Monday, May 30, 2005


(Bold text indicates thoughts)

Oh! My God! This is terrible!

Realization had suddenly dawned upon him. And he could scarcely believe what he was thinking. There must be some other explanation.

He went over all the facts again, mulling over each one slowly in his mind. Again and again and again. Nothing changed. Her face kept popping into his mind. He tried to push it away, and yet cling onto it at the same time.

How can this be possible? It just wasn't supposed to turn out this way.

It had all started a couple of weeks back. That's when he had first seen her. Hmm... not bad. God must certainly have been in a raunchy mood when he created her.

He saw her on quite a few occasions in the following fortnight. They spoke a bit. Of general stuff, nothing too personal. She seemed extremely nice and a lot of fun. And he knew he was falling. And falling fast!

With the passing of time, he began to sense a slight reciprocation of his sentiments. There wasn't much - just the subtlest of hints. But that there was something, he was certain.

And now this!

In a way he should have seen it coming. But then he had been too focused on her to see the signs. Now when he looked back, they were all there. Harbingers of an impending truth.

He had just become aware of the fact that she was going out with a friend of his. Since a while. Since before he had even met her.

How the hell can they be going out? He still didn't believe it. Or rather didn't want to believe it. It all makes sense though. Everything fits. And they are great together. Damn!

This guy wasn't a particularly close friend. But he was a friend. And that's all that mattered. It meant he couldn't do anything, as long as they were together. Not a damn thing.

Except turn on his computer and write about it on his blog...

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Bat - tered!

I am no great animal lover. I do not find little puppies cute. Nor bats. So when a couple of months ago a bat decided it liked my balcony as a hang-out zone (pun intended!), I decided it was time to take matters into my own (very capable) hands. Now, Ozzy Osbourne would have gotten rid of the little vermin by biting its ugly little head off, but a detailed study has finally concluded that although I do fancy peeing on audiences at a rock concert, I am not Ozzy!

So I decided to just drive the poor thing away. But it came back. So I drove it away again. And again it came back! 2395 'drive-away and come-back's later (ok, so it probably was a little less than that!), I'd had enough! It was like a bad horror novel... without the hot chicks! A 2x4 should settle things nicely. One well-timed swing and the little twerp was gone permanently. Not just from my balcony, but from this world!

Apparently though, the news network in the bat community isn't quite great. (It must be Aaj Tak!) So while you may have thought that my act would keep all the other bats away from the killing grounds (read - my balcony), that's not really what happened. Well, things were quiet for a while. But then this evening another bat decided to come and settle (upside) down!

Now, having already once been given a demonstration of the learning abilities (or the lack of them) of a bat, I decided that this time the 2x4 would make an earlier appearance. Let no one say that I'm a cold-hearted murderer callous about the lives of God's little creatures, though! So I did give it one chance to make good it's escape. But no! It came back. 2x4, nice swing, connect - presto! No bat!

I don't think any more bats are likely to put in appearances in my balcony any more. Unless they want to commit suicide. In that case, they don't have too many other choices. It's hard for a bat to buy sleeping pills or any other drugs at the pharmacy! Well, the 2x4's ready!


Ever heard someone say - "It tastes like shit!"?

How do they know? They haven't tasted shit! Or have they?

Is Kimi Raikkonen the unluckiest guy in the world or what? Remember 2 seasons ago when he missed out on the Championship by what - 2 points? Remember how he would keep crashing out of races because of mechanical failure? Because his car would give out on him? And now today he crashes out due to suspension failure on the last lap of a race that he was leading!

Well, I'm not exactly the Finn's biggest fan (that's because I'm only 5'11" - 150 pounds!) and I may only have watched the last 7 laps of today's race, but my heart still goes out to the guy. With the kind of luck he's been having, he could probably take out a wager with himself and still lose! I wouldn't risk going out for a while, Kimi. Stay at home in bed where you know you'll be safe (although with your luck I still wouldn’t be sure)! To use an old Aussie expression - "You're luck's got the wood on ya, mate!"

Why are all the people named Shaggy so cool? (All two of them, I mean!) In fact I can't decide which one's cooler? Mr Boombastic or Mr I-got-a-talking-Dog-named-Scooby? This one's totally your call. It's too close for me.

In keeping with the "which-one-is-more ... " theme, here's another question. Which is more embarrassing - getting caught making out by your parents or catching them making out? Here I'm firmly with the latter!

And finally, ever heard of the 7th grader who's giving his name on the phone - "Perry! That's P as in pterodactyl!"

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Lady Godiva - Retold!

We are all voyeurs. It has to be true; Reality TV would never have been such a success otherwise! Right from the time Adam and Eve first caught a glimpse of each other, down through the ages with Lady Godiva and the original Peeping Tom, right up to today nothing has changed!

Speaking of which, I've never really understood the whole Lady Godiva story.

Apparently, sometime in the 12th century, Earl Leofric (or was he Count?) of Mercia was levying far too harsh taxes on his subjects (the people of Mercia, of course!). So his beautiful wife, Lady Godiva, steps up to play Superwoman. (i.e. if Superwoman were posing for Playboy!) She chalks out a deal with Hubby whereby she would ride through the town in the nude if he lowered the taxes! (The plan may have been to lower the taxes, but I'm sure it would have raised a few other things, if you know what I mean!) He husband agreed. Why he would want the entire countryside to see his beautiful wife in the buff is beyond me! I would have thought he would have wanted to reserve that sight solely for his bedroom!

But now Lady Godiva (like any good Playboy model) was a conniving vixen! So she played both sides, and decided to have a little meeting with the townsfolk. There she convinced them that if they wanted their taxes reduced they would have to promise to remain indoors with their windows and doors shut while she rode around. (See, that's I call smart! Both sides are happy and she gets to do a little sunbathing in her birthday suit without any prying eyes!) They agreed. I don't know why; I would rather have enjoyed the view and suffered the high tax rates!

So the next day, things all started off according to plan. The townspeople shut themselves indoors. Lady Godiva procured herself a nice young mare. (Somehow it wouldn't have been appropriate to do it on a male horse!) She then placed the saddle on it. Disrobed. Mounted the mare. Climbed back down because the saddle hurt her sensitive regions. Removed the saddle. And then finally remounted the mare bareback. (Well, bareback here refers only to the mare; the Lady obviously was bare-everything!)

A-Ha! That's where the plot started to unravel (like a ball of wool, to use a simile!). For in that town dwelled a tailor who hadn't been delivered his collection of porn for that week! So like any good porn-freak worth two bits, he was upset. And when he saw this golden opportunity, he hatched a devious and complicated plot. He decided he would open his window and take a peek. (Ok! Ok! So maybe it wasn't all that complicated!)

So as the Lady rode by our voyeuristic friend opened his window to catch the show. Legend has it that he was then struck by a flash of bright light that rendered him blind. (My own version though has a much more romantic ending!) Also, as luck would have it, his name was Tom. Thank God for that! What if his name had been Harry? The phrase Peeping Tom would not have made any sense in that case!

So that's how the story ended - Tom became blind (but oh! what a last sight that must have been!), Lady Godiva got numerous offers from the top pornographic directors of the time and a year's contract with Penthouse, and the Earl, thanks to his wife's new earning opportunities, managed to survive with the lowered taxes!

The taxes seem pretty high today too, don't you think? Why doesn't someone step up to the plate? How about it, Aishwarya? This could be a golden opportunity to live up to what you promised in that very touching Miss World speech! (Oh! Wait a minute, those speeches are all baloney, aren't they?)

Friday, May 27, 2005

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Popular Blogging!

(Following up on the immense popularity of the first article of The Complete Idiot's Guide series!)

Ok, so you've decided to start a blog of your own. Everyone else is doing it, and so you thought you'd give it a try as well. After all, how tough can it be, eh?

But then you notice that you aren't getting the hits! The comments aren't coming in and no one seems to care about your blog! Don't worry - read on!

There are two basic aspects to consider if you want to become a popular blogger - content and publicity.


What do you write about on the blog?

There are only three important things to consider when writing a blog - content, content and content! (That's probably the oldest joke in the book, but it never fails!)

As far as possible stick to general topics. Or at least have a wide spread of the topics you write about. For example, I could go on and on about my dog Fifi (actually I couldn't since I don't have one!) but that would be of little or no interest to anyone (unless my dog knew how to use the computer and access the web).

Stay away from obscure topics. A post on the history of Manchester United, though well written, would interest few readers other than hardcore MU fans (and we all know there are only 4 of them)! An equally well-written post on soccer in general would obviously interest considerably more readers.

Sometimes topics that may interest you a lot may not be very popular with the hoi polloi (incidentally, neither are words like 'hoi polloi'!). So before you post something, think twice about whether the average reader who knows nothing about you would be interested in reading what you are about to post.

