Monthly Archives: August 2006

Of old wines and new bottles

Its not exactly breaking news that wines get better as they grow older, i think it also applies to some whines, but thats just another silly pun..While there’s nothing to beat the old wine in the old bottle, new bottles are easily tolerable.. and before i whine any further, let me get the context across – friends.. no,not the orkut kind, but the ones developed when you were too young to know better..:)
The couple of friends i have managed to have (inspite of myself) might be ROTFL right now, reading me write about something about which i am so ill versed about, but thats okay..Like Ash said recently, i have reached an age when i know that it will be extremely difficult to make new friends, given my distinct laziness to keep in touch etc.. and therefore old friends popping out are indeed a welcome relief..
unlike wines, we cant be sure we become better with age, in fact i think, over a period of time, we manage to change ourselves to unrecognisable entities.. and thats why its good to have old friends saying hi, because like an enid blyton book, or an 80’s movie, or the college photograph or an old song, it takes us back in time, it makes us nostalgic, and more often than not, happy… it reminds us of times that used to be and more importantly, what we once used to be…
until next time, hi :)

Chit Chat

Apart from the odd skeletons in my closet, i also keep a few games, of the computer kind. this is about both… For a few months now, i have been frustrated at Level 6 of ‘Claw’. I resisted the urge to get the cheatcode for quite sometime, but finally succumbed and relived the sheer delight of having beat the system.
Relived, because there was a phase when using ‘chits’ to beat the educational system was a thrill. From the mundane of keeping ‘educational material’ in shirt sleeves to swallowing the material when there was a chance of getting caught by the shrewd exam invigilator, even education had exciting moments. The small pieces of paper with whole chapters in micro fontsize writing are a work of art, and mind you, making them is as difficult as studying. :)
So, as a part of the reliving,i thought of making a version of some terminology in the world of chits..
Application Development – A complex process in which the requirements are firmed up, the study material is analysed, and the number and kind of chits decided and get made.
ASCII- Accepted Standard Code for Information Interchange, used for Shareware.
Booting – The intitation of the chit usage process, named after the most common accessory used to store chits.
Cache - a dynamic pool of chits which are passed from batch to batch.
Developer – A person who makes chits.
Extensible Markup Language (XML) – A language that provides a format for describing structured data. This facilitates more precise declarations of content and more meaningful search results across multiple chits. A tool developed specifically for Wannabes, to extend their abilities and take their marks up.
Firewall – It is an entity that tries to prevent a Trojan Horse from entering. Strip searching is an example.
Green Card – The result of a successful use of chits. Named after the feeling evoked in other developers.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) – The protocol used to transfer chits between developers working in groups. The most common is hand to hand and the best innovation reported was using the belt loop/pocket of the invigilator. Named so because of the tendency of the developers to become hyper during the transfer of text.
Icon – A highly evolved developer, he has knowledge of Norton and all possible Trojan Horses, and is constantly developing more.
Norton - An invigilator who recognises most Trojan Horses.every wannabe’s worst nightmare and a foe that icons and some lesser developers relish.
Novice – One end of the spectrum, these guys are terrorised by the thought of getting caught, and sometimes ‘hang’ and dont return your answer papers (from which they had conveniently copied).
Oracle – The most developed Icon, he can predict the questions that will appear in the exam. He cant be bothered to write the answers during the exam. he would have already managed to get some blank answer papers, on which he would have already written answers to expected questions,he just uses this.
Shareware- Typically used by a group, who have an arrangement. This material can be used by all in the group, and if theres time and benevolence, by a novice.
Trojan Horse – The material used to bring in chits. It could be anything from the clothes one wears to reference books to plaster casts. The worst known trojan horse is a sweater in the middle of May.
Wannabe – He brings his own material, but has it in abundance, and can be seen searching the entire duration, because he doesnt know where he has kept what.

until next time, gotchit?

