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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Nostalgia 

Sid leaves for India tomorrow. If things work out the way that I hope they do, then it might be a while before Sid and I meet again. Sid and I've stayed together for a little more than two years now and ... I'm digressing. This post is not my sentimental goodbye to Sid. I can do that in person while forcefully keeping some of his valuables with me :) This post is abt change. Change that is not necessarily good or bad but is like the car that zooms past a flock of pigeons munching grains, making them fly away in a jiffy. You always knew that the grains will finish and the birds will eventually leave, but it's the suddenness of the moment that surprises you.

It's been four years and a few months since I came to San Diego. Just a flashback in black and white down memory lane tells me what a different person I was then. People who knew me then and have been kind enough to not shun contact will vouch for that. Four changing digits of the calendar witnessed dearest of friends becoming complete strangers, while unknown faces turned friends. I remember Rishi, Vineet, John, Satya ... that was 2001. I remember G, G and G ... that lasted till 2004. And Shubhra, Sid, Vipul, Siddharth, Rakesh and Dipu ... that's gonna last till tomorrow. Then Sid leaves. Dipu leaves on the 9th. Then I plan to leave.

We are men. We don't go for weepy goodbyes. Those are best left for Kate Hudson movies. We've already planned out how we'll meet in February. "Don't worry, we'll just drive down to your place," Vipul said. I told Shub that I will come down too. But will we? Or will this be like the time when a whole bunch of us from Pilani promised to meet up in Bangalore? Or like the time when a group of eighteen year olds, in navy blue and white, exchanged telephone numbers and "lines for me" in cheap diaries outside a Central Kolkata school? Or the time when a guy and a girl stood in a Chennai railway station and did the whole "You won't forget me, na" routine? That girl and guy don't speak no more. I've probably bumped into many of those navy blue clads on the roads of Kolkata and not even recognized them. The people from Pilani have an e-group where we wish each other on our birthdays. But the number of e-mails is fast decreasing.

WE ALL FORGET. We all move on with new friends. The old ones fade away from our memory. Wives of the new friends invite us over for dinner. "The chicken is awesome," I say, while taking another piece from the steaming pot. "Where did you learn the recipe?" "Oh this friend of mine from high school called Sid taught me. He was a great cook," the bhabi shines in praise.

"Oh! I used to stay with this guy called Sid," you add in. "I was supposed to meet him last February."

Monday, November 28, 2005

More on marriage 

So this is what happened. My apt mate S (and I'm sure a lot of people will think that S and I are the same person) showed me some profiles on a matrimonial site that looked identical (please don't ask me why S checks out matrimonial profiles - specially coz he's not planning to get married anytime soon). It was like multiple women having the exact same profile and demands. So I jokingly told S that I can automate the whole process :) Finally this afternoon I decided to take a break from preparing for my presentation and built this. Please try it out :)

P.S. The objective was just to show that genuine sounding marriage profiles can be created in an automated fashion. The profiles are fairly dynamic i.e. you will get something new if you redo the exact same search. There are lotsa other cooler things that can be done but I have a PhD to complete - so do it yourself :)

P.P.S. And many thanks to Teleute for beta testing the initial version of this :)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Under Where? 

I'm confused again. This time the topic of confusion is "underwear and the media". Yup! Moi is totally confounded by the way underwear is advertised, and it's time to speak up.

It all started when I read the line "she is a Victoria Secret model" in an article. Accompanying the article was the picture of an oooh la la woman, dressed in ... aah ... hmmm ... well, lessay she came with almost no strings attached. Yanyway! This visual made me think of all the undergarment ads that I've ever seen and I realized that the media probably got it all wrong. And it's not just female models that I'm talking abt. I've seen women drool over all those CK hunks. Those guys don't have six packs - they have more like fifteen. Chiseled jaws, pecked chests, sinewy torsos and nothing but a skimpy underwear on. Standing all wet with an unshaven look. Women going "whoaaaaa, just look at him."

