All Brevity.No Wit

October 28, 2008 at 8:31 am | Posted in arbit, humour, nitk, travel, Visions | 1 Comment
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It has been a phenomenal week.
We bludgeoned the aussies… Vishy is in a freakingly awesome form, having tricked kramnik through a queen pawn opening move that he rarely uses, and perfecting its nuances through various stages. ISRO made us proud by kickstarting the 2 year chandrayaan programme. This even got a prominent mention in one of obama’s campaign speeches. Which was lapped up by mr.nair, even though it was kinda meant to be in a derogatory context.
Sure, there are homegrown idiots who deny the importance of such an achievement.
Commies don’t want us racing with china. Most crankpots question the need to spend crores on what they feel is a non-practical space mission. See,this is just a scientific mission right? , is their argument.
STFU, is my counter argument.
I rest my case.

As usual, here is me wishing myself, big-boned N.R , Hillary ‘Dufus’ Clinton, and Raveena ‘once-ravishing-now-extinct’ Tandon, a very happy birthday…
Actually, checking on wikipedia ( A playground where I spend most of my days )
Certain cool things that have happened on October 26th ,
  • Maharaja of Kashmir acceding to join India.
  • Beatles were knighted.
  • A kid got a heart transplant from a baboon.
  • I can’t believe that the Ghajini female, Asin Thottumkal is exactly one year older.
  • small pox officially chucked out of the world..
  • I don’t have an entry in wiki yet, so can’t quote it…some time soon..
, I’m particularly peeved that the following things have happened on October 26th
  • Seth Mcfarlane –  The creator of Family guy [A long chain of stringed WTF’s ] came into existence. This chap’s only valid work of art is probably modelling peter griffin to look like royan…lol
  • chandrayaan didn’t launch on my b’day…sob sob.. Still, it’ll reach some prominent orbit location, and I’ll take solace with that.
  • i’m typing this post on my cell phone hence can’t research more.
    But i assure you, its been a friendly day in history. And as an ardent smoker of the peace-pipe, i welcome that.
so, That’s it.. Cheers to me. Now that i’m at home after yet another enlightening general compartment train journey, mom wants to drag me for temple tours. And with them being b’day formalities, i don’t wish to annoy her silly…adios

The Full Monty Problem…

October 6, 2008 at 10:27 pm | Posted in arbit, humour, literary, sarcasm, spam, Technical, travel | 12 Comments
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Monty Singh was a wise man. The brightest in the land.

On that eventful Thursday, he received an email. This was a mail  like.no.other.

It was from a Nigerian King.

A real friggin rich Nigger Raja. [P.C version –  Niger. But different country]

Monty Singh was a pyoor Veggie. He didn’t like spam.

But this mail had to be genuine. His IIT alumnian brain could sense it. It was authentic. Right down to the black fonted signature in Wingdings.

He glanced through the contents. He couldn’t believe it. He read it again, this time slowly, and only then did the weight of the matter dawn on him.

He was chosen to participate in a Game show. A quiz of sorts.

Monty smirked. He was an ace quizzer. How he missed those days.

Flashback : Brought to you by Chintu Candy.

It was in seventh standard. He had had his morning’s cuppa’ Horlicks.

Then he went to BQC, thrashed Derek O’Brien mostly left, and occasionally right as well. Pinky Singh was a proud mother that day.

Monty came back from his reverie. He had to think this through.

Monty loved Probability. He simulated a random bit generator. Lady Luck was with him. “Go to Nigeria, you worthless bastard!”, she bellowed.

The queue for the Visa was shorter than he had expected. There was just one local brown model visiting the country for a Fair and Lovely – Limited Nigerian Edition ad-shoot. He grinned as he saw the neighbouring ‘US of A’ Visa line, mostly consisting of bespectacled grad wannabees.

He was received in Nigeria, amidst a royal fanfare. He was led to the only 7 star hotel in the country –  Bobby Da Dhaba. Monty felt right at home.

He woke up that morning, and got himself a beer.

Oops. Wrong post!!!

Monty was up and soon spiffily dressed himself. His father’s pink tie would go well with his lemon yellow shirt.

Karan Johar, the host, looked surprisingly hetero that morning. Must be all that Koffee, thought Monty. “Never mind his temporary non-gayness”. “Concentrate”, he said to himself, as he walked to the stage, which was lit by a thousand colour-colour LED’s. A sight to behold.

Monty raced through the questions like Usain Bolt on steroids. They didn’t call him “Monty Mastermind” just like that.

The final question. This was a toughie. Monty kept his cool. He worked it out. Ruddy Brilliant. He was dingchakkingly good.

“And now Mr.Monty. How bout a bonus round”, shrieked Johar.

“ A flirty car, or you lose it all…..”

No, wait. No one had told him about a bloody bonus round.

As if reading his concerns, Johar replied, “ Don’t worry, Its just a tiny game of probability”.

Gosh. Monty almost had a tiny orgasm.

