abt it and have never gone to any quizzes but for that ONE quiz and still keep mentioning it. Just bring up the issue of quizzing and they'll shout out, "Oh! I used to quiz too. When I was in class four I went for a spelling quiz. BTW, have you been on Kaun Banega Crorepati (India's Who Wants to ...). They ... well they are ...

    Most people that I have seen quiz belonged to one of these categories (some overlapped) and so did I - As the Three Investigators said - ???

    Redundancy
    To all the people who start a sentence with "You won't believe what happened the other day ..." - If you are that sure that I won't believe, then why say?

    ... and if you are realllllly bored
    Check out this lame outcome of a "certain challenge" I had with my apt mate Sid!

    An Evening Well Spent???
    Well it seems that the skiing trip has been postponed till Sunday. So we did what any fun loving Indian crowd does on a Friday night in San Diego - went and saw a movie :( The movie in question was Hitch, a romantic comedy. Now, now - quick word of advice - if three guys go by themselves on a Friday night to watch what is being touted as a "Valentine's Day" movie - it's a BAD IDEA. People either think you are queer or you are sad - both of which are bad. So after the movie got over we decided to bathe off the dirt of romanticism with the soap of alcohol. We hit a bar and asked for something "exotic" and were served something called "Raspberry Fu*ker", a drink that apparently was quite heavy in alcohol. Now, for the few who don't know - I started drinking only six months back - so I have no freakin clue abt what's heavy and what's not. So while Vipul kept telling me abt how strong the Fu*ker actually was, I kept thinking abt this kung fu movie I had seen where some guy fought in the "drunken style". I want to make a revenge drama where an Indian guy wants to learn Kung Fu to avenge the outsourcing of his job. He finally meets a Chinese guy on the road and tells him "Mastah mastah, teach me rhombo kung fu da" and the fella replies back saying "Me no kung fu mastah. Me also software engineer from cell phone company. I can give you good deal on long distance calls."

    Friday, February 11, 2005

    Oooops!
    I just realized that some people thought I was discontinuing blogging - No Way! The last line of the previous post was a joke (on the same lines as the addict who once said that "leaving smoking is easy, I don't smoke between two cigarettes"). It's raining in SD, that might mean that my weekend skiing trip might get cancelled - so blogging is the only respite I have from coding :( So for now lemme just post a realization I had fifteen mins back:

    What is the difference between a workaholic and a sexaholic?
    One keeps wondering "what to do next" while the other ponders on "who to do next".

    Mark of Protest :)
    After having received several comments expressing concern, surprise and sympathy over the blogging frequency in this part of the web, the author of this blog has been deeply moved and disturbed. He shudders in fear to think that the outside World imagines him to be a jobless graduate student (and the term jobless has multiple connotations for graduate students - each more scary than the other) and lets out scary shrieks every time he sees his reflection in the pond. As a mark of protest he has decided what every sane person would do in such a situation - to not blog till his next post :)

    Bitter Half
    A friend of mine got her first salary and is blowing it up on alcohol and cigarette - she is just like the husband she doesn't want :)

    What's in a name
    Well, courtesy India having so many languages, the same name gets pronounced differently in different parts of the country (e.g. an Arvind from Tamil Nadu will probably become Aurobindo in Bengal etc.). So my mom has a name (which shall not be disclosed) that, though popular and cool in other parts of India, is one of the most common names for household helps in Bengal; a fact for which my mom still complains to my grandmom. So Mummum decided that she'll give both her children somewhat unique names.

    My name is Sagnik - Sagnik Nandy, and when I take my martinis I get shaken and stirred. For those of you who don't know me there are two details you should know - (a) there's an invisible 'H' after the S - so its pronounced "Sha" and not "Sa", and the 'G' is pronounced like 'G' and not 'J'. Thus, even though it's just 6 letters, a lot of people find it difficult to remember my name (my nondescript personality doesn't help much either) - like one of the professors in UCSD (whose name incidentally is Orailoglu) once told me in class, "I know what your name is. I can spell it. I just can't say it." So here are the top three advantages of my name:

  • It makes it less awkward to forget other people's names. I've ranted a zillion times abt how bad I am with names. It doesn't matter if you are Tina or a Tinkerbell, there's a fair chance I'll fumble in front of you. However, if you have no clue what my name is either, it becomes so much easier for both of us.