Sadly, it's not women who buy men's underwear, but men who do so and (the same logic holds true for women's lingerie). And what do you think the average man is thinking when he sees this ad - he's like "Hmmm! Even with that pair of undies I'm not going to get those whistles. For all you know it'll just make those women realize just how different I am from these men."

Yup! The average man is likely to get terribly intimidated by six packed underwear models. Hunky bare chested men don't appeal to us (or at least most of us). Naaaaa! We want to see some flab. Give us six packs but fill those packs with some butter and cheese man. Show a balding guy with a tattoo gone wrong, standing with his red pair of boxers on ... with the line "Didn't the red take your eyes off his belly?" Now that's what I call a killer ad. You show me that ad and you have a red underwear customer in me and I'm no exception mind you.

The same logic holds true for women too. Isn't it ironic that they always use models for promoting lingerie that men would rather have naked in the first place. Why do that? I can see people screaming "Oh! Men want their girl friends to look like that and buying those skimpies will accomplish that!" Yeah sure! If I were to believe that some girl dating me will turn into a Gisele Bundchen if I spent $100 on her ... well, it doesn't speak volumes abt my intelligence - does it? So really - keep it real.

P.S. And what's this with men flaunting the elastic of their underwear? The day is not too far when all that men will care abt their underwear will be the elastics and trust me - that wont be a pretty sight :)

Friday, November 25, 2005

They finally got me :( 

Casablanca is convinced that I'm using my blog for wife hunting! First the posts abt marriage (if any woman falls for me after hearing my shallow advice on gifts I'll be most amused); then the podcasts (I can speak = I am not dumb baby) and now I have put up my photographs (incidentally I've been posting photos since last year). Why else will a guy do all this, if his inner intentions are not to find matrimonial bliss using his blog?

Yeah sure :) And all those suckers actually thought that desi matrimonial portals were the way to go. How daft! Don't they know that the first thing desi parents do on waking up every morning is go blog-hopping?

"Aji sunte ho? Did you find anyone worthwhile for our beti Dhanno?" the doting mom asks.

The agitated father shouts back. "Oh no way! All these bloggers have been writing abt IIPM and what not! No blogger has posted his views on marriage or his photos. How can we find a good husband for our beti this way?"

"Jii, what abt that Nandy chap? You said that he had posted his voice and photo and even hinted that he has a sweet father?"

"Oh please. His podcast was abt sleeping beauty and kissing and what not! Too modern for our beti. I don't think he will be a good choice for Dhanno. We should go for someone with a more serious blog. Maybe one of those journalists. Kya bolti ho?"

Now doesn't that seem like a plausible breakfast conversation?

Hmmmm! Now let's just step back here and rationalize abt my objectives. I must be obviously thinking that some girl (or even better - girls) will fall for me after reading my blog. Now that I have millions of suitors, who've read my views on a wide range of inane topics, heard my voice and seen me eat, they'll obviously contact me. Blog readers will send me emails reading:

"Dear Sagnik. I've read your blog and want to marry you (or at least make friendship with you). Obviously you are all that I dream of. You can write (or at least type), you can speak and you baby, will treat me to tikka kebabs as well. Now how do we go abt the whole marriage thing from here?"

Now I don't even have to try and explain how excited I'll be on receiving this email. I'll instantly reply back saying:

"Aaaah! This is wonderful. It is like we were made for each other. Why else will you like my blog? All my rants on topics ranging from mid-80s Hindi movies to similarly dressed twins have come to use now. Please send me the link to your blog so that I too can make up my mind. We can then have our families read both our blogs and make the final decision."

Yada yada yada! I'll obviously love her blog. Leave comments on it. She'll reply. I'll comment back. Our families will leave comments too. At some point a random guy will come and say that he likes our blog and he too has compiled a great site for dating. We will realize that it is a spam and turn word verification on. By the end of the year we'll get married. Next December we'll have our first child. We will put his/her photo on our blog and even call him Blogu ... wow ... this is so freakin exciting ...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

4 Steps to a GREAT Thanksgiving Lunch 


1. Waiting for food!

2. Aaaah! Food Arrives.

3. So does sweet deSSert!

4. You can't desert the dessert!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Papa now knows ... 

My dad now knows that I have a blog.