If you write about something local (like a local TV show) ensure that you give a little outline so that someone halfway across the world can also follow what you are trying to say. Stay away from inside jokes (jokes understood only by your group of friends) and alluding to incidents that only a certain select few would be aware of.

Humor is always the safest bet, so long as it is kept clean and easy to understand (wouldn't want to exclude all the Poles from your readership now, would you?). A humorous article has universal acceptance and the reader need not know anything about you to enjoy it. A funny blog is always a popular blog.

How do you write?

Another important point is how you write your blog. Do not use SMS lingo. There's no shortage of character space here and it is extremely annoying to read. Ensure that you write using proper grammar and spelling. Read your article carefully before posting to get rid of any typographical erors (yeah, of course I did that on purpose!).

Do not let your articles grow too long. Because then unless you manage to captivate the reader with the first few paragraphs, he is unlikely to read on to the end. A shorter article is much more likely to be read.

And always keep the font big and readable! (This is one rule I obviously don’t believe in following, but then I’m not an Idiot!)


It is not necessary that you post everyday, but posting as regularly as possible will certainly improve your readership. Few people will bother checking your blog everyday if they know you post only once a fortnight!

But on the other hand, posting everyday just because you have to post everyday is not going to be of any use. If you have nothing interesting to post, it's better not to post anything at all than to post something boring.


The more the number of people who know about your blog, the more the number of readers you will have. (Simple math, ain't it?) So spread the word around. Let all your relatives know about the blog (especially those who do have access to a computer)! Try to slip your blog into conversations that you have with friends and colleagues. Almost any conversation can be led to your blog if you're skillful enough.

A large percentage of your readership will be fellow bloggers. So the best way to get people to read your blog is to read theirs! Go around surfing through the links and leave comments on the blogs you come across. This is one of the best means of improving readership.

It works in the following way - you read A's blog and leave a comment. Now, A doesn't know if you are going to come back or not. For all he knows you may have forgotten his URL. Remember A is probably as interested in increasing his readership as you are in yours. So A will probably visit your blog and leave a comment there for you. Bingo!

Put up links in your sidebar to other popular blogs (and ensure they reciprocate the action)! Remember this is not a zero-sum situation. In other words, it's not necessarily win-lose. Thus your linking someone else on your blog is not going to reduce your own readership!

(If you're someone out there who has linked me and I haven't linked you, please let me know!)

Ultimately though, you must realize that publicity can only get people to visit your blog the first time. After that it's only the quality of the content that will keep them coming back.

Happy Blogging, Idiots!

Weird Lyrics and Other Shits

Murphy's Law, movies and exams all combine to produce the following apothegm - "The best movies will be shown on TV the night before your exam!" So far this maxim has proved to be true on numerous occasions, as far as I am concerned. Luckily, since I am not that great a movie fan it's not too bad.

The other day one of my friends was asked, "What physical abnormality would have distinguished Adam from the rest of mankind?"

His answer was, "He was born naked!"

How exactly were you born, mister? In a three piece suit? No? I didn't think so!

The actual answer was supposed to be that Adam didn't have a navel.

I was watching a show on VH1 called The Most Awesomely Bad #1's Ever, and I realized that some really famous songs have the stupidest of lyrics. For example, The Look by Roxette -

Walking like a man, hitting like a hammer
She's a juvenile scam, never was a quitter
Tasty like a raindrop, she's got the look
Heavenly bound cos heaven's got a number
When she's spinning me around, kissing is a colour
Her loving is a wild dog, she's got the look

I'm sorry, but what in the world is half of that supposed to mean? 'Tasty like a raindrop'? 'Kissing is a colour'? And don't even get me started on the other phrases!

Fire in the ice, naked to the T-bone
Is a lover's disguise, banging on the head drum
Shaking like a mad bull, she's got the look
Swaying to the band, moving like a hammer
She's a miracle man, loving is the ocean
Kissing is the wet sand, she's got the look

Yeah, here's some more from the same song. Now kissing is the wet sand? How could it ever have been a #1?

I've been to Rajneesh's Osho Ashram quite a few times and it never fails to fascinate me each time. It's also inspired me to think of starting something like that myself. Look at the plus points - I get to make all the rules (if I say free sex for everyone, then free sex it is), everyone will have to worship me as a Bhagwan (God), and I'll become rich! All I need is some capital and I can be on my way! Anyone interested in joining me in this *ahem cough* holy endeavor?

Yesterday apparently was World Expression's Day. So if you had to come up with one word/expression to describe me what would it be? I've already got two answers - sarcastic and witty! (I think the second person was referring to some one else here!)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Most (if not all) people who smoke are well aware of the hazards posed to them by smoking. Why, then, do they continue to do so? Is it just a lack of concern for their own health and well-being? I think it's more of a "you only live once, might as well enjoy it" attitude. In many ways I can empathize and even agree with this outlook. So long as you are not causing any discomfort to someone else.

What I therefore do not agree with is smoking in public areas. Smoke all you want, but do not blow your smoke into someone else's face. Thousands of fathers smoke in the vicinity of their children. While they may not really care about the fate of their own lungs, I think it's extremely selfish on their part to cause their young kids to inhale the smoke that they exhale.

My Dad smoked. In fact he still does. I don't mind it because he ensures that he doesn't smoke where any of us are around. So if he wants to light up, he'll go out into the balcony and do so.

For my own part, I have smoked only about 3-4 cigarettes in my life (enough to say I've smoked, but not enough to get hooked)! And one cigar (which I thought was so much better)! I don't plan to start smoking any time in the near future. While it is possible to be a social drinker, it's extremely difficult to be a social smoker. Thus someone who starts smoking has the tendency to smoke throughout the day, everyday. And I believe for this reason at least smoking is more dangerous a vice than drinking.

I have quite a few friends who smoke. It's always interesting to hear the reasons (excuses, if you may) for them not quitting.

"So I'll live five years less; but I'll enjoy it more!"

"I have enough faith in the progress of science and medicine to believe that by the time I am 50 there'll be a cure for lung cancer!"

"Those who don't smoke die of heart attack in any case"

All I have to say is they're your lungs buddies!

To end with a joke as usual - "Quitting smoking is so easy; I myself have quit a hundred times already!"

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Wrong Generation

Young boys have always been fascinated by older women! It's a simple, everyday fact of life. That's one reason why I actually feel sorry for Adam - he had no older woman to be fascinated by!

I'm no different. Most of my crushes have been on females considerably older than I. In fact I think the word 'females' makes them sound too young and it would be more appropriate if I called them ladies! Does anyone want to hazard any guesses or put forward any theories for the existence of this phenomenon?

Speaking of older ladies (and gentlemen), isn't it amusing that over here any person who is older than you is addressed as 'Uncle' or 'Aunty'? (Yup! Not even Aunt, but Aunty!) So if you meet someone on the road, it's - "How do you do, Uncle?" Or if you're Mom's friend comes over for dinner and asks you what you are doing - "I'm working with Thomas Cook, Aunty!"

You could 40 years old; as long as the other person is older than you, the U/A word just has to come out. When I addressed my friend's Mom as 'Ma'am' she almost got a heart attack! So the next time I tried 'Mrs. Joshi'; another quasi-cardiac arrest! I think I was thinking of going with 'Mrs. J', but now I think that might be too hazardous to her health!

I think the previous generation sure was lucky. Smoking pot, sleeping around, getting their kicks from listening Led Zeppelin! Hey wait! That's exactly what we do now too! But I still think my Pop had it better!

I mean those were the days of the Revolution and social nonconformism! The typical Beatle hairdos and those kickass-sexy jeans! Or the long flowing hair and the beard with the bright floral shirts! Free sex and loving for all! What I wouldn't give to have lived in those days instead!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Shit Happens

No matter who you are from Einstein to George Bush (think I covered the entire intellectual spectrum nicely there), at some point in your life your Dad is to you the greatest man on Earth. A quasi-supernatural being who can do no wrong! I think after tonight it's safe to say that those days are for me at least well in the past.

What exactly happened tonight? Well, I just found out that my Dad watches Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin! The ignominy of it all! My Pop watches a soap? And that too one of the worst ever? No amount of beer-guzzling, bear-grunting on his part is ever going to repair the damage caused by tonight! Even when I see him after a 2-week holiday in Goa, all tanned, unshaven and manly I'm still going to have the repugnant image of him watching the soap clouding my sight.

I've initiated a covert investigation into the matter. Prima facie, I have deduced that this abominable disease was brought into the family by my sister. She apparently spread the JJKN-philia to my Mom. And now it seems to have reached my Dad. I'm sure he hasn't reached the critical stage as yet and it may just be possible to still rescue him. I'm guessing a dose of the NBA playoffs should help! As for my Mom and sister, I can only pray for their souls in the afterlife!