“ Very similar to the Monty Hall scenario, I take it that you know about it”, asked Johar.

Pfft. Know about it? Why do you think my dad named me Monty?

“Oh. I thought that was because you like to…..  Never mind…”

“Ok. All the doors are hidden behind this wall. Just for kicks”. “And…”

Oh. Will you start already”. “I choose door no.2”. “Which car is it btw?”

“Premier Padmini’s hot friend, Diablo Lamborghini….” “ Whate joke . Whate joke. Ha . Ha.. I know . I can be a pain in the bottoms sometimes”, quipped Karan Johar.

“Ok. Mr.Monty. I’ll open door no.1 and… WTF…”.

“Damn you, Nigerians, stop touching my goat”.

Monty’s brain started working faster than a computer. All those nuggets from Dasgupta, and T.M.H, heck even some from Krishna’s came back to him in a rush. He evoked Bayes, and his conditional Probabilistic models. And in a jiffy, the answer was gambolling right in front of his eyes.

“So, Mr. Monty, what’s your call? Will you flip your choice, or keep it?”

Duh. Flip my choice. Obs”.

“Ok. Have it your way.” ……. “ “Hurrah, You win….”

…..

…..

…..

…..

“ the goat”.

“There were only two doors. Retard”….

All rise for the Nigerian Anthem.

P.S : Monty Singh was a wise man. The brightest in the land.

Update – 7-10-2008

Atul asked me whether this was a Himesh Reshammiya belting post? Actually, I am currently cursing myself for not noticing that Himesh is playing Monty’s role in Karzzzzzzz ( Did I miss a ‘z’? ).

Quoting Himesh – ” Rishi Kapoor is the best-looking Monty, I’m the worst” – We agree.

That, friends, is a different Full-Monty-Problem altogether.

The Life and Works of Sir Takal…

August 24, 2008 at 2:08 pm | Posted in arbit, Bengaluru, chappar, criticism, Ethics, fakereviews, humour, literary, news wagon, nitk, poetry, Politics, sarcasm, Technical, travel, Visions | Leave a comment
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Drawing on this extensive article; the sole biography of Sir Takal in existence, I choose to limit myself, and write only about his magnificent works, with particular emphasis on some of his recent views about everything of consequence to the neo-modern chinese cult-societies in Bangalore.

Takal doesn’t read my blog, so I presume I am safe. [ Sincere apologies in advance ].

Inspirations: [ with the equivalent deft delicateness of Anu Malik ]

  • Appar’s exhilarating review of his best friend’s literary masterpiece.
  • A superb book review of “The 2007-2012 Outlook for Tufted Washable Scatter Rugs, Bathmats, and Sets That Measure 6-Feet by 9-Feet or Smaller in India” – the most scholarly book ever written in this field.

There are two kinds of literary critics in this world, one who totally adore Sir Takal’s succinct analogies, and metaphorical embellishments at times, and the others who haven’t read him yet. I proudly say that I belong to the first variety.

You see, when you read Takal ( a metonymic reference to something written by him ), you not only get the perception that the author is trying to convey an issue of importance, but also the subtle realization of the deeper meaning that this exalted mind offers.

Through innumerous surreal examples, chiefly drawn from the author’s experience with life, and his in-depth knowledge of the Bengalurean city-life, as well as his profound insights on global politics[ with a categorical expertise centered around topics related to the Chinese and Tibetan domain ], Takal clearly convinces of a dark and shady conspiracy that the system[ The Indian Government ], is running in the background of a hazy “India Shining” campaign.

Some Excerpts, and a Detailed as well as a Figurative analysis :-

  • I don’t know why I wrote this post. It is bad. Or may be not . I am not sure. “  Never since The Tale of Two Cities, has a enantiosis, the figure of contraries, of this nature ever been displayed in English Literature.  Walking on both lines of the  paradoxical line, he gently prepares the reader for a tumultuous article ahead. He continues….
  • It was Friday. It was when I went to piss at 4 o’clock that day, that I saw that it was a haze of grey outside . Well, with only work in my mind, I went back and hardly gave a thought to the heavy rain. ” – Metaphors be damned. This is God himself writing. When was the last time you had such a phantasmagoric visual treat lined up for you[ In the most literary, straightest sense possible ].
  • “Well, when I came back home, another shitty thing happened. Power went off.” – A powerful, yet hidden message to the Yeddy government.
  • “ And it is the engineer’s duty to do everything at the last moment. So, thinking I had all the time in the world, I disregarded the increasingly heavy rain, and started to play candle-lit carrom with Kela.” – Inspirational substance, and a brief hint at an on-going romance.
  • “I went and saw to my horror that there were only girlie umbrellas available. But, when I searched properly I did find some black umbrellas. So, I decided to buy it. But wait, I saw the label, and here it was for 667 rupees only. Well, with no time, and having more than a goat’s brain, I decided to adjust with a girlie umbrella for a day( which was available for 220 rupees), I got the umbrella.” – Sir Takal is a champion of the woman’s liberation movement, and he breaks all stereotypes, and urges the reader to do the same. Notice how he assigns a higher price to the “Black Umbrella”. Yes, you guessed it. Sir Takal loves the Afro-American Community as well. He is a maestro in the field of Zulu Dancing, though he is very coy about it.
  • “Thus, it should be clear that a torturer is a torturer, whatever language he speaks, and whatever country he belongs to. The driver was talking to people in singular whatever, I don’t remember the word. It was as if he thought he was the lord. It was as if he was enjoying the overcrowding of the bus. I realized what sadists felt like. He was feeling comfortable in his chair looking at the crowded bus. I felt what a concentration camp felt like, and I for the first time sympathized with the Jews, Borat notwithstanding.” – Just two words :- Drawing parallels between a BMTC ride and the Holocaust, Sir Takal takes the reader to an epochal period and drops him there. Also of importance are the tyrannical analogies of the bus-driver, who here is being compared to Adolf Hitler himself.   Did I say two words?.. Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