"What is it that you write on the Internet?" he enquires, making me visualize the Internet like a scroll of paper where I scribble.

"It's a blog Bubin. It's like a web diary. It comes from the term web log ..."

"Do you have to pay for it?" he cuts me short.

"No."

"Very good. You anyway spend too much money on movies."

He then bombards me with some more questions. "Who reads it?", "What is the link (he still doesn't use the term URL)?", "Do you have your photos on it?" and the likes. Blah blah!

But the coolest thing now is that every week he suggests things I should write abt on my blog. Whatever comes to his mind, the old man tells me, and then adds - "You should write in the Internet abt it" :))

"Have you written abt how Sourav Ganguly is being victimized?"

"No Bubin. I'm not writing abt Sourav Ganguly on my blog."

"Then tell me the link. I will go and write."

"Dad you can't write on my blog."

"What abt my observations on drunk people? Have you written abt them?"

"No Bubin. Trust me, you've been given ample footage on my blog. But I'm not going to write abt your drunk friends."

"At least write abt my latest observation. How children of actors and politicians in India make it big in the profession of their parents but singers and sportsmen traditionally don't. This just goes on to show that you need genuine talent to be a singer or sports person and nepotism can't help you much in these fields!"

"Ok! I'll mention this on my blog."

"Good! And send me the link. I will double check! And don't spend too much money on movies."

Monday, November 21, 2005

Southern Spice 

Well, it seems to be South Indian Movie Week on desi blogosphere. First this and now this. So I shall follow them and post this genuine question I've had for a while - is there any simple way of determining from South Indian movies who the hero is and who's the villain? I mean, if one is ignorant of the star system (defined as a simpleton who doesn't know the difference between Superstar vs. Megastar) and doesn't speak the language, can one still figure out who plays what, just by looking at the movie??

It all started years ago when my dad was posted in Chennai. Cable TV was a dream then. TV came with one channel that played a mix of local and national programmes. It was only a matter of time before dad became completely bored and started watching Tamil movies. What made this exercise very interesting was that Bubin watched movies without understanding a single line of what was being said. He concocted a story in his mind, based on what he saw, and then cross checked it with the land lady in the morning. On one such occasion, my dear dad saw a movie which ended with one moustached guy (A) killing of the other moustached guy (B). Based on this scene he traced back the story to be one where A was the hero, B was the villain and that at some point in the movie B had forcibly had sex with the heroine (which explained why A killed him). It was only later that Bubin found out that he had got the story all wrong. The movie it seems, was a tragedy (sob, sob) where the villain kills of the hero and hence the sex scene was actually one of love making between two lovers. All very interesting.

I grew up watching Hindi movies and they are very kind in this department. The hero always looks good and the villain always looks bad. Even when we have Tusshar Kapur as the hero, we make the villain look worse than him and trust me, that's a very daunting task :) We also normally keep our heroes clean shaven, while the villains sport fancy facial hair. There are exceptions to this rule though - like Anil Kapur, but in those movies we make the villain look that much more grotesque. Case in point Mr. India - remember how we gave Mogambo a golden hair dye and matching uniform to make it easy for the viewers. Remember Beta? Once again, to ensure viewer understanding, the villain Anupam Kher was given a huge bald patch, with electrocuted hair and even had a few teeth missing. Nope! We never went for subtlety - did we?