I think Saturday 11th June is the best day for our planned gathering of Poona's bloggers. The engineering exams would be done by then. I think get together for dinner is the best bet as of now. Please let me know if any of you have any other suggestions for either date or agenda.

I opened my books today for the first time in 3 days (exams start in 6 days) and promptly fell asleep! Fortunately the voluminous tomes that we engineering students are compelled to study from double up nicely as handy, if a bit uncomfortable, pillows!

I'll leave you guys with something that I found in the list of funny quotes that Aditya mailed me a few days back -

"Shit Happens" - in various world religions

Taoism: Shit happens.

Hare Krishna: Shit happens Rama Rama Ding Ding

Hinduism: This shit has happened before.

Islam: That shit happens is the will of Allah.

Zen: What is the sound of shit happening?

Existentialism: Shit doesn’t happen; shit is.

Buddhism: When shit happens, is it really shit?

Confucianism: Confucius say, “Shit happens”.

7th day Adventist: Shit happens on Saturdays.

Protestantism: If shit happens, it happens to someone else.

Catholicism: If shit happens, you deserved it.

Jehovah’s Witnesses: No shit happens until Armageddon.

Unitarian: What is this shit?

Mormon: Shit happens again & again & again.

Judaism: Oy vey! Why does this shit always happen to us?

New Age: Shit happens and it happens to smell good.

Rastafarianism: Let’s smoke this shit.

Atheism: There is no shit!

No offence meant to followers of any of the above religions. I especially liked the 'Hare Krishna', 'Rastafarianism' and 'Atheism' ones!

All this wannabe Rastafarian Brother has to say is, "Yah Maan!"

Monday, May 23, 2005

Weird Things to Say

We've all heard of the old phrase - "Wham, bam, thank you Ma'am!" Here's its lesser-known trans-gender equivalent - "Slap, whack, no thanks, Jack!" I think it's a hilarious, 'kick-in-the-nuts' line that ladies everywhere should keep handy!

You know those torus shaped pool toys that we inflate with air and children use to keep themselves afloat in the water? Well, I came across one today that actually had the warning "NOT A LIFE SAVING DEVICE" stamped onto it! What they probably meant was that this item should not be bought to replace the regular life preservers that are used at swimming pools. But I don't think a drowning victim would appreciate the irony of the situation if someone refused to throw him one of these floats since that would constitute 'saving a life'!

You know your room's a little bit too messy when it takes you about 10 minutes to find the bed! I hate tidying up my room because I feel that a neat room loses its innate, 'college-student-room' charm. But when it's hard to get from door to computer without risking a sprained ankle, I think I may just be taking things a tad too far!

In a post a few days back, I had mentioned how people sometimes say the stupidest of things. Here is another example.

I remember a girl, who obviously hadn't traveled much by train (or anything else it looks like), once saying as the train we were in pulled into a station, "Oh! I didn't know trains slowed down as they stopped!"

Sunday, May 22, 2005

My Two Cents on Indian Cuisine!

The Indian menu is well renowned for burning a sharp hole in two things - your stomach and your spelling! The former is due to the copious spices used in these parts while the latter is a direct result of the cacography displayed in preparing the lists of dishes!

Most vernacular languages are phonetically spelled and the indigenous chefs tend to extend this system of phonography over into English as well. The results are sometimes strange, sometimes puzzling and sometimes plain nonsensical; but always hilarious!

'Chinese' has been spelt in more ways than there are people in China! 'Chineese' is the most common, followed by others like 'Chinees', Chinise', Chainees', 'Chineez' etc. I'm sure any restaurant that's got it correct, probably did so by mistake! The local variation of the "chicken and egg" problem is to decide which one had been misspelt first! The chicken often appears as 'chickin' and the egg masquerades under the noms de guerre 'egs', 'aggs' and even 'egges'!

It would take forever to list out even half the spelling errors that occur in menus in this country. However all I shall do is point out some of the funnier ones from my 12-year-old copy of a Lonely Planet guide. This book has been my faithful companion on many trips to various parts of the country in the last decade.

(The following text has been typed straight from the book and utmost caution has been taken to ensure that no typographical errors exist. Thus all spellings are as they appear in the original article.)

One of the delights of Indian menus is their amazing English. Start the morning, for example, with corn flaks, also useful for shooting down enemy aircraft. Or perhaps corn flex - Indian corn flakes are often so soggy they'll do just that.

Even before your corn-whatever you should have some tea, and what a variety of types of tea India can offer. You can try bed tea, milk tea, light tea, ready tea, mixed tea, tray tea, plain tea, half set tea and even (of course) full set tea. Eggs also offer unlimited possibilities: half-fried eggs, pouch eggs (or egg pooch), bolid eggs, scimbled eggs, skamal and egg tost, sliced omelettes, skerem boiled eggs (interesting combination there), bread omelt, or simply aggs. Finally, you could finish off breakfast with that popular Scottish dish - porge.

Soup before a meal - how about French onion soap? Or Scotch brath, mughutoni or perhaps start with parn coactale. Follow that up with some amazing interpretations of Western dishes, like the restaurant that not only had Napoleon spaghetti but also Stalin spaghetti! Perhaps a seezling plator or vegetable augrotten sounds more like it? Or simply a light meal - well, why not have a sandwitch or a vegetable pup? Feeling strong - then try a carate salad, or a vegetable cutlass.

Chickens come in for some pretty amazing treatment too, with chicken buls, bum chicken, chicken cripes, chicken manure, chicken merrylens and possibly the all time classic: chicken katan blueinside chess - no, I don't have any idea what it is either!

If you want a drink how about orange squish or that popular Indian soft drink Thumps Up.

Chinese dishes offer a whole new range of possibilities, including mashrooms and bamboo sooghts, spring rolos, American chopsy, Chinese snakes, vegetable chop off, vegetable nuddles, plane fried rice and park fried rice.

Finally for dessert you could try apple pai or banana panecake, or treat yourself to leeches and cream, or even some semenolina pudding!

Travelers have sent in lots more menu suggestions since the first edition of this book. Like tired fruit juice (tinned you know), plane tost (the stuff they serve on Indian Airlines?), omlet and began, two eggs any shape, loose curds, curds bath, tomatoe stuff, scram bled eggs, chicken poodle soup, screambled eggs, banana frilters, pain-apple cream and chocolet padding. Or something even Colonel Sanders hasn't thought of yet - fried children!

If, after having read all that you are starting to forget the correct spelling of your own name, I am not surprised!

Like I said earlier, Indian cuisine can be a tad too spicy. It's not that I don't like spicy stuff, but that more importantly - my stomach doesn't! So if I gorge myself on a nice Indian meal for dinner, I can be assured of spending half the night lying awake on my bed, tossing and turning, and the other half in the bathroom! Normally, after having eaten a couple of mouthfuls, I start popping sweat beads on my forehead and that's the sign to stop.

I remember once entering a restaurant and being promised by the waiter that they had absolutely everything on the menu. I soon found out how true his promise was - literally! There was so much on the menu that I had to ask for another cleaner one!

Don't get me wrong; it's not that I don't like Indian food. It's just that I'm not very used to it. I like tandoori chicken a lot, as also quite a few of the other chicken dishes that are not too fiery. I'm not too keen about any of the vegetarian viands on offer. In my opinion vegetarian food serves only one purpose - to fatten the cow before we can eat it! I also love the seafood available in places along the coast, especially in Goa. But I don't think I'm going to be giving up on macaroni 'n' cheese anytime soon!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Bloggers Meet

How does the idea of a City Bloggers Convention sound? Poona now has a fair number of bloggers a lot of whom know each other only as names or URL's. I think it would be interesting if we organized some sort of get-together for all the bloggers in the city (or at least those who are interested).

A good deal of Poona's bloggers are engineering students and would be having their final exams in the first 2 weeks of June. Thus, I think sometime mid June would be the best time to schedule such a meet. This would also give us enough time to organize the meet and spread the word around.

Do let me know what you guys think.

TV Thrills

The sitcom The Batliwala's at No. 43 is so stupid it's laughable! Which ironically turns out to be a good thing, since it is after all supposed to a comedy show. But there is a stark difference between the original British version The Kumar's at No. 42 and this cheap imitation. And when the laughter elicited by the show is more due its idiocy than its humor, you know something's wrong!