  • It's a good conversation starter with other Indians. "Wow! That's a nice name. What does it mean?" ... "It means worshipper of GOD AGNI (FIRE GOD)" ... "BTW, if you think that Sagnik is uncommon, you should listen to my sister's name - Sangsthita ..." I must have had this exact conversation a hundred times.


  • If you have ever done vanity searching in Google or if you belong to an area where people might actually Google your name before offering you an internship then having an uncommon name surely helps. Last checked, there were 3-4 Sagnik's hanging around on the web and all of us appear on the front page of Google (if you think that this is not a benefit you should ask my friends Rakesh and Siddhartha abt the problems they've faced).

    BTW, if any of you've had interesting incidents thanks to your names, please share.

  • Counting Chickens after they are fried
    Well! Blogger seems to have finally updated it's servers and this morning I could check how many posts and words I've written. I was quite surprised to see that I have penned down (or is it keyed down?) appx 97,000 words (!!!!!). A further approximation, assuming an average of 300 words in a page of a decent sized paper-bound book, means that this is like a 325 page book. Given the title of this blog - that's a large amount of randomness and confusion!

    Walking on the wild side
    Well, a few days back I went out with a girl (let's call her X) and we spoke on topics ranging from Scorcese to spicy hot and sour soups. However, the soup was not even close to the spiciest part of the evening. X mentioned in a fairly nonchalant fashion that she has done some "pretty wild things in the past".

    Me: Wow! Any that you can share with me?
    X: Hmmm! Lesse! Hmmm! Well this one time I was into bike stunts and me and my then boy friend got into trouble with the law in India thanks to one of our stunts.

    What???? Now, a little word abt the kind of people I normally hang out with - they normally don't have bikes and they normally don't get dates. So such a story is not the kind of stuff I hear too often. However, not to be out done, I churned out one of my wild stories too.

    Me: Well, lemme tell you abt one of my wild stories now.
    X: Yeah! Tell me. (Eyes glowing with subdued anticipation).
    Me: So, this was in second year of my undergrad days. Me and my then girl friend were studying for a mid term of Principles of Management.

    I could see the confusion in the X's eyes. She was aware that I was trying to up her story with mine, but somehow the academic setting of an Indian university didn't seem to be much of a match for her high speed bikes. This added an element of enigma to the situation.

    X: So what happened?
    Me: Well, lesse, how do I tell you this. Well, we were studying for this exam and it was a difficult class ... and finally me and my girl friend ... we skipped an entire chapter from the book .. coz the syllabus was way too big.
    X: And then?
    Me: No. That's it. That's as wild as we got.

    I wish I had a camera or the gift with words to describe the girl's reaction. At best I can say that there was an element of shock, pity and pity on her face. Just made me realize that I BADLY NEED SOME WILD STORIES :(

    Thursday, February 10, 2005

    The Vegetarian
    First of all - is it just me or does the name of this post actually sound like a reality show :) Anyway, thanks to a comment left by Sivani, I remembered this short conversation I overheard in the bus a few days back.

    Lady (to the driver): I decided to turn vegetarian last month. I've had it with meat.
    Driver: Wow! Vegetarian! That must be difficult! So what do you eat?
    Lady: Well, I still eat chicken.

    "What?" I said to myself. I never knew that I was a vegetarian all these days. I'm impressed.

    While on the topic of vegetarianism, a friend's friend apparently ate only cheese burgers for two years after she arrived in the US to make survival possible in a slow, fast-food infested area. It's only then that she found out that cheese burgers had more meat than she ever wanted to meet.