Getting Real

A few months ago, i had written about how, at the end of it all, bloggers also are humans, well, most of them exhibit some human characteristics for sufficiently long periods oftime for us to conclude so, and therefore, exhibit the grey shades of any normal existence… although somewhere deep(in my mind) there is a notion that somehow the blogging citizens of the virtual world are mature enough to be above the normal human frailties, every now and then, things happen that bring me back to reality…
This and this should bring you upto speed on the matter… This supposedly is the origin of the issue.. yes, lazybums, i know you wont bother, so heres the synopsis.. According to Chenthil, Kiruba, in a podcast, claimed to be the #1 blogger in the country, which Chenthil takes offence to.. we also have people taking sides on it.. which brings me to the non issue of being top blogger…
Of course, there is no debating in my mind as to who it is, you are reading him.. but seriously, in spite of denials, most of us write for the comments, which later evolve into a desire for meaningful interactions, and the more you get, the more confidence you gain to air your fare… the interactions sometimes form a kind of clique, which perhaps is a bad thing.. there are lots of blogs i frequent, where i like the posts, and inspite of commenting on those, there is never a reply to it, and over a period i duh the ‘keepout’ sign.. :).. to each, their own…my point is that while the net is a great leveller in the way people create and exchangeideas, sometimes it does a create a snob value, and somehow creates levels which may be something thats against the basics of the medium and blogging…
somewhere, we had started writing for ourselves, and somewhere, we get into the trap of writing for something else, but sometimes, like a ray of sunshine from among the clouds,the real blogger comes out…
until next time, reality bites…

And he dreamt…

Raj and Rahul always win always, but the good thing about SRK’s character in KANK is that he’s a loser.. no, dont go away, this is not a review, nor a commentary on the plot, its just that the basic character could have been straight out of a book i’d have written in a parallel life..of course, it wouldnt be a fluffy romance, but yes, i’d have built the character from the loser.. no, this isnt about the book either, because the book is only one chapter in the parallel life…they say every person has a story to write, his own, the rest is what brings out the creativity..i really do wonder if it is that easy…

..Remember how we laughed away the hours
And dreamed of all the great things we would do..

some people dont dream, and maybe that is bliss… some people dream, but it is seen as just that, a dream, a parallel life which snaps close when reality comes knocking, it doesnt affect the routine life.. some people go a few steps, and then something happens, an accident, a butterfly effect’ in the stomach which cost them the single chance to achieve their dream, a sacrifice for something that seems more important at that time… in all cases a single moment which alters the course of one’s destiny.. some people have the strength to get up, brush the dust off, and chase it, the really lucky ones get there, and the only lucky ones have the satisfactionof trying…
And then there’s my hero… he had a dream too, and it lived with him and grew within him, and thats all it did, because it never grew up… it wasnt a single moment that sealed a destiny, it just didnt materialise.. maybe he didnt try enough, maybe it was only the flavor he wanted, and not the dish, maybe he was always waiting for a moment to dawn on him, maybe he thought it was romantic to just have a dream and keep it that way, he would walk through life, thinking of a million ways it could have happened…
..Oh my friend, we’re older but no wiser
For in our hearts, the dreams are still the same..

D loves walking on the terrace, and i am my usual lazy self.. a couple of days back, on an impulse, i called her to join me for a terrace walk.. and then it rained, and we had to come down…
and so i wonder if it would be easy to write the book, or sing the song, or play the sport if thats the only thing you ever wanted to do… yes, hundreds of people do it, and then theres my hero.. :)
until next time, dream a ream yet?