Mr Jamshed Batliwala doesn't even come close to managing to pull off Mr Ashwin Kumar. The rest of the cast (the mother, grandmother and host son) are even farther away from matching their respective original characters. And the humor is practically non-existent! I know my Hindi is real bad but I can still state confidently that the jokes weren't funny at all. It was worth watching the one episode though, because as I said it's so silly that that makes up for the absence of any humor. And besides, the episode featured Maal-lika Sherawat who is again so stupid, she's inadvertently funny! (By the way, the 'Maal' thing is probably my first ever Hindi joke! What do you know - there's hope still!)

Another effort to reproduce foreign television with a desi flavor, Indian Idol was no better in my opinion (although the general public seemed to love it). Why can't Indian producers come up with something original for once? I probably won't end up watching it eventually since it will be in Hindi, but it would be nice for a change. The only things that seem to be of true Indian origin are the limitless line of soaps and thrillers! The biggest problem is that the soaps turn out to be scary and the thrillers turn out to be umm... soapy!

Doesn't Alicia Silverstone look mind blowing in Miss Match? (Actually she looks mind blowing everywhere!) I haven't actually caught an episode of the show yet, but the ads were enough to stimulate the drool-dispensers!

Even with the basketball play-offs on, the sports channels hardly show more than a game or two a week. And yet somehow they manage to get enough airtime to show replays of cricket matches from 4-5 years back. That too with the saddest of teams playing! Bangladesh versus Zimbabwe? And with Arun Lal's droning voice for commentary? I'd rather be pecked at by a bevy of woodpeckers!

You can count yourself extremely fortunate if you chance upon a decent song on any of the music channels during the day. By decent I mean not from a Bollywood movie, not Hindi, not hip-hop and not Jay Sean! The nights are a slightly different matter for they do indeed show some pretty decent English rock song videos after 11 pm or so. But once again they are interspersed with a heavy dose of hip-hop crap, thereby spoiling all the fun!

The show Celebrities Uncensored on AXN is thoroughly disgusting. I can't understand why anyone would want to watch some famous bloke being hounded in such a manner by the paparazzi. In the only clip I saw, these paparazzi went up to a particular celebrity and tried to snap a few photos. The star in question then told them politely to leave him alone. This only caused the paparazzi to purposely try and provoke the guy in the hope snaring an even more interesting video. It's disgraceful that we cannot respect someone's right to privacy!

Speaking of the right to privacy, a few years ago the government in Chile had performed an experiment. They had hired a young model/actress and paid her to live for about a month in a glass cabin. This cabin was located in the center of the city in the middle of a fenced plot. Thus anyone was free to come and view her at any time of the day or night. The entire cabin including the bedroom and the shower/bathroom was transparent. Within hours a massive crowd including several camera-people had gathered around the plot jostling each other for the best view.

This continued for a few days with the crowd especially peaking around the times she took a shower or visited the bathroom. But it soon got to the actress and she could take it no more. So amidst great fanfare and general uproar she was escorted out of her transparent abode by policemen. I guess it just goes to show how much we really respect another human being's privacy. On the other hand though, one could argue that she, by choosing to go through with it, had invited this upon herself and the crowd could hardly be blamed for stopping by to watch what certainly is an extremely rare event!

The sequel to this episode is just as interesting. To complete the remaining days that had initially been planned, a middle-aged, balding man was brought in. However, now instead of hordes of onlookers there was just a sparse handful that dropped by every day. So was it just the fact that there was a beautiful lady performing her daily activities in full public view that brought the crowds?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Art of Saying Something Stupid -- Two

The art of saying something really stupid can at times be harder than coming up with something smart. Sure, it's not too tough to say something stupid; but to say something really, really stupid - that's the difficult part. On occasions though, one does come up with a really dumb gem that provides laughter for all those around.

One of the better examples was provided here.

Another example that comes shooting to mind is one that occurred about 2 months back. A group of us were in college for the Annual Day Ceremony in order to collect some prizes. Dinner was set up on the lawns for the parents and teachers. We weren't sure whether students were allowed to dine over there as well. So we asked one of the volunteers who said that prize winning students were invited to dinner.

So after helping ourselves to a round or two of tomato soup, we picked up a plate and proceeded toward the buffet tables. After piling our plates with generous helpings of food, we sat ourselves down and started to dig in. However, the food turned out (in typical Indian style) to be too spicy and I soon started popping sweat beads. Even the others whose palates were more suited to spicy Indian cuisine were complaining about the fiery nature of the food.

Just then a professor (whom some of us knew) approached and shaking his head said, "I don't like this."

We assumed he was referring to the food. Siddarth replied, "I know! It's way too spicy!"

The professor continued, "I didn't ask you that. I meant you aren't supposed to be here! This is for parents and staff only."

By now we had all turned reddish, especially dear Sid. I pretended to develop a sudden interest in something in my plate and proceeded to fiddle around with it with my fork, never looking up. Sid tried to explain that we were informed that prizewinners too were invited to the dinner. Whether he believed us or not I don't know, but the professor did walk away saying he was sorry. We decided (quite wisely) to gobble down whatever we could in five minutes and left without dessert (first time I've probably ever done that)!

I guess it’s true – never talk with your mouth full!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Miss USA

I caught the highlights of the Miss USA 2005 contest today. Yeah, a bit too much of beauty pageants for me in the last few days. Need to do something manly for a change. How about sculling some beer and then belching out the alphabet? I think that might do!

The show itself was fun. But then, with 51 beautiful women attired in everything from evening gowns to bathing suits, how could it be anything else? I liked the novel idea of getting the participants themselves to ask each other questions during the final Q&A round. Each of the five finalists writes down a question on a piece of paper as does the reigning queen (beauty queen, NOT Elizabeth II) and these are then pulled out from a hat by each finalist in turn. It would have been even better if the judges also took into account the question that a finalist thought of, and not just the reply she gave to the one that she picked up. I think in some ways the questions that you ask can reveal more about you than the answers that you give. Since one of the questions asked was by the previous years winner, I'm guessing they did not take this into account.

There wasn't a lot of the clichéd "this is as much about their brains as their beauty" theme. I liked that. Let's just all admit that in such a contest beauty is far more valued than mental faculty. (I can't say I have any objection to that at all!) Another ritualistic cliché that was conspicuous by its absence was the "I would like to help the world and do all this work in Africa and blah blah" speeches! Let's keep it practical, gals! If you wanna freak out in the one year you get to bask in your glory then just say so. Don't try to score any brownie points with the "goody-goody" act!

One thing that has been around since Eve strutted her way to victory in the first ever beauty contest (which wasn't too tough since she was the only woman around to participate and Adam was the only judge!), is the typical manner in which the winner celebrates the announcement of her name. Hands fly to the mouth to stifle a gasp of utter surprise! How about some originality? Let's see you do a little dance or something. This time before the final name was announced the two possible winners (first runner-up and eventual winner) clasped each other in a tight embrace for about half a minute. I don't know what they were whispering in each other's ears, but it could have been something like -

"Hey bitch, you win and I'll beat the shit outta you later!"

"Don't worry, bitch! I already bet like a million dollars against my name. I sincerely do hope you win!"

(I couldn't think of any female derogatory term other than 'bitch'!)

When the eventual name was announced, it was done in the following manner - "And the First Runner-up Miss USA 2005 is ... " Apparently, though, the lass who's name was then called out thought the winner was being announced instead of second place. Thus for half a second we had both girls celebrating! But it was quickly ended when the host then followed it up with - "And so Miss USA 2005 is ... " (customary hand-to-mouth-gasp-stifle)

Just for the record, I've already forgotten who actually won it! But I think it was Miss North Carolina over Miss California over Miss Kentucky!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Ha Ha!

I was reading an article about last month's Miss India contest which was won by local girl Amrita Thapar. Apparently in the final Q&A round she was asked by one of the judges, "What would you like to have written on your T-shirt and why?"

Her answer was, "Alive and kicking!" I'm not sure what reasons she gave but I'm guessing she was trying to announce to the world that she was pregnant? Unfortunately, I don't quite think the judges saw it that way because she obviously went on to win the coveted title!

Speaking of T-shirt slogans, here are some other interesting ones that I've come across (all on females, I may add) -

(like he's actually concentrating on the words?)

I'M UP HERE! (arrow pointing upward toward face)


It just isn't fair! It's not possible for guys to get amazing slogans like these on their T-shirts. The most interesting(?) ones I've seen on guys go something like -


I also came across some funny one-liners from famous personalities. (All in the name of catching up on my reading.) Here are some of the funniest -

"I've always wanted to be the last guy on Earth, just to see if all those women were lying to me."
- Ronnie Shakes

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read!"
- Groucho Marx

"Time's fun when you're having flies!"
- Kermit the Frog

"It's simple to be wise; just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it."
- Sam Levenson

"I don't consider myself bald; I'm simply taller than my hair."
- Thom Sharp

"When I eventually met Mr Right, I had no idea his first name was Always."
- Rita Rudner

"If your parents never had children, chances are you won't either."
- Dick Cavett

"I estimate you have the same chance of winning the lottery whether you play or not."
- Fran Lebowitz

"I didn't really say everything I said."
- Yogi Berra

Monday, May 16, 2005

Tap, Tap, Tap!