And this is just one of his works. Imagine the greatness of a man who has managed to put so many critical issues in such an eloquent manner.

I could go on an on, but I do not wish that the reader misses out on exploring Sir Takal all on their own. A chance that everyone must take.

Takal is a genre in itself. Kafkaesque creations seem pale in front of this divine force of literary grandeur.

Some blurbs from some more reputed sources:

  • “This is the 98956’th Indian Origin author that I have been asked to review. Please give me a break. God Damn it.” – Shashi Tharoor.
  • “To reduce such a richly diverse book to a couple of main themes is a disservice, for there is much here to reward the careful reader (notably two startlingly educative essays on the ancient roots of relations between India and China). Particularly pleasurable is Sir Takal’s masterly reclaiming of Rabindranath Tagore’s reputation from the unjust misjudgment of him in the West as a mediocre mystic poet rather than the rationalist and humanist genius and polymath Takal convincingly depicts. But — disservice aside — two principal arguments emerge from this collection: an affirmation of India’s political and cultural heterogeneity, and of the ‘reach of reason’ in India’s intellectual traditions.” – Shashi Tharoor on cannabis.
  • “I think of the glorious Tiananmen square days, when I read Sir Takal’s works.” – Long Dong, The Times of China. he continues, “Actually, I always think of those days.” ,he clarifies.
  • “I so adore Takal because he posts his articles mostly at the break of dawn. I love to wake up and read Takal, with the cup of coffee in my hand. WoW, Sir Takal. You’re totally on my favorites list. ” – Chetan Bhagat.
  • “Pardon me for this infantile indulgence, but pray allow me to savour the poetic mastery of Sir Takal. I fear that if I don’t quantify it into my already vast intellectual cache, I shall miss out on something very special, the stuff that mortals are faintly aware of.” – Noam Chomsky, not on cannabis.
  • “TB rules. TB is my hero. TB is GoD .” – Hashish, The Arizona Daily Star .
  • “Ashish to Ashes, Dust to Dust” – Sir Takal, The Davangere  Daily.

Normally I don’t recommend authors, but in his case, I doubly do so.

Venture into the unknown,

for there is where true beauty lies,

Do not miss this literary Oasis, O’ pensive traveller,

Not a shadow of doubt, I premise.

Choti Si Baat…

July 20, 2008 at 1:30 am | Posted in arbit, Bengaluru, Carnatic, criticism, humour, nitk, travel | 4 Comments
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Disclaimer:- This post is not a review of this Amol Palekar movie. Which happens to be one of my favourites, btw. It however deals with a similar aspect of life.

Claimer:- Too much fundae_putting for a very small issue. Excusus Maadimus.

Location: A semi-posh hotel in the heart of Bengaluru. Woodlands a.k.a Woody’s it is called.

So here I was, happily staying at this hotel [ albeit at company’s expense, but don’t ruin the moment ], which is supposedly famous in B’ lore for its breakfast. Not many star hotels can boast about that.

Aha, if that’s not enough, there is one more USP to this place. At all the dining venues, this mallu-run hotel plays Carnatic Music to give that xtra aambience effects.                  Yes. Good-ol’ Classy stuff that sits well with most of the senior Tam folk who seem to form a majority of the customers here [ and with me as well – if you still didn’t get the point ].

I think this must be an corollary/extension of that experimental research that, cows gave more milk when exposed to western classical music.

In the mornings, they play Mandolin Shrinivas. The same CD every day. I still liked it.

At dinner, for some weird reason, they play death-note Shehnai/saxophone. Morose funeral-ish stuff. I didn’t quite get the funda, but since the food was quite good, I didn’t bother much.

Well, enough of bitti publicity. Back to core issues. Or the lack of it.

So, one day at the breakfast, the hotel features the Southie menu filled with awesomeness, the Idlis, the Vadas, dosas…. and also some mandatory nuisances like the Upma [ a.k.a Uppittu. as if an alias changes the hideousness ]. And being a devout member of the caffeine cultus, I order a coffee as well. Wait, let me rephrase.