Sadly things don't seem to be so simple in movies from down South. Contrary to what you might think, I've actually seen quite a few Tamil movies (I used to date a Tamilian) and from the little that I've gathered, there seems to be no simple rule. I've seen movies where the hero had a moustache and the villain had a moustache, where the hero had a moustache and the villain dint have one (Shiva), where the hero dint have a moustache but the villain had one (I think it was called Run), where the hero was fat and the villain was thin, where the hero and villain were both fat etc. etc. etc. Come to think of it, I've even seen a Tamil movie where the hero and the villain were the same guy (some Kamal Hassan movie). So clearly there seems to be a rule of thumb missing. And with the thumb missing, there's lil I can do but just hand waive. So please help!

p.s. please read primalsoup's brilliant comment to this post - it deserves a post by itself :)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Audio Rant Again 

I tried go-karting this weekend and to be perfectly honest and modest - I rocked baby. I beat the second guy buy 2 laps and gloated abt my achievements to all and sundry. Also tried Peruvian food. Hmmmm! How did that go??? Well, lets just say that very rarely have I had one dinner and followed it up with another one instantly - ahem! Yanyways, recorded this audio rant as a response to something that I saw in the morning - listen to it if you want.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Part Three - return of the king (for his queen) 

Women have stopped talking to me thinking it was me who trained their men. Men have stopped talking to me thinking I've betrayed their trust by letting out their secrets. Animals give me dirty looks because that's what animals always do. And still I write the third part of this post as promised. Yes! ladies, gentleman and little Buzo - it's time to touch upon the all important topic of gifts. (For all those who haven't read the posts leading to this one - read this and that.)

Gifts are very very important in the "guy abroad and girl in India" romance. Gifts are the key to all the reservations she has in her mind against you. So play this card carefully. You have to keep in mind that you are trying to woo someone who hangs out with a lot of people whose boyfriends stay just next to them (sometimes even on top of them). So while these gal pals boast abt how "my guy surprised me with a bunch of roses last night" or "my guy is the most amazing kisser", your lady love has little to show off abt her long distance wooer. She tried mentioning the name of your university once or maybe she mentioned the salary you draw in your job but the moment her best friend's bike riding boyfriend got all her friends tickets for the latest Shahrukh Khan movie, everyone forgot abt you. Some day the thought will pop in her head - "it'll be so nice if my guy is here too". Bingo! That's when the gift helps.

The first gift is very important! You screw up with the first gift and you might not get a second chance. Don't start with flowers - if sent from US, they'll wither and if sent from some company back home, it wont impress her that much. Please don't send her a dress either; coz if you get the size wrong, you are dead - nothing hurts a girl as much as a beautiful dress she can't wear. Send her something that you still don't get in India OR something that is very expensive in India. Perfumes are as good as it gets. You make her smell good and she'll remember you everytime she smells that scent. Don't be cheap - go for one of the brands - nothing less than a Chanel or CK please. Play the first card well and thereafter you can be cheap and give her local brands and say "It's a new one that just came out and all the women in my office are raving abt it." But no compromises with the first one please.

The iPod Shuffle can be a great first gift too. A tad bit expensive mind you but a lot cheaper than what it is in India. Not only will the iPod speak for itself, it'll speak for you too. The next time her friends talk abt how their boyfriends did blah and bluh, all she'll have to do is plug the ear phones in her ear. All eyes will open and all mouths will shut. Yeah baby! If the Shuffle is too expensive for you - buy her a Palm Pilot. If that's expensive too OR if you are really cheap - settle for the best alternative - exotic chocolates. Mind you - the term is Exotic. Don't send her Nestle bars coz she can get that in India too. Go for Godiva. If you are really reallllly cheap - even a truck load of Ferrero Rochers can help. Coz these are chocolates that are still considered to be exotic in India and are much cheaper when bought here. So remember - the first gift should reinforce the notion that "my guy is a catch"!!

But the first gift is a double edged sword. A very expensive first gift increases expectations for a second one. And it's just a matter of time before her birthday comes and you can't blame her for expecting a big ring then (maybe even with a woman's best friend sitting in the middle). So the trick is to send one of those "cho chueeeet follow up gifts" just after you send the first gift. Say a big soft toy or flowers from India. This gift, if sent soon enough, will ease out her expectations, while keeping the first gift fresh in her memory. Thereafter you can send her three small gifts and a big one for every two months and she'll be happy.