I was watching some professional wrestling today and I must admit it was fun. Big, huge guys making complete asses of themselves, a sell out crowd that is either crazy or crazy, and I haven't even mentioned the divas yet! So what if it's all fake? Don't think of it as a sport with players, think of it as a soap opera with actors. And then suddenly it becomes fun.

I remember watching pro wrestling when I was a kid. Yup! One of those kids who were always being referred to when in the commercial break one of the stars would say, "Please kids, do not try this at home!" I never did. Not because I didn't want to but because I didn't have a younger brother to experiment on. And as far as I was concerned, taking on someone bigger than yourself was something that was best left for the professionals on TV!

What I did do though, was drive everyone I came across insane with the lines of all my favorite wrestlers. The lines and the actions they would perform while saying them. I would memorize every statement of theirs ad verbatim, and then spew it out on my unfortunate Nana. Yup! The dear ol' lady was the only one around patient enough to bear my blather!

Uptil the time I was in Grade 6-7 things the WWF remained pretty clean. Not much blood (except if it was some main event) and certainly no skin show (from the ladies, I mean). The Rattlesnake Stone Cold Steve Austin was taking over from the previous generation of greats like The Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan. These dudes had moseyed over to WCW a rival organization where the pastures were apparently greener. But then things started to heat up. With the influx of beauties like Sable, Debra and their ilk as well as language that grew more and more flowery by the week. Not that I minded. But somehow it wasn't quite the same watching it with your parents around when who aren't quite sure who's going to drop what when!

So I gave up the grand old sport. Uh sorry, soap! I moved on to better things. Like real girls and real porn! I still caught the occasional five minutes of The Undertaker choke slamming The Rock, but never anything more than that.

Until today, when I happened to watch about an hour of it. Like I said - it was fun. It sure beats studying and there was nothing else on on TV anyways. The irony of the situation is that the actual wrestling is the least entertaining portion of the whole show. The excitement lies solely in all the fights and arguments that the wrestlers get into outside the ring! Like "Why have you been fooling around with my lady?" or "Watch while I break your car's windshield!" And even in the ring, it's quite unpredictable. I know it's a pre-planned script, but you never quite know what's going to happen next. And when you do think you know, they pull something new out of the bag.

One remarkable change since the time I was in Grade 7 is that now almost every fight can be expected to draw at least some blood and almost every show will contain about 3-4 diva appearances. The trend of getting the divas to divest their tops has sadly gone out of fashion about 2-3 years back. On a more legal note, the WWF was sued by their animal-loving namesakes had to switch to WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).

Why do people watch such stuff? Why do they pay huge amounts for tickets to these shows? I'm not sure exactly. Maybe it's some primeval thrill that we receive by watching men beat themselves silly. The same thrill that caused our Roman ancestors to organize gladiator battles. Maybe we just view it as cheap entertainment. Like a weekly soap. At least I do. What I do know for sure is that it's certainly worth at least one watch!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

From the Back Seat!

Since this post is going to be about women and driving, I am certain to get screwed one way or the other. Should I speak in favor of female drivers, I risk being ostracized from Men’s Clubs all over the world; and yet should I speak against them I can be assured of having a mob of angry women (probably led by Varsha Kale) campaigning outside my house! It's almost like voluntarily placing myself between Scylla and Charybdis. Even worse actually, for at least those two were mythological and therefore it's unlikely they would be able to do me much harm!

One important fact to note here is that men and women view their cars in very different ways. For him it is an intriguing combination of gears, wheel, shafts, motors, belts (blah blah) fitted together to work in harmony and produce the perfect output. For her it's a just a mode of going from place A to place B. In this respect, I am more lady than gentleman. A car is a car; and as long it will get me from here to there without too much trouble, I'm happy!

I learnt to drive when I was 17. No fuss about it. I pestered my Dad until he took me out one fine evening to an empty road and told me to take over. That was it. Sneaking out late at night after everyone had gone to sleep provided enough practice for me to be able to get my diving license a few weeks later.

I remember the time my Mom was learning to drive the car. She'd get in, adjust the rear view mirror, adjust the seat, adjust the side rear view mirror, adjust her seat again, adjust both mirrors again and then finally turn the ignition. It would be another 10 seconds before she managed to get the engine started. I was in a way thankful for all this delay though, for it ensured I had enough time to say all my prayers! It's funny what it takes for an atheist to turn religious.

On that note though, here's a small joke. Once a priest and a bus-driver died at the same time and were met by St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. The driver was given a lavish welcome and all the best facilities in heaven, while the priest was more or less ignored. So he asked St. Peter, "How is it that I, a man of God, am being treated this way, while this here bus driver gets all the attention?"
"God, my son," says Pete, "is very result oriented. And you see, when you preached the congregation slept; but while he drove they all prayed!"

With this logic though, any woman with a driving license is definitely headed for paradise!

I do believe men make better drivers. Just ask a man and a woman to back into a parking space using only the rear view mirror and you'll see what I mean. Some say this is because men tend to possess superior visuo-spatial abilities. But methinks the trick lies in the fact that few women can look into a mirror without stopping to check whether their lipstick is perfect and adjust their hair!

Ok, so maybe not all men are better drivers than all women, but certainly on an average a man would be a better driver. Women, however, tend to be safer drivers. The ratio of women drivers to the number of major accidents caused by them would be far less the corresponding ratio for men. Sure, women do tend to have a lot of minor accidents but rarely do they result in major casualties. That's because they are normally more careful. They would be less likely to overtake in tight situations or drive when under the influence of alcohol. Also, let's not overlook the fact that all the passengers of the vehicle driven by the woman will have said their prayers!

To end, here's another joke.

A woman enters her house and tells her husband there's something wrong with the car. He says he'll take a look. She tells him, "There's water in the carburetor."

He replies, "Pah! What do you know? You don't even know where the carburetor is! Are you trying to teach me about cars?"

She's adamant, "I'm telling you there's water in the carburetor!"

"Ok, ok! Tell me where the car is and I'll go have a look."

"In the swimming pool!"

Friday, May 13, 2005

Fifth Floor, Please!

One of the most interesting places, in my opinion, is the good ol' elevator! Actually it isn't just my opinion - in a poll on where people fantasize the most about having sex, the elevator didn't rank too badly!

I've had a few adventures in an elevator myself, not the least of which being the time I was once trapped in one for about 25 minutes when it broke down. And gee, if you think Sol Campbell is dark and scary, you should have seen this!!

I was then a brash, young adolescent; one of those who believe few bad things could ever happen to them. So I enter the damn thing, and confidently press my floor. Midway through, it suddenly jars to a stop, and everything goes black. And yeah, it didn't help that I suffer from a mild case of claustrophobia!

There are times though when you don't really mind the elevator breaking down. A good example (probably the only example!) would be when your only co-passenger is an attractive young female! (Actually, scratch out the 'only' part - two or three attractive young females would be even better!) A classic case of the damsel-in-distress and you get to play the knight in shining armor. Although, why the two of you'll would want to get out of there is the 1,302,439 (hey! it just seems like a really big number!) dollar question!

Interesting-Elevator-Situation #49932 in The Big Book of Interesting-Elevator-Situations (what else?) deals with the emission of malodorous effluvium by an individual in a multi-passengered elevator. In simple English? Someone farting. I've been involved in more than one such scenario (always playing the passive role, I must add), and trust me, they can be really funny. Unless you're choking because of the smell, that is. The innocent victims scan each other carefully trying to detect who the culprit is. The malefactor meanwhile either breaks into a spontaneous conversation with the person next to him to try and distract everyone from the core issue, or may sometimes try to act like one of the victims by pretending to scan the rest like them.

I generally tend to avoid elevators and prefer the stairs where possible, especially when descending. It's a great way to burn off those extra calories, and one of the reasons I'm so thin in spite of eating anything and everything. The only time I make an exception, though, is when I see the potential damsel-in-distress waiting in front of the elevator!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Call at Your Own Risk!!

There's an old African jungle song -
"Ooonga Boonga!! Ooonga Boonga!!
When you sleep, when you sleep
Ooonga Boonga!! Ooonga Boonga!!
Telephone ring, telephone ring!!!"

(Actually, I added the second and fourth lines!)