    Profundity ++
    Everybody has something that somebody else wants. On similar lines, every person wants something that somebody else has.

    Papa Don't Preach
    While on the topic of my dad, I have to confess that Bubin and I never had "that father-son talk" which is supposed to gently cuddle up the child in a blanket of wordly knowledge and place him cautiously on the path to adulthood. Dad took an easier route - he just broadened my social circle to include a bunch of over sexed teenagers who taught me the true meanings of birds, bees, flowers and deflowering. So now, every time dad wants to pass on some awkward advice, we manage to reach an all new level of awkwardness, with Bubin making extensive use of his "I saw on TV" card.

    For example, when I was leaving for US, he called me one day with Mom being made to strategically leave the room. "I saw on TV that in California (long awkward pause) people often go to clubs and ... (a much longer and more awkward pause) have unprotected sex," he said; getting a lot more embarrassed than I did. "Bubin .." I tried to stop him. "No, no! I'm not saying that you'll do anything. Just that, sometimes friends get down together and ..." I had to cut him mid-way and reassure him that the only stuff a bunch of Computer Science PhDs would probably do together is solve Homework Problem 3. Bubin smiled a smile of relief, feeling proud abt his son's promised celibacy.

    A few days back the key board of my laptop stopped working, probably because the keys got "board" (the true mark of a bad writer is to sneak in disgusting puns). At some point I mentioned this to my mom who in turn informed Bubin. The next time we spoke he started with his trademark, "They were showing on TV that if you visit 'adult sites' your machine can get a virus". What? For starters, what does my dad think of me? Boy! Do I have a reputation to mend? Secondly, I've been playing around with computers for the past ten years and I think I can differentiate between a hardware error and a hacker's attack. Quickly Bubin jumped to make amends - "No, I mean - a lot of your friends also use your machine, right?" Hmmmm!

    However, the reason I'm mentioning all this is courtesy the latest news Bubin has heard. "I saw on TV that a 4 year old kid in US drove his mother's car to a video store," he started yesterday. Now, even I had seen this story and had even wondered what the kid had in store for him (the bad writer sneaks in again) but to have Bubin worry abt this incident seemed unfathomable. "Bubin, in case you missed it - I'm no longer four." I informed him. "No, no," the old defense started, "I meant that since you drive around a lot, you better be careful because these kids might also be driving on the road. So you should be very careful."

    I assured my dad that there were no 4 year old toddlers driving on the streets of SD and that all risky drivers here were above the age of eight. The old dahling missed my joke. "What????" he replied, more concerned than before :)

    Baby's Day Out
    Years ago when Bubin would leave for work, he would lift the little but plump me up, make gargling sounds while rubbing my nose and ask me what I wanted him to get me from work. I always chose balloons. The colorful blobs of nothing provided all the air a little boy needed I guess. Then, once he got back from work, we would perform our daily two minute father-son act. "Did you miss me?" he would dotingly ask and I believe I used to make bad imitations of grumpy faces to show my anger. So what do you think made me reminisce abt my Daddy dear, early in the morning? My apt mate X and his girlfriend!!!

    X is a role model for all boyfriends who have their lady-loves residing miles away in India. Every morning before leaving for his lab he picks up the phone and gives Y a good night call. They start with hushed voices and cryptic mischievous smiles. Once in a while, between singing midnight ballads, he turns and I see his glowing face. Then, just before keeping the phone down, he does the "You sleep well. I'll miss you. No, I'll miss you more. No, I'll miss you more ... nooooo I'll miss u more" routine. Finally, he leaves for work. Late in the night, he comes back home, switches on the TV and calls her up again. The TV is just used to avoid me from overhearing the chirping of the love birds. Yet, if you work in the drawing room like I do, you are bound to hear the occasional "I missed you soooo much", "Have you taken breakfast", "If you don't say 'that' I'll not talk to you for two days ... just joking I can't even imagine not talking to you for two hours!" :)

    Dad, I miss being pampered by you :(

    Late Night conversation
    X(from India): I badly need a smoke but I don't have change.
    Me: Why don't you just stop smoking for a change :)

    Label (La Belle)
    Venue 1: www.cute-girl.blogpot.com
    Action: Comment saying "Hey, great post. I really liked the part abt how you got drunk and threw up!"
    Reaction: Counter comment saying, "Thank you :) Keep visiting" ...
    Label: cute-girl thinks the guy truly appreciates talent.