Wooof! Am I glad that this topic is over???

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Stray Thoughts 

* There's nothing wrong in loving someone just for their money. At least you can bank on the person.

* Have you seen E.T. in a red T shirt. He looks out of the world.

* What techie group really enjoys car rallies?
- Storage Systems folk. Coz they really like a Hard Drive.

* His wife accused him of battery. She was positively charged up.

* Date a rapper ... and you can never say he rocks.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Audio Rant 

I'm going to take a break from the "how to woo series" (it still has one part that is pending) and try something new. The idea was suggested by M (who can be named but I've kept her name a secret till now and so she shall continue to be M who can't be named). She introduced me to podcasts. M felt that I sould try podcasting and so I gave it a shot. So basically, all you people who have audio support on your computer (and if you dont it's time that you buy a new machine), you can actually hear my latest post. I kinda liked making an audio post coz I'm likely to be a lot busier over the next few weeks and recording audio, once in a while, would save me some time (hopefully). So here you go - my first podcast.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Return of the Saga - phone(y) calls 

Yup! I'm back with part two of "how to woo desi gal from videsh". A quick recap of the not so interesting happenings till now - parents get boy and girl in contact, guy girl both do the "no mom i dont wanna marry" drama and finally agree "just to make their families happy" and then the guy sends the first email. The girl mails back, then the guy mails back, then the girl mails back - then one day guy writes - "Hey, why don't I give you a call". Girl smiles in her lil room and wonders what his voice will sound like and the saga continues ...

Now phone calls are a totally different ball game (as a matter of fact now is the time that you'll really need balls). The biggest challenge you'll face is "what to say". With an email you can think in advance and write whatever you want. Even reuse similar emails sent by other friends. But with a phone conversation it's all "real time" baby. Every third day my friend, who is the inspiration behind this post, asks me for topics to touch upon. Well, things are gonna be pretty simple when you are on the "once a week call schedule". Then you just start off with "So how was your week?" and follow up on all the things s(he) said in the previous conversation (e.g. "So how was that party that you were supposed to go to?" "Did you finally come out of the closest?" etc.) But once phone calls turn to bi or tri weekly affairs then you have to tri a lot harder :) This list might help you then:

1. Tell me abt your family - try to get to the cousins coz that's gonna keep you busy for a while.

2. Tell me abt your friends. Concentrate on school friends and saccharine cute kindergarten stories. "What? I can't believe that you too has a friend called Sanjay. So did I", "You studied for the wrong exam too? This is spooky. I did the exact same thing when I was in fourth standard" and similar blah blahs can help.

3. Past relationships. Hmmm! This is tricky. The rule is to ask the question, then see what is hurled back at you, and play accordingly. Don't be a Sehwag and decide in advance that you'll go for a sixer. Don't be a Dravid and decide to never hit a sixer. Be a Sachin. Give the bowler what he gives you. So if the girl says, "Yeah! I dated a few men. But nothing serious!" then play with the nonchalance angle. But if she bowls you a full toss and says "My last relationship was a really serious one" ... then offer her sympathy. "I understand what you are saying. It can be difficult to get betrayed by the ones you love."

Don't get me wrong - I'm not asking you to lie - I'm asking you to play along till you can offer the truth :) So till that point arrives "I completely understand" and "I know what you mean" are the buzz words for you :D

4. Secrets - Aaaah! I love this :) The best way to get close to a person. The "ok, tell me something abt you that I wouldn't know" angle always helps. Remember to be coaxing and NOT demanding and she'll surely share. And with share she'll dare. Remember to always be surprised (coz, she's sharing a secret duh!). The "That's so sweet" card can be used aplenty. "That's so sweet. I can't believe taht lil Ms. Dutta was actually scared of bathrooms."