Paws.. think about it…

Ever read the story titled “Monkey’s Paw“?.. Was part of some English syllabus at school.. a quick rewind.. Its about a couple getting a monkey’s paw as a gift, the paw has the power to fulfill three wishes, but they are also grimly warned to use the paw very cautiously, and to be careful of what they wish for, for it has strange way of doing things.. They could gift it to someone after their quota was over, but not before.. For a long time, the couple heeded the warning and refrained from using it, but one day the temptation grew too strong and one day they wished they could get some money. The next morning they had a visitor who said that their son had just got crushed under some machinery. He had died instanly, but they would be getting some money from the company. They were devastated and wished they could have their son back.. Sometime later their bell rang, and a disfigured grotesque creature told them he was their son and he had miraculously survived, they immediately wished that he were dead…

pause, back to track 1….A couple of weeks back, i was watching the Hungarian Grand Prix, and predicted that Alonso wouldnt finish the race. Given that Renault (alonso’s car) was performing like nothing could go wrong, over a dozen races, it was an idle prediction, and along with my retirement prediction for the other Renault driver, Fisichella, and the Maclaren driven Raikkonen, and my race order – Button, de la Rosa, Heidfeld and , it was taken exactly as that – an idle passing statement. But with constant egging from co-watchers about my lack of prediction skills, i was fervently hoping and praying and all the while somehow gaining confidence that it would happen exactly that way.

As the race went by, my favourite Schumacher was gaining ground, Raikkonen and Fisichella were out, and i was enjoying, except that Alonso was still on the track and leading… And then with 19 laps left, the unthinkable happened, Alonso retired from the race, leaving Button leading, followed by Schumacher, de la Rosa and Nick Heidfeld.. the reason i had said schumi would be 4th was i was being realistic and 5 points were enough to cut the championship lead to just 6 points. The race went on, and after some splendid racing de la Rosa overtook Schumi, with me cursing the toll the manoeuvres took on Schumi’s tyres.. And then Heidfeld made his move. A furious Schumi literally went out of his way to prevent an overtake.. that proved to be his downfall, as a few seconds later, he was nursing the car into the pits, retired….

i learnt some things from this… there is something about His system that answers even a single person’s prayers and gives him strength, if he wants it badly enough… but it also gives a monkey’s paw clause to it.. what you want will happen, but what happens with it, and alongside it, is His call.. In this case,i assumed that while all the others retired, Schumi would complete the race.. I realise that in all his agreements, He is in the details…

until next time, i am still confident that i have cracked something in His entire puzzle…. ;)

The Ugly Duckling

That was exactly the way she thought her life had turned out to be… and what a life it was…from the beginning, everyone had hopes and aspirations that were somehow connected to her, she felt as though a million destinies were somehow entwined with hers…. she was expected to look beautiful, to be smart and grow up to be wise, to be nice and kind to her smaller cousins, and especially to her twin brother…
She had failed on almost all counts, and hence was considered an ugly duckling who didnt deserve to be around.. her friendly overtures were met with scorn or sometimes even worse, she was betrayed by those who she thought were on her side.. the fact that she was not married also didnt help her cause… well, for a while she was going around with someone but then she realised it wasn’t going anywhere.. it turned out to be a good thing because he just made it a habit of breaking up after that…
But it seemed now, that she was gradually turning into a swan… everyone who saw her, or heard about her were all praise for her, and about the way she was maturing… everyone was betting on her to be an eventual success story, and create a mark in the world, because she was excelling in whatever she took an interest in – from IT and biotech to music and movies, the world was sitting up and taking notice…it was finally seeming that it was all worth it – all the people, all the languages, all the costumes and all the celebrations, all the hills and all the mountains, all the rivers and all the seas, and all the states she was made up of..yup, that was a life, and a life that was still far from its true potential.. for this woman, life would be sweet after 60…

until next time, jai hind :)