And while my room may not resemble the African Savannah in any way (the Savannah was never this messy!), the jingle holds true here as well. Alarm clocks can be dispensed off, for I can always trust the faithful ol' telephone to do that accursed job for me. (Except on the day I'll actually have to get up for an exam. That day it will remain strangely silent.)

The problem, to a large extent, lies in my sleeping times (normally 6 am to 1 pm). As you can imagine, with hours like these and a telephone around, it's a sure-shot recipe for disaster.

Now, I don't mind if the person calling up is -
a. About to die, and I'm the only one can save him/her
b. A girlfriend
b. Calling up about some doubt just before an exam (yeah, I am a good guy), or
d. Alicia Silverstone

But when that caller turns out to be a telemarketer - Hell hath no fury like an Arnold woken up!

So this morning, I'm peacefully dreaming away under the spell of Morpheus (the God of Sleep, not the weirdo from The Matrix)! And (no points for guessing) the telephone rings! Unfortunately, it wasn't Alicia Silverstone (can you believe that?). It was, though, a female.

Fourteen seconds of polite (by my just-woken-up standards) conversation enables me to conclude that she is from ICICI (a bank), and interested in knowing whether I wanted a credit card. ("No, but leave me your mobile number and maybe we can discuss my banking needs over dinner sometime?")

Now, this would be a good time to digress a little bit from the main story to narrate an amusing anecdote. About a month back, a friend and I were discussing this exact matter - telemarketing. I said that I was normally too polite to do anything but decline the offer nicely. That's when he mentions what his uncle once did when disturbed by one such call. The caller was (as always) a young girl of about 25. The uncle on the other hand was closer to 60.

25 - "Good evening, sir! Are you ____ ?"
60 - "Yes, I am"
25 - "Sir, could you please tell me whether you are working or retired?"
60 - "Retired, dear"
25 - "Sir, may I ask you how much pension you receive?"
60 - "_____"
25 - "Ok. How much did you earn while you were working?"

And so it went, on and on. She would ask him a question (rather personal ones, if you ask me), and he would politely reply. Finally, he'd had enough.

60 - "Listen dear, you've asked me so many questions and I've answered them. Now can I please ask you just one question?"
25 - "Uhh.. (Holy shit!, this certainly ain't in the script! How is my 2-bit brain supposed to come up with a reply by itself?) Yeah, sure"

60 - "What's your cup size, dear?"
*Applause Applause*

It's safe to say, this was probably the first time in the history of telemarketing that the telemarketer was the first to hang up the phone!

Well, it may not have been the most pleasant way to end the conversation but let's not forget - she was asking personal questions too (although she was probably referring to the size of his bank account rather than that other thing)! And she just wasn't letting up. I'm glad this old dude showed her just what he thought of her interrupting his work! Way to go, old boy!!

To return to this morning, I would have done the same thing. Except I was so sleepy that I just didn't think of it! So I just told her, I wasn't interested in any of her cards or anything else. And hung up the phone, when I heard another question coming. But I swear, the next time ICICI tries to fob me with some young lass on the phone, I know what I'm going to be asking her!

In a way, even wrong numbers are more tolerable than these telemarketing calls. At least then, the person's made a genuine mistake. Here, this female has purposefully called up your number. ARRGHH!

Speaking of wrong numbers though, here's one that I received about 6 months ago. I picked up the phone and a girl's voice says,

"Can I please speak to Abhishek?"
(At the risk of coming off desperate and loser-like here let me just mention that that was a hot voice, if ever there was one!)

My reply, "There's no Abhishek here, but you can take your pick between a Mike, Matthew and an Arnold!"

"Umm... No, just Abhishek will do."

Just before I end, some readers may wonder why I don’t just switch my cell phone to silent and keep the other one off the hook when I’m sleeping? And what! Miss that call from Ms Silverstone? No way!!

Monday, May 09, 2005

He Ain't Your Average-Joe!

After months of effort, I've finally managed to get my hands on the solitary copy of A Beautiful Mind that exists in our college library. It's the book (written by Sylvia Nasar) on which the movie of the same name is based. The book itself is based on the true-life story of John Nash, a 20th century mathematician who falls prey to schizophrenia. It deals with the two subjects that fascinate me the most - the game theory, and the flawed genius. Ok ok, so maybe not the most (girls and pizza rank way higher on my list) but still, two subjects that I am pretty interested in. The movie was great, and the book, so far, promises to be even better. I'm going to have a busy few days ahead of me.

My oral today went rather well. The biggest problem was that the examiner (who incidentally wasn't the young blonde I was praying for) was strangely adamant about his speaking in Marathi. Until I dropped enough hints to indicate I couldn't for the life of me fathom what he was trying to say. That's when he switched to Hindi, a language I am only slightly more at ease with. English, for him, was obviously impossible. So we both grudgingly decide to settle for a system where he spoke Hindi and I responded in English.

I managed to answer all the questions correctly. Or at least what I understood to be the questions! The results, when they come, will reflect not just my knowledge of the intricacies 80x86 family of processors by Intel, but equally importantly my understanding of the Hindi (and Marathi) language! And if I do badly I know for sure which half let me down!

To get back to the genius issue, I have always liked (and admired) true talent more than hard work. Brian Lara is, for me, a far greater batsman than Sachin Tendulkar; simply because he's far more talented. Bobby Fischer, and to some extent Paul Morphy, are in my opinion a lot more worthy of respect than any others in the world of chess. In Fischer's case I also admire his I'm-the-best-and-I-ain't-afraid-to-let-the-world-know attitude. The same goes Muhammad Ali.

My argument (if one may call it that) extends over into the world of academics too. A student who achieves 90% by studying 10 hours a day, commands little respect in my eyes. He is no better than the student who spends all his time playing and scores 60%. In fact he is far worse, for at least the second student enjoyed himself. The student I truly respect is the one who doesn't study (or studies just a negligible amount) and still comes out tops. He (or she), according to me, is truly worthy of praise and admiration.

I know the last two paragraphs may offend a few people. It's all a ploy to draw in more comments!

Joe Satriani is going to be in Bombay this Friday for a live concert, and I'm thinking of making the trip. It's not every day that you get to attend a concert by someone of his class. How I'm going to lay my hands on the moolah to get me to Bombay and then into the concert, is a matter of no small concern. I'm currently so broke, I'd struggle to come up with enough money to buy a stick of gum! So I can't decide whether to try and make it there somehow or not. I'd have flipped a coin to decide, if only I had one!

Sunday, May 08, 2005


Trying to study for tomorrow's oral, I came across the following stuff that I had written in my book in class.

Here are some things Christ probably didn't say at The Last Supper:

"Anyone for pizza?"

"Matthew! Don't forget to eat your veggies!"

"Is this low cholesterol?"

"Get your elbows OFF the table!"

"Bread and wine? Who eats just bread and wine?!"

"Boy! I've got a busy day down at work tomorrow!"

"This soup's too cold. Think you could microwave it again?"

"Hmmm... Wonder what's showing on TV this Thursay night?"

"Twelve guys eating together? How sad are we?"

"So whose turn is it to do the dishes?"

Some things you don't want to say on your first date:

"Are those real?"

"Aren't you a little too fat to be wearing that!"


"Sure we can go back to my place. My wife's out of station!"

"Are you sure you're the same girl I asked out?"

"Don't worry if I act a bit weird. I'll be fine as soon as a get another shot of drugs!"

"Do you think my friend Pete could come and watch?"

"So much do you charge per night?"

Somehow I get the feeling, studying from my notebook isn't going to be of much help for tomorrow!


Tomorrow is my first (and thankfully, only) oral examination. No! No! I don't mean the dentist. This one shall be conducted in the Hardware Laboratory of our college (a place no less feared than the dentist's office, by the way)!

A engineering student's life is tyrannized by three different types of examinations - theory, practical and oral. And each one is to be met with a slightly different method of preparation.

For the theory papers, the best bet is to memorize all the previous years' questions and (more importantly) answers. Both of these are available in a series popularly known as the Brilliant Jigar's (or just Jigar's for close friends)! Reading any of the text books will result in barely passing marks. And God forbid you should have the courage to study from a foreign authored reference book, for then even passing is uncertain. The reason for this startling truth is the ridiculously low mental levels of those correcting the papers. Anything other than the model answer is Greek to them, and likely to be met with a big cross! I have found this out the hard way on more than one occasion! Hence the moral of the story is to swear by the Jigar's and put all hopes of seriously learning anything aside.

The second category of exams are the practical examinations. Here the strategy to be employed is once again rote memorizing. What you have to memorize is largely dependent on what branch you are in. Thus for a Computer Science course, all you would have to do is memorize about a score of programs each of about 400-500 lines. If you even so much as bring up the matter of understanding what those program do, you will be disdainfully scorned upon by all the teachers! No surprise there, since it is doubtful any of them understand any of the code in the first place. Or anything else from their subject either!