I really wanted to write abt the "first gift". That's my favorite part. But the post is too long even by my standards - so that'll be the third and final part of this trilogy. A gift for someone you want to love :)

P.S. My friend actually doesn't mind me writing abt his experiences and is willing to forgive me if readers offer more topics for conversations. And please don't say "just go with the flow" - coz that doesn't work too well for him. Flow slows him down :)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Purely educational 

Ok! I've been advising one of my close friends on his possible arranged marriage situation :) I know that he reads my blog *and that he'll hurl abuses at me when he reads this* and would like to thank him whole heartedly for the material for this post. I also suspect that the post will be a lil too long and hence I shall break it up into two/three separate posts, at the end of which you'll know all that there is to long distance desi arranged marriage dating (now if that's not a niche area, I have no clue what is). Also, I'm no authority on this matter (as a matter of fact I'm quite the uninitiated one). So if you kind readers have anything more to add on to this topic - please do. My friend will surely benefit from your suggestions.

Assumptions: Guy stays in US (can be England, Australia or Canada as well). Girl stays in India. Somehow (read either via matrimonial sites or courtesy over-enthusiastic relatives) they've been brought into contact. This is not a fling mind you; coz emotions will be stirred and not shaken. So both parties mean business. Sadly, it's gonna be a while before the guy goes to India and hence the whole dating business has to be long distance. Got the situation?? Good! Now read on!

1. The Initial Contact
So this is the first time you'll interact directly with the girl. Before this it has all been through the parents. Your mom sent you her photograph and you liked it. Her mom showed her your photograph and she kept a copy of it in her cupboard. If rumors are to be believed she even showed it to some of her friends. All that's done. Things are now going to the next step - now you have to contact her (yes, it's always the guy who makes the first communication). So what do you do?

I think emails are the way to start. I know that phone calls to India are really cheap these days and you want to call her and impress her with your put on accent. I know you want to tell her abt the car you drive (without telling her that it was bought second hand). But don't do that right now. That's like bowling a googly when you are sure that a full toss will get you a wicket too. So let the phone call wait. Send her an email. Send her the standard "Let me tell you a little about myself. I went to blah blah and studied blah blah and now I am doing blah blah". Pleeeeeeeease spell check your document. Any kind of glaring spelling mistake and you'll instantly be given some negative points. Another important point is to mention at least one fun activity that you do and you're sure she doesn't. If you go for scuba diving or surfing - bingo! Tell her that and you have scored some good points. If you are really boring and seriously have nothing exciting to tell her - mention that you "like going on reallllllly long drives". And please - visiting strip clubs is NOT an activity. Remember that.

Also remember that a joke always helps. But a subtle one. Surely no scatological humor. If possible say something that is self demeaning in a funny way - BUT nothing abt your looks - that'll scare her. A good self demeaning aspect will be your forgetfulness; or how you are tormented by your sibling (if you don't have one use use that annoying cousin).

Heh! heh! So much for just the first email. And then you wait for her to reply. You check your emails every fifteen minutes thereafter and see if she has replied. Two things to remember - (a) she stays in India so there is a time difference and (b) she won't reply instantly either coz whoever wrote a similar MUST DO list for her would have mentioned that in Bold :) So learn to wait. And then when she replies - its round two. But that's another post - one where we'll discuss - the follow up email, the first phone call, the first gift, discussing ex relationships and your first romantic line.

Coming soon to a theatre near you - 70mm :)

Friday, November 11, 2005

And that's what I call a bad joke 

Well, my tryst with super busy-ness continues with dissertation work going on. However, this actual piece of conversation deserves mention. This is what I call pure bred techie humor.

She: I have to fix 30 small bugs over the next two days at work.
Me: You know what the best way to fix 30 small bugs is, right?
She: What?
Me: You do it byte by byte.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

House Fool 

For the few kind ones who enquired, I've been amazingly busy with my dissertation and will continue to be busy for the coming few weeks. So my posting habits may become more irregular. Blah blah. Yanyway! Blogging is a good relaxation and let me indulge in it a lil bit now.