A true-to-Bengaluru-tradition Cothasian fresh, piping hot, delicious cuppa coffee, with a frothy layer as a visual bonus.

Ya, it was something like that. I’m a bit restrained with appraisals.

It was of course sugar-free, to suit the oldies. So, I take the  semi-crystalline, semi-powdery sugar sachet, and pour it down. It made a small hole into that layer, sinking in slowly. Maybe I was already high in anticipation of the coffee, or maybe bengaluru’s   early-morning cold had excited my mind, in either case, this sight brought a smile to my face. I assume the classy people around me thought I was some downmarket crazy oaf. That is, if they hadn’t already thought of that, while I came to have the breakfast in my pair of jazzy bermudae.

To me, however, it reminded of old cartoon characters. When they used to fall out of planes, or space, or anywhere else… Dropping through columns of white clouds, making appropriate look-alike cut-out holes in the process.

Maybe I’m imagining a bit too much. “Much ado about nothing”- ing about a petty issue.

Signing off with a recent chat with Akella. [ Expletives included ]

Me : Hey, I found a house in Wilson Garden. Pretty neat. And near as well..

Akella : So, when are you shifting to a proper house?

Me : Wtf, this house is closeby, has a maid, and a TV as well.      You can’t get properer than that.

Akella : No, I meant why are you staying in a Garden?

Me : You Whore.

Some people never change…

And that is good…

And that is all…

Holiday Hoo-Hahs

May 23, 2008 at 4:20 pm | Posted in arbit, criticism, Ethics, humour, Linux, narcissism, Technical, travel, Visions | 7 Comments
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I’m a particularly strange person. I don’t like vacations. They seem to drag.
Especially the post-college-no social contact ones.
Makes me feel like a social retard. [ Nice post, dude].
Without much nonsensing, here’s some peculiarly interesting/irritating incidents that happened over the past few weeks.

I arrive back from college. Mom’s lambasting me on my apparently obvious weight-loss. Unlike some hoggers, I lost nearly 5-6 kg’s while at college.
Most relatives think that its due to my burning of the mid-night oil-esque studying.
I don’t like to disturb pretty thoughts.

She proclaims with full gusto. “ Before, you leave for Bangalore, I’ll make sure you gain at least 8-10 kgs.” Its gone off to a point where I actually said,
“ Amma, I’m bored. Eat, Eat, Eat… Give me a break ”.
So, Ladies, the next time you see me, in addition to the awesomely dashing, supremely bright looks, I might also be slightly chubbier. Be prepared, lest you be swept off your feet.
[ ROTFL]

Needless to say, gone are the days when Parle-G used to be my
breakfast/lunch/dinner.

Whole family went on major temple touring. Dharmasthala, Kukke Subrahmanya, Aane Gudde[Near Kundapur], Kota Amritheshwari…. yada yada. I hope that this fulfils my religious affiliations for this year.

Non-faith reasons aside, these visits were still pesky. Getting up at 4 in the morning, AND taking a bath, both on the same day, is quite an ask.

On the Aane Gudde- day, I had only one T-shirt left to wear, and by an act of cosmic co-incidence, it happened to be one with the awesome Black-Sabbath band pic on it. Was laughing to myself at the apparent irony. Mom asked why.Told her about the whole satanic/atheistic stuff about Black Sabbath.
She laughed at my stupidity.
Now, That’s a Wardrobe Malfunction, I feel.

Last year. December to be precise, I went to Strands Book Exhibition in Bangalore. Nice place, books at decent prices. One of the many books that I purchased that day was “The Devil’s Alternative”- by Frederick Forsyth. I finished it last week. Ace book. They even called it unputdownable. But that’s how I read. Shame…

Boarded a bus from the M.G.M stop[ My P.U college, I miss it very much too,
but too much senti is not good, so I skip intro]. The conductor saw me and gave me a C.
That’s a half-ticket in Udupi/Mangalore lingo. There used to be a time, when
my friends and me were immensely pleased at this 1-2 Rs. savings.
But C’mon. At 21? You got to be kidding me. Probably I need to look a bit more refined/mature.
I think I should sport a beard. Maybe I will.

One major improvement over the past vacations, is that I finally am getting to surf through Broadband this time. Dial-Up’s a pain in the Bottom if you ask me. [ Did you spot the pun. Ya right there, that’s it. Read on].

Here, I’d like to mention the extremely suave, gracious BSNL folks who came over to my house, installed the ADSL modem+router, and made sure that the connection’s up n running. Granted, its their job. But, it is nice to see govt. officials who are courteous.
It restores my faith in the system.

Now, I surf at nearly 200+ kbps. And as Dha says, I can now download anything that “tickles my fancy”.

Oh ya. I take only the legally downloadable movies, music, sitcoms, software.
After paying for it, of course.

Ah. My board. With Sarcasm written in large letters. Where’s it?.. Better hold it up high.