And then finally, the oral examinations! Unlike the other two, here success lies solely in the hands of Providence! No Jigar's or programs to learn by heart! There are two examiners - one internal (from your college) and the other external (from some other college). Sometimes. the best you can hope for is that the external is hot, young and of the opposite sex. You'll still get screwed but at least it won't hurt as much.

Everything hinges on the mood of the examiner on the given day. If you're lucky, he'll have been satisfied the previous night and you'll get through without a hitch. Should your lick not be so good though, he'll have gotten stuck in traffic that morning. In such a case, nothing short of divine intervention can rescue you.

One good tip is to always have the names of a few reference books ready. So whenever he asks you which books you have studied from you can rattle these names off. It doesn't matter that you have never seen any of them before; he won't have either! But you can be sure he'll be duly inpressed.

The worst point is that in an oral examination there is no fixed boundary on what he can and cannot ask you. If he asks you to name all 28 of Neptune's moons, then you jolly well better! (It doesn't matter that Neptune doesn't even have that many moons in the first place!)

The trick to survival is to be as vague as possible and contort your answer as much as you can. If he can't understand what you said, he can't question you about it!

I'd like to end with an ancient engineering adage, which loosely translates into something like the following -

"Beware of the oral! It can sometimes turn into an anal!"

Let's just hope mine doesn't! Unless, of course, that young, hot female examiner turns into a reality!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Jean-erally Speaking...

It's not hard to notice that the current trend in fashion is to wear your jeans as low as possible. Wearing them on your waist is too old-fashioned to even consider. Wearing them on your hips? Hmmm... only if it's the most formal of occasions! For anything else, they should start at least a good half foot below your belly button. (Geez! Do they still call it that?)

Do not, however, take this ability for granted. It's an art, that requires much skill and practice! There's only so low a pair of jeans can go before they slip off your tushy! And therein lies the hard part. Getting them as low as they can possibly go, without them actually sliding off as you're walking down 23rd Avenue. Boys, incidently, are a lot better at this than girls! I'm not being sexist here; it's just the way our bodies are built. A guy can get that pair of denims a lot lower than a girl can. The current records (as measured in inches below the navel) stand at 9.75 for guys and 7.5 for girls!

Incidently this fashion, though modern, is said to have rather ancient roots. It is believed to have been started by that fierce 13th century Mongol general Jean-ghis Khan! Today's masters include Jean-nifer Lopez and Jean (rhymes with Sean) Cena from the WWE!

And while on the one hand, the jeans have been getting lower and lower, the t-shirts have been getting shorter and shorter. Thus resulting in an exposure of midriffs on a scale never seen before! This can sometimes be a little hard for the older, more traditional generation to stomach (pardon the pun)! It nevertheless provides welcome eye-candy for the younger, not-so-traditional generation!

I am in no way against fashion of this sort. In fact I am very much for it. (Quite obvious, considering I am one of the younger generation!) What I disapprove of, though, is when the people who try it are too self-concious to pull it off. What's the point in wearing those loose, revealing jeans if you're going to spend every sitting minute with one hand on your ass to keep pulling that t-shirt down? If you're too afraid of what you may reveal, then keep those jeans up and those tops long enough.

Attack of the Razors!

Has you ever noticed how the number of blades in a shaving razor are increasing with the years?

Initially, all razors had one blade, and everyone made do with that. The Gillette ads would show that single blade lopping off the stubble at the very bottom, leaving nothing behind. Then suddenly someone came up with the bright idea of adding another blade to the razor. I think they called it Mach 2. What's interesting though, is that now in the new ad the first blade (which initially did all the work) cuts off only half of a particular strand of stubble! Then the second blade follows through and completes the job! Why? Why the need for a second blade when the first blade did the entire trick in the earlier model?

As if that wasn't enough, they then came out with the Mach 3. Now there were three blades. So in the ad the first blade would now only tickle the stubble, the second blade would lop a little bit off, and then the third blade would finish the job! Suddenly the first two blades aren't enough. The first blade which was doing everything in the first model, is now rendered practically useless!

So either the first (and second) ads were wrong, or the people at Gillette have less brains than a retarded chimpanzee! Which one is true, is left to the reader's discretion!

I'm not sure, but I think they've already come out with a 4-blade razor! When is this going to stop? At this rate we'll soon have razors with so many blades, the average human male won't even be able to lift them. They'll be stationary while the man scrubs his face against them! How will one manage to shave those tough spots under one's chin and at the corners of one's jaw and neck is not yet certain.

I can imagine the ad for the Mach 13462! The first 13460 blades will go by without even touching the hair at all! Then the last two will come in and perform the deed! But everyone will run to the stores to buy one, because after all how can you be so old-fashioned to use a razor with only 13461 blades when there's one with 13462 in the market?

Maybe after some years, the reverse trend will kick in - Gillette will advertise that its new razor is better because it has fewer blades than the currently existing models. The sizes of everything are shrinking in today's market and maybe the razor will go the same way. So after a lot of wasted time, energy and money they'll be back to the single blade razor! Which, by the way, is exactly where we started!

For my part, I've successfully managed to stay clear of all the fuss by shaving only once a month and using an electric razor!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Sunil "Piece-of-scum" More

One of my most respected figures is the honest law enforcement officer. (On second thoughts, if I'm going to pick a fictional character, I may as well pick Superman!) Jokes aside though, I really do take my hat off to these gentlemen (and ladies, I can hear the feminists shouting!) They're out there risking their lives everyday to keep the place safe. (Ok Ok! Maybe that's only in NYPD Blue, but the average cop's job is no stroll in the garden either!) Long hours and an emolument that's felt more in the heart than on the paycheck!

Now Newton's Third Law of Motion may state that 'Every reaction has an equal and opposite reaction'; but Newton's lesser known Third Motion of Law states that 'For every good cop there must be an equally bad cop'! And how true, as evinced by the actions of Mr More. To demand that he be subjected to hasty retribution of the severest degree would be just adding another voice to the crowd.

Let me clarify that I do not feel a rape commited by any other individual is less heinous. But there's something utterly nauseating about the act being perpetrated by a man in uniform (the uniform was probably off as he was doing it, but that's immaterial here). It's a scary situation when the institution that you were taught to trust as a child, turns around and shoots you in the back this way!

In another totally not connected matter, what is it with middle names? Why does everyone around here NOT have a middle name? I found out today that most people use their Dad's name as their middle name! Strange as this may be, it's at least bearable for guys. But what about girls? They get ol' Pop's name too! Till they get married, that is. Then they drop it for their husband's name!

I don't quite know why I find this funny, but I do! Now, I finally understand why all those university forms had a [Last Name] [First Name] [Father's Name] format! I could never quite fathom why they wanted me to append my Dad's name to the end of mine!

South Indians, apparently, have a similar system but insert their mother's name instead. This spares the girl the ignominy of having a different sex middle name, but I don't envy the guys!

By the way, my middle name's Chris, and it certainly ISN'T my Dad's name!

Why a Dildo is a Good Gift

Have you ever noticed how when something unbelievable is happening to you and you think, "Oh, am I dreaming? I surely must be dreaming!", you invariably never are. That's because dreams somehow just never ever seem like dreams when you're having them, so there's absolutely zero chance of you thinking that while you're actually dreaming. The same goes for the "Pinch me to see if I'm awake" routine. If you thought about asking someone to pinch you, you're definitely awake. I don't know of one person, who pinched himself awake during a dream he found too incredible to believe.

Speaking of dreams, my dreams of a Chelsea-PSV UEFA Championship Final have been shattered. Well, it wasn't really a dream, but that seemed like a fitting continuation from the previous paragraph. But seriously, Liverpool-Milan? I can't think of a more boring final! (Oh wait I can! Rameez Raja could have been doing the commentary!)

That's another thing I don't get (yeah, along with the million other things that I've mentioned someplace earlier)! What is it with cricket commentators? Most of them are so boring, they would make a snail race seem exciting! (Or actually they wouldn't, since they'd be commentating!) And what's making things worse is that today any Tom, Dick and Harry (Akram, Waqar and Sohail? Sorry for the Paki bashing here, but they are the worst!) who retires, believes he should 'give' something back to the game! Now coaching is out of the question, since at least a rudimentary knowledge of the game is a must for that. (Un)Fortunately, these people believe commentating has no such prerequisites! So thrown in a shirt, tie (and a shower?) and we have the babbling buffoons we see in the commentary box today. I must say, and I'm not being biased here, but the guys calling games in the NBA are so much better. Color, play-by-play or whichever other type of commentary you like, they're all excellent!