I was privy to the following conversation a few days back. I'll be extra discreet and anonymize the whole thing. You'll never know for sure how many people were actually part of this conversation (some characters might have been added or dropped), what they were talking abt and whether moi was even a part of it. All I can say is that it included at least one member from both sexes. Peace!

A: It's more like a six to seven storeyed house. They might let you into the first few stories but only a special few get to visit the top floors.

B: Really? I thought people are a lot more generous now. Most people just walk into the first and second floors these days. The security is not like it used to be. Remember the times when you had to take care of the whole house if you even stepped into its compound?

C: Heh! Heh! Yeah! These days almost everybody has visited multiple houses.

A: Not true! I know of a friend who has just HEARD that a house is very well maintained. And just based on that info alone he has decided that he'll not settle for anything but that house.

C: Heh! Heh! That's better than this other friend of mine, who was kept away from his house only to find out later that the house was being used by other people.

B: What abt your old house A?

A: Don't even mention that. Within months of shifting to that place, I was allowed to visit the third and fourth floor. I was even told that the moment the landlady is sure that I would sign a long term lease, I'll be allowed into the fancier floors. Sadly, the landlady soon found out that graduate students can't afford big houses for too long and I was asked to leave. It was all very sad!

B: No wonder soo many people rent flats these days.

C: Heh! Heh!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Thank you 

Sometime at around 4 this evening my blog received its 100,000th hit! I wanted to know who made that hit - I would've sent him/her cheap stale food (in the form of gulab jamuns), I would've composed ballads in his/her honor, I would've sent him/her a photograph of me in a yellow shirt with yellow polka dots ... so many plans and they all failed. All because by the time I checked the stats counter the information had disappeared. Like an unsigned card from a secret admirer, this became an anonymous event that gave me joy. Thank you!

Desi Potlucks and more 

So I attended the UCSD Diwali Potluck party where we had great food and savage dancing. For the uninitiated, moi made that thing called "gulab jamuns" - which no one ate :( You know your food is bad when you yourself stay away from it. The saddest part was me standing next to the jamuns and advertising them to poor people, who would then search around for the smallest piece in the pot to make me happy. Sad! Yanyway, there are two points I wanna make abt desi potlucks:

* If you are cheap: Nope! Moi is not making jamuns the next time around. Maybe I'll go without anything. Not even the customary packet of chips. But I do have a strategy in mind to avoid any embarrassing question abt my cheapness. If asked what I brought, I plan to proudly proclaim that I made the chhola. Yup! Have you noticed how in all desi parties there are at least half a dozen people who make chhola. So you can safely say t hat you made the chhola and not even worry abt telling that to a person who actually made chhola coz there will be an ample amount of buffer :)

* The cool doodh: And why don't people bring cartons of milk in desi potlucks? (I wanted to do so last year) As a race we love milk. Then why can't we take them to parties? Think abt it - we take soda, juice and even jaljeera BUT never milk. That's it. Next desi potluck that I go to - I'm taking a carton of fat free skimmed milk. Anyone inviting?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

How cheap is that? 

This post is inspired by this other post. Lovers of Bengali - please check out the site. It's hilarious.

So have you ever gone out with someone where it's not clear who's gonna pay for the food? A perfect example will be a date with a boring girl. You flash your chivalry card by taking her to a very good restaurant and fifteen minutes into dinner you realize that "Nope! No way are we going out on a second date." In the mean time she calls the waiter and orders one more plate of appetizer. "Good woman, stop it!" you say to yourself. But she doesn't. She orders enuff to fill half a town and then smiles and says, "I just love the chocolate cake in this place. What will you have for dessert?" That's when you say to yourself, "No way am I paying for this dinner all by myself!" But how do you make that evident?