A Linux guru from Bengaluru, Atul Chitnis does more justice to BSNL’s efforts.
It is also a stepwise guide to the whole deal of getting a dataone connection.
He’s written it better, hence I won’t dare repeat it here.
Read Maadi. His first opinion on this was cynical, and then he changes his mind in this entry after getting the connection. Likewise in my case.

To Atul : I installed it myself on Linux. You took their help. Ha ha…

P.S

Atul says: kill -9 ‘pidof logik’

Turing Machines and extreme irritation

April 25, 2008 at 10:54 am | Posted in arbit, humour, nitk, Technical, travel | Leave a comment
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/* The F word will be used 3 times in this post, for completely appropriate reasons. Kindly close your eyes just before u pass over it. Thank you */

Well, I was on my way to good ol’ Bengalooru on some work. In this bus called Indira Travels….
Well, I dint find her, but anyways, this is what happened.

Some of my brilliant NITKian Juniors were here,
filled with placement fear,
Oh. Dear Dear….

These buggers are discussing about Turing machines, and other algos. Various placement related stuff.
[ I’d give a million to anyone who’d guess their branch]

Well, to this particular chap, I pose a question.

” It is 5.45 in the morning. You have a 80 decibel voice, and you’re shouting at an angle of 60 deg relative to your seat, about turing bullcrap. Exactly how many people are you annoying? ”

Answer: The whole fucking bus…..

Well, if you want to understand Turing Machines, I’d love to teach you.
An awesome description by my friend- Junior- con- comps don – Anirudh
” Turing Machines should be called “SlideFuck” , you know like ” BrainFuck” ,
but this time, with only two symbols, “left” and right”.

There, you nasty sucker… got that…..
If you still have a doubt, then ” One tight slap“.

Cheerio

P.S: I know who you are…. [ grin]

The Chronicles of Bengaluru Part I : The CAT

November 20, 2007 at 7:38 am | Posted in arbit, humour, literary, Technical, travel | 4 Comments

Listening to:- Harry ChapinCAT’s in the cradle.

Disclaimer:- No cats were harmed during the making of this post.

Management is an illusionary subject.It gives you dreams, the whole ” I’m the Boss ” feeling, and that fat cheque too. The IIM brand is something too powerful to resist, and every TDH wants a share of the pie. And what does he/she have to do for this?. Pretty simple actually. Get through an exam , some GD’s and interviews later, and IIM it is.
All’s well, but 2.5 lakh buggers think the same.

So here I was , in good olBengaluru to write an entrance exam which goes by the name of Common Aptitude Test.
Let me clarify some things. I DID NOT PREPARE. I DON’T GIVE A DAMN. It was something close to a timepass kinda situation. But some funny and/or noteworthy incidents made this trip memorable.

Lots of plans were made well before the exam, though daily fluctuating, finally turned out to be great.Plans regarding Birthday celebrations, Bangalore roaming, place of stay, things to purchase, and last and definitely the least , about the actual exam.

Infinite thanks to Saranya for allowing me n tarkari to stay at her place. You Rock..

Now that the MangaloreBengaluru trip sucks big-time, its a pain to travel.Landed at 10a.m, and was in Jayanagar by 4.00..Was hopelessly lost, yet managed to come to a landmark location. Saranya then came cruising on her Rambo [ that’s an activa , not a horse btw ] to pick me up. So I was finally there. There was a brief intro session, and after we and her parents got acquainted, we started timepassing over the T.V.

The day before any major exam, people usually turn into scaredyCATs, and usually behave like a CAT on hot bricks. We , went out to eat. Jayanagar, is thankfully, still a great place to hang out, what with Cool-joints, hot-chips etcetera.

Around an hour before midnight, we felt it was our moral obligation as studious souls to see what this exam is actually about. So glancing through T.I.M.E, we managed to know the names of the sections of the exam, which was really helpful. So, if, … if… any result actually comes out of this, then-IN YOUR FACE, Two-year sloggers.

An interesting co-incidence , was that the day of the exam [ 18th november] , happened to be her B’day. So in spite of repeated warnings to sleep asap, we decided to stay up late. We dint dare give any GPL’s, for fear of being kicked out of the house, and also coz it was a favour returned 🙂 [ thanks ], but wished her none the less.

A warning to all readers who might come across a situation of sleeping in the same room as Anup [ pai, et al ], He snores…I dint have a decibel meter on me, but it sure kept me awake through the night, fully prepared for the adventures on the next day. And the one hour that I actually got a faint hint of what could be perceived as sleep, was disturbed by his lousy alarm. Whate friend.

So on the big-day, we set out as heroes about to face the greatest test, with nothin to shield us from the horrors that lay ahead. After adequate styling, n the sumptuous breakfast, we took our route info from her parents, and embarked on the journey that would last around 4 hours, and would in no manner change our lives in anyway.
Wishes for good luck kept pouring in. I wish they knew.