Someone's birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks, and three of us guys have decided to get her a 'sex toy'! Our plans seem to have hit a major roadblock though, for we have no clue about where we might lay our hands on one. All the girls we know, 'innocently' claim that they do not use such things and would therefore have no idea about where they are sold. What a load of baloney! Don't use a sex toy? Yeah, right!

Some girls were even (officially) offended by the thought of giving someone such a gift for her birthday. I don't understand what's wrong with it? It's great gift! And so practical! A show-piece will remain in a cabinet, a wall-hanging on the wall; but with this gift, the pleasuse is all yours! And why would a girl want one when she can get herself a guy instead? Because -

1. A dildo has a 'Switch Speed' button
2. A dildo will not fall asleep after it's over, and
3. With a dildo, you know size isn't a concern

(Man, I wish they made something for guys!) Actually, they already do! It's got five appendages and called a hand!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

It's a Man's Life Too!

Due to popular demand (we have received over 1 requests for the same), I am creating the trans-gender equivalent to this.

So here's the list of the Top Ten Reasons Why It's Better to be Male!

10. Angelina Jolie is a woman!

9. You don't have to worry about who used the public washroom before you did!

8. Going topless in public will not get you thrown into the slammer!

7. You don't shy away from society every time you put on an extra 5 pounds!

6. A cold beer, some porn and you're happy!

5. You never have to worry about getting rid of under-arm hair! And don't even mention waxing!

4. A member of the opposite sex will not keep staring at your chest while talking to you! (That's solely your prerogative!)

3. You will never have to experience labor pains.

2. No periods or PMS! Ever!

1. Any time you want to see boobs, there's always porn! (see the women's list)

The Complete Idiot's Guide on How NOT to Approach a Girl

Much (too much, in fact) has already been said about how one should approach the girl one likes. So here's a quick run through of what you should not do!

1. Do not put too much planning into your approach:

Opening with something that you have rehearsed a thousand times in your mind already, will make you seem fake. It also gives her the impression that you are a scheming, manipulative individual. Things would go a lot smoother if you just approached her and let matters take their own course, naturally.

Sure, a joke or two isn't the worst thing in the world. But it should come naturally to you, as you're talking to her (and trying not to stare at her boobs, see below)!

And please keep those corny one-liners aside! They may work in the movies, but are not likely to meet with much success in real life!

2. Do not talk technical:

No matter how much girls may be impressed by fancy gadgets and gizmos, they are just as much turned off by talk about them. So drive up to her in your Porsche and you'll probably get laid, but try telling her about its ground clearance, gear ratios, or even its piston displacement volume and you can be sure you'll be sleeping alone!

This reminds me of a friend. This guy believes he can win over any girl with his 'intellect'. If he sees anything in a skirt, he just has to switch to techno-talk! A standard pick-up line might be something like, "How would you like to discuss the cosmological implications of the Third Law of Thermodynamics in the oscillating model of the Universe over dinner with me?" (She - "Umm... I'm sorry, I don't quite understand Greek!")

Needless to say, he's still single.

3. Do not keep staring at the goods:

Yes, I know it's difficult to talk to her without your eyes being magnetically attracted to her breasts, but if you wish to get anywhere with her then I suggest you shift your gaze northward by about a foot.

Sometimes this can be harder than expected. Especially if the female is topless, as I once found out on a beach in Goa. (Regular readers may assume that I am referring to this, but no, this was another occasion.) I think she stopped talking after about 30 seconds, but it took me about 5 minutes to realize that!

(Oh and also do not stare at someone else's rack either!)

4. Do not compliment her:

This one's rather strange. Compliments are received by men and women in very contrasting manners. Compliment a man, even falsely, and he will be as pleased as punch. But compliment a woman and, even if it's genuine, it risks not going down well. No man has yet understood why this is so. (I doubt too many women have either!)

Maybe it's just insecurity, maybe not. But whatever the reason, the fact remains - compliment a woman and you're playing with fire. If it works, great! But there's an overwhelming possibility that it won't! So if you want to play safe, stay well clear from the compliments.

If you don't believe this whole 'compliment' issue though, feel free to try it out on a female friend. But be warned of the possible repercussions!

By the way, it goes without saying (but I'll say it nevertheless since this is an Idiot's guide), but don't insult her either. So if you think she keeps opening and closing her mouth like a goldfish, or that she's flat-chested enough to shoot pool on, then I suggest you keep these observations to yourself! (By the way, if the second thing is true then you may want to reconsider why you're asking her out in the first place!)

Of course, all the above tips can be pushed aside if your last name turns out to be Clooney or if your Dad is the Sultan of some place or if you're just plain gay! For the rest of you regular average-Joe idiots out there, read it again!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Gallows Pole

I'm starting have a greater appreciation for what a man sentenced to death feels like the night before his execution. My first practical exam is tomorrow, and it's going to be certain death. (Which causes one to wonder why I'm spending my time writing this?)

- I know nothing.

- I know I know nothing.

- I know my knowing nothing means I'm going to get screwed.

- And yet, there's no fear here!

It's like the man who knows for sure he's going to die come sunrise. He's not afraid because there's nothing he can do about it. Might as well die happy.

In my case, there is something I can do about the whole thing. And that's quit writing this post and bury my nose in my books! But why bother? Some people will swear that you can get as much studies done in the 12 hours immediately before your exam as you can in the 12 weeks preceding it; but in my case the 12 weeks saw no studies at all, and so I doubt these 12 hours are going to see too much either.

Our examiner tomorrow will be X. My only previous experience of him as an examiner would have been hilarious, had I not been one of the hapless victims in the story.

It was my DPL (don't ask me what that stands for, I'd forgotten it 3 seconds after leaving the exam) practical examination. I had no previous interaction with X, and he looked benign enough. That impression was to change, and fast! He called up the first few guys for their oral examination. I was one of them. (Now that I look back, giving an 'oral' in the other sense of the word may actually have been better!)

He asked the first guy some question.

The guy started to answer, "Sir... Basically... "

He immediately stopped him and whirled around in his chair to face me. "Define 'basically'!"

Here I was having somehow managed to cram the finer subtleties of the COBOL Programming Language (that's what that Lab was about) into my average sized cranium, and now this ass was asking me to define 'basically'? I don't even remember what I mumbled out.

He focused his attention on another student. "What is the difference between COBOL-74 and COBOL-86?"

"Sir, actually... "

I saw it coming. And sure enough, another whirl later he was staring at me again. "Define 'actually'!"

Bottom line, as he as never ceased repeating from then on, eradicate the words 'basically', 'actually', 'fundamentally', 'may be', 'could be', 'whomsoever', 'whatsoever' etc from your lexicon. They are very vague terms and must never be used. Ironically of all our teachers, he is the only one who uses the last two, and frequently!

The batch after our's was even more unfortunate. One guy was made to repeat "I am a fool" ten times. However, in all fairness, X is one of the most generous distributors of marks around. His bark is worse than his bite.

To get back to my troubles though, I know absolutely nothing. So, umm... basically, I'm screwed!! At least the condemned man gets a last wish. Hmm.. wonder what I'd ask for?


I've been three times now to the recently opened KFC outlet in Poona (Come on KT, spit it out! It should be Pune now, shouldn't it?) and the Colonel has certainly lived upto expectations. While the Poona one may not be as good as the other two I've eaten at, I certainly feel it's a lot better than the other MNC's in the city. (Suck shit, McDonalds!)

The rates do tend to weigh a tad too heavily on one's pocket but then it isn't as bad as say Pizza Hut. Just don't go there if you're trying to make do on a shoe-string budget though!

One of the things I didn't like was the guy standing at the entrance, whose job was to entertain the people standing in the line. (Actually, the line was the second thing I didn't like!) His duties included keeping the kids entertained so that they didn't trouble their parents. I don't know what they must be paying him, but I refuse to believe anyone would do a job as embarrassing as that for anything less than a king's ransom! Making faces for l'il kids? Gimme a break!

Another thing I don't get is why places like this do not serve you water? I know it would be much more profitable for them if I had to quench my thirst by buying a soda instead. But there's a limit! And boy, fried chicken does make you thirsty! Next time I go, I'm gonna arm myself with a bottle of mineral water!

There's a McDonalds next door in the same building, and just how badly KFC is cutting into their business was amply evident from the fact that as we were standing in the KFC line, this MD guy comes up to us and thrusts a few MD leaflets into our hands! Maybe if they'd try improving their quality and stop Indianizing the menu so much. We were actually grateful for those leaflets though; they came in handy while trying to get the grease from the chicken off our hands!

We're thinking of heading out to KFC again sometime this week. If only the place weren't so damn far! Like I always say though - "Got two things to thank Kentucky for; the whiskey and the fried chicken!"