    Venue 2: Yahoo messenger of cute_girl
    Action: Window pops up saying, "Nice id :)"
    Reaction: cute_girl blocks admirer.
    Label: creep, pervert.

    Seriously, with the advent of the blogging culture, one can easily praise an unknown woman for her skills without crossing any social boundaries BUT try walking up to the same woman on the streets and praise her hazel hued eyes and she'll instantly offer you the "look at me stare ... how could u dare ... like my glare ... now u care" combo. Seriously, if you judge movies you are labeled a "critic", judge wine and you are labeled a "connoisseur", judge a book and you are labeled a "scholar" but try passing a judgment on the grace of the femme fatale kind and you are instantly labeled a "pervert" :(

    Are we trying to say that it's a bigger task to appreciate films, books and wine as compared to women? I don't think so and you better not too ... coz if you do, you my friend will instantly be labeled as a "sexist" :)

    Women - We men ... ???

    Wednesday, February 09, 2005

    From the shuttle
    The university shuttle is fast becoming my fav place to think. I can just sit back there, observe things and relax. Just now, while returning from the university, I was sitting in the shuttle and observing how the parallel lanes were disappearing to triangular forms. That's when three signs caught my eyes - AHEAD, SLOW and STOP; signs that I must have seen at least a thousand times. However, this time I noticed that if you leave the first letter of these words you are left with HEAD, LOW and TOP ... and if you are Ahead it gets into your Head, if you are Low you go Slow and if you are on the Top you just Stop!

    Maybe I was just thinking too much :)

    Idea
    Somebody should start selling money - it's tangible and there seems to be a great market demand for it.

    The Good Lover
    With Valentine's Day fast approaching, it's time for some love advice for the men. People, there's a dangerous specie called "The All Understanding Common Friend" and you better be aware/beware of them. I've seen these people aplenty. They look like us (some of us are them) and is nice to hang out and watch movies with but NEVER NEVER NEVER leave your lady-love alone with these guys.

    "You look kinda depressed. Is everything fine?" they'll soothingly ask, while offering to buy her a diet soda. Now all of us know that if you are in a relationship - something is always wrong - it can be the parents of the girl, the ex, building course work, too many flies in the house, prices of tomatoes going up, whatever ... something is ALWAYS wrong and your lady will be surprised at the sensitivity displayed by the good friend. "How do you know?" mah-lady would ask. "Oh! It somehow shows in your eyes. You have very expressive eyes." That's it - the seeds of crap have been laid and shit will soon grow. Soon he'll be the guy she confides in when it comes to matters abt you and he'll use his one lethal weapon - "I WOULDN'T HAVE DONE IT"

    A: I don't understand him, he seems so aloof.
    B: Aloof with you? :O Well, I can't say much but if I was with you I WOULDN'T HAVE DONE IT.

    A: He doesn't like my cooking.
    B: OK then! I think you cook the best jalebis (exotic Indian dessert) in the whole of North-West India, leaving Gujarat and Rajasthan. I have no idea how he dislikes your cooking. If I was in his place I WOULDN'T HAVE DONE IT.

    A: I hate his moustache.
    B: I WOULDN'T HAVE DONE IT.

    A: He sleeps in the night.
    B: I WOULDN'T HAVE DONE IT.

    blah blah blah - whatever ...