My center was at The OXFORD College of Engineering, Hosur Road. Give it to the nature of intrepid bangaloreans to name their two-penny institutions after great university towns. The result – Oxford P.U.College, Cambridge Higher Primary, and Stanford English school, gorguntepalya. Ya, I know the branding helps in fooling the junta, but ain’t there a limit? The situation is very similar to MIT – ” Manipal Institute of technlogy“, ” Moodlakatte Institute of technology”, blah blah.

And the hopelessly lost person that I am, the only thing missing in this adventure was a mix-up. And I had to do that too. So, the second I mentioned Oxford, the rickshaw chap took me to oxford group of institutions. And that was a sodding center too. Met snigdha there. Thankfuly she realised that this ain’t my center, and in about 5 minutes so did I.

Due to meticulous planning, and the above mentioned snoring effects, we’d left pretty early. So there was ample time for me to rush to the actual center. Roads are something to be proud of in Bangalore. Ditto about the auto-drivers[ except the last one]. I was there with 20 mins to spare.
Just then wanderlust messages me good luck, n asks about my center. Apparently she came to know of my blunder , courtesy snigdha, and the fact that oxford school was her alma mater. I was actually surprised when she told bout the j.p.nagar mistake, and was foolish enough to assume that it could be a common blunder.

About my actual center, nice place. Huge campus. and lots of cat junta. Met arkesh, mysore n zulla. Zulla with his usual charm told that he was high the previous day. Went inside the exam hall, to witness something really surprising.

Apparently as a part of a scientific experiment on gullible individuals, the campus management had decided to play music via the personal address system, in the tension filled moments before the exam. And the playlist– ” Nagumomu Ganaleni “, ” Brahmam Okatey” , ” Krishna nee begane baro” etc. The junta was furious, and apparently the experiment had not had its effect. The general complaint was that it was classical. I frowned that it was fusion 🙂 ; Finally an amicable solution was sought, that being no music would be played during the exam. Duh ..

For me it was the first cat paper. No simcats, aimcats, tomcats etc, so I friggin‘ dint care for a pattern change, but apparently the old-timer female sitting next to me guessed it was a screwing paper, the moment we got it. And she was right.

Having lost touch attempting quality math, the quant section became pretty time-consuming. I was not aware of strategies, and went about solving each and every question, like the naive kid that I am. Verbals was a breeze , atleast that’s the hope. The section that people were fearing the most , Data interpretation turned out to be very easy. Too simple infact. But, owing to my excessive interest in going through the poetry in the verbal section, I couldn’t manage enough time to do justice to the D.I.

So after the gruelling few hours, I left Oxford for good. Came back to saranya’s place. A great birthday feast was waiting for us. Watched the all-time awesome movie – DON [ the non-lame, original version]. Some timepassing in jayanagar later, with a healthy mixture of purchasing n window-shopping. The day was about to end. We bade farewell to our generous hosts, and set out, as shadows in the night, not knowing which direction the majestic – MAJESTIC lies.

Concluding remarks:- We were really grateful that this year the CAT was not let out of the bag. Ok. Enough of catty idioms. Time for me to sign off.

Cheerio…
Listening to:- Kishore Kumar – CAT… CAT…CAT.. Maane billi..

Jammu Kashmir… Jammu Kashmir…

June 29, 2007 at 8:29 am | Posted in arbit, literary, travel | 5 Comments

This post is dedicated to Jakra- a friend, a Guide, a fellow porkibaay, and who is still very much alive…