Salman Khan to star in One Night at the Call Centre

While it was old news than Rohan Sippy had purchased the rights for Chetan Bhagat’s second book ‘One Night At the Call Centre”, thats exactly what it has become – old news. The latest is that Atul Agnihotri, actor turned director, who in his acting days was compared to Arnie (no, not for the muscles, just the emotions) is going to direct the movie.
Chetan Bhagat’s style in the book clearly showed that it was ready made for a movie, and his marketing efforts were very clear in projecting it as a timepass read. Acoording to Atul, a lot of actors are interested in the roles. But i guess the snag is that the minority of actors who can read and understand the book will immediately have an unfair advantage. Anyways, not to worry, to provide more bang for your buck, Atul has roped in Salman to play (hold on to something) Chetan Bhagat himself. Now i bet Salman and Chetan are busy congratulating each other, on each other’s good fortunes.
However, since that scene is only a few pages in the book, with nothing but conversation and looking out of the train window, it is definitely going to be a tough task to fit in one shirt-removing scene and one nakabandi song by topesh Himself. I am also wondering on who they are going to choose as God’s voice. Yes, what Hindi movie can be complete without God!! Why do you think i said Chetan had it all planned out!! Anyways, is it going to be Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Amitabh Bachchan or will we hear a new God? A dangerous thought crossed my mind, will it be Himself?

until next time, its going to be a long night…
Disclaimer: There is none, check this out

Happy Rakshabandhan…

Some things never change…

Guys used to look forward to Rakhi, they still do..





.. but they just wish there were no strings attached…

until next time, i am not obsessed, honest.. the fit was too good to ignore… :)

Independence Day preponed

In a stunningly radical move, the ruling Congress led UPA has gotten the Parliament to pass a law that makes the Independence Day a variable date. The lower house of parliament passed the bill late last week amidst heated debate and a walkout by the opposition; the upper house’s approval made it law the following day. In a press release, the Opposition spokesperson had this to say,
” We are appalled by how this government could take such a step. This is against the spirit of the nation. Tell me, could you ever think of changing your birthday? It is something sacrosanct which evokes deep emotions in every citizen of this country.”
The Congress party spokesperson defended ” We have always maintained that we are a people friendly government. This particular law has also been enacted to give a benefit to the society in total. In any case, there is a clause that states that the variable date has to be within 2-3 days of the original independence day. Statistics would prove that a lot of people are unhappy when the day falls on Thursday/Tuesday etc, when they have to take an extra day leave for a long weekend. For example, this time the independence Day is on Tuesday, with this law, we can change it to Monday, and give the entire country a long weekend.”
until next time, freedom to…..
Disclaimer: This work is just a product of the author’s imagination.

Striking….

There is a university that i was once a part of, no, make that twice. Once, when i spent years 3 to 13 living there –  discovering a world on a tricycle, climbing buildings under construction, playing cricket for hours on end, walking among rows and rows of acacia trees, listening to grown ups talking science and mathematics and politics, going to kindergarten, feeling all grown up when going to school, discovering a world on a bicycle, seeing people walk by with red or black flags and wondering how cool it must be to carry a flag and shout on the road.

The second time, a much briefer timeframe – 6 months, coming back to a wave of nostalgia, to a world I had spent time discovering, to walking up the stairs of buildings that were constructed almost two decades ago, to getting tired after a few overs’ spell, walking among rows of buildings that once used to be the ground on which acacias stood, listening to grown ups talking management, to feeling grown up when doing post graduation, seeing people walk by with red or black flags, and realising how childish I was when I thought it was cool, because by then I had been there and done that…

A few months back, I saw a newspaper headline that the university had been shut indefinitely – it seemed most of everyone were on strike, against each other – students, administrative staff and the university registrar, who had been manhandled by a set of students. The students were on strike for something that should be as far away from academics as possible – politics. The exams had been cancelled, and if this goes on for even a couple of months, perhaps this year, there wont be a convocation at all in the university.

Now the university has silent rows of buildings, and kids waiting for their exams to get over so they can play cricket, cycle around, discover a world, listen to grown ups and think how cool itwould be to carry red and black flags and shout on the street.

The university has always had people with flags, it still has them. Can’t blame them, it takes time to understand that flags ain’t so cool. Like most things in life, it is a lesson that can’t be taught, it has to be learnt. That takes time, and a part of life itself.


until next time, dumbstruck….