    An Actor's Delight
    At what point in an actor's life does he/she settle for an infomercial? Seriously, I don't wanna sound caustic but if you are featuring on TV at 2 in the morning, trying to sell a set of 10 shiny knives where one pays for only one of them and the rest come free - I don't think you are in the zenith of your career. Come on! I am no great actor but to be in an infomercial you just have to know how to look surprised - "What???? The fifth knife is also free?" Please good woman. If a man has offered you three free knives in the last three minutes the chances of him making you pay for the fourth one is slim. Even a stoned Anna Nicole Smith can guess that. "What???? This pen will make me write 2.75 times faster?" "What???? This lawn-mower will help me clean my car as well?" No, seriously - these actors look shocked even if someone says "You can pay by credit card." "What????? Not only do I get ten knives, I can also pay by credit card? Awesome" they'll add.

    Hmmmm! I should seriously stop complaining abt being a computer engineer - Any day I'd prefer doing what I do now over selling a tread mill that fits in a suitcase - or so I think :)

    A Dash of Ash
    I believe millions of people are waiting to read my views on Ms. Rai's appearance on David Letterman :) So the honest (though biased) reporter shall give an account of what happened:

    In came Ms. Rai with a smile so fake
    Ten mins of fake giggle, I barely could take
    The dress was OK but the jacket was too brown
    As she laughed for no reason, like a circus clown
    The lipstick appeared distracting, specially the shine
    But it's women's make up - don't value any opinion of mine
    Ash did a good job with some answers me feel
    But I wish they had chosen a better clipping reel
    To promote the bride without prejudice in mind
    They needed a better clip to avoid the Friday grind
    In places she was witty, giving tit for tat
    How I wish the interview had a lot more of that
    Instead they spoke on abt India and the cultural gap
    Rai did well with these questions - not falling for the trap
    However, the interview soon tread the path mundane
    Bottom line, wouldn't want to see this interview again!

    Tuesday, February 08, 2005

    More beating around the ...
    I mentioned the issue of flogging two posts below and just wanted to add something to that. This concerns my mom. I was really scared of Mummum as a kid but not because she would hit me - as a matter of fact Mummum rarely ever hit us ... but she always used the most effective set of threats.

    In retrospect all of Mummum's threats were highly innovative, highly impossible and highly effective. She would stare at me and my sis, the eyes would start turning angry and then she'll say with a crystal clear no-nonsense voice, "One more bad word from your mouth and I'll hit you with a ceiling fan" OR "Don't make me throw you from the fourth floor into the dumpster" OR "Pummy, if you shout in this house just one more time, I'll make your nose blunt like a doll". When I think back abt these threats, I marvel at the originality they oozed. Who else would offer to "lock the TV with chains" if I dint study hard enuff OR my personal favorite, "If you two don't behave I'll be forced to keep a dog in this house". Result - I studied my tiny kid buttock off to watch television and the fear of dog-bites made sure Pummy and I kept our bickering in control. As we grew older and more matured the threats would change, adapting to the intellect of the age we represented, but always effective to the core.

    Mummum obviously didn't do any of these things but the desired effect was always achieved - we kids turned out to pretty well mannered I'd say and ... with minimal use of force. Had Mummum actually tried force we would have probably got used to it in a while and might have just stopped reacting to it but these extremely scary offers were something we Never wanted to put to test. Bravo, Mummum - you are the best.

    A Follow Up Post
    Sivani's comment reminded me of something quite interesting. So thanks Sivani :)

    What I meant in the post was that this old relative of mine was of the notion that the entire country of US is under a cold wave, a fact that is often inspired by the average complexion of Americans. Years ago my dad used to stay in Ohio for a while and he apparently went back home fairer than what he was (I doubt that story too). Yanyway, this "fair assessment" reaffirmed the family's belief that US is a cold place and if you go there you become fairer. Years later another member of the Nandy family (read moi) came to the US and fell in love with Sunny California - a land full of beaches, surfers and toned women lying by the pool side. To enjoy California you have to enjoy the Sun. This led to considerable tanning and raised multiple well drawn eyebrows when I went back home. "You used to be fairer," my grandmom exclaimed when she saw me the first time. "Are you eating right?" She was almost willing to believe that the aliens had abducted her beloved grandson and left a shoddy tanned clone.