To all my friends who wished that I’d not return from J&K [ 4 and counting] , I’m extremely sorry.
Well I’m back, and have lots to tell.
For starters, the reason why I was there , was to attend a national convention of SPIC MACAY.There were 10 of us, 5 boys and 5 of the chromosomally challenged types….
The unusual part os this journey was that the journey was longer than the stay, so we ended up inventing crap like Phase 1, 2, 3[ degree of boredom], arbit antakshari [start a song with any letter other than intended]. The Bolly-Tolly-Sandal-Tamil wood song database was thoroughly exhausted, to an extent that only the dreaded Himesh Reshammiya-Songs [ for lack of a better word], were left.
Boarded in Bangalore..Friends[ Sha, chappar, Soma, Srik] coming to send us off.. Well two surprise add-ons to our list of extra-ordinary travelers, was a welcome change.
So via the capital [ a much needed recharge point, cells and humans alike], we managed to board the Shalimar express to Jammu.The fellow SpicMacayiites were here[ including Kiran]. Jakra managed a hit [ IITG, if I’m not mistaken].
So on that fine morning we land at Jammu University, with excitement in our eyes, and wierd smells elsewhere.[ Three days.. not much for me, but an eternity for some].
The univ is beautifully set in the middle of the city, a lush green campus, with arbitly skewed buildings/departments,well set roads, and lots of history to draw upon [ I swear , I was not paid for this].
So Vivekananda Hostels for the baays, and Chandrabagha for others….A decent place to stay…
Cuisines served at the Gymnasium…. Decent food.
Jammu’s people are really nice, especially the ones at the univ, met really friendly people here.
Me signed up for an intensive[ a.k.a workshop] titled Sankhavadyam, fooled by a keralian sounding name with images of sankhas, and mridangams floating about, made myself co-ordinator, etc etc, but I’m glad I made the mistake.How else could I meet such a brilliant man as Purushottam Muni Ji, a expert in his art, and a person who has taken heavily from the cup of life.How else could I make awesome friends, like Harikrishna, Rajesh, Poorva, and of course Jarul….
Dwelling a bit more into my intensive, this is a folk art from Orissa, has three major parts called, shankhabadan, ranapa, and chadeya. These artists could blow a conch for 20-30 minutes at a stretch, could dance and perform acrobatics on stilts, and perform a graceful dance. We could manage a 20 second squeal of a sound, couldn’ t even stand on the stilts, and finished with what was perceived by the public to be a really good dance, and we were kinda happy that we did not create any major goof-ups. I even managed to give an interview to ETv Oriya regarding this,from an audience perspective.
About the concerts, I’ve lots to tell, since I’ll cherish someof them forever. For the first time, I got to see, Balamurali Krishna , his youthful nature only enhances his musical magic[ he loves the tag ‘bala’ ]. Shiv Kumar Sharma, the first time I heard him in Jaipur, I was spell bound, this time was even better. The pristine purity of Santoor’s music, coupling with Panditji’s brilliant expertise of the instrument, makes it one of my best musical experiences.
The overnight was truly great. We were handling backstage, hence got to meet lots of artists in person[ giving them tea n stuff, still, in the presence of masters….], Concerts starting with the legendary T.N Krishnan on Violin, later Ustd.Rashid Khan Saab[ 99 not out] with a khayal rendition, followed by the vocalist extra-ordinaire T.M. Krishna[ His book with Bombay Jayashree- “Voices Within” , is out on the stands, Buy a copy today].The next was the pick of the lot. The concert by Ustd. Shahid Parvez, on the sitar, mesmerized everyone.
As George Harrison of the Beatles’ Fame once said on his tour to India,” The Sitar is equivalent to a 11 member Cello Orchestra”,It carries with it such amazing complexity, and only a true master can explore the instrument to the extent that we saw that day.Despite some grievances that he faced, as a result of negligent behaviour on the organizers part, on our part, He kept all that aside, and his performance was beyond par.
Next came the Chupa Rustum concert. We had all seen the list before, and Venkatesh Kumar- Hindustani Vocal, seemed an arbit choice.Here was a singer from Bellary[ Yes, Karnataka…], whom none of us had even heard of. But we soon were to realize that our ignorance knows no bounds…I’d the opportunity to interact with him, he was happy that he got a Kannadiga to speak to.I was amazed at this great artist’s humbleness..
Here is the situation, It’s neary 5 in the morning, half the auditorium is asleep, quarter of it is empty. and the rest are wondering which of the above options to choose from.Here comes this man, manages to instill the fervour within the rasiks in the crowd, to an extent that people can perceive the artist-rasik connection happening with each stage of the alaap, and by the end, people are glad they stayed back, and could witness this stupendous performance. Such was the intensity of the fan-following , that few Reporters and others came backstage to contact the artist, and he was more than happy to oblige.The joy on the faces of the fans told the story.
That was the end of the saga, in Jammu Univ.. Bid farewells to new found friends,took some arbit campus pics, and planned half a day of sightseeing.
Rain played spoil-sport, still we mustered our spirits, and set out in search of the famous Raghunath temple.The temple was an architectural novelty from what I’d heard. This temple had been under attack some years back. Set in the midst of the city [ the markets grew around the temple , ob], this temple has the kinda structure that can be witnessed throughout North India. A pyramidal Gopuram, with a dual pradakshina circle, usually square like, and the sanctum sanctorum with brightly coloured stone idols.
What was unprecedented was the security[ there were people with submachine guns on the temple roof], as well as the nature of blatant commercialism that has covered the premises.Guaranteed money offered you individual attention to the Great Lord, and a free arbit garland, but still, there are limits to which you test people.Adding to that are temple rooms for every Hindu God on the planet that merits a dakshinam, and a purohit seated for the transaction.Finally somewhere people would Yield [ : ) ] .
I was bleeped at by most of my friends for doing an extra round, it was certainly not out of devotion[ God or Goddess[ : ) , ok a bit here ] , but just pure inquisitive bliss.
Just when we thought we were swindled enough already, we came out and saw what the Jammu markets had to offer. I’d a great vision in mind. Will take some dry fruits, [ walnuts etc], and would be given a grand welcome back home, for this amazing foresight. I was blasted outright. 2 kgs of Akroots take ages to break, and it’s frankly not worth the effort. I’m sure my friends would share the feeling.[ I’m sorry for the brilliant recommendation……]
The train journey back was a bit gloomy, but has to be one of my best train trips ever.The Jammu Tawi from Jammu to Chennai, probably one of the longest train trips I’ll ever make,was one of the most peaceful trips too. Arbit pics, senti moments, and Jakra taking pics with future to-be celebs. Here I tried to mock Bernoulli by trying to take a pic of a moving train, somewhat Ghulam ishtyle, and having narrowly missed the pic, and moreso being squished into pulp, have to thank Jakra immensely.