Being quite the magnet for boring people - I've been in these stinky shoes more than once. Not just boring women dates mind you, I've gone out with male friends who assume that you'll treat them just coz you stay in the same locality as the restaurant. It is then that the following two techniques come very handy:

* Where's my credit card: Now the rule in these situations is very simple. Delay the situation for long enuff so that the other person HAS to offer to pay. "Sh!t, where did I keep my credit card," you say. She keeps quiet. "I just hope I didn't leave it in the gym." She still keeps quiet. "I don't even have enuff cash - sh!t." *note: as distasteful as repeated usage of sh!t post dinner might sound - it works well* That's when she does the whole courtesy "It's ok! I can pay" routine. Now as tempted as you might be to accept this offer - don't! Coz then you'll turn into a certified cheapskate. "No no! Just gimme a minute." That should be your line. Now search for your credit card frantically. Just don't find it. That's when she'll say, "It's ok! I can pay now - you pay me later." That's when you sigh and say, "Doesn't look like I have much of a choice. Sh!t. I just hope I find the card." So that's how she pays. A good thing to say here is, "I don't have too much cash on me but I can at least pay for my part." Since she'll anyway be reluctant to pay, a lil insistence and she'll agree to this offer. This way everyone is happy - almost!

* Rest in the rest-room: Now this trick requires a lil more practice (I've seen it fail - so be warned): The moment you realize that the waiter is bringing the bill, you excuse yourself and go for a lil toilet break. The timing is the key thing here. If you do it just when the waiter is coming then you are screwed. You have to "estimate" the waiter's arrival and leave accordingly. And the key is to leave the other person with the check long enuff for the waiter to actually come back for it. That's when they pay out of embarrassment coz otherwise it means they are literally telling you "PAY FOR ME!" Once this is done - you can come back and do the whole "I'll pay for my part routine!"

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Tag of War 

I normally stay away from tagging people or being part of tags but Rohan's idea sounds novel (no pun intended) to say the least. I've played similar games in parties where everyone adds a line to the story and the end result is always filled with gore and sex. This one however reads more like an actual story till now and so I shall continue it with utmost sincerity:

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He had always known that silence spoke volumes, unfortunately it was in a language he failed to decipher on most occasions. A long pause. He stared for what seemed liked ages. It made little sense. May be it wasn't meant to be. He shrugged and looked at his friend. The pregnant silence was ruptured by his friends intermittent sobbing. Today was Diwali, it was supposed to be the "Festival of Lights", but things were different tonight. "Lights out", yelled the Jailor. The lights went out and the virgin night was silent and dark again. But, then was he reminded of his lover whose murder brought him here. All of a sudden, the summer heat in the cell, felt dreadfully cold, when, every moment of his past life flashed in front of his eyes as he stared at the writings on the wall. It was scribbled all over, by previous inmates of the cell. Murderers, as they called them. But maybe there were not murderers, he thought, just like him. Maybe they were just misunderstood. After all, he had to kill her, so he could be sure, that she would never feel pain again.
He had loved her from the moment he gazed into those blue green eyes, he had loved her when those very eyes had looked at him beseechingly for the last time and he had loved her for every passing second in between. But all this was lost on the anti euthanasia lobby who had vehemently screamed murder as his case had hit the headlines.

It all began on a silent winter morning. The cold had crept in without its whistling army of winds. The small town slept. Wrinkled in cold, as glowing fireplaces let out splinters of warmth. Unexpectedly silent.

But he was awake. He was always awake. Sleep and he had parted ways three summers back. Since then every time his eyes closed, the mind played stage to that dramatic night.


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I'd like to pass on the tag to Teleute, the English major, coz this is the kind of stuff that enthuses her :)

Occupational Hazzards 

* Heard abt the undertaker who worked in a poultry farm?
- He digs chicks.

* Heard abt the barber who joined the army?
- His job was hair today and gun tomorrow.

* Heard abt the teacher who supervised school examinations?
- He faced some testing times.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Greetings Galore!!!!! 

To all the readers of this blog - Shubho KALI Pujo and a Very Happy DIWALI. Have lots of fun and enjoy tonsa!

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