    BUT the whole incident has led to something even more hilarious. Now that my grandmom is informed that tanning is natural in CA, she uses this knowledge to her advantage. Every time other relatives comment on my "dark secrets" Didan will jump to my defense. "Tell them Jinku (one of the zillion sobriquets I have) abt how people actually pay to get tans there," she would say and smile, gleaming in the knowledge only she is privy to. She is a darling.

    Continuing with the pain in the ar**
    Dipu was just telling me abt corporal punishment in his school and it reminded me of my childhood. For me the saying "spare the rod and spoil the child" was just an argument against having test-tube babies, but my teachers in school thought otherwise. Dipu's stories reminded me of one of my most unforgettable experiences from high school.

    Mr. Vincent was our Art teacher, even though know one had ever seen him even put a dot on the black-board. To make him worth his salary the school made him the official starter in sports events and also made him serve as the official in-house flogging expert. Rumors ran wild abt his alleged affair with a female teacher, who I believe liked an occasional spanking.

    It all happened when moi and my friend Abhik were sitting through a screening of Julius Caesar (our prescribed text). The lights were dim, the acting was too dramatic even by Shakespearean standards and the woman playing Portia wasn't hot enuff. With so many evident distractions, Abhik and I kept ourselves busy by laughing at inopportune moments. Finally, when we broke out hysterically after one of the characters thrust a knife through her thigh, the supervising teacher summoned Mr. Vincent. Much like gifts of war brought from an exotic country, Abhik and I were handed over to Vincent the Terror. Vincy's eyes lit up. The narrow piece of oft used bamboo weapon was summoned. I was aware of an approaching whipping but what followed was far far far more painful.

    For starters, Vincent asked us in his trademark style, "How many of my best would you like?". Obviously that wasn't a question. I couldn't negotiate the volume of lashing with him! What if I told him, "Hmmm! well last time you weren't that good. So what say you give me just two of them now?" While I was thinking of all this Vincy replied himself, "Half a dozen each. That should teach you boys a lesson!"

    Vincent's tyranny was far from over. If any of you have ever got a lashing, you know that after the first two blows your buttock stops reacting. Pain becomes the natural state you are in. You just wait then for the murmur and giggles to disappear from the reveling audience. Vincent knew this - so he alternated between me and Abhik. "Wattak!" I would hear, a millisecond later the pain would start rising from my tushi to my heart and the eyes would reciprocate with a little more moisture ... and then there was a break ... the pain would subside ... you would look at Vincy doing the same to Abhik, knowing exactly what he is going through ... and then, before you knew, it was your turn again.

    Whooof! The lurid details of this incident reminds me how much of a mark it left in my mind. So if any of you think I'm twisted - well, well, well - blame it on a disturbed childhood :)

    Pun-ishment
    Everybody is over excited abt Aishwarya Rai's appearance on David Letterman tonight. Now there are two schools of thought abt Ash - (a) she is whoaaaaaaaaaaaa AND (b) she is whoaaaaaaaaaaaaa but very plastic and irritating to listen to. I somehow subscribe to the second school of thought and feel that the interview will be a real "pain in the Ash".

    Puzzling
    Subs came to me early in the morning, wearing his trademark green full-sleeved shirt, all ready for his internship interview. "There are 4 people - standing in the sequence D C B A i.e. D can see C, B and A, C can see B and A etc. There are 3 blue hats, 2 yellow hats and a pink hat and each one of them is wearing a hat from this set. D says he doesn't know the color of his hat and C and B say the same abt their hats. Hearing this A correctly guesses the color of his own hat. What is the color of A's hat?"