The journey from chennai to Bangalore, on the really long train-bus, was memorable for it’s own reasons.People suddenly finding irresistible attraction to the foot-board, and then being scolded at by the TC.This was a really senti-ful journey, with a really melodramatic end. With infinite Post-it’s at hand, we created an instant autograph book/ send off gift/ crown to Jakra.
No NITKian send off is incomplete with a kick to the posterior[ make an excuse in my case], and so in the middle of K.R.Puram station, Jakra was given a sounding farewell.

Some highlights of the trip:-

Vk flaunting his Walkman phone, almost all our phones going kaput in Jammu, Amazing Concerts, People desperately trying to collect contacts to boost some fictional ++ ratings, Mech rocks, L[ with a wierd hand sign], Jammu Kashmir- A Boring play with a wierd neck twisting dance manoeuvre, Raghunath Temple [ Apparently Tirupati’s not the only temple which shaves] , Jammu university, Indian Railways, New friends, Old arbits, Shocking taps, Do not spit- DNS, Mental Manja- a.ka Mangal moortie., Some flings+crushings[ : ) ], NITK Surathkal being bestowed the best chapter in all categories that exist, and so on and so forth.

To people who’ve managed to stay awake so far, to people who came along with me, to
Jakra, to the people of Jammu, to friends, to people who managed to land on my blog due to some wierd cosmic catastrophe, Here’s me signing off..
Cheerio. Adios,Astalavista…etc etc….

P.S:- Fellow tripsters included Vinayak, Anup, Kartik.J, Saranya, Mahima, Asha, Surabhi, Revathi, Madhava.

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The HitchHiker’s Guide to Udupi

March 20, 2007 at 10:17 am | Posted in arbit, literary, travel, Visions | 2 Comments

One thing , being a LOCO@NITK, that I’m proud of, can boast of, can flaunt, etc etc, is that I can visit my house anytime I want.
After a Long period of hostelling, a bit of Home-Sickness started to seep in. This adding to the other obvious factors like shortage of paisa and seeing the dirty clothes stack becoming taller day by day, made it absolutely necessary for me to pay a small visit.
So I started off on what was to be a long journey; with Vinayak Kamath [ VK in briefs:)] . There was this strike. Protests against SEZ-Nagarjuna power project.The mob was headed by Ms.Manorama Madhvaraj .Noble thought, but we know that the elections are coming near, don’t we? Noble , none the less.
The lifeline of DK, NH-17 was blocked. National Highway , and not a soul in sight.
A long stretch of beautiful bitumen.

The Hitch-Hiking Begins….
We boarded this tempo in full tempo. Much to our delight, the driver was tight.And he was driving Shhhteady. I sorta hoped that we didn’t crash onto something before reaching Udupi.
Hardly had we warmed the seats, when the Police stopped us at Mukka, yes, Mukka; just 3 km from NITK.
So , we got down at Mukka , and seeing a long chain of trucks and some 20-30 constables , thought that it’s gonna be a long day’s wait.I managed to gulp down BABA’s competitor- JOY Cola, and then we sat at the bus-stop waiting for some movement.
Just then , this friend of mine , messages me,”hi are u free”. Here, I ‘m marooned in Mukka, with no-where to go, arbit Tamil Officers [ from Rapid Action Force] telling,”they are burning vehicles in Hejamady”, and so on,and I get this msg.. No wonder, I’m pissed off.So, I sent a sarcastic reply. Then I remember,” Oh, she can’t figure out sarcasm”, so send a correction msg.
Meanwhile, things clear up.We climb aboard the same vehicle., and start off.As the pace picks up, I begin to get the whiff of burning rubber..For those of you, who’re thinking , that he was going formula-1 fast, or something to that effect…. well, NO. It was from the burnt tyres on the road.
So, we landed in Katapady,and having paid monetary respects to the driver, stood there waiting/hoping for a bus.
I wonder whey they call Konkanis a minority.They’re friggin’ everywhere. VK started kutching, and got kutched in return by arbit three konketeers.
So, got a bus finally.It was Jam-packed.The conductor was literally overjoyed, and was a bit worried too, that he’d not be so busy the next day.He moved through the mass, making arbit jokes along the way.
As I stood on the foot-board, it reminded me of good ol’ MGM times.On the way, I saw a beam of orange sun-light bounce of the river, and glide against the surface as we moved .
Man, That was stunningly Beautiful.

So, finally made it to Udupi, Safe, and without a sound.

To flick from Robert Frost…

The roads are empty,the cracks are deep.
But I have promises to Keep,
Miles to go, In the bus I’ll sleep
Miles to go, In the bus I’ll sleep.

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