    Now lemme mention two things - (a) this is not the best way to wake me up in the morning when I ideally like to browse through news and film reviews and (b) people who know me, know how passionate I am abt puzzles. A part of me thought of saying "Nope. Shall do it later" but then a different part of me had already started thinking abt the problem. While I sat, thinking abt hats and the colorful melange, Sid joined me and started cracking jokes on "Why can't they just open the hats and check it? Was the one with the pink hat a girl? Do you wear hats?" the man bombarded me with questions galore. Now, strange as it may sound, I work much better with distractions coz then I think extra hard to just get done with the problem (I attribute this trait to growing up with a boisterous sister). Now the problem is done, I can get back to reading the news and you people can think on the problem if you care.

    BTW, if you like puzzles, at one point I had put some of them on my other defunct site. Check out the ones under "Hola". They are neat (or so I'll say)!

    Random Thoughts from a Bugged/Sleepy/Confused Mind
  • Never underestimate the power of desperation.

  • I killed my own ambition and now its ghost is haunting me.

  • I've always succeeded at failing.

  • There is nothing like a lonely man in a crowd of his own thoughts.

  • If you react to triumph and defeat the same way - why achieve?

  • Just one more day of laziness ... and I'll write this line again.

  • I don't think I'm screwed up - fucked up sounds so much better.

  • Monday, February 07, 2005

    Chilly tales
    Got off the phone after talking to one of my elderly relatives. Now this grandmother-ish relative is a doll, except when it comes to her knowledge of all things non Indian.

    She: So how is the weather in California?
    Me: It's pretty nice. Not cold at all. It actually gets pretty sunny during the day.
    She: What? It's not cold?
    Me: No. It's never cold in California.
    She: What? But Rupu's husband said it's very cold in their place.
    Me: Rupu's husband stays in Michigan. That's like a different part of the country.
    She: But it's all in the US, right?

    :)

    Monoblog again
    At the cost of being repetitive I shall continue with my monoblogs. But then given the amount of news I read and the screwed up mental state I'm currently in - a monoblog is a good vent :)

    According to ananova, a new prom dress has created quite an uproar amongst parents in the US. Apparently the racy red dress has only two thin straps covering the wearer's chest. I wonder if the company also plans to come up with a version of the dress with no strings attached.

    Cameron Diaz is trying hard to convince boy friend Justin Timberlake to enter the nuptial tie. The actress recently made Justin sit through multiple screenings of her break away hit - "There is Something About MARRY!"

    A recent survey by an American optical firm, found that nine out of 10 men think women who wear glasses are desirable. There is nothing like seeing a woman make a spectacle of herself.

    A leading email service has sent out multiple copies of a mass mail to millions of its customers, warning them abt SPAM.

    British hottie Liz Hurley has revealed some of her secrets to maintaining a "whoaaa" figure. These include having only one meal a day and going to bed hungry - an activity that often keeps boy friend Arun Nayyar hungry for more.

    Pamela Anderson has finally come clean abt the number of times she has had breast implants. It seems the lady has had just two uplifting experiences.

    What I want
    Tried working the whole day but couldn't - another day wasted in useless thinking. Bubin says that nothing ever goes wasted but Bubin also says that I should get into teaching :) Yanyways, a quick list of things that I want right now - no particular order, no reason either, just a way to remind me in ten days (or maybe 100) how transient my desires are:

    1. Want lots of money now (say a few million dollars), enuff to think abt a career option without considering the financial risks.

    2. Want to meet mom and dad - I am so bloody jealous of my sis right now - the sweet girl has never stayed out of home :)

    3. Do something creative - something that reflects my thought in my way, not something with a definite result but something where every person's results and approach will differ

    4. Be a stand up comedian :)

    5. Make a film (accomplishment of pt 1 should help me do this)

    6. Want some new friends - people with lots of time, enthusiasm and madness

    7. Want to smile, without pretending or without being scared of it going away

    8. Want to run away to some place with mountains and snow (I haven't ever seen snowfall) and be there all alone with a TV and computer for a week. Somehow I imagine a fireplace in a cozy room with a yellowish hue too.

    ... and so much more